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The“Koran, now in 2-ply”

Published: Monday, October 24, 2011

Updated: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 16:10

       Usually in a letter like this you'd start with, "Dear sir," or "To Whom it May Concern:," but neither of these fit. I know you're a man, I saw you when I passed your van, desperate to escape your slogan, but I don't feel comfortable addressing you as sir. Sir infers that I respect you, and frankly I don't.

      I get it. You think that America, the land of the free, doesn't need any crazy-Muslims and their wacky book of not-the-Bible, but aside from being a total bigot, you're completely miss- ing the point of being American. We became the land of the free to escape religious persecution. I feel, understandably, that you're making it pretty difficult for Muslims to feel that same level of freedom.

     If I'm honest, I'm a pretty naïve guy. Maybe you thought it was a pretty cool goof to put that bumper sticker on the back of your van. Maybe, hopefully, you don't mean it. I don't want to label you as a racist because of how you decorate your car, but you've made it exceptionally difficult for me to believe otherwise. I made a lot of assumptions about you and how you behave after seeing that sticker, but that's just karma right? Sorry to reference another phone-baloney religion. Mybad.

      Naturally, I've imagined you reading this letter to yourself; a grimace set into your face as you struggled with some of the bigger words and figured I'd spell out some stuff for you. It's no secret that the rest of the world isn't always keen on America. You are why. You are the American people in other countries imagine, close-minded to other beliefs, decadently proud of your own country and far too brash to be let out in public.

"No!," you exclaim, furious at the assessment I've given, "I'm certainly not like that. I'm a hard worker, and a family-man. You've treated me unfairly." Again karma. Imagine the millions of Arabs and Muslims forced every day to be associated unjustly with al-Qaida or other terrorist groups, just because they belong to a certain faith. It's tomato, tomato I guess.

       What bothers me the most is that a company saw it profitable enough to make those bumper stickers. You are not the only wretched person with out-and-out racism on display for the world to see. You may be complaining about Americans being too politically correct. We aren't. You're just being really super racist.

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Sat Nov 12 2011 13:31
From the essay "Communism and Islam" in International Affairs, Vol. 30, No. 1 (Jan., 1954), pp. 1-12, here is Bernard Lewis on Islam's inherent authoritarianism:
I turn now from the accidental to the essential factors, to those deriving from the very nature of Islamic society, tradition, and thought. The first of these is the authoritarianism, perhaps we may even say the totalitarianism, of the Islamic political tradition...Many attempts have been made to show that Islam and democracy are identical -- attempts usually based on a misunderstanding of Islam or democracy or both...In point of fact, except for the early caliphate, when the anarchic individualism of tribal Arabia was still effective, the political history of Islam is one of almost unrelieved autocracy...[I]t was authoritarian, often arbitrary, sometimes tyrannical. There are no parliaments or representative assemblies of any kind, no councils or communes, no chambers of nobility or estates, no municipalities in the history of Islam; nothing but the sovereign power, to which the subject owed complete and unwavering obedience as a religious duty imposed by the Holy Law. In the great days of classical Islam this duty was only owed to the lawfully appointed caliph, as God's vicegerent on earth and head of the theocratic community, and then only for as long as he upheld the law; but with the decline of the caliphate and the growth of military dictatorship, Muslim jurists and theologians accommodated their teachings to the changed situation and extended the religious duty of obedience to any effective authority, however impious, however barbarous. For the last thousand years, the political thinking of Islam has been dominated by such maxims as "tyranny is better than anarchy" and "whose power is established, obedience to him is incumbent."
...Quite obviously, the Ulama of Islam are very different from the Communist Party. Nevertheless, on closer examination, we find certain uncomfortable resemblances. Both groups profess a totalitarian doctrine, with complete and final answers to all questions on heaven and earth; the answers are different in every respect, alike only in their finality and completeness, and in the contrast they offer with the eternal questioning of Western man. Both groups offer to their members and followers the agreeable sensation of belonging to a community of believers, who are always right, as against an outer world of unbelievers, who are always wrong. Both offer an exhilarating feeling of mission, of purpose, of being engaged in a collective adventure to accelerate the historically inevitable victory of the true faith over the infidel evil-doers. The traditional Islamic division of the world into the House of Islam and the House of War, two necessarily opposed groups, of which- the first has the collective obligation of perpetual struggle against the second, also has obvious parallels in the Communist view of world affairs. There again, the content of belief is utterly different, but the aggressive fanaticism of the believer is the same. The humorist who summed up the Communist creed as "There is no God and Karl Marx is his Prophet!" was laying his finger on a real affinity. The call to a Communist Jihad, a Holy War for the faith -- a new faith, but against the self-same Western Christian enemy -- might well strike a responsive note.

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