Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Two Perspectives on Islam

Here are two perspectives on Islam of today:

A Palestinian doctor who lost his children in an Israeli attack, but continues to work for peace.

A network of Islamic schools in Britain that teaches that Jews look like "monkeys and pigs" and demonstrates the proper place to amputate hands and feet as punishment.

Which is more representative? I hope the former.


Takis Konstantopoulos said...

There is a difference between the two stories.

In the second one, it is religion that dictates the way to behave (cut Jews' hands and feet).

In the first one, the doctor who lost his children is a Palestinian national, but it is nowhere mentioned that he is a religious muslim.

So is it, really, two faces of Islam? It seems to me that first is a political conflict, the second a religious affair.

GeorgeG said...

"Which is more representative? I hope the former. "

Frankly, I won't be satisfied with 51% the former. I'm thinking more like 95% would satisfy me, give or take 5%, preferably give.

manicstreetpreacher said...

Have you read the Koran and the Hadith, Jeffrey? There are plenty of passages to inform both views. Just as there are plenty of passages in the Bible to justify the Salvation Army and the Inquisition.

GeorgeG said...

Unfortunately, the latter portions of the Koran override the earlier portions.

"al-Nasikh wal-Mansoukh"

Brian said...

What does the first story have to do with Islam?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Nice attempt at trolling, Brian, but I won't bite.

Miranda said...

One lone single solitary creationist is honestly open to hearing arguments for evolution.

An entire network of British creationists insist that the world is 6014 years old.

Which is more representative? I hope the former.

Miranda said...

"Saudi officials quoted by the BBC disavowed direct responsibility for the schools and clubs and described the teachings cited in the program as having been “taken out of their historical context.”"

Whew! For a minute I was worried.

Peter said...

I think the interesting question here is not which is "more representative" of Islam, but what the pressures and incentives are in each case.

Dr. Abuelaish is a stateless resident of the Gaza Strip, but one of the very few who has permission to enter and work in Israel every week. As much as I admire him, we do have to remember that Israel has the power to take away that permission at any time, for any reason. He has to be extremely careful in his criticisms of Israel or in any expressions of support for resistance to occupation. I saw him last year on his American tour when he spoke at a local synagogue. The vast majority of those attending were very sympathetic to him, but didn't seem to understand that because he has to stay on the good side of the Israelis, he's not exactly free to speak his mind.

The Saudi Students' Clubs and Schools (odd that the NYT article doesn't actually give the name) are run by the Saudi embassy, so they have to follow what the Saudi government says. The Saudi government does have more freedom here than Dr. Abuelaish does. Those attending the schools are free citizens of a free country, but the article doesn't tell us anything, positive or negative, about how the students respond to the material.

Brian said...

"I think the interesting question here is not which is "more representative" of Islam, but what the pressures and incentives are in each case.

Dr. Abuelaish is a stateless resident of the Gaza Strip...(h)e has to be extremely careful in his criticisms of..."


Valhar2000 said...


Which is more representative? I hope the former.

Actually, the latter is more representative. Creationists who are open to hearing arguments for science don't generally last very long (as creationists, I mean).

Indeed, there are many Christian Evolutionists who lament that the shock and disgust that these few creationists feel when they find out the American Creationism is entirely built on lies, misrepresentation and innuendo is such that some of them give up not just Creationism but Christianity altogether.

Miranda said...

Valhar2000, I hope you recognized that I was critiquing Jeff's post at Creationists' expense. The focus was not intended to be about Creationists, but about Jeff's wishful thinking. Perhaps the bold words in my 2:30 AM, November 24 post didn't show up on your computer.

Mark said...

I guess that story is the source of what I heard some people talking about: that British schools were being taken over by Muslims teaching sharia law.
If we look around here, we can find non-establishment "schools" and clubs teaching similarly hateful things.

Anonymous said...

Izzeldin Abuelaish recently wrote a highly regarded book, I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity (feted by Elie Wiesel as "a necessary lesson against hatred and revenge"). Dr. Abuelaish has also set up a foundation to provide education to girls and women, information about which, as well as memorials to Dr. Abuelaish's daughters and a link to purchase his book, can be found at:

Anonymous said...

But somehow I feel you hope people to perceive muslims to be representing the latter. You remind me of bill maher