AN EASY way to learn more about Islam is to listen to information on an MP3 player or iPod. And some of the most interesting things to listen to can be found on YouTube.
I just found a way to convert the audio track from a YouTube video to an MP3 or iTunes file, and I've enjoyed listening (on my iPod) to Robert Spencer debating with Islamic apologists, Geert Wilders being interviewed, and other great audio tracks of YouTube videos.
Not only do these videos have good information, but you will hear some good rebuttals you can use in your own conversations. Listen to these audio tracks many times, and these rebuttals will come to mind easily in your conversations. Think of this as a kind of citizen warrior training.
Here's how to convert YouTube videos to audio files: First, go to Vixy.net and download the "Converter Desktop Version" (BETA), which you will see on the lower right of the page. It's a small program and only takes a few minutes to download.
Once you have the Converter installed, open the program, find a YouTube video you want, copy the URL and paste it into the box, select what you want to convert the file to (choose MP3), and click "convert."
When it is done converting the file, open iTunes, click on "File," then click on "Add to Library" and choose the newly converted file. Bingo. It is now a "song" on iTunes, which you can then put on your iPod.
Here are some good YouTube videos to get you started:
This whole series by Robert Spencer
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam
Robert Spencer vs Dinesh D'Souza
Islam's War on Freedom
No Mosque at Ground Zero
A MUSLIM "charity" organization in the U.S. has been raising money and sending it to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida, the Taliban and Hamas. The U.S. charity was a branch of a global "charity" network called Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA). The Executive Director of the U.S. branch, Mubarak Hamed has been arrested, and last Friday he pleaded guilty to these charges.
As a charity, IARA took in between $1 million and $3 million in contributions annually from 1991 to 2003. It also received funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Also involved in this case is a former U.S. congressman who was bribed to erase IARA's name from a U.S. Senate Finance Committee list of "charities that supported terrorists."
Ibrahim Khaleel, the educational director of IARA, created a program to teach public school teachers how to accomodate the special needs of Muslim students. Khaleel wrote a long article for the Muslim American Society's online magazine about the public school program entitled: "The Muslim Student in the Public Schools." The article begins like this: "Allah has obligated us to spread his words."
The former congressmen (Mark Deli Siljander) was a congressman from Michigan (no doubt voted in by the large Muslim population there), and he's the author of the book, A Deadly Misunderstanding: A Congressman's Quest to Bridge the Muslim-Christian Divide.
This is all classic stealth jihad. What did these men accomplish? They convinced Americans to donate money (and they deceived USAID into donating money to them "for humanitarian purposes") and they sent the money to Islamic supremacists, helping to make it possible for Jihadis to kill and demoralize those who are opposing Islamic domination in Iraq and Afghanistan. They infiltrated the government in an attempt to prevent government scrutiny. They worked to gain special accomodation to Muslims in the school district. And all the while they presented a positive, uplifting, comforting face of Islam as a charitable religion that is willing to conduct "dialog" with other religions and work toward peace.
To avoid the backlash that occurs from violence committed against non-Muslims, Islamic supremacist organizations in America and Europe have embarked on a less visible form of jihad, working to alter non-Muslim beliefs, to disarm and silence their detractors, and to gain one concession to Islam after another.
There is only one thing that can stop this relentless, propagandizing, stealthy infiltration from ultimately succeeding: An informed, Islam-savvy population. And that is up to us. We can't rely on someone else to do this for us.
How can you help educate your fellow non-Muslims? Start here.
ONE OF THE features we have on Citizen Warrior is a small book entitled Islam 101. It is excellent. The book is written by Gregory M. Davis, author of Religion of Peace?: Islam's War Against the World, and the producer/director of Islam: What the West Needs to Know.
