Are You Sure You Want An Islamic Reformation?

Often pundits will exclaim that what Islam needs is a Reformation. Diana Muir reminds us in today’s Washington Post about what the Christian Reformation produced in the short run — and convincingly argues that we may already be in the middle of an Islamic counterpart. In fact, that’s the problem:

The Protestant Reformation did precede the things these men admire about modernity in the West, including women’s emancipation, political liberty, scientific breakthroughs, the wealth and opportunity created by the Industrial Revolution, and permission to think freely regarding God. But all this came later, and the Reformation was only part of what brought them about.
The Reformation was a time of intense focus on God and what He requires of people. As a movement, it was enthusiastic, narrow and far from tolerant. It and the Counter-Reformation brought two centuries of repression, war and massacre to the West. It’s unlikely that anyone who lived through it would consider wishing a Reformation on Muslims.
And yet, even as some hope for such a turn of events — presuming, it seems, a certain conclusion — a Reformation is sweeping through the Muslim world. Westerners are generally aware that the Shiite and Sunni sects of Islam are struggling for dominance in Iraq. But more broadly, the words and doctrine promoted by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis or Wahhabists are eerily similar to those of our 16th-century forebears.
Like the followers of Martin Luther and John Calvin, Islamic reformers reject the interpretations of generations of scholars in favor of seeking the word of God directly in scripture. Normative Islam follows one or another school of interpretation of scripture, known as a Madhab. Careful study leads students to understand that God’s word is often nuanced. Nuance is not the stuff of reform. Salafi reformers argue that Muslims should ignore generations of sages, read the Koran and Hadith for themselves, and act on the truth they find. A popular Salafi quote from the early Islamic jurist Abu Hanifa reads: When a passage (Hadith) is found to be authentic (saheeh) then that is my path (Madhab).
As Luther put it: Sola scriptura (Scripture alone).

Winston Churchill actually provides a good reference for this in his exhaustive History of the English Speaking People. He goes into detail about the unrest that the Reformation and Counter-Reformation created in England alone, and modern readers can see parallels in the philosophical dynamics of jihadism, if not in scale. Absolutism reigned during these periods, with violence and sectarian hatreds being the norm and not the exception.
The major revolution in that period was the rejection of the Church’s absolute authority on religious interpretation of Christianity. Luther’s challenge led to the inevitable conclusion that each Christian could determine for himself the meaning of Christianity. If each man could interpret the Scriptures as validly as a Church, then each man could become his own Church. So thousands of sects sprang into being, each with its own interpretation, and the extremes being as violent as Muslim jihadists today.
Muslims stopped having a central authority analog to Rome with the fall of the Caliphate, formally in 1920. As a result, Muslims increasingly relied on personal interpretations of the Qur’an and the Hadiths. Imams had no central authority or oversight and could teach their own personal brand of Islam. It’s no accident that the Muslim Brotherhood, the grandfather of jihadi groups, sprang into being at this point and produced thinkers like Sayyid Qutb, who argues for the Muslim version of sola scriptura. As Muir notes, Qutb could be seen as a Calvinist in temperament, but one that argues for the reinstatement of the Caliphate, based on his own interpretation of the holy books of Islam.
Churchill can get some of the blame for this. He argued for an end to the tottering Ottoman Empire in the early days of the First World War, and his Dardanelles campaign was designed to bring it to a speedy collapse. The elimination of the Caliphate in the final settlement of the war had far-reaching consequences that the short-sighted Western powers could hardly calculate.
We’re in the middle of the Islamic Reformation. What we need is an Islamic Enlightenment, where Islam gets relegated to the personal and not the political. Few Muslims outside of the West appear interested in arguing for that, unfortunately.

91 thoughts on “Are You Sure You Want An Islamic Reformation?”

  1. I agree with most of what you said, but I do have a problem with one part of your analysis. Do you think the West should’ve allowed the Ottoman Empire to continue, and that would have calmed the tide of Islamic extremism that we are currently facing? The problem with that is, all Muslim empires in history have tried to expand the domain of Islam. I personally believe that trend would not have changed if the Ottoman Empire was not destroyed in the first world war.

  2. The problem for those arguing the Reformation concept is multi-path but break down into a few main ones:
    1) the shift of Christianity from central control in Europe, via the Catholic Church, to more localized control and outlook. Islam has that already which is part of the problem – there are so many different sects and factions within the main strands of Islam that they only come to general accord on some things. Even the Koran was compiled from multiple, local texts and there were some unincorporated texts still used by locals to give diversity of outlook. When one posits a ‘Reformation’ it needs to be grounded in what Islam *is* and what it is reforming *into*. To date no one has posited those well enough to really scope out what is happening. Is it a centralization of Islam to fewer sets of dogma? Or is it multiple new overlays, including radical ones, spreading out to re-interpret older texts and dogmas, thus creating new sects and factions? Each of those have pluses and minuses, to say the least.
    2) Religious wars – after the Reformation came some of the bloodiest wars that Europe has ever experienced, with the 30 years war leading to 15-20% of Europe dead just due to warfare, not to speak of plagues. Are we going to get that sort of death toll on a global scale from this ‘Reformation’ period? Because there are groups on the radicalist side aiming for exactly that.
    3) The outgrowth of that period in Europe was The Peace of Westphalia that established the Nation State that could still follow a religious path, but must have freedom of religion internally. This was to stop the purges/counter-purges that would happen when Leaders switched sides… often multiple times in their lives. That is the idea for the Nation State system: freedom of individual worship without State coercion. It was supposed to *prevent* religous wars… and ushered in a new era of somewhat shorter, but less pandemic Nation State wars. The coalescing of the Germanic Principalities would still take a couple more centuries, and proved to be a vexing question for Europe over time. Yet those problems were far preferable to the religious killings that were rife in the 30 years war.
    That is a major problem I have with modern foreign policy, is that it does not recognize this fundamental right of individuals. Thus we see support for Nations that do not afford this to their people… and we hear very little about that. One would think we would remember that very basic freedom and the blood lost to gain it. And yet it has been derided as a concept by many, yet the sanctity of freedom of religion is a major point for the Nation State concept as it gives us the ability to have common accord outside religious differences.
    Let us hope that as a civilization and a species we can remember that before we revisit those death tolls of the 30 years war written large again…

  3. It’s sort of the same old song and dance. New tune, new leaders, but the same theme. It’s new leaders with the same goals – their own reign of power, source of wealth, and the villein to support it.
    In all the above, it is the same. It’s even that way here in our republic. Big government has arisen from the most free society ever conceived and now we are not so free any more, are we. We’d better fix it before we loose the ability to fix it.
    The break-up of the Roman Empire, the break-up of the Ottoman Empire, and even the ongoing break-up of the British Empire has opened many doors for these “reformations”. Look what has happened with our own quasi empire. We pull out, something nasty usually fills the void. New leaders with the same goals stated above.
    If we in this country wish to restore and maintain our freedom, we must exert our constituted leadership Of the People, For the People, and By the People: Yes, the Vote!
    Yes, return the selection of Senators to the several state legislatures.
    Yes, repeal the Sixteenth Amendment and the abominable tax that came with it.
    Yes, impeach judges and justices who fail to honor their oath, ignore the Constitution or bastardize it, and turn to foreign law to advance their agendas.
    The “reform” we need in this country is regression, not “progression”. Return to the Constitution. To hell with what the rest of the world thinks. If they want what we got, they can emulate us. If they want to deal with us, it’ll have to be on our terms.
    We shouldn’t lower ourselves to their level or emulate their socialism, or condone the dictatorships of their people. We are the beacon. All we need do is put the energy back into the system and you’ll see a beacon the likes of which the rest of the world can only dream about – if they’re even allowed to dream…
    Woody

  4. What we need is an Islamic Enlightenment, where Islam gets relegated to the personal and not the political.
    That’s pretty rich on the irony-meter. I’m still waiting for the Christian Enlightenment, myself.

  5. Lest we drift into the realm of Moral Equivalence (” If each man could interpret the Scriptures ……the extremes being as violent as Muslim jihadists today”) we should look at what those scriptures, and their chief prophets, encourage. Mohammed was, among his many roles in the founding of Islam, a military leader, and his Koran encourages “the stuggle” against infidels. Jesus, on the other hands, consistently demurred against violence, and led nothing larger than a band of itinerant followers. In today’s world, we should be much more concerned at what people take from the Koran, than from the Bible. “Christians” that act out in violence are in effect denying their Bible; for Muslims it is not so clear.

  6. Woody,
    you are speaking truth but alas and alack those in control couldn’t give a tinker’s damn.
    Regardless of the historical developments that have brought us to this point in time , what we are
    confronted with is a total breakdown of our basic understanding of constitutional government.
    Lord Acton’s comments on total power corrupting have come home to roost in this country in spades.
    Hitler supposedly said if you say something often enough the people will believe it. He also said , “there will not be peace in Europe until there is a body hanging from every lamppost,” Or words to that effect. What has this got to do with us?
    We have been bombarded with quasi socialist propaganda for so long that most citizens have come to believe it. We now have former freedoms hanging from every central government lamp post .
    The end of our constitution started to accelerate with the 1st world war. The 2nd WW added steam and it has continued to erode ever since.
    Once the federal government started taking additional powers out of necessity (” for the wars”) there was no turning back.
    Once a blood sucker tastes blood they cannot be satisfied. Thus our blood sucking Federal Government. Or maybe we should just call it what
    it is. Our National Government.
    We no longer have schools that teach the real history of our country so succeeding generations have less and less knowledge of
    just what we are losing. Therefore they have no way of connecting other historical developments worldwide to how they are affecting us.
    And really do not care.
    We old heads know what our Constitutional Form of Government was and the magnificence it held.
    It is rapidly becoming only a beautiful memory.

  7. “So thousands of sects sprang into being, each with its own interpretation, and the extremes being as violent as Muslim jihadists today. ”
    Captain, can you please state which “extreme” Christian sects these were who, on the order of Scripture, made a practice of murdering their innocent countrymen in order to instate a theocracy based on their beliefs?

  8. On “Hardball” this week, Naomi Wolf was laying out the standard objections to the war… no WMD, Bush lied, military used for political purposes, etc.
    Melanie Morgan, who was also a guest, responded… “Keep attacking, keep attacking Naomi, because you’re going to look great in a burka. You’re going to look super in a burka.”
    Pretty standard stuff, we’ve heard it all a thousand times on both sides. But it got me to thinking. The pro-war types like Ms Morgan seem to truly believe that without a heroic, tireless military effort, Muslims will take over America, institute Sharia law, and put women into burkas.
    Do you pro-war folks in here really believe this will happen? If so, how do you visualize the social cataclysm that woudl have to take place first? Do you see it as insidious infiltration, pitched physical battle, relentless terror that destroys America?
    What, really, are you afraid of?
    I’m very curious to know what you think could happen on this earth that would result in me being forced to wear a burka in my own country. Because I have a pretty fertile imagination, but that particular scenario is truly beyond me.

  9. Right jeffk, I’m living in a world where women can’t vote, can’t possess private property, can’t choose when/ where/ who to screw, are stuck barefoot in the kitchen cooking slop for da Man while homosexuals are hiding in the closet fearful of being thrown into gay gulags.
    I guess all you are saaayiiing is that “Oprah” and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” is simply manufactured propagranda by McChimpHilters Corporate Hollywood Cronies controlled by barbaric Christianists out to control the womb.
    How Enlightened.

  10. Jeffk seems to have missed the period from the 1300s to present day, concerning the Enlightenment. I imagine he is one of those who believes it was islam that saved the knowledge of the past, whereas anyone doing their history studies will notice the vast majority of the great Learning centers in Europe opened up around monastaries built by the Irish, who were bringing back a great many of the ancient books with them:
    http://www.randomhouse.com/features/cahill/irish.html
    In any case, my time is limited, so:
    We are going to Get an islamic Reformation, whether we want to see it or not. Unfortunately the numbers dead are going to be geometrically higher than the Christian Reformation / Counter-Reformation could have ever managed- and they’ll take quite a few in Europe, Asia and Africa along with them, likely with a fair share of damage in North America as well.

  11. filistro, I like your insight, and I have a further comment:
    – Our freedoms are much more likely to be stripped away by fundamentalist Christians in this country than Muslims.
    – If Muslim fundamentalists begin to gain as much power as the Christians in this country have, it will be because wimpy, relativist liberals can’t say “no” because they’re too busy bending over backwards to respect idiocy. It will have nothing to do with wars.

