@ Sam Harris
"There´s a big difference between "an atheist doing something horrible" and "an atheist doing something horrible because he´s an atheist""
You've become a lot more German since I last read your books.
@ Sam Harris
Ah, they arn't so bad. You say a lot of things in them that are similar to the things you say here.
MADARA. There have been Jewish terrorists, Christian terrorists, and probably Buddhist terrorists and atheist terrorists. In recent years, however, the Moslems are the main perpetrators of terrorist acts according to the list I provided earlier.
ad MADARA: (...) ..How about Burma ,Afghanistan etc. so don't tell me that this world isn't a safe place because of the Muslims (...)
Where did Steve say anything like that? But there can be no doubt whatsoever that the world is less safe because of Muslim terrorists, emphasis on terrorists.
If you keep citing Israel as a perpetrator of terrorist attacks then you'd better start adding many Muslim states to the list for what they do to their own citizens or that of other countries. What Saudi Arabia does to part of its population (mainly girls and women) can then easily be categorized as terrorist actions too (you don't need bombs to terrorize people and destroy their lives, raping them first and then punishing them for supposedly having been "unfaithful" to their husbands is just as much a terrorist act then).
Saudi troops helping Quatar to oppress its own people and so on. Yes, the Israeli government does a lot of questionable things worthy of condemnation but putting them on the same level as terrorists is ridiculous.
As for "not having to listen to steve as if we were his puppies". I am getting the impression you don't really read what he writes. I do disagree with Steve quite often but never ever has he said anything along the lines of what you are suggesting.
Quite on the contrary, he is one of the most outspoken supporters of free speech I know (with you benefiting from this attitude just as much as anybody else here) and he has always made it clear that people have different opinions.
It is what it is: nowadays, religiously motivated terrorism is predominantly equal to Islamism. And it is up to the Muslims to change that.
There has been an outcry in the Muslim world over the Mohammed caricatures. I'd love to see a similar outcry over the real crimes committed by Islamist terrorists, especially remembering that the vast majority of their victims are Muslims.
The popularity of Islamism may sometimes be favoured by external factors, but it has always been and remains a problem which is deeply rooted within the Muslim world itself.
Many of the aspects occasionaly cited in this kind of discussion and supposedly explaining why this phenomenon occurs (poverty, political chaos etc.) can be found in numerous other countries as well.
The security situation in Venezuela for example is even worse than that in many Arab countries. There are Asian and African countries with much higher poverty rates than people in most Muslim countries are faced with, yet you won't find any religiously motivated terrorism there (except for attacks carried out by separatist Muslim movements like in Thailand for example).
People in this thread, believers and non-believers alike, have never generally accused Muslims of terrorist attacks as you keep suggesting. I do wonder, however, why the silent majority of Muslims never clearly speaks out against those who commit atrocious crimes in the name of their God.
We had protests organized by Austrian Muslims because of the caricatures published in Denmark. Thousands of Muslims took to the streets in many of our cities. Not a single protest so far, however, showing their disapproval of Muslim terrorists. No wonder, people are suspicious of such an attitude.
P.S. It goes without saying that the majority of Muslims, also in the West, are not terrorists. We have about 500,000 Muslims in Austria (an increase of 50 % since 2001 by the way; we can't be that islamophobic then, I guess) and so far we have not had a single terrorist attack perpetrated by Islamists. But nobody ever said Muslims per se are bad and dangerous people anyway.
"Well if the majority of Muslims agreed with those terrible acts that would've meant that there would've been more who would want to mimic these acts."
Why? Agreeing with what a terrorist is doing and becoming a terrorist yourself are two very different things.
"I do wonder, however, why the silent majority of Muslims never clearly speaks out against those who commit atrocious crimes in the name of their God."
I also wonder this. I suspect the answer is that the fraction of the Muslim populations of western countries that actually agree with what Muslim terrorist do is much larger than we would be led to believe by moderate Muslims. However, I don't know if this is really true.
In other words: what Colin is wondering, is whether there is a large number of Muslims who tacitly support terror acts carried out by others - even though they don't have the balls to do such acts themselves?
It's an interesting question - but maybe an unknowable?
I think it would be pretty hard to know. One reason is that the only muslim leaders generally allowed on the mainstream media are the moderate ones who are very much against terrorism and are willing to pretend that they speak for the muslim community in general (image I went on Austrian TV and claimed that I speak for all British people). The moment a muslim leader who supports terrorism is invited onto a chatshow or given a interview on the news, university students will be out on the streets in the thousands protesting that such people are 'given a platform', or something like that. I don't understand why so many people are so determined to not know what other people think.
In general I would agree - I think it's better to know exactly what people are thinking.
(However there is a line, I suppose, if people started publicly inciting or whipping up violence...I don't see how we can possibly have that on mainstream media...)
ad Colin: (...) ...I don't understand why so many people are so determined to not know what other people think. (...)
There is a difference between not knowing what people think and giving them a platform where they can go public and address a huge number of people.
It is basically the same concept that applies to general advertising. It is not for nothing that companies, lobbyists etc. spend enormous amounts of money on getting "their message" across. They are aware of the power frequent presence in media can have. It is also the reason why some political groups complain about being underrepresented in media coverage before elections.
So, presence in media DOES PLAY a role when it comes to getting your message across and I therefore support those who are against providing criminals (in this case terrorists or those supporting them) with a platform for their propaganda. I'm confident you would not like to see people being decapitated on national TV with their killers reading "messages to the world" before and after the killing.
This is what groups associated with the Taliban and Al Kaida etc. do.... they kill and they would love for us to provide them with a stage for their propaganda.
They try to get their videos on youtube and there is a reason for that too. They need publicity for their strategy to work and I don't think we should provide them with a respective platform.
You talked about Muslim leaders openly supporting terrorism (I know you were not talking of showing "executions" on TV). That is indeed different from people who actually commit these crimes before a camera. But the logic behind it is the same. They want publicity and I don't think we should do them the favour of actually complying with their request.