One of its sections is about answering questions people will ask when you talk to them about Islam. Davis's answers are worth studying. Here they are:
a) What about the Crusades?
b) If Islam is violent, why are so many Muslims peaceful?
c) What about the violent passages in the Bible?
d) Could an Islamic "Reformation" pacify Islam?
e) What about the history of Western colonialism in the Islamic world?
f) How can a violent political ideology be the second-largest and fastest-growing religion on earth?
g) Is it fair to paint all Islamic schools of thought as violent?
h) What about the great achievements of Islamic civilization?
THE HUMAN mind will not allow a condition of "no explanation" — especially of significant events. When something happens, you explain it to yourself. Everybody does. You can't help it. Events cannot remain unexplained in your mind.
An explanation is an answer to the question, "What caused the event?" Here are three of examples of this principle to demonstrate how it works in different circumstances. But the point is, the mind cannot and will not allow an event to go by without having an explanation for it. If you don't have enough information, or accurate information, you will explain it the best you can given what you know. Everyone's mind does this. (Read the three examples if you do not believe this.)
The cause of much of the world's chaos and violence is what it says in the Qur'an. That's the source. That's the cause. That's where it all started, and that's what is keeping it going. That is our explanation, and it is accurate.
Many people believe it must be something else. They either don't know anything about Islam or they refuse to believe the information they've gotten about Islam.
So here's the situation: Big events are happening and each of us must explain it. Those who know nothing about Islam explain the events the best they can given what they have to work with. So they think the government is behind it all, or the Muslims' actions are merely a reaction to what the western world has done to them, etc.
And people who make these kinds of explanations get lots of support for them, for various reasons. In fact, many of these explanations have come from the Muslim world. Devout, politically-active Muslims are using Mohammad's original technique of using false pretexts, and those explanations fill the vacuum in many people's minds, explaining events that are otherwise perplexing.
This is what you're up against when you try to talk to people about Islam. People already have an explanation for worldwide and historical events. If they accept what you're saying about Islam, it is not just a new piece of information. It will cause a fairly large shift in a whole body of knowledge for them. It will change their worldview to some extent.
So your approach and your delivery need to be well done. They need to trust you. Your rapport needs to be good. For some people, understanding and accepting what you say will shatter many of their strong beliefs, so they will resist the information and deperately try to invalidate it. That is why it is crucial that you push them to read the Qur'an. For some people, that is the only way they will ever come to believe it. And your insistence on this point will greatly raise their confidence in what you're saying. They don't want to believe it, but if you can get them to read the Qur'an, they can slowly but surely come to grips with the new information.
That's what we need to achieve: A majority of non-Muslims who understand some basic information about Islam. Too few people know. And they will never vote for immigration reform or investigations into mosques or legislation to prevent Sharia law from worming its way into our legal system unless they understand what's in the Qur'an.
And they will not get this information on their own. It has to impinge on them. So it has to come from someone they know. That probably means you.
Most people only expose themselves to information that matches their worldview. It is uncomfortable to do otherwise. So nothing about basic Islamic teachings can get through to them except in a personal encounter with someone who knows.
You are the key.
It's a clean and good looking site. And it provides a good basic first introduction to Islam. It won't be very offensive to most people. I hope you keep it in your favorite places and use it where you can. More people not in our camp need to be eased into our camp, and I think this site might help. Check it out:
A BLOGGER (PinkNeck) just sent me a resource I think we could all use. It is coaching (on video) about how to change someone's mind on a controversial topic, and it's free to listen to online. Although the topic is "talking to anti-gun people about carrying a concealed weapon," the coaching is completely applicable to talking about the terrifying brilliance of Islam.
The videos are still in the process of being made, but the first three are finished and worth studying. Eventually the series will cover four principles of effective influence: Trust, calibrating, moral versus logical arguments, and rehearsal.
So far, the creator of the videos, Tim Schmidt, has three videos completed. The first two are introductory, and the third one is instructional. Sign up for his newsletter and he'll let you know when he puts the next one online (email him here: email@example.com). Here are the videos:
1. The Situation
2. The Four Secrets
These are really audio tracks. You don't need to watch while you listen. The information in the videos is from a book available to buy at the site.
