Thursday, February 09, 2006

Let the Truth Ring Free

When freedom of speech is under attack, as it clearly is, I believe we need to express precisely those thoughts and ideas that others want to forbid. If it is art, than we need more of it. I wouldn’t exaggerate, since the truth is too important to distort even for a righteous cause. I’d argue for the truth: Mohammad was a violent man who plundered, slaughtered, terrorized, and conquered. He ethnically cleansed Medina of Jews.

Let’s remember that we are fighting for the truth. Let’s shout it loud and clear. And anyone who wants to suppress our message is seeking to suppress the expression of the truth. Don’t let them forget that fact! We can point out that laws should respect the expression of any ideas, true or not. But when they are true, we shouldn’t allow that to recede to the background.

The cartoons are essentially true. Sure they are caricatures but political cartoons express the truth in such a stilted manner. I prefer straight hard-hitting prose. But whether it’s polished prose or rough sketches, the truth should be respected. What is offensive is the ideology that preaches supremacist hate and irrational dogma. Islam offends … not the cartoons. Mohammad is offensive … not the cartoons.

A lie by omission is still a lie. To be silent or to suppress the publication of these cartoons perpetuates a lie. Our political leaders should stop lying, the media should stop lying. Let the truth ring free.

Cross posted a JihadWatch.

17 Comments:

Blogger Freedomnow said...

Mohammad was a man of his times. Morality of the day allowed for the wholesale slaughter and enslavement of entire cities if they resisted military might. He was no worse than the Byzantines or Persians of his day. I dont think it is completely fair to judge him by the morality of today.

However, you should have the right to criticize him. Especially because he has many followers in the modern world.

The problem is that Muslims still have medievel morality in the 21st century and that is a serious problem.

In the name of religious intolerance they slaughter people all over the world and they even fight amongst themselves. It is a brutal and primitive religion. What is urgently needed is a Muslim Reformation.

2/9/06, 11:34 AM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

First of all, it is descriptively true that “: Mohammad was a violent man who plundered, slaughtered, terrorized, and conquered. …" We may add that this is unethical regardless of the time period if we use an objective criteria; one that holds the good is that which furthers human life in a manner that our nature and dignity requires.

We can say more: he was far worse than his contemporaries in the Arab peninsula. Ibn Warraq talks about this in his book “Why I Am Not a Muslim.” One can certainly talk about a person who exemplifies the culture at the time and, despite his faults, praise him for having made some advances. However, that creates a problematic ideal for a religion if that person dominates the theology.

This is especially true if his faults go to the core of his enterprise. Mohammad was a conqueror who ruled in a tyrannical fashion. If we take his example, it creates a warrior supremacist ideology. Compare this to the founder of Lutheranism. Martin Luther was virulently anti-Semitic. This is a grave defect and it wasn’t just some unthinking comments in passing. However, his break with the Catholic Church wasn’t motivated by his desire to practice anti-Semitism. It isn’t his central purpose. Lutherans can and do repudiate this anti-Semitism without renouncing Lutheranism.

With Islam, the warrior aspect is central in original Islam. And no one has invented another Islam. Christianity has theologians who altered and transformed the religion for better or worse: Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, etc. One may even start with St. Paul who is credited with changing Christianity from a Jewish reform movement to a separate religion in its own right. In Islam the only exception is Al-Ghazali who helped Sufism become accepted as he turned Muslims away from Hellenic philosophy.

As you note, fn, Islam is still that 7th century ideology exemplified by Mohammad’s life. But many, if not most, Muslims are lax, lapsed, perfunctory in their practice, or selective in their practice. The ideology remains unchanged. There has been no doctrinal evolution, only an occasional selective amnesia. That is why the moderates are helpless in fighting an intellectual battle against the fundamentalist. The latter have the text on their side. Too much has to be ignored … far more than any problematic aspect of Jesus’ life.

2/9/06, 12:58 PM  
Blogger kevin said...

Mohammad is the only violent PROPHET. Therefore, I suspect, a false prophet of the worse kind.

2/9/06, 2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The criterion of truth resides in the enhancement of the feeling of power.-- Nietzsche, "Will to Power" [#534 (1887-1888)]

Maxim XVI. It is an approved maxim in war, never to do what the enemy wishes you to do, for this reason alone, that he desires it. A field of battle, therefore, which he has previously studied and reconnoitered, should be avoided, and double care should be taken where he has had time to fortify and entrench. One consequence deducible from this principle is, never to attack a position in front which you can gain by turning. --Napoleon

The extremists are loosing in Iraq. They desperately require reinforcements. This controversy originated with Islamic elments in the Netherlands and is being fanned deliberately across the Islamic world and West both. We must stay the course by engaging the extremists, NOT the broader Arab polis. IMO, now is NOT the time to declare a broad frontal assault upon ALL of Islam.

