Wild assumption of the day

As crazy as it sounds, it seems as if the authorities here have a magic PC-tool where you put in a normal photo, and get one back that looks as scary and evil as it can get.

“Ah, Middle Eastern guy just disclosed his photo.. Now to apply the terrorist-filter.. *click click click*.. Theeere we go, perfect terrorist mugshot!”

Ok, I’m just having a laugh and know that that’s not true, but I found the fact amusing that on all my resident permits so far, my biometric photos look exactly like the ones of terrorists you see on TV after they get arrested or gunned down, despite the extremely normal appearance of the original picture.

And no, I’m not showing you any examples :)

The Sphinx

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47 Responses to “Wild assumption of the day”

  1. 1 Red Tulips November 27, 2007 at 19:11

    Just checking to see if you censor comments as closely as you do elsewhere. (while decrying LGF’s alleged censorship)

  2. 2 Red Tulips November 27, 2007 at 19:11

    Oh okay, censorship rules still in place, lol!

  3. 3 The Sphinx November 28, 2007 at 00:03

    Yep, still up and running. Trust me, moderation can be a blessing when you get spam, links to porn sites, torrents of insults, racism, or even threats. I’ve had all of that already. So yeah, I don’t think I’ll be taking it off any time soon.

  4. 4 Red Tulips November 30, 2007 at 18:40

    You know, it’s funny.

    After the whole blow up with Vlaams Belang, I see some value our sometimes heated arguments. (even as you censor half of what I say, because you are afraid I might have a point)


    The truth is that I am very committed to human rights, and I see Islamists as anti-human rights. They are by no means the only group against human rights, but it cannot be ignored that in fact Islamists are intricately linked to mainstream Islamic organizations, and casting Islam as an anti-human rights religion.

    Anyone who loves human rights and is a believing Muslim must stand up against them. By that same token, anyone who is a lover of human rights and is a Christian must stand up to Vlaams Belang.

    Do you not see how there is a common cause, and it is humanity? True Zionism also believes in humanity. (not the Olmert kind, but the David Ben-Gurion Zionism) You don’t see it, but Zionism is not your enemy. Your enemy are those against human rights, be it Islamists or white supremacists.

    Both camps are attempting to make life difficult for the average human being. Both must be stopped, not just one.

    Do you not see how life would be a living hell under an Islamic theocracy? And that many people want to impose this? So why the insistence that exposing attempts at creating this Islamic theocracy is “against human rights”?

    It’s anything but.

  5. 5 The Sphinx November 30, 2007 at 18:56

    The sole and only reason why I end our arguments is not because I’m afraid you might have a point, but rather that we’ve had these discussions already too many times before, not only on my blog, but also on yours and on others (LGF Watch, ChenZhen’s blog, etc.). Frankly, my time is more valuable than repeating the same discussion over and over again, especially when none of us is budging from their opinion. But anyway..

    I will also grandly disagree with you about Zionism coming hand-in-hand with human rights, but I also suggest we don’t get back into this discussion again, because no matter how much you praise it and I condemn it, we won’t get anywhere.
    I think it would be best if we agree to disagree. World will keep spinning.

    You also have to understand that neither Europe, nor the US is under any danger of turning into an Islamic theocracy, not in decades. This systematic “Islamification” of Europe is a myth, a lie spread by deskchair warriors who have nothing better to do than make up their own parallel reality and act as if it were real.

    Even if some people exist who are calling for such an Islamification, do you think they’d really achieve anything?
    They’re just as insignificant as people like Ann Coulter who have suggested that the US invades the Middle Eastern countries, kills their leaders and forcably converts the people to Christianity. Many zealots will advocate this, and they’re pretty much irrelevant if you ask me.

    And yes, humanity is the main goal. And real Islam advocates humanity, no matter how much some people are rabidly trying to “prove” with their misinformation. And because I am a Muslim before anything, I don’t see why we are disagreeing on this point.

    By the way, I’d like if you’d stay on topic on my posts. If you want to discuss other things, you have my e-mail address under “Who I am”.

  6. 6 Red Tulips November 30, 2007 at 19:47

    I just don’t understand how you don’t see the vast network of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose goal is to provide a world caliphate. The vast network of Islamic terror that goes on daily. The vast network of imams who use Islam as a tool for their own illicit purposes.

    How do you not see it?

    You say you are in favor of humanity, so how can you deny the existence of this?

    I honestly am at a loss.

    I decry hate wherever I see it, and in the past have decried hate as done by Christians and even Jews. Why do you turn a blind eye towards Islamic hate?

    Let’s build a more humane world together.

    I want the best for Muslims. I want them to live in peace and harmony and all that stuff. I want Muslims to have a first world existence. They deserve it, as does everyone. I even say that Muslims should be able to keep Islam and remain at peace with the world! Just don’t use Islam as justification for, as an example, this. (that’s just from today’s news!)

    So why don’t you see the Islamists as the threat they are and decry it as I do?

    Let’s build a world dedicated to peace and justice. This means Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and Jews live in one world, with a Jewish state contained therein, and everyone can go about their lives as they wish.

    Why do you get prickly when I suggest such a world?

  7. 7 The Sphinx November 30, 2007 at 20:01

    I’ll just write here a key point that I want you to understand:

    I’d prefer nothing more than a world where armies are superfluous, where there are no more wars, and where people don’t take religion as a reason to fight, and where good intentions like that of the British teacher aren’t handled in such a surreal and stupid way.

    However, and you surely will agree with me on this, that there is practically nothing that you and I as individuals to prevent such atrocities from happening, or evil people from existing.

    So your statements like “Let’s build a more humane world together.” are meant very well, and I agree that this is necessary, but it’s just too idealistic. Just as decrying evil is necessary but it doesn’t really prevent it on an individual scale.

    So in the end, I just live as I’m intended to, proud of my religion, and in peace with everyone around me. There is nothing more I can do, even if you and I wanted to.

    Think about that for a while.

  8. 8 Red Tulips November 30, 2007 at 20:07

    I will just ask you this…

    Why have a blog, unless you hope that you convince even one person of your political views?

    You do hope to change the world in some way, however small.

  9. 9 The Sphinx November 30, 2007 at 20:13

    Me? I get to know new people and somehow express my opinion, which is only relevant to _my_ world, but not _the_ world. Technically, I’m just using up webspace and polluting the internet :)

    I’ll be off to study now, still haven’t finished my homework which should be done today. So forgive me if I take a while to respond from now on.