It's not easy to argue about something you feel passionate about. That's why we all need good coaching. Yesterday someone gave me the objection, "but I know several Muslims and they are all nice people." Before I answered, I went to Answers to Objections and clicked on My Friend is a Muslim and He's Really Nice. I read a few of the responses, and then was able to answer so successfully I won her over. Coaching makes a difference.
The first step in this war is educating the public. Let's get really good at this.
YESTERDAY I was on a lunch break with a new hire at work. I've been working with him for three days, and we had good rapport (this is an important point to remember). We had a mutual feeling of liking and respect. He is a good man. We were on a break and he was talking about religion. We're getting to know each other. He told me he reads widely on many religions. So naturally I asked him, "What do you know about Islam?"
"Not much," he said. "I'd really like to know more."
Boy, what an opening, huh? "Well you're in luck," I said with a grin, "because I know a lot about it."
I had been hoping for a perfect opportunity like this. He'd already told me he was politically "progressive," and we hadn't broached the topic of Islam yet, but I knew it would happen eventually. And I had been thinking it would be better to talk about it casually — before we were disagreeing on something specific. And since I already had good rapport with him, I thought now would be a great time.
I began like this: "I started reading about Islam right after 9-11."
"A lot of people did," he said supportively, "I remember Korans were selling well."
"Yeah, I wanted to know what the story was. So many things were being said about Islam; you know, that it was all about peace, but then you had terrorists quoting the Koran, and I didn't know what to think about it all. I eventually read the Koran cover to cover, and that was no easy task, let me tell you. That was one of the most boring books I had ever read."
He looked at me like maybe I was joking.
"I'm serious, man. It was so repetitive and didn't really say much. Or at least it didn't at first. But the last fourth of the book got really interesting. It changed totally. Do you know how the Koran was written?"
"Mohammad got these revelations from an angel named Gabriel. He was living in Mecca at the time, and there were a lot of religions in Mecca, including Judaism and Christianity, so he picked up a lot of their ideas. Anyway, the Koran is just a collection of Mohammad's revelations. That's all that's in there. The whole thing was dictated by Mohammad. Once in awhile, for the rest of his life, he received revelations from Gabriel.
"But his revelations changed at some point. See, at first Mohammad was just one guy among many in a very religiously tolerant place, and he preached tolerance and non-violence. Most of his revelations were about what hell was like and what paradise was like, and how if you don't believe in Allah and if you don't believe Mohammad was the prophet, you were going to hell.
"After 13 years, he gained 150 converts. But Mohammad was always criticizing the other religions of Mecca, and the Meccans resented it, and eventually made his life pretty unpleasant there, so he moved to Medina, where he had some followers, and they set Mohammad up as a kind of leader of their gang."
He looked at me kind of skeptically so I said, "And this history I'm telling you is from Islamic sources, not writings by people who don't like Islam. Anyway, so the Muslims started raiding caravans going to Mecca, since the Meccans were his enemies now, and the enemy of Islam. Mohammad and his believers would raid the caravans, kill the people, and take their stuff. Well, sometimes they would capture some of the people alive and hold them for ransom.
"All of a sudden, Mohammad started getting a lot more people interested in joining Islam."
My workmate smiled at this. He could grasp that there is a certain kind of person who would want to get in on the booty from these raids.
"Yeah, it was a pretty good gig," I said. "They started accumulating some wealth. And Mohammad's little group of followers was growing into an army. Eventually they took over the city of Medina.
"Around this time is when the revelations changed," I said ominously.
"What do you mean?" he asked. He was definitely interested now. We were not arguing. Not at all. The feeling of contention was completely absent in this conversation. He wanted to know about Islam, and I was telling him what I found out. I didn't talk to him like a conservative lecturing a liberal, but like a person who found the whole thing surprising and interesting and wants to share it.
I kept going: "Well, the revelations started becoming less tolerant and more violent. That's what I mean about the last part of the Koran getting interesting. I mean interesting in the sense that it got rid of the confusion I had to begin with."
