I think it is obvious that Christianity has become mostly benign and secularized for the most part and I don't see Christians subjugating their women and executing gays in the ways that take place in the Islamic world due to the quran and Hadith (the Hadith is the so-called writings of the prophet and his followers in which Islamic Shariah law is based from); but I see too many atheists tending to bash Christianity and giving excuses for Islam. Why is this so when according to the Islamic faith, we atheists are "kafar" should be the first ones killed before the Christians and Jews (especially me, since I am an apostate since I was "born" a Muslim); therefore, why do atheists tend to give excuses for the true evils of the Islamic faith??
Jesus Christ as a symbol (whether he was a real person or not) is a much better role model than the child molesting, murderous, and evil "prophet" called Muhammad. The Bible doesn't demand governments to be Christian but the Quran demands that all governments be Islamic by nature and the punishments are much more bizarre. In Islam, you can not even ask any questions about Muhammad or Allah but Christians and Jews are able to debate within themselves and ask questions. When a cartoon is drawn or a quran is burnt you see how savagely Muslims act throughout the world and those who are "moderate" instead of condemning the barbaric acts blame the "Salman Rushdie's" or the "Pastor" instead of placing blame on the perpetrators and culture of violence in the Islamic world. So why is it, that Christianity is often (in my opinion) overly criticized and Islam is not criticized enough when the gravest threat to the existence of the human race is surely an Islamic regime with nuclear weapons?? I'd like to get your opinions..
All religions are harmful, though the ways in which they cause harm may tend to vary quite a bit.
Sassan, all of your "arguments" are peppered with logical fallacies and skewed reasoning. From what I can determine by reading through the comments, nobody is defending one religion over another. Yet the way in which you phrase your statements does come across as very pro christian, and you seem to refuse to realize that the point from which you're arguing is doing you no good whatsoever.
Come on, we don't have to all think the same thing here. We all have different perspectives, mainly from our life experiences. For myself, having grown up in a fundamentalist Christian home in the early 70's when Armageddon-like movies were popular in churches, I have a perspective that many others do not.
As a child I sat at the kitchen table when adults discussed the Mark of the Beast and how they would never take The Mark, even though it would mean that their families were not allowed to have food. And I've heard the conversations about what we would do if/when our land is occupied by a foreign enemy and how the men would fight to their last breath to resist the enemy. I have no doubt this would include strapping bombs onto their chests if necessary.
Google "One-World Government" and you'll get an idea of what pushes the buttons of Christian whacko's today.
So yes, Christianity is different from Islam. But it's not that different.
"We all have different perspectives, mainly from our life experiences."
Absolutely. Even though I was raised agnostic, I have had alot of exposure to fundamentalist christianity throughout my life. I have received threats of hell, death and torture (the latter two intended to be by the hands of another christian) and have seen firsthand the absurdity that forms the basis of such beliefs.
Because of that, I perceive christianity to be the bigger threat. Not because of "what christians do" vs "what muslims do", but because I have had plenty of personal experience pertaining to the negative sides of christian faith.
I had written this a while ago and posted it in my blog but I thought I would share it on here for any of you interested...:
Some people like to make the claim that Islam is a “peaceful” religion, that the acts committed by a few radicals do not represent the religion in any way. In a claim to support their rhetoric, they give examples of a few isolated cases in which Christians have used their religion in the name of “god”. Such examples include Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City Bombing, and Christian extremists placing bombs at abortion clinics. All this means to me is that while Christianity is still a violent religion, it is much less violent and extremist and carves the path to extreme fanaticism to the point of killing oneself to a much less and difficulty accessed path through the Christian faith.
