The religion of peace strikes again!

The fact that you aren’t aware of the LRA demonstrates your own ignorance on the topic of religious violence, which is exactly my point.

It’s easy to condemn Muslims for the acts of a few when you aren’t aware of the fanatics of other religions who are directly responsible for atrocities that have killed thousands.

If you’re trying to make a sophisticated argument about the nature of Islam, you’ll have to venture beyond your own backyard. Unless you’re trying to sound ignorant, in which case carry on.

Exactly. And let’s not handwave away the IRA, America’s favorite terrorists. I know, I know, they retired almost twenty years ago. Christians are totally different today.

It doesn’t matter who they are? Don’t you see that? Why do I need to acknowledge some Christian group in Africa when I, myself, is neither Christian nor Muslim? Why do you hold it against me that I concern myself primarily with who had the most recent attack on the lives of my fellow countrymen?

Do I have to take a standardized test to be of the opinion that I don’t like any religion and that most religious people piss me off? Nope. I don’t need to know shit about any Christians in Africa to have the perfectly valid opinion that getting shot on a workday by some religious moron is bad.

Lord’s Resistance Army, I am familiar with, but I wasn’t familiar with acronym. I suppose you can call them a crazy Christian cult. Although Wiki disagree with that characterization.

The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), also known as the Lord’s Resistance Movement, is a terrorist group and cult which has operated in northern Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[6] Originally known as the United Holy Salvation Army and Uganda Christian Army/Movement, its stated goals include establishment of multi-party democracy,[7] ruling Uganda according to the Ten Commandments,[8] and Acholi nationalism,[9] though in practice “the LRA is not motivated by any identifiable political agenda, and its military strategy and tactics reflect this” [10] and it appears to largely function as a personality cult of its leader Joseph Kony.[9] Kony being a self-declared Prophet leading a violent cult has earned him the nickname "Africa’s David Koresh

But compare it to ISIS is pretty much BS.

During the Christmas of 2008, the LRA massacred at least 143 people and abducted 180 at a concert celebration sponsored by the Catholic Church…Between September 2008 and July 2011, the group, despite being down to only a few hundred fighters, has killed more than 2,300 people, abducted more than 3,000, and displaced over 400,000 across the DR Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic

So a few hundred fighters (a peak of around 500) which killed 2,300 is somehow comparable to ISIS, or Al Queda, or the Taliban.

Let’s see here is what Wiki says about ISISL.

Military strength & operation areas Inside Syria and Iraq
200,000[17] (Kurdish claim)
20,000–31,000 (CIA estimate)
Outside Syria and Iraq
32,500–57,800 (See Military of ISIL for more-detailed estimates.)
Estimated total

Even conceding the LRA is a Christian terrorist group (dubious), it is a huge stretch to compare LRA to anything above a 3rd tier Islamic terrorist group.

So you condemn all Christians for the acts of the LRA? Or any of the other Christian terrorists?

The LRA has been operating for over a decade though, and at various points committed fairly huge atrocities.

For instance:

During the same time period of January–July 2005, the LRA abducted 1,286 Ugandans (46.4 percent of whom were children under the age of 15 years), and violence accounted for 9.4 percent of the 28,283 deaths, occurring mostly outside camps.[33]

That’s pretty serious terrorism.

I think you’re REALLY stretching it if your point is somewhere around; “there are as many terrorists from every other religion than Muslim as there are Muslim terrorists.”
The fun thing is, I don’t care. I don’t think you’re right by any stretch of the imagination but I don’t care WHO the fanatics are, but right now, in my country and in the immediate surrounding civilized countries, the 70s IRA are not our highest concern.

So you do in fact condemn all Christians for the acts of Christian terrorists, or you don’t? I’m not seeing a clear answer here.

I already said I think religion belongs in the past alongside outdated technology, why are you so hell bent on trying to pinpoint me a dirty Christian or a Muslim hater? You’ve got nothing mate. Time to stop while you’re behind.

What I’m trying to do is establish the level of consistency in your beliefs.

If you believe that all religious people are dangerous monsters who are responsible for the actions of the most extreme members of their religion, then that is at least somewhat consistent. If you only believe that Muslims deserve to be so grouped, then you are espousing an irrationally bigoted view.

Although, even with the consistent view, it’s still only consistent within the specific realm of religion. If extended to other groups of people, it becomes even more absurd.

And that is what it is, absurd, because it presume that members of these various religions and groups are entirely defined by their membership in those groups, and not any of the other groups that they are members of.

But that isn’t really how humans work. The vast, vast majority of religious people (who constitute, by the way, the vast, vast majority of human beings on earth) are not really defined by their religion. They are multifaceted humans who do not base their decisions upon religious ideology.

Anyone remember when those millenarian Evangelical Christian cultists took over the White House and killed millions in the Middle East?

That’s true most human are multifaceted. But among a significant percent religion is the dominant part of their lives. My niece is married to minister of a fundamentalist Christian congregation (they don’t live in the south.) I’m sure that her family comes first, but religion is the second most important thing in her life. Ahead of her role as teacher (she homeschools her kids),her freelance work, or a soccer coach.

I suspect that Islam as the second largest religion in the world (and on track to replace Christianity as the largest by 2050) has more people than any other religion where religion is the first or second most important thing in the their live and it heavily influences how they live.

