All Hail the Mayor of Rotterdam

Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb appeared on television programme Nieuwsuur Wednesday night, and lashed out at Muslims living in this society despite their hatred of it. “It is incomprehensible that you can turn against freedom,” he said. “But if you do not like freedom, in Heaven’s name pack your bag and leave.”

“There may be a place in the world where you can be yourself,” he continued. “Be honest with yourself and do not go and kill innocent journalists,” Aboutaleb, a Muslim himself, said.

“And if you do not like it here because humorists you do not like make a newspaper, may I then say you can fuck off.”


Someone
, somewhere, give that man a medal.

71 comments on “All Hail the Mayor of Rotterdam

  1. Guardianistas will be having a nervous breakdown. They could report the Rotherham mayor for “hate speech” so extreme that even the BNP would be reluctant to utter it. But that involves criticising a Muslim, and Muslims, as Guardianistas keep reminding us, can do no wrong. Oh, the dilemma.

  2. Ahmed Aboutaleb, a man of plain speech and a welcome change is that.

    Thanks to the both of you, Ahmed Aboutaleb for speaking up and to Tim – a good spot mate.

    Can we have some more frank speaking, a cascade of earnest opinion averring respect and adherence to western values. To recognize all Western principles, our tolerance and maintenance of a democratic open society – we want to hear from our Muslim brothers, particularly those Muslims who live among us, and if they can’t or won’t, then Ahmed Aboutaleb offers some advice – take it.

  3. Bloody lucky he isn’t a British Mayor. He’d be doing his mayoring from a police cell awaiting charging for hate speech.

  4. Oh, hang on. he’s a muzzie isn’t he? Get’s a pass then.
    Maybe that’s why he can be forthright in Holland, too.

  5. This is the first time I have ever heard a Muslim say anything remotely like this. What a refreshing change. No wonder he is Mayor. I would support him. The PM of Norway has a good system for dealing with people who are asssociated with radical groups. She deports them. Result is a 31% reduction in violent crime.

  6. @Ralph Musgrave
    The Guardian solves the little dilemma by ignoring it.
    Dutch media say rather proudly how Aboutaleb has been praised all over the world ‘from China to Ireland’. Not UK though.

  7. Aren’t the Dutch Government persuing Geert Wilders for saying stuff half as blunt as this? I wonder if they will apply the law even-handed lay and go after this chap too.

  8. Whoops, quoted the wrong bit:

    Ameer Ali, lecturer at Murdoch University’s school of management and governance and former chairman of John Howard’s Muslim reference group, said the leaders needed to go further than condemning the attack.

    “Not simply condemn this event, but condemn the puritanical Islam that is driving it,” he said.

    Dr Ali said Islam had a long history of tolerating satire, which seemed to have ended.

  9. Steve – “I’d vote for him.”

    But will anyone else? Dutch cities have been taken over by a strange combination of Dutch Leftists in alliance with Islamists that even I would call on the Far Right. Turkish ultra-nationalists and Islamists. So presumably they thought they were voting for one of their own.

    They may be more careful next time.

  10. This is the first time I have ever heard a Muslim say anything remotely like this.

    They do exist, but unfortunately the BBC, C4, Sky and other orgs seem more keen to invite Muslims like Choudary, Ansar and Bukhari to speak.

  11. ukliberty – “They do exist, but unfortunately the BBC, C4, Sky and other orgs seem more keen to invite Muslims like Choudary, Ansar and Bukhari to speak.”

    Rightly. Fringe groups like this have been utterly marginal to the Muslim communities of the world. People like Choudary have not been. It may be changing. But it probably is not.

    If you look at someone like Inayat Bunglawala, he has been going through a process of change. Back in the day, he called Osama Bin Laden a hero. But by 2010 or so, he was taking more of a “British, love it or leave it” approach. Needless to say he was fired as the Secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain shortly thereafter. Bin Laden? Fine. Democracy? Not so much.

    I am not sure if the Guardian lets him write any more.

    Anyway, I am enjoying the Clash of Cultures at al-Jazeera:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/396131/i-am-not-charlie-leaked-newsroom-emails-reveal-al-jazeera-fury-over-global-support

  12. But that involves criticising a Muslim, and Muslims, as Guardianistas keep reminding us, can do no wrong. Oh, the dilemma.

