Why Do Even Decent, Well-Meaning Muslims Try To Whitewash Their Religion?

Friday

IT'S CRAZY. Most Muslims pretend there is nothing about Islam that might inspire terrorism. I get letters from apparently sincere Muslims all the time who try to convince me that violent Jihadis have got it all wrong because Islam really is a religion of peace.

This is understandable for people like my friend from Bosnia who has never read the Qur'an and only knows what his parents told him about his religion. But many of the people who write to me have obviously read the Qur'an and the Hadith, and some of them even know about the principle of abrogation (I've been asking them lately), and still they want me to stop saying unflattering things about Islam.

How is this possible? And why are there so many of them? Why don't they do the sensible thing and renounce Islam? Why aren't there more apostates? It doesn't make any sense. But I came across an experiment that shed a little light on the situation. I read about it in the excellent book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, which I recommend to you since the most important thing we can do is influence other non-Muslims to stop giving concessions to Islam's relentless encroachment. We need to master the principles of influence.

Anyway, two researchers did the experiment back in 1959 to test the hypothesis that "persons who go through a great deal of trouble or pain to attain the something tend to value it more highly than persons who attain the same thing with a minimum of effort."

In their experiment, they set it up so that if a college woman wanted to join a "sex discussion group," they would have to endure an extremely embarrassing initiation ceremony.

The group was really staged — all the other group members were actors who the researchers had coached to make the discussions as "worthless and uninteresting" as they could be.

Another group of women went through a less embarrassing initiation ceremony, and a third group had no initiation ceremony to endure.

The results were pretty straightforward. The women who had to endure the most embarrassment found the most value in the discussion group.

In another experiment, it was set up pretty much the same way except instead of embarrassment, the women had to endure a painful electric shock to join the group. The more shock they had to withstand, the more valuable they found the group.

In the book, Cialdini points out that this at least partially explains the tradition of "hazing." He writes:

"As long as it is the case that people like and believe in what they have struggled to get, these groups will continue to arrange effortful and troublesome initiation rites. The loyalty and dedication of those who emerge will increase to a great degree the chances of group cohesiveness and survival. Indeed, one study of fifty-four tribal cultures found that those with the most dramatic and stringent initiation ceremonies were those with the greatest group solidarity."
Islam does not have initiation ceremonies, except perhaps the circumcision. But they do have a stringent and troublesome ongoing practice. Fasting for a month every year, traveling to Mecca, paying their zakat (charity contributions), and praying five times a day. Oh yes, and they are supposed to strive for the cause of Allah until the whole world submits to Islamic rule. These are all non-negotiable obligations a Muslim must fulfill.

I think simply praying five times a day the way they pray is stringent and troublesome enough all by itself. I'd much rather endure a very painful electric shock.

So one reason Muslims may try to whitewash their religion is that they have been strongly influenced by all the stringent and troublesome efforts they've already endured.

There is also the principle of commitment and consistency working against their potential for renouncing the faith or at least criticizing it. Once a person has done something, especially in public, that demonstrates a belief in something, he will find it difficult to reverse his position.

And of course, if you add to that the actual danger of leaving Islam, the situation is very much like a person who really has no way out, and must make the best of his imprisonment.

So when you come across a Muslim who tries to whitewash his religion, who tries to explain away the intolerance and violence at the core of Islam, show them some compassion. It may not be taqiyya. But also, don't waste your time trying to argue with them or convince them to give up their religion or admit it has faults.

And don't let their efforts to whitewash Islam dissuade you from educating your fellow non-Muslims. We will find safety only if enough non-Muslims know about Islam. We cannot rely on Muslims giving up their faith or reforming their religion.

8 comments:

Anonymous 5:20 PM  

Regarding this excellent analysis.
Decent is a social convention.
It is difficult to distinguish between Islamic jihadists and so called decent Muslims, because all Muslims think that Islam is superior to all other religions and make it very difficult to question them. I have two questions that determine who I am dealing with in this context. First, do you support the government of the U.S. above religious considerations and second
would you like to see Sharia Law
incorporated into the U.S. legal
system. If their answer to the first question is "no" and "yes" to the second then they may be decent, hard working and all that,
but not people I want in our country.

Citizen Warrior 5:58 PM  

Anonymous, I originally had the word "good" in the title, but it has two opposing meanings so I tried to think of another word, and settled on "decent."

The problem I have with the phrase "good Muslim" is that someone may be a good human being who happens to be a Muslim, or someone may be a devout Muslim, following all the supremacist, intolerant, and even violent teachings in Islamic doctrine and you could legitimately call that person a "good Muslim" too. The two meanings for the same phrase are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

I like your two questions, and I agree that someone may be decent, hardworking and all that, but still may be someone you wouldn't want to immigrate into your country. That's why we should stop Muslim immigration into the free world. You can sign a petition here to help make that happen.

Anonymous 7:37 AM  

Citizen Warrior: I am like Diogenes, except I am looking for
one "moderate" Muslim. Any person who says their religion is the only one and is willing to make it compulsory by violence or silence about violence can not be called a good, decent or moderate Muslim.
I have worked with Muslims and when
cornered in conversation about this, they waffle. Here, in the West, it is hard to grasp that do not agree with freedom of the individual because Islam is the ultimate "large group submission cult" on the planet. It is their way or the highway. I used to think differently, but after years of working with both men and women Muslims, I know how it is. Thanks for your blog platform.

