Thursday, November 22, 2007

Islam and Violence

1Islam and Violence

Many non-Muslims, upon hearing from Muslims that Islam is a “religion of peace” take the statement with a grain of salt. With terrorist attacks, suicide bombings and violence frequently being carried out in the name of Islam, one may wonder how is it possible to call Islam a religion of peace? Moreover, when these same “militant Islamists” justify their horrific actions through the verses of the Quran and the tradition of the Prophet, this idea is only reinforced. The question is, if Islam truly is a religion of peace, how can such actions carried out and such crimes committed in its name?

To begin to answer this question one must first make a distinction between what Islam actually says—in the Quran, in the Sunnah, and in the writings of Muslim scholars—and what “Muslims” actually do. Herein lies the disconnect. The fact is that today, the vast majority of these people who claim to be Muslims have never engaged in a deep study of Islam or the Quran. They do not have the knowledge and authority to issue fatwas (religious edicts) or make vast proclamations. In fact, many of these people labeled “Muslim extremists” are really extremists who happen to be Muslim. As the noted scholar Hamza Yusuf said “If you get Jewish extremists, Hindu extremists and Muslim extremists in the same room - they all seem to look very similar.” Deep down, religion is not what really motivates them but rather it is a raw passion stemming perhaps from dreadful economic and political conditions in their countries. And in order to give a more legitimate basis to their ideas, they like to quote out of context from the Quran and appropriate religion to their ends—religion, because in the Muslim world, religion possesses great motive force.

And yet all around the world, qualified Islamic scholars have condemned and continue to condemn such violence and attacks against civilians. “Vigilante violence has never been sanctioned in Islam” states Hamza Yusuf and the scholar Faraz Rabbani observes, “These people are not “Muslim soldiers” but renegades acting on anger and frustration, rather than law and dignity.” In other words, their’s is not the correct understanding of Islam. To mention all of the places in the Quran and the Islamic Tradition condemning such acts of violence and aggression would really require another post, but perhaps it would be instructive to show how easily it is to quote the Quran out of context:

Many militant Muslims who cite the Quran to support their violent actions often use the following verse out of context:

"And fight in the cause of Allah with those who fight with you...And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from where they drove you out..." 2. 190

But here is the passage in its entirety.

"And fight in the cause of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits. And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from where they drove you out and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque (in Makkah) until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the reward of the unbelievers. But if they desist, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors." (Qur'an, 2:190-192)

Still, one may be wondering why it is that violence and extremism are so often associated with Islam and not with other faiths. There are many reasons but one may be the terrible economic and political conditions in Muslim countries. Think of the major hotspots in the world today-- Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Darfur—nearly all of them are in Muslim countries. Unsurprisingly, such extreme situations breed extremism in otherwise normal individuals. Perhaps another reason may be that unlike in Christianity ( and I’m not sure of Judaism), Islam does not have a clergy, or a hierarchically organized, unified body that controls and certifies people to become religious leaders. The system in Islam is far more decentralized, with individual schools and universities bestowing the title imam, with no oversight from some external, universal Islamic body. With the largely terrible state of the Islamic education system, it is not at all difficult for unqualified people to slip through the cracks and be declared religious leaders despite their lacking the requisite knowledge or training.

For more information,

http://www.zaytuna.org/articleDetails.asp?articleID=115
http://qa.sunnipath.com/

-UQ

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

How can you say, on one hand, that there is no universal set of rules outlining how one would become a religious leader and then condemn these people, who clearly see themselves as "qualified," as not having the "correct understanding of Islam" - who decides what this "universal" correct understanding is to begin with? I mean, how can you make judgements when they could just as easily and quickly say that YOU don't have the correct understanding of Islam? They pull out names of Mullahs and scholars just as quickly as you can and it seems that you are engaging in the same language and mode of thinking as they are ("we have the correct understanding and they don't"). Isn't that the core of the whole problem? That people believe they hold the truth and others don't?

-Not Convinced

theMAN said...

