Add a Comment (Go Up to OJB's Blog Page)
New World Order
Entry 1745, on 2015-10-12 at 21:53:00 (Rating 4, Religion)
Recently I was sent an email which included a "Facebook post, written by a gentleman named Marty Skinner". Additionally it was claimed to be "an excellent FB post that ALL people should read. This fellow is an Historian who offers an accurate assessment of the root of the problem the world faces today and likely well into the future."
What followed was a fairly standard anti-Islam rant which made some valid points put also lurched into conspiracy and other extreme opinions which had little basis in fact. Also, Marty Skinner is not a historian (with or without an upper case H). He does have an honours degree in history and is a "lifelong student of the subject" but that doesn't make him a historian. He also seems to have some fairly extreme Christian views (assuming I have tracked down the correct person).
So instead of just joining the anti-Islam crowd (a very easy thing to do considering they do very little to inspire friendship and I dislike religion in general) I thought I would do some research and see just how dangerous Islam is to the countries currently accepting Muslim refugees and migrants (including New Zealand).
So here is my analysis of Marty's points, including which of them make sense and which don't...
First, he says: "Odd that he [sic] 5 wealthiest Arab States including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait are taking 'no refugees' thanks". This is true although other Islamic states are taking significant numbers of refugees so it isn't quite as simple as it appears. Also, many of the refugees actually want to go to Europe, instead of another Muslim country (who wouldn't?)
Next he says "the reality is that Muslims are just not like any other immigrants. They don't want to assimilate". Well some do and some don't. Muslims are like many other people and they don't all have exactly the same ideas and attitudes. Some surveys in America show reasonable adaptation to American life although there are areas in Britain where Muslims cluster. But a university study showed a similar rate of integration there to other groups such as Sikhs and Hindus.
Then "while the civilized West rightly abhors violence, conversely Muslims daily display their love of violence. They live it and embrace it. In many Muslim countries public be-headings and stoning to death for adultery for example". Stoning is a legal form of punishment in 6 countries but three of those have never used it. So it isn't a widespread practice. Also, to say that the west abhors violence is absurd. There are constant mass shootings in the US for example and that country has been responsible for many civilian deaths in illegal wars they have been involved with.
Then "The Quran MANDATES death for blasphemy, for adultery, for apostasy, for family honor, for being gay". This is somewhat unclear but a good case could be made for it being true. Of course, you could also make a similar case for the punishments listed in the Bible. The critical thing is that when religion is given too much power bad things happen. This has been the case in the past with Christianity and is certainly the case now with Islam.
Up until now the comments have been somewhat extreme and taken the most negative possible interpretation of the facts but have been roughly based on reality. But next comes the crazy stuff. He asks: "Is this invasion part of the New World Order's plan to depopulate the planet?" Of course, now it all makes sense!
Or maybe not, because he backs away from that particular conspiracy a bit by saying: "Maybe there's not even any such an organization but it's all over U-tube [sic] and other social media." Well if it's all over social media then I'm convinced! And it's good to know that as a historian he is using such credible sources!
I don't think there's much need to go any further here. I've made it very clear that I dislike Islam as a religion and political system although, as a rule I don't dislike individual Muslims (at least the ones I have met who admittedly are moderates). But crazy rants like this don't really add anything useful to the discussion. There are plenty of reasons to be worried about the phenomenon while still sticking to the facts.
Here's a fact which worries me, for example. Not all Muslims are extremists, we know that (despite the stereotypes perpetrated by articles like the one I have been discussing). But what percentage of them actually support views which any reasonable person would see as extreme?
A Pew research global attitudes survey from 2007 found only about half (on average because it varied between countries) of Muslims in Islamic countries thought suicide bombings were never justified. A similar survey found about two thirds of Muslims in European countries agreed it was never justified, leaving a significant fraction thinking it was.
The wording of the question started "Some people think that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets are justified in order to defend Islam from its enemies." If that many people really think that something as abhorrent as using suicide bombing to defend their religion against some real or imagined threat is OK then we really do have a problem.
So yes, Islamic refugees are a problem, and extreme ideas (even those held by people who aren't genuine extremists) are a problem too. But if we are going to discuss this we should stick to the facts and keep away from theories based on the alleged activities of the New World Order, especially those where YouTube and social media are a major source!
Comment 6 (4456) by OJB on 2015-12-15 at 10:26:12: (view earlier comments)
I think you partly have a point but I also think you are being a bit inconsistent in not blaming Christians for the bad behaviour of its extreme elements but apparently blaming all Muslims for the same thing.
Also, what evidence do you have that "most Christians today practice charity & love of neighbor" any more than any other group? Isn't that just the same as the unsubstantiated claims from Muslims that Islam is a "religion of peace"?
Also, you say that "Intolerance seems to be the name of the game for the practicing Muslim" but seem to be showing a great deal of intolerance yourself!
Let's criticise other groups when they deserve it but also remember that quote: "Whoever is without sin among you, let him be the first to cast a stone..." Maybe you are familiar with that one?
Comment 7 (4457) by Pat on 2015-12-22 at 14:58:51:
Trump Is Right: Stop Islamic Immigration...
Comment 8 (4458) by OJB on 2015-12-22 at 20:22:25:
There's a very different perspective on the subject from the same site, here...
Comment 9 (4465) by Jean Rose on 2016-01-15 at 09:13:24:
The problem with the Pew survey is that there is no way of knowing whether or not the Muslim respondents are telling the truth on this particular subject. One thing we do know: they are neither very vocal or very good writers on their belief that such killings are wrong. Why is that?
Comment 10 (4466) by OJB on 2016-01-15 at 09:27:42:
Any survey is only as good as the honesty of the respondents. Most have mechanisms built-in to try to detect dishonest and inconsistent answers. I would presume that the number of people who support suicide bombings, etc is actually higher than what is reported because people would tend to be be misleading in denying their support rather than the opposite.
But I think there is a significant part of Islam which seems to be against the behaviour of the extremists and they do both speak and write about this opposition. I do think Muslims are more likely to be a problem than other religions so being a Muslim is an indicator of being a greater threat, but that doesn't mean all Muslims are a threat.
Obviously it would be great if their silly religion just went away (along with every other religion to be honest) but that's going to happen so we have to find some compromise to deal with it.
You can leave comments about this entry using this form.
To add a comment: enter a name and email (both optional), type the number shown above, enter a comment, then click Add.
Note that you can leave the name blank if you want to remain anonymous.
Enter your email address to receive notifications of replies and updates to this entry.
The comment should appear immediately because the authorisation system is currently inactive.