News Plus the Question Why

Wednesday

I posted this awhile ago, but since the much more recent story about a video encouraging Muslims to start forest fires got me thinking about it, I thought I would re-post this. It is a great way to work some good information about Islam into a casual and innocent, non-confrontational conversation (as part of our mission to awaken our fellow citizens about Islam):

I did something tonight that worked pretty well. I was talking to a man I work with. We haven't talked much because he works in another department, but we get along great. He was telling me about camping on the other side of the mountains last week, and that they couldn't have a campfire because of fire danger (there have been several forest fires around here in the last month).

This seemed like such a great opening, I couldn't help myself. I said, "Just yesterday I saw a video of a former NSA official talking about forest fires. Apparently, when they killed Osama bin Laden, they also captured a bunch of computers and stuff, and they've found out al Qaeda had plans to inflict economic damage on the United States with forest fires. And already they've busted two al Qaeda operatives in California actually doing it! It's a great way for al Qaeda to harm our economy without costing themselves anything."

He said, "That sucks!"

But I had been thinking about asking my next question sometime as an experiment, and this seemed like such a perfect opportunity. So I asked, "Do you know why they want to harm the U.S.?"

He said, "Well, we haven't really been very cool to them in their homelands. It seems like a lot of Arabs probably hate us."

"It's not just Arabs," I said. "Orthodox Muslims all over the world, including some homegrown Muslims — people born in the USA — want to destroy America. It's what they're supposed to do if they are really believing Muslims. It says in Islamic doctrine that they're supposed to fight to impose Islamic law on everyone eventually. And they're at war with anyone who's not following Islamic law, which of course, includes the United States more than anywhere."

"What about all this stuff about our troops in Arabia?" he said, but not really in a challenging way. It almost seemed like he wanted to know what I would say about that.

"It's a pretext," I said. "A Muslim trying to follow Islamic teachings really strictly is supposed to follow Muhammad's example, and that's exactly what the al Qaeda dudes are doing. And Muhammad always had an excuse to attack non-Muslims. Any excuse would do. If we met every one of their demands, they would find some other excuse; they would not leave us alone. They'd attack us because we don't cover our women or something."

He seemed to accept this. He said, "And they'd probably just see us as weak and get more aggressive."

"Yeah, probably," I said, nodding. Now, at this point, the conversation felt complete. I'd gotten a little solid information into his mind without much resistance and I didn't want to "sell past the close," so I let it drop right there, following the principle of small bits and long campaigns. Someone else came into the room, and I brought up a different topic. I said to both of them, "Did you hear about the guy who proposed marriage by faking a car accident?" And we started talking about that.

I think these small conversations, sprinkled in with normal conversation — and as much as possible, making it seem like normal conversation — are really valuable. It helps change beliefs gently, and that's probably the best way to change the beliefs of another person. And this "technique" (if we can call it that) of telling some interesting bit of Islamic-related news, followed by the question, "Do you know why they're doing that?" might be a useful format or blueprint for getting some good information into the minds of our fellow non-Muslims.

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In July, Orthodox Muslims Were Urged to Start Forest Fires

Tuesday

On July 26, 2020, the Al-Hayat Media Center uploaded an animated video titled "Incite the Believers" to its Telegram channel. The narrator called upon Muslims living in non-Muslim lands to avenge their Muslim brothers using whatever weapons are available to them and to carry out jihad. Follow the link below if you want to see the video.

The narrator of the film said Muslims should use commonly available items to carry out their attacks and specifically gave the example of fire. He elaborated that fires such as forest fires have killed many non-Muslims and caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage. The video encourages Muslims to start fires in a fashion that doesn’t draw attention to themselves and to dispose of all forms of evidence as they leave. The video urged viewers to set fire to forests, factories, agricultural fields, and buildings.

The video showed a man marking a location in California on a map to set ablaze.

The above is excerpted from a longer article at MEMRI. Read the whole article and watch the video here:


MEMRI translates television and video clips from the Muslim world into English.

Read more about the video from Homeland Security Today:

ISIS Video Urges Arson as ‘Five-Star’ Terror Tactic, Shows California Burning 

According to Wikipedia, the Al-Hayat Media Center is the media wing of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. It was established in mid-2014 by ISIS, which targets Western audiences and produces material in English, German, Russian and French. Read the Wikipedia page: Al-Hayat Media Center.

This call to destroy non-Muslims is consistent with Islamic doctrine and Islam's Prime Directive.

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What I Have Learned Since 9-11

Thursday

I was on my way back from a vacation when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. My wife and I were listening to music on a CD and enjoyed our ride home, and knew nothing about it. When we got home, we listened to our messages. The first two were from family members hysterically crying, "We've been attacked! America is at war!"

My first thought, of course, was the ever-eloquent, "What the fuck!?!"

We watched the news, and I was baffled. Why would anyone do such a thing? I was about as ignorant about this as someone can be. But I'm a learner. It's what I like to do. And since that day, I've learned a lot.

I learned that this was not an isolated incident. Attacks had become more frequent and more deadly over the years. I just hadn't noticed.

And I eventually learned that this is not just a problem of generic "terrorism," but a global movement based on teachings from the Koran and the example of Muhammad. I learned that Islam is a unique religion because it's a political system and a system of law as well as being what most people would call a religion. Its goal is world domination, it has explicit permission for (and approval of) violence in its holy books, and it is intolerant of non-Muslims. Its laws even include legally-imposed discrimination against non-Muslims (and all women). (Read more about that here.)

I learned that an almost-uninterrupted jihad has been waged against non-Muslims for 1400 years. The attacks are near constant. Most of us don't see it as a war. We see isolated attacks. If you take in the whole global view, however, or listen to the point of view of an orthodox Muslim or read this, you will see it for what it is: A global war — orthodox Muslims against everybody else.

I also learned that one of the main reasons democracies have so much trouble dealing with Jihadis is because of an important conflict within democracies. Specifically, most people in the free world believe 1) everyone has a right to worship as they wish, and 2) discrimination of any kind is wrong. These are important foundational principles of liberal democracies around the world.

Why is this a problem? Because the simplest way to deal with Islam would be to discriminate against it. In other words, to openly admit Islam is unique (because of its political aspirations and religious duty to overthrow all other forms of law and government), and stop all concessions to Islam and roll back any concessions already made.

We "can't do that" because it violates important values of our societies. Or does it necessarily? This dialog needs to happen and solutions need to be created for it. But of course, that can't happen as long as the majority of people in free countries remain ignorant of the most elementary facets of Islam. And it's not just ignorance. Many people have a real resistance to hearing anything about it because even talking about it seems to violate the principles of decency and kindness!

So the final thing I've learned is that the solution to this problem starts with a grassroots movement: Those who know something about Islam's dangers to the free world must talk to people who don't, and successfully educate them. Once enough people are educated, national conversations can happen that could result in new, carefully-crafted policies that retain our democratic freedoms while limiting the destructive and insidious encroachment of orthodox Islam.

Please add your comments below. What have you learned since 9-11?

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How One Man Awakened

I am always interested in how people come to realize Islam is not a "religion of peace." I've collected many such stories, and they remind me that when someone doesn't seem to "get it," all is not lost. Information sinks in and sometimes has a delayed effect. Here is how one man came to understand that the comforting notions about Islam we get from our politicians and mainstream media are misleading and incomplete:

Hi CW, I wanted to share my story with you because you might find it interesting. You have my permission to post any of it if you would like to. But first let me say I have been looking into Islam 24/7 minus sleep and eat time for almost three months and I think your site might be the most important I have found yet because it actually helps answer the question of what to do. I spent about six hours reading on your site tonight. That is the longest I have spent on any site upon first discovering it. And I will be back tomorrow to read more and I am sure I will be back several times. I’ll even have to make a MUST READ section in my blogroll for your site. THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO!