Anonymous, aside from the stylistic elements of the passage, you need to look at the overall moral here.
Militants use out of context quotes to further their own selfish agendas. If you look at the entire passage, as UQ has done for us, any lay-person without any knowledge of Islam can easily see that what the militants are quoting is wrong. It's just that obvious. Scholars aside, you cannot deny the meaning of the passage in its entire context, it's completely ostensible what the Qur'an is saying.

Anybody can quote anything out of context to further their own motives, this has been done in every single religion and thought system throughout the course of history. People need to give Islam a break and look at the real issues, like why people are so easily attracted to these firebrand , renegade, "scholars" who preach violence. They need to look at hypocrisy on the part of Muslim and non-Muslim governments, economic and social oppression, as well as a host of other issues that nobody is willing to talk about.

People, especially the ignorant American public, need to wake up.

ifieatturkey said...

I completely agree that any religion, and indeed any ideology, no matter how "peaceful," can be usurped by those with violent intentions. However, it seems unfair to say that oppressive, violent teachings that encourage intolerance and terrorism are due to poverty. There are people with completely different moral codes, different ideologies, who are deeply and spiritually committed to destroying their "enemies" -- and no amount of economic prosperity would dissuade them of their own righteousness.

JD said...

Thanks a lot, UQ, for this enlightening post.

I am totally with theman and UQ in that terrorists are simply misusing the Qur'an to further their own agenda. I must admit, though, I still feel a little unsure about the passage UQ quoted. How does one define "desist?" Does that mean, say, Israel should stop human rights abuses of Palestinians, or does it mean that Israel needs to completely "go away?" And who is the "they" that can be targeted? If you view the American army as persecuting Muslims in Iraq, does that mean any American is a legitimate target?

Like most religious texts, this one seems a bit vague. I do believe that true Islam, indeed any true religion, is based in peace, but I still feel like the Quranic passage quoted is easily malleable for violent and hate-filled religious leaders.

simon said...

Ditto on jd. I believe that most Muslims are not extremists, however much I may think that perceptions of Jews in Muslim countries are heavily influenced by Nazi propaganda recycled by ruthless governments. But in regard to your statement

"And yet all around the world, qualified Islamic scholars have condemned and continue to condemn such violence and attacks against civilians."

These condemnations have been proven insufficient, because many Palestinians and those who support them excuse terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians as justified because Israel has compulsory military service.

As far as issues that no one wants to talk about, I want to talk about them. It's clear you all who contribute to this site are good people. The nature of the posts to this message board seem intended to make Jews and Muslims realize that they have a fair amount in common, and that they shouldn't be afraid of each other. This is very important, but I'm past that, and think we need to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Please email me at mishuga@gmail.com if you're interested. I have long wanted to have a civil and intelligent discussion on Israel with Muslims, but unfortunately most people, regardless of religion, are pretty hot-tempered. Just to warn you, I intend to have this discussion occur on another blog, not out of disrespect for this forum, but because i feel that it might be too sensitive a topic for JAM, and I don't want to impede the mission of understanding between our faiths, independent of politics.

theman said...

Hey Simon, I'd love to have such a discussion with you and anyone and everyone else who's interested in the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

But I think this blog is THE perfect place for it. This is the biggest problem Jews and Muslims face, and we are in the best position to talk about it.

I understand what you mean about people being hot-headed etc. But I think if we really tried hard, we could definitely get a few great intellectual discussions going.

I'd definitely be up for it.

oxfordnew said...

yeah- I think as far as the whole issue goes- we should have it here, because it is simply a topic we should address

To start off, I think it's fair to say that the nature and history of the whole event is what is such an emotional issue

you tell me- if a group of individuals take the land that you have been living in and base it on a religious claim, will you comply?

I think a simple example to point this dilemma is that if the Holy Land was in America and not Israel, how supportive would America and much of the Western world be...

-think about it and put yourself in the Palestinians' shoes

Simon said...

#7-

I'll start off by quoting you-

"you tell me- if a group of individuals take the land that you have been living in and base it on a religious claim, will you comply?"

