Response to: Which is Worse? Islam v. Christianity

A couple months ago Robert Karp asked this question. I initially meant this as a comment to that post, but it developed into something bigger, so a blog post makes more sense.

For the most part, Christianity has gotten past its bronze age stage. There are still pockets of severe repression, but not so much anymore. People make a lot of prayer in the classroom, commandments on church lawns, and "In God We Trust," but these things are nothing compared to what was going on a few hundred years ago.

Islam, on the other hand, largely has not moved forward. As you say, it is mostly contained to "third world" countries, which is true, but of late a lot of those folks have taken it upon themselves to emigrate to and challenge the customs of the 1st world countries.  The exception to the last sentence is the American born children of these people (or ones mostly raised here). They seem to have settled the clash between their religion and Western culture.

What would be dangerous to our society is if those backward ideas take hold. People say it can't happen here, but already in some European countries there are whole areas where it's simply not safe to travel if you're indoctrinated in the Western way. The most immediate problem is that of insular communities; those which might have an ultra fundamentalist Muslim majority, where police and other secular authorities are subservient to powerful clerics.

This actually already happens in communities with ultra fundamentalist Christian or Jewish orthodox majorities. It just doesn't get talked about much because they tend to keep to themselves. As far as I'm aware, there are no ultra fundamentalist Muslim majority communities as of yet (or Muslim majority of any level of piety for that matter), so whether or not they'd do the same thing remains to be seen.

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Comment by Michael Merritt on January 16, 2012 at 11:58pm

Seasidechap: Interesting, but I guess it makes some sense. If that third generation was growing up in the Internet age, they're still pretty malleable, easy to influence. With the Internet, I can see how it'd happen.

Barry Eckert: Hopefully history won't repeat exactly as it did. Actually, there may be some evidence that it won't. In the past month or so there have been at least two cases, I believe, where international pressure forced the hand of barbarism. But two isolated cases doesn't really mean anything.

Comment by Martin Brannan on January 17, 2012 at 11:01am

Instantly or historically?  I think however you slice it, they are equally bad.  Historically, Christians have probable caused more mayhem and disaster than Muslims, but as Yahweh's third child, Islam had a delayed start.  The Jews were first (if the OT is to be believed) to kill, rape, maim and subjugate in the name.  Then came Christians.  Now it is Islam's turn.  So, on the killing, maiming and subjugating front, Muslims are the biggest threat instantly.  

Does that mean that Christianity poses a smaller threat?  I don't think so.

While Christians are less prone at the instant to kill and maim and subjugate with violence, they are more subtle and more insidious making them, in a different but very real way, a huge threat to rational thinking and secular living.  State constitutional amendments declaring that live begins at conception and new state laws targeting reproductive rights of women; declarations of public policy based on religious dogma; affirming the nonsensical motto "in god we trust;" all these things are prevalent and possible because Christianity has changed it's tactics into those of subtle persuasion (read - coercion).

They are, in different ways, equally bad.

Comment by Albert Bakker on January 17, 2012 at 1:25pm

Reading this: link

It seems there is quite a market for irrational fear of Islam, politically it's a gold mine of course, I'm forced to watch this on a daily basis, but there's some money to be made off it too. And the best thing is, like I said I am forced to watch this on a daily basis, that it proves to be totally fact-resistant.

It's a business.


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