Comment by Kris Potter on August 29, 2010 at 1:25am
I don't want a mosque anywhere because I disagree with the religion and what it stands for, 9/11 really is completely unrelated.
Comment by Michael R on August 29, 2010 at 9:51am
I've stated this before. Whether you hate Islam or not, whether you support building the mosque or not, is a moot point. The 1st amendment allows them to build the mosque. Personally, I'd rather stick needles in my eyes, but if the politicians change the location in any way then I am concerned about the rest of us. Who will they go after next and in what way? Will it be Christians, Jews, or Atheists? All Americans should be very concerned about the outcome of this.
Comment by Yet Another Atheist on August 29, 2010 at 2:25pm
Atheists need to speak up for minority religions. Why? Because we could very well be next in the eyes of the majority.
Comment by Elad Avron on August 29, 2010 at 5:47pm
To follow up on "Yet Another Atheists" latest post, here's a little something I find explains it best. It's part of a sermon given by a German pastor after World War II, demonstrating how inactivity in the face of injustice committed towards others eventually comes back to you:

"They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up."

So yeah, I don't care much for mosques, but I care a great deal about disallowing muslims to build them, or bullying them out of it.

Today it's mosques. Tomorrow it's youth centers and gay-rights movement centers. Then it will be halfway homes and womens' shelters. It won't be long before they disallow building Democrat offices in New York because that's offensive to the republicans who were pro-war.

I'm exaggerating of course, but it's a line we have to draw somewhere.
Comment by Michael on August 30, 2010 at 12:13am
Support of Sharia does not an extremist make, it's like saying people support the Commandments. It's your interpretation of it that counts (there are eight different major schools of Islamic jurisprudence). Pat Condell probably has not heard about such Islamic people as this Sufi imam who denounced terrorism http://islamineurope.blogspot.com/2010/01/uk-fatwa-against-suicide-....

For one, jihad is a misused term, which actually means "struggle." The "greater struggle" or jihad refers to making yourself better. The "lesser struggle" or jihad is defending the community and faith against enemies, spreading it. War is not felt to be holy, but necessary at times. Mujihadeen literally means "one who struggles," while fedayeen means "one who sacrifices themselves" which possibly could mean suicide bomber but originally meant anything, usually someone defending their people (the Armenian freedom fighters who resisted the Ottoman Turk 1915 genocide are called "fedayeen," in their history.) Ghazi means soldier, while Shahid means witness (or martyr.) This did not originally refer to suicide bombers, of course, but is the term commonly used for soldiers killed in wartime.
Fasad is corruption, unlawful warfare, or crimes against society or the community. Terrorism, war crimes and organized crime would all qualify. Some Islamic scholars therefore have put the activities of "jihadists" in the sphere of hiraba, which are unlawful acts under fasad. They are therefore "hirabis/ hirabists" rather than "jihadis/jihadists" or mujihadeen.

All this is only to say that Islam, like all religions, is contadictory and diverse. There is a strange fact that critics such as Pat Condell are unaware of I assume, which is the Muslim world used to be far more secular, plular and tolerant. Only decades past it was rare to see women in hijab at Cairo Univesity for instance-now it's rare not to. What happened? In the context of the Cold War and Israel/Palestine conflict, Pan-Arab nationalism, secularism and socialism were developed-then seen to be threats. Some, like Nasser of Egypt, were allied to the USSR. The US backed secularists like the Baath in Iraq, and the Shah in Iran. We all know how that went. The PDPA in Afghanistan were Leninist, openly allied with the USSR, and so Islamic fundamentalists were supported against them. Some went on to form Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The PLO were secular, Marxist-oriented, along with most Arab militant factions then. Hamas was initially supported by the US and Israel to detract from them, which backfired horribly. It's one long string of unintended consequences. This is not to simply blame the US, but also European colonialism. Muslims were also imperialists and colonialists for centuries. So it has gone back and forth. This essay on the question may be of interest:
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0805-02.htm
Comment by Sassan K. on May 4, 2011 at 7:24am
Beautiful video Sophie from a fellow realist atheist and not some idealist pandering to Islamists self-masochists.
Comment by Chris Green on May 4, 2011 at 8:33am
Pat Condell talking with razor-sharp clarity there, as usual

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