This is a very misleading and dangerous statement. The basis for Zionism was the idea that Jews should have a homeland, but it's popularity was not based on religion. Rather, given that the Jewish diaspora had been regularly punctuated by periods of regular massacre, and that the current wave of persecution(in the 30's and 40's) had the aim of complete extermination, I find the idea of a ethnic Jewish homeland to make alot of sense.

Secondly, please tell me what you mean by the Jews taking the Arab land. I'm not saying Arabs weren't displaced, and surely the Palestinians are the biggest victims in all this, but statements like the one quoted above tend to ignore the following

- There were Jews in Palestine, way before and at the same time as the birth of Zionism

- Zionism became the answer to a serious existential issue for the Jews, as the lesson of the Holocaust was that the Jews could ultimately only entrust their security to themselves

- Jews had been purchasing and cultivating Arab land for years prior to 1948

- the Arab rejection of the notion of a Jewish state, their instigations of the 1948 and 1967 wars, and the subsequent rejection of land-for-peace treaties carry the most responsibility for Arab suffering.

On a more practical level, my own view of negotiations is that all of the west bank land should be on the table for negotiation, including part of Jerusalem, but I reject the idea of 'right of return,' because that would obviously mean a dissolution of the state. Not much of a two state solution in that, eh?

theman said...

Great, we're actually discussing this. It's about time.

The question for me is the following:

Does the need for one group's security outweigh the rights of another?

Simon, what I think you're saying is that the Jews deserve an ethnic homeland in which they can entrust their security to themselves, because in the past they were nearly completely exterminated.

This is a most valid reason for a homeland.

The problem, however, arises when this homeland is granted unfairly at the expense of other innocent groups of people based on a religious justification.

The question was never whether or not the Jews deserved a homeland, I believe they did. But where should they get it? The natural answer seemed to be Palestine. Why? It's the promised land. Quite frankly, that type of justification doesn't work.

Looking at the root of the problem, the creation of Israel that is, I think it's fairly obvious it wasn't fair what happened.

Why did the governments that persecuted the Jews not give up their own land to the Jews for their state?

Let's examine three treaties that display this clear inequality:

(1) McMahon-Hussein Correspondence-
Arabs were promised independent lands in the Middle East in return for their aid against the Ottomans in WWI.

NOT HELD TO

(2) Sykes-Picoi Correspondence-
The British and the French agree amongst themselves to divide lands in the Middle East, w/o consideration for the desired autonomy of Arabs living there already.

(3) Balfour Declaration-
The British support the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine w/o consideration of Arabs living there already.

I don't know why you stated that Jews had already been living in Arab lands. I mean, they weren't forced to just pick up and move into refugee camps in countries that neither integrated them nor cared for them, were they?

I'm just saying that if we look at the creation of Israel from a purely historical point of view, I find it very difficult to justify it.

For a possible solution, we do need to consider what has happened after that, but I think it's central to keep in mind the original events that led to this entire problem. Because this is what people on both sides look at and base their motivations on.

Quite frankly, I can find no justification for how Israel was created.

Where do we go from here? Like it or not, this is what has happened, and a nation cannot just be "erased." But as we search for a solution, we must remember the actual history behind the conflict.

My idea would be to first remove all settlers from what is currently Palestine, get rid of this farce of a wall, outposts etc. And to eventually have a single state with a shared power government and equal rights and conditions for all.

Not gonna happen overnight, but I think we can make it there.

simon said...

theman-

> Does the need for one group's
> security outweigh the rights of > another?

Well, if the security threat to group A came from group B in the first place, then yes, group A should do what it needs to in order to defend itself. Let's say ten brothers live in a house next door to you. One of them shoots your daughter's window every day. The other 9 are not actively threatening you, but at the same time are not preventing the crazy one from shooting you, and you're just not sure why. They very well could just be frightened of the crazy one, but it just seems strange given that it's just one crazy one among ten. One way or another gunfire keeps coming at you from their house. There are no cops. What would you do?

