April 30, 2004


Islam 'should talk to the West' (Heba Saleh, 4/24/04, BBC News)

Delegates from 65 Islamic countries are meeting in Cairo for the start of a conference on tolerance in Islam.

The Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, called on the participants to initiate a dialogue between the Islamic world and followers of other religions.

They should work together to refute the false allegations against Islam in the West, he said.

Many Islamic scholars have felt that their religion has come under attack since the 11 September 2001 attacks.

Mr Mubarak said they should maintain an open dialogue with followers of other religions, in order to demonstrate that Islam promotes peace and brotherhood between people.

The Cairo conference groups together ministers of religious affairs and other officials from Islamic countries.

It is an annual event, but this year it is focusing on the theme of tolerance in Islamic civilisation.

A more important dialogue would be with their adherents.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 30, 2004 7:50 PM

The allegations have not been, to any important degree, false; and until they understand that their conferences are worse than useless.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 30, 2004 10:04 PM

The most important dialogue will be with the raving fanatics; it needs to be quick and final. Reform will not happen without this step.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 30, 2004 10:38 PM

Of course many of the allegations are false, for instance yours, but they still have real problems they need to address.

Posted by: oj at April 30, 2004 11:37 PM


Perhaps you could enlighten us as to which of Harry's allegations regarding Islam are false.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at May 2, 2004 8:08 AM

That it's incompatible with democracy, that it's not already reforming, that Sunni and Shi'a are indistinguishable...

Posted by: oj at May 2, 2004 8:47 AM

Remember when Sam and Frodo witness the argument between the two orcs in Mordor? Sam wonders if the enemy is weak because they fight and one kills the other - Frodo replies that if they had seen the hobbits, they would have instantly dropped their dispute until the hobbits were dead.

There is very little evidence to the contrary among Islam.

Posted by: ratbert at May 2, 2004 9:51 AM


Where's the evidence that Islam, the second fastest growing belief system on Earth, is dying?

Posted by: oj at May 2, 2004 10:44 AM

Until Islam acknowledges that major portions of the Quran are, uh, inoperative, it is incompatible with democracy. If all encompassing absolute truth is already in the book, there is no need to put it to a vote.

Reform? Have they repudiated the twenty year old fatwa against Salmon Rushdie (see democracy, antagonism towards, above)

From the outside the distinction between Shia and Sunni is arguably without difference.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at May 2, 2004 11:10 AM

Turkey, Bangladesh, Indonesia, America, Europe--Muslims do fine with democracy. Indeed, most citizens living in democracies are Muslim.

Rushdie deserved it, but I think they did rescind it.

Yes, the ignorance from outside is staggering.

Posted by: oj at May 2, 2004 11:18 AM

"Rushdie deserved it," eh? So you're okay with murdering a man because of his fiction? So much for you, OJ.

As for Muslims doing fine under democracy, the record is very unclear. They seem to endure it until they have sufficient numbers to overthrow it and put shari'a in its place.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at May 2, 2004 3:47 PM

Mr. Poretto:

Yes, I think it appropriate that religious hatred be punished fiercely. Writing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, for instance.

Posted by: oj at May 2, 2004 4:08 PM

Then you're going to have to punish most of the Muslims, Orrin. They as individual believers and their doctrine both express hatred and contempt for all other religions and call for their extinction.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at May 2, 2004 6:27 PM


Have you read the Satanic Verses?

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at May 2, 2004 6:37 PM


Majorities are allowed their hatreds.


Some of it, even worse than his usual fare.

Posted by: oj at May 2, 2004 7:38 PM

Well, if you had read the entire thing, you would have seen that Rushdie's crimes were two: apostacy, and the temerity to suggest Mohammed made it the Quran as he went along.

By the way, Iran has yet to rescind the fatwa, which in and of itself is an outstanding example of the hatred inherent in believing ones religion possesses absolute truth.

Jehovah's Witnesses need to be on your religious-hate hit parade. I understand they are none too wild about Catholics.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at May 3, 2004 8:24 PM

Only if they are powerful. Muslims are one-sixth of the world by population, about one-ten-thousandth by power.

Enablers like you prop up their murderous campaigns.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at May 4, 2004 12:27 AM

People are power.

Posted by: oj at May 4, 2004 12:32 AM