  12. How about the those who burned people at the stake for heresy for one brief example? The era is littered with martyrs on all sides murdered for their beliefs.
    [edited]

  13. I see fillistro and jeffk have a mutual-admiration pact going. I often see that on JihadWatch, where two leftists or muslims come along and persistently congratulate themselves for whatever blindness they are hooked upon that day…
    And my time really is up, back to work. I reccommend jeffk and fillistro google ‘nariz jihad watch’ to get a good idea of what many think of those who go into reconstructionist hysterics.

  14. Cap’n, you said:
    ” What we need is an Islamic Enlightenment, where Islam gets relegated to the personal and not the political. ”
    Since the overwhelming evidence shows islam to be a political ideology and not a religion, the wait for the islamists to embrace some sort of personal enlightenment, will be not only very long but more likely, never occuring.
    No matter which way you want to spin it, or compare it, or dissect it….there’s no way this is going to be turned into a silk purse.
    The only “Reformation” this ideology is undergoing is how coordinated the efforts are in attaining its political goals.

  15. fillistro said,
    “I’m very curious to know what you think could happen on this earth that would result in me being forced to wear a burka in my own country. Because I have a pretty fertile imagination, but that particular scenario is truly beyond me.”
    What Liberals don’t understand, is that due to the Liberal abandonment of military service, the military is largely, religious and morally conservative. Military personal in my experience, I am retired military and a Viet Nam vet, despise those who are too cowardly to serve in the military and who are what they consider morally degenerate. Those of us with a military background who objected to the War in Iraq before it started, tended to like me fell that winning the war would be wonderful but that the American public was too cowardly to allow us to win.
    Now Christians Muslims and American soldiers believe in the same God. Far to many Liberals give the appearance of being against God. Rome fell when it could no longer find citizens willing to die defending Rome. Liberals have proved to be unwilling to die defending America. Should those of us who believe in God decide that America has become too Godless to defend, you will, if you survive, wear a burka

  16. So… two people agree on something, so we’re jihadists.
    Wow. Truly this is discourse at its highest level.
    I think the Cap’n should note that morons like this are more damaging to discussion on a right-wing blog than liberals like me.
    overwhelming evidence shows islam to be a political ideology and not a religion
    I don’t know what overwhelming evidence you mean, but certainly the same must be true of Christianity.
    How do you define “religion” anyways? It’s pretty slippering considering it’s basically just a popular cult and is by definition based on unprovable (or disproven) claims.

  17. “Liberals have proved to be unwilling to die defending America. Should those of us who believe in God decide that America has become too Godless to defend, you will, if you survive, wear a burka.”
    Wow.
    Just… wow.

  18. Seems to me that Muslims and Arabs have other things to worry about than interpretation of the Koran and what mosque they want to belong to.
    For one thing, they have a long long history of intermarriage that we know has produced a higher than average rate of birth defects like hemophilia and cleft palates. It seems logical that one of the birth defects that might also be found in such a population is retardation and lower than average IQs. If they *are* born stupid, that would explain why they have such a tough time in our schools in the West … and a whole lot of other things.
    Three other issues that I’m not sure are directly concerned with Islam and Koranic interpretation would be the “Palestinian issue” and their blind hatred of Jews, misogyny and their blind hatred of women, and their benighted concepts of “honor”, bringing “shame” to the family, and revenge.
    Would a Muslim “reformation” be able to address any of these intractable problems that the Middle East currently faces?

  19. If they *are* born stupid, that would explain why they have such a tough time in our schools in the West .
    You know, that or language, cultural, and socio-economic issues. Whichever is more likely.
    misogyny and their blind hatred of women
    The fundamentalist Christian version we have here in the states is a slightly-veiled twist on the same thing.

  20. Muir wrote: “It and the Counter-Reformation brought two centuries of repression, war and massacre to the West.” and the good captain states “The major revolution in that period was the rejection of the Church’s absolute authority on religious interpretation of Christianity.”
    Ed, do you mean to imply that subordinating tradition and corrupt coercive religious authorities to reason and scripture was the root cause of two centuries of repression, war and massacre?
    Muir’s article, and your comments, smack of poor scholarship, postmodern revisionism and sectarian prejudice.

  21. Off topic (but on Iraq), but there is a good op-ed on the NYT by five active-duty soldiers in Iraq; way more sophisticated than the everyday punditry.

  22. We should have learned all about this with the American Indians: YOU CANNOT ROLL TRIBES TOGETHER TO CREATE “ONE NATION.”
    The muslim world is tribal. And, even the “same language” (arabic) sounds different. Depending upon where you were born.)
    Well, it’s not such a stretch. Look how English can sound. (I noticed this when I switched onto Sky Network, when the terrorists tried to take out the Glasgow airport.) SUCH NICE PEOPLE were being interviewed! But, I gotta tell ya, at times? They spoke way too fast for me to catch all that they were saying.
    And, that’s ENGLISH, folks. Sounds different, sometimes, because languages get shaded in local “dialects.”
    The biggest cause for alarm from the muslims is that they’re willing to kill daughters; so that those who are left ALL OBEY!
    You take these male turds, who wouldn’t make it anywhere. And, they have no trouble getting wives. Who are covered in veling. And, who don’t venture out of their homes. And, who, very early in life, have learned the rules of OBEY.
    For this reason these people aren’t going to be going anywhere near advancing. Even if all they do 5 times a day, banging their heads on the floor; and demanding “feet sinks” in public spaces; is that the males have what they want. OBEDIENT FEMALES. And, they’re not willing to trade this in.
    Again, they are not ONE. They are a bunch of warring gangs, though. And, some in America live in fear of being kicked out. Or worse. Not being able to have successful businesses, where people, today, close their purses, rather than shop in Mideastern stores.
    It also doesn’t help that going up in Pennsylvania, at the sight of the 9/11 crash of Flight 73, there’s an outdoor shrine/crescent/mosque going up. Facing mecca. That cannot be stopped. This is our buracracy at work. As demented as the muzzie’s are with their stinkin’ religion. It’s NOT of peace, you know. Long history of terror in their jungles.

  23. Caveat: Capt WILL “edit” this post; because it is “long”, out of necessity; also, because I roundly criticise him for this post, which he deserves immensly, by the way.
    So, IF Captn’s does “edit” this, come over to the place where I post, on occasion, to read the whole thing!
    Capt: this post is a prime example of the weakness of Bloggers, and Blogging in general.
    To become “popular”, and have a high-traffic site, which is the goal of all Bloggers, you have to pontificate daily on numerous different topic, to draw a myriad of readers/posters into the site, and subsequently post their observations on your observations.
    That’s how it works.
    As a result, you have to be an “Expert” on hundreds of differnt subjects, but ultimately, a Master at none!
    Your analysis, thus, of an already flawed piece from the WashPo (not an original source for in-depth understanding and intellectualism on the Muslim “problem”) unfortunately, betrays this flawed approach to the max.
    You’re a passable writer Capt’n, and your head, and heart, I think, are in the “right” place; you try hard, etc.
    But, as I’ve demonstrated before, you are WAAAAAAAY out of your depth when you try to “analyze” articles like this.
    That shouldn’t keep you from trying I guess, but it does in fact, already reinforce a bogus article to begin with (Ms. Muir) with your comments, and thus makes it appear to your readers that it is in fact a “legitimate” course of belief.
    Your statement for example that the collapse of what was obstensibly known as the last “Caliphate” in 1920 (the Former Ottoman Empire, that collapsed when Attaturk formed the modern Turkish Republic after WWI)…
    “Muslims stopped having a central authority analog to Rome with the fall of the Caliphate, formally in 1920.”
    is a stunningly ignorant reinforcement of Ms. Muir’s equally ignorant claims, and betrays a fundamental lack of knowledge of Islamic history that is almost brreathtaking!
    To adequately address the problems we have with Islam in today’s world, we need more REAL insight, and knowledge, not less!
    The Ottoman Calphate was NEVER a Muslim analogy as “Rome” was to Christians!
    Rome was a Spiritual center to Christians, and yes, depending upon which period you are talking about, also a political one.
    The Muslim Caliphates, were ALWAYS about “Political Power”, and regional and even eithnic and “national” power, but rarely if EVER, “religious” power akin to “Rome”; that distiniction has almost Exclusively been the purvue of Mecca & Medina, in modern day Saudi Arabia!
    Sure, on occasion, various Caliphate Capitals in differnt timeframes: Cairo, Baghdad, Damacus, Istanbul and even Cordoba and Granada and Sevilla, were sometmes hotbeds of Islamic thought/exchange of ideas, mainly centered around the Royal Courts.
    But always, always always, Mecca and Medina, were the Spiritual centers of Islamic thought, progress, and regression; as a resulty of being the center of the yearly ritual known as the “Haj”.
    Additinally, you, and Ms. Muir, are making a fatally flawed assumption (and in your case, by tying in Chruchill, you’re trying to imply Western “fault” in the creation of the modern Jihadi movement, which is such a typical Liberal thing to do, by the way!) that under the Caliphates, Muslims were “united”, and it was only with the fall of the last Caliphate, that Muslims began to fracture, and that that is a “bad” thing!
    Again, a stunningly ignorant diisplay of Islamic history, and unfortunately, as a result, bogus analysis.
    It ignores the very basic first schism, that happened in Islamic History, with the death of their “Prophet” Muhammed, the schism that lead to the creation of the Sunni – Shia split!, or in English, the split between “Those who follow the right path” and “The party of Ali”.
    This schism, which has bedeviled Muslims for 1400 years, and resulted in literally MILLIONS of deaths, had nothing to do with Caliphates, and Churchill, and the West, etc., etc., and it certainly doesn’t support the argument that Muslims were nice and united and thus contained in some weird sort of way, before WE started to interfere!
    But even if you don’t buy that argument, you and Ms. Muir also ignore the entire history of “figh’s” in Islamic history, and the internecine genocide that has resulted: Shias, Khajirites, Ibadhis, Ismailis, Hanbalis, Hanafis, Shafi’is, Malikis, Shaykis, Usulis, Akhbaris, Ahl-i-Haq’s, and Sufis of a thousand varieties, too numerous to mention here.
    The fact is Capt, YOUR “analysis” which reinforces Ms. Muir’s already flawed analysis, is the EXACT reason why “we”, in the West, continue to have a problem with Islam, we always make the exact same mistake; it’s the theory that if we just let them all be the “same” over there, they’ll be one big happy family, and live in peace with us; and it’s out fault that that’s not happening!
    It’s such a falacious argument, as to defy description.
    It not only ignores what I’ve already said above, it ignores this basic difference between Christians and Muslims:
    To prove you are a “good” Christian these days, you help somebody else out, and peacefully proselytize!
    To prove you a “good” Muslim, you must either kill non-believers (Christians & Jews & Hindus, etc.); or force them to submit to “Dhimmitude” and pay the “jizliya”.
    That’s a fundalmental difference, isn’t it?
    And it’s NOT OUR FAULT: it’s THEIRS!
    Continued over at http://www.rideitin.com…..

  24. filirsto
    “Wow.
    Just… wow.”
    Don’t like it, then get some Liberals to join the military and risk their lives defending the sort of America that Liberals want.

  25. Oh, for Pete’s sake, I never claimed the Muslims were united. Go back and read it again. The Christians weren’t united under Rome, either, for about five centuries before the Reformation. I said the Caliphate was a central authority, which it was, and could dictate the mainstream practices of Islam, which it did … for a while.
    The end of the Caliphate came formally in 1920, but central authority had been declining for at least the previous couple of centuries. Muslim extremists of all stripes want a return of the Caliphate, but under their individual terms. That’s what happens when authority disintegrates, in any realm; you get chaos.