What I think is indisputable is among highly religious people, Islam is the only religion, where a significant number (not in terms of percentage but .1% of a 1 billion is a million) think it is ok to use violence in the name of their religion.

Arguments about the Crusades, in the past, or the LRA, or abortion bombing in the present ignore the real difference between the religions today.

It might be simpler than that: it might be that liberals are just scared to be critical of Islam because bad things can demonstrably happen to you if you do so.

i.e. the terrorists have in effect “won”.

If it weren’t so, it would (it should) be obvious that free speech ought to be a deeper commitment for liberalism than any number of rickety (or at the very least debatable) theories about power.

The problem is that if liberals don’t call a spade a spade in a nuanced fashion, the Right fills the vacuum in a less nuanced fashion - the total opposite of the (presumably) desired effect.


We seem to turn around this question every other week. Someone will swear that Islam isn’t the issue - it’s poverty, a lack of education, the legacy of colonial occupation. Others will shout, rather loudly, that it is Islam. That Islam provides a moral foundation for these acts of violence.

The latter overreach, it clearly isn’t all of Islam. We have few issues with the Shiite world, and there are at least a few examples of relatively tolerant Sunni nations - Tunisia* for example. This doesn’t mean they’re wrong altogether though. The violence roiling the Middle East, is profoundly religious in nature and it has everything to do with a radical reaction to Western values. These militants believe, as Polk notes, that westernization has crippled the Islamic world. True believers can return to the region to its historic station, but only by expunging the taint of Western values - and that includes everything from free speech and capitalism, to women’s rights. This creed of Islam, which is popular and growing ever more so, seeks a violent confrontation with the West. It is many things, but it is not a religion of peace. It is a religion of confrontation, of war.

I’m not particularly interested in the comparisons to Christian extremists. They exist, but they are rare - and they are hardly influential. Further, the comparison betrays a lack of historical understanding. The intellectual basis for Sunni extremism is rooted in a closing of the books in the 10th century. There is no such phenomenon in Christianity.

  • Itself a legacy of the French colonial period.

Hm your wild, unprovable supposition is “indisputable.” Maybe we use that word differently? It’s “indisputable” to me that no matter what percentage of religious zealots are ready to KILL, the Christians definitely have the biggest guns and deserve the most scrutiny and internet bagging.

What I think is indisputable is among highly religious people, Islam is the only religion, where a significant number (not in terms of percentage but .1% of a 1 billion is a million) think it is ok to use violence in the name of their religion.

One thing here, because I’ve seen exactly this stated, and it is absolutely illogical…

.1% of a billion is a million…


But that on its own isn’t actually a statement of anything… Because for it to mean something, you have to actually establish that .1% of Muslims hold terrorist beliefs or whatever it is being pinned on them.

To an infuriating degree, i have seen this statement made, essentially as part of a circular argument that goes like this:
Tons of Muslims are terrorists.
I know this because if only .1% of Muslims are terrorists, then that’s a million Muslim terrorists!
And i know that at least .1% of Muslims are terrorists, because everyone knows tons of Muslims are terrorists!

No… The reality is that way, way, way less than .1% of Muslims support terrorism.

Now, you could get significant percentage that say they support violence in defense of their religion, if presented in a suitably vague manner… But I would suspect you could get exactly the s same type of response if you asked Christians similarly phrased questions.

Anyway, this just bugged me, because the reality is that the idea of .1% of Muslims believing something isn’t just something you can ASSUME. That kind of thing requires extensive empirical evidence.

I think the quite low level of terrorist activity would indicate that the number of muslims who support terrorism or would take direct part in it is far far far far far less than even 0.1%. I mean in North America islamic terrorism is basically not a thing that happens with any noticeable frequency, i.e. it’s definitely well below the normal rate of crazification leading to violent acts. In Western Europe it’s basically a law enforcement problem, with just a handful of actual terrorists showing up to do bad things.

If there were armies of hundreds of thousands let alone a million terrorists, you’d notice that pretty clearly. Even ISIS, the biggest manifestation of Islamism, is at best somewhere in the low 5 figure range in terms of militants.

Perhaps I’m not explaining the situation clearly. What’s public here is that I’m not cool with someone repeatedly saying bigoted things on this forum. That’s something I’m more than happy to declare, and really, it should go without saying (sadly, the current political climate gives some people the idea that they have free reign to saying bigoted things about Muslims because Islam is inherently evil/violent/bad/worthy of stereotyping).

What’s between me and olaf is that the issue has been discussed and if you want to know the particulars of what he’s said in the past, this isn’t the place to dredge up someone posting history just so you can gawk at it and shame that person. I’m totally cool with where olaf and I stand, and I hope he is as well. Furthermore, he’s more than welcome to come into this thread and discuss the situation if he has any interest in doing so. But this isn’t a thread about someone’s posting history and you don’t get to turn it into one.


You and Polk are cherry picking. You can do the same thing to demonstrate that, yes, Islam is a religion of peace.

The fact of the matter is that a religion as large, diverse, and old as Islam is going to consist of a wide range of doctrines. Is violent extremism popular and growing among Muslims? Sure. Is violent extremism the defining characteristic? Absolutely not, no more so than baptism or the Eucharist or snake-handling is a defining characteristic of Christianity.


Wait, isn’t baptism a major sacrament in pretty much all of Christianity?