In '98 I was working evening shift and saw a late-night commercial offering a free Koran. Because I have an interest in all religions, especially Christian Cults, I ordered it and read it even though it was a very difficult read. I noticed peaceful verses and violent verses but did not know what to make of it all. Then after 9/11 I read the Koran again and this time I discovered a verse that talked about later verses superseding earlier verses. But I did not know which were early and later verses. Even after this and 9/11 I still believed that Islam was not a big concern for me as the only ones blowing things up were “terrorists” and not all Muslims were terrorists, right? Then came 9/09/10. It was the day that changed my life and mission. Because I have Mormons, Oneness Pentecostals, Word of Faithers and Bible Missionaries in my family, I had devoted the last 10 years to Christian Cult Apologetics, and then along came Pastor Terry Jones. Needless to say he and his Burn a Koran Day changed my life. Here is why:

On 9/9/10 I visited a friend's political blog and saw a post about the Burn a Koran Day. I’m not really sure why, but I thought, "This jerk could set the whole world ablaze if he burns those Korans." I visited Jones' site and also went to his Facebook page and also a Facebook page that was against the Koran burning. What I saw shocked me. It went like this: "We will kill you all if you burn our Koran,” and non-Muslims responded by saying: "Not if we kill you all first."

The non-Muslims were posting videos of Muslims burning people alive, beheading people, stoning people, hanging people, beating women, etc. I had seen a couple of these videos but had no idea there were so many. And of course on 9/11 they were showing all the tributes on TV which included the jumpers from the towers. I was really overwhelmed but still spent a total of five days on those Facebook pages.

One day as soon as I awoke, it dawned on me that I never saw a single Muslim denounce those atrocious videos without also half-heartedly justifying them. And many Muslims outright condoned the terrible acts. That day I noticed that far too many of the ones who condoned such acts were living in the West. I knew right then that there are not as many “moderate Muslims” as myself and most people thought. I decided that day that I would be changing the focus of my ministry and dedicating my life to studying Islam and telling others about its dangers. I started a blog on Islam and because I am disabled I plan on doing anti-jihad work full-time until I die.

I have been really blessed in that I have been able to educate my friends about Islam with hardly any resistance and they have been educating others. So far I have lost no personal relationships in doing so even though I alienated a couple of people in a Word of Faith Recovery forum I run for people who have had bad experiences in WoF churches — but all I did was quote the Koran and Ahadith. I guess my friends have listened because they respect me and tell others that if they have a question about religion, I am the guy to ask — they know about all I do is study.

I had the idea that I would get myself some conversation-starting Islam T-shirts so I could strike up a conversation with my local Muslim convenient store clerks and strangers, but after spending time on your site tonight I no longer feel that is necessary. I think after I spend some more time on your site reading your ‘what to do” and “how to do it” articles, I should have the confidence and skill to not be afraid to start conversations with anyone. SO THANK YOU SO MUCH. I saw you say you're not Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist, so I hope you take no offense in me saying that I hope God will bless you for all the great work you have done. I would bless you with a donation if I could.

THANKS AGAIN,
Damon Whitsell
TheReligionOfConquest.com

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Embedding a Fact Within a Story About Something Else

Wednesday

Today I wanted to try to say something to the two people I was working with about a news story of Muslims poisoning dogs in Sweden. But it is not really pleasant news, and to that degree it is unwelcome conversation in polite company. So I tried something different. I came to the fact indirectly. When one of them mentioned something about a sweet dessert that was too sweet, when they were done talking about it, I said, "Did you know antifreeze is sweet?"

One of them said, "Oh sure, everyone knows that."

The other one said, "Well, I didn't know that!"

The first one said, "I was just kidding. I didn't know that either, and I'm wondering how you would know that," as he looked at me.

"Well," I said, "today I was telling my wife about a news story about Muslims killing dogs in Sweden, and I'd read a comment on the article by someone from Sweden saying Muslims are using antifreeze. I told my wife I didn't know what that meant, and she said, 'Yeah, antifreeze is sweet. You have to keep it away from dogs and kids because they want to drink it.'"

One of my co-workers responded, "I wonder what makes it sweet?" And we went off on that tangent. It was just the normal kind of chitchat people do when they work together, but I was able to tell them about the Muslim news without anybody getting their hackles up. I was ready for someone to ask why Muslims would do such a thing, but the conversation went off on another track, so I didn't get a chance. I was going to say, "According to Islamic doctrine, dogs and pigs are considered unclean. So are non-Muslims, by the way."

This is a simple idea. What I was telling them was, "I found out today antifreeze is sweet." As the accompanying backstory to saying that, I told them what I really wanted them to know: Muslims in Sweden are poisoning dogs. I thought this might be a principle all of us could use.

One of the best ways to change the way someone thinks about Islam is to slip small facts into their minds here and there and give them time to come to the conclusion on their own that Islam is a problem. Embedding a fact within a story about something else is one way to do this.

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Ask This Simple Question

Saturday

Earlier today, after work, I offered to give one of the guys I work with a ride home. When we got in the car and started driving, I said, "Wanna learn something about Islam?" He said, "Sure," so I played an audiobook I was listening to on the way to work: Robert Spencer's Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). It started playing where I left off, in the middle of a chapter.

Let me back up a little. I had good rapport with this guy. We get along well and enjoy each other's company. And I was just goofing around, really. It's not socially appropriate to listen to something like that under those circumstances. So I played it for about 15 seconds and turned it off. But while it was playing, it said something about jizya. I asked him, "Do you know what jizya is? Ever heard if that?"

He said no, of course. I mean, how many people do you know who have any idea what that is?

"It's protection money," I said. "The Middle East used to be almost entirely Christians and Jews. Now it's almost entirely Muslim. Ever wonder how that happened? I mean, some of those countries are 99% Muslim! What happened to all the Jews and Christians? It's partly because of this clever little element in Islamic ideology called 'jizya.' It's written into Islamic law that when Muslims conquer a new area, they're supposed to offer the Christians and Jews the option to continue living as Christians and Jews if they paid a kind of tax, called the 'jizya.' Muslims didn't have to pay this tax. It was referred to by the Muslims as 'protection money.' As long as they paid the jizya, they were allowed to live. If they didn't want to pay the tax, they could either convert to Islam or be killed — whichever they preferred. Many of the Christians and Jews left the country if they could, and many of them paid this heavy jizya tax, but over the centuries, to get out from under the financial burden, many of them converted to Islam."

He seemed interested and surprised by what I was saying, and we didn't have anything else to do while we were driving, so I kept talking: "It's been so illuminating to learn about Islam because all my life, so many things have happened that I couldn't understand. I mean, really, why couldn't Israel and Palestine just work out their issues and get on with their lives? It's been going on since 1948 and shows no sign of changing! Come on, people! What's the holdup? And while I was growing up, I saw hijacked planes and hostages galore in the news. What's the deal? What were they doing? Why were they doing it? I couldn't understand it. I didn't know anything at all about the Islamic ideology."

He said, "It's the same ideology that caused 9/11, isn't it?"

I said yes.

But then he said, "Our invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan really made it worse."

"Well, it's been getting worse since the 1973 oil embargo," I said in a relaxed, off-hand way. "Oil used to be cheap, but when Saudi Arabia and some other oil producers got together to dramatically raise the price of oil, suddenly all these Saudi princes found themselves swimming in money, and since many of them are hardcore follow-the-texts-to-the-letter kind of Muslims, what they did with their wealth was build madrassas all over the world — tens of thousands of madrassas — that teach nothing but the Islamic ideology, which includes hating non-Muslims, the subjugation of women, and the Islamic goal of bringing the whole world under Islamic law. They keep cranking out fanatics and unleashing them onto the world. So, of course, when there is any kind of jihad going on, like in Syria and Iraq now, these guys travel to the action and join the fight. According to the Koran, that's what they're supposed to do."