  10. 10 halalhippie December 2, 2007 at 02:40

    Good to see the two of you doing what you like the most ;-)

    Looking good, kid. (er… your new blog, I mean)

  11. 11 Lex December 3, 2007 at 06:29

    Well, that was interesting, eh? I was just going to comment on the picture post. If it makes you feel any better, my pics come out the same way, I just happen to be a woman with no headscarf, so it looks a little less suspicious. I do discuss this with one of my Persian friends though, and we’re both astounded at how the images of ourselves when viewed by others just is too similar to images of terrorists. Especially me, raised American in the suburbs, whoa, who is that Middle Eastern looking chick in the mirror anyways?

    We just think it’s funny on days when you think you look pretty ok that some of the looks you get are just not from other people who think you look anywhere near decent, especially on travel days at the airport. But at least we can laugh about it.

    As for Tulips, have you ever been discriminated against there pal? I mean, I’ve read all the same stuff you’ve read. I did, I read it all, blogged about it all, went to LGF, the whole bit, but no Muslims I know believe in the things that get that sort of press any more than other groups believe in EVERY last bit of the most extreme beliefs of their respective religions if boiled down and condensed into Robert Spencer books. The same is said of other groups and has been since the dawn of time. I am against any promoters of theocracy of any kind, period. I bet Sphinx doesn’t want to live under theocratic rule either, though that’s just a really wild guess. He probably doesn’t want you stoned to death for being an infidel either. Just a guess, again, correct me if I’m wrong, Sphinx.

    I’m just saying. Though technically I’m just here taking up web-space too, I guess.

  12. 12 The Sphinx December 3, 2007 at 08:01

    Well, technically you are, but you used it up pretty nicely :) Thanks for passing by!
    Same to you Halalhippie =)

  13. 13 Red Tulips December 3, 2007 at 18:21


    I thought about this, and I happen to disagree with your claim that you are just a lone person who cannot do anything.

    This clearly flies in the face of religious thought, which says that every human being is an important soul. Moreover, you are devoting many hours of your day to “watching” LGF; wouldn’t those days be better spent doing something else? And doesn’t this prove that you do hope to “change the world” in some way?

    And why exactly is LGF a bigger threat to the world than, for instance, teddy bear imams in Sudan, or Vlaams Belang, or cartoon jihad imams, etc?

  14. 14 The Sphinx December 3, 2007 at 18:32

    Of course every being is an important soul. And this doesn’t contradict the fact that most human beings as single individuals have no impact on what’s happening in the world. I don’t see where the problem is.

    And I don’t spend hours every day watching LGF. The most hardcore watching only mountains up to around 10 minutes at a time, once or twice a day, AT MOST. And what better things would you suggest that I do with my time? Study? That’d make sense. But that’s all what comes into question right now.

    And you’re also mistaken if you think I consider LGF to be a big threat to a world. In fact, it’s just a huge nuisance, and the internet would be a slight tad better place if it didn’t exist, but as a matter of fact, I get a few laughs from their stupidity, and share the laughter with others.

    It’s only when they get out of their basements and start shooting people, when they get dangerous. But that’s up to your own homeland security to deal with.

  15. 15 Red Tulips December 3, 2007 at 18:36


    Then why do you spend your days obsessing over LGF, if you think it is irrelevant?

    Why not spend the same time spreading Islamic anger towards the Muslims who are attempting to lynch the teacher in Sudan?

  16. 16 The Sphinx December 3, 2007 at 22:26

    If you think I said LGF is irrelevant, how about this: I’m just one person. Their numbers are in the tens of thousands. My blog is almost not known, LGF is one of the most popular on the web. So basically I’m more of an irrelevance than LGF. And yet you persistently follow me every time I speak about religion or politics. Why are you obsessed with me then?

    Think of the reasons, then consider them to answer your question.

    “Why not spend the same time spreading Islamic anger towards the Muslims who are attempting to lynch the teacher in Sudan?”

    Like that will help. Screaming around, telling people to be mad at what’s going on. So what? Of course it’s an outrage, but it won’t do jack. As if the few idiots in Sudan give half a crap about what a young student in Germany is yelling around. And did you think I was trying to accomplish something by even pointing out what a rubbish place LGF is? Like I said, I’m doing it for my sole amusement. Never claimed I’m bringing the place down.

    Frankly, I need nobody telling me what to say here or what not to say. If you know me well enough, you should know what I’d say in which situation, like what happened in Sudan. And if you were someone who didn’t know me to start with, then it’s not really your concern anway.

    Sometimes I have the feeling that you want me to think and act exactly like you. Maybe it’s about time that you just let go.

  17. 17 Red Tulips December 3, 2007 at 22:44

    Why are you obsessed with me then?

    Because I see you as a good soul, who COULD be a great leader. But you don’t seem to get it, that the West is not out to get you. It’s not “east v. west,” it’s hate v. humanity. Much of the hate is Islamic hate, but you fail to acknowledge this.

    And frankly, I just cannot understand why. As a Muslim, your life would directly improve if Islamism receded away.

    One last thing; you wrote this…

    As if the few idiots in Sudan give half a crap about what a young student in Germany is yelling around.

    If you were to approach this from the “yelling around” perspective, I agree. It’s not about that. You could so so much; you could go to your local imam and ask him to draft a press release decrying the violence, saying it is not in the name of Islam, and that the thugs and hooligans are Islamic apostates. This is but one thing that could be done. It will do two things; a) to the extent this gets press coverage, it will show (Western) people that Islam the religion is not the same as hooligans in Sudan; b) it will attempt to influence those Muslim people who insist that the hooligan version of Islam is the real Islam.

    This is just one thing you could do, and it will make an impact at least in Munich. But the bottom line is…it is something. You can do something.

    I have faith in you.

  18. 18 The Sphinx December 3, 2007 at 23:36

    Right, and when people actually DO say: “Not in our name, not in our religions name”, the coverage is laughable. The reaction weak, in fact disappointing. Then people complain about the “deafening silence” from the Muslim world regarding violence. Reminds me of the little kid who sticks his fingers in his ears, then complains later about nobody talking to him.

    you could go to your local imam and ask him to draft a press release decrying the violence, saying it is not in the name of Islam

    They already did that, a long time ago. And did it improve our reputation? Hardly, because it wasn’t reported on. However, if the mosque had released a statement where it urges people to commit acts of violence, there would have been a raid on the place, the mosque shut down, and many of us arrested straight away. And the press would’ve been all over our @$$es in a wink.