> The problem, however, arises
> when this homeland is granted
> unfairly at the expense of
> other innocent groups of people
> based on a religious
> justification.

The original issue was not displacing people. The Balfour declaration happened, the Arabs rejected it, and displacement only happened in the aftermath of war. Mind you, they were not forced out, but were encouraged to leave with the assurance of an imminent arab victory over Israel. The sizable Israeli Arab population is clear evidence that the Jews weren't forcing people out. The issue was who ran the government. The Arabs weren't interested in sharing power.

> The question was never whether
> or not the Jews deserved
> a homeland, I believe they did.
> But where should they get it?
> The natural answer seemed to be
> Palestine. Why? It's the
> promised land. Quite frankly,
> that type of justification
> doesn't work.

If you live in an area and the area is being partitioned, why shouldn't you get autonomy?

> Looking at the root of the
> problem, the creation of Israel
> that is, I think it's fairly
> obvious it wasn't fair what
> happened.

> Why did the governments that
> persecuted the Jews not give up
> their own land to the Jews for
> their state?

The problem was not the creation of the state of Israel, it was antisemitism that was pervasive throughout the areas where Jews lived. In addition to it's nostalgic appeal, the general area called Palestine principally made sense as a Jewish homeland for the fact that it was a desolate, tiny part of an area administered by a foreign power, soon to be partitioned, in a neighborhood that was relatively more hospitable than Christian Europe.

When it comes to establishing your own state, there are no completely fair answers. Someone has to lose something. I think the Jews recognized this, and tried repeatedly to extend olive branches; they let Arabs stay, even let Muslims control the temple mount when it was right over the holiest area in Judaism!

Let's examine three treaties that display this clear inequality:

> (1) McMahon-Hussein
> Correspondence-Arabs were
> promised independent lands in
> the Middle East in return for
> their aid against the Ottomans
> in WWI.

> NOT HELD TO

> (2) Sykes-Picoi Correspondence-
> The British and the French agree
> amongst themselves to divide
> lands in the Middle East, w/o
> consideration for the desired
> autonomy of Arabs living there
> already.

What do these have to do with Israel?

> (3) Balfour Declaration-
> The British support the
> establishment of a Jewish
> homeland in Palestine w/o
> consideration of Arabs living
> there already.

I don't know why a decision that didn't give the Arabs everything they asked for necessarily means that the decision was made without consideration of the Arabs living there...

> I don't know why you stated that
> Jews had already been living in
> Arab lands. I mean, they weren't
> forced to just pick up and move
> into refugee camps in countries
> that neither integrated them nor
> cared for them, were they?

Yes they were! Ask my father's family!

> I'm just saying that if we look
> at the creation of Israel from a
> purely historical point of view,
> I find it very difficult to
> justify it.

It's easy. Jews were there. They wanted a place to call their own, and with good reason didn't trust others to rule over them. They didn't raze the land, they didn't ethnically cleanse, they didn't force people out. Do you know how nasty people and peoples generally have been when they wanted something?

> For a possible solution, we do
> need to consider what has
> happened after that, but I think
> it's central to keep in mind the
> original events that led to this
> entire problem. Because this is
> what people on both sides look
> at and base their motivations
> on.

It's pretty simple: Two groups lived in Palestine, hated the British, each wanted their own country. The Jews and Arabs were each given a piece of the pie. The Jews accepted, the Arabs rejected. They fought over it. The Jews won, captured the Arab piece, and even still offered it back in exchange for peace and harmony. The Arabs rejected again, and gave generations of their descendants the curse of anger, resentment and squalor couched in the dream of eventual dominion.

> My idea would be to first remove
> all settlers from what is
> currently Palestine, get rid of
> this farce of a wall, outposts
> etc. And to eventually have a
> single state with a shared power
> government and equal rights and
> conditions for all.

I'm with you on the settlers. I will support the wall until it's clear that the peaceful 90% of the Palestinians have the cajones to control the terrorist 10%(see metaphor above).