  26. Jeffk, that was a wonderful post!
    For the West, though, I’m guessing that religion no longer holds the same sway over families as it once did. I blame this on Walmarts.
    Seriously. At one time cities and towns had laws that made it impossible for a man to get a drink on Sundays. And, shopping? The businesses that stayed open (to earn a living), were ticketed by the police.
    Walmarts solved this. ONE. By building away from big cities. And, choosing sites where there were forks in the roadways. So people could drive from all over. And, shop on Sundays.
    That’s actually how the breach started.
    The 1960’s ushered in many changes. Science, too, came to bat. When the Pill was marketed, a whole new attitude in family planning took place on a large scale.
    Now, I do believe that religions are VERY NOISEY. VERY PUBLIC. And, this could be a sound that makes you think it’s larger than it is. Until you look around. And, see how people have changed.
    With the muslims, though, as I said, they kill their free spirited females. What’s left are women who obey. Even willing to wear those body covering veils in the hotest of weather. THEY OBEY!
    And, that’s the selling point. Not the “head banging five times a day.” That’s just the men congregating, and “networking.” So it becomes tough to fall outside of their “circle.”
    Will things change? Dunno. But the fantasy life of muslem women, I’d bet, doesn’t involve the “wearing of the veils.” And, reality is a poor choice, when all you’ve got is a husband who beats ya.
    Changing this, though? Usually, it’s near impossible. Or we’d have done a better job with the American Indians.

  27. To Linh_My:
    I’m not really concerned about your view of the relative patriotism of Liberals and Conservatives. I outgrew your “cops and robbers, white hat/ black hat” view of politics some time ago. Because you can find rascals everywhere, and virtue in the oddest places.
    What astonished me was your statement that religious people might decide America has become too Godless to be worth fighting for. That’s a stunner, that one is. Again, wow….
    But I digress.
    My real point is this whole burka business. The pro-war argument seems to be this:
    “We leave Iraq, we show weakness in the WOT and…. yadda yadda yadda… American women are being forced to wear burkas.”
    I’d like just a teeny bit of fleshing out on that middle part. Given the prevailing view in this thread of Muslims as fierce but dim-witted, under-evolved, too tribal to work together, stupidly opposed to modernity, etc etc etc….
    HOW are they going to get me into that burka?
    I really want to know what you all are so afraid of. These guys don’t scare me at all. So they set off a few bombs or topple a few buildings. How, exactly, does that force me (or my granddaughters for that matter) into burkas?

  28. One could argue that the primary worthwhile outcome of the western enlightenment was American democracy, which seems to be stumbling since the socialist takeover in the mid 20th century.
    Then again, who knows how an Islamic enlightenment would play out. Maybe it would lead 200 years from now to our conquest of the East, as westerners immigrate there illegally to pile on and loot its generous welfare benefits?

  29. Islam, the faith, was once very portable. In other words, all you needed was a community. And, an Imam.
    What made it flourish?
    It’s a networking endeavor. Where the men get their wives trained. (Those that don’t make the cut are killed by their fathers or their brothers.) And, this gives men, who are raised to be phobic about sex, wives who OBEY.) And, that’s about the whole of the “group structure.’) Like Indians having the women carry the teepees. From place to place.
    In 1928, alas, the West, with England and France LEADING, thought a few could get rich on the oil found in Saudi Arabia. So this small and very extreme desert sect of Islam; the Wahabbi’s, fell into great wealth.
    About $3-million-dollars-per-minute falls into their cash registers. And, in the beginning? One man. Perhaps, ten or twenty “brothers.” Today? Still under 50,000. But they’ve got the wealth. And, they’re buying the madrasses. Spilling this hatred into muslim pockets in the poorest countries in the world.
    Irak, by the way, is now a target. Because Saddam kept the Saud’s hands off the wealth from the oil.
    Even in 1991, you were lied to. All those news stories about Saddam “doing bad things to the Kuwaitis? NO INFANTS WERE KILLED. No over-turned nurseries at hospitals. ALL LIES. All told in our Congress. But the Al-Sabah daughter, whose dad was an ambassador, here.
    What did Saddam really do?
    He had noticed that the Kuwaits were dipping into IRAQI OIL SUPPLIES. And, selling it off. That’s why Saddam sent his Republican Guard down to the border with Kiwait. And, Bush the elder went to war.
    But he did stop. By not taking out Saddam.
    So, in 1998, Bush, Jr., went to Bandar. And, told him “he’d like to run for president.” Wink. Wink.
    And, this came to pass.
    But the best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry.
    The real problem, so far, is not muslems, per se. Those that live in the USA are damned frightened.
    Not that I expect Islam to change much. It’s benefits to men, who otherwise couldn’t approach a female, is greater than you think. “OBEYING BRIDES,” if you can carry this one off through your religion, isn’t a religion based on progess at all.
    Muslim men see our culture. They certainly partake in the porn. But when it comes to wives? They remain old-fashioned. And, so the ways of that religion “continues.”
    Will it break away from the Saud’s? Dunno. Not sure the Saud’s own all the mosques in America, yet. Though they do buy outlandish stuff.

  30. filistro said,
    “I really want to know what you all are so afraid of. These guys don’t scare me at all. So they set off a few bombs or topple a few buildings. How, exactly, does that force me (or my granddaughters for that matter) into burkas?”
    Exactly the same way that women over there are forced into burkas, wear one or we will bury your dead body in one. Guaranteed to work every time. The point being, despite the wishful thinking, the people running things are very smart and will win if we allow them to. Liberals seem determined to insure their victory. Note, I also consider Neville Chamberlain almost as guilty for the deaths in WW II as Hitler.

  31. filistro wrote (August 19, 2007 11:33 AM):
    I’m very curious to know what you think could happen on this earth that would result in me being forced to wear a burka in my own country. Because I have a pretty fertile imagination, but that particular scenario is truly beyond me.
    I’m sure that, had you asked any number of frenchies or Czechs or Poles or European Jews in 1933 if they could imagine any circumstances that would result in Germans tramping all over their countries and tossing Jews into ovens, their minds would have boggled, too. I’ve even read a few “scholarly” treatments of World War I and World War II that assert that (in hindsight) it was IMPOSSIBLE for Germany and Japan to win: populations too small, not enough raw materials, small industrial bases compared to other countries, etc. This, of course, overlooks the fact that they damned near DID win those wars. It cost a lot of blood and treasure to keep the nazis from burning Jews in London… or New York City.
    How many Muslims are there in the world? And how many Americans? IF the islamofascists ever come even close to succeeding in their deranged plans to unite the islamic world against us “infidels”, you’ll be lucky if wearing a burqa is all that happens to you.
    None of us knows the future. You feel that it is foolish for those of us who fear the islamofascists to assume the worst. But isn’t it equally foolish to assume the best, or at least that the world is static and will be forever much like it is now? The world changes often, quickly, and in unpredictable ways. Consider:
    — In my own lifetime, islamic terrorism has gone from a minor irritant and chiefly an Israeli problem to a major national security issue for the United States.
    — In my own lifetime, the Soviet Union went from thirty minutes away from killing 140 million Americans to being a broken down shadow.
    — In my own lifetime, eastern bloc countries went from being part of US nuclear target lists to being good friends and allies of the United States.
    — In my own lifetime, Pakistan and India (two “third world” nations) have come close to fighting nuclear war with each other.
    — In my own lifetime, Red China has gone from an isolated and bitter enemy of the United States to one of our largest trading partners.
    — In my own lifetime, Spanish has become a virtual second official language in large parts of the United States.
    — In my own lifetime, oil and gasoline have gone from being dirt cheap commodities to precious and dwindling natural resources.
    You really can’t imagine that, in your own lifetime, a group of fanatics who have sworn and demonstrated by bloody action their desire to destroy our country won’t conquer us?

  32. filistro said,
    “I really want to know what you all are so afraid of. These guys don’t scare me at all. So they set off a few bombs or topple a few buildings. How, exactly, does that force me (or my granddaughters for that matter) into burkas?”
    Exactly the same way that women over there are forced into burkas, wear one or we will bury your dead body in one. Guaranteed to work every time.
    The point being, despite the wishful thinking, the people running things are very smart and will win if we allow them to. Liberals seem determined to insure their victory. Note, I also consider Neville Chamberlain almost as guilty for the deaths in WW II as Hitler. If Chamberlain hadn’t been such a stupid Liberal Hitler would have been stopped early and 99% of the WW II deaths wouldn’t have happened.

  33. filistro,
    I wish you would read the writings of the Soviet and Eastern bloc intellectuals of the communist era.
    Maybe Czeslaw Milosz, or Alexander Solzhenitsyn, possibly Arthur Koestler.
    Totalitarianism, I mean the real thing not the cartoon version that leftists imagine is already here, comes quickly and violently.
    You come across as self-satisfied yet terrifyingly naive.

  34. Linh My;
    Exactly right! The left believes they can fight physical attacks with stentorian speeches designed to humble the wayward jihadist. The logical fallacy to that paradigm was visited on Theo Van Gogh with predictable results.
    The only way to deal with jihadist/terrorist types is to meet violence with violence. The west believes in life and choice while the radical’s believe in death and subjugation. We are diametrically opposed to the death wish of Islam.
    Typical of many today in our society, a short attention span is suicidal in comparison to the long view (Death of a thousand cuts) engaged in by the patient CAIR/ACLU. The islamization of democracy is akin to the arab parable of the camel’s nose. Once under the flap the rest will soon follow. It starts with foot baths, using the Koran instead of the Bible, accusations of profiling/rascism in the face of hostile behavior, teaching hatred in their schools, building intrusive mosques with minarets to call to prayer soon to follow, and the list goes on. All designed to desensitize the population on the road to dhimmitude and worse.
    Islam needs to be transparent whether they like it or not!

  35. doc, I’ve seen those things too, and I certainly do consider them when I contemplate the future.
    But I’m still not getting my question answered. How do you see Muslims achieving world domination (which they would have to do in order to conquer America and impose Sharia law.)
    Let’s make it a 5 step process, and I will even grant that we’ve given them the first step as a freebie.
    1.) Saddam is ousted and after a period of bloody instability, Iraq becomes a Shiite theocracy closely allied with Iran.
    2.)
    3.)
    4.)
    5.) Muslims achieve world domination.
    So what do you envision as those middle steps?

  36. Linh-My, you should consider that Winston Churchill asked Neville Chamberlain to serve in his government.
    And, if you want to spread the blame around, what about the Jews? I’m sure enough were just terrified citizens who couldn’t think of a way to rebel.
    Even though LATER, Marx would take hold as a philosophy, it came about, and was “tested’ starting at the turn of the 20th Century. When only a few got really, really rich. Yet their progress was the engine that let America grow. Here, I mean that buracracies, ALL OF THEM, never grow anything well.
    WHich was Thomas Paine’s point in REASON.
    All I can tell ya, about the way things change, is that the Jews of Europe behaved in ways you do not see their children and grand-children behaving today, in Israel.
    Americans, so far, have not quite arrived at the place where we feel threatened “enough.” But the affirmative action crowd has had his days in the sun. And, their crap is fading, fast.
    As to the Saud’s, they thought they could purchase the world on their wealth. They’re really not raising effective armies. But they’ve bought the whole elite and MSM aparatus! It’s here the diplomats and the media elites do their dancing.
    So, our military has had to survive their gruel.
    Seems it’s better to take reality at face value. Eliminate the wishful thinking. And, from where I sit, I’m guessing that we’re going to grow stronger. Bush wll be out of office, and gone. And, the next guy in gets the shovel.
    While all the “news” you’ll get from the lamestream seems to center on the OBITS. A form of dealth cult ‘following’ for a medium that’s about to bite the dust, in my book.
    Keep the faith. Nothing stays the same forever. Just like the Islamic woman is veiled from head to foot, ours shop. Niether one’s got much but the devil by the tail, here. So lots of changes, ahead, are welcome.

  37. One distinction specific to Luther:
    The basis of his contentions which led to the Reformation include not only sola scriptura (scripture alone) but sola fide ( faith alone).
    That in itself constitutes a huge distinction between radical Muslim perspective on faith versus that of Protestant Christianity. Not only did the Reformation reject the political structure of certain popes whom had then corrupted Rome it centered salvation as attained by grace not works.
    Luther’s viewpoint rejected absolution by confession to clergy and replaced it with private confession through faith to God alone without any human middleman / gatekeeper holding the keys to a granting of forgiveness. It separated what man does (or the Vatican then claimed) from how salvation was to be obtained. Faith alone (sola fide) separates the man’s doings (or economics such as purchasing indulgences from Tetzel) and ritual as irrelevant for the attainment of salvation whereas in radical Islam the actions of man against infidels (taken directly from the Koran) is key to hierarchy in their concept of the afterlife.
    So, in Luther’s faith good works were commendable but without God’s Grace obtained by Faith those won’t get you into heaven. Yet in radical Islam the commission of 9/11 bad works against the infidels was their deluxe ticket to 72 virgins in paradise.
    Despite differences within Christianity (with lapses such as the inquisition, 100 years war, and the massacre of Huguenots etc.) it has been a religion which has been generally to build instead of destroy which explains why through the centuries the West has evolved economically and technologically. Particularly in these United States. In much of the hard line Islamic world which has focused on destruction as laudable has remained locked in the 8th century except where petroleum (developed and purchased by outsiders) has enabled them to purchase and import modern conveniences from Western Civilization.