    Two weeks ago I went to a lecture by the Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina here, where he said exactly that. The lecture hall was packed, but was there anything in the news about it? Only a few announcements on some obscure websites about the event before it happened.

    I’m sick of being told that we don’t reject violence because our voices are not heard, whereas the truth is: Our voices were never given the chance to be heard.

    If only the wide Muslim condemnation got the coverage it deserved, specifically in this Sudan incident..
    But you know.. Good news is no news, and merely gets a couple of lines at the end of a few select articles here and there. Nothing to see though, move along..

    I’m grateful that you have faith in me, but before we get a more balanced media coverage of what’s really going on and I _really_ get the chance to make an impact, none of what I can do will bring anything. So I’d better focus on what’s more important to me right now, and that’s my education.

  19. 19 Red Tulips December 4, 2007 at 00:57

    If only the wide Muslim condemnation got the coverage it deserved, specifically in this Sudan incident.

    Frankly, I think part of the problem is that the GOOD Muslims are not out rioting when the Sudanese Muslims seek to behead the English schoolteacher. A press release does not get much coverage, not compared to a riot. This does not show press “bias” so much as it shows a press reality, of how news is covered. Press releases don’t cut it.

    That said, what is necessary are hundreds of thousands of Muslims staging a vigil, saying the following:

    “Islam stands wholly against terror and with human rights. Those that commit terror are Islamic apostates.”

    Some mass vigils have happened (and I covered some at my blog), but probably not enough huge ones, big enough to get press coverage.

    Also, major media personalities need to come forward – with mass support from Muslims – wholly preaching that Islam is a religion of peace. Sadly, the imams in the media are mostly terror affiliated. Surely there are many imams without any such terror affiliation. So there needs to be a movement empowering human rights-loving imams, and not for the West’s sake, but for Islam’s sake.

    Just my take on it. And the lack of a sufficient movement of this explains why Islam is perceived as a religion which advocates violence.

  20. 20 Red Tulips December 4, 2007 at 01:00

    One more thing.

    I think this movement also has to specifically address the Koranic/Hadith sources cited by the Bin Laden ilk as “proof” that Islam is violent. A sensible response to those verses are necessary, and one that makes logical sense. This is what Irshad Manji is doing. Maybe you want to get involved?

  21. 21 The Sphinx December 4, 2007 at 02:02

    Even protests will not get and have not gotten the exposure they should have. That is a key problem, which makes you believe that nothing is going on, even though there is.

    Just my take on it. And the lack of a sufficient movement of this explains why Islam is perceived as a religion which advocates violence.

    That’s exactly what I’m saying. There isn’t a lack of movement, but a lack of coverage thereof. It’s not fair to accuse people of being silent when they have been silenced.

    And no, I would not get involved in an agenda like Irshad Manji and the likes are supporting. Because people like those only seek to reform the religion and don’t even have the knowledge to talk about it. They also, despite their good will, want to alienate Muslims from their own religion and tradition. And as I’m a Muslim before anything, I’m not really cool with that.
    I will only support whoever takes Islam as it is, in its true form that was meant for humanity. Reformation is out of the question here. I don’t care if all the Robert Spencers, Ayaan Hirsi Alis or Salman Rushdies of the world misinterpret it, or all the Osama Bin Ladens of the world exploit it for their own goals. If that was a criterion for reforming or even abolishing a religion, then ALL religions and ideologies of the world should be erased and forgotten. Including Judaism.
    However, the one true Islam is here to stay. Just like all the other religions.

    Off to bed now. Won’t be back till tomorrow evening.

  22. 22 Red Tulips December 4, 2007 at 16:15


    How can you possibly say that there are no problems with Islam? Islam in its pure form showcases a dhimmi system, subjugation of women, as well as the mandate of jihad. That doesn’t mean that Islam cannot be reinterpreted to say otherwise. That is Manji’s goal. But to claim that Islam somehow has no problems seems to me to be willful blindness about the world.

    If in fact Islam has no problems, then I ask you: how do you Islamically answer Al Queda – with an unreformed and pure Islam?

    It is not so easy.

    Which is the problem.

    I want to add that saying Islam should be reformed hardly says it is necessarily inferior. All religions have gone through reformations; why exactly should Islam NOT be reformed? That is the better question.

  23. 23 The Sphinx December 4, 2007 at 17:18

    You are insofar in no position to talk about Islam because you haven’t learned enough. You don’t understand the meaning of Jihad, the “subjugation of women” is a myth and where I come from, most people don’t even know what “Dhimmi” means.

    Also remember that I’m the Muslim here, not you. It already crosses the “annoying” line, when you start to preach me about my own religion, especially when I know about a hundred times more than you do.

    There are also pure Islamic answers to Al Qaeda. In fact, it is almost too easy to answer to it. If you think back long enough, you’ll remember that I have brought to you enough Quranic verses stating that harming innocent people is strictly forbidden. There are many sources from Islamic tradition that support this too. So the fact is, they are misguided, and not following a flawed religion.

    Think about a pen, a highly useful object. Now picture somebody grabbing a pen and stabbing someone else in the eye. Who to blame, the pen for having a tip, or the pen-wielder for misusing it for his own purpose?

    I think I’ve had enough of this discussion. Feel free to say whatever you want, whoever wants to respond is free to also. But I’m out.

  24. 24 Red Tulips December 4, 2007 at 17:32

    Sphinx, it is very clear that women take a second class position in Islam, compared to men. (at least in pure Islam) It is also clear that just as there are peaceful verses in Islam, there are non-peaceful verses that so-called “abrogate” many of the peaceful ones.

    Am I saying this makes Islam inferior to other religions? No. I have read verses in the Jewish bible which deeply trouble me. Do not get me wrong, I am not saying that violent verses make Islam inferior. I used to say that, but I am not saying it anymore.

    The distinction, however, between Islam and Judaism, as an example, is that the violent verses in the Torah simply do not apply in the modern era. No one is allowed to be put to death for the “crime” of violating Shabbat. Judaism, in short, reformed itself.