He seemed kind of shaken by the implications of this. So I changed the subject and we talked about other things for the rest of the trip.

We arrived at his place in good spirits. As I was driving home, I thought about our conversation, which didn't feel like an argument at all, but felt like two people just talking about something interesting and relevant, I was thinking that my original question was a great opener for this kind of conversation. "Have you ever heard of jizya? Do you know what that is?" The question leads naturally to information most people don't know and that would help give them an inside view of the ideology of Islam.

People are more curious about Islam than ever, and more open to finding out. Let's help them learn something valid about Islam's ideology. Ask this simple question to get the conversation started.


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The Most Misleading Passage Ever Quoted From the Koran

Wednesday

“…if anyone killed a person, it would be as if he killed the whole of mankind; and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole of mankind…”

Have you heard this quote? It is from the Koran (5:32). It seems like a straightforward quote, and Muslim apologists use it all the time to illustrate that the Muslims beheading people or blowing up non-Muslims are going against the teachings of Islam. This is misleading. And anyone who knows the Koran and Islam knows it is misleading.

Given that Muslims often respond to violent quotes from the Koran by saying they are quoted out of context, it is ironic that one of their mainstay "positive" Koranic quotes is itself taken out of context.

When Muslims (and news organizations) use this quote, they're trying to convey the idea that in Islam, murder is wrong and saving lives is good. But that's not the meaning of the passage. In fact, it's really the opposite of what the verse conveys.

This is the whole verse (5:32): "On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone slew a person — unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land — it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land."

In other words, this was a commandment to the "Children of Israel" (Jews). This is not a commandment to all people. It is definitely not a commandment to Muslims, so using it as a quote from the Koran showing how peaceful Islam is definitely qualifies as misleading.

And even if this were a commandment to Muslims, it has the qualification, "unless it be for murder or spreading mischief in the land." So according to this verse, someone "spreading mischief" can be killed.

That's bad enough. But the very next verse of the Koran (5:33) goes even further. It says: "The punishment of those who wage war against God and His Apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter."

This explains that the correct punishment for mischief is execution, crucifixion, etc. This is a command given to Muslims from the Almighty Himself.

As you can see, this adds up to a much different message than the one so often misleadingly quoted. The fact that Muslims must take a passage out of context in order to get a semi-nice quote out of the Koran tells you something about the Koran. I've read the Koran twice, and I can tell you from personal experience that there is no "kindness toward all people" in the entire book.

I believe that simply sharing the information above wherever that quote is used — this, all by itself — would go a long way to opening peoples' eyes to not only the true nature of Islam, but to the effort being made to deceive us about Islam.

For more information about this passage, check out the excellent site, Answering Muslims.

Also, Robert Spencer has some good information about this passage: Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 5.

The article above is also posted on Inquiry Into Islam here.

Watch a video about this: David Wood on the Qur’an and the Siege of Paris.

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The Bare Bones Message

Saturday

What is written in Islamic texts is dangerous to non-Muslims. That's it. That's the only message we need to get across. When this sinks in, it changes everything. It's a bitter pill to swallow, but from that point on the person will see the world with new understanding. From that point on, the person will no longer be bamboozled by the amazing amount of nonsense uttered by so many in the media. From that point on, the person is no longer a "useful idiot" (inadvertently supporting a cause that takes away freedom, rights, and the lives of innocent people).

The message we need to get across is simple, but it's still too much for many people to emotionally cope with. It ruins the life they once had. It shatters their innocence forever. Because of this, they will immediately try to find a way to dismiss this simple message. The first and easiest thing to say is, "Other religions have violence and intolerance in their texts." If you have no answer to this, they will be relieved. They can safely put the issue back out of their minds. "Everything is okay," they'll think, "Islam is just like other religions." There are other versions of this same objection. For example, Christianity is just as bad, all religions are evil, there are extremists in every religion, etc. (We have answers to these objections here.)

However, if you answer the objection successfully, the next thing people will usually come up with is, "Most Muslims don't follow the texts." That's somewhat true, and it's a good thing! But it doesn't change the fact that the texts themselves are dangerous to non-Muslims. It doesn't make the problem go away. Other versions of this are: Only extremists or fundamentalists take the texts literally, not all Muslims are terrorists, I know a Muslim and he's really nice, etc.

Just like getting any horrible news, people will try to deny it. That is the first line of emotional defense. They'll try to find a way to escape from the terrible news and its implications. But if you can prevent someone from escaping the hard fact, you will have done all you need to do. Reality will teach them the rest.

There is a lot we can say about Islam. But it's good to be clear about the most important fact to get across, and to stay focused on it: What is written in Islamic texts is dangerous to non-Muslims. Get this to sink in.

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Isn't it Okay to Dislike an Ideology?

Monday

Someone said to us: "I really believe that we can live together and have different beliefs and religions. We don't have to believe what the Koran says. I sure don't believe what the Bible says and think it is the cause of many of our problems in the US because many of those who believe in it think that everyone else should believe in it. We can cross paths with people and share many interests and not have to believe everything that person believes... We thought the same about the Jewish population and the Irish, Chinese, Japanese... I like people of all types, religions and colors. Until a person hurts me, my family, or anyone, I will trust and believe in all humans.We tried to keep those others contained and marginalized. We just never learn."

When you are telling people about Islam, you will sometimes get a response like the one above. And sometimes people don't say it, but they're thinking it. That's when it's time to make the following very important point. Here's how I answered the above message:

Yes, I get that. And I like people too. But there are some ideologies (the written ideas) that make humans do bad things. When Islamic ideas such as these are believed by Muslims, it becomes dangerous to our fellow human beings. That's just a fact. Isn't there an ideology you dislike? The KKK's? The one spelled out in Mein Kampf? It's okay to dislike an ideology, isn't it?

I often try to find an ideology my listener doesn't like, and then make that point. Usually this allows our conversation to continue, because most people agree that it's perfectly okay to dislike, discuss, and criticize an ideology. Of course. When you put it that way, people seem to understand what you're doing, and accept it.

For more ideas about how to talk to people about Islam, check this out: Tools to Help You Educate Your Fellow Non-Muslims About Islam.

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Approach is the Key

Tuesday

I've been practicing for a long time, trying to hone my ability to educate people one-on-one about Islam, and I'm pretty good at it. I rarely get into a "debate" or argument, and in fact, it's usually an enjoyable conversation. I've written down several of my conversations after they happened which you can read here, here, and here.

I've written a lot about how to talk to people about Islam, but I decided to try to think of all the things I take for granted about my approach that I haven't written about, and I ended up making the list below. These are personal rules or states of mind or ways of thinking about these conversations that I think really help them go well:

1. I try to only talk to someone about Islam when nobody else is around. I don't want to get into a public debate. When people talk in front of an audience, they are more likely to try to "win" or look good, and less likely to listen and learn. Being in a public situation tends to encourage people to take sides.

Perhaps more importantly, when someone makes a pronouncement to several people, they find it more difficult to change their mind later than when they make the same pronouncement to only one person.

All in all, you will be more likely to really inform someone one-on-one with no audience.

2. I try not to approach it as a debate at all. I am careful about the way I open a conversation. And careful about the way I speak, so it becomes clear that I know what I'm talking about, and that I know a lot more about the subject than the person I'm talking to, but not in a condescending way. I do not try to "dominate" the conversation except that I try to establish my authority by saying something simple like, "Have you read the Quran? No? Well, when I read it the first time, I was really surprised to find..."