Then we hear the claims of the violence that Christianity has carried over throughout the years and the millions of people who have died in the name of Christianity through warfare. Again, I concur with this statement. I believe that all religion at its roots (especially the “great” three monotheistic religions – Christianity – Judaism – Islam) is pure evil. What these same people fail to leave out is that due to the evils that was propagated by the Catholic Church along the sale of indulgences to the wealthy faithful – Christianity had a period where it actually did reform and went through the Dark Ages, Reformation, and Enlightenment periods where Christianity was able to modernize and secularize to becoming a religion that has become mostly benign. Some of those who experience Christian fundamentalists (particularly in the Bible belt) claim that this is not true, that fundamentalist Christianity is actually on the rise! I like to refer to some examples of regardless of a subjective trend of slight rises and drops of religiosity among their communities the true differences between the Islamic and Christian faiths and how they incorporate their differences into modern day life and modern day world affairs.
First, for anyone to make the claim that the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan had anything to do with Christianity or religion by our top decision makers are erroneous and should stop reading now. Some individuals live and persist in delusions, and one cannot alter their thinking and mindset no matter how much you try. Our government and system embodied by our great constitution and rules of laws are based on secularism and have thus progressed in times with the modernity of the world which is sorely lacking throughout the Islamic world. One can have political differences, but surely you are not stoned to death for adultery are you? You can sleep with how many people you want and cheat on your spouse but the worst that can happen to you under the system of law is divorce (and some money transfer). In contrast, what does Islam demand of adulterers? Stoning. In reference to the separation of church and state and how Christianity “matured” or reformed with modern times due to the Dark Ages, Reformation, and Enlightenment periods; this unfortunately is not possible with Islam. Why would I say such a thing? The Bible simply does not state the requirement of a Christian government or jurisprudence. In contrast, the Quran requires that only states and nations be Islamic by nature and follow Shariah law. You might have read of Shariah law before, what is it exactly?? Shariah law is law based on Islamic jurisprudence and the requirement of every true believing Islamic state; they believe that all law should be based on the teachings of Muhammad and its primary sources are the Quran and Hadith. I’m sure you’ve heard of the Quran, but some may wonder what the Hadith exactly is?? The Hadith is almost as important as the Quran and the majority of Islamic law is inscribed through the Hadith. The Hadith are a set of text believed to be the written inscribing’s of Muhammad and his closest compatriots. The Hadith has two parts; the first part refers to the specific content or text of the statements and actions of Muhammad and his closest confidants. The second part is more a sort of bloodline of Muhammad descendants which is a big source of conflict between the Sunni and the Shiite. The Shiite believes that following Muhammad’s death, leadership was passed down to his cousin or son-in-law Ali (which is revered by the fanatics in Tehran) but the Sunnis believe otherwise (to put in short without going into details). Therefore, even within inter-religious disagreement, the bloodiest deaths arise over what rationalist people would consider miniscule and nonsensical issues. They share one key component: to be a true Muslim one must accept the Quran word-by-word, paragraph by paragraph as the true word of God; that “God'” spoke these words to Muhammad in a cave and later recited it to be written down. If one says “some of the Quran is true” or that we must “take it into context with modern times”, one simply is not considered a true Muslim in the eyes in the most devout believers. In contrast with Christianity, many top priests and clergy have stated that the Bible must not be taken literally word-by-word. The Pope has even recently stated that evolution “may fit in with the Bible” and that the literal inscribing’s of the resurrection should not be taken so literally by devout believers. Therefore, the Pope is trying to have his cake and eat it too; but in contrast, a fellow Muslim scientist in the United Kingdom made a statement that evolution is not incompatible with Islam, what happened?? He received death threats all over the U.K. and had to make public statements of apology and to resign to the fact that he can no longer attend that mosque out of fear for his own life. The demands Islam places upon its believers are like no other; and the requirements to what is the definition of being a Muslim and follower of Muhammad, make such a similar “reformation” quite unlikely to happen since it would mean to the true believers that those individuals are actually apostates and they must fight them until death.
