2006 September 30 Saturday
Pope Benedict Sees Islam Incompatible With Western Societies

Pope Benedict's September 12, 2006 speech at the University of Regensburg in which he made some comments about Islam ignited Muslim fury as the followers of the so-called "religion of peace" took violent exception to the idea that their religion is anything less than perfect and supreme. The Pope sees the same incompatibility between the West and Islam that ParaPundit has repeatedly pointed out.

Benedict has studied Islam extensively and, in a 1997 interview with German journalist Peter Seewald, dealt generously with the religion.

"There is a noble Islam, embodied, for example, by the King of Morocco, and there is also the extremist, terrorist Islam, which, again, one must not identify with Islam as a whole, which would do it an injustice," the then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said.

Still, he added, Islam does not fit in with Western civilization.

"Islam has a total organization of life that is completely different from ours; it embraces simply everything," he said. "There is a very marked subordination of woman to man; there is a very tightly knit criminal law, indeed, a law regulating all areas of life, that is opposed to our modern ideas about society. One has to have a clear understanding that it is not simply a denomination that can be included in the free realm of a pluralistic society."

That article has excerpts from comments that the Pope has made at other times about Islam and is worth reading in full.

That 1997 book-length interview of the Pope (before he became Pope and hence more constrained in his public utterances) and the section about Islam sounds especially interesting. So I did some web digging and came up with a longer excerpt.

I think that first we must recognize that Islam is not a uniform thing. In fact, there is no single authority for all Muslims, and for this reason, dialogue with Islam is always dialogue with certain groups. No one can speak for Islam as a whole; it has, as it were, no commonly regarded orthodoxy.... There is a noble Islam, embodied, for example, by the King of Morocco, and there is also the extremist, terrorist Islam, which, again, one must not identify with Islam as a whole, which would do it an injustice.

An important point, however, is ... that the interplay of society, politics and religion has a completely different structure in Islam as a whole. Today's discussion in the West about the possibility of Islamic theological faculties, or about the idea of Islam as a legal entity, resupposes that all religions have basically the same structure, that they all fit into a democratic system with its regulations and the possibilities provided by these regulations. In itself, however, this necessarily contradicts the essence of Islam, which simply does not have the separation of the political and religious sphere, which Christianity has had from the beginning. The Quran is a total religious law, which regulates the whole of political and social life and insists that the whole order of life be Islamic....

These comments are far more important and profound than the Regensburg remarks that caused the huge recent flap with Muslims burning churches and Muslim governments lodging diplomatic protests.

The European race has shrunk as a percentage of the total world population going from about a quarter to a tenth. The Muslims sense weakness on our part. At the same time, they still feel threatened by us. The combination has awakened them.

In the cultural situation of the 19th and early 20th centuries, until the 1960s, the superiority of the Christian countries was industrially, culturally, politically and militarily so great that Islam was really forced into the second rank. Christianity--at any rate, civilizations with a Christian foundation--could present themselves as the victorious power in world history. But then the great moral crisis of the Western world, which appears to be the Christian world, broke out. In the face of the deep moral contradictions of the West and of its internal helplessness ... the Islamic soul reawakened. We are somebody too; we know who we are; our religion is holding its ground; you don't have one any longer....

Pope Benedict has a great sense of history. Yes, that is exactly what has happened. The West has a problem of an existential nature. The Muslims are out-reproducing us while also asserting their religious superiority. Our secular leftists would have us believe Muslim anger is our fault. Too many of our religious (e.g. George W. Bush with his Islam as "religion of peace") want to believe that they have a greater bond with Muslims who share a faith in God than with secular Westerns who share values like freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

Muslims now believe they have the more vigorous religion. Truth enough. Vigorous Jihadists seek to kill us while within their own societies and they keep women in line by being willing to do things like throw acid on the faces of women who do not stay under covers.

So the Muslims now have the consciousness that in reality Islam has remained in the end as the more vigorous religion and that they have something to say to the world, indeed, are the essential religious force of the future.