  38. bulbasaur says:
    “Totalitarianism comes with terrifying speed.”
    Indeed it does. But only if:
    a.) it is imposed by a group with superior force of arms
    or
    b.) it infiltrates a populace already predisposed to embrace it
    I don’t think America is predisposed to accept Islam, which it sees as alien and backward. And I just truly cannot see the Muslim world developing force of arms superior to America and its allies. They do have the strength of sheer numbers but that alone is not enough for them to prevail and conquer….at least not for a good many centuries.
    And as the President says… “By then we’ll all be dead.”

  39. Filistro said,
    “Let’s make it a 5 step process, and I will even grant that we’ve given them the first step as a freebie.
    1.) Saddam is ousted and after a period of bloody instability, Iraq becomes a Shiite theocracy closely allied with Iran.
    2.) Muslims become 30% of the European population.

  40. filistro,
    OK….
    2. Iran develops the Bomb. As a nuclear power, Tehran has far more ability to export islamofascism to other parts of the world, including Pakistan and Iraq.
    3. Musharaff is assassinated. Pakistan becomes an “islamic republic” with close ties to Iran. The fledgling government in Afghanistan is toppled. Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon fall into Tehran’s orbit. This provides the core of a 21st century caliphate.
    4. Islamofascist ideology, funded with Iranian / Caliphate petrodollars, spreads into Europe and Africa. The House of Saud is overthrown. Iran / Caliphate, in conjunction with North Korea, developes ICBMs capable of reaching the United States.
    5. Europe becomes Europistan.
    6. Iran / Caliphate launches a surprise nuclear attack on the United States, spearheaded by terror cells who explode smuggled nuclear weapons in Washington, New York City, and other communication centers and military bases. Faced with a choice between surrender or annihilation, the United States surrenders and is occupied by islamic troops.
    7. An elderly filistro (or her daughter or granddaughter), assuming she’s not a puff of radioactive dust somewhere in the stratosphere, puts on a burqa under pain of death.
    Will it happen overnight? No. O’ course, Germany went from the broken, starving and revolution-torn loser of World War I to the master of Europe in less than 25 years.

  41. doc, that’s both impressive and very chilling. (If you were to write it, I know somebody who would buy the screenplay from you in a heartbeat.)
    I do think your scenario presupposes a level of calculation, co-operation and committment to modernity that Muslims have heretofore never demonstrated. Perhaps if they do undergo a Reformation, that will all change and I will grow much less sanguine.
    But if your scenario is plausible, what should the rest of the world be doing about it? And of what value, long-term, is our current very expensive and very draining action in Iraq?

  42. The danger is greatest for that of Islam to purchase atomic weapons to destroy civilization rather than to develop atomic weapons to destroy civilization. Most modern technology in the Middle East is imported whether it be armaments or durable goods.
    If they succeed it will be through using our own money and our dependence on keeping their petroleum reserves in production.
    Certain squirrel kisser legislators consider it more important to block ANWAR utilization and domestic petroleum self-sufficiency or to kowtow to CAIR or the ACLU subversives than the long term protection of mankind from a politically correct nuclear annihilation done in the name of Allah.

  43. islam will take over thru the womb and the laziness of some of the posters above.
    islam will not take over thru force of arms. it never intended to. terrorism is the ultimate force multiplier. it usually works everywhere it is tried. it is working here in the US as several of the posters above have had enough in fighting the war on terror that is not even here yet. it is strictly the opening gambit. after a while they only have to threaten to use it. the SS used this threat very effectively through out europe during the war.
    once islam takes over europe in about 30 years, if a pogrom doesn’t stop it, sharia will probably control two key areas of the world–the middle east (oil) and europe (1/3 of world trade). at that point the economic world that we know will descend fairly quickly back towards the 7th century. study sharia and what it really means. the taliban were/are a good example.
    once the world economic model implodes your grandchildren will wear burkas just to survive akin to joining the communist party under stalin–hating it every moment as they currently do in the middle east. bin laden, al qaeda, the wahhabist half of of the saudi family etc understand all to well that defeating the great satan is very easy if you can derail the current economic model. a model, i might add that is very fragile in one key area, confidence. we all have confidence that all parties will respect certain laws.
    without a continued steadfast propagation of our civilization it will end. athens, rome etc all fell for mostly the same reasons. thinking that we may never wear burkas is stupidity in its ultimate form.

  44. old white guy said,
    “so we have how many years of extreme violence to look forward to?”
    I think that Caesar said, “The only ones who have seen the end of war are the dead.”
    ——————————–
    filistro said,
    “But if your scenario is plausible, what should the rest of the world be doing about it? And of what value, long-term, is our current very expensive and very draining action in Iraq?”
    First Islam doesn’t have the numbers. South and East Asia do. China, India, Japan and countries like Viet Nam will likely avoid the problem and do very well. They also have the technology and a sufficiently modern society that hasn’t gotten eat up with Political Correctness.
    Latin America will likely be able to work out an accommodation, especially as East Asia has the military power to defend them as well as the need for the Latin American resources.
    Winning Iraq could put us a century or two ahead. Loosing Iraq will at best loose us a century or so. However, I think that the most likely scenario is that America looses a few 10-30 percent of its population and exterminates Islam. That to me is a horrible solution. Thinking of the stench of a billion and a half dead…

  45. Wow…just Wow…
    It’s not hard to boggle a neo-liberal’s mind when their idea of “long term” planning is wondering whether they will “get some” tonight…or have to resort to pornography and self-gratification. Who cares what happens 50 years from now? As long as I have my two cars…tv…house etc. My biggest fear is driving on the interstate…and navigating home when from work after a three martini lunch. I’m fat, dumb and happy.
    Most of these people aren’t worried about whether the military will fight for them or not because they see the military as:
    1. Mercenaries who will kill anyone for any reason as long as they get paid
    2. Ignorant, homophobic, automatons and homophobes who will do whatever the President tells them to do…
    When you tell them that if religion is taken out of the military….you won’t have much left. They don’t understand this….simple minds are boggled frequently and easily.

  46. Mr Neid:
    islam will take over thru the womb and the laziness of some of the posters above.
    Now THAT was a profound statement. You’re my hero…again. Mind if I “borrow” that one?

  47. RE: Forced conversion to Islam in the US/West:
    While one (violent) five step process could lead to forced conversion to Islam with our lifetimes, I’d be more worried about a non-violent process taking generations. The initial steps would be something like public funding for foot baths in Universities, separate rules for Muslim cabbies allowing them to reject customers with guide dogs, alcohol, who are unescorted women, etc. Perhaps you get a few conversions of public personalities. Eventually, you have a high enough percentage of Muslims where you can start the indiscriminate bombings designed to force conversions of the remaining fence sitters. It’s a long term process that largely occurs “under the radar”. This seems to be what is occuring in Europe.

  48. “Forcing Americans into Islam?” Well, that’s like “back door sex,” done by homosexuals. To homosexuals. The population at large though, remains mighty heteroxexual.
    Again, what Islam “sells” is a networking device to their male adherents. Where the “whole” is more important than a single family unit. And, all daughters who survive (because the free-spirits are killed by their brothers and their dads), they live “TO OBEY.”
    Do they really believe the bullshit?
    One of the things that connects Islam is similar to what connected American Indians, MORE to each other, than the changing American universe. For the Indians? Feathers.
    For the Islamists? Men who are phobic about sex are still guaranteed garbage cans. Where “love” doesn’t enter into it. But OBIEDIENCE is the tool that may, in the long haul, destroy them? It certainly puts them all behind the Chinese, for instance. Where the Chinese have curtailed births to such an extent, that if there ever is a war, so men can go screw themselves, it’s when the hordes of Chinese decent upon all those tethered goats. What other solutions are out there? Men doing without? Give me a break.
    But the ties that bind the 5-times-a-day head-bangers, has more to do with the promise that it’s easy for them to claim a bride, without any knowledge “afore-thought.” Won’t last forever. Downturns in fortunes always happen.
    Even the Saud’s will lose their fields in 50 years of usage. Then? To grab oil out of shale? It’s so expensive, every other country withi a storehouse; will eke out oil. And, the Saud’s will have nothing but their desert. You think mecca remains unthreatened? Not me. I don’t. But these things take a long time to bubble up.
    Like the SICK OTTOMAN EMPIRE; was the “sick man” of Europe, AND STILL IS!
    Don’t believe what you read in the MSM.
    And, don’t listen to college professors. (Or anyone who touts stocks.) Lots of people hae learned to skim the surface of busiiness affairs. Motivated by GREED.
    GREED. The one constant.

  49. filistro wrote (August 19, 2007 2:23 PM):
    If you were to write it, I know somebody who would buy the screenplay from you in a heartbeat.
    Thank you, but they wouldn’t. Remember the movie “The Sum of All Fears”? In the original novel, it was islamic terrorists who set off a nuke at the Superbowl (IIRC). Hollywood, afraid of offending the Muslim community, changed the villains to neonazis or some such. The TV show “24” gets routine (though rather half-hearted) criticism for daring to portray Muslims as villains.
    Anyway, Americans are addicted to happy endings, so such a bleak story wouldn’t go over very well. Americans much prefer stories in which John Wayne, Jack Ryan, or Jack Bauer ALWAYS ride in at the last moment to save the day. I fear that this is a symptom of American overconfidence: we will ALWAYS win because, well, we always have. The same people who deride the idiots in government like George Bush, Nancy Pelosi, Alberto Gonzales, or Janet Reno (depends on which side of the aisle you’re on) also implicitly think that “the government” will always catch the bad guys, that we’ve always got some top secret ace up our sleeve to thwart anything the bad guys can come up with.
    If somebody in Hollywood had tried to write the events of 9-11 as a screenplay, a retired counterterrorism expert or Navy SEAL (played by Bruce Willis or Samuel L. Jackson) would have been taking his family on vacation at Boston Logan on the morning of 9-11. He’d see the 9-11 plotters and, his suspicions aroused, try to sound the alarm. Airport police or the local FBI SAIC (played by, oh, William Atherton or Fred Thompson) would pooh-pooh his fears and try to arrest him for causing a panic but, undeterred, he’d escape from custody and get on the plane. Aided by a plucky passenger or stewardess (Sandra Bullock or Nicole Kidman), he’d stop the hijacking, taking the controls and diverting the plane just before it crashed into the Capitol where a group of orphans were having a guided tour. And they’d all live happily ever after.
    I do think your scenario presupposes a level of calculation, co-operation and committment to modernity that Muslims have heretofore never demonstrated.
    Read a bit about the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The Muslims showed quite high levels of calculation, cooperation, and committment to modernity. The Egyptian army’s use of high pressure water hoses to breach the huge sand berms that the Israelis had erected was simple and ingenious. As for weapons, the Muslims don’t have to build their own factories: the Red Chinese, Russians, North Koreans and French will be only too happy to supply them with whatever they can afford. The price of oil being what it is, they can presumably afford quite a lot.
    But if your scenario is plausible, what should the rest of the world be doing about it?
    Like AA, the first step is recognizing that you have a problem. Right now, most of Europe and the American left seems hell bent on denying that the islamofascists are OR EVER COULD BE a serious threat. Instead, they focus their energies on explaining why the Muslims are totally justified in hating the West and why It’s All George Bush’s Fault (TM).
    What can be done beyond that is:
    1. Close international cooperation to round up terrorists and shut down their financial and communications networks. If this sounds suspiciously like a “law enforcement” model, that’s because it is.
    2. Heavy, ironclad international pressure against terrorist-sponsors like Syria and Iran. People like Assad and Ahmadenijad need to be forced to understand that sponsoring Hamas or Hezbollah or al Qaeda or any other terrorist group is going to result in sanctions, and if sanctions don’t convince them, the world is ready to try military action.
    3. Breaking up islamofascist gangs and radical madrassas and mosques. This is tricky, because Muslims (just like everybody else) have freedom to worship as they choose. However, when a mosque stops teaching the word of Allah and starts teaching “Suicide Bombing 101”, it’s time for the local police to step in.
    4. Fostering democracy and the rule of secular law in Islamic countries, which leads to…
    And of what value, long-term, is our current very expensive and very draining action in Iraq?
    We are attempting to build a government and nation that along secular, democratic lines in a country that has never known anything but autocracy, repression, and factional warfare. We hope that Iraq will become a peaceful, prosperous, multiethnic democracy that will serve as a positive example to other countries in the Muslim world. At the very least, it will serve as a counterweight to islamofascist Iran.
    As for “very draining”… How, exactly? Our budget is hardly broken (Congress certainly doesn’t seem to be on a cost-savings crusade). We’ve lost a few thousand men, less than we lost in a day during some of our wars in the past. How is our effort in Iraq “very draining”?