Let’s go back to a few examples before I divulge into some scripture. When an author writes a book criticizing Christianity or its major tenets, do you see outrage or violence erupt around the world? To quickly sidestep, some individuals might simply state that such “violence” that is “overblown” by the minorities of the religious do not constitute the vast majority of the religion or its teachings. While this statement is laudable, it begs to ask the question: where is the majority to speak out for the “atrocities” committed by the “minority” pretending to be of their faith?? The problem remains that the majority remain “silent” and are complacent in the actions of the minority by either refusing to take responsibility for the problems that constitute real elements of their own faith or by deflecting blame to an outside third party such as the “Zionists”, “Americans”, or the “west”. How convenient is this outcome? Then of course comes violence against innocent people by calling them the enemy which is a natural course or such mentalities. To go back to the premise of this paragraph; when Salman Rushdie wrote The Satanic Verses where were all those to condemn the Ayatollah Khomeini for offering a reward or calling it a duty of every Muslim to kill Salman Rushdie for writing a fictional book of his choosing? When Bibles are burnt and ripped apart, where are the mass demonstrations by Christians leading to burning down of buildings, embassies, and even beheadings? When cartoons are drawn making fun of Jesus Christ or of Christians, where are the demands of death marched through major cities worldwide? It doesn’t happen because Christians have become more benign, and for the most part don’t act like animals when being “offended” but rather act like human beings. There was a “museum” in Montana which exhibited various kinds of artworks. It one of the pieces was some type of “art” which depicted a homosexual act being taken place on Jesus. One Christian woman was offended and got a crowbar or hammer from her car and destroyed it into multiple pieces. What was the result? This lady was arrested and the “artwork” was repaired and sent back to the museum. One can only imagine the horrors of what would happen worldwide if such a piece was of Muhammad instead and the simple fact that such a piece existed. The reactions would surely result in murders, riots, and chaos worldwide.
Now to the Islamic teaching itself; unfortunately the Quran is a book full of many words. It is a book that is hypocritical (like other religious books) due to the fact that it requires every single word in the Quran to be of “the word of god” while providing many scriptures that suit the hearts of the good person and bad person alike. Therefore, while not every Muslim is a bad person or a terrorist, nearly all or the vast majority of true extremists (those ready to commit violent acts in the name of their religion) are Muslim. Islam guides the path to extremism in ways that other religions simply do not. One can use the Quran and Islamic teaching to cite examples of good and evil alike; but again, the issue arises when the Quran must be taken literally word by word for the true believer. For example, as stated, women who commit adultery should be stoned to death: (Bukhari 8:6814; see also 8:6825; 8:6829) “Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah al-Ansari: A man from the tribe of Bani Aslam came to Allah’s Messenger [Muhammad] and informed him that he had committed illegal sexual intercourse; and he bore witness four times against himself. Allah’s Messenger ordered him to be stoned to death as he was a married person.” There are other examples and Hadith writings we can use for justification of stoning but there is no doubt that stoning is a part of fundamentalist Islamic culture and believed to be just by the most hardcore believer who has a sound knowledge of both the Quran and Hadith. Remember, most of Islamic law is actually derived from the Hadith even though the Quran is a very violent and vengeful book about chaos, death, and destruction. In regards to non-believers, it is blatantly clear that those who are born Muslim are not allowed to leave their faith. In doing so, they become “Kaffars” and their punishment is death. There is no way to get around this fact. Islam allows others to convert into Muslims, but one who is born a Muslim cannot leave their faith or death shall come upon them as an apostate: (Sura 3:90) “But those who reject Faith after they accepted it, and then go on adding to their defiance of Faith, - never will their repentance be accepted; for