Here's my very politically incorrect view of why Islam seems more "vigorous": First off, Middle Eastern Muslims are dumber on average than Europeans. So most lack the intellectual capacity for introspection with lots of critical thoughts about their own religion. An intellectually driven reformation is not in the cards. At the same time, lower IQ people have more babies in the modern world. So the Muslims are out-reproducing people of European descent. On top of all that, smarter Europeans have used their smarts to make themselves much more economically successful and powerful. Their greater success and power causes resentment and a burning anger among Muslim males who do not want to compete for women.

Islam codified a version of Middle Eastern desert tribal norms which was enligthened for its time. But those norms and the practice of consanguineous (cousin) marriage are not compatible with Western societies and Western values. Christianity and secular values of the West have far more in common with each other than they do with Islam.

The West should separate itself from Muslim lands and Muslim peoples to a large extent. Do not let Muslims move into the West. For Muslims who have citizenship or residency offer them cash to leave. People in bad marriages get divorced. Cultures and religions that are incompatible should get divorced as well. We can get along better by staying out of each others' lives.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2006 September 30 08:57 PM  Civilizations Clash Of


Comments
John S Bolton said at September 30, 2006 9:32 PM:

The 'strong' crime family values which are seen among moslem immigrants in Europe especially, can be used to sweep them out.
Enact very long sentences for street aggression, and domestic violence beyond some threshold, then waive the sentences if, and in proportion as they can, bring relatives out with them, upon deportation.
Someone with foreign connections who can bring four relatives out with him, could reduce a 8 year sentence to zero.
If he could get 20 relatives to go to Algeria with him, a 40 year sentence might be brought to zero additional.
Thus family solidarity, by which they formed their microsovereignty-seeking enclaves, might be usable to clear the undesirables out, regardless of citizenship or religion, so long as they have lots of relatives with foreign connections and higher crime rates.
The idea of payments would also be probably needed to help this along.

FCR said at October 1, 2006 3:32 AM:

How unfortunate that President Bush and his circle of incompetent advisors shy away from any any hard analysis of the cultural and religious factors that must influence America's interactions with the Muslim World. This leads to pie-in-the sky-optimism, on the one hand, and nearly apocalyptic hostility toward Islam, on the other. We are led by a cadre of intellectually lazy wishful thinkers, Bush being the presiding but far from the only example. They want to turn the Islamic World into a larger version of Switzerland, and when they see that this won't happen, they get frustrated and want to bomb it into submission. At the same time, they can't wait to throw open the doors of immigration to Muslims whom they believe will instantly and eagerly embrace a host of Jeffersonian virtues. I am reminded of the line uttered by Martin Sheen's character, Captain Willard, in Apocalypse Now: "Oh man, in Vietnam the bullshit piled up so fast you needed wings to stay above it."

The author is correct, we ought to be scrupulously honest with ourselves about Islamic culture, abandoning those pieties about "universal human nature" and its love of freedom. Many Muslims see unquestioning obedience to the dictates of the Koran, as interpreted by whichever Imam is currently holding sway over their attention, as the one, genuine path to freedom.

Democracy emerged out of a particular set of culture circumstances and over a period of thousands of years. Remove that history and those circumstances, and democracy, free speech, tolerance of other opinions, and so forth, simply become hazy abstractions embraced by a few Western-educated intellectuals, and either exploited or openly rejected by the bulk of the populace. The Islamic world is not made up of bloodthirsty monsters, but of people who see the world, and the concepts of virtue, piety, dignity, and duty differently than do most citizens of the West. If we could be more honest about these differences, at least among ourselves, we could formulate a more realistic and less emotionally-charged approached to the Muslim World.

crush41 said at October 1, 2006 8:14 PM:

A century ago, people of European ancestry represented one-fourth of the world's population. At the onset of the sexual revolution it was one-sixth. Today it is one-tenth. The West is dying. So is liberalism. The Pope understands that, and laments the loss of fecundity that always accompanies secularization. Christianity won't die, it'll just metastasize into only moderately recognizable forms like Liberation Theology in Latin America or the ecclectic, syncretic forms Christianity in East Asia.