As far as a single state goes, two things: 1)Nothing in the last 15 years has given me any hope that a single state wouldn't mean more terrorist bloodshed and culmination in a non-democratic Muslim state; 2)The holocaust is not lost on me. I believe Jews should have a homeland.

Anonymous said...

Nice post Simon, except that you forgot to mention the European settlers who came to Palestine and unjustly took over the lands which belonged to the Arab natives.
In 1890, the Jewish population of Palestine was approximately 43,000 people.
During the first and second Aliyas (literally “ascent” but refers to Jewish migration to the Promised Land) between 1880-1914, 75,000 Russian Jews immigrated to Palestine. In the third Aliya (1919-1923), 40,000 Jews, mainly from the Russian Empire arrived in the wake of World War I, the British conquest of Palestine, the establishment of the Mandate, and the Balfour Declaration. In the fourth Aliya (1924-1929) 82,000 Jews arrived, many as a result of anti-semitism in Poland and Hungary. However about 20,000 later left for the USA. Between 1929 and 1939, with the rise of Nazism in Germany, a new wave of 250,000 immigrants arrived. During the World War II, roughly 110,000 Jews immigrated to Palestine. A major wave of immigration of over half a million Jews went to Israel between 1948 and 1950, many fleeing renewed persecution in Eastern Europe.
Therefore, between 1890 and 1950, a net total of approximately 1 million European Jews immigrated to Palestine.
75,000 + 40,000 + 80,000- 20,000 + 250,000 + 110,000 + 500,000 = 1,035,000
Thus the Jewish population in Palestine increased from 40,000 in 1880, to 1 million in 1950.

I dare anyone on this thread to say that this is justified. Just because these Europeans were persecuted in their home countries does NOT mean that they all immigrate to Palestine, drive out the native Arabs, and establish their own nation state. Why should the Arabs pay for the crimes of the Russians, the Nazis or whatever? What I don’t understand is that why in the early 1900s didn’t all of these European Jews simply migrate to America. Surely the Americans would have been more than eager to host nearly a million Europeans (or would they?). Why these Europeans chose to go to Palestine instead, and ended up creating so much trouble, only baffles me.
The fact is that the Israel-Palestine conflict is NOT a religious conflict: it is NOT a conflict between Jews and Muslims. It is a purely political conflict, a conflict between Europeans and Arabs. I am not saying that in 1880 there were no Arab Jews. There were about 40,000 of them, but surely this is too insignificant a minority (about 30,000 Palestinians were injured by Israeli violence between 2000 and 2007, which Israel says is insignificant a number).
I would appreciate if people don’t drag religion into the Israel-Palestine conflict. When an Arab blows himself up in a bus in Tel Aviv, he is not being a Muslim, he’s just a Palestinian. Similarly, when a European demolishes a house in Ramallah, he is not a Jew, he’s simply a Zionist.
Source for the figures: Wikipedia!

Jeremy Avins said...

I'm really glad that people are being open and honest and having this conversation. I would just like to remind everyone that what JAM is about is using our differences to recognize the common humanity among us. I love that so many people are into the dialogue, and of course I want it to continue as much as possible, but I would encourage those who post to write about their personal feelings and reflections rather than making political arguments. We can all find statistics and cite sources to support any line of argument we want; we can always read a newspaper to learn about news events; what we don't always have, and what this blog seeks to make available, is the opportunity to make connections as individuals by "virtual listening," instead trying to convince everyone of the rightness of a certain line of thought.

Can't wait to hear more from everyone!

thewoman said...

i think what anonymous is trying to argue is that the Palestine issue is too political for JAM.

Anonymous said...

I realize that I am coming rather late to this discussion, but I would like to respond to the original post, rather than the Israeli-Palestinian discussion (this is a different Anonymous user). UQ stated several times in his original post that the tendencies of terrorists should be attributed to their poverty and the political unrest of their countries. Why is it, then, that terrorists are overrepresented from middle-class, educated populations in such countries? The political unrest issue I will not deny, but this myth of the poor, uneducated terrorist needs to be dropped.