    The same applies to Christianity, which used to hang witches and kill infidels.

    It is not disrespectful towards Islam to say that its pure form is deeply troubling. I am not saying you should “give up” your faith, but a healthy dose of reexamining the texts only enhances faith.

    I will give you an example. Publicly, I was an atheist for a long time. I doubted the very existence of G-d itself. Through study and over time, I no longer count myself as an atheist. But my deeper faith only came after reexamining the texts, and not accepting them just because they are written. (but ultimately seeing wisdom in the texts after questioning them) It is hence not necessarily unhealthy nor even particularly “anti-Islamic” to question the texts, and I think it will give you only a deeper appreciation for Islam.

  25. 25 Red Tulips December 4, 2007 at 17:41


    One more thing. Forget about Robert Spencer for a moment. I think he does bring valuable insights, but not always. Irshad Manji is not out to abolish or “Christianize” Islam. Rather, she wants to be able to match Islam with a modern and pluralistic world. You may disagree with either her approach or her general ideas, but I think she is basically worth checking out.

    You get very prickly when the topic of “reform” is breached, but as I said, every religion has reformed itself. Why should Islam be deprived of its own Maimonedes or Thomas Acquinas?

    As an aside, I have been reading Maimonedes, and I think he is not only brilliant, but much of his work applies to all religions. His work “The Guide to the Perplexed” was also written in Arabic while he was living in an Islamic state of Andulusia. You might be interested in checking it out. I am sure much of this work is lost in the translation to English. (but you would be able to catch the original Arabic)

  26. 26 Lex December 5, 2007 at 06:06

    No problem Sphinx, told you I like your style. I also know that many bloggers would love to make it “front page news” that Muslims condemn terrorism, from blogs or in public. The problem is that these particular bloggers would try to attack everything else you said above about Islam not being reformed, not to mention continuing to attack Islam in general.

    I hope you realize that it will be difficult to keep just “one Islam” though, as it has been with many other religions. Humans want to re-interpret the message as usual. Oddly, trying to do so in Christianity has led to more condemnation and war than any other internecine strife, and goes rather against ANY interpretation. Still does. This is why I sometimes say that it can be lonely being a Christian when surrounded by only American evangelicals. Hopefully any more splits in Islam aside from what already exist will not lead to centuries of warfare. Sometimes it is not so much “reform” as casting off what people have held in between now and the beginning, after all.

    Tiptoe-Thru-the-Tulips, there is a movement amongst evangelical Christians in the U.S. to reinstate the man as the head of the household and have the woman as submitting to the husband. Why? It’s in the Bible, and these people want to drag us back to it. Doesn’t that bother you more than what Sphinx might say (or rather say AGAIN) to your queries? This is documented, it is growing, and it is a movement that does not separate government from religion. Here, in the U.S., and you’re worried about an Egyptian student in Europe?

    I’m not trying to minimize your importance here Sphinx in the scheme of things, I just find you infinitely less threatening than hordes of teenager pushing people over so that they can “feel the spirit” and all. I’ll find a video link for you at some point…;)

  27. 27 Red Tulips December 5, 2007 at 16:21

    Lex, last time I checked, no one has been beheaded using Jesus as the reason to behead.

  28. 28 Lex December 6, 2007 at 21:49

    Red–people have been telling me that ever since I started getting attacked by these fundies. I agree, at this point in time, Islam does admittedly have the higher body count. Much of it done by extremists in the name of their interpretation of Islam.

    However, the evangelical Christians I’m at war with are also waging their own war on the U.S. They are separating from mainstream secular society, creating their own schools and “Bible Colleges” in addition to fundie-only schools which are growing such as Bob Jones University. Their kids (and they are increasingly having larger numbers of children, though I do need to re-find the data for that one, in order to create more of themselves, or at least that’s why many say they’re doing it) are segregated from secular kids, frequently homeschooled and allowed only to play with kids from their own youth groups or camps, and many of these camps are very political in tone. Go watch some “Jesus Camp” clips if that wasn’t enough for you.

    These kids are increasingly being trained to be turned into adults who will continue to change this country, they’re like little ticking timebombs planted everywhere, with every intention of subverting our freedoms in the not-so-distant future. The new generation of adults are already feeling much less stigmatized than adults of the fundamentalist bent in the 1980s; they move to more mainstream neighborhoods, “mega-churches” abound for them to attend, as do smaller churches unafilliated with the mainline Protestant churches (even many who retain the “Baptist” in their name are independent).

    As for the ones on my street, they travel to poor former-soviet countries under humanitarian cover and then build Baptist churches their and illegally work to convert Orthodox Christians away from their Church. Many also go to Catholic countries in Latin America for the same reasons. “Seed planting missions”, these are called, setting up churches as foreign franchises of their own back in the States. The children on my street, at least before I ran off the worst of the families (that’s right, they’re paying TWO house payments rather than put up with me), beat up my two daughters, sometimes biting my 4-year-old leaving marks for up to two weeks. My kids were discriminated against and told that their family is not “really Christian” due to the fact that we are Roman Catholics. The huge chain Christian bookstore is stacked with books on different “cults” and how to deal with them, a shelf each for Catholicism, Islam, Scientology, Wicca, and Mormons. Right there in the store.

    These fundies do it all in the name of Jesus, wrongfully, with one woman even breaking two Commandments just to get revenge on me (which ain’t too Christian either, Commandments aside), and it’s not just my neighbors. One anti-jihadi blogger keeps asking me to present proof of all of this, beyond my neighbors, and I keep doing so. I have yet another web-site that I have investigated and found to be in the same vein, so I will post soon on that.

    So while no one is being beheaded in the name of a perverted interpretation of Christianity, I don’t buy that this very American and quite modern evangelical school of thought (about the same age as the Muslim Salafi theology) is not a wicked twisting of my own religion and one that aims to subvert the U.S. and as far as they can get in the rest of the world. And in case you have forgotten your history, a good portion of people who settled the U.S. came here to escape the centuries long religious wars in Europe post-Reformation, so please don’t tell me that Christian zealots can’t do as much harm as Muslim extremists. They have in the not-so-distant past and are headed down that path again, just as certain Muslim theologians began extremists in that religion in response to certain other historical factors.