    Nope, in the top trumps of victimhood Muslims don’t get a free pass if their politics are not sufficiently Islamist or left wing. You don’t often see Hirsa Ali being praised in the Guardian or BBC for example, she is roundly ignored.

  13. I think if you haven’t seen Muslims condemning the murders you haven’t been looking (and media orgs haven’t helped). The Islamic Society of Britain for example was unequivocal; its statement begins, “the terrorist attack in Paris is sickening and utterly wrong”.

    As I suggested, though, some media orgs don’t seem to be interested in such quotes, they are more interested in people like Bukhari from MPACUK, a known apologist for extremism and a glance at his Twitter will reveal him to be incapable of responding to disagreement absent calling people supremacists or zionists or ziotrolls. The media orgs would know this if they did their research or read complaints.

    If such people are represented by media orgs as exclusive spokespersons for Muslims no wonder moderate Muslims seem mythical.

  14. We see marches against ‘Islamophobia’. When I see 100,000 marching against these atrocities, I will take their moderation seriously. Until then, I remain sceptical.

  15. ukliberty – “I think if you haven’t seen Muslims condemning the murders you haven’t been looking (and media orgs haven’t helped). The Islamic Society of Britain for example was unequivocal; its statement begins, “the terrorist attack in Paris is sickening and utterly wrong”.”

    These murders? Sure. The Iranian government has condemned these murders. Does the Iranian government object to murdering people who mock Muhammed? Well, they are still offering a cash bounty for Salman Rushdie.

    So the problem here is to see who is paying them. That is usually Saudi Arabia. For its own internal political reasons, Saudi Arabia object to Al-Qaeda and Islamic State. It does not object to executing people who mock Muhammed. Just *these* people should not get any free publicity.

    So the Islamic Society of Britain? Yet another spin off of the Muslim Brotherhood and some members of Maududi’s Jaamat? Yeah. They are opposed to murder on principle.

    “As I suggested, though, some media orgs don’t seem to be interested in such quotes, they are more interested in people like Bukhari from MPACUK, a known apologist for extremism and a glance at his Twitter will reveal him to be incapable of responding to disagreement absent calling people supremacists or zionists or ziotrolls. The media orgs would know this if they did their research or read complaints.”

    The only problem is that virtually every Muslim organisation is a known apologist for extremism, that is incapable of reasoning apart from calling people racists, Zionists or trolls. It is just that there has been a sudden outbreak of good will to all men – from the sort of people normally funded by the Saudis.

    So let’s wait and see if this is a change of heart or they will be back to business as usual soon enough.

    “If such people are represented by media orgs as exclusive spokespersons for Muslims no wonder moderate Muslims seem mythical.”

    They seem mythical because, to all intents and purposes, they are mythical.

  16. Do have to agree with SMfS & particularly Rob here. Words are cheap, aren’t they? No doubt it’s regarded in their interests to make approvable public utterances to give the UKLib minded some thing to approve. It’s not as if the Muslim enrichment didn’t have form for saying one thing to one audience & something totally opposite to another.
    I’d believe the words had substance if I see some actions back them up.

    Out of interest, does anyone else have problems with Muslims on the honesty thing? Or is it a lack of honesty? I’m fairly used to being fed porkies by all sorts of people. It’s part of life. But when people lie to me, I do get the feeling they know they’re lying. It’s like a game where we both know what the rules are.
    With Muslims it’s a whole different thing. You get told things that are obviously bollocks. The evidence of the bollocks is right there for inspection. But they’re still trying to push it. It’s as if “truth” is simply an abstract that the parties consent to agree on. Has no validity outside that context. So one’s expected to go along with the bollocks in the interest of whatever’s under discussion.

  17. I hate to be a cynic, but I think we’re in a horrible state of flux here.

    A few attacks like these, and your average fairly non-radical muslim starts to actually worry about reprisals. (How worried he is about the attacks is a different matter – polls post 7/7 suggested quite a lot of tacit support for the bombers.)

    I don’t know how many attacks on Jewish markets and media outlets it would take, but let’s say there were a dozen inside a fortnight, and a couple of hundred were killed.