they are those who have [of set purpose] gone astray”. (Sura 16:106) “Any one who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters Unbelief, - except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith – but such as open their breast to Unbelief, on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty.” (Al-Bukhary #6922) Ibn Abbaas: “The Messenger of Allah said, Whoever changes his (Islamic) religion, kill him”. (Sahih Muslim #1676) “Abd-Allah ibn Masood: The Messenger of Allah said, It is not permissible to shed the blood of a Muslim who bears a witness that there is no god except Allah and that I am the messenger of Allah, except in one of three cases: a soul (in case of murder), a married person who commits adultery, and one who leaves his religion and separates from the main body of Muslims”. Remember people, an apostate is looked upon worse as someone who is an infidel (non-Muslim who has not left his/her faith) and are punished more severely with less leniency in all cases one can imagine. For example, in Iran after the revolution the judges would ask young kids who were being taken in court for “anti-revolutionary” activities and ask if they were Muslim, and those who answered they were but their parents were not religious were sometimes spared the death penalty compared to their who said their parents were religious. There is no doubt that one is not allowed to become a non-Muslim once being born Muslim and no punishment is just other than death. In regards to women’s rights, Islam allows the hitting of your wife, the rape of your wife, and the rapes of those captured in battle referred to as “slave women” or your “right hand”. Therefore, those young sisters who have been raped by this Islamic Republic of Terror that has occupied and destroyed the once great nation of Iran were done so in accordance to the Quran. One example, (Sura 4:34) “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more [strength] than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in [the part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them [first], [Next], refuse to share their beds, [And last] beat them; but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means [of annoyance]: For Allah is Most High, great [above you all]”. In regards to raping your wife, (Bukhari 4.54-4.60) Muhammad said: “If a husband calls his wife to his bed, and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning.” (Ibn Majah 1854) Muhammad says: “By him in Whose Hand lies my life, a woman can not carry out the right of her Lord, till she carries out the right of her husband. And if he asks her to surrender herself (to him for sexual intercourse) she should not refuse him even if she is on a camel’s saddle”. In regards to raping slave women, (Sura 4:24) “Also prohibited are] women already married, except those whom your right hands possess (referring to slave women) …”. Remember, the term “Right hands possess” refers to slave women in Islam. In Islam, you can do whatever you require of your slave women, and they are considered “your right hand” hence property, and do not have the moral restrictions you do with married women; and can do as you wish of them like your property. So pass them along as property if you like… ; Regarding homosexuality, the Quran is full of stories of punishing homosexuality including destroying entire villages/communities including the “city of Lut” most conveniently often times through natural disasters: (Suras 26:165-175) "Of all the creatures in the world, will ye approach males, And leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your mates? Nay, ye are a people transgressing (all limits)! They said: "If thou desist not, O Lut! thou wilt assuredly be cast out!" He said: "I do detest your doings:" "O my Lord! deliver me and my family from such things as they do!" So We delivered him and his family,- all Except an old woman who lingered behind. But the rest We destroyed utterly. We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): and evil was the shower on those who were admonished (but heeded not)! Verily in this is a Sign: but most of them do not believe. And verily thy Lord is He, the Exalted in Might, Most Merciful." For all these examples, there are many more to be sighted in the Quran and Hadith but I just wanted to give you a little taste of what Islam demands in its teachings for those who make the claim or believe the claim that “Islam is a peaceful religion that has been hijacked from the extremists”. Again, while not all Muslims are not bad people, Islam guides the path to extremism quite easily.