Mohamed Abdel-Megid said at October 2, 2006 6:35 AM:

I lament the violent and disrespectful actions of a tiny minority of Muslims toward Christians in various parts of the world as a result of the Pope’s recent remarks

As a point of clarification, for those reading this who really do not know the teachings or the history of Islam, it is undeniable that the Islamic dominion did in its early years spread across the Middle East and the Mediterranean region largely, though not exclusively, by military means. It displaced other empires which had also established themselves by military means: notably the Byzantine and Persian empires. What was significant, however, is that the Islamic order brought with it a freedom of religion that did not exist to the same extent under these other empires. Religious communities—Jews, Zoroastrians, and all sects of Christians—were allowed to live under their own religious laws in return for accepting status as protected peoples. They paid a tax, but were exempt from military service and from the charity (zakat) expected of Muslims. As the Qur’an says: Verily, those who have attained to faith [in this divine writ], as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians – all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds – shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve (Surah 2: 62)

Forced conversion has universally been seen as unacceptable by virtually all major Islamic religious scholars and authorities, which explains why in Jerusalem, a city revered by Muslims, the sacred sites and religious communities of Judaism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Catholicism have survived and flourished over fourteen centuries of mostly Muslim rule.
It is in the Christian world, on the other hand, where the more egregious offenses against religious tolerance and co-existence have been found. And it is also not to be ignored that in the Byzantine Empire, from which the Pope’s “call to reason” is supposedly substantiated, torture and cruelty were virtually institutionalized:

"One may be amazed at the assertion that the Byzantine was humane, and refined in feeling, even to the point of sensitiveness. Too many bloody crimes stain the pages of Byzantine history — not as extraordinary occurrences but as regularly established institutions. Blinding, mutilation, and death by torture had their place in the Byzantine penal system. In the Middle Ages such horrors were not, it is true, unknown in Western Europe, and yet the fierce crusaders thought the Byzantines exquisitely cruel. In reading the history of this people, one has to accustom oneself to a Janus-like national character — genuine Christian self-sacrifice, unworldliness, and spirituality, side by side with avarice, cunning, and the refinement of cruelty. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III

Let me try to explain further why the Pope’s choice of example engenders a reaction among many Muslims. Within recent decades Muslims feel that they have endured not only injustice but humiliation in Palestine, in Bosnia, in Chechnya, in Iraq, and in Lebanon. Furthermore, Muslims suffer a deep wound from 9/11, an act which all but a tiny fanatical, or shall I say criminal element in the Muslim community would repudiate. The emotional pain felt by the vast majority of Muslims over such events is immense.

The Pope’s references go right to the primary sources of Islamic faith. It would be one thing to criticize the loss of reason among Islamic extremists, and another to imply that Islam itself is the problem. Here is the crux of the matter: nowhere in the Pope’s address is there an invitation to dialog; instead there is the assertion that Catholics, by virtue of their rootedness in Greek rationality, have a unique claim to being “reasonable” and in accord with Logos.

The point is not to criticize the Pope, or whether he is right or wrong. It is urgent that more people become informed about what Islam intrinsically stands for.

The Pope’s address focused on the reconciliation of reason and faith, and the implied accusation that Islam converts at swordpoint and therefore offends reason. But it is noteworthy that the Qur’an, revealed in the 7th Century, often encourages human beings to use their reason in spiritual matters and proposes no theology that would challenge human reason. The Qur’an in more than seventy verses specifically invites people to reflection (tafakkur), understanding (‘aql), and reason (nuha). It is also widely appreciated that Islam incorporated the metaphysics and vocabulary of the Greeks during its early centuries by being deeply conversant with the Greek classics. In fact, Islamic civilization preserved the knowledge of the classical world until it good be handed off to Europe after Europe’s own Dark Ages

Randall Parker said at October 2, 2006 4:05 PM:

Mohamed Abdel-Megid,

In Iraq under Saddam and today Christians had and have a hard time building churches. The Muslims in the government put up legal obstacles. The same is true in Egypt. The same is true in supposedly more free and secular Turkey.