    I think two things would happen. Repression of some sort by the authorities, faced with an insurmountable public anger, and assassinations of muslims by angry Frenchmen.

    The politics are just about keeping a lid on the latter at the moment, but there are a lot of unsqueamish Frenchmen out there who are quite capable of slitting throats themselves.

    The same is true of the Dutch, hence (arguably) this chap’s speech.

    In any event, I suspect he is little more than a stalking horse for the actual mayor who will be in place once Holland has a muslim majority, lots of muslim police chiefs and muslim judges.

    I think on current demographic trends that’s about fifty years away, but if the trends continue it is absolutely guaranteed to happen.

    So I view this mayor – well-meaning though he personally may be – as a tweak on the gas hob, and the Dutch people (and us) as the unsuspecting frog.

  18. You get told things that are obviously bollocks. The evidence of the bollocks is right there for inspection. But they’re still trying to push it. It’s as if “truth” is simply an abstract that the parties consent to agree on. Has no validity outside that context. So one’s expected to go along with the bollocks in the interest of whatever’s under discussion.

    That’s very much a cultural thing, not limited to Muslims. I’ve seen it often, but first came across it with Indians in the Middle East. I’ve seen it a lot in Nigeria, a fair bit in Korea, and even sometimes in Russia. I think it has more to do with hierarchal societies or organizations than Islam. Hell, I even see it in France (in the office).

  19. I wondered about the cultural thing, TimN.
    I think there’s something you & I could agree on. Whatever we’re looking at is there. It is what it is. It’s there today & it’ll still be there tomorrow.
    With other cultures that doesn’t seem so settled. It is or isn’t there depending whether current belief agrees it is. It may or may not be tomorrow. in which case tomorrow’s truth doesn’t have to agree with today’s truth.
    I wonder if it’s a religious thing. If you do truly believe “Allah wills it.” & Allah has the power you believe he has, anything’s possible. What was one thing today could be a different thing tomorrow. Because Allah’s willed it. The truth itself would have changed.
    I wonder because I see something similar with both religious Christians & some of our unicorn herders. That belief is stronger than reality. Miracles ‘an that..

  20. I’m afraid I don’t get total comfort from CJ Nerd’s list of other condemnations of the Paris murders by moderate muslims. Consider the words of Dr Yasir Qadhi, as quoted:

    “for those who believe that the penalty for blasphemy should be death: by unanimous consensus of ALL the scholars of Islam, this must take place after a legitimate trial, by a qualified judge, appointed by a legitimate Islamic state”.

    If that’s the opinion of moderate Muslims …

  21. Incidentally, I do wonder if this is why although they do seem to pretty dedicated terrorists- willing to die for the cause ‘n all that – they’re so often so bloody hopeless at it.

    If I wanted to build a bomb I think I’d be quite good at it. Bit of research for materials, sources, construction design. Testing all the parts to make sure they perform as expected. I’d very likely build some redundancy into the initiation. More than one timer & detonator. Maybe another system, working on a different principle, to back-up those. It’s the way I do engineering. I don’t expect engineering to be on my side, playing on my team.
    But if you’re Allah befuddled, you’re presuming the big guy wants the bomb to go off, aren’t you? That all you have to do is string the stuff together, in roughly the right order & (pbuh)bang will happen. If it doesn’t you got your praying wrong.

  22. @bnis, I think the answer is that if you or I started to build a bomb we would get found by the security services pretty damn quickly. That is probably what happens to many of the more competent/better planned ones.

    It’s far easier to get hold of firearms under the radar than to build a bomb in your kitchen sink, undetected.

    And 12+ dead is pretty effective for doing this with guns. The bombers that got through (Madrid, 7/7) killed far more.

    Plus, those with the nous to build a working bomb absent the background and training (so having to research it on the web) are less likely to do it, because intelligence and 72 virgin belief are inversely related.

    It’s why on average these attacks don’t work. This one did.

  23. @BNIS

    “Incidentally, I do wonder if this is why although they do seem to pretty dedicated terrorists- willing to die for the cause ‘n all that – they’re so often so bloody hopeless at it.”