    Sphinx, I apologize yet again for taking up that precious web space, but I am SO sick of that argument. These people here are batshit in the head and they are causing MUCH harm, even if it isn’t yet to the level of beheadings. This is why I’m gunning for all extremists. And yes, I really have been beating this topic in between mockery of the Gates of Vienna Vs. The Whole World Vs. LGF situation on my blog, which has earned me the ire of most of the “counterjihadi” writers who liked keeping me as a convenient ally. So thanks for letting me say my piece here.

    Oddly enough, many who write constantly about not being able to trust any Muslim due to “taqiyya” started calling me “paranoid” once I started writing about people who were actually attacking me personally. Is that too far beyond irony to still count?

  29. 29 The Sphinx December 7, 2007 at 01:27

    Just a short word about “Taqiyya”:
    That’s a term that many Sunni Muslims haven’t even stumbled upon before. Until this day I have never heard anybody use the term, and am in fact not sure how it’s pronounced correctly (Transcription to latin letters destroys the Arabic pronounciation, and vice versa).
    The reason is very simple: This notion of “Taqiyya” is only found in the Shia doctrine, which is a fork of the original Sunni Islam, and is distinguished by many small but clear alterations of Islamic ideals.

    Personally, I think that the idea of lying or concealing your faith to deceive others is rather silly and it’s rejected by Sunni clerics who know about it. A true believer in God (not necessarily Muslim) doesn’t have to hide anything from anyone, regarding their faith.

    So rest assured that anybody who throws this word around and says Muslims aren’t to be trusted because of this has no idea what they’re talking about, which makes the accusation of paranoia towards you even more hilarious (pathetic) than it already is.

    And please don’t apologize about posting here :)

  30. 30 ChenZhen December 7, 2007 at 04:07

    Sphinx and Red Tulips-

    I can’t help but be reminded of this. lol I think the level of politeness maintained through all of it is pretty respectable, though. Good stuff.

  31. 31 The Sphinx December 7, 2007 at 07:30

    I’m glad it’s Red Tulips and not Sharmuta. That would’ve gotten REALLY ugly. But I don’t need to tell you ;)

  32. 32 ChenZhen December 7, 2007 at 08:45

    Sharmuta and I were on relatively friendly terms at one point, actually. The mere appearance of my nic at LGF Watch ended that though (see my post: The Dreaded Blog Of Blasphemy)

  33. 33 Lex December 7, 2007 at 13:49

    Thanks, Sphinx. I guess a quick primer on taqiyya from actual Muslims is necessary every so often. No Muslims I know have every heard of it, including people I know from Iran who are (marginally) Shi’a. Or then again, are they sucking me in with their taqiyya? NOOOOO!!!!

    Seriously, this is the first thing most people mention in the “anti-jihadi” realm of things. I turn on the Michael Savage radio show here in the U.S. to see how long he can last without going off on a tangent about either a.) his dog Teddy b.) his latest bad restaurant experience c.) all of the above + general insanity.

    The other night he was doing a show about CAIR suing him (and if he didn’t already know all of this stuff, then I’m the Pope, OK?). He had a caller who he allowed to keep talking for an entire long segment, something unusual on that show from a non-guest. The caller’s name was “Selwyn” from California. This guy had talking points straight out of one of the standard blogs, point by point. One important thing he mentioned as well, after going over the Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi infiltration of the U.S., was the standard blogging definition of ‘taqiyya’.

    I swear this caller is a blogger, I’m just not sure which one yet. Drove me crazy though.

    I don’t think it was Sharmuta at least, but I can never be sure;)

  34. 34 Red Tulips December 7, 2007 at 17:30



    The Eastern Orthodox churches tend to spew out antisemitic doctrine as dogma. If the Evangelical NON-anti-semitic Christians want to spread their word, I am not necessarily upset over it.

    Here is a press release which speaks to the Orthodox churches, and the anti-semitism that is literally part of their liturgy.


    Here is a JPost article of priests urging the Orthodox churches to remove anti-semitic liturgy.


    This is just an example.

    Anyway, so the Eastern Churches have a problem, and I am not necessarily against Evangelicals going over to those churches. These churches also have escaped much of the Christian reformation of the “Western” churches. So yes, they have problems.


    Yes, there are Jesus campers and snake charmers, but those nuts are not going around killing people. They are also relatively marginalized and harmless. Mainstream Evangelical Christianity is not about snake charmers and Jesus Camp. YES, it is against the popular culture. YES, they have as lobby which seeks to influence public policy.

    But guess what? Every group has a LOBBY. BIG DEAL. The question is…do they believe in using violence to achieve their goals? The clear answer is no. They are merely exercising their constitutional right to lobby the government for what they want – just like hundreds, if not thousands, of other groups!

    Moreover, secularism has won! Jesus is not in the schools, prayer is not in schools, and public bodies are scared to display even a creche display during Christmas. Secularism is the mainstream culture of America. They would like things to swing back the other way – but what they want is NOT a overthrow of the US government and a replacement of the Supreme Court with some Christian court. (unlike CAIR, which wants exactly that, but Islamic court)

    If the Evangelical Christians achieve some of their goals, then the constitutionality of it will be determined by the Supreme Court, and they will accept that. I hardly see what is so “terrifying” about any of that.

    There are fringe nuts who are Christians in America who say something very different – such as Fred Phelps – but he is not in power and is even hated by the mainstream Evangelical Establishment.

    Can the same be said for CAIR, whose spokesperson, Ibrahim Hooper, said that he would like Sharia to replace the constitution?


    To summarize. I see nothing “anti-Islamic” to say that Muslims should live in the FIRST WORLD, and as part of that, there are issues in Islam that need to be addressed. Every other religion has had to address issues of modernism and undergo some form of a reformation. Islam is most certainly no better than any other faith, and in fact, in the present day, there are millions of Muslims using their Islamic faith to justify butchery. They do not conjure this out of think blue air. Imams are telling them these things. It is PRO-Muslim to say that I expect better of the Muslim world.

  35. 35 The Sphinx December 7, 2007 at 17:48

    I’ve never heard any Imam tell anybody to support butchering people. So either it’s my imagination that’s inside some parallel reality, or it’s yours. And as I’m the one who went to countless mosques at least once a week for 16 years straight and belongs to the religion we’re talking about, it’s rather obvious who has the bigger advantage.