To build a church in Saudi Arabia is not allowed at all. Christian missionaries are forbade to enter.

In Jordan the constitution states that Jews can not become citizens.

Muslim lands are noted for their lack of freedom of religion and their lack of freedom of speech. Dozens of countries have Muslim majorities. They grant less freedom to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and other faiths than does the US or any European country.

Today a Muslim majority means an intolerant and less free society. Since I value freedom I want to keep Muslims out of the West.

doug said at October 2, 2006 6:58 PM:

Quick question:

If Islam in so incompatible with Western Europe, why do moslems seem to do so well in America? Perhaps it is something other than "western values".

Conrad Alexander said at October 2, 2006 11:18 PM:

Could it be that modern Muslims are genetically more aggressive than modern Europeans?

I submit that aggressive traits were mostly "weeded out" of Europeans through centuries of war. Only passive genes remain.

But Islam rewards aggressive, fanatical genes through more wives and more kids. Moderates are killed off or leave. Just as animals can be bred to be aggressive (pit bulls) or passive (labradors), can't human populations as well?

Mohamed Abdel-Megid said at October 3, 2006 1:55 PM:

Randall
Did you visit Egypt? I'm from Egypt and I can tell you that to build churches is easy but the goverment with not help you with the money. Anyone has money can build a church
Let me tell you that I helped friends of mine (Christians friends) to fund from muslims and coptics to build a church in a small city in Egypt.

Also the head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church himself became the first top Christian leader to join the Muslim world in its criticism of Pope Benedict XVI's remarks on Islam and jihad, Coptic Pope Shenouda III said in published remarks that "any remarks which offend Islam and Muslims are against the teachings of Christ."

Christians, mostly Coptic, make up about 10 percent of Egypt's 73 million people and generally live in peace with the Muslim majority, but violence flares occasionally, particularly in small southern communities.

I told you about Egypt and I think it's the same in other country. But about Saudi Arabia ,How many Christians are there? I will surprise if they are 10,000 but there churchs there , there is city just for Americans is called "Khobar" it has churchs inside Aramco.

Randall Parker said at October 3, 2006 6:37 PM:

Mohamed Abdel-Megid,

Church construction is frequently blocked in Egypt.

State control of church property is governed by the outdated Ottoman Hamayouni Decree of 1856, amplified by the Interior Ministry in 1934 as the Alazabi Decree. This decree sets out certain restrictive conditions which must be met before a church can be built. It additionally requires the signature of the President before construction can commence. No such signature is required in order to build a mosque.

Church construction faces big bureaucratic obstacles that mosque consruction does not face.

The constitution provides for freedom of belief and the practice of religious rites, although the Government places restrictions on these rights in practice. Islam is the official state religion and Shari'a (Islamic law) is the primary source of legislation; religious practices that conflict with the Government's interpretation of Shari'a are prohibited. Members of non-Muslim religious minorities officially recognized by the Government generally worship without harassment and maintain links with coreligionists in other countries; however, members of religious groups that are not recognized by the Government, particularly the Baha'i Faith, experience personal and collective hardship.

There was no significant change in the status of respect for religious freedom during the period covered by this report. The Government opposed advances in the respect for religious freedom affecting Baha'is; there continued to be abuses and numerous restrictions, and some improvements. It appealed an April 4 decision by the Administrative Court which supported the right of Baha'i citizens to receive ID cards and birth certificates with religion noted on the documents.

In December the president decreed that permits for church repair and rebuilding, previously requiring his approval, could be granted by provincial governors. The purpose of this was to reduce delay. The central government continued to control the granting of permits for construction of new churches. Despite the 2005 decree, as well as a previous presidential decree in 1999 to facilitate approvals, many churches continued to encounter difficulty in obtaining permits.

Metwalli Ibrahim Metwalli Saleh, arrested by the State Security Intelligence Service (SSIS) in May 2003 apparently for his views on Islam, including support of the right to convert, was released on April 23 after receiving eight separate rulings from the Supreme State Security Emergency Court in his favor and an official statement from the state security prosecutor ordering his release. Saleh, age fifty-two, had been held in Al-Wadi al-Gadid Prison, near Assiut.

