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..

Tags: Atheism, Bible, Christianity, Hadith, Islam, Politics, Quran

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Thanks for the common sense insight. :)

Yet at the same time there are more mild forms of Islam influenced by secular thinking and reason just as there are with Christianity.  Many American Muslims pay only lip service to more of the egregious teachings of their faith. It would be a mistake to think that we have a clear dichotomy here where Christianity is mild and mostly neutered where as Islam is always violent and strict. 

The "Which Religion Is more Violent" game is not one that atheists really ought to be playing, at least not too often. It distracts from the main point that any surrender of reason to dogmatic nonsense, especially one that comes with a hierarchical organization, is bound to be quite awful from the get go.  These sorts of discussions, and indeed I seem to think that this discussion specifically serves only to stroke the ego of this or that theistic sect and validate their persecution complex.

There really are no mild forms of Islam. That is a myth. It is true that America does not have the type of home-grown threat of Islamic extremism that Europe has but that is primarily because American Muslims have for the most part assimilated and became Americans and are not real Muslims in the sense that they do not pray and follow their religion. Islam is a religion of submission and if you do not pray 5-times a day and follow Islamic rules, you are not a real Muslim. I see this with people I know; I am Iranian and in particular with Iranians some may still call themselves Muslim but do not pray and are not religious but they believe in a god and do not know any better to call themselves Muslim. Of course Iranians in general are fake Muslims (even in Iran the people are not religious for the most part) but there are not "moderate" forms of Muslim.

 

Why do I say this?? Christians will accept you as a Christian despite your sins and even if you don't follow the faith religiously. As long as you accept Christ, you will be accepted as a Christian. Religious Muslims will not accept you as a Muslim unless you are religious and follow Islamic rules and morals. If you are in an Islamic country, you will be killed if you don't follow Islamic rules. It truly is a myth to say there are "moderate forms of Islam influenced by secular thinking and reasoning". And it is precisely those moderate Muslims (note the differentiation between "Moderate Muslims" and a fairytale of "Moderate and secular forms of Islam") that give excuses for terrorists and for Islamic fanaticism instead of taking personal responsibility for the horrors of their faith. Those who are "moderate" tend to be those that give the most excuses.

"There really are no mild forms of Islam. That is a myth."

Aasif Mandvi (of the Daily Show), Fareed Zakaria (CNN anchor), or Reza Aslan (contributing editor of The Daily Beast, and religious Scholar).  All are self-identified Muslims, but all are reasonable and fairly well educated people who generally chose secular reasoning over religious dogma.  They certainly do exist just as much as Christians who ignore the vast majority of the dogma of their own religion in favor of more secular humanist values, even if they don't quite realize the philosophical origins of their beliefs.

 

To suggest that people like this do not exist would be akin to saying that there's no such thing as a reasonable Christian - that they all hate women's rights and harass gays.  And while the truth may be that this describes far too large a number of their adherents it is not the case that there are no them who reject such things.

 

Remember that Islomophobia describes an irrational fear of Islam (or Muslims), and while a certain amount of fear of Islam may well be very reasonable (especially if you happen to be a woman or gay) it's still possible to over-do it and make wild claims such as there's no such thing as a moderate or secular Muslim.

 

"American Muslims have for the most part assimilated and became Americans and are not real Muslims"

 

This is known as the "No True Scotsman" fallacy. If we make violence and fanaticism a core element of our definition of what a Muslim is then of course that's all we'll see, but that means you need to fill the world full of people who identify as Muslims but are not Muslims.  I could similarly claim that a Christian who suffers independent women or gays living openly is no true Christian, but at that point we're just re-defining people's identities to fit our own sloppy generalization and prejudices and creating a false perception of a much larger class of people. This is inherently fallacious.

 

"Christians will accept you as a Christian despite your sins and even if you don't follow the faith religiously."

 

Again it seems you're speaking only in very broad generalizations. As a gay man in the US I can say from experience that in many cases it seems that Christian Churches are often communities based around the idea of hating the right people. I once dated a guy who, though he considered himself to be Christian, was still quite open and frank about the fact that he was gay and as a result was thrown out of every damn church in our fairly large southwestern city.  You'll have to excuse me if I've found the welcoming spirit of Christians to leave something to be desired.

 

"Religious Muslims will not accept you as a Muslim unless you are religious and follow Islamic rules and morals."

 

Are you actually contending that Muslims are highly sectarian whereas Christians are not?  I'd invite you to study the history of Christian denominations a bit more. Things have been relatively peaceful in America between Christian groups (well except when it comes to Catholics), but that's mostly due to the fact that there was plenty of room for everyone to spread out from one another.  It's been quite bloody in other parts of the world, both in history and within our own lifetime.

Aasif Mandvi (of the Daily Show), Fareed Zakaria (CNN anchor), or Reza Aslan (contributing editor of The Daily Beast, and religious Scholar).  All are self-identified Muslims, but all are reasonable and fairly well educated people who generally chose secular reasoning over religious dogma.  They certainly do exist just as much as Christians who ignore the vast majority of the dogma of their own religion in favor of more secular humanist values, even if they don't quite realize the philosophical origins of their beliefs.