That terrorists may be blatantly misinterpreting the Quran is not something I am interested in arguing against. However, this is not necessarily because I agree but because it really doesn't matter. There has to be a certain point at which the predominant beliefs of the followers of a religion either come to define that religion or create a new one. From a global perspective, the true definition of what it is to be a Muslim, as defined by "correct" interpretation of the Quran, is far less important than the modern definition of what it is to be a Muslim, as represented by far more followers - ones willing to pay for passage into the afterlife with blood.

simon said...

anonymous, #14-

I think that a large minority of Muslims support Palestinian terrorism as justified(polls have implied as much), but think you're betraying some pretty nasty bigotry by simply asserting that most Muslims aspire to dying as terrorists. Your comment concerning the malleability of religion shows that you have the sophistication to perhaps shed these biases, and I hope that one day you will resist the urge to subscribe to and make sweeping statements.

Conor said...

Simon, #15

Hmmm. I would like to address your response to anonymous (#14). I agree that we all should be careful in making sweeping generalizations, especially those like the comment in number 14. However, that is where our agreement ends. Unfortunately for anonymous, he/she brought attention away from two important arguments by ending the post as he/she did.

The truth is, I believe it really is necessary to reconsider exactly what it means to be Muslim. Furthermore, I think you underestimate the extremism of much of the Muslim world.

Let us consider exactly what it means for a "large minority" of Muslims to support not just terrorism, but even a more specific form of violence, suicide bombing.

When asked if suicide bombing was often/sometimes justified, 34% of the Muslims in Lebanon said yes, 20% in Bangladesh, 9% in Pakistan, 23% in Jordan, 10% in Indonesia, 11% in Tanzania, 42% in Nigeria, 16% in Turkey, 70% in the Palestinian Territories, 39% in Mali, 26% in Malaysia, 21% in Kuwait, 18% in Ethiopia, 11% in Morocco, and 8% in Egypt (Pew Global Attitudes Project: http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?ReportID=257).

Let us consider these results. It is important to note that the responses "suicide bombing is rarely justified" and "never justified" were paired together. If the numbers were tallied for those who "ever supported suicide bombing," the results would be considerably more depressing. However, even the present numbers are discouraging. The population in Egypt, for example, who said that suicide bombing is often or sometimes justified was a seemingly respectable 8 percent. What does this mean in numbers though? It means that there are over 56 million people in Egypt who think that suicide bombing is often or sometimes justified (population estimated at 78 million, 90% Muslim).

Needless to say, these numbers are not encouraging. Once again, they only pertain to the views of Muslims concerning suicide bombing. While I cannot condone the statement that a majority of Muslims aspire to die as terrorists, it is absolutely necessary to come to grips with the fact that the "minority" represented by those who support suicide bombers is a population numbering in the hundreds of millions. How many more supported the killing of the Danish cartoonists? How many would have supported a carrying out of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie?

The truth is, if moderate Muslims, with a "correct" understanding of the peaceful tenets of Islam are truly a majority, they are a minority in impact. I am sure the media is as much to blame as anyone in which elements of Islam are portrayed to the public, but where are the voices to complement Hamza Yusuf and Faraz Rabbani? Where are the protests against the violent actions of this misled minority?

I sympathize with the moderate Muslims in the world; furthermore, I am sure I will never be able to fully understand how frustrating it must be to believe in a religion's potential for good only to see it maligned by the actions of misinformed adherents and the media. I apologize if anything I have said thus far has offended anyone. I have in no way been attempting to argue that Islam is a religion of violence. However, there is an alarmingly large number of people in the world who call themselves Muslims and who support and/or are willing to commit violence against non-Muslims and apostates, and the scholarly debate over whether or not these people are truly Muslims means far less to me than the danger they pose to the world.

simon said...