3. I try to keep it interesting for the listener. I want them to find out something they are surprised at and interested in.

4. I don't try to rub their nose in it. I don't try to make them get how scary and horrible it all is. I realize because I've been learning about Islam for a long time, things that no longer shock me shock the hell out of others. I don't need to try to scare them. Even the mildest parts of this topic scare most people.

5. I try to keep it casual. "Hey, did you hear about what happened in France? They banned the burka. Yeah, and it was almost unanimous..." I try to prevent giving the impression I am on a campaign to stop the Islamization of the world. I'm just talking about interesting things I've learned lately. I just try to maintain a feel of easygoing conversation, and sometimes it becomes very engaging.

6. I deliberately stay relaxed, and try to "curb my enthusiasm." And I keep my sense of humor. This topic is intense enough without adding to it by being intense myself. I take deep breaths, I pause when I'm talking and ask them questions, and I don't give them the most shocking things until they are already fairly well-versed in the less shocking things.

7. I do not let it appear as if I want them to change their minds or that there is any kind of conflict between us. I find common ground. I try to speak about things I know they will care about, like the human rights angle or women's rights, or whatever.

8. I think in terms of small bits and long campaigns. Okay, I've written about this one before (here) but it's a good one and I didn't want to leave it off this list. It's important. I don't try to get the whole educational process done all in one conversation. I let it happen in small pieces over many months to give them a chance to absorb it and think about it, and hopefully ask me questions about it later. I plant seeds and expect the dawning realizations to happen over time rather than expecting enlightenment overnight.

I assume there will be many already-existing beliefs they hold that will need to change for them to understand more. Sometimes changing beliefs produces an internal struggle, and forcing more information into a struggling mind can make someone not want to talk to you any more. Plant the seeds and be patient.

9. I sympathize with their resistance and disbelief. I was there once, too, and I know, it's a shocker when it starts to really sink in. I remind myself of how I felt when I first started learning about Islam. It helps me empathize with my listener, and I think that helps the communication process.

10. I try to make it clear to my listener that we are on the same side of this issue. I know a lot more about it, but we are both non-Muslims. We're on the same team. I convey the feeling that we don't have all the answers and we're exploring this topic together. If the person brings up a good point or a counter argument, I will either say "that's interesting" and think about it and then come back later with more information, or I will say something like this: "I used to think the same way. But when I found out..." And lead them further into the topic with more information.

11. I reframe their objections like a salesman. Sales training manuals will often tell you to be glad when someone raises objections, because it means the person is interested. People who are not interested just make excuses and disappear. Someone who is arguing with you is often presenting arguments they think other people might bring up to see if you have a good answer for them — an answer that would satisfy other people. They do this because they are interested in believing you, but want to be sure.

So I don't feel put off by questions or arguments or "objections." I see it as a sign of interest and curiosity, and I try to answer the objection in a way that gives more information (rather than in a way that makes the other person feel wrong or stupid or anything negative). This perspective on objections helps prevent me from interacting in a confrontational way. It helps me avoid turning the conversation into some sort of contest or disagreement.

I also often refer to my own list of answers to objections for help.

12. When I have a difficult conversation and it really bothers me because I didn't have a good response, as soon as I can, I find a quiet place and write out what the other person said. I do it on my computer. Then I separate out each statement the person made and write out the answer I wish I had made at the time. I print it out and read it.

If my "failure" continues to bother me, over the next few days I may occasionally read it over and add to my answers and print up the new version. I look up facts if I am unsure about something. I write it all out until I feel I've made a really good answer.

If you do this, you will be better prepared for the next conversation. I welcome these difficult conversations, because I know I will use them like this. You should welcome the times when you're stumped and you don't know what to say. It can deepen your understanding and make you grow.

13. I try to never use the words "Islam" or "Muslim" by themselves. I always say "heterodox" or "orthodox" before every one. Most people know at least one Muslim person and cannot, out of the goodness of their heart — out of personal loyalty or just plain human empathy — think of that person as having bad intentions, and they know that not all Muslims are devout. So if you give blanket statements about Islam or Muslims, they reject your statements for perfectly sound reasons. Always use the descriptors.

I'm always learning and I hope you are too. If you would be so kind as to share your own insights about how to approach these conversations, we could all benefit from your hard-earned skill. I invite you to add your insights on our new comments page: Talk About Islam Among Non-Muslims, which, by the way, is already turning into a valuable resource, thanks to your welcome participation.

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"Criticizing Islamic Doctrine Will Turn Moderates into Extremists"

Wednesday

This is another in our series, Answers to Objections. In an article entitled, Taking the Fight to Islam, Andrew Anthony writes:

Does [Ayaan Hirsi Ali's] bald delivery not further alienate Muslims, forcing them to cling to traditional values? Hirsi Ali is too smooth of skin and composure to bristle, but it is obviously an accusation she finds irritating.

"Tariq Ramadan is filled with contempt for Muslims because he believes they have no faculties of reason," she replies in a beguilingly friendly tone, as though she had remarked that he had an excellent taste in shirts. "If I say that terrorism is created in the name of Islam suddenly they take up terrorism? He gives me so much more power than I have. Why don't my remarks make him turn to terrorism?"

This is a fairly common argument — that by educating non-Muslims about Islam, we are risking the possibility that otherwise peaceful Muslims will take up arms and join the third jihad. But the argument doesn't have much heft if you give it even ten minutes of thought. I heard Robert Spencer put it this way, in essence: Do you really think devout Muslims or even heterodox Muslims will be swayed by the teachings of a non-Muslim? That's ridiculous.

Spencer was commenting on the limitations imposed on U.S. security agencies to avoid using such terms as "Islamic terrorists" because it might make "moderate Muslims" want to blow things up. He asked how anyone could think that a believing Muslim would use the U.S. government as a reliable source on the teachings of Islam? Good question.

A Muslim, of course, will be influenced much more strongly by their own personal (usually life-long) understanding of Islam, their own reading, their own imam, the teachings of their own sect and their own parents, etc. To believe that a non-Muslim pointing out the supremacist teachings of Islam would cause a Muslim to give up his own understanding of his faith and become a jihadist seems, to put it mildly, highly unlikely.

Let's look at this another way. By definition, a "moderate Muslim" must reject some basic Islamic principles. Of course, for someone who knows little about Islam, this will not be obvious. But once they learn about Islam, this much will be clear.

Does it make any sense that a "moderate Muslim" who rejects some of Islam's teachings would become a fundamentalist because I am educating non-Muslims about those rejected teachings? Will my educational efforts make our moderate Muslim embrace what he has rejected and become an "extremist?"

I got this comment on one of my articles (Message to Peaceful Muslims):

Moderation is the enemy of any extremist. They thrive in a black-and-white world. This post agrees with the vision of extremistic Muslims: either you're a Muslim or you're a non-Muslim. This post states that a good Muslim is not relevant, because it does not fit in this black-and-white world.

Not a good Muslim, but Citizen Warrior is helping extremist Islam to grow.

Saying that not the extremists but Islam itself is the problem, you are creating a Western version of jihad. "So you Muslims want jihad? Fine, we can do that as well! I will declare myself a warrior."

Good luck with it.

Mike

This was my response:

Mike,

To think that what a non-Muslim says about Islam will change a believing Muslim's worldview is absurd.

Imagine Amhed, a peace-loving "Muslim in name only" (MINO) who thinks Islam means peace. He's a nice guy. He's never read the Quran, but his parents were Muslims, so he considers himself a Muslim.

And then he reads some non-Muslim blogger saying "true" Muslims are intolerant toward non-Muslims. Will Ahmed become intolerant toward non-Muslims now?