  50. Wow, the Captain really touched a whole set of religious nerves here. Let me twang a few more.
    The Lutheran Church uses a form of the Nicean Creed. Luther wrote a hymn (“We all Believe in One True God”) to further emphasize the reasoning of the Nicean Creed. Luther attempted to forestall the Arian leanings of his Germanic supporters with a bit of orthodox tradition completely at odds with sola scriptura. So, sola scriptura is no longer mainstream.
    But Luther’s message was also subtly wrong — the Nicean Creed begins (in Latin) with the word “Credo”, meaning “I, myself, believe”. Its original Greek (Πιστεύω) is also singular. It isn’t plural — it’s most individualistically singular. It’s the same message arrived at in the Enlightenment more than a millenium later — that belief, ethics, morality, is, in the end, personal. From a Christian standpoint — that Jesus died on the Cross not only for us as a whole, but for me personally.
    Our enemies don’t have that viewpoint.
    The modern American credo: the moment I believe that everyone must believe as I do, I am either be an Islamic jihadist from Brooklyn or a Democrat.

  51. The problem with “progressives” is that they refuse to take Muslims seriously.
    The Brits have had so much trouble in southern Iraq because deep down, they still see Arabs as wogs who can be patronized and easily outsmarted.
    “Progressives” simply can’t see Arabs as human beings with the same brains as us white people. Ask our troops how smart and competent our enemies are. They’ll tell you.
    Every rational person should fear Islamic terrorism because its practitioners have no scruples. There is no atrocity they won’t commit.
    If they do manage to sneak nukes across our porous borders and take out five or ten of our largest cities, that’s it for us. Our economy will take decades to recover, and we’ll have to bring home all our troops to provide order during the unimaginable anarchy of the rebuilding process.
    That means Europe, Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East will be at the mercy of al Qaeda and Iran. Tens of millions of Muslims will switch sides overnight.
    Don’t kid yourself that this scenario couldn’t happen.
    To say Americans will end up in burkas is overstatement. However, to say we have nothing to fear from Islamic terrorism is suicidally stupid, a form of bigotry that will lead to disaster for the West.

  52. doc:
    Iraq is very draining becase we are not going to “win.” There is no such thing as “winniing” in Iraq. At this point the best-case outcome, in fact, is my step 1 on our road to ruin… a relatively stable Shiite state with close ties to Iran.
    That’s certainly not a win.
    And when America loses a war, it loses something fundamentally essential to the national psyche… the cheerful confidence that it will always win. (Reference your second paragraph, above.)
    That’s why I loathe the neocons and the Bush administration that acted as their willing and gullible tool. It didn’t need to be this way but now it is, and it will cost the nation dearly in future…. especially if we face an enemy as formidable as the one you envision.

  53. Captain, you said “How about the those who burned people at the stake for heresy for one brief example? The era is littered with martyrs on all sides murdered for their beliefs. ”
    Last time I checked, it was the Catholic Church (the then “manistream”) who burned the heretics (who were members of those “sects”). But you’re creating a false dichotomy here. The purpose of jihad is not to preserve the faith by punishing individual Muslim “heretics”; it’s a war of conquest against non-Moslems, and its purpose is to create a worldwide caliphate.
    I’m disappointed in your moral equivalence – I expected better from you (not to mention something more than a cartoonish understanding of the Reformation). But then I was also dismayed at your so-what assessment of the Beauchamp fabrications. Somehow I get the feeling you’re not thinking this stuff through with your usual care.

  54. It’s not moral equivalence, it’s history. Check out what happened to the Huegenots, especially in Paris in 1572. Catholics killed Protestants by the thousands. John Calvin in Switzerland imposed a Taliban-like rule over the population and regularly executed dissidents. In England, Protestants made Catholics into martyrs, and Catholics regularly returned the favor. The Thirty Years War which laid waste to Germany was fought over the dispute between Protestantism and Catholicism. Millions died in that war. Germany lost 30% of its population.
    And those are just the easy examples. Why are people so loathe to admit to the violence that the Reformation caused 400 years ago?

  55. One of the big differences between whatever is happening in Islam now and what happened in Christianity during Luther’s time and after, is that back then there was no mass communication, high speed transportation, no Internet or weapons of mass (or major) destruction.
    Some self-proclaimed revelator could lead a small group of people into following him but had no real ability to reach large groups of people instantaneously. And if he was predisposed to violence as a way to reach his audience and make his point, his means and methods were necessarily limited.
    The more sophisticated the form and manner of communication these days, the more people seem to want the message to be simple. Concepts such as religious tolerance, moderation, separation of church and state, the rule of (secular based) law, all the things that keep Hindus and Christians, Muslims and Jews from killing each other in our own streets, these may sound simple but can be complicated in practice. I see no real hunger for these principles in the Islamic world.
    Sorry if this is a repeat of someone else’s point, I couldn’t get through all those comments.

  56. Finally!
    After comment posting after comment posting, our dear friend, filistro, has buckled under and used the “N” word!
    I do give you credit filistro for posting here as long as you did before calling me a “neocon” …it had to be a very real test of your patience.
    And to think, I was almost starting to believe that your aim here was to question the validity of an islamic threat….and now, once again, i’m left sitting here shaking my head at the “illusion” of an argument from the Left.
    Maybe next time, instead of just sneaking up on me like that, filistro, you can make it clear your positions in the first comment – oh wait, I forgot, you have no arguments, you have no positions.
    Well, I’m sure now that you’ve dropped your “N” word bomb here and stated the REAL reason you stopped by today, that pesky Iraqi War, I’m sure you have shuffled back to DailyKos to comment further about more important stuff like the attacks on Tony Snow.
    Thanks for coming clean.

  57. Dear UncleSmrgol
    Excuse me but you are mistaken. The doctrine in the Nicene Creed was not the issue during the Reformation either between Luther and Rome, or between Luther and Calvin/Zwingly. The Luther used, and Lutherans still use the same Nicene Creed and Rome does. All of which begin “I believe”
    The principle of Sola Scripture mandated that the Nicene Creed be confessed because the Creed simply describes the essential teaching of the Bible regarding the nature of God and the incarnation.

  58. I’ve read the article on the Washington Post, and it’s pretty wrong-headed. The author is guilty of trying to treat Islam and Christianity in parallel, when the remarkable thing is to be able to find any parallels at all!
    Worse, she’s guilty of essentially rewriting the history of the Protestant Reformation to try to make it parallel modern Islamofascism.
    The Protestant Reformation attempted to “reform” Catholicism, which is the same as saying they kept part of it and rejected part. Unfortunately, one part that was frequently kept was the emphasis on joining the “Church” to the state. This was unfortunate, because it was contrary to original Christian faith, and the most important thing that needed to be reformed. Yet this error is the primary reason we have freedom today. There had been many attempts at reform before — such as the Vaudois, the Alibgenses, and various groups lumped together under the label of Baptists or Anabaptists — but they had been put down by the governments of the day at the bidding of Catholicism.
    That is, Catholicism used the state to punish “heresy” — very well documented — and the Protestants maintained this error. In fact, it may best be said that the Protestant Reformation succeeded, because they fought back.
    And this is EXACTLY what is missing from trying to describe a new “Islamic Reformation.” Where is the evidence that these Islamic “reformers” are trying to escape persecution as heretics? On the contrary, they’re the very ones who are attempting to persecute those who don’t accept their teachings.
    The only real parallel here is the chaos that attends this sort of upheaval, as chaos always attends upheaval of the established order.
    Christianity is not Islam. Most attempts to draw parallels between them result in exactly this kind of false analogy. And false analogy is one of the most notorious logical fallacies.
    Simply put, the Protestant Reformation was an attempt to return to the original Christian faith, which did NOT include using the state to enforce doctrinal orthodoxy. So when the Protestants then attempted to use the state to do just exactly that, it was in fact behavior carried over from their Catholic heritage.
    Then there was a war launched by the Catholic states of Europe to force the Protestant states back into submission. But as bloody as the war was, we can be thankful for the one result: nobody won, and both sides agreed to stop fighting over it.
    This just doesn’t apply to Islam in any way. For Islam to return to its roots seems to always mean to return to the glories of jihad, conquest, and subjugation of other religions. In other words, we should probably be hoping for a further Islamic apostasy rather than a return to their roots.
    There is one parallel that would be good: if the haditha, the Islamic traditions, were to lose the force of scripture, Islam on the whole would probably lose much of its belligerence.

  59. docjim:
    “Iran / Caliphate launches a surprise nuclear attack on the United States…”
    In last weeks issue of Frankfurt’s Rundschau newspaper, Michael Luders, a Mideast expert, said “…der letzte iranische Angriffskrieg liegt über 1000 Jahre zurück…” – it’s been over 1,000 years since the last Iranian war of agression.
    Why do you think they are now ready to launch this surprise attack? Have they just been waiting for the right moment?

  60. filistro,
    Yes, we may “lose” in Iraq. This is an unfortunate part of life: when you attempt something, you may fail. The greater the thing you attempt, typically the greater the penalties for failure.
    Iraq may well become a Shiia-dominated theocracy like Iran. Whether it will become an Iranian satellite may be a bit more problematic due to the emnity between Iraqi Arabs and Iranian Persians. Incidentally, why didn’t the Iraqi Shiites rise up and join their Iranian coreligionists during Saddam’s war with Iran back in the ’80s? Could it be that most Iraqi Shiites strongly identify themselves as IRAQIS?
    But I CAN say this with near certainty: if we give up in Iraq, if we throw up our hands and moan, “We can’t win”, then we certainly WILL lose and Iraq almost certainly WILL become a Shiite theocracy… except for the Kurdish territories which will probably secede, prompting a war with Turkey.
    However, I don’t think that “we can’t win” is a tenable position. First of all, it underestimates the skill and intelligence of Americans. We brought democracy to Germany and Japan, after all. Second, it underestimates the Iraqis. As libs never tire of telling us, Iraq under Saddam was secular. Why, then, should it not be secular under a democratic government? Do you think that Iraqis are simply too backwards, too mired in religious or tribal hatreds and rivalries, to do what we and other peoples around the world have done?
    “We can’t” has been the cry of people throughout our history. “We can’t” beat the British. “We can’t” make a nation from thirteen rival colonies. “We can’t” have a democratic government. “We can’t” write a Constitution that will satisfy the majority of Americans. “We can’t” end slavery. “We can’t” integrate blacks and whites into the same society. “We can’t” defeat the nazis. “We can’t” turn Germany and Japan into democratic nations. “We can’t” rebuild Europe. “We can’t” defeat the Soviets. “We can’t” put a man on the Moon.
    As I said, it may go badly in Iraq. But I am more interested in thinking about “How can we win?” than throwing up our arms and saying, “We can’t.”
    And as for you, dave… Talk about a static model of the world! Saying that the Iranians won’t start a war because they haven’t in 1000 years is much like wringing our hands over whether or not Ahmadenijad has aspirations of being another Xerxes.
    But in case you’re right, somebody better call CinCPAC and warn him to be on the lookout for the Japanese, who have ROUTINELY started their wars with surprise attacks (he can walk down to the harbor and see the evidence, actually). Tricky little devils are probably planning to jump us right now!
    (rolls eyes)

  61. The captain comments…
    “John Calvin in Switzerland imposed a Taliban-like rule over the population and regularly executed dissidents. ”
    I reiterate: poor scholarship, postmodern revisionism and sectarian prejudice.