    Not saying that these things don’t exist, but I do say that it’s not in the magnitude that you imagine.

  36. 36 Red Tulips December 7, 2007 at 18:22


    There were imams who were jailed for the very reason of inciting their followers to violence. Of course these imams exist! Just look at Abu Hamza, for one.


    Where is the movement saying that Abu Hamza is an Islamic apostate? It is not a mass movement.

    The fact remains that there is no effective Islamic answer to cretins like Abu Hamza. You can say that you belong to such a peaceful mosque, but by your very admission, the mosque you attend has at least some affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood.

    As we speak, one of the foremost ‘scholars’ on Islam is Tariq Ramadan, with very explicit Muslim Brotherhood connections. So yes, there are problems within Islam, mainstream Islam. No, this does not mean all Muslims believe this stuff. No, this does not mean that Islam is inherently bad. But there is a problem. And the first step to a solution is to recognize the problem.

  37. 38 The Sphinx December 7, 2007 at 18:39

    You’re being ridiculous again. I severely doubt that many people in the Muslim world have actually heard of the guy!

    The fact remains that there is no effective Islamic answer to cretins like Abu Hamza.

    Your utter resistance to understand anything about Islam is amazing. No matter how much I try to prove anything to you, it’s like I’ve never said anything. Think back long enough and you WILL remember that I have gotten you enough evidence already.

    You can say that you belong to such a peaceful mosque, but by your very admission, the mosque you attend has at least some affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood.

    And maybe it’s about time that you stopped sticking your nose into my business about whatever mosque I go to. I managed to put up with all your hysterical accusations that you were throwing around you, but it’s getting annoying after a while.

    And posting quotes by Ayaan Hirsi Ali here is pretty much worthless. She chooses to smear an entire religion and its people because of her own bad experience in her past. But just because she had a terrible childhood isn’t an excuse for throwing people like me or my family into a huge box and labelling it “barbarians” for belonging to the same religion as hers.

    Brilliant sermon at today’s Friday prayer about women in Islam. I wish you could be there to see that there is another side of the coin that people like her don’t want you to see.

    Agree with her all you like, she’s just lusting for attention, and I don’t support her cause in any way.

    Or do you want me shoving articles by Noam Chomsky or Norm Finkelstein into your face? I thought so. Thank you.

    I’m out of this discussion again. I should be doing homework.

  38. 39 Red Tulips December 7, 2007 at 19:42

    Sphinx, if the sermons really are so great, you should get your imam to post them online. But the fact remains that you did tell me your imam had an affiliation with the MB – and you will see how I phrased it – had an affiliation. You have not explained if your imam has totally disavowed the MB or not, so I bring it up to make the point that you keep saying how peaceful your mosque is, and then do not provide concrete examples of how peaceful it is. The only concrete thing I know is that your imam was a member of a terror organization at least at one point in time.

    As far as Ayaan Hirsi Ali goes…I don’t see her as anti-Muslim, rather as anti-Islam. There is a difference. But her point was not theological, rather it was pointing out the reality of the state of things in the world, and saying that not enough is being done to counteract it, by Moderate Muslims. She basically said Moderate Muslims are not getting their voice out. This is not offensive, it is a fact.

    Abu Hamza is only one hate imam out of many out there. These hate imams are able to exist in this world in part because there really is no adequate response to the hatred. But then, whose fault is it?

    There is a government in Lebanon, led by Seniora. This is a democratically elected government, with a goal of modernism and humanity. But the “mainstream media” paints them as “western backed,” implying they are mere puppets to the West, which could not be further from the truth.

    So when there ARE at least semi-moderates out there, when there ARE those who believe in ACTUAL peace, they are castigated by the WESTERN media. (in addition, of course, to the Arab media)

    So you have a state of the world of radicals in charge of Arab governments around the region (not just Arab – ‘moderate’ Malaysia is apparently looking to drive out the native Hindus), and in the effort to remain in power, they seek to teach hate to kids. So how do you respond to this? Whose fault is it that true moderates are disempowered, and radicals are empowered?

    It’s not so simple how and why the radicals are in power, and it is not so simple how and why hate is being taught. We just know radicals are in power and hate is being taught. But something has to change, if Islamic states are to enter the first world. The oil tap will not exist forever.

  39. 40 Lex December 8, 2007 at 03:41

    RT–You just don’t find much of the anti-semitism in American Orthodox Churches, and I certainly don’t condone it. I am, however, for people cleaning out their own houses. As far as evangelicals in the U.S., they’re just getting a little too comfortable in mainstream circles lately. I meet neighbors who seem normal, in a very white-bread, jock, suburbanite sort of way, then eventually I find out that they’re going on these missions and telling people that they need to join these new Baptist churches they are building or they’ll end up in hell. They tell these people that their deceased loved ones are already in hell. That to me is morally reprehensible, not to mention what I consider cultural rape, and I will continue to fight it. Then again, I am a fighter.

    Listen RT, I used to believe all of the crap I read about Islam and what Muslims believed and practiced. I used to write about it incessantly, on my own blog and in articles on sites such as FaithFreedom.org and Islam-Watch. I used to be very involved, and it shames me to no end. I was willing to believe the worst about people based on the religion they identified as, whether or not they were even observant Muslims. Many of the bloggers I worked with who had come to blogging from a more liberal, human rights POV, also started to believe that no Muslim could be trusted due to “taqiyya”.

    Then, as I have stated elsewhere, my family came under heavy attack by fundies due to the fact that we are Catholics. The garbage they believed that WE believed and practiced, as I dug around and found out their sources, was absurdly written in these books not unlike the works of people like Robert Spencer. Basically, condensations of all of Catholic history with an emphasis on the worst parts, denial of the counter-Reformation completely, claims in beliefs that no one has believed in in over 1,000 years or are very marginal regional beliefs closer to Santeria than Catholicism.

    In the long run, I’m happy that we were attacked thusly. It opened my eyes to the bigotry I was engaging in, the exact same that I was being subjected to. I began once again interviewing Muslims about how they view their Faith and talking to the tons of Muslims who I have met while also blogging as “Pim’s Ghost” (boy, is that an awkward!). Then I decided to actually keep my blog up and discuss my change of heart, this with everyone knowing exactly who I am. I had to break ties and deal with slews of phone calls and emails from readers and co-bloggers besides, but I will not turn from the position I am at now.