#16-

Again, my only point was that we should be measured in speech, so that this forum continues to be a haven for courteous discussion and debate. By measured, I don't mean to avoid controversy, rather that if you're going to say something that might hurt, you'd better be able to back it up, which #14 clearly did not do. That said, you did back up what you said, though I would like a link to the page from which you got your stats, in particular the fact that those who rarely and never condoned suicide bombings were grouped together.

With regard to your comment

"The truth is, if moderate Muslims, with a 'correct' understanding of the peaceful tenets of Islam are truly a majority, they are a minority in impact"

I reluctantly agree with this statement, just given that my ears are perked yet I'm not hearing much in the way moderate Muslims publicly recognizing the internal crises plaguing the religion- namely, a proportionally small but still significant number of violent extremists, and the ubiquity of antisemitism in the Arab world, now fast spreading to the larger Muslim world. My guess is that this silence is simply born of fear. I would love to hear from a Muslim contributor about this.

conor said...

I would like to make a few additions to my post, already too long as it is.

*There is a mistake in the calculation concerning the number of Egyptian Muslims who support the use of suicide bombing sometimes or frequently. The estimate should be 5.6 million and not 56 million. I'm sure many of you caught the missing decimal.

*If any of you question my statistics, I encourage you to check out the results from the Pew Global Attitudes Project - they are verified results from a respected institution. The url is in my original post, but a simple Google search will suffice.

*Finally, I would like to suggest that people not take advantage of the possibility for anonymity in the forum. If the comments you plan to make leave you with a desire to remain anonymous, perhaps the sentiments therein do not belong in this forum. Granted, there is no way to verify even if the names people are using are their real names, but nonetheless I think we should all be able to respect the desirability as well as the fragility of the aims of JAM and this forum in particular.

conor said...

Simon, #17

I apologize for not responding to your post in my last one, but as you can tell from the posting times, you posted yours as I was writing mine!

However, I will answer it here, and then leave off hogging the forum floor, for which I also apologize, but to everyone.

You can find my results at this url
http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?ReportID=257

This will take you to an overview of the change in results from 2003-2007, but in order to understand the full scope of the report, you will need to click on the link "Complete Report," which is under the heading, "Summary of Findings." To save you time, the results pertaining to Suicide Bombing Among Muslims is on pg. 55, but I encourage you to peruse the entire report.

Johnathan Livy said...

I think it's really great what is going on in this blog. Its amazing that people love to discuss such things only to stubbornly have their own preconceived views confirmed.

It's so revolting that you guys don't bother to consider any alternatives other than whatever point you make. Lets be simple, neither of us are going to solve any Palestinian-Israeli issue, because in the end, the Muslims hold that the region is theirs and the Jews hold the region to be theirs as well. So why keep incessantly wasting time trying to change people's minds.

Seriously guys, forget the PEW research and stop relying on statistics, because anyone knows that statistics can be manipulated to serve any agenda. Stop quoting verses from the Quran or the Bible showing that the religions support terrorism and violence.

Instead pluck up the courage and talk to a Muslim or a Jew and get the real story. Because the one thing we seem to be excluding is the human factor and you cant get that from awkwardly worded survey questions. Talk and you'll know the truth

Anonymous said...

dudeunthinkable,india.
well who ever posted this is quite ignorant about islam as the verse he is quoting is completly out of context.
the actual meaning of this verse is there was a peace treaty between muslims and pagan arabs which was bilaterally broken by pagans so in this verse Allah(swt) says them to put things in order or a declaration of war,in the battle field if an enemy attacks u don't get scared fight him,naturally every army general will do that in the battle field,i don't know why he jumped to verses as after that Allah(swt) says if they want peace bring them to the place of security.

i would like to ask u did the Americans treated the afganisthan and iraq people with justice for killing more than 7 million people ,living the real culprits,how can u justify these inhumane acts,whereas the quran says escort them to a place of security,going further and saying which i believe the violent american politicans and certain irresponsible people post wouldn;t dream of tht,if hilter killed more than 6 million jews i cannot blame christianity for tht ,for i know it is not the fault of religion but a person following tht religion for name sake,same is the case with Islam,Judaism,or any other religion.