  62. unclesmrgol,
    Yes, the creeds do begin with “I believe”, but I’ve never heard them presented as part of an individualistic relationship with God through Christ. I am a Lutheran (LCMS), and in every service I’ve attended the pastor always invites the congregation to declare “our SHARED faith” in the words of the creed (usually Apostles’, but sometimes Nicene). Further, the Lord’s Prayer is always part of the service (usually right before Communion, another example of shared belief and, well, communion between the individual, the body of Christians everywhere, and God through Jesus Christ). All the pronouns in the Lord’s Prayer are plural: “Our Father”, “give us this day”, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive”, etc. Naturally, there are “individual” statements of faith, but this is true (I believe) for virtually every creed.
    Further, far from being an “individualistic” religion, the Lutheran faith has a fairly well-developed and documented orthodoxy as set forth in the Large and Small Catechisms, the Augsburg Confessions, the Book of Concord, etc. I have heard some people describe their religions as not much beyond, “I’ve got a Bible and I can decide for myself what it means”. The Lutheran Church, like other large denominations, has pretty clear guidelines on various scriptural matters; some things ARE “unanswered questions” and sort of up to the conscience of the individual, but most things are not.
    The Lutheran Church also continues to teach “Sola gratia, sola fide, sola scriptura” and explains this doctrine through reference to Scripture. The pastors I’ve had have all been quite adamant about it: it is a basic statement of the ONLY way to be saved.

  63. docjim:
    “Talk about a static model of the world!”
    I understand that the world is not static, but for a thousand years, Iranians have not been through their “Enlightenment”, and still have not attacked anyone. The world is not static, but what is it that has changed in very recent history that now makes Iran the biggest threat to the world, when they have never been so before?

  64. Captain Ed asked the question, “Why are people so loathe to admit to the violence that the Reformation caused 400 years ago?”
    That may be the most irritating comment in the whole questionable argument. Let me rephrase it: “Why are people so loathe to admit to the violence that the Protestants caused 400 years ago by refusing to submit to the Church?”
    Note carefully, it was not the Protestant Reformation that caused the bloodshed, but the attempt to put down the Protestant Reformation by force. You can hardly blame the Protestants for refusing to die quietly.
    There had been reform movements during the 1000 years prior to the Reformation, but these reformers never allied with any prince or power to protect them. They did not mix church and state, or try to attain civil power. So when they were persecuted, they died. The violence occurred BEFORE the Protestant Reformation, but all the dying was done by the “heretics.”
    (Some of the “heretics” were truly heretical, others could have set up a church in middle America and never been conspicuous.)
    These groups of reformers were actually more correct, since the churches SHOULD be independent of the state, but they did not advance the freedom of anyone else.
    The Protestant Reformers were actually wrong doctrinally speaking to ally themselves with local and state civic powers, and engage in warfare. But much as I might criticize them for it, it was the standoff that actually put an end to Catholic-Protestant warfare. After the bloody 30-year war, with no winner and no end in sight, both sides at least stopped the open warfare.
    Today, you will not find Catholics OR Protestants in favor of settling doctrinal differences in combat.

  65. “The captain comments…
    “John Calvin in Switzerland imposed a Taliban-like rule over the population and regularly executed dissidents. ”
    I reiterate: poor scholarship, postmodern revisionism and sectarian prejudice.”
    I don’t believe the latter is completely correct. I remember (from long ago), something about someone named Servetus? Who was arrested and executed at the behest of Calvin. He also went after “witches” as I recall, burning them at the stake. I also believe he instituted some kind of morals police, a tribunal that shut down taverns, etc.
    Whatever tolerance may have ultimately come into Christianity with the Reformation, I don’t think it arrived with John Calvin.

  66. Fillistro,
    What I’m afraid of is folks like yourself who make statements such as:
    “I’m very curious to know what you think could happen on this earth that would result in me being forced to wear a burka in my own country”.
    Regardless of how it could happen – all out war, “insidious infiltration”, relentless terror, or any other “how”, a do-nothing attitude will guarantee it will happen, one way or another. And know this: It’s only “Your Country” for as long as you can hold it. As for your later statement concerning Islamists embracing “Modernity” to accomplish their goal, they already have. Their goal is world domination/suppression to appease their view of God’s wishes for mankind. It makes little difference to them how they accomplish this. They’ll end up the holders of the knowledge just as was the Roman Catholic Church during the Dark Ages; knowledge held “secret and sacred” to keep the masses ignorant and servile…. If you do nothing to stop them, of course.
    Edward Cropper said, Woody, you are speaking truth but alas and alack those in control couldn’t give a tinker’s damn.”
    Yes, I know that Ed. That’s why I said it’s up to us and our votes. Lets hope we can do it before we have to spill blood.
    Jeffk, when you say, “It will have nothing to do with wars.”, I think you’re looking at this sort of backwards. These reformations are not sparked by war, but are usually the cause of war.
    Woody
    Look at your rights and freedoms as what would be required to survive and be free as if there were no government. Governments come and go, but your rights live on. If you wish to survive government, you must protect with jealous resolve all the powers that come with your rights – especially with the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Without the power of those arms, you will perish with that government – or at its hand. B.E.Wood

  67. “Note carefully, it was not the Protestant Reformation that caused the bloodshed, but the attempt to put down the Protestant Reformation by force. You can hardly blame the Protestants for refusing to die quietly.”
    Is this really true though? Isn’t is also true that many of the German princes saw support for the Protestants as a way to challenge the Church? And so supported armed conflict as a result? I’m more familiar with what happened in England and I don’t know that one can say that the Protestants were the victims there, more the Catholics I would say.

  68. Thenderson, I completely concur that Catholics killed lots of people. I don’t blame the Protestants for the whole thing, or argue that that Catholics are blameless — far from it. All of Christendom set on each other.
    Bennett, it was Michael Servetus that Calvin had burned for heresy, in 1553.

  69. The Swiss Reformation under John Calvin:
    Let us give a summary of the most striking cases of discipline. Several women, among them the wife of Ami Perrin, the captain-general, were imprisoned for dancing (which was usually connected with excesses). Bonivard, the hero of political liberty, and a friend of Calvin, was cited before the Consistory because he had played at dice with Clement Marot, the poet, for a quart of wine. A man was banished from the city for three months because, on hearing an ass bray, he said jestingly: “He prays a beautiful psalm.” A young man was punished because he gave his bride a book on housekeeping with the remark: “This is the best Psalter.” A lady of Ferrara was expelled from the city for expressing sympathy with the Libertines, and abusing Calvin and the Consistory. Three men who had laughed during the sermon were imprisoned for three days. Another had to do public penance for neglecting to commune on Whitsunday. Three children were punished because they remained outside of the church during the sermon to eat cakes. A man who swore by the “body and blood of Christ” was fined and condemned to stand for an hour in the pillory on the public square. A child was whipped for calling his mother a thief and a she-devil (diabless). A girl was beheaded for striking her parents, to vindicate the dignity of the fifth commandment. …
    Men and women were burnt for witchcraft. Gruet was beheaded for sedition and atheism. Servetus was burnt for heresy and blasphemy. The last is the most flagrant case which, more than all others combined, has exposed the name of Calvin to abuse and execration; but it should be remembered that he wished to substitute the milder punishment of the sword for the stake, and in this point at least he was in advance of the public opinion and usual practice of his age. ….
    The official acts of the Council from 1541 to 1559 exhibit a dark chapter of censures, fines, imprisonments, and executions. During the ravages of the pestilence in 1545 more than twenty men and women were burnt alive for witchcraft, and a wicked conspiracy to spread the horrible disease. From 1542 to 1546 fifty-eight judgments of death and seventy-six decrees of banishments were passed.723723 According to Galiffe, as quoted by Kampschulte, I. 425. During the years 1558 and 1559 the cases of various punishments for all sorts of offences amounted to four hundred and fourteen—a very large proportion for a population of 20,000.

  70. Fight4TheRight
    I didn’t call you a neocon. I don’t know if you are one or not, though judging by your screen name I tend to doubt it.
    Neoconservatives have a distinct set of political goals and ideologies, but none of their views involve any committment to “fight for the right.” Neocons will use the conservative base when it helps to advance their global aims, but they don’t have much fondness for that base. In fact, they view it with disdain… and they’d certainly never fight for it.

  71. viking01 had a fine post in the early afternoon. I think that Ed has a fundamental misunderstanding of Luther/Lutheranism and the events of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. I criticize Ed with great reluctance. I’ve got a little flurry of e-mail going between me, a member of the ELCA laity, and two cousins, one of whom was a pastor in the ELCA and another who is both a pastor and a seminary professor in the ELCA. One of us will post a polished response tomorrow.

  72. Luther’s challenge led to the inevitable conclusion that each Christian could determine for himself the meaning of Christianity. If each man could interpret the Scriptures as validly as a Church, then each man could become his own Church.

    Don’t know why this is bothering me, but the Greek word that gets translated to “church” is eklesia. It means “congregation” or “assembly.” It has nothing to do with authority or hierachy or interpretation.
    With so many verses of scripture reminded us to submit to authority, no educated reformer or Catholic would ever have interpreted any part of the Bible as advocating becoming their own “church.”
    This does have a connection to a potential Islamic reformation in the sense that should the Arab world become educated enough to actually read their holy book, they will see for themselves that it is every bit as violent as their jihadist teachers say it is.

  73. This does have a connection to a potential Islamic reformation in the sense that should the Arab world become educated enough to actually read their holy book, they will see for themselves that it is every bit as violent as their jihadist teachers say it is.”
    Actually I think they are reading it. I believe it is standard practice in Islamic countries for students to memorize the Koran (all those pictures we see of the school children chanting and rocking their heads back and forth over the Holy Book). Arabs are far more literate than Europeans were back in the days of the Reformation. Maybe we would be better served if they weren’t reading it.
    Having reread the original post (to try and figure out what all the controversy is about), I think maybe we’ve all missed the final point (or maybe just I did). What is being called for is a time of Enlightenment in Islam, not Reformation. This is probably correct, since the real advances in western civilization, at least to the extent of getting us to where we are today, are perhaps more attributable to the 18th century than the 16th century.

  74. The purpose of jihad is not to preserve the faith by punishing individual Muslim “heretics”; it’s a war of conquest against non-Moslems, and its purpose is to create a worldwide caliphate.
    And yet for all of its declarations of the latter, it most often winds up doing the former. Muslims kill Muslims by the ones and twos, by the dozens, scores, hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands. For apostasy. For heresy. Screaming ‘Die, infidel!,’ Sunnis gleefully butcher Shi’a, and vice versa, It happens time and time and time again. The Taliban massacred the Hazara. Arab Muslims are massacring Black Muslims in Darfur. This doesn’t mean they’re not a danger to actual non-Muslims or that they don’t aspire to a global caliphate, just that they are fully as homicidal (if not more so) to Muslim ‘heretics’ as the Catholic Church ever was to its own heretics.
    Personally, I don’t care whether they call it a Reformation or Liberalization or Reawakening or Neo-Islam or even Ray. It doesn’t matter to me what theological hoops they jump through or scriptural knots they tie themselves into, so long as the end result is they grow up and cut. it. the hell. out.

  75. If Islam doesn’t reform in a way where their believers no longer hate Jews, hate Christians, and hate everything not of the Muslim world…
    ISLAM DELENDA EST.

  76. Honestly, my point is not to blame Catholics for persecution OR to argue Protestants were blameless, but to point out that the Reformation didn’t cause death: the attempt to wipe out the Reformation by force caused the death.
    The Baptists — or Anabaptists, as they were often called — were persecuted as heretics under Catholicism. Unfortunately, that persecution didn’t stop after the Protestants took charge. In fact, as recently as a generation before the American Constitution, certain well-respected Baptist preachers in Virginia spent time in prison for preaching without a license from the Anglican church in Virginia. The unfairness off this helped spur the addition of a Bill of Rights to the Constitution to guarantee Freedom of Religion.