"Like you, I have also read a lot about different religions. Especially Buddhism and Christianity. And before I learned anything about Islam, I thought most religions were pretty much the same, at least as far as basic principles go."
He was nodding his head.
"You know what I mean? I thought religions were always started by a wise, kind person who gathers people around him because they can see he is wise. And he spends his life helping people, and then his followers build a religion based on his teachings.
"So when I was reading the Koran, I almost couldn't believe what I was reading. This was totally different than any religion I had ever heard of. Mohammad led the raids on the caravans? He killed people?! The founder of the religion was doing these things? I was blown away.
"At one point, Mohammad personally oversaw the beheading of 800 men. He tortured a rabbi to find out where a particular group of Jews had hidden their gold. I mean, can you imagine Buddha or Jesus doing that? I couldn't believe it! Mohammad actually ordered the assassination of people who criticized Islam."
Lights were going on in my workmate's head. He said, "That's like that guy who wrote 'Satanic Verses.'"
"Right! They're just following Mohammad's example. In fact, it says in the Koran that Mohammad is a model for human behavior and followers should try to be like Mohammad."
Then I anticipated what I know from experience people will think of: That other religious books have violence in them and we shouldn't pick on Islam. So I said, "But you know how the Bible has lots of different kinds of writings? Some are violent and some are peaceful, right?"
"Yeah," he said, nodding like he was just thinking the same thing.
"And if you have contradictions in the Bible, it's not really a big deal because it was written over such a long time by so many people. Well, that's not the case with the Koran. It actually says in the Koran itself what to do with its own contradictions.
"It really had to deal with this issue, because if you think about it, there is Mohammad preaching tolerance and non-violence, and his believers know those teachings already, and then the revelations change pretty dramatically. It was very noticeable to everyone. So Allah says in the Koran in one of the revelations that if something I say contradicts something I've said earlier, the newer stuff overwrites the older stuff."
He grasped right away what that meant. "So the more violent parts cancel out the peaceful parts?"
"Yes, exactly. Isn't that mind-blowing? I mean, what a shock. But you know, ever since I read the Koran, I'm no longer confused by the news. I used to wonder what the hell is wrong with the Middle East. Why can't they seem to work out their differences and just get along? Now I realize that the Muslims really can't. They can't work things out with the Jews and still remain Muslim! And other stuff, like hijackings and kidnappings and suicide bombers, started to seem not so bewildering any more."
I had just given my workmate a lot to think about. So I said, "Well, we probably ought to get back to work." And as we were on our way back, I changed the topic of conversation to something else. I didn't want to "sell past the close" and I didn't want to appear to be a fanatic. I decided right then that I will not to bring up the subject again with him. I will maintain rapport with him, and just let him digest.
I feel pretty confident he will ask me a question about Islam at some future time.
I didn't think at the time making a "pre-emptive strike." I was just having an interesting conversation. But the more I thought about it afterwards, the more profitable this approach appeared to me. If we could have these kinds of conversations before we are in an argument, we could establish our position as the one who knows about this topic, and establish their position as a curious student. And we could bypass the whole political argument. We could prevent ourselves from stubbornly digging into our trenches on this issue (where no minds can be changed).
We'd have more influence, in other words. I feel confident he will never listen to any information about Islam the same way again.
The approach would probably only work on people who don't already know that you know something about Islam — people you haven't already had conversations with about it. You could just casually ask, when the opportunity presented itself (and when your rapport was strong, and when you were alone so it could be a private, one-on-one conversation), "What do you know about Islam?" or "Do you know much about Islam?" You could even ask it with a tone of voice that implies you don't know anything and are hoping the other person does.
Your chances are really good that they won't know anything. And that creates a wonderful opportunity.
