"My Family and My Community is Muslim, and None of Us Are Terrorists"


You will sometimes criticize Islam and a Muslim will say something like, "My family and my community is Muslim, and none of us are terrorists." Rather than jumping in and crying "taqiyya!" I think the best approach is to take their statement as a sincere and even innocent and legitimate objection, just as a matter of policy.

I once got this objection from a young woman who I knew was promiscuous and partied a lot (including drinking alcohol, which Islamic doctrine says is taboo). My response was, "I am criticizing Islamic teachings. You do not follow these teachings, so what are you objecting to?" It effectively stopped her in her tracks. I think she was afraid someone in her family would find out, and didn't want me saying any more.

But I generally avoid telling Muslims about the doctrines of Islam. If they don't know, I'd rather they stayed ignorant, unless I feel I could actually turn them into apostates. And if they already know the doctrines, I am unlikely to dislodge their belief, so it's a waste of time.

But occasionally you will accidentally have to engage Muslims. For the most part, you can simply say, "I'm glad you and your family and community are not terrorists." But if you have an audience — if this is a public conversation, or if it's a comment on Facebook or a blog or YouTube, and others are waiting to see how you will respond — here's a way you could answer the objection:

Terrorism is a tactic. The goal is to bring "the light of Islam" to the world. That is one of a Muslim's primary religious obligations. It is known as jihad. The purpose of jihad is not to blow things up. The purpose is to bring Islamic law to the world; to ultimately create the conditions wherein all people on earth are under the legal rule of Sharia law.

One way to accomplish this goal is with intimidation. If you can frighten people with your willingness to do violence if they don't comply, if you have sufficient power to inflict the violence, this tactic can be very effective. In places like India, where there is a sizable minority of Muslims, the tactic is powerful.

But in a place like the United States, where the Muslim population is only one percent, it is much less effective. So other tactics are used here. The Muslim Brotherhood — the largest Muslim organization in the world — has set up lots of seemingly mainstream and moderate organizations, working legally within the United States and other Western democracies, to accomplish the goal of getting non-Muslims to follow the legal rules of Islamic law. For example, it is against Sharia law to criticize Islam or Mohammad, and these organizations are working hard to make Americans follow this rule. So organizations like CAIR will sue people, or get the media involved in conflicts so someone gets fired, and many other legal means they can use to suppress the free expressions guaranteed under our constitution but illegal under Sharia, and they often succeed. One example of their success was the riots over the Mohammad cartoons. One one newspaper in the United States reprinted the cartoons. Every other newspaper, in essence, followed Sharia law.

Groups like CAIR and ISNA are funded, in part, by donations from Muslims. And many other politically-oriented Muslim projects are funded by mosques around the country. So if the Muslim who has a family and community who are not terrorists are paying their zakat, they may well be funding this ongoing non-violent jihad without knowing it. If they are a member of any religious organizations like the Muslim Students Association, ISNA, or whatever, they may be advancing the agenda without ever doing anything that might be considered "terrorism."

My general goal when answering an objection is using the objection as an opportunity to get more good information into the other person's head. Not to argue. To educate.

Now in this case, you are answering a Muslim, but the purpose is not to educate the Muslim. Try to educate anyone who is listening. I don't recommend arguing with Muslims at any time. You have more important things to do. Focus your attention on educating your fellow non-Muslims. But if the situation comes up, and if there is a non-Muslim audience, use your conversation with the Muslim to help educate your fellow non-Muslims. Get some important, basic facts into their heads.


bobhaskinsblog 2:03 PM  

Thank you for your insight. A few months ago I knew very little about Islam. Since reading your blog, the "Abridged Koran" by Bill Warner and the life of Mohammed. I feel confident enough to give a presentation to my atheist group in FL this month.


randian 4:00 PM  

You will sometimes criticize Islam and a Muslim will say something like, "My family and my community is Muslim, and none of us are terrorists."

I most frequently see that objection used as a half-truth. The speaker is being truthful when they say they do not personally engage in terrorism or wish to engage in it. The lie comes in omission: not engaging in terrorism isn't the same thing as not supporting the purposes for which it is employed, though the speaker intends the listener to infer that it is.

A further omission is made about the nature of Islamic morals. Islamic morality is based on who the subject and object of an act are, while Christian and Jewish morality is based on the nature of the act itself. The lie of "three Abrahamic religions" is intended to lead the uninformed listener into thinking them equivalent. I've even had a Muslim lie to my face by claiming "Muslim morals are in the Bible". This can only be if you accept as true the Muslim theological claim that Islam is the original primordial religion that predates Judaism and Christianity, therefore the latter two are illegitimate. Anyway, my point is that Muslims will make moral arguments about things like terrorism that are intended to mislead non-Muslim listeners, because they omit the axioms underlying the statement. They say things like "murder of innocents is wrong", without mentioning that in Islam, murder is sometimes not only acceptable but laudatory.