    Are you a different BNIS to the one who took issue with my suggestion a few threads back that we were considerably better at killing them than they us?

    @BIG

    It’s actually pretty easy to manufacture explosives (much easier in the UK than to get hold of firearms, certainly of the sort used in Paris).

    Detonators are a bigger problem.

  24. Like Interested, I am sceptical.

    1.The Mayor of Rotterdam is a politician: he’d say anything to get re-elected.
    2. He is probably concerned about reprisals, given he’s a prominent member of his community.
    3. It is not a sin for a Muslim to lie to an infidel, because infidels are an altogether lower life form. (See B(n)is, above)

    (3) means that we simply cannot take the statements of Muslims and Muslim organisations at their face value.

    Islam, never mind Islamism, is a theocratic, trans-national and totalitarian political ideology. Even “moderate” Muslims hold opinions – on gays, women and apostasy – that civilised westerners find repugnant. Although many Muslims are agreeable and in many respects decent folk, their theocratic, trans-national and totalitarian political ideology is ultimately incompatible with liberal western values, which are centred on representative democracy in nation-states.

  25. @interested
    “Are you a different BNIS to the one who took issue with my suggestion a few threads back that we were considerably better at killing them than they us?”
    The same one, because what we’re dealing with are two totally different modes of operation.
    The west’s self imposed rules of engagement are to identify bad guys, then target & kill them. We’re defining “bad guys” as active terrorists. Our opponents are defining “bad guys” as anyone they wish to kill & are able to target.
    So now we look at the results:
    Under the west’s RoE some small number of bad guys have been killed out of an indeterminate number of suspected or possible bad guys.
    Under their RoE, several hundred thousand police & security personnel are running round in circles trying to work out which of an almost infinite number of targets they should protect.
    If one’s judging by the results gained by killing, they’re getting a hell of a lot more bang for the buck than the west is. They don’t need to particularly proficient.
    The west’s damned lucky they aren’t. If the pair did the CH operation had had a half decent escape & evasion plan there’s no reason they couldn’t have mounted another spectacular next week. Another the week after.

  26. bloke (not) in spain – “With Muslims it’s a whole different thing. You get told things that are obviously bollocks. The evidence of the bollocks is right there for inspection. But they’re still trying to push it. It’s as if “truth” is simply an abstract that the parties consent to agree on.”

    If you look at what British people in India used to say, especially those involved in criminal trials, they did tend to notice that South Asian Muslims lied a lot. I think this is partly theocratic. Well mostly theocratic. Islamic law grew up in a simple tribal society where most people were trustworthy. You know, not being born Muslim and all that. So a lot of it works on a system of oaths. You are accused of stealing, you swear you didn’t and that’s that. But of course if the choice is between being stoned to death or lying, a lot of people are going to lie. This leads inevitably to torture.

    I also think it is theocratic. The Christian tradition borrows from Plato and says that God thought out a plan for the universe just before He made it. That is, the universe is rational, it obeys laws and those laws, or some part of them, are comprehensible. Hence science. The Jewish and Muslim traditions are that the universe is the way it is because God willed it. No reason. No understanding is possible for humans. Not even consistent. Fire might have burnt you in the past, but there is no reason to think it will burn you again in the future. It depends on what God will decide at the time.

    You can imagine what science is like in Pakistan where they have tried to make the textbooks Islamic.

    But also if reality is the way it is because God says so, why not because the government or your Father or whoever says so too?

  27. By the way, I do find the sight of Cameron & May at a freedom of speech march in Paris somewhat vomit inducing. Solidarity with CH? Try to publish CH in London & see how long it’d take our freedom of speech loving authorities to be all over you.

  28. ” The Christian tradition borrows from Plato and says that God thought out a plan for the universe just before He made it. That is, the universe is rational, it obeys laws and those laws, or some part of them, are comprehensible.”
    SMfS. Bollocks
    The Christian tradition comes from the same roots as the camel jockeys’. Resurrections & transubstantiation? Angels & the intercession of saints? Miracles? The only traditional intrusion scientific thinking made to Christianity was on top of a bonfire looking down.

  29. bloke (not) in spain – “By the way, I do find the sight of Cameron & May at a freedom of speech march in Paris somewhat vomit inducing. Solidarity with CH? Try to publish CH in London & see how long it’d take our freedom of speech loving authorities to be all over you.”