Don't hold your breath. I know enough MINOs to know they are not influenced by anything I say. They think I just don't understand. And devout Muslims would be even less influenced by a non-Muslim blogger.

If you are a Christian, would you be influenced by a Muslim telling you what Christians believe? Or telling you what it says in the Bible? Or how to be a good Christian?

Mike, what your criticism says is that what I write will influence Muslims who are against violence to become violent.

Not only do I have almost no impact on Muslim beliefs because I am a non-Muslim, but my audience is almost entirely non-Muslims. My job here is to alert the hundreds of millions of non-Muslims living in free countries to the basic and often surprising teachings of mainstream Islam. These teachings are being actively hidden by Muslims who have actually read the Quran because the political plan works best when non-Muslims don't have a clue.

So what you're asking me to do is to be silent on the slim chance that something I say will influence a Muslim to become intolerant, while at the same time leaving all the non-Muslims I might have reached in the dark.

Hmmm. Let me see...

Nah. I don't think so.

Upon discovering the intolerance and violence their doctrine really teaches, most good-hearted, peace-loving Muslims would be more likely to leave their faith than to become more devout. And even if some did become more devout because of something I said, the free world would still be better off if Islam's prime directive was widely known.

Right now, because of widespread ignorance of Islam, the initiatives of politically active Muslim organizations are proceeding almost completely unhindered. Orthodox Muslims, following the plan set forth by the Muslim Brotherhood (the largest international Muslim organization in the world), have successfully infiltrated and influenced Hollywood, newspapers, television news, textbooks, national security agencies, presidents and even comedians. How can they get away with this? Because so few non-Muslims know anything about Islam. And what many non-Muslims know about Islam is completely false because all these avenues of public education have already been compromised.

I propose to you that this argument was originally created by politically active Muslims in order to silence non-Muslims who are trying to educate other non-Muslims about Islam. This argument was then disseminated widely and taken up by devout multiculturalists because it served their own agenda, and it has now become widespread.

But however it happened, the argument is pathetic. Knowing what it really says in Islamic doctrines clearly has better long-term prospects than pretending it doesn't say those things and silencing anyone who tries to educate non-Muslims about it.

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 and Foundation for Coexistence.

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What is Our Goal in the Counterjihad Movement?

Tuesday

Clearly something is wrong. Orthodox Islam is spreading, and great numbers of non-Muslims around the world are ignorant, confused, or blinded by an indiscriminate multiculturalism, which is allowing orthodox Islam to spread relatively unimpeded.

Those of us who have discovered the disturbing nature of Islamic doctrine (and the growing threat of its spread) want to do something about it. But what? The emotions provoked by this are intense, of course. Many of us are frightened or horrified or angry or frustrated — and some of us feel all of these and feel them strongly. We want to stop this madness we see spreading over the world. But what can we do? What should we aim at? What is our goal?

We've been at this a long time. We started Citizen Warrior about a month after 9/11. Our comments on this site are "moderated," which means we read every comment before publishing it, and we've been doing so since the beginning. We also have a Facebook page, and we read every comment there, too. So we've heard many emotionally aroused counterjihadists saying things like "we should nuke the Middle East" or "send them all back where they came from" or "ban Islam." Understandably upset, people want to do something about Islam's growing threat. But of course, nuking the Middle East is irrational, morally unacceptable, and wouldn't solve the problem anyway. You can't nuke an ideology. Many of the Muslims now living in the Middle East would defect from Islam if they had a chance. Millions are children. Nuking the Middle East is a ridiculous proposition arising out of intense feelings of helplessness. We can't "send them back" either because many of them were born in our countries. These kinds of solutions are impotent; full of sound and fury, signifying nothing but frustration.

What kind of language should we use to describe the counterjihadist's goal? On Citizen Warrior here we have characterized it a number of ways over the years: Defeating the third jihad, thwarting Islam's prime directive, stopping orthodox Islam's relentless encroachment, reversing jihad, etc. None of these are really adequate either.

After thinking about it for awhile, we've come up with the language we'd like to use, and we want to know what you think of it. Either email us or leave it as a comment below. This is our goal:

To marginalize, discredit, and disempower
orthodox Islam.

We can't really get rid of Islam. But we can make it so weak and maligned, so cut off from resources and shunned that it no longer poses a serious threat to the free world.

The Ku Klux Klan was once a growing movement in the U.S. They had millions of members, some of whom were in high places. They had a massive demonstration in Washington DC in 1925. Fifty thousand Klansmen were in the parade, dressed in their white robes. Just as an aside, did you know the Klan had a Kloran? I kid you not. Here's a PDF version of it.

What happened to the KKK? Why didn't they grow into a national party or take over the country? They were marginalized, discredited, and disempowered, and remain so to this day. They are still around. It's an ideology. You can't really get rid of an ideology. But you can make it something that few people want to be associated with.

How can we do that with orthodox Islam? There are many ways:

1. The first and most important is getting more people to understand that Islam is unlike other religions in important ways and that the "extremists" are not doing anything but following the written creeds of their religion. They're not "picking and choosing" passages from their texts to justify what they're doing. They're not "taking things out of context" or "misunderstanding" the Koran. It is the Koran itself and the example of Muhammad that is incompatible with modern society. We need to effectively reach people. Once enough people understand the situation accurately, the rest of this list will be relatively easy.

2. Cut off oil money to OPEC, which is the main power behind Islam's current expansion in the world.

3. Stop the oppression of women in Muslim lands (and everywhere else, including Muslim enclaves in free nations). The more power and freedom and rights women have in Muslim countries, the less orthodox those Muslims will become. 
4. Prevent Sharia law from worming its way into our legal system — passing legislation that explicitly forbids it.

5. Stop Muslim immigration into free societies, or at least limit it for Muslims, limit it from Muslim countries, test Muslim immigrants for their level of orthodoxy, or something along these lines.

6. Prevent the construction of mosques inside our borders.

You've learned about the terrifying brilliance of Islam and you want to do something about it. Excellent. Here's what to aim for: To marginalize, discredit, and disempower orthodox Islam everywhere in the world. Each one of the actions on the list has a link. Follow the link to find out how you can begin to make this goal a reality.

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Pleasantville and Islamic Supremacism

Sunday

The movie, Pleasantville is the story of the rise and fall of an Islamic state. I know that sounds crazy, but bear with me for a moment. I've been immersed in studying about Islam, terrorism, and Islamic states like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan (when the Taliban were running things). I didn't realize before that it is a Muslim's duty to create an Islamic state, wherever they live. And to kill and die for this purpose if that's what it takes. I recently watched Pleasantville. I had seen the movie before, but this time I saw it in a new light.

If the movie can be seen as a metaphor, let's look at the parallels. First, someone had a vision of a perfect world. In the movie, it was the creator of the Pleasantville TV show, and in Islam, it was Muhammad (or Allah speaking through Muhammad). They each had a vision of an ideal world. (Learn more about that here.)

Now, if everybody does what they're supposed to do, this vision can become a reality and people can enjoy a peaceful, orderly society. The key is getting everyone to do what they're supposed to do. The problem is, people love freedom. And of course freedom brings with it unwanted side-effects, as you see in the movie (and as you can see by looking around you).

But the lack of freedom also has side-effects. Which is better, living in a Pleasantville world but having to do what you're supposed to do all the time — or living a life where you choose your own destiny but also have to live in a society with others who are choosing their destiny too? I don't know who can answer that question for all of us, but I know which one I prefer. Give me liberty or give me death.

The movie is about the danger and the splendor of freedom.