How a Tolerant Country Can Avoid Being a Doormat for Intolerant Countries
Tolerance Should Go Both Ways Or Neither
Multiculturalism and the Defense of Liberty
The End of Political Correctness is Near
THE INIMITABLE Pat Condell has something to say about the proposed mosque near Ground Zero, and as always, he says it well. He's like a motivational speaker for the citizen warriors of the world. Check out his video (6 minutes, 9 seconds long):
READ ABOUT the recent protest of the mosque at Ground Zero, led by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, and check out lots of great photographs of the event:
Stop the Mosque at Ground Zero Rally
IT OFTEN FEELS like you're the only one who knows anything about Islam, doesn't it? That can be discouraging. Watch this video and I think you will, like me, get a feeling of relief to see so many people who understand what's going on. This is footage from the rally against the mosque at Ground Zero:
ON MY LAST post, How Would You Respond?, I invited you to participate in answering some objections. We've received ten responses so far, including this little slice of excellent coaching:
"You can point out that there is not a single mosque in the world where men and women are allowed to sit together. Out of more than a billion people, not one! Women always, everywhere have to go to the back of the bus.
"This, along with opinion polls, shows the general fundamentalist nature of Islam, i.e. there is no such thing as 'moderate Islam.'
"This is especially important to point out when talking to women. Play on the mistreatment of women under Islamic rule and point out the repeated attempts to bring Sharia here to the West, that you are concerned about fighting for women's rights against that encroachment.
"Then the question becomes, 'But how to fight? What are you talking about?' And the answer should be: 'First understand that the problem is Islam because it is not a religion but a political party that is anti-women.'
"The objective of the conversation is not to propose a global solution but just to get the person to see Islam as a whole as a political movement that is anti-women (Sharia) and encroaching. Tell them, 'We have to say no to any hint of Sharia, don't we?' They will agree.
"The key is to make them aware that Islam has a political agenda, to get them to stop seeing it in terms of religion and culture and to view it as a political party. Tell them, 'Islam is a political party. No other religion wants to impose Sharia.'
"Islam is a political party — that's the key light bulb moment you want to impart."
This is first-rate coaching. If you haven't added your coaching yet, I invite you again to go to How Would You Respond? and leave your comment (or email it to me and I'll post it for you anonymously).
Give us your best answer(s). And bookmark that page so when you get similar flak, you have some good coaching on how to answer. Let's start opening some minds, shall we? This is our battle. We civilians are on the front lines, and this is how we can fight.
Also bookmark this page for the same purpose: Answers to Objections When You Talk About Islamic Supremacism. These are tools and training for you, the citizen warrior team leader of your social circle.
WHEN YOU SHARE what you know about Islam, you will get plenty of flak. One of our readers shared David Wood's video and got this response:
1. The Mosque is not planned to be built actually at ground zero, but several blocks away.
2. A fifth of the world's population consider Islam their ethical tradition.
3. About twenty-five Muslims were also killed in the Trade Center attacks.
4. Hating everything Muslim will not make the world a more peaceful place.
5. To vilify an entire group of people based on the actions of a minority of them does not serve any of us.
I don't know about you, but I agree with every one of those statements. But I do not agree with the implications of the statements in this context. I do not agree that the truth of these statements means that videos such as David's should not be shared. I do not agree that we should allow that mosque to be built. And I do not agree that we should stop trying to help non-Muslims become aware of the terrifying brilliance of Islam.
This is a good opportunity to practice. If you shared David Wood's video and got a response like the one above, how would you answer it?
It's a good idea to practice because when someone says things like that to you in person, you have a prime opportunity to make a good point, but if your heart starts pumping and you are unprepared, it's difficult to articulate a persuasive response. Anyone listening to your conversation would probably sum it up in their mind like this: Fair Muslim Defender - 1, Video Sharer - 0.
So let's practice. Let's get good at this. Share your response in the comments below. Or send it to me and I'll share it anonymously for you. And subscribe to the comments to see if someone posts ways of responding you hadn't thought of. Let's learn from each other.
If you have already had plenty of practice and can easily answer such a response, share your competence with the rest of us, please. Give us your best answer.