    Is there a single university in the Western world that would not expel you for printing them? Even the French could not bring themselves to invite the National Front. Sure, they are the most popular party in the country, but they were right about this sort of thing and so can’t even be allowed to express condolences.

    Which is why I have some sympathy for the Islamists. The French, like us, ban a lot of things. If you are powerful, the French government will ban whatever you like – accounts of your mistresses, bank accounts, record during the Vichy Years. Whatever. If you are not, they won’t.

    The Muslims are not powerful and so they do not get to ban what they like. They always bring up Holocaust denial, and with some reason – the Jewish community is also small but it is much better organised.

    Once you retreat from principle, you are in the realm of brute power. The Islamists are vile people but they have perfectly understood the logic of the situation. It is just that irrational violence has to be kept to a low level to work. This much is counter-productive.

    bloke (not) in spain – “The Christian tradition comes from the same roots as the camel jockeys’. Resurrections & transubstantiation? Angels & the intercession of saints? Miracles? The only traditional intrusion scientific thinking made to Christianity was on top of a bonfire looking down.”

    Sure it does. But it was also heavily influenced by Greek and Roman thought. Christianity, well the Catholics, have a philosophic theology in a way that the Jews and the Muslims do not.

    And you have got what I said backward. Science does not intrude (much) into theology. Theology creates the ground for science. The first step is to assume that science is possible. Islamic theology does not. Christian theology does. Once Christians give up burning people to death, you get science. You do not in the Muslim world.

  30. Bnis:

    “By the way, I do find the sight of Cameron & May at a freedom of speech march in Paris somewhat vomit inducing. Solidarity with CH? Try to publish CH in London & see how long it’d take our freedom of speech loving authorities to be all over you.”

    Read the excellent Spiked article I linked to above.

  31. Spiked is bloody good, isn’t it? Not bad for a bunch of Commies (well… ex. sort of). Strange how they seem to be so consistently on the side of liberty, freedom & the pursuit of happiness.when there’s such a load of self proclaimed champions don’t manage much more than erratically, luke-warm. With reservations.

    “Theology creates the ground for science.”
    I’ll give you that, SMfS. Religion’s a first shot at science. A first approximation. A thunder god’s a good an explanation for the bang goes with the flash as any other.. If you haven’t got an electricity handbook around. If you’re hoping the universe has some rules it helps if you posit a god who wrote them. Then the sun comes up every morning in accordance with god’s will. Not just ’cause it feels like it.
    Eventually, people sus spheres & orbits work as well as gods. And all the rest of it.
    But it takes a long time to shake the last vestiges of gods out of science. Christians haven’t quite managed it. There’s still a feeling the big storm was punishment for sin. Or not drowning in it, the mercy of god. Or praying for sailors keeps them safe at sea. Oh, they fiddle deep down in the rationalisations. But it’s still there. That the Big Guy’s got his thumb on the scales, somewhere.
    Muslim’s just aren’t as far down the road. The way their religion’s constructed, they may never get very far down it. It doesn’t seem to have much room for doubt built in. .
    If you think Judaism’s anything like Islam then you don’t understand Judaism. Judaism’s all doubt. That’s all Talmudic scholars do. Try & pick the fine detail of meaning out of the whole fabric of the Torah etc. And argue about it. Hence “If you ask two Jews you get three opinions”. But they don’t kill each other over opinions.
    Muslims are sure. It’s written. In each others blood, mostly.

  32. bloke (not) in spain – “There’s still a feeling the big storm was punishment for sin. Or not drowning in it, the mercy of god. Or praying for sailors keeps them safe at sea.”

    I think it is a natural reaction. There are no atheists in fox holes etc etc. It does feel instinctive anyway.

    “Oh, they fiddle deep down in the rationalisations. But it’s still there. That the Big Guy’s got his thumb on the scales, somewhere.”

    Sure. But the Christians, at least, say He has a rational plan that can be comprehended. Other religions don’t.

    “If you think Judaism’s anything like Islam then you don’t understand Judaism. Judaism’s all doubt. …. But they don’t kill each other over opinions.”