Tradition and some aspects of the law discriminated against religious minorities, including Christians and particularly Baha'is. The Government also continued to deny civil documents, including identity cards, birth certificates, and marriage licenses, to members of the Baha'i community, which numbered 500 to 2000 persons. In the past, the Government did not provide a legal means for converts from Islam to Christianity to amend their civil records to reflect their new religious status. Over the past two years, approximately thirty-two converts from Christianity to Islam, who wished to return to Christianity, have received verdicts allowing them to recover their original Christian identities. This principle, however, has not been tested in courts in the cases of citizens originally Muslim who converted to Christianity. The Government also continued to prosecute a small number of citizens for unorthodox religious beliefs and practices alleged to "insult heavenly religions."

Muslims prevent Christians from making buildings into churches.

At least 12 people were injured in clashes in Upper Egypt when a group of Muslims attempted to stop Christians converting a house into a church.

Security officials said the Muslims set fire to building materials for the building in Odaysat, near Luxor.

The government and private Muslim groups discriminate against Christians in Egypt and the Christians try to leave.

The Copts are persecuted by radical Islamic groups and at times by local police and other security officials and they are discriminated against and have their freedom to worship hampered by the Egyptian Government. Specifically:

1. While the Egyptian government does not have a policy to persecute Christians, it discriminates against them and hampers their freedom of worship, and its agencies sporadically persecute Muslim converts to Christianity. In particular:

The government of Egypt enforces onerous Hamayouni restrictions on building or repairing churches, restrictions that do not apply to mosques.

The Copts' ability to exercise their basic right to free worship is frustrated by Egypt's complex, and frequently arbitrary, requirements for building and repairing churches or church-owned buildings. These culminate in the requirement that the State President must personally approve all building applications, and the Provincial Governors must approve all applications for repairs, even for something as small as repairing a toilet or a broken window.

While the Government does approve some applications, numerous others are delayed for decades or are never acted upon, leaving tens of thousands of Copts with no place to worship. Some churches have collapsed before their application for permission to make repairs has been processed. In other cases, churches have gone ahead with building or repairs on the basis of an implied understanding with the government that permission will be forthcoming, only to have their premises closed off or completely razed.

The procedures required for Church construction and repair are in marked contrast to the procedures for mosques, which are comparatively simple and require no special government permission.

The government of Egypt applies religiously-discriminatory laws and practices concerning conversion, marriage, parenthood, education, and clergy salaries.

Muslim societies are unfree societies. The West should keep Muslims out of the West. Keeping out Muslims helps to protect our rights.

Bob Badour said at October 5, 2006 8:21 AM:
the Islamic order brought with it a freedom of religion that did not exist to the same extent under these other empires.

To imply that early Islam ever had a period of tolerance and religious freedom is horseshit plain and simple. At no time has Islam ever tolerated what it calls 'unbelievers' or 'pagans' which include not only atheists but animists, pagans, buddhists, hindus etc.

This was particularly evident in Africa where Islam has continually--even to this day--raided into animist areas to enslave free people and to kill whomever gets in their way. The only thing that kept Islam from wiping out the Hindus and everyone else to the east was the military strength of the various Hindu warlords or "rajahs".

The brutality of the pre-reformation Catholic church neither condemns the tolerant, inclusive faith Christianity became nor excuses the brutality of Islam both then and now. As such, the entire issue is a red herring typical of the sophistry Islamists use to dupe people in the west. The intolerance and brutality of Byzantium is just another reason to leave the people from that part of the world where they are instead of inviting them here.

As the Pope notes: Islam has no single central authority. It is a hydra: a many-headed monster. An ugly thing that constantly changes its face. The only points of constancy are the base texts of the religion. I encourage everyone to become familiar with the extreme intolerance and hate propaganda running throughout the Qur'an and the other base texts of Islam. Just as the printing press and increasing literacy forced the Christian faith to return to the core pacifist message of Christ, I expect increasing literacy in Islam will force the Islamic faith to return to the core martial message of Muhammed.