BELOW IS a video I would like to see go viral. First of all, the speaker (David Wood) is talking about a worthy cause: Stopping the building of a mosque near Ground Zero. But maybe more important is the way he presents his case. He is calm and reasonable, engaging, well-informed, and carefully articulate. He seems almost amused. He doesn't seem angry or fanatical. He tells a few stories rather than only presenting dry information. And it is altogether persuasive.
Watch this master citizen warrior in action. Thank you, PinkNeck, for bringing this to my attention.
RICK BARBER is running for congress in Alabama and, like Vijay Kumar, Barber is crystal clear about the goals and precepts of Islam and what that means to the free world. Damien, one of our readers and a true citizen warrior, gave us a link to one of Rick Barber's videos.
Rick Barber is running in Alabama. Vijay Kumar is running in Tennessee. If you know anyone in those states, please urge them to get everyone they know to vote for these candidates. Supporting these candidates helps do the one thing that needs to be done: Educate the public (because the candidates give speeches and produce television, radio and YouTube ads).
Learn more about Rick Barber.
TODAY WE HAVE a very different newsletter, not because it deals with Islam and politics, but because it is written by a politician — Vijay Kumar is running for Congress in Tennessees' 5th District. His billboards say "Defeat Universal Jihad." Imagine for a moment, that we had elected officials who actually knew who Mohammed was and what the true nature of jihad is. Instead, we have officials who believe Islam has been maligned and misunderstood and if we are just "nice" enough, they will love us.
ISRAEL IS THE TARGET of Islam's Universal Jihadists, whether they come from Turkey, Palestine, Lancashire, the United Nations, Maine, or Sweden. Islam's own Syed Qutb said it best: "A Muslim has no nationality except his belief." The exact same statement applies to the allies and supporters of Islam's Universal Jihadists.
That's why all the talk about Gaza and Palestinians and Turkey and "humanitarian aid" is pure fraud and nothing but fraud, all merely part of the Islamic Universal Jihad against Israel and everything it stands for. The Muslims involved in the attacks on Israel — no matter what piece of land they call home — care nothing for manmade geographical boundaries, just as they care nothing for manmade laws, or, for that matter, human life.
What they care about is wiping Israel and everything it stands for off the face of the Earth. That is their goal. The one thing that Israel stands for that drives the Universal Jihadists of the Middle East mad — however short a trip that may be — is the right and freedom of a human being to be something other than Muslim. Universal Jihadists are dedicated to wiping such freedom from the face of the Earth. That's why their overtly stated goal is to destroy Israel and the Jews. It is pure, seething hatred.
The "humanitarian aid" mission these Universal Jihadists and their liberal handmaidens are parading before the world press is nothing but a flotilla of pure, seething hatred, and it is a criminal fraud on Israel and on the world. It is actually a massive propaganda mission whose sole purpose is to smear and defame Israel, and weaken it for future attacks.
For those people of reason in the world who care about facts instead of hysterical Jihadist propaganda, over a million tons of humanitarian supplies have gone into Gaza through Israel in the last 18 months. That's nearly a full ton of supplies for every man, woman, and child in all of Gaza!
So who is lying? The Jihadists and their liberal "friends" fraudulently pretending to be on a "humanitarian aid" mission are lying. That shouldn't be a surprise: Islam demands that Muslims lie to non-Muslims if it benefits Universal Jihad and the Islamic goal of world domination.
Hamas is just one arm of Universal Jihad, and they've sent over 10,000 mortars and rockets into Israel. Why? Pure, seething hatred, that's why.
Israel is completely within its legal rights under international law to have mounted the Gaza blockade, and to have enforced it in international waters by stopping the Jihadist flotilla of pure, seething hatred fraudulently calling itself a "humanitarian aid" mission.
But the Universal Jihadists surrounding Israel on every side care nothing whatsoever about "international law." That, after all, is just more man-made law, and means absolutely nothing to the Jihadists, who honor only the allegedly "divine law" of the Quran and the Sunnah: Shariah law.