    Jews don’t kill each other over opinions today. But they did in the past. Terrorism too. They have just had 2000 years of living as a very persecuted minority telling them p!ssing off the yokels is not a good idea. Nor do I accept it is about doubt. It is about going over the Texts with a fine tooth comb trying to apply God’s irrational edicts to daily life. Just what their close cousins in the Muslim community do.

    Matthew L – “How do you explain creationism then, especially young earth creationism?”

    Christians feel a need to believe their religion is compatible with science. Because they believe in Natural Law – all parts of God’s creation must be logical and consistent and in so far as we can understand, understandable. Notice what they are not doing – calling the science Jewish and calling for anyone who says the world is older to be killed.

  33. “I think it is a natural reaction. There are no atheists in fox holes etc etc.”
    But that’s the point, isn’t it. If you’re sitting in a foxhole your big concern is ballistics. Not long dead Jewish prophets. It’s an unnatural reaction. Supernatural, some might call it.

    “Christians, at least, say He has a rational plan that can be comprehended.”

    Ah! They say he has. Trouble is, none of them seems to know what it is. Have you seen it lying around somewhere?

    Thought you’d get something like that, Matt L. You were on an outer layer of the infinite onion of belief. Thanks to SMfS you’re now a fair way down but no nearer the center.

  34. SMfS: “The first step is to assume that science is possible. Islamic theology does not.”

    At various times the Islamic world has been compatible with science, both in recording and relaying what went before, and in furthering and developing the process.

    Abu Ali al-Ḥasan ibn al-Ḥasan ibn al-Haytham was a devout Muslim and a smart, scientific geezer:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alhazen

    This doesn’t in itself dispute what you suggest, of course, but it is interesting that science has flourished from time to time in that environment.

    “You can imagine what science is like in Pakistan where they have tried to make the textbooks Islamic.”

    It’ll be interesting to see how that pans out. If it continues, Pakistan will not be able to continue its resistance to India and it will fade or be crushed. Which makes me think that more pragmatic elements will intervene.

  35. bloke (not) in spain – “But that’s the point, isn’t it. If you’re sitting in a foxhole your big concern is ballistics. Not long dead Jewish prophets. It’s an unnatural reaction. Supernatural, some might call it.”

    Rationally speaking, your concern ought to be ballistics, but actually that is not what you’re concerned about. It is long dead Jews. Or if you’re a Protestant, a lucky rabbit’s foot or the like. If you look at WW2 pilots, they all had some sort of good luck charm which does not even have the saving grace of a complex theology to justify its use.

    It just does seem to be instinctive to seek shelter in a Higher Power.

    “Ah! They say he has. Trouble is, none of them seems to know what it is. Have you seen it lying around somewhere?”

    Hence they have been working at this science thing in an effort to find out.

    PJF – “At various times the Islamic world has been compatible with science, both in recording and relaying what went before, and in furthering and developing the process.”

    That is true. Up to a point. I think most of this is over stated in the same way people claim Muslim Cordoba was a huge city.

    “It’ll be interesting to see how that pans out. If it continues, Pakistan will not be able to continue its resistance to India and it will fade or be crushed. Which makes me think that more pragmatic elements will intervene.”

    I doubt it. They have been down this road before and took the theocratic route into bankruptcy and irrelevance. I think they will again.

  36. With Muslims it’s a whole different thing. You get told things that are obviously bollocks. The evidence of the bollocks is right there for inspection.

    What sort of “bollocks” do you mean? Because generally speaking that’s hardly exclusive to Muslims.

  37. One comment I’ve seen from genuinely moderate Muslims regarding Paris is that the event marks a watershed in their ability to get their opinions into the media. Which would be good.

  38. Matthew,

    Dr Ali said Islam had a long history of tolerating satire, which seemed to have ended.

    Well, quite. Have you read the Mullah Nasrudin? Great stuff. Like a Muslim cross between the Buddha and Chris Morris. Difficult to believe he arose from the same culture as the jihadists.

  39. So liars are bad’uns but ‘Muslims’ are worse because they don’t think it’s bad to lie to non-Muslims…?

    Surely someone who knows it’s bad to lie is more of a bad’un than someone who doesn’t know it’s bad to lie.