  77. I am probably distracting from your main point but I have to correct the notion of Luther and the Bible. Luther never advocated personal interpretation of scripture. (That belongs to the truly radical enthusiasts which Luther railed against.) What he did insist was that all interpretation must be done in the light of the Cross. To do this, there must be deep study of the Bible and the company of the faithful. The danger of personal interpretation was that the individual Christian’s sinful self would reach for harm rather than good without the testimony of the faithful.
    He also didn’t in its entirety reject tradition. He did reject tradition that was not grounded in the Word of God. Otherwise, tradition provided great support for the Church.
    Revolution was never Luther’s intention. He sought the restoration of the Church so Christ on the Cross could shine forth without being obscured by petty corruption and human-made requirements.
    Luther is one of those characters in history that serve as either a demon or an angel for a whole grab bag of misdeeds or virtues. He is famous for advocating things he actually was against and supporting developments taking place three to five hundred years after his death. It is hoped that folk would focus on what he did actually say–it’s more challenging in its own right.

  78. If you mean that the end of attempts at theocracy were the benefit of the Enlightenment, I ight well agree with you.
    If you meant that it was the pushing of religious based values out of the permissible realm of public action, then we would disagree. The attempt to create a system where religous values are off limits to the public debate will only lead to a further fracturing of the West with its ultimate collapse. All values are ultimately based in some sort of a religious world view (be they traditional religions, atheism or some new school of religious belief).

  79. filistro asks how the Muslims will force our women to wear burkhas. It will actually be very easy, just look to Europe and you can see the process well along.
    It will come in little baby steps.
    First they demand that we not show pictures of the prophet. We comply, since after all, it’s such a little thing, and perhaps if we do it, they’ll stop hating us.
    Then a bishop asks that we all start calling God by the new name Allah. After all, it’s such a little thing, and perhaps if we do it, they’ll stop hating us.
    Next comes the head scarfs. It’s such a little thing, and perhaps if we do it, they’ll stop hating us.
    Next mandatory long dresses. It’s such a little thing, and perhaps if we do it, they’ll stop hating us.
    Piece by piece, little by little. We give up our freedoms in hopes that this time we can buy peace in our time.

  80. thenderson, at the time the constitution was written, the Bill of Rights was a limit on Federal power, and Federal power only.

  81. > at the time the constitution was written, the Bill of Rights was a limit on Federal power, and Federal power only.
    True, until the 14th Amendment in the aftermath of the War Between the States applied all the rights in the Constitution to the individual states.
    Doesn’t negate the fact that the abuses of “established churches” in state governments influenced many, even from states that DID have established churches, to insist on that the new federal government did not allow an established church.
    Exactly why the actual phrasing of the Amendment doesn’t reference the mythical “separation of church and state”, but clearly says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.

  82. @Ed at August 19, 2007 7:40 PM re, The Swiss Reformation under John Calvin:
    Please continue the quote:
    “The most cruel of those laws—against witchcraft, heresy, and blasphemy—were inherited from the Catholic Middle Ages, and continued in force in all countries of Europe, Protestant as well as Roman Catholic, down to the end of the seventeenth century. Tolerance is a modern virtue. We shall return to this subject again in the chapter on Servetus”
    Reiterate: …sectarian prejudice.

  83. Pastor Spooner,
    But, if sola scriptura, why the need for a Creed which sits outside of Scripture? If Scripture says it all, then the only prayers which should be used in professing faith are those in the Bible, such as the Psalms or the Lord’s Prayer. The Nicean Creed is tradition, not Scripture. It specifically addressed the Arian heresy, and mandated a certain interpretation of scripture. Note that heresy arises from “improper” interpretation of Scripture. I put the quote around “improper” because how do we determine that a given interpretation is proper or not? That question is at the core of the divide between Catholicism and Lutheranism. Each side’s theology views the other as at least somewhat heretical. Luther’s theology denied Arianism — which I think is the reason for his use of the Nicean Creed. That’s a common thread. The culture clash: Catholicism acknowledges the need for good works as well as good faith for salvation; Lutherans state a counter position “sola fide”. More culture clash: Transubstantiation.
    docjim,
    http://www.reformation-lutheran.org/church/nicene.html
    That said, I’m going to give you the point, because you are a practicing Lutheran, and a primary source (an active member of a congregation) trumps a secondary source (such as the website above). But you can see where I come to my conclusions — apparently, at least two valid Lutheran translations of the Credo begin “We believe”.
    Thenderson,
    You are catagorically wrong about the violence of the Reformation. The violence, while religiously motivated, was statist in origin. If a ruler was convinced to be a Protestant, he killed Catholics. If a ruler was convinced to be a Catholic, he killed Protestants. Look at Henry VIII for a prime example — he hated Protestantism until he loved it. And what happened to the other side in Henry’s dominion? Henry’s behavior was replicated all across Europe, and especially in Germany, with some rulers switching sides multiple times. And, as the schisms of the Reformation went along, there were Protestants against Protestants as well. Prime example: the Amish. They were originally a type of anabaptist — German ex-Catholics who came to believe that infant baptism was invalid and adults should be rebaptised. Now, both Lutherans and Catholics held that only one baptism is needed; hence, the Amish were considered heretics, hunted and killed in both Lutheran and Catholic areas of Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Luckily for them, Will Penn happened along, looking for people to populate his western frontier, so the pacifist Amish survived… If you look at Lutheran and Catholic church websites in the Ohio Valley, you find that the Amish are generally admired by their former adversaries.
    As someone pointed out above, the Peace of Westphalia marked the end of statist forced conversions, at least in the West, and began the march toward the concept (originally enunciated by Jesus himself) that Church and State are different entities.

  84. The Middle East: Anyone Up for a Road Trip?

    General Patraeus and his war-time military (as opposed to the peace-time military who had been in charge the previous three years) have shown us that it is possible to reform Muslims. A central theme of his surge has been to convince rank-and-file Iraq…

  85. Unclesmrgol, of course Luther rejected the Arian Heresy, which was already far in the past in his time. Every Christian group then agreed about Arianism. What is your point? You erect a straw man when you try to say “faith only” for Luther and his followers. We are taught rather emphatically that faith without works is dead. And yes, there was a large non-religious component to the violence, but it was not the only component. There were indeed many princes and dukes eager to reject dictates of the anomalous Holy Roman Empire. But examine the case of the Reformation in Norway. It was imposed by the Danish king, who then also ruled Norway, as a matter of faith, not politics. The Reformation was met in Norway with armed resistance, as a matter of faith, not politics. The struggle in Norway was relatively bloodless, compared to more southerly realms, but it was intense for a period. My knowledge of this strife comes not from shallow reading in Wikipedia, but by extensive family history research. I descend from both the zealous Danish Lutherans and the recalcitrant Norwegian Catholics (some of whom received official pardons from the king and accepted the new religious realities).

  86. The Quran(Koran) Concerning other monotheist faiths:
    Not all of them are alike; a party of the people of the Scripture stand for the right, they recite the Verses of God during the hours of the night, prostrating themselves in prayer. They believe in God and the Last Day; they enjoin good and forbid wrong; and they hasten in good works; and they are among the righteous. And whatever good they do, nothing will be rejected of them; for God knows well those who are God fearing. 3:113-115
    And there are, certainly, among the people of the Scripture, those who believe in God and in that which has been revealed to you, and in that which has been revealed to them, humbling themselves before God. They do not sell the Verses of God for a little price, for them is a reward with their Lord. Surely, God is Swift in account. 3:199
    Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve . 2:62
    Say: “O people of the Scripture : Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but God, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides God. 3:64
    And they say: “None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian.” Those are their (vain) desires. Say: “Produce your proof if ye are truthful.”Nay,-whoever submits His whole self to God and is a doer of good,- He will get his reward with his Lord; on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. The Jews say: “The Christians have naught (to stand) upon; and the Christians say: “The Jews have naught (To stand) upon.” Yet they study the (same) Book. Like unto their word is what those say who know not; but God will judge between them in their quarrel on the Day of Judgment. 2.111-113
    If any do deeds of righteousness,- be they male or female – and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them 4.124
    The Quran(Koran) Concerning who we fight or don’t:
    As for such who do not fight you on account of faith, or drive you forth from your homelands, God does not forbid you to show them kindness and to deal with them with equity, for God loves those who act equitably. God only forbids you to turn in friendship towards such as fight against you because of faith and drive you forth from your homelands or aid in driving you forth. As for those from among you who turn towards them for alliance, it is they who are wrongdoers. 60:8-9
    Permission (to fight) is given to those against whom war is being wrongfully waged, and verily, God has indeed the power to aid them. Those who have been driven from their homelands in defiance of right for no other reason than their saying, ‘Our Lord is God.’ 22:39-40
    The Quran(Koran) Concerning freedom:
    2:256 There is no compulsion in religion, for the right way is clearly from the wrong way. Whoever therefore rejects the forces of evil and believes in God, he has taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way, for God is All Hearing and Knowing.
    16:82 But if they turn away from you, your only duty is a clear delivery of the Message .
    6:107 Yet if God had so willed, they would not have ascribed Divinity to aught besides Him; hence, We have not made you their keeper, nor are you a guardian over them.
    4:79-80 Say:’Whatever good betides you is from God and whatever evil betides you is from your own self and that We have sent you to mankind only as a messenger and all sufficing is God as witness. Whoso obeys the Messenger, he indeed obeys God. And for those who turn away, We have not sent you as a keeper.”
    11:28 He (Noah) said “O my people! think over it! If I act upon a clear direction from my Lord who has bestowed on me from Himself the Merciful talent of seeing the right way, a way which you cannot see for yourself, does it follow that we can force you to take the right path when you definitely decline to take it?°
    17:53-54 And tell my servants that they should speak in a most kindly manner. Verily, Satan is always ready to stir up discord between men; for verily; Satan is mans foe …. Hence, We have not sent you with power to determine their Faith.
    21:107-109 (O Prophet?) ‘We have not sent you except to be a mercy to all mankind:” Declare, “Verily, what is revealed to me is this, your God is the only One God, so is it not up to you to bow down to Him?’ But if they turn away then say, “I have delivered the Truth in a manner clear to one and all, and I know not whether the promised hour is near or far.”
    22:67 To every people have We appointed ceremonial rites which they observe; therefore, let them not wrangle over this matter with you, but bid them to turn to your Lord. You indeed are rightly guided. But if they still dispute you in this matter, `God best knows what you do.”
    24.54. Say: “Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger. but if ye turn away, he is only responsible for the duty placed on him and ye for that placed on you. If ye obey him, ye shall be on right guidance. The Messenger’s duty is only to preach the clear (Message).
    88:21 22; And so, exhort them your task is only to exhort; you cannot compel them to believe.
    48:28 He it is Who has sent forth His Messenger with the Guidance and the Religion of Truth, to the end that tie make it prevail over every religion, and none can bear witness to the Truth as God does.
    36:16 17 (Three Messengers to their people) Said, “Our Sustainer knows that we have indeed been sent unto you, but we are not bound to more than clearly deliver the Message entrusted to us.’
    39:41 Assuredly, We have sent down the Book to you in right form for the good of man. Whoso guided himself by it does so to his own advantage, and whoso turns away from it does so at his own loss. You certainly are not their keeper.
    42:6 48 And whoso takes for patrons others besides God, over them does God keep a watch. Mark, you are not a keeper over them. But if they turn aside from you (do not get disheartened), for We have not sent you to be a keeper over them; your task is but to preach ….
    64:12 Obey God then and obey the Messenger, but if you turn away (no blame shall attach to our Messenger), for the duty of Our Messenger is just to deliver the message.
    67:25 26 And they ask, “When shall the promise be fulfilled if you speak the Truth?” Say, “The knowledge of it is verily with God alone, and verily I am but a plain warner.”
    The Quran(Koran) concerning justice:
    “And among His signs are the creation of the heaven and earth, and the variation in your language and your colors; verily in that are signs for those who know” (30:22).
    “Satan seeks only to cast among you enmity and hate”(5:91).
    O you who believe! Stand out for justice, as witnesses to God, and even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be rich or poor. An-Nisaa’ 4:134
    “O you who believe! Be the maintainers of justice and bearers of witness for God’s sake though it be against your own self, parents and relatives” (4:135).
    “O you mankind! We have created you from a single pair of male and female and made you into nations and tribes so that you know each other. Verily the most honored in the sight of God is the one who is most righteous” (49:13).
    O you who believe! Stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety and fear God, for God is well acquainted with all that you do. 5:8
    And thus We made of you a justly balanced community that you might bear witness to humankind and the Apostle might bear witness over you. 2:143
    O you who believe, observe your duty to God with right observance, and die not except in a state of submission (to Him). And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of God, and do not separate, and remember God’s favor unto you: how you were enemies and He put love between your hearts so that you became as brothers by His grace: and how you were upon the brink of a fire and He saved you from it. Thus God makes clear His revelations unto you so that you may be guided” (3:102-103).
    “The believers are nothing else other than brothers, Thus make peace between your brethren and observe your duty to God that you may haply receive His mercy” (49: 1 0).
    The Quran(Koran) Concerning propagation:
    Invite (all humankind) to the path of your Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation and argue with them in the most kindly manner, for, indeed, your Lord knows best as to who strays from His path, and best who are the right-guided. (16:125)
    Had your Lord so willed, all those who live on earth would surely have attained faith, will you then compel people, against their will, to believe? 10:99
    And We have not sent you, but as mercy to all the worlds. 21:107
    The Quran(Koran) Concerning Jesus the messiah:
    When the angel said, “Mary, God gives you a good tidings of a Word from Him whose name is messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, -high honoured shall he be in this world and the next, near stationed to God. He shall speak to men in the cradle, and of age, and righteous he shall be, “lord” said Mary “How shall I have a son, seeing no mortal has touched me? “Even so, he said “God creates what He will”. When he decrees a thing He but say to it, “Be”, and it is. (Al-Imran 3:45-47)
    “Then she brought the child to her folk, carrying him, and they said, “Mary, you have surely committed a monstrous thing. Sister of Aaron, your father was not a wicked man, nor your mother a woman unchaste. Mary pointed to the child; but they said, ‘Hoe shall we speak to one who still in the cradle, a little child. And he said, ‘Lo, I am God’s servant, God has given me the Book and made me a Prophet Blessed He has made me ,wherever/may be; and He has enjoined me to prayer, and to give the alms so long as I live, and likewise to cherish my mother; He has not made me arrogant and wicked. Peace be upon me, the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I am raised up alive. “Maryam 19:29-33)
    “And they say, The All-Merciful has taken unto Himself a son. You have indeed advanced something hideous. As if the skies are about to burst, the earth to split asunder and its mountain to fall down in the utter ruin for that they have attributed to the All-merciful a son; and behaves not the All-merciful to take a son. None there in the heavens and earth but comes to the All-Merciful as a servant” (Maryam 19:88-93)
    Truly the likeness of Jesus, in God’s sight is as Adam’s likeness; He created him of dust, then He said upon him, ‘Be’ and he was. (Al-Imran 3:59)
    People of the Book, do not go beyond the bounds in your religion, and say nought as to God but the Truth. The messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only the messenger of God, and his word that he committed to Mary, and a spirit originating from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not ‘Three’. Refrain, better is for you. God is only one God. Glory be to him-that He should have a son! To Him belongs all that is in the Heavens and in the Earth; God suffices for a guardian. (4.171)
    110. Then will God say: “O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favour to thee and to thy mother. Behold! I strengthened thee with the holy spirit, so that thou didst speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught thee the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel and behold! thou makest out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My leave, and thou breathest into it and it becometh a bird by My leave, and thou healest those born blind, and the lepers, by My leave. And behold! thou bringest forth the dead by My leave. And behold! I did restrain the Children of Israel from (violence to) thee when thou didst show them the clear Signs, and the unbelievers among them said: ‘This is nothing but evident magic.’

