WTFO wrote:Islam certainly does not imply "all muslims".
There, we have it. The crux of the debate. You don't know what the word Islam means, or what you're implying when you say things like:
WTFO wrote:If you said yes to most or all of these...Congratulations! You stand against Islam.
Is·lam [is-lahm, iz-, is-luhm, iz-]
1. the religious faith of Muslims, based on the words and religious system founded by the prophet Muhammad and taught by the Koran, the basic principle of which is absolute submission to a unique and personal god, Allah.
2. the whole body of Muslim believers, their civilization, and the countries in which theirs is the dominant religion.
You can see how someone familiar with the word and it's meaning would infer that you are a xenophobe, when in fact, you're just ignorant. At the very least, your initial argument is, a fallacy of composition, whether or not that was your intention.
I did take you up on your suggestion that I read "The politically incorrect guide to Islam (and the Crusades)" Initially I wasn't going to do so, but then as I was browsing some of the other topics in this forum I had noticed that you keep making reference to it, so I thought, 'Well, if he's going to keep using a singular source of information to formulate his arguments (if you can call them arguments) I might as well familiarize myself with the book'. So I downloaded the pdf and, although I haven't made my way through the entire text, I have found it rather childish in it's presentation. What with all the side bars full of unsupported facts, and the whole Jesus vs. Mohammed comparisons. It reads at a 6th grade level. I'm actually surprised that there aren't more pictures. Now, I'll admit, I haven't read it cover to cover, I only downloaded it yesterday, but I'll do my best to remain objective as I complete it.
Anyway, then I got to thinking, who is this Robert Spencer? Y'know, the author? What's this guy all about?
So, like any critical thinker, I set out to find some secondary sources of information, corroborating or otherwise, before I passed any kind of judgement on whether or not I should take him seriously. This is what is commonly referred to as 'research'. (As opposed to just reading one book, and then pretending you're an authority on the subject.) I know that this seems like a lot of work to you WTFO, and you probably feel like it gets in the way of you 'proving' your point, as it takes away from the time you have available to hurl insults at people instead of having an actual conversation, but, as it turns out, this is actually how intelligent people formulate arguments and opinions in the academic world. Here's some interesting facts about the man that I discovered:
Before he became a catholic and an author, in his youth , he was not only an atheist, but a fervent communist. He was even employed by Bob Avakian at Revolution books in NYC. He wrote his first book on Islam in 2002. One might argue that the events of 9/11 might have brought him closer to god, but one could also argue that his writing career is capitalizing on the fear associated with those events. Financially, he's done quite well for himself, y'know. Either way, his motivations are, at the very least, questionable.
Another thing you'll discover about him is that he has an M.A. in religious studies from UNC. When I read this, I though, ok, maybe this guy is for real. But then later, on Spencer's own website, I discovered this quote by him when he was discussing his personal wikipedia page.
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2008/03/wikip ... encer.html
Robert Spencer wrote:It's false that I have no academic training in Islamic studies. I just don't have a degree in it.
Now it's one thing to have an opinion, everyone is entitled to theirs, but to pretend to be an authority on a subject without having bothered to achieve a level of education that would lend you the necessary credibility, is akin to going to your proctologist to have brain surgery. (In your case however, this doctor conundrum might not be a problem.) To be seriously considered an expert in the academic world, one must at least possess basic academic education in the field in which they are claiming expertise. In order to be thought of as a scholar, one must have published numerous peer-reviewed articles in journals of good repute, said articles being subjected to critique by established authorities before being accepted. Spencer meets none of these criteria. So, as much as I'd like to give Spencer's opinions the benefit of the doubt, they are only opinions.
I'd like to conclude by telling you that you should take greater care choosing which horse you attach your cart to. Some of them are just overgrown donkeys.
"Because what good are the first amendment freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and redress of grievances, if you can't keep a magnum in the nightstand?" - Roy Zimmerman