  40. UKL:

    “So liars are bad’uns but ‘Muslims’ are worse because they don’t think it’s bad to lie to non-Muslims…?”

    Imagine the outrage if the Pope announced that all Roman Catholics were absolved of the moral duty to tell the truth to Muslims. — Most non-Muslims tell lies some of the time, knowing it to be wrong. All Muslims believe that telling lies is wrong, but that Allah forgives them when the lie is told to a non-Muslim.

    “Surely someone who knows it’s bad to lie is more of a bad’un than someone who doesn’t know it’s bad to lie.”

    Muslims know that it’s bad to lie yet believe that Allah gives them a free pass to deceive an unbeliever. The textual evidence in the Koran and the Hadiths for this is undeniable. As such, it’s a core belief of even ‘moderate’ Muslims. And it raises uncomfortable questions about the large Muslim minorities throughout Europe.

  41. the textual evidence in the Koran and the Hadiths for this is undeniable. As such, it’s a core belief of even ‘moderate’ Muslims.

    You can’t *know* they believe it just because it’s in their religious texts. Has there been a survey of their beliefs about it?

  42. Muslims know that it’s bad to lie yet believe that Allah gives them a free pass to deceive an unbeliever.

    If Allah says it’s OK to lie to non-Muslims, why would Muslims believe it’s bad to lie to non-Muslims? Assuming they believe what you claim.

  43. UKL:
    You introduced the word ‘know’: I was answering you in your terms. All Muslims believe that the Koran is the incontrovertible Word of God: to deny this is apostasy and carries the penalty of death. On those grounds alone, I’d say it was reasonable to claim that we ‘know’ what Muslims think about lying to infidels.

  44. “If Allah says it’s OK to lie to non-Muslims, why would Muslims believe it’s bad to lie to non-Muslims?”

    I’d say the answer is along the lines that lying per se is bad, but that lying to an infidel is excusable. For more detail, you’d have to ask a Muslim scholar that question, not me.

  45. Theophrastus,

    You introduced the word ‘know’:

    Yes – because it seems to me there may be a difference between what any Muslim believes (and his behaviour based on his beliefs) and what your view, based on your knowledge of his religion, about what he believes (and your view of the inevitability of particular behaviour).

    To use an example from another religion, the Catholic Church says IVF is wrong therefore no Catholics have tried IVF, right?

  46. Roman Catholicism is not a theocratic political ideology, as Islam is. RC’s don’t face the death sentence for criticising their religious leaders or their holy book, as Muslims do. So in comparing RC’s attitudes to IVF you are not comparing like with like. We know from a variety of polls that frighteningly high percentages of Muslims in the West hold firmly to the illiberal attitudes towards women, adultery, homosexuality, alcohol, etc expressed in Muslim teaching. It is therefore not unreasonable to assume that many or even most follow Koranic teaching on the permissibility of lying to infidels. And that must surely be a matter of great concern.

    I just waiting for you to cry islamophobia and try to close down the discussion in principle. 😉

  47. So someone is naturally more likely to believe everything in their religious texts if there is a death penalty for not doing so?

    (how would the death penalty people *know* what the person believes? )

  48. UKL: You really are nit-picking desperately, aren’t you? Anything, it seems, to avoid facing a conclusion that you find ideologically unpalatable. I mentioned the Islamic death penalty for apostasy as a difference between a religion, like the Church of Rome, that has reached some sort of accommodation with modernity — eg RC’s don’t burn heretics anymore – and a theocratic totalitarianism like Islam where even ‘moderates’ hold remarkably illiberal and ‘pre-modern’ views.

  49. Theophrastus,

    > All Muslims believe that the Koran is the incontrovertible Word of God: to deny this is apostasy and carries the penalty of death. On those grounds alone, I’d say it was reasonable to claim that we ‘know’ what Muslims think about lying to infidels.

    That’s all Muslims.

    > It is therefore not unreasonable to assume that many or even most follow Koranic teaching on the permissibility of lying to infidels.

    That’s many or even most Muslims.

    So which is your claim? Because there’s a whole world of difference between all and many.