Mohamed Abdel-Megid said at October 5, 2006 10:13 AM:

Randall,

These events are not from Islam foundation and it’s not Islamic action , so may be those people are bad Muslims but it's not fear to say that all Muslims are like them. I'm sure that those people are not even educated because in schools in Egypt Muslims and Christians they are friends in the same class so it's very easy to know there are no problems there. There is no place just for Muslims except the holy places. So there is no different between a Muslim and a Christian also there are parties for Christians and they can vote and there are Christians working as Senators. the only thing that they can't do is that they can't take some of the government positions and this is because it's Islamic country and everyone has to respect the country which he is residing in.
If anyone doesn't like live in Egypt so they can leave. There a lot of Egyptians (Muslims and Christians) left because they don't like the government...

In your information they don't pay Jezya or anything more than any Muslim and also they can join the army and Muslims and Christians did fight together Israel for Sinai on 1973.

In 1952 and before that while Egypt was Occupied by British and France Muslims and Christians fight them side by side. After all of that I don't think the problem is the Islam or the Muslims but in point of view the problem is Ignorance for some Muslims of islam foundation and the misunderstanding and this is in everywhere in everything .

I think my generation and the next generation will be different and you will see the light coming from East and in that time you will not say “The West should keep Muslims out of the West” and I think that time is soon.


Bob Badour said at October 5, 2006 12:18 PM:
These events are not from Islam foundation and it’s not Islamic action , so may be those people are bad Muslims but it's not fear to say that all Muslims are like them.

When exactly did the foundation of Islam end? If the Pact of Umar is not part of the foundation of Islam, presumably the foundation ended before the second rightly guided one became Caliph.

Are you suggesting the second Caliph after Mohammed was not Islamic and his actions were not Islamic actions? Was it not Umar's daugther, Hafsa, who allegedly preserved the version of the Qur'an considered authentic? Was Umar not a companion of Mohammed? Or are the Companions of Mohammed not considered important to the foundation of Islam? If not the testimony of the companions, what is the foundation of the Hadith? Is the Hadith not a foundation of Islam?

There is no place just for Muslims except ...

...the places that are just for Muslims. Do you understand how absurd you sound?

the only thing that they can't do is that they can't take some of the government positions

In other words, Egypt discriminates against non-muslims.

it's Islamic country and everyone has to respect the country which he is residing in.

Thankfully, we have no requirement to respect barbaric, primitive countries where we do not live. Neither do we have any obligation to import barbaric, primitive people from those countries.

I think my generation and the next generation will be different and you will see the light coming from East and in that time you will not say “The West should keep Muslims out of the West” and I think that time is soon.

I wish you luck in making Islam a place of light instead of the dark, oppressive place it is now. However, I want you to do that transformation in Islam far away from here. After it is a place of light, I will be quite happy to keep you from coming here, and why would you want to come?

Mohamed Abdel-Megid said at October 5, 2006 1:41 PM:

Bob ,
Again , foundation of Islam will never end because it's in the Quran. and It's not my problem that your mind doesn't take it , Islam will never end..... You have to accept that.

Egypt is not just for Muslims it's for everyone , that's what i said.... and about the government positions , that's in many countries has the same it's not just in Egypt , Israel has the same thing.... Can you say anything about Israel ??? or you just want to show the Muslim countries the worst countries in the world!!

"why would you want to come?"
Because you will not be able to live without a guide. Try to search about how much Arab Muslim countries paid to Katrina’s Victims and you will know (more that 1b$) from Muslim countries to non-Muslim country. How much the Muslims in America paid to Katrina’s Victims? And there are many examples like that . Arab countries helped and still helping the west….

Can you tell me what are the money resources in America? America is in debts from many years ago. America is very weak and poor...

Muslims wants nothing from the west, they wants the west to remove their nose from Arab lands.

Bob Badour said at October 5, 2006 7:11 PM:
Islam will never end..... You have to accept that.