Culturist John 5:32 PM  

Please watch the VIDEO of the BROOKLYN TEA PARTY fighting the Voorhies Mosque. It shows we're NOT RACIST, we're CULTURIST !!

It is here:


Citizen Warrior 12:28 AM  

Excellent, Bob! Everyone needs to know about this.

I just got this comment also:

Another way is to ask them if the terrorists are "wrong". If the say yes, ask them what part of the Koran or Haddith are they violating? Is it Sura #9? Or Mohammad having two people blinded with hot pokers, having their hands and feet cut off, and giving an order to refuse them water as they roasted in the desert sun?

Ask them, is Mohammad the ideal man, the person we should always emulate, in all ways, even to positions of eating and drinking? if they say yes, ask was his actions concerning Kinana and Saffiya worthy of emulation? If not, why? If yes, why?

This presupposes you have sufficient knowledge to ask, and defend, these questions. Islam makes this too easy, setting up the Koran and Mohammad as perfect. A little key knowledge is devastating, and easy to acquire.

Anonymous 7:56 PM  

A short answer when Muslims say this is to reply. Good etc. But it's not me you have to convince its people like Osama Bin Laden and those who call suicide bombings 'martyrdom'.

They are the people you should be trying to convince. It must be very upsetting for you as a peace-loving Muslim when you see these Jihadis beheading people and saying 'Alla-u-Akbar'.

Why do you think they have misunderstood Islam so much? When they say it's all political or poverty remind them that the 9-11 bombers were educated - graduate engineers who could have made a good living almost anywhere in the world.

Why do you think they did it?

Citizen Warrior 1:22 PM  

A Facebook page called "Islam Against Women" posted this:

"If Islam were a violent religion, then all Muslims would be violent"

The Muslim myth

Most Muslims live peacefully, without harming others, so how can Islam be a violent religion? If Islam were the religion of terrorists, then why aren’t most Muslims terrorists?

The truth

The same question can easily be turned around. If Islam is a religion of peace, then why is it the only one that consistently produces religiously-motivated terrorist attacks each and every day of the year?

Why are thousands of people willing and able to cut off an innocent person’s head or fly a plane full of passengers into an office building while screaming praises to Allah? Where’s the outrage among other Muslims when this happens… and why do they get more worked up over cartoons and hijabs?

Rather than trying to answer a question with a question, however, let's just say that the reason why most Muslims don't kill is that regardless of what Islam may or may not teach it's wrong to kill over religious beliefs.

Consider that many Muslims would not even think of amputating a thief's hand. Does this mean that it is against Islam to do so? Of course not! In fact, it is clearly mandated in both the Quran 5:38 and the example set by Mohammed according to the Hadith, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 8, Book 81, No. 792. As individuals, Muslims make their own choices about which parts of their religion they practice.

However, even though believers may think whatever they want about what Islam says or doesn't say, it doesn't change what Islam says about itself. As a documented ideology, Islam exists independently of anyone's opinion. As such, it may be studied objectively and apart from how anyone else practices or chooses to interprets it.

The Quran plainly teaches that it is not only proper to kill in the name of Allah in certain circumstances, but that it is actually a requirement. Muslims who don't believe in killing over religion may be that way out of ignorance or because they are more loyal to the moral law written in their hearts than they are to the details of Mohammed’s religion. Those who put Islam first or know Islam best know otherwise.

In fact, few Muslims have ever read the Quran to any extent, much less pursued an honest investigation of the actual words and deeds of Mohammed, which were more in line with hedonism, deception, power and violence than with moral restraint. The harsh rules that Muslim countries impose on free speech to protect Islam from critique also prevent it from being fully understood. In the West, many Muslims, devout or otherwise, simply prefer to believe that Islam is aligned with the Judeo-Christian principles of peace and tolerance, even if it means filtering evidence to the contrary.

It is no coincidence, however, that the purists who take Islam too heart are far more likely to become terrorists than humanitarians. Those most prone to abandoning themselves to Mohammed's message without moral preconception are always the more dangerous and supremacist-minded.

They may be called ‘extremists’ or ‘fundamentalists,’ but, at the end of the day, they are also dedicated to the Qur’an and following the path of Jihad as mandated by Mohammed.


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