When the movie begins, the teenager, David, is in a modern American high school, living in a free society complete with its dangers and side-effects. David is a fan of an old television show from the fifties. Everything was perfect in the show. It was an ideal world where people treated each other courteously, parents had loving, conflict-free marriages, and kids were wholesome and innocent. David yearns for a life like that instead of the messy, chaotic world he lives in. And he gets his wish. He is magically transported into the Pleasantville television show. It's in black and white. Every day is a perfectly sunny 72 degrees. It never rains.

But he discovers that there is a cost to living in paradise — a drastic lack of freedom. In the movie, when the teenagers started having sex and the world was beginning to go Technicolor, the leaders of the town were horrified. Things were getting out of control. And you can see they had good intentions when they tried to make it go back the way it was.

That's what the Taliban did in Afghanistan back in the 90's (you can see an accurate depiction of their perfect world in the movie, Osama). And that's what Iran tried to do with their revolution. And what Saudi Arabia is doing. They're trying to force it back in the box. They're trying to fulfill the vision written in the Qur'an of the perfect world. They are struggling against human beings' natural desire for freedom. They have to use force to get people to do what they're supposed to do all the time. They use extreme force and they still can't get everyone to conform.

And who hasn't had the same conflict in their own life? Haven't you? Haven't you gone through cycles of cracking down on yourself and then loosening up? Haven't you ever gotten a regime all worked out so you can get in shape or whatever and then after awhile you start feeling closed in by it and you want to break out of the restricting and regimented monotony?

When I was younger, I spent many fruitless hours trying to come up with the perfect system. A perfect week would have a certain amount of exercise, a certain amount of communication with loved ones, writing time, goofing off time, etc. A perfect life plan is not very difficult to come up with. But actually doing it turns into a nightmare of routine. Most people would never do something like that voluntarily for very long. I loved creating the perfect system, but I hated living in it. And it was my system. What if some else created the system? It would be nearly impossible to make me conform to it.

Our longing for freedom and change and adventure always makes us want to break out. The Qur'an has an idea: Enforce the system from the outside. People can't do it on their own. But if you could make everyone in a society follow the perfect system, you could have a perfect society.

In the movie Pleasantville, the men join together and try to restore order, under the banner of the Pleasantville Chamber of Commerce. They try to enforce pleasant behavior. They create a code of conduct for everyone to live by and they punish the ones who rebel. And what you see is what happens in real life. People feel a conflict. Yes, they want a pleasant society, but not at the cost of their personal freedoms. Many wonderful and terrible things didn't exist in the perfect world of Pleasantville: Art, sex, women's rights, creativity, exciting music, novelty, love, passion, anger, awakening, self-discovery, self-expression, disagreement, conflict, change, violence, book-burning, discovery, exploration, experimentation, new experience, rebellion, defiance, personal growth, and the list goes on and on. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

What does it take to keep the ugly and bad stuff away? You have to get rid of a lot of the good stuff. That's what it takes. And you have to make it a crime to step out of line. You have to have punishments. So the perfect world has its own ugly side. Do you know about the punishments in Islamic law? If you steal something, they cut off your hand. If you have premarital sex or drink alcohol, you get flogged. For adultery, both the man and the woman are stoned to death.

The punishments are intentionally extreme so they are a strong deterrent. They don't cut very many hands off because that law really discourages theft, and after getting caught twice, you don't have any hands left to steal anything with. I'm not advocating this by any means. You already know how I feel. I believe in freedom. But that doesn't mean people who try to come up with the perfect systems are necessarily evil.

I think the movie could help freedom-lovers sympathize with the perfect-world-lovers because after all, we in the audience are also attracted to the perfect world of Pleasantville at first. We sympathize with David, who wants to get away from his ugly, sometimes painful life, and doesn't realize or appreciate how much freedom he enjoys until it is taken away from him.

And the movie could also help the perfect-world-lovers see the beauty and magnificence of freedom — and the joy of not knowing what's going to happen next. And the satisfaction of choosing your own destiny.

In the book, Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals, Robert Pirsig wrote about the difference between static quality (the perfect world) and dynamic quality (a free society), and how these two forces are always and necessarily in conflict, and in a way the tension between the two is a good thing in the long run, or at least could be a good thing.

In one of the scenes in the movie, David and his girlfriend are out by the lake. She has just found out that David has seen the world outside of Pleasantville. She never has, and until recently, didn't even know it existed. She asks him, "So what's it like out there?"

He says, "Well...it's louder. And scarier, I guess. And it's a lot more dangerous."

"It sounds fantastic!" she says enthusiastically. Sure. For someone whose life has been ordered and perfect, a little dynamic quality would be like cool water to someone dying of thirst. That's the glory and the downside of human nature living in a free society.

With freedom, you have to learn to live with the fact that things aren't the same any more and never will be. That's both tragic and wonderful.

Learn more about the teachings of Islam.

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Multiculturalism and the Defense of Liberty

Thursday

Multiculturalism says we should have no arrogance about our own culture and we should be open to the teachings and practices of other cultures. We should at least look at cultures to see if they have something to teach us.

But given the way the human mind tends to streamline and simplify, multiculturalism has been streamlined in many minds into "my own culture is evil."

The original purpose of multiculturalism was to prevent the self-righteous arrogance of European and American Judeo-Christian cultures. There was a time when they encountered people from other cultures and they judged them to be barbaric, savage, or simplistic. In many cases Europeans and Americans used force to impose their own "superior" culture on the native cultures they came across.

This kind of blind arrogance is ugly and it is right and good that it has been discredited. It other words, multiculturalism is a good thing.

But in our passionate commitment to multiculturalism, we tossed out a very important item: Our own culture. We should look our own culture to find what's good about it, and we should do it just as impartially and as appreciatively as we look at other cultures.

One of the things we will find is that the basic principles of liberty and equality are so pervasive in our culture, we take them for granted. They are like water to a fish. They go into the background and we stop noticing them. Some Americans have told me "we don't really have a culture."

But if our pervasive right to liberty and equality were suddenly taken away and we were dropped into some exotic and seemingly attractive culture in say, Somalia or China or Saudi Arabia or the Maldives, the lack of natural freedom and equality would be shockingly noticeable.

But we don't live in those cultures. We enjoy all the protections of liberty and equality we have enjoyed our whole lives. In fact, many of those liberties and equalities have improved over our lifetimes. This all seems right and proper to us.

But it is not natural. It is not inevitable. It is not "self-evident." In fact, if you look at the history of civilization, what you see is a glaring lack of liberty and equality all over the world and as far back as we have historical records. And unless those liberties and equalities are protected and defended, they will be lost. Really.

Orthodox Muslims are actively working to take them away and replace our guaranteed rights with the law of Allah (Shari'a). Luckily for the blind multiculturalists who think their own culture is evil, others are busy protecting their liberty and equality for them at the moment.

You probably know all this already. But when you encounter someone who has this my-own-culture-is-evil attitude, speak up and explain this concept. We need every ally in this fight we can get. Our culture of liberty and equality needs to be defended. As Robert Spencer said, "People who are ashamed of their own culture will not defend it."

Explain to them what the world is like in other parts of the world. Explain to them how women in Saudi Arabia cannot go outside their home unless they are accompanied by their husband or a male relative. Explain to them that in Iran they have "clothing police" that go around beating and arresting women if their ankles show. Explain to them that in Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Somalia, if a woman is raped, she is usually jailed and sometimes stoned to death for "fornication." Encourage them to watch Osama the movie and Not Without My Daughter.

You can do all this with the attitude that you are on their side. They want to be multicultural. You can wholeheartedly agree: Multiculturalism is great. Studying other cultures is illuminating. And then educate them on how some other cultures live today. Compare and contrast those cultures with the freedoms and equality we enjoy in this culture.