Some people also like to make the claim that Islam “embraced and advanced science”. The many individuals they cited as “Muslim Scientists” for the most part were not even practicing/fundamentalist Muslims and I will cite one example: Omar Khayyam, the great Persian scientist, poet, astronomer, mathematician who in contrast was an avowed atheist. For those who claim that Islam and modern science is not incompatible let’s look at the basic teachings of Islam: (Sura 2:65) “And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to them: “Be ye apes, despised and rejected” “ . This refers to apes having come to bring through a curse from god when they were humans working on the Sabbath. (Sura 7:189) “It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her [in love]. When they are united, she bears a light burden and carries it about [unnoticed]. When she grows heavy, they both pray to Allah their Lord, [saying]: “If Thou givest us a goodly child, we vow we shall [ever] be graceful.” Implies human created from a single man. (Sura 15:26) “We created man from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape”. Need I say more?? Continued: (Sura 15:27-29) “And the Jinn race, We had created before, from the fire of a scorching wind, Behold! Thy Lord said to the angels: “I am about to create man, from sounding clay from mud mouldered into shape; “When I have fashioned him [in due proportion] and breathed into him of my spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him”. By the way, the Jinn race is a supposed invisible race of evil people that are just as abundant as humans. (Sura 2:36) “Then did Satan make them slip from the [garden], and get them out of the state [of felicity] in which they had been. We said: “Get ye down, all [ye people], with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood – for a time.” (Sura 2:117) “To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth: When he decreeth a matter, He saith to it: “Be,” and it is.” And interesting enough the Sahih Bukhari (4:55, 543) states that early humans were 90-feet tall and humans have been declining in height ever since. The problem in Islam is that one can find any verse to justify anything they like and Islam provides all of this so conveniently.
To close, one must also move away from the literal scripture and look back at the history of the religion as well. The symbol of Jesus Christ (whether he was a real person or not) was someone of “peace” who died for “us” or “our sins”. Jesus Christ says to “love your enemy” and love your neighbor. The teachings of Jesus and the New Testament are much more benign than the teachings of the Quran. In addition, Christians adore Jesus Christ; Muslims adore Muhammad. Muhammad was a man who once had power was a fighter, a killer, and what we would call today a terrorist. Islam commands the deaths of infidels and non-believers and there is no way to get around this fact. Islam is a religion that simply will not be happy to sit in place and live their lives but is a religion that advocates death, war, and genocide in order to accomplish their longer-term goals of world control and eventual apocalypse. In addition, it is no surprise that women are under the oppressive control and terror of Islam in the ways that they are. Under Shariah law, a women’s testimony is worth half that of a man. A woman receives only ½ inheritance from her parents under Shariah law. A woman is basically worth half of a man in society. These are facts that one must not and cannot go around by giving ridiculous justifications. At its root, its founder or founder Muhammad was a child molester. He acquired Aisha when she was only 6-years old and was such a gentleman to wait until she was 9-years old and having her menstrual cycle to have vaginal intercourse sex with her. Of course other sexual acts were done in the mean-time that was not vaginal but this is the founder of the religion! I know “times were different” but at least Christians waited until the girl was 12 or 13 and formed some resemblance of a women before indulging into sexual activities. In Islamic conquest, the war is not over. The first stop is Jerusalem accorded by the Hadith, and then to the west! In doing this, 1/3rd of world population must die out through havoc, war, famine, disease and the so on to bring the return of the Hidden Imam (in Shiite ideology). Through the particular Hadiths they judge to be true for their sect of Islam, they have their own end-of-the world dreams and prophecies that they are trying to enact; but the bottom line is this: Islam is a problem that people throughout the world must not ignore. Islamic fundamentalism and violence is not the perceived result of U.S. interaction in the Middle East; the topography and forms might be different depending on the current situation that it partakes; but Islamic fundamentalists will not be happy until you or me are forced to become Muslim or die. When the religious writings and teachings so explicitly state the “destruction of entire villages or cities” that includes women and children. No one survived in the havocs of Muhammad and his men except potentially the most “beautiful virgins” which were saved for the captors as “slave booty”. (Sura 5:104-105): O ye who believe! Ask not questions about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble. But if ye ask about things when the Quran is being revealed, they will be made plain to you, Allah will forgive those: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing. Some people before you did ask such questions, and on that account lost their faith”. Basically, don’t ask questions about things which contradict the Quran (i.e. science) because those who did a little free thinking and investigation for themselves decided to become non-Muslim and leave the faith. What a great religion that encourages free thinking and scientific advancement doesn’t it? The next Surah I thought was quite comical and interesting: (Sura 5:106) “It was not Allah who instituted (superstitions like those of) a slit-eat she-camel, or a she-camel let loose for free pasture, or idol sacrifices for twin-births in animals, or stallion-camels freed from work: It is blasphemers who intent a lie against Allah; but most of them lack wisdom.” Quite further comical the Quran continues by stating others that that “those before them knew more” but isn’t it what we are saying now? Those who followed those holy books back when human intelligence was truly primitive have no relevance in the modern day 21st century? Why should we respect such primitiveness? It is also important not to forget the fact than Islam allows Taqiyya (different term for Sunni Muslims) where you can lie to advance your faith. So when you hear religious Muslims speaking on how “peaceful” Islam is or how “Islam requires no compulsion” in religion ask them how they can reconcile some of the specific Surahs and Hadith examples that I have provided for you.