Islam's own Syed Qutb said it clearly: "There is only one law which ought to be followed, and that is the Shariah."
Islam's own Syed Qutb also exposed the complete fraud being perpetrated by Hamas and the rest of the Jihadist liars claiming that Gaza, and even Israel, are somehow important for the land to Muslims: "The homeland of the Muslim, in which he lives and which he defends, is not a piece of land; the nationality of the Muslim, by which he is identified, is not the nationality determined by a government." So it's all Jihadist fraud, and nothing but fraud.
The real driving force behind it is the one that has perpetuated 1400 years of the same kind of aggression, invasion, war, terrorism, slaughter, propaganda, and conquest of entire civilizations, such as Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran: it is Universal Jihad, the eternal Islamic quest for complete world domination.
Israel is just the next most important target in this 1400-year war against mankind and civilization.
The "humanitarian aid" mission is a Universal Jihad war flotilla, and it is nothing else. Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi, AKP) is the Turkish headquarters for Universal Jihad. The 10,000 rockets and mortars thrown by Hamas at Israel are missiles of Universal Jihad. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is the American headquarters of Universal Jihad. The Muslims in Afghanistan and Pakistan flooding the world with heroin (which is only sold to non-Muslims) are doing their part for Universal Jihad. The Iranian madman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for Israel to be "wiped off the face of the map" is the voice of Universal Jihad.
Universal Jihad is not only a declared war on Israel, it is a declared war on the United States and on our Constitution.
And to our eternal shame, our own President, Barack Hussein Obama, is now aiding and abetting Universal Jihad by his words and actions, and has turned his back on Israel.
I support Israel absolutely and unconditionally. I decry and denounce Universal Jihad as the most hateful, destructive, amoral, and vicious assault on mankind and human rights and freedoms that the world has ever known.
Vijay Kumar for Congress
Bill Warner, Center for the Study of Political Islam, Publisher
copyright (c) CBSX, LLC
politicalislam.com Use and distribute as you wish; do not edit and give us credit.
THIS IS ANOTHER installment in our series, Answers to Objections. I've heard this one implied and also spoken aloud: Fundamentalism is fundamentalism. In other words, the dangerous thing is the fundamentalism itself, and it is not proper to single out any one religion because they all have their extremists.
The answer to this is, as always, basic education in Islam. Underlying the statement is one big assumption that happens to be wrong — that the core teachings of all religions are the same. When you clear up this misconception, the argument "fundamentalism is fundamentalism" will lose its foundation.
The truth is, not all religions are the same. Islam has several precepts in its core teachings, written in their most holy book, the Qur'an (which you have hopefully read cover to cover by now) that are different from any other religion.
For example, it says in the Qur'an it is a Muslim's duty to refuse to be friends with a non-Muslim, to deceive them if it will help the cause of Islam, to strive to subjugate non-Muslims politically, and if they resist, to make war on the unbelievers and slaughter them. It doesn't imply this. It doesn't require any interpretation or reading between the lines. It says this quite clearly. So a "fundamentalist" who is following Islam will be (and, as you can see around the world, IS) quite a bit more willing to kill people just because they are not Muslims than, say, a fundamentalist Buddhist or Hindu. Read a fairly complete comparison between Islam and Christianity here.
Another thing very different about Islam is that it is written in very straightforward prose by a single man. Most non-Muslims don't even know this much about Islam. The Qur'an isn't a collection of writings from many different sources. It isn't metaphorical. It isn't strewn with allegories open to interpretation.
If you have read the Qur'an, you may speak with authority about this. The person who says "fundamentalism is fundamentalism" is either a Muslim giving you taqiyya or a (probably well-meaning) non-Muslim who has never read the Qur'an. Your best approach is probably to convince them that they cannot know what's true about Islam until they, too, read the Qur'an for themselves.
That's how I've approached answering this objection before, and it has worked fairly well. If you have tried a different approach, we'd love to hear it. Please leave it in comments on this article.
Read more: Are All Fundamentalists Dangerous?