Do you read? Are you nuts? I don't care one bit whether Islam ends--I just want it to stay very far away from me. Go have all the Islam you want for as long as you want in Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Malaysia etc.

Egypt is not just for Muslims it's for everyone , that's what i said

And then you proceeded to explain how some places and some positions of power are prohibited to non-muslims. In other words, you proceeded to describe how Egypt discriminates against non-muslims. In any case, it's not for me. I don't want it. You go have Egypt over in some remote corner of Africa and leave the rest of us alone.

Because you will not be able to live without a guide.

Bullshit. I do just fine without all your lunatic nonsense.

Katrina donations? Big deal. The US donates $100 billion a year to Iraq. The stupid buggers are too dumb to benefit from it. Canada alone hands out $3 billion a year in foreign aid while the US hands out nearly 10 times as much. The middle-east and north africa receive nearly $8 billion a year in aid from the west--every year. Considering the region is giving back 12% of their annual receipts to aid the victims of a 100 year storm, I suggest only petulant ingrates could do any less.

Also, consider that half of that billion dollars comes from Kuwait where the US spent $61 billion and 140+ young lives just 15 years ago to give them back their own country--including the $400 million worth of oil they pledged. Consider too that most of Islam hates the US for helping Kuwait, and some hate the US for it so much that they hijacked airplanes and flew them into crowded buildings.

Nevertheless, I have no doubt the people displaced by Katrina appreciate the help, and I certainly appreciate Kuwait's pledge to help stabilize petroleum prices.

Mohamed Abdel-Megid said at October 5, 2006 8:14 PM:

Bob,
Why you didn't answer about Israel?

And about the donation , first america in debts because of the Iraq wars so , the 100B$ for Iraq it's because of the war ,it's not a donation , america has to fix something from what they did ... Did they win in Iraq ?? No they didn't , and still losing , America is a big loser in this war . how do you see america if the money did spend inside america instead of outside...

I meant by the muslim countries' donations is that in the islam muslim has to help anyone even if he isn't a muslim , and it was an example..

Look at these events:

1956: Taking advantage of the situation created by Egypt's decision of nationalization of the Suez Canal, Israel joined forces with Britain and France to invade Egypt. As a result, it occupied the Sinai Peninsula, seized the Gaza Strip, and Sharm Al sheikh which guarded the Strait of Tiran and the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba. a year letter it withdrew reluctantly under the combined pressure of the U.N., U.S.A. and the Soviet Union.

1967: THE U.S.S. Liberty was deliberately attacked in international waters as it monitored communications during the Six-Day War. Israel used U.S.-donated equipment to jam the ship's S.O.S., hoping to sink it and murder all aboard before word could get out. 34 sailors were butchered and 170 wounded in this blatant Act of War. The Liberty was part of the Sixth Fleet, a powerful group of men and ships paid for by U.S. Taxpayers to protect the Israeli's. What do the Jews think of American Service Men, the descendants of the men who pulled their chestnuts out of the fire in World War II?

June 5, 1967: Israeli committed its biggest, most treacherous and premeditated aggression against Egypt, Syria and Jordan. After destroying Arab aircraft on the ground in a lightening attack, Israeli forces invaded and occupied the rest of Palestine i.e., the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, the Syrian Golan Heights and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. In the first days of its aggression and in plain disregard of the truth, Israel fabricated a charge of aggression against its victims and presented it in a dramatic manner to the U.N. Security Council. Western media spread this fabricated story and the whole world sympathized with the supposed victim. In 1967 the Israeli's made a third ruthless blitzkrieg attack upon the Arabs. This time they deliberately destroyed three quarters of a million dollar's worth of church property.

1969: The Israelis distinguished themselves by committing a horrible crime, in retaliation of attrition war across the Suez Canal, Israeli war planes raided an Egyptian school "Bahr al Baker" in southern Egypt killing 75 children and wounding over 100

These events are just for Egypt , there are also for the other countries...

Now Tell me Were there in that time any of Al-Qaeda , Hamas , Hazb Allah.. So don't think that Muslims came to you to make troubles.

