Tuesday, March 29, 2011

People should stop cherry-picking warlike quotes from the Quran

Recently, Hassan Shibly gave a talk at a church on Islam which was very warmly received. The talk highlighted the peaceful and just nature of Islam. In response an extreme right wing online magazine published an article claiming that Shibly was deceiving the American People. The author cherry-picked verses from the Quran taken out of context and meaning in order to show that Islam is really a violent evil religion and the presentation was deceptive by saying otherwise.

It is quite ironic that Islamophobes who are proud of their Judeo-Christian faith cherry-pick verses from the Quran to try to say that Muslims are liars when they support peace and justice, because the Quran has verses relating to war, when in fact, the Bible has many more and much harsher verses relating to war, and yet the are still proud of their faith!

It is time we stop being dishonest and stop hypocritically cherry-picking verses to say the Quran advocates violence, when similar verses are found in the Bible. Not to mention the verses taken within context offer a completely different meaning than what is portrayed. 

Islamophobes do not think Christians are evil deceptive people despite violent verses in the Bible and despite slavery, the inquisition, the crusades, which hunts, and so on. Why then do they claim Muslims are evil deceptive people because of a few war verses in the Quran and criminal terrorists attacks committed by a few?


People should stop cherry-picking warlike quotes from the Quran

Leonard Pitts, Syndicated columnist | • Published March 29, 201

Below are four quotes. Each is from one of two sources: the Bible or the Quran, although, just to make things interesting, there’s also a chance all four are from one book. Two were edited for length and one of those was also edited to remove a religion-specific reference. Your job: identify the holy book of origin. Ready? Go:
 • “...Wherever you encounter (nonbelievers), kill them, seize them, besiege them, wait for them at every lookout post.”
 • “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
 • “If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and worship other gods’ ... do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death.”
 • “Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.”
All right, pens down. How did you do?
If you identified the first quote as being from the Quran (9:5) and the other three as originating in the Bible (Matthew 10:34, Deuteronomy 13:6-9, Numbers 31:17-18), I congratulate you on that degree in theology. If I have guessed correctly, most people will not have found it easy to place the quotes in their proper books. If I have guessed correctly, most people will have found a certain thematic similarity in them.
Yes, there is a point here: I wish people would stop cherry-picking warlike quotes from the Quran to “prove” the evil of Islam. You see this stuff all over the web. Just a few days ago, some anonymous person, angry with me for defending “Fascist/Nazi Islam” the writer says is trying to kill us all, sent me an email quoting Quranic exhortations to violence to prove that Islam is a “religion of hate and murder.”

As rhetorical devices go, it is a cheap parlor trick, a con job to fool the foolish and gull the gullible and for anyone who has spent quality time with the Bible, its shortcomings should be obvious. [READ MORE]

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rising Islamophobic Rhetoric in the US?: Hamza Youssef Interview

Interesting to note that more people in the US have died due to dog bites last year than due to terrorist attacks.

Anti-Muslim hearing is an affront to patriotic Americans

Opinion: Anti-Muslim hearing is an affront to patriotic Americans

This week, Republican Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, held a narrowly focused hearing on the supposed radicalization of American Muslims and homegrown terrorism.
After watching the devastation of the Oklahoma City bombing and Sept. 11, we must protect our citizens against terrorism originating from both within our borders and abroad. But I want to make clear to Peter King that Islam is not a terrorist organization, it is a religion. And Muslims living in the United States are not terrorists, they are Americans.
Muslims in America are from every background. They come from every corner of the world. They are white, black, Asian and other. They have immigrated to the United States, and they have been born here. They have traveled the world, and they have never left the United States. And while they may all share common beliefs, as a group, they are also patriots.
The committee's witch hunt for Muslim radicals will do little to make our nation safer. That's because it chose to target Muslims without evidence that there is a legitimate threat. The result is a conviction in the trial of the public arena, giving some in our society a chance to deepen their prejudices against Muslims....

....But many Americans remember a time when freedom was not something you took for granted. Over the past century, minority groups have seen their freedoms curtailed for political purposes. Let us not forget that the words "national security" were used to send 120,000 Japanese-Americans to internment camps in desolate parts of the country, causing them to lose everything they had. They were convicted in the trial of the public arena and put into prison camps with guns pointed at them. This is despite the fact that three-quarters of them were U.S. citizens. To this day, not a single act of espionage was proven.
King's hearing broadly targets an entire community solely on their faith and runs counter to the core values and beliefs that our nation was founded upon. While our nation has not always lived up to the promise of freedom, we as Americans must unite around the core belief in freedom for all our people.

JUDY CHU (D-32nd Congressional District, including East Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley) is chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and is the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress. She wrote this for this newspaper.

Court Case At Center Of Muslims' Stereotyping Fears

"That kind of thing makes Muslims angry and it should make all Americans angry," he said. "Because again, this is just not what law enforcement should be used for ... something that amounts to, or looks like, nothing more than garden variety profiling." 

Response to the King Hearings: Debunking the Myths

Read "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response" submitted as testimony to Congress in response to the King Hearings.