There is a lesson in Coriolanus.

MENENIUS - Repent what you have spoke.

CORIOLANUS - For them! I cannot do it to the gods; Must I then do't to them?

VOLUMNIA - You are too absolute;
Though therein you can never be too noble, But when extremities speak. I have heard you say,
Honour and policy, like unsever'd friends, I' the war do grow together: grant that, and tell me, In peace what each of them by the other lose, That they combine not there.

CORIOLANUS - Tush, tush!

MENENIUS - A good demand.

VOLUMNIA - If it be honour in your wars to seem The same you are not, which, for your best ends, You adopt your policy, how is it less or worse, That it shall hold companionship in peace With honour, as in war, since that to both It stands in like request?

CORIOLANUS - Why force you this?

VOLUMNIA - Because that now it lies you on to speak To the people; not by your own instruction, Nor by the matter which your heart prompts you, But with such words that are but rooted in Your tongue, though but bastards and syllables Of no allowance to your bosom's truth. Now, this no more dishonours you at all Than to take in a town with gentle words, Which else would put you to your fortune and The hazard of much blood. I would dissemble with my nature where My fortunes and my friends at stake required I should do so in honour: I am in this, Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles; And you will rather show our general louts How you can frown than spend a fawn upon 'em, For the inheritance of their loves and safeguard Of what that want might ruin.

MENENIUS - Noble lady! Come, go with us; speak fair: you may salve so, Not what is dangerous present, but the loss Of what is past.

VOLUMNIA - I prithee now, my son, Go to them, with this bonnet in thy hand; And thus far having stretch'd it--here be with them-- Thy knee bussing the stones--for in such business Action is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignorant More learned than the ears--waving thy head, Which often, thus, correcting thy stout heart, Now humble as the ripest mulberry That will not hold the handling: or say to them, Thou art their soldier, and being bred in broils Hast not the soft way which, thou dost confess, Were fit for thee to use as they to claim, In asking their good loves, but thou wilt frame Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs, so far As thou hast power and person.

MENENIUS - This but done, Even as she speaks, why, their hearts were yours; For they have pardons, being ask'd, as free As words to little purpose.

VOLUMNIA - Prithee now, Go, and be ruled: although I know thou hadst rather Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf Than flatter him in a bower. Here is Cominius.


-FJ

2/9/06, 3:27 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Freedom Now:

What is urgently needed is a Muslim Reformation.

The problem is that there will be NO REFORMATION in Islam. Why? because it was written in stone 1400 years ago!

How can one expect to observe a reformation of a religion whose followers believe that the words of the Qur'an are the literal words of God, or, as they call him, Allah (Is he really the same god?)?

Jason:

Mohammad was a conqueror who ruled in a tyrannical fashion.

Here! Here!

With Islam, the warrior aspect is central in original Islam.

Yes, hence the jihad!

The ideology remains unchanged. There has been no doctrinal evolution, only an occasional selective amnesia.

And nor will there be a "doctinal evolution", either! It is central to the belief of the Muslim that the Qur'an is the earthly manifestation of the literal words of Allah.

Kevin:

Mohammad is the only violent PROPHET. Therefore, I suspect, a false prophet of the worse kind.

Yes, Kevin: He is the anti-Christ!

2/9/06, 3:33 PM  
Blogger eyesallaround said...

I think our worst enemy right now is the PC BS crowd who refuse to face the fact that Mohammad was an evil, evil man who murdered, raped and pillaged. Those are the facts. But the left is so delusional they contort truth to make it digestable in their pea brains.

2/9/06, 6:38 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

MTP is the model for Muslims. Muslims are supposed to follow his example. And (I don't have the exact reference) MTP advocated the terrorizing of infidels so as to further the dominion of Islam.

Any reform of Islam would have to be mighty, mighty extensive.

Why did the cartoons strike such a nerve?
1. They reveal the ugliness of Islam.
2. They reveal the truth about MTP. And hiding that truth has been a very large part of the Muslim agenda.

MTP was not a peaceful prophet. To the contrary!

Islam teaches that it must dominate the world. Not just "radical" Muslims believe that. Furthermore, Islam extols jihadism as the best of all possible ways and the way to assure the best place in Paradise.

The West may not be calling the War on Terror a "holy war," but Muslims are. They see the West as deserving of destruction. More than that--they believe the destruction of the West is commanded by Allah.

Finally, Islam is stuck in the 7th Century. And Muslims strongly resist any reasoned debate to reform or secularize Islam because the Koran doesn't so allow.

2/9/06, 7:47 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Each of us is noting something important--somthing that’s missing form the debate about the cartoons. They are true. “They reveal the ugliness of Islam.” And indeed they do. Whenever someone makes a ridiculous parallel about a response to a cartoon showing Jesus chopping off the head of an enemy, Christians know it has nothing to do with their religion and no one will be temped to think any differently of the religion. You can’t mock a belief system without taking some element that true even if you distort it. There is no blood on Jesus’ hands, nor Buddha’s, etc.