  87. The Quran(Koran) Concerning other monotheist faiths:
    Not all of them are alike; a party of the people of the Scripture stand for the right, they recite the Verses of God during the hours of the night, prostrating themselves in prayer. They believe in God and the Last Day; they enjoin good and forbid wrong; and they hasten in good works; and they are among the righteous. And whatever good they do, nothing will be rejected of them; for God knows well those who are God fearing. 3:113-115
    And there are, certainly, among the people of the Scripture, those who believe in God and in that which has been revealed to you, and in that which has been revealed to them, humbling themselves before God. They do not sell the Verses of God for a little price, for them is a reward with their Lord. Surely, God is Swift in account. 3:199
    Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve . 2:62
    Say: “O people of the Scripture : Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but God, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides God. 3:64
    And they say: “None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian.” Those are their (vain) desires. Say: “Produce your proof if ye are truthful.”Nay,-whoever submits His whole self to God and is a doer of good,- He will get his reward with his Lord; on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. The Jews say: “The Christians have naught (to stand) upon; and the Christians say: “The Jews have naught (To stand) upon.” Yet they study the (same) Book. Like unto their word is what those say who know not; but God will judge between them in their quarrel on the Day of Judgment. 2.111-113
    If any do deeds of righteousness,- be they male or female – and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them 4.124
    The Quran(Koran) Concerning who we fight or don’t:
    As for such who do not fight you on account of faith, or drive you forth from your homelands, God does not forbid you to show them kindness and to deal with them with equity, for God loves those who act equitably. God only forbids you to turn in friendship towards such as fight against you because of faith and drive you forth from your homelands or aid in driving you forth. As for those from among you who turn towards them for alliance, it is they who are wrongdoers. 60:8-9
    Permission (to fight) is given to those against whom war is being wrongfully waged, and verily, God has indeed the power to aid them. Those who have been driven from their homelands in defiance of right for no other reason than their saying, ‘Our Lord is God.’ 22:39-40
    The Quran(Koran) Concerning freedom:
    2:256 There is no compulsion in religion, for the right way is clearly from the wrong way. Whoever therefore rejects the forces of evil and believes in God, he has taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way, for God is All Hearing and Knowing.
    16:82 But if they turn away from you, your only duty is a clear delivery of the Message .
    6:107 Yet if God had so willed, they would not have ascribed Divinity to aught besides Him; hence, We have not made you their keeper, nor are you a guardian over them.
    4:79-80 Say:’Whatever good betides you is from God and whatever evil betides you is from your own self and that We have sent you to mankind only as a messenger and all sufficing is God as witness. Whoso obeys the Messenger, he indeed obeys God. And for those who turn away, We have not sent you as a keeper.”
    11:28 He (Noah) said “O my people! think over it! If I act upon a clear direction from my Lord who has bestowed on me from Himself the Merciful talent of seeing the right way, a way which you cannot see for yourself, does it follow that we can force you to take the right path when you definitely decline to take it?°
    17:53-54 And tell my servants that they should speak in a most kindly manner. Verily, Satan is always ready to stir up discord between men; for verily; Satan is mans foe …. Hence, We have not sent you with power to determine their Faith.
    21:107-109 (O Prophet?) ‘We have not sent you except to be a mercy to all mankind:” Declare, “Verily, what is revealed to me is this, your God is the only One God, so is it not up to you to bow down to Him?’ But if they turn away then say, “I have delivered the Truth in a manner clear to one and all, and I know not whether the promised hour is near or far.”
    22:67 To every people have We appointed ceremonial rites which they observe; therefore, let them not wrangle over this matter with you, but bid them to turn to your Lord. You indeed are rightly guided. But if they still dispute you in this matter, `God best knows what you do.”
    24.54. Say: “Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger. but if ye turn away, he is only responsible for the duty placed on him and ye for that placed on you. If ye obey him, ye shall be on right guidance. The Messenger’s duty is only to preach the clear (Message).
    88:21 22; And so, exhort them your task is only to exhort; you cannot compel them to believe.
    48:28 He it is Who has sent forth His Messenger with the Guidance and the Religion of Truth, to the end that tie make it prevail over every religion, and none can bear witness to the Truth as God does.
    36:16 17 (Three Messengers to their people) Said, “Our Sustainer knows that we have indeed been sent unto you, but we are not bound to more than clearly deliver the Message entrusted to us.’
    39:41 Assuredly, We have sent down the Book to you in right form for the good of man. Whoso guided himself by it does so to his own advantage, and whoso turns away from it does so at his own loss. You certainly are not their keeper.
    42:6 48 And whoso takes for patrons others besides God, over them does God keep a watch. Mark, you are not a keeper over them. But if they turn aside from you (do not get disheartened), for We have not sent you to be a keeper over them; your task is but to preach ….
    64:12 Obey God then and obey the Messenger, but if you turn away (no blame shall attach to our Messenger), for the duty of Our Messenger is just to deliver the message.
    67:25 26 And they ask, “When shall the promise be fulfilled if you speak the Truth?” Say, “The knowledge of it is verily with God alone, and verily I am but a plain warner.”
    The Quran(Koran) concerning justice:
    “And among His signs are the creation of the heaven and earth, and the variation in your language and your colors; verily in that are signs for those who know” (30:22).
    “Satan seeks only to cast among you enmity and hate”(5:91).
    O you who believe! Stand out for justice, as witnesses to God, and even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be rich or poor. An-Nisaa’ 4:134
    “O you who believe! Be the maintainers of justice and bearers of witness for God’s sake though it be against your own self, parents and relatives” (4:135).
    “O you mankind! We have created you from a single pair of male and female and made you into nations and tribes so that you know each other. Verily the most honored in the sight of God is the one who is most righteous” (49:13).
    O you who believe! Stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety and fear God, for God is well acquainted with all that you do. 5:8
    And thus We made of you a justly balanced community that you might bear witness to humankind and the Apostle might bear witness over you. 2:143
    O you who believe, observe your duty to God with right observance, and die not except in a state of submission (to Him). And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of God, and do not separate, and remember God’s favor unto you: how you were enemies and He put love between your hearts so that you became as brothers by His grace: and how you were upon the brink of a fire and He saved you from it. Thus God makes clear His revelations unto you so that you may be guided” (3:102-103).
    “The believers are nothing else other than brothers, Thus make peace between your brethren and observe your duty to God that you may haply receive His mercy” (49: 1 0).
    The Quran(Koran) Concerning propagation:
    Invite (all humankind) to the path of your Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation and argue with them in the most kindly manner, for, indeed, your Lord knows best as to who strays from His path, and best who are the right-guided. (16:125)
    Had your Lord so willed, all those who live on earth would surely have attained faith, will you then compel people, against their will, to believe? 10:99
    And We have not sent you, but as mercy to all the worlds. 21:107
    The Quran(Koran) Concerning Jesus the messiah:
    When the angel said, “Mary, God gives you a good tidings of a Word from Him whose name is messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, -high honoured shall he be in this world and the next, near stationed to God. He shall speak to men in the cradle, and of age, and righteous he shall be, “lord” said Mary “How shall I have a son, seeing no mortal has touched me? “Even so, he said “God creates what He will”. When he decrees a thing He but say to it, “Be”, and it is. (Al-Imran 3:45-47)
    “Then she brought the child to her folk, carrying him, and they said, “Mary, you have surely committed a monstrous thing. Sister of Aaron, your father was not a wicked man, nor your mother a woman unchaste. Mary pointed to the child; but they said, ‘Hoe shall we speak to one who still in the cradle, a little child. And he said, ‘Lo, I am God’s servant, God has given me the Book and made me a Prophet Blessed He has made me ,wherever/may be; and He has enjoined me to prayer, and to give the alms so long as I live, and likewise to cherish my mother; He has not made me arrogant and wicked. Peace be upon me, the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I am raised up alive. “Maryam 19:29-33)
    “And they say, The All-Merciful has taken unto Himself a son. You have indeed advanced something hideous. As if the skies are about to burst, the earth to split asunder and its mountain to fall down in the utter ruin for that they have attributed to the All-merciful a son; and behaves not the All-merciful to take a son. None there in the heavens and earth but comes to the All-Merciful as a servant” (Maryam 19:88-93)
    Truly the likeness of Jesus, in God’s sight is as Adam’s likeness; He created him of dust, then He said upon him, ‘Be’ and he was. (Al-Imran 3:59)
    People of the Book, do not go beyond the bounds in your religion, and say nought as to God but the Truth. The messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only the messenger of God, and his word that he committed to Mary, and a spirit originating from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not ‘Three’. Refrain, better is for you. God is only one God. Glory be to him-that He should have a son! To Him belongs all that is in the Heavens and in the Earth; God suffices for a guardian. (4.171)
    110. Then will God say: “O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favour to thee and to thy mother. Behold! I strengthened thee with the holy spirit, so that thou didst speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught thee the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel and behold! thou makest out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My leave, and thou breathest into it and it becometh a bird by My leave, and thou healest those born blind, and the lepers, by My leave. And behold! thou bringest forth the dead by My leave. And behold! I did restrain the Children of Israel from (violence to) thee when thou didst show them the clear Signs, and the unbelievers among them said: ‘This is nothing but evident magic.’

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