Explain to them also that there are billionaires, and tens of thousands of skilled orthodox Muslims, and well-funded groups of politically-savvy lawyers, all working actively to overthrow our own government and establish those same restrictive laws on everybody here. They are successfully intimidating with violence and also waging jihad by gaining concessions.

Liberty and equality are not ours alone. They are features of many cultures. But they are salient and foundational features of our own culture, and in the interest of appreciating all cultures, these features should be seen for what they are: Precious and worth protecting. Handled the right way, even a young, passionate multiculturalist should be able to see that.


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How a Tolerant Country Can Avoid Being a Doormat for Intolerant Countries

Tuesday

Tolerance and mutual respect for different cultures and religions is great — as long as it is mutual. When it's not mutual, then tolerance becomes a self-destructive doctrine. When it is not mutual, one side gives and the other side takes. In normal parlance, it is called being a doormat.

Islamic supremacism is religiously-sanctioned intolerance, and many in the West tolerate the intolerance out of a blind multiculturalism. But multiculturalism (respect for other cultures) need not be blind. The addition of one simple distinction is all that is needed.

When I was younger, I lacked the same distinction in my own personal life. I had read the book, How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie, when I was very young, and it had a profound effect on the way I treated people. And for the most part, the effect was good.

The basic approach to Carnegie's book is to give to people, to trust them, to see the best in them, etc. When you do this, people will respond positively, and they'll give back to you and trust you and they'll want to fulfill your trust, etc. This approach has worked great for almost everybody I've ever met, because most people reciprocate. It becomes a mutual thing.

But several times in my life I ran into people who only took advantage of my kindness or generosity. They took, and sometimes not only did they not reciprocate, but sometimes they've even responded to my kindness by stabbing me in the back. They weren't interested in cooperating. They didn't care about good long-term relations.

With those people, I had to figure out a different way of dealing with them. I had to make an extra distinction. My tolerance and goodwill were blind. I did it with everyone indiscriminately, and that's just stupid.

A few years ago, a biography of Dale Carnegie came out, and I found out that Carnegie left out a chapter in his book. He didn't get the chapter to the publisher on time so the book was published without it.

The missing chapter was about what to do with uncooperative, selfish, self-serving people. A small percentage of the population doesn't have normal human empathy. The way you deal with these people must be different or you're just being foolish.

A very similar thing is happening with orthodox Islam and multiculturalism. There is nothing wrong with the multicultural doctrine. Nothing at all. It's wonderful, in fact. One of the reasons democracies are so much more enjoyable countries to live in than non-democratic countries is because we are so tolerant of each other.

But the multiculturalism doctrine is incomplete. It is a great strategy for most people and most cultures and most religions. But it is disastrous when you stick with it blindly.

All that's missing is the added distinction of mutuality. We can simply amend the doctrine to something like this: We respect all religions and cultures who do us the honor of respecting ours as well. All others will be treated with less generosity.

Another characteristic of both selfish people and Islamic supremacists is the use of deception. They pretend to be thoughtful and kind. They pretend to be peaceful, tolerant, and cooperative. They try to fool their victims into keeping their guard down. They pretend in order to gain an advantage.

Over time, most of us have learned to pay attention to what people do and see if it matches what they say. Most of us who have lived long enough to see our 30s do not automatically trust everyone. We give people a chance to earn our trust. That's a sensible way to live.

Orthodox Muslims often try to fool non-Muslims in the same way selfish people do. They mimic peaceful religious people. They try to act as if they believe what we believe (see the principle of religious deception), and this makes it more difficult to determine whether or not these are cooperators or back-stabbers. But we can apply the same principles we use in our personal lives. We can watch what they do and see if it matches what they say. We don't have to automatically trust. Let them earn our trust.

On the DVD, Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West, you can literally watch what they do. You can see Muslim leaders saying one thing to the western media, appearing to be moderate, peaceful, reasonable Muslims, and then you see the same person saying another thing entirely to their own people in Arabic.

If we didn't automatically trust, we could see they are intolerant, uncooperative, and even bloodthirsty, and not the cooperative people they pretend to be.

If we pay attention, we will see some Muslims are not mutually respectful. In fact, they actively exploit our well-ingrained respect for other cultures, and use it against us, considering it a weakness they can exploit.

For years, the Wahhabi Muslims in Saudi Arabia have been spending their oil-enriched billions building mosques all over the western democracies. They then preach hatred of the West in those mosques, and we have been allowing this.

Within Saudi Arabia, no churches or synagogues are allowed to be built.

The western democracies, in other words, are being doormats. We are giving and allowing, respecting and tolerating, and the Islamic supremacists are taking, expressing intolerance, and stabbing us in the back. Being a doormat is not a successful long-term strategy.


TIT FOR TAT
In the 1970's the political scientist Robert Axelrod created a computer "world" using the famous Prisoner's Dilemma as a game computer programs could play against each other. He wanted to find out which computer program would succeed the best.

The Prisoner's Dilemma is a hypothetical situation used to test whether someone will cooperate or compete, and how well the strategies work in the long run.

The game is played by two people. If one cooperates and the other competes, the one who cooperated will lose and the competitive one (the selfish one) will win. If they both compete, they both lose, but not as badly.

If they both cooperate, they both win. That's how the game is set up.

If you were one of the prisoners, what would you do? That's the dilemma. How much can you count on the cooperative nature of the other person?

The game is often played repeatedly with the same two people, each of them choosing to cooperate or take advantage of the other through successive rounds of the game.

The Prisoner's Dilemma game is designed to parallel real life. If two people in real life cooperate with each other, it very often works to their mutual advantage. But if one person cooperates and the other takes advantage, it often works out very well for the selfish one and very poorly for the cooperative one.

On the other hand, if you go around preempting people — trying to take advantage of them before they take advantage of you — you will miss out on the advantages of cooperation, people will resent you, and you might get people working against you.

What is the best long-term strategy? This is the dilemma we are faced with every day, personally as well as culturally.

Robert Axelrod, the man who created the computer world, invited computer programmers to create a program to play the Prisoner's Dilemma with other programs. The question is, which program would succeed the best?

In a game that resembles the real dilemma we all face, what strategy is the most effective?

The program that proved the best was named TIT FOR TAT. It was designed by Anatol Rapoport and it was one of the simplest programs submitted. For the first interaction, it would cooperate. After that, it would repay in kind whatever the other did. That was the whole strategy.

If the other cooperated, TIT FOR TAT benefited. So did the other. If the other took advantage, TIT FOR TAT cut its losses immediately.

As the game went on, TIT FOR TAT gained more (and lost less) than any other program. In The Moral Animal, Robert Wright wrote, "More than the steadily mean, more than the steadily nice, and more than various 'clever' programs whose elaborate rules made them hard for other programs to read, the straightforwardly conditional TIT FOR TAT was, in the long run, self-serving."

And it's the most fair to everyone involved.

I suggest we in the West use the same program when dealing with other countries and other cultures. We should begin with tolerance and cooperation, and then be as tolerant and cooperative as the other is from that point on.

We would be fools to tolerate intolerance — even if that intolerance is hiding behind a cloak of religion. An intolerant culture should be the exception to the principle of universal multicultural tolerance.

For example, if orthodox Islam does not tolerate other religions, it should not be tolerated itself.

Tolerance and cooperation are definitely the best way to go, but only if the other side is tolerant and cooperative also. If they prove to be otherwise, intolerance and competitively cutting our losses is a sane response.

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Is It Possible For Islam To Take Over The World?

Saturday

Sometimes I tell people Islam is a political doctrine and its purpose is to make every country on earth, including this one, follow Shari'a law.

Of course, most people think, "Yeah right. Good luck with that one."

In other words: Okay, so they want to take over the world. So what? It ain't gonna happen, not now, not ever. Completely impossible.