    > We know from a variety of polls that frighteningly high percentages of Muslims in the West hold firmly to the illiberal attitudes towards women, adultery, homosexuality, alcohol, etc expressed in Muslim teaching.

    And some of us have been out on the piss with Muslims.

    Actual conversation at work in 2013, regarding the upcoming wedding of a Muslim colleague to his non-Muslim bride:

    “There won’t be any drink at the wedding.”
    “What? Why not?”
    “Because I’m Muslim, you idiot. Muslims don’t drink alcohol.”
    “But you drink like a fucking fish.”
    “Yeah, but my mum doesn’t know that.”

    Honestly, it’s almost as if they behave like real people or something.

    As for homosexuality, it is trivial to observe that one of the reasons they kill homosexuals in Iran is that there are homosexuals in Iran to kill. If Muslims didn’t do anything proscribed by the imams, that would not be possible.

    I agree that one of the key differences between Islam and other religions is that their holy book is viewed as the absolute word of God rather than the imperfect interpretation of God’s intentions by men, and that that is a problem. But it really doesn’t follow from that that you can tell what all Muslims think by reading the Koran. A religion is its people and their behaviour, not its texts.

  50. Sq2:

    Many or most, rather than all. Apologies if that was not clear. I have known Muslims who were on a journey towards secularism and agnosticism, though I’ve known many who aren’t and who are all too ready to play the victim or group rights cards.( I remember a Muslim accountant who asked that we did not serve coffee in a meeting in Herts during Ramadan. Sorry, chum, No….)

    “there’s a whole world of difference between all and many.”
    I’m not sure there is that much difference – in practical terms.

    “And some of us have been out on the piss with Muslims.”
    But that is not a refutation of empirical evidence that high percentages of Muslims in the West hold appallingly illiberal attitudes.

    “But it really doesn’t follow from that that you can tell what all Muslims think by reading the Koran.”
    Not ‘all Muslims’, agreed. But the devouter the Muslim, the more accurate the Koran and Hadiths will be as a guide to their thinking. And given the content of those texts, and the fact that Islam is an unreformed, ‘pre-modern’ religion, that must be a cause for concern.

    “A religion is its people and their behaviour, not its texts.”
    No, it’s all of those things. You are defining ‘religion’ to suit your agenda.

  51. Theophrastus,

    UKL: You really are nit-picking desperately, aren’t you? Anything, it seems, to avoid facing a conclusion that you find ideologically unpalatable.

    Not at all, I just find your argument absurd: “All* Muslims believe” X because X is in their religious texts and not believing X is punishable by death, but not all Catholics believe in X in their religious texts because disbelief is not punishable by death.

    * Meaning “Many or most, rather than all”.

  52. UKL:

    But that is not my argument. You clearly do not understand the nature of Islam and the ways it differs from the other two monotheistic religions.

    Islam is not only a religion but also a political ideology. Unlike Christianity, Islam does not recognise the existence of a secular sphere. All law and all governance should follow the holy texts. The nation-state has no place in sharia, because what matters is the ummah. Islam aims to be a trans-national, totalitarian theocracy. Moreover, Islam permits no textual criticism of the sacred texts, it has had nothing comparable to the Christian Reformation, and it has made no accommodation with either modern science or liberal democracy. And it enforces orthodoxy and punishes apostasy by death. Anyone brought up as a Muslim will have a mind-set deeply influenced by these principles, which govern the minutiae of daily life. Some may later reject (some of) them; but they are likely – unless they are particularly courageous – to continue to act as if they believed them.

    Contrast this with the major Christian denominations, where the Reformation, liberalism and science have encouraged practising Christians to take a ‘pick ‘n’ mix’ attitude to doctrine, so that (for example) many Catholics use contraception. Catholics frequently criticise their own church in a way that is almost inconceivable for Muslims to criticise Islam or their Islamic sect, which means that many if not most Muslims at least tacitly subscribe to the subordination of women, the punishment of homosexuality, lying to infidels, the hatred of Jews…etc

    In the West, religion is largely relegated to the private sphere. In the Islamic world, religion governs both the public and private sphere. Christianity is a religion; Islam is both a religion and a political ideology. These differences are crucial, and the death penalty for apostasy is symptomatic of these differences.

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