    Yes, Muslim extremism is a problem. It must be dealt with, especially the terrorism side of things. I think that if Christian extremists actually NEEDED to become violent, they would. Most of them are already in the U.S. exactly where the evangelical interpretation of Christianity was born and is being furthered. Wahhabists in Saudi don’t have that problem, either. They run the country. But isn’t it better to not (first of all) discriminate against people based on how they were raised and the religion they were raised with in the first place, and furthermore, to not marginalize a good portion of the people who would gladly work to root out Muslim extremism and terrorism, i.e. moderate Muslims?

    Despite the venom spewed online, moderate Muslims DO exist. People who self-identify as Muslim but are not very observant exist as well. And if they see even the front page of most blogs out there which are “counterjihadi”, they (rightly) get offended enough to call bigotry by its right name. No Muslim is going to go to LGF, Atlas Shrugs, Infidel Bloggers Alliance, Jihad Watch, etc. and not get alarmed and offended, especially not to stick around to try and tell their side of the story only to be attacked by tons of people telling them that they’re spouting taqiyya and offering up verses from the Qu’ran to attack them further. Would YOU? I doubt it. I seriously doubt it.

    And as far as links go, here’s an interesting one about the still uneasy situation in Gujarat ever since the mass slaughter of over 1,000 Muslims murdered by Hindu extremists due to their religion. Considering the ramping up of rhetoric online (can anyone say Center for Vigilant Freedom? Gates of Vienna?) which is quickly sliding in the “let’s support mass deportation of Muslims from Europe” while not acknowledging that this would also involve much violence–or worse, trying to JUSTIFY such violence–I think that things like the 2002 slaughter in Gujarat are good things for everyone to remember. After all, I’m sure you’ve kept tabs on every single murder of a non-Muslim involving Muslims, so check this one out:


    As for marginalizing Phelps, I take full credit for helping in the early phase of that movement;)

    Sphinx–thanks for letting me give some testimonial speechifying here…LOL. BTW, I’m pretty sure that there are some Imams out there giving some rather inflammatory speeches in some Western mosques, I still believe some of those reports, but shouldn’t they just be spoken out against by all? The way things are now, those on the more far-right have controlled the situation in terms of discourse in such a way that has rather stunted the debate for everyone else. I just think we should be able to discuss any extremists without people hopping in and tossing out verses from Holy texts from the Qu’ran to the Bible to others. It has made a bad situation even more divisive, IMHO.

    Ooooh, and remind me to tell you the alternate meaning for “Sphinx” sometime…LOL. Not exactly sexual, but…

  40. 41 Red Tulips December 9, 2007 at 01:29

    Lex, you make no sense.

    Firstly, Robert Spencer is a Catholic. So why would he write something against Catholicism? HUH?

    Secondly, you cited to Gujarat. Of course I know about it, and I even have written of it on my blog. It was a response to the Godhra fire bombing of a train of Hindus. Muslims rioted and mass murdered a train of Hindus, and in response, the Gujarat riots occurred.


    In short, it did not occurred out of thin blue air. And you can bet your bippy that if the minority of Hindus did anything like Godhra in for instance, Pakistan, far more Hindus would have been killed in retaliation.

    I am not defending Gujarat, but give it context. Let’s look at the whole picture. It is not ‘evidence’ of whatever you would like to claim it is evidence of.


    The entirety of the rest of what you say is spurious. I get you experienced some form of bigotry by Evangelicals. Catholics, of course, have done far worse in their history than anything the Evangelicals have done, as an aside. But you are now completely speculating on what Evangelicals would do. We know right now they are a) not violent; b) have no violent ambitions at all. So why exactly this terror over Evangelicals?

    Evangelicals are acting as a legal lobbying group, just like every other lobbying group around. I do not agree with all they stand for, but they have a right to advocate what they want to advocate.

    Groups like CAIR are not mere lawful lobbying groups. There is no equivalence. They openly seek to replace the constitution with Sharia.

    Feel free to bash CVF/Gates of Vienna. That’s fine – I am opposed to Vlaams Belang and racism of all kinds. But the main threats of racism today are from Islamists and white supremacists, who in many ways are allied and in many ways opposed to each other. (they unite over Jew hatred) It is not from Hindus, Jews, Evangelical Christians, or Muslims from groups such as the American Islamic Congress. It most certainly is not from LGF, which seeks to expose Islamists and white supremacists. But to castigate Evangelicals as you appear to is counter-productive and unhelpful.

  41. 42 Lex December 9, 2007 at 05:57

    Spencer’s a Catholic of the Maronite Rite I believe, correct? I don’t recall saying that he was writing against Catholics, but then I think he writes what makes him the dough at this point.

    But how dare I speculate about what evangelicals might do! We all know that it is the MUSLIMS we must speculate based on blogs and books, never members of a group that we are having dealings with on a daily basis! Silly me! I’m usually more clear on distinguishing, BTW, my definition of who I’m counting as an “evangelical Christian” as opposed to those who self identify as such but have no theocratic or extremist agendas towards the rest of us.

    Thank you, I will bash GoV/CVF, as they are a fast-growing hotbed of racism which I’m quite sure that you’d not approve of. Note the comments in this thread, for instance, specifically the comments by “Ethelred” and “Charlemagne”:


    I think just about anyone would “bash” these comments, even those at LGF. CAIR is not a group I trust either, but then I know no Muslims who like the group either, and I’ve caught members in lies myself. CAIR are extremists, and they do want to supplant U.S. law. You say I make no sense, yet I can still distinguish between the extremists of CAIR and their pals (and bank-rollers) and the millions of Muslims living in the West who have absolutely no political agenda when it comes to supplanting any systems of Western law. Has it never occurred to you that most of these Muslims are just trying to live their lives, going about their days, just like anyone else? This absurd caricature of the “threatening Muslim” is as awful as the horrid caricatures of the “evil Jew”, or of those blacks in America always portrayed in the Jim Crow era as out to rape white women. Or the many immigrant groups vilified a century ago. Yes, extremists are….guess what….extremists! I’m in favor of secularism, and so are many Muslims, especially many who come to the U.S. to escape theocracy in their home countries, or already have enjoyed that and want to continue living that way, or (oh dear!) those born in Western countries. As for those who have sought freedom in Western countries, don’t we owe these new citizens the same courtesy that we would to anyone seeking freedom in the U.S.? Why are they less deserving? All of these people fleeing the dreadful things reported on on LGF, say from Iran, what one should feel for their plight while they’re condemned or on the run, but accuse them of trying to take over the country once they’re here? Now who isn’t making sense?