Citizen Warrior 1:15 PM  

You're not alone. I recently wrote an article about The Search For The Moderate Muslim.

Dinah Lord 8:38 AM  

Moderate Muslims? You mean like all those moderate Nazis during WW2?

Excellent post, CW. Off to read The Search for the Moderate Muslim.

wileysnakeskins 12:49 PM  

As to Obama being a partner in this WAR with islam; doesn't look good.
Willy d.
Bad news from Obama's Inaugural address:

Quotes from Obama’s inaugural speech:

“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of ‘Christians’ and Muslims, ‘Jews’ and ‘Hindus’ — and ‘non-believers.’ ”
AND:
“To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.”
Just what kind of mutual interest and mutual respect can we there be with people who profess this?
Quotes from the Koran:
--The unbelievers are your inveterate enemy. (4:101)
-- Surely the vilest of animals in Allah’s sight are those who disbelieve. (8.55)
-- Mohammed is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another. (48:29).
-- It is unlawful for a believer to kill another believer, accidents excepted. (4:92)
-- Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. (5:51)
-- Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme. (8:40)
-- Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God's religion reigns supreme. (2:193)
-- The true believers fight for the cause of God, but the infidels fight for the devil. (4:76)
-- We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers. (3:151)
-- I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers. (8:12)
Quotes from the sayings of mohammed:
Muhammad said to the Jews: "If you embrace Islam, you will be safe. You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle, and I want to expel you from this land. “
Sahih Bukhari [4:52:176] Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar:
Allah's Apostle said, "You (i.e. Muslims) will fight with the Jews till some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, 'O 'Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him.' "

Mohammed said, "I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.." (otherwise it will not). Vol. 4:196
Mohammed said, "Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him." Vol. 9:57
Mohammed said, " No Muslim should be killed for killing a Kafir" (infidel). Vol. 9:50
Muhammad said:
Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war, …(Sahih Muslim 4294)
YUSUF QARADAWI, the spiritual leader of the Muslim brotherhood and the most popular and influential Islamic religious authority in the world today, is on the recommended reading list of local mosques. Among other Islamist-supremacist things, he wrote:
“Islam came to be followed, not to follow; to be dominant, not subordinate."
“Islam came with its complete, comprehensive and eternal sharia (law) for the whole of mankind.”
ABUL MAUDUDI, the most important and popular Islamic writer of the 20th Century, wrote: “The goal of Islam is to rule the entire world and submit all of mankind to the faith of Islam. Any nation or power that gets in the way of that goal, Islam will fight and destroy.”
________________________________________
The statements about Islam above are from the most highly revered and respected Islamic sources, not from "Islamophobes"!
Does Obama agree with these statements?
Does he disagree with them?
Does he even know about them?
Isn't it part of his professional duties as president to know about Islam?

Druv 10:59 PM  

Nice job dude! Keep up the good work exposing them.

A muslim 10:52 PM  

Peace be upon you, and thank you for reading my comment. I am writing this because i think this is bias and you are going completely opposite from your own words. If you truly believe in your "analysis" do accept this comment.
I have forcefully read this and honestly it just shows how ignorant you really are.
First of, to begin on the picture you used of the prophet's saying, "i have been made victorious through terror"
You must not know what he meant, obviously, and you have gone ahead to make your own assumptions without embarrassment. The prophet (p.b.u.h) endured too much torment, too much pain, he put his people first, he left everything he owned behind, he got threatened, he was disowned, he got stoned, he even participated in JIHAD, after tolerating all the boycotts and murders, surely, any man who gives himself for the world deserves more respect, why would you hate someone who wanted the best? He stopped so many evils, senseless killings, idle worship and mistreatment of females.
one thing people dont understand is that Muslims do not follow their intuition. They submit themselves to God. the God who created everything, unseen and seen. They follow a divine book which descended from God Himself, and Muhammad is merely his prophet, just like the ones before him, with a simple message.
Where we humans all go wrong is believing that we are superior, we think we are wise and we think we know a lot, but there are many things we can not explain. for instance, development of sperm to an embryo, to a human or the seed to a tree.
Islam is about believing that God is one, and He created everything in this universe. He created us, and we can not stop death, but He will resurrect us again. This life is but a test, and we all have hope. our duties here in this life is to search ourselves and come as one, make it a better place for the next generation and when we die, Allah will grant the right doers with pleasures words can not explain, and as for the wrong doers and people who mislead others, a painful torment awaits. May Allah have Mercy on us, May we be among the righteous.
Brothers and sisters, People will do anything to protect their ways of living. But there is beauty in searching truth, their is beauty and pleasure in finding God. Islam brings us closer to Allah. In prayer and in doing righteousness.

i end by saying that the Religion is complete, and it is sincere, but human are to error. However, God doesn't make mistakes. There is a Book that has not been altered and it contains knowledge of all the other earlier books. The Quraan is a guide of life. If you really want true knowledge, do not go far, if you want to know about Islam remove all the negative perspectives and the embrace truth by accepting you might be wrong! only if you are pure, read the Quran, without pre judgement to it and you will find the salvation and truth, that will lead to happiness and peace, here and the here after.

Salam Aleikum.

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