Clarifying the Distinction Between Ideologies and People


I thought of a way we might clarify for our friends how we feel about Islam. It occurred to me that Oskar Schindler (the man portrayed in the movie, Schindler's List) was a member of the Nazi party. He worked as a spy in the Nazi intelligence service in 1936 and joined the Nazi party in 1939. But he clearly had a change of heart and gave his time and all his money (for bribing Nazi officers) to save the lives of 1,200 Jewish people. And he risked his life to do it.

We can say (and most of us would agree) that the Nazi ideology is abhorrent. Bad for the world. It caused suffering and death for millions of human beings. But most of us have no hatred toward Oscar Schindler, even though he was a member of the Nazi party. He wasn't a good Nazi — that is, he didn't adhere to the ideology — but he was a good human being.

In the same way, we can abhor the ideology of Islam (which has caused far more suffering and death than Nazism has), without hating someone just because he calls himself a Muslim. He may be Muslim in name only, not adhering to the ideology. We don't know. What we know for sure is that the ideology itself is dangerous for the world.

What do you think? Would that clarify it for those who don't yet understand?

Citizen Warrior is the author of the book, Getting Through: How to Talk to Non-Muslims About the Disturbing Nature of Islam and also writes for Inquiry Into Islam, History is Fascinating, and Foundation for Coexistence. Subscribe to Citizen Warrior updates here. You can send an email to CW here


Ah Clem 1:27 PM  

The distinction between ideologies and people is very important, and can't be stressed enough. But there is another point worthy of mention. Because of Islam's complexity, it shouldn't always be assumed that all Muslims fully understand Islam.

For instance, there is the story of Mona Walter, a Somali Muslim woman who emigrated to Sweden. In Sweden, she found out many details about Islam from her local imam, and when she did, she became disgusted with it and converted to Christianity.

A while back I found a web page that had downloadable PDF files of the standard six Sunni hadith sets. Each set has between 5 and 9 books, for a total of 38 books. The books I sampled were about 600 pages each, half Arabic, half English. So reading all the Sunni hadiths requires reading 38 books of 300 pages of English apiece. Oh, and throw in Ibn Ishaq's biography of Muhammad for another 1000 pages. That's a lot of reading on top of the Qur'an. How many Muslims do you suppose have read all this? Probably not many. I'd wager that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has read them all thoroughly.

This suggests that we, the kafir who are so concerned about Islam, may know more about it than many Muslims do. This isn't a new idea. Omar Khayyam wrote about this in the 11th century.

"Allah, perchance, the secret word might spell;
If Allah be, He keeps His secret well;
What He hath hidden, who shall hope to find?
Shall God His secret to a maggot tell?"

"The Koran! well, come put me to the test—
Lovely old book in hideous error drest—
Believe me, I can quote the Koran too,
The unbeliever knows his Koran best."

Analee 2:22 PM  

Good analysis. If people don't start waking up, we'll have (or maybe we do already ) something of an evil that the Nazis couldn't even imagine. So what happened to "good" people in Nazi Germany,? they let their own values go to hell; if they were opposed most didn't speak out or they were afraid. And the enemy is much slicker today - insinuating its way in. So, talk to people about what matters to them: persecuted Christians, anti - semitism, their children, their pets, their neighborhoods. Remind them that Hitler sent plenty of Christians and children to the death camps too. Remind them that the wearing of the yellow Jewish star was from Islam. Ask them if they really want to become 3rd class citizens in their own country.And don't hate Muslims -they are slaves of Evil, so pray for their liberation.

Citizen Warrior 3:13 AM  

Analee, I remember coming across that little piece of history somewhere but I don't know where. Would you please leave a link here about the yellow star being an Islamic idea? Thank you.

Babs 3:52 AM  

Of course distinction between people and ideology is important, Citizen.

However, my difficulty is with distinguishing between the Muslims "in name only" (which implies that they themselves would not, as Exodus says, "follow a multitude to do evil") and the ones who mean us harm and would do it if the opportunity presented.