    “Catholics, of course, have done far worse in their history than anything the Evangelicals have done, as an aside.”

    Wow, I love those snide little asides. Let’s go tell that one to Robert Spencer, shall we? If I weren’t getting bored with this discussion, I’d perhaps mention that the Catholic Churches go back almost 2,000 years and American evangelicalism has it’s roots barely 100 years in our past. Perhaps, also, it depends on which group you ask. I really doubt that KKK victims such as Leo Frank or Irish Catholics who “need not apply” for jobs were really feeling the love from those non-Catholics, much as those killed in the wars which engulfed Europe post-Reformation or fleeing from them.

    So yes, the Catholic Church has a dreadful history, almost as bad as those Muslims–unless the discussion turns to the Crusades, in which case everyone in the “counterjihadisphere” turns into Cheer-leaders for Rome, or perhaps to La Reconquista, and then it’s yet again “Go Catholics!”…until the Muslims are gone from Spain and then it that damned inquisition. Selective making sense? Is that perhaps the game here?

    Think about it. You’ve been asked to use the same selective judgment on all of Islam, and you’ve sided against it based on a selective telling of the history. It is the same as the tracts written about Catholics, smashing all of the centuries into a few moments of the worst atrocities, as if these moments don’t happen in every religion in every part of the world. That, however, remains my question. Why buy into this selectivity? Did you buy it about the Irish Catholics due to the IRA? IS anyone going nuts over getting rid of the Basques due to their separatist movement and ETA? 9/11 hit hard, it hit anyone with sense really, really hard. It is not everything, nor are those terrorists every Muslim or what even most Muslims believe. They deserve, like any extremists, to be fought off and marginalized by Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

    My mission against the extremists on the Christian side is due to the fact that that is what affects me, my family. Muslims I know in this town aren’t doing anything and are probably being monitored by the government anyways, so how am I being counter-productive exactly? Trying to get people to stop going down the road that these CVF and GoV people are going down, how is it counter-productive to try and get people to see things in a less-biased, less extremist way instead of a MORE extremist one? Not to sound Quixotic, but I’d rather try to at least get some people to see the other side of things and maybe all work against ALL of the extremists. You can think critically, or you can continue down a path that ends with the sort of commentary I mentioned at Gates of Vienna.

  42. 43 Red Tulips December 9, 2007 at 18:49

    Lex, you now have gone over the cliff.

    Please note that nowhere in what I wrote did I bash all Muslims. In fact, I specifically pointed out a group of Muslims that I know to be liberty loving and even patriotic towards America. (American Islamic Congress)

    But instead, somehow, you have decided that I have castigated all Muslims, everywhere on earth. I did nothing of the kind. I did something else.

    I said that the average Muslim does not appear to be doing enough to counter the jihadist threat in the world. And from what I see of Islam, there are ideological foundations of Islamism within Islam. That does not mean that Islam = terrorism. But you are only ignoring reality if you say otherwise.

    Why exactly are “Evangelicals” a threat to your and your family somehow more than Muslims are? If you go by “Evangelicals” as an interest group, then they are no more socially conservative than the average Muslim. That’s just a reality – it’s why there are so many Muslim Republicans. So I do not get why Evangelical = threat, Muslims = irrelevant threat. I am not saying Muslims as a people are a threat, but you seem to be saying that the Christian right as a people are a threat. Your logic is anti-logic.

    I have nothing against Muslims as people and do not know enough to say if Islam is bad or good to the core, but I have something against Islamism as a philosophy when it seeks to replace the constitution with Sharia, employ terror, and teach anti-semitism as fact in schools. I have something against that.

    Yes, CVF/Gates of Vienna are aligned with Vlaams Belang, and I already have come out against that. I already said it is the flip side of the Islamist hatred, and in many ways just as scary. But Evangelicals are not CVF or Gates of Vienna. Evangelicals do not stand for that, so I fail to see even what your point is. And it should be noted that VB has links with David Duke, who has links with Islamists. So it all flips around. The far left and the far right are the same damned thing. Why do you fail to recognize that?

  43. 44 ChenZhen December 10, 2007 at 00:33

    Sphinx- Did you delete your “bold faced liar” post?

  44. 45 The Sphinx December 10, 2007 at 01:13

    Sorry Chen, apparently I edited something and forgot to publish it again. It’s back up now. Thanks for pointing that out!

  45. 46 Lex December 26, 2007 at 08:00

    Oh dear, Tulips wasn’t finished with me. No RT, I went over no cliff. I also never fail to recognize that the extreme right and the extreme left meet in a lovely frenzy of the circular political model. Without that even, of course I see that the radicalism is the same, and in either case tends to lead to a fundamental desire towards control of society by that group.

    I just went on many tangents, please pardon me. I was condensing many things I’ve written about at length into comments. I do not trust any one desiring theocracy, period, no matter the religion. Nor religious supremacy (or ethnic, racial, etc.). All lead to bloodshed and complete suppression of rights and usually rational thought as well.

    Tulips, you can come visit anytime. Seriously. The evangelicals moving into my area are far different than those of even a generation ago. I and a few other families at my Church have been persecuted heavily by evangelical neighbors for being Catholic or Orthodox in some cases. It is a disturbing trend. But I must laugh when people still insist to me that Muslims in general (yes, I read your caveat) are “The Problem” when my children were being beat up for not being “real Christians”. In my parents’ former neighborhood no less, in the city’s most desirable school district, etc. Hardly Scorcese’s The Departed here. Yet the same people who lauded my anti-Islam writings call me paranoid when I speak of the spread of a separatist and extreme interpretation of evangelical Christianity (I never said they are all this way, BTW).

    At any rate, it is too late to write more on this at the moment. But I highly recommend the documentary “Jesus Camp”.

  1. 1 Flame Warrior Profile: The Sphinx Vs. Red Tulips « ChenZhen’s Chamber Trackback on December 12, 2007 at 06:51

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