Belief without evidence, or faith, will continue as long as mankind continues to be ignorant and attempt to shield his/her fear of death. What we can do is provide education and knowledge about the beauties of science, whether on the marvels of the vast universe or the nature of life on Earth. We can look into the hundreds of billions of stars that exist in our own Milky Way Galaxy alone, or to the vast expanse of life that exists on Earth and the fact that 99% of all life that has ever existed on Earth is now extinct. If we are going to be extinct as a species is going to come down to whether we as western people and western societies advance the notions of democracy, freedom, and human rights or are we going to allow the false notion of multiculturalism allow western societies to diminish through barbaric religious teachings and practice? In our attempt to become too tolerant will we allow those who want to kill us and destroy western civilization to get their way? These are important questions that many people ignore but I will close with this fact: there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand all over the world. There are nearly 200 billion stars in our own Milky Way Galaxy with billions of planets and potentially hundreds of millions of Earthlike planets (see recent Kepler findings); in addition, there are hundreds of billions of galaxies. Interstellar space travel would be amazing but unfortunately the distances are so vast and our technology is too primitive; but we surely a grain of speck compared to the enormity of the universe. Are we going to die out just like the 99%+ of life that have? We shall see; but my hope is that reason, logic, and rationality will prevail over the suicide-cult culture that has engrained too many of blaming others for their problems (i.e. moderate Muslims blaming others for the fundamentalism that exists in their own religion) or blaming themselves for the extremism that exists throughout the Islamic world (i.e. self-hating leftist masochists). Islam has destroyed the great ancient Egyptian and Persian civilizations by infesting their hate and forceful vengeance by the sword through their belief-filled venom ever since its inceptions; it’s time for us to say enough is enough! Modernize to the 21st century or go infest yourself but leave other free people alone to advance humanity, science, and the longevity of the human species.
Senator Peter King, also a Republican, has launched McCarthy type hearings about radicalized Muslims and the threat of Sharia law in America.
I respect your views and I understand what you're saying but I don't think anyone is seriously saying Muslims can not work in government. And in regards to the hearings, I think they were completely justified and find it disingenuous to claim that they were "McCarthy type hearings". We must start to confront Islamic extremism due to the fact that it endangers the lives of ordinary civilians. The hearings were the correct thing to do and even had Muslims in the community fed up with the extremists of their communities testifying.
Sassan, it seems to me you're misrepresenting some arguments here. I don't mean to speak for anyone else, but I don't think anyone is trying to sugar-coat Islam. What some people ARE saying is that your observation, "Christianity is often (in my opinion) overly criticized and Islam is not criticized enough," is pretty common-sensical. Christianity is debated more here because most of our public officials are Christians, most of our neighbors are Christians, and most of the media seems to be Christian (just a personal observation, I could be wrong). So attacking Islam in the US is, for the most part, preaching to the choir. What real purpose would it serve when the majority of the population (even Christians) agrees that it's horrible? So the fact that Islam isn't touched upon as much as Christianity in the US doesn't mean we think Islam is sunshine and rainbows.