That's a hell of a rant. It seems like everyone can agree that the problem is not Islam.... It's extreme fundamentalism.
Edit: didn't answer the question...
Are peaceful people irrelevant?
Irrelevant to that discussion and irrelevant in that they are not extremists.
No, everyone does not agree that the problem is not Islam.
I tend to take the position of Hitchens, Hirsi Ali, Harris, etc.
The fundementalist are actually the people who are true to their religion. They are the ones that are following their holy book to the letter. The so called moderates, whether they are christian, muslim, or jewish, have adapted their morality to the morality of the secular world.
That doesn't mean that I take the position of some of these conservatives and judge a person based solely on their religion. However, I have no problem judging their religion or questioning their reasons for being a part of a religion that very clearly advocates the actions that the fundementalists are taking part in.
Judge a religion by those who follow it to the letter as best they can.
Agreed... Although still the problem is not Islam... the problem is religion
Islam is a religion, therefore the problem IS Islam in this particular case.
I guess, then, what we need are more militant pacifists.
So are good, peaceful, "nice" people actually irrelevant when it comes to fighting dangerous ideas?
Wars are not driven by religion, but by the ambitions of a tiny minority of narcissistic psychopaths with dictatorial goals.These people seek to rule with full authority and zero accountability, and religion is but a tool to manipulate the masses, to create threats where none exist
Not only do these psychos revel in the chaos they create, they benefit nicely from it, as do members of their inner circles. But their weakness, which they truly understand is that they are cowards. There was a time when kings actually lead their armies to battle and risked their own lives and limbs along with their troops. Now they conduct their wars by remote control while in the safety and comfort of some distant hideaway.
It;s pretty damn easy to send others to die when it's extremely unlikely that you will be threatened.That's where religion comes in. Religions become twisted to control a segment of the population, to create a false sense of victimization, to cultivate fear, anger and hatred and to justify murder on a massive scale. Even if the adherents to the distorted religion are a small percentage of the faith, they can still be a large army.
Ignorance and blind obedience go hand in fist.
Agreed to an extent but you are letting religion off too easy; ignorance and blind obedience are the hallmarks of indoctrinating religions. A world populace that is not preconditioned to believe in authoritarianism, symbolism or ever lasting life would make much better choices.
Thus the "innocent" and "peace-loving" majority are complicit when it comes to terrorists and dictators.
Religion is used as a driving force for creating war… because beliefs can be a touchy subject. Even as an atheist, there would be a discussion in a park at the picnic, and on the news its about ISIS… some members of the group are christian. Soon as you tell them that they are no different in believing a delusion, the atmosphere gets tense. The subject gets changed, or one or more of the people involved in the discussion leaves and returns to town to carry on with their shopping.
Peaceful moderate theists make themselves irrelevant because they remain silent when their fundamentalist brethren are roaring. The silence of their hierarchy, be they Imams or Cardinals, is what I notice most. When a member of the Religion of Peace becomes a human bomb we hear very little, if any, criticism from their “moderate” religious leaders. They should be screaming “STOP” from the top of every mosque.
Nor do we hear any condemnation from other religions that is meaningful. Yes, we will hear that Pope Cuddles has asked everyone to pray for peace which means no positive action will take place. He should be vociferously condemning and become the one who is “ranting”.
When Jesus loving Christians are massacring Muslims in Chad or peaceful Buddhists are helping security forces to commit crimes against humanity or Jewish Rabbis claim that 5 year old boys can give sexual consent I do not hear their respective leaders say much against them.
There are also many cases of pastors or imams whose vitriolic sermons cause so much pain and suffering at a more local level in their pursuit to deny human rights to others. They too are fundamentalists and it takes Secular groups to stand up to them because many of the so called “moderate” theists won’t say anything against them because they read from the same book.
They are allowing the extremists to flourish. This is not because their condemnations are falling on deaf ears but because they are not condemning them loudly enough to be heard above the hum of the fundamentalist violence. Religion poisons everything.