But the truth is, it doesn't matter whether it's possible or not. What matters is that a growing number of already-numerous people hold that as their most important goal. They consider it their holy duty. They consider it their ticket into heaven and the only assurance they can get that they will not burn in the fires of hell for eternity. They are motivated.

So we have one group that says, "Yeah, right," and goes on about their business, watching their sitcoms and buying stuff on eBay. And we have another group that feels strongly that the Almighty has given them a clear mission to take over the world by every means available to them, including recruiting new soldiers, having lots of children, protesting against any criticism of Islam, working to change laws, giving money to organizations that sue people for criticizing Islam, putting political pressure on politicians to alter laws, immigrating to infidel countries to help build an Islamic political presence there, going on web sites and arguing with people who try to criticize Islam, complaining to YouTube (and getting all their Islamic friends to complain to YouTube) about any video that criticizes Islam until YouTube removes the offending video, going to schools in democracies and speaking to the infidel children about how loving and peaceful and wonderful Islam is, reading about nothing else and thinking about nothing else.

Now over a period of time, who will gain more ground: A totally committed group, or the ones watching sitcoms and buying stuff on eBay?

And the more ground they gain politically, the more ground they can gain because they are gaining more political clout. Already in Europe, the politicians are very careful about not offending their Muslim constituents because the Muslims are very organized and politically active, and most of the rest of the voters are lackadaisical and not really paying attention. So Muslims are gaining power quickly in European countries. (Read more about the removal of freedom and Shariatization of Europe.)

The same has begun to happen elsewhere: Canada, the U.S., Australia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and of course India has been dealing with this issue for a very long time.

Remember this when you're talking to someone and you can see them thinking, "Impossible. There is no way the Muslims are going to take over the world."

It doesn't matter if it's impossible. With all that commitment they can make our times very troubled, they can make the fight more difficult, they can take away freedoms one by one, and in fact, they really can take over the world. It is not technically impossible. It doesn't seem likely, but only if you don't know much about what they're already doing, which most people don't (partly because of what they're already doing).

What this means is that if you'd like to do something about this, if you'd like to help preserve the freedoms we enjoy, then your most important task is to simply share this information with your fellow countrymen. Learn about jihad, and share what you're learning with others.

Here's what you can do about it: What Can a Civilian Really Do?

Here is an ongoing list of concessions Islam is pushing for and winning from democracies around the world: Concessions to Islam.

Read more...

Which Emotional Strategies Influence Orthodox Muslims?

Sunday

Al Siebert, author of Survivor Personality, said something interesting in his book, and I've been thinking about it for awhile now. The book is about what personality traits survivors hold in common. Siebert has studied survivors of POW camps, concentration camps, plane crashes, boats sinking, etc. He's made this study his life's work. Here's the quote, and then I'll tell you what I've been thinking:

"Bob Mitchell, a marine who fought first on Bataan and later on Corregidor, told me that many of the POWs who gave up were unable to cope with the cruelty and hostility directed toward them by the guards. He said that many prisoners tried to influence the guards by feeling upset, expressing pain, pleading, or trying to win them over. When this didn't work, they had nothing left. Many gave up and died."
Siebert's main quest with his research is to discover what survivors do that non-survivors do not do. In the case above, the non-survivors didn't change their strategy when they could see it wasn't working.

Now here's what I was thinking: Most people I know who don't want to believe Islam is a political and supremacist ideology are good-hearted people. They believe we should all just get along, that killing is a bad thing, and that even hurting someone is bad and it should never be done. They are kind to dogs. They recycle their trash so as not to make things harder for future generations, etc.

I am overgeneralizing here, but I'm not too far off with this characterization. These good-hearted people don't want to believe there are millions of fundamentalist Muslims in the world who would like nothing better than to cut off their heads. It's unthinkable. Maybe these fundamentalists just need some clean water and enough to eat. Maybe they've been abused in the past. Maybe they just need to be understood.

These are all perfectly good strategies for normal interactions between healthy people within a liberal democracy with a good police force and an overwhelming majority of law-abiding citizens.

When you want to work out your differences with someone, and you have a disagreement or anger between you, it's a pretty good strategy to talk and try to come to some kind of mutually-acceptable compromise. That's one kind of strategy and it works very well in a particular context. The problem is, it doesn't work in every context, nor with every person.

One of the traits Siebert found common among survivors is the ability and willingness to change strategies. Siebert discovered it is one of the most universal traits survivors have that non-survivors do not have: They are flexible enough to see the strategy they're using isn't working in a particular situation, and they're able to come up with something else.

Those who can't do that in some situations die.

Flexibility means being able to be kind in some circumstances, and cold-blooded in others if it is necessary. It means being able to be cooperative with some people, and more competitive or even hard-nosed with others if it seems necessary.

A lack of flexibility means you'll run out of options for some situations.

I think that's what is happening with at least some blind multiculturalists. They don't realize that the strategies they might normally employ do not work with someone who is hell-bent on murdering us all for no other reason than we're not Muslims.

That kind of ruthlessness is hard to fathom for most people, I think, and multiculturalists seem even less willing to even entertain the possibility. They think there must be some other explanation. And because they think people can't really be that way, or that a large group of people or a religion can't be that way, they don't understand why anyone would criticize Muslims.

If you can't understand the strength and intensity of the ruthlessness arrayed against western democracies, then you can't understand the need to defend against it.

Those who can fully grasp the ruthless intentions of orthodox Muslims will recognize how profoundly indifferent they are to pleading, expressing pain, feeling upset, or trying to win them over with appeasements.

We need to use some other strategy if we are to survive. My guess is that in a serious situation such as a concentration camp, the people who are now multiculturalists would be the kind of people who would die first. Peaceful, cooperative strategies don't work against ruthlessness, and those who aren't flexible enough to change their strategies are less likely to survive.

Even with ample flexibility, ruthlessness is almost impossible to deal with successfully. I squirmed while I watched a Frontline program called Target America. It showed the clumsy, incompetent attempts of one American president after another trying to deal with Islamic terrorism.

I said ruthlessness is almost impossible to deal with successfully, but that's not really true. Ruthless terrorists would be easy to deal with if you were willing to be equally ruthless yourself. But it is very difficult to deal with within the parameters of humanity and human rights.

The jihadis, of course, are aware of the West's ethical restraints and so they tailor their strategies for us. Their strategies are carefully designed to put us in double-binds where we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. And where we make a horrible mistake no matter what we do. Orthodox Muslims constantly do their best to give us Sophie's choice.

The most obvious response is against our code of ethics, and any other response is inadequate.

You can watch the Frontline program online. It is painful to watch the presidents try (and fail) to deal with the jihadis' double-binds. The presidents just wanted the problem to go away. They were all seeking a short-term, quick-fix solutions, and refused to see this for what it is: A global, long-term strategy of millions of orthodox Muslims who will do anything to gain a political advantage, with the ultimate aim being something that to most westerners is unthinkable: An Islamic world.

I like Western civilization. I like normal interactions between healthy people within a liberal democracy with a good police force and an overwhelming majority of law-abiding citizens. I like not having to settle differences with my fellow citizens with violence. But I hope the island of civilization within which we live our lives doesn't blind too many of us to the fact that there are still people in this world who think differently and that different strategies than we're used to may sometimes be required.

Read more...

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Article Spotlight

One of the most unusual articles on CitizenWarrior.com is Pleasantville and Islamic Supremacism.

It illustrates the Islamic Supremacist vision by showing the similarity between what happened in the movie, Pleasantville, and what devout fundamentalist Muslims are trying to create in Islamic states like Syria, Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia (and ultimately everywhere in the world).

Click here to read the article.


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