The vast majority of religious Muslims would not consider these people Muslim. Do you understand the difference? There are surely those who call themselves Muslim who are not religious (as I mentioned) but there is no "moderate" strains of Islam due to the fact that the Quran and Hadith have very strict requirements of what is and what is not a Muslim. I addressed this very point. In contrast, Christian religious leaders would accept one as a Christian even if he/she is not religious as long as one states they accept Christ. Do you understand the fundamental difference?

 

Again it seems you're speaking only in very broad generalizations. As a gay man in the US I can say from experience that in many cases it seems that Christian Churches are often communities based around the idea of hating the right people. I once dated a guy who, though he considered himself to be Christian, was still quite open and frank about the fact that he was gay and as a result was thrown out of every damn church in our fairly large southwestern city.  You'll have to excuse me if I've found the welcoming spirit of Christians to leave something to be desired.

Again, the difference is that there are still some churches that may accept you (how limited they may be). In addition, they do not want to kill you. In Islamic societies, gays are routinely executed for expressing themselves or being open. And the sad thing is (demonstrated by Gallup polls) the majority of Muslims in Islamic societies believe that executing gays are proper and just.

 

In regards to the sectarian issue, I was simply stating that according the Quran and Hadith, one must follow certain Islamic requirements in order to be considered a Muslim by the religious leaders. In Christianity, you do not have such a requirement (other than one being gay and even that, certain churches will still accept you). You simply can't compare the two on the level of being equal to terror and oppression.

And I am not speaking as someone who doesn't know Islam. I am "born" Muslim and spent considerable amounts of time in a country under Shariah law (Iran) and have significant knowledge on the Quran and Islamic teachings. So I am not simply speaking on naivety. 

I have two interesting videos which I have provided below for your entertainment:

"Do you understand the fundamental difference?"

Your vaunted difference is nothing but a fabrication built upon lazy and convenient hasty generalizations. Go back and read over your own posts, look at the absolutist language you use, "all" vs "none". You sound ridiculous and are showing that you have no interest in seeming objective or forming an opinion that reflects the complex reality of identity politics and religious sectarianism.

In Islamic societies, gays are routinely executed for expressing themselves or being open.

Which is a damn shame to be sure, and certainly one of the reasons I've no love at all for Isalm, but to claim that Christianity is somehow better, or it's actions are more excusable is an argument that can only come from some sort of misguided cultural chauvinism. Both are awful, and neither deserves a pass, but listening to you I'd thing that Christians are all fluffy happy friendly bunnies which is simply not the case.

 

I can appreciate that you've got yourself a special well honed hate boner for Islam in particular, and that's fine, but do yourself a favor and try not to be so damn sloppy in your arguments. You do no one a favor, certainly not yourself and certainly not those reading this tripe who under other circumstances might even be inclined to agree with you.

It is simply calling things for what they are. One must understand that not all religions are equal in violence and oppression. In addition, one must call things for what they are instead of giving excuses in the name of "tolerance". Be tolerant, but don't be so tolerant where you tolerate intolerance.

And in matters such as these, it really is black/white on some issues and one must call it just that. Guess who's on my side on this issue? The likes of atheists Christopher Hitchens, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Sam Harris.

Appeals to authority don't work well either. Hitchens, Harris et al are well-respected in the atheist community, but they are hardly infallible sources of TRUTH. If your argument doesn't stand on it's own merits, name-dropping serves only to illustrate the lack of thought behind it, not to reinforce the point.

Really, I think all here agree that Islam is guilty of some pretty outrageous atrocities, but making shit up and using poor arguments against it do nothing to illuminate the truth. You're preaching to the choir, but doing it badly.

I think so too but it is quite contenting to see a significant portion of atheists speaking out on Islam on this thread as well. Still, there are those apologists as you mentioned that provide the framework in which we were discussing.
In no way am I defending Islam. I'm trying to point out that sloppy criticisms are not good for making your point. There are plenty of accurate charges to lay on Islam; use those so your argument stands up. Pretending that all of Islam is some monolithic terrorist jihad will only convince the true anti-believers. Rational people need rational arguments.
Artor: it is about the realities of the situation. While not all Muslims are terrorists, nearly all terrorists are Muslim. There is a big difference in criticizing Islam as a whole rather than individual Muslims.

The vast majority of American evangelicals do not consider Catholics to be "real Xtians." Does this mean the Pope isn't Christian? You have built quite a crowd of strawmen to support your position.

The reason American atheists are focused on Xtianity to the exclusion of Islam is that here, we have to deal with Xtians on a day-to-day basis, while Muslim atrocities are, for the most part, far, far away. I have not heard of any atheists making "excuses" for Islam, but I understand why it might seem that way at first glance.

Alot of the criticisms of Islam found in America come from ignorance or from Xtian fear-mongering. While Islam is well-deserving of criticism, it is best to use ACCURATE criticisms, not made-up strawmen that can be easily proven false. ***moderators edit***

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