Who are these people who call themselves Muslim "in name only" and how can someone like me distinguish them from the fully committed who would cause mayhem/harm us in the name of their god? Isn't it high time these "in name only" Muslims acted to set themselves apart?

For example, I try not to hate people who follow Islam - in my opinion they are challenged individuals to whom Islam lies when it presents as certainty in their uncertain universes - but in one instance in particular, I hit a brick wall. A Muslima convert I got to know quite well actually told me that she believed the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, openly, in daylight on a London street and captured at the time on film by witnesses, was a plot by the government to put Islam in a bad light!

How does one reason with such people, whose minds are so messed with that they can disbelieve the evidence of their own eyes, who give up on or are forbidden to develop the capacity to think critically and to test evidence which contradicts their world view? This is fully-fledged cult-like behaviour which, to me, demonstrates that Islam is a destructive cult which should be banned rather than attempts made to understand it.

We should also not forget that even if the majority of people who are "nominal" Muslims want little else than to live a quiet life and harm no-one, there is a large enough minority who make no secret of their barbaric intentions.

Citizen Warrior 12:14 PM  

Babs, that's an important point, especially given the historical likelihood that when Muslims gain a larger percentage of the population, the degree to which they apply Islamic doctrine might increase:

As far as how to talk to someone who comes up with some way to justify their own religion, I think it is very difficult if not impossible. There's a big difference between the will to believe and the wish to find out.

Anonymous 9:00 PM  

Schindler was the exception, the exception to the rule.
Most of the 'moderate' Moslems do follow their Sharia, and do allow themselves to be browbeaten into following the regimen of the clerics or face some sort of discriminatory action until they submit.
The individuals who say: "I was just following orders" are just as guilty!

Anonymous 7:24 PM  

The Christians will die and be persecuted. Not the Jews. They will form a truce with the Muslims and then the two forces will work together to destroy the Christians. Don't believe? Read the Bible.

Savvy Kafir 2:16 PM  

That's true. But from a practical, saving-the-free-world perspective, it's almost impossible to distinguish the True Believers from those slack-ass Muslims who don't understand or practice their religion properly. (Except when it's really obvious that they're hardcore, devout Muslims.)

Bikinis not Burkas 6:17 PM  

I live in Australia and my body has broken down even though I'm only 64, I can't get public housing as there is a 5 to 10 year waiting list but the government is constantly bringing in Muslims and putting them in public housing!
The Government hates Australians!

Walter Sieruk 12:03 PM  

The ideology of jihad terrorism which motivates some Muslims to engage in the violent and murderous as well as destructive actions of Islamic terrorism.

First, it needs to be made clear the the jihad ideology of violence and killing for the cause of Islam is completely and totally based on the foundation of the theology of Islam with it's Qu'ran which instructs devote Muslims to take part in awful and violent behavior. As found in ,for example 2::191. 4:89.5:33. 9:5.111,112,123. 47:4

Second, sine its's actually Islam which inspires many Muslims to become terrorists ,it still it all this should be kept in the right prospective . Which is that Muslims are not Islam. So it's very possible to to against Islam and not against Muslims.

So root cause of the ideology of jihad terrorism is Islam with all its vicious cruel and deadly war theology.

Walter Sieruk 12:05 PM  

Dr. Sabastian Gorka , well, understands that the root cause of the ideology of Islamic terrorism which is based on Islam. For in his book which is entitled DEFEATING JIHAD explained about the jihadist –Muslims on page 132 which reads “The enemy’s center of gravity is ideology of holy war against the infidel...”

This is, of course, the ideology of Islam's jihad [Islamic terrorism] is based on the Quran,5:33 4:89 9:111,123.47:4 ,in which the jihadists are in this war against us for the victory of Islam over us.

Walter Sieruk 12:06 PM  

There is much talk about rooting out the ideology of Islamic terrorism. What is not mentioned is that the foundation of this type of terrorism is the theology of Islam’s “holy book” the Quran. For the Quran instructs in the uses of violence and killing for the advancement of Islam. As found in, for example, 2:191. 5:33. 9:5, 111.123. 47:4. Therefore Islam is a false, dangerous and deadly religion.

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