Bob Badour said at October 6, 2006 6:25 PM:
Why you didn't answer about Israel?

Because it was so far out of left field and so neatly hidden within marginally relevant stuff, I never even noticed you mentioned it. Israel has absolutely no relevance to this discussion. It has no bearing whatsoever on anything the Pope said and no bearing whatsoever on the lack of religious freedom so evident throughout Islam since the Pact of Umar. (The Pact of Umar being, in fact, a tremendous improvement over the lack preceding it.)

I didn't bother to read the rest of your nonsense because, glancing over it, I saw nothing relevant to the discussion of the Pope's comments or Islam's abhorrent record of intolerance and bigotry.

Mohamed Abdel-Megid said at October 6, 2006 8:00 PM:

Stop playing dump.

You said "In other words, Egypt discriminates against non-muslims"
and I said "In Israel non-jewish can't take some or almost all goverment positions like Egypt" can you call that Israel discriminates against non-Jewish??

So answer the question...

"I didn't bother to read the rest of your nonsense "

What's the nonsense ??? It's the history ,Bob ....
I gave you these examples because you said " leave the rest of us alone"
and by these examples I'm saying that You didn't leave us alone....

So please open your mind ....

Randall Parker said at October 6, 2006 11:04 PM:

Mohamed Abdel-Megid,

Yes, of course, the Israelis discriminate in favor of Jews. But you are just distracting from the failings of Muslims and the problems inherent in Islam.

In the Arab countries the governments discriminate in favor of Muslims and against non-Muslims. Their discrimination is deeper than that of the Jews.

The Muslims are a threat to my liberty. Islam is a really bad idea that codified the moral beliefs of a bunch of bedouin warriors of the 7th century.

Bob Badour said at October 7, 2006 6:44 AM:

Mohamed,

Do you understand what 'relevant' means? Israeli discrimination against non-jews neither invalidates the Pope's observations nor excuses Islamic persecution of non-muslims.

I choose not to live in a society based primarily on the Old Testament just as I choose not to live in a society based primarily on the Qur'an. While the Old Testament is nowhere near as violent or as intolerant as the Qur'an, it is still entirely too violent and too intolerant for me. Just as I don't care whether Islam ends as long as it stays far away from me, I don't care whether Israel ends as long as it stays far away from me.

If you think I have done anything to Egypt, you are a lunatic nutjob. I didn't read the rest of your irrelevant nonsense because it was not relevant and has no sensible bearing on the topic we are discussing. Period. Ignoring irrelevant nonsense in no way suggests a closed mind. Ignoring key facts while trying to distract with irrelevant nonsense, on the other hand, does. So, open your mind and face the truth of Islam's bigotry, chauvinism, violence and intolerance.

Consider too whether Al-Baqara 8-13 really describes you.

Mohamed Abdel-Megid said at October 8, 2006 1:03 PM:

Randall , Bob,

I'm not distracting anything . I want you to search and get how were the Muslims between 1800 and 1940...
Those Muslims had the same Quran , and same Islam .. Do you see the world in that period was afraid from Isalm??
Please make some efforts and search about that and after your posts , I will raise my point .

Bob Badour said at October 8, 2006 6:51 PM:

Mohamed,

I am familiar with Islamic history during that period and how pathetic it was even back then. It's not relevant. Islam has been intolerant since the day it was founded by a murderous pedophile thug.

Mohamed Abdel-Megid said at October 8, 2006 7:21 PM:

Bob ,

Sorry , this is n't the good answer which i was waiting . Don't act as 10 years old.

I was waiting dates and events... please be profissional...

If you are realy familiar with Islamic history during that period , tell us with events.

I still saying , That's in the same subject "Pope Benedict Sees Islam Incompatible With Western Societies"
And I believe that this period will show the reasons...

Bob Badour said at October 9, 2006 9:56 AM:

Mohamed,

Thank you for demonstrating just how out of touch with reality Islam really is and consequently why Islam is incompatible with western society. Unless you have something relevant to the original topic to discuss, I won't respond further in this thread.

Thank you,
Bob


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