But the cartoons hit a nerve. They are true in essence. This is an important part of the debate. It’s not equivalent to the absurd anti-Semitic cartoons in the Arab world, or the Holocaust denial by Iran, or even they anti-American nonsense in world-wide demonstrations. Mohammad was a violent man. One should never apologize for the truth. It isn’t just legal (as our President notes) but an important point that needs to be made and discussed.

While speech needs to be protected even when it is not true, suppressing the truth is even more egregious. It’s the whole motivation for the open process of deliberation: the need to examine all sides to arrive at the truth. When the truth is suppressed at the outset, there is no possibility at finding it. The Danes must be congratulated to opening the debate. But we must keep it open.

2/9/06, 9:43 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Jason,
Whenever someone makes a ridiculous parallel about a response to a cartoon showing Jesus chopping off the head of an enemy, Christians know it has nothing to do with their religion and no one will be temped to think any differently of the religion.

Right! When something offends my "Christian sensitivities" and is not true, I just ignore it. Furthermore, I don't expect all the world to kowtow to my definition of blasphemy. I'm living in the 21st Century, not in the Middle Ages.

If this cartoon issue is allowed by the West to slide, we are in for it! In Islam, anything offensive to Islam is blasphemy, by their interpretation.

MTP is not my prophet and Allah is not my God.

Have you heard that some Christian ministers have been sued for saying things offensive to Islam in church sermons? Well, where are "the religious police" for what the imams say in the mosques during Friday services?

Both Christianity and Islam teach they have the way to eternal life. But Christians, at least in modern times, don't go around subjugating and killing those who won't convert. Big difference there between the two "religions."

See this for a modern Muslim teenager's comparison with Islam and Christianity. Unless I miss my guess, this teenager has been American reared. In any event, the ADAMS Center has a local reputation for being moderate.

2/10/06, 10:17 AM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

I’m over on an academic blog adding my two cents on this issue. One gentleman, David T. Beito, a professor at the University of Alabama in American and Black-American history, has criticized his fellow libertarians for failing to standing tall for free speech. Guess what? He’s getting flak from all corners for this and this.

Prof Beito sounds reasonable. However, there is a strain of libertarianism that seems to think that the only thing that counts is if the government is doing the criticism or censoring. The civic ideals of helping others fight intimidation and speaking out against injustice seems to elude this narrow legal-minded libertarian type. I left my comments on his blog.

2/10/06, 10:57 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

AlwaysOnWatch:

...(I don't have the exact reference) MTP advocated the terrorizing of infidels so as to further the dominion of Islam.

I think the reference you want could be this one:

Allah revealed His will to the angels, saying: 'I shall be with you. Give courage to the believers. I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, maim them in every limb.'

Or perhaps this one:

They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): but take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of God (from what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.

But this one takes the candle:

But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans [that's us, folks!] wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them; for God iis Oft-forgiving, most Merciful.

Yeah! All praise be to Allah! (Just joking, folks!)

2/10/06, 11:56 AM  
Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Well, there is a need for a muslim reformation but Jason and the Kahanists need to be reminded that they aren't advancing the cause.

Their silly little game of idiot's delight advances nothing.

2/10/06, 2:00 PM  
Blogger beakerkin said...

Case Number 69 Anisemitic Mad Poultry.

In a post that has zero to do with the Joooooos he feels the compulsion to add an anti Joooish slur into the mix.

Ducky have you thought of having your bird brain examined.

2/10/06, 7:51 PM  
Blogger zama202 said...

Arthur, do you remember Arthur Silber? He used to post at SoloHQ. Whatever influence of Rand has totally worn off and now he is a total pascifist libertarian. I haven't read his blog in years but I checked in and wow... On every issue he sides against America. He has become a caricature of Lewyl Rockwellian. Here is his take on the cartoons:

http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2006/02/get-your-propaganda-right-here-cartoon.html


They are a tool to "demonize" muslims so the hawks can wage more "unneccessary war". He's flipped.

I'd thought you would be interested.

2/10/06, 9:03 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Yes, I've noticed he's been getting increasignly angry and fuming incoherently; but it's been time since I've read his blog. He does sound like Rockwell or Raimondo. Sad!

2/10/06, 9:38 PM  
Blogger beakerkin said...

Jason

As a public service explain to your readers what an Anarcho Libertarian is. They claim to be Libertains but they are some of the most deranged people on the planet. They also were Cold War appeasers.

2/11/06, 1:37 AM  
Blogger beakerkin said...

Jason

I have a post I need your opinion on Free speech and ID theft.

2/15/06, 9:19 PM  

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