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Mr. Baldy
07-20-2005, 06:38 PM
aslaam alkyum,

"Fanaticism is not a state of religion but a state of mind. We will work with you to make the moderate and true voice of Islam heard as it should be." 7 July 2005 Tony Blair

"It's ensuring that the whole of the Muslim community, supported by the whole of the society, stands out against this sort of belief." Charles Clarke Home Secretary 13 July, 2005,

‘There's nothing wrong with being a fundamentalist Muslim, Jew or Christian, the key issue is the slide into extremism." Sir Ian Blair. Metropolitan Police Commissioner 15 July 2005

So it is not the failure of intelligence that allowed the bombing, nor the war on Iraq that outraged so many people, especially Muslims, around the world. It is ‘extremism’ in the Muslim community. This is what we have heard all week. Our mosques are hotbeds of extremism, where suspicious activity is said to occur that we are supposed to phone the terrorist hotline about!

It is not a picture that many Muslims will recognise. So why has this been exaggerated and a fictional debate arisen. In our view for several reasons:


1. To deflect the blame for the bombings onto the Muslim community. Tony Blair’s war, security services’ failings and a failure to address concerns of Muslims’ global concerns are uncomfortable truths. MI5 did not deem the alleged bombers a threat, nor did their own families expect the bombings but the policy is now that the ordinary mosque going Muslim has to share collective guilt and collective punishment.

2. To create a false division between Muslims – that some are moderate and some extremist. To create factions and alliances is an old colonial tactic that we recognise from the days of the Raj, and one we should ALL reject. Allah SWT says:


وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُواْ



"And hold fast, all together, by the rope of Allah and be not divided among yourselves" Al Imran 3:103

We should never forget that, and we should all adopt the call from now on that anyone using this language is indeed someone who is trying to divide the Ummah.

3. From Tony Blair or Charles Clarke’s point of view there is no moderate or extremist Muslim, there are only acceptable and unacceptable parts of Islam. In his speech on 16th July 2005 Blair mentioned several things that he feels are prerequisites to being a ‘moderate’:


* legitimising Israel
* abandoning the idea that shariah is the basis of Islamic law
* abandoning the idea that the Muslims should unite under one Khilafah.
* adopting western liberal values



The issue for them is clearly Islam, and a Muslim will always be extreme if he or she does not subscribe to western liberal values, or accepts any part of Islam that is political in its nature.
Our challenge is to hold on to Islam, and to demonstrate by argument and example its superiority to people around us, so that they perceive the beauty of its values and systems, and weaknesses of their own that stare them in the face.

wa alkyum aslaam
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Halima
07-21-2005, 01:47 AM
Salaam.

I might just want to add one point. "Fanatacism" is a word that is most commonly used by the non-muslims whom they proceed into pointing out the extreme side of Islam. They consider suicide bombing extreme in Islam when in Islam it is considered a crime. There is no such thing as Jihad in the name of God when a human being decides to mutinize the life of other innocent people. No action similar to that can substantiate the name of Islam. If anything it denounces the true meaning of peace demonstrated in our beloved religion. Fanaticism degrades the true images of what Islam is really supposed to manifest for. As for Tony Blair, it's his notion that suicide bombings, and beheadings, is the barbaric act that it is. Tormenting the people from their every day lives. This time apprehension is in the air. Agony, worry, and fear aswell.
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anupha
07-21-2005, 03:04 AM
Its called double standard.....if muslims want to have an independant country and defends their country..theyr're called terrorosts. However, if its another group..they're called 'independant fighters"..although both of this group have essentially da same aim..interesting eh? its called playing with words. :mad:
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Muezzin
07-21-2005, 10:09 AM
Ah, politicians. I trust 'em about as far as I can throw 'em. Though if I was Superman, that theory would be seriously messed up.

About this 'moderate' and 'extremism' issue - I remember hearing in a khutba one Jumah that we should strive to be balanced Muslims, taking everything into perspective and not going to the extreme of, for example, praying so much that we neglect our everyday life, and vice versa. He even had hadith, but I can't remember them. :-[
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Souljette
01-08-2008, 01:26 PM
Its' truu what sister anupha said..it is double standards..and its seen everywhere in our everyday lives...
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Fishman
01-08-2008, 05:19 PM
Originally Posted by Mr. Baldy
* legitimising Israel
* abandoning the idea that shariah is the basis of Islamic law
* abandoning the idea that the Muslims should unite under one Khilafah.
* adopting western liberal values
:sl:
1. Israel has existed for over 60 years. It is as legitimate as the People's Republic of China, or North Korea. But that does not mean that they can just throw their weight around and do whatever they want. If they don't want to use their strength fairly, then they shouldn't be allowed to use it at all. Either Israel needs to be part of some larger pan-levant state, or they need to become a new Israel. One that doesn't build settlements on people's villiages. Or launch massive bombing raids against civillians. Or bulldoze houses. The list goes on...

2. Shariah is Islamic Law. The former prime minister obviously does not know what he is talking about.

3. What is wrong with believing in the establishment of a Caliphate? It is no different to believing that the EU is necessary for stabilty in Europe. If Muslim countries are to survive they must pull their acts together, forget their differences and remember that they are all part of the Ummah. If the Middle East is united under a tollerant, intelligent and rational government, then one giant step to world peace has been fulfilled.

4. Liberal Muslims are not moderates, they are simply the extremists at other end of the scale from the typical terrorist extremist. A moderate Muslim is not one who believes in sex before marriage, uncovering the body or shaving. A moderate Muslim is the one who can find it in their hearts to live and let live (want proof? Read my sig!). A moderate Muslim is somebody who does not believe that Muslims are innocent and the west is the enemy, instead they think rationally and accept that some Muslims do bad things, and some do good. A moderate Muslim is one that thinks, rather than hates.
:w:
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KAding
01-08-2008, 06:39 PM
For those interested, here is the full speech by Blair:
Full text: Blair speech on terror
The following is the full text of Prime Minister Tony Blair's speech on the London bombings, delivered at the Labour Party national conference on Saturday.

The greatest danger is that we fail to face up to the nature of the threat we are dealing with. What we witnessed in London last Thursday week was not an aberrant act.

It was not random. It was not a product of particular local circumstances in West Yorkshire.

Senseless though any such horrible murder is, it was not without sense for its organisers. It had a purpose. It was done according to a plan. It was meant.

What we are confronting here is an evil ideology.

It is not a clash of civilisations - all civilised people, Muslim or other, feel revulsion at it. But it is a global struggle and it is a battle of ideas, hearts and minds, both within Islam and outside it.

This is the battle that must be won, a battle not just about the terrorist methods but their views. Not just their barbaric acts, but their barbaric ideas. Not only what they do but what they think and the thinking they would impose on others.

Religious ideology

This ideology and the violence that is inherent in it did not start a few years ago in response to a particular policy. Over the past 12 years, Al-Qaeda and its associates have attacked 26 countries, killed thousands of people, many of them Muslims.

They have networks in virtually every major country and thousands of fellow travellers. They are well-financed. Look at their websites.

They aren't unsophisticated in their propaganda. They recruit however and whoever they can and with success.

Neither is it true that they have no demands. They do. It is just that no sane person would negotiate on them.

This is a religious ideology... Those who kill in its name believe genuinely that in doing it, they do God's work; they go to paradise.

They demand the elimination of Israel; the withdrawal of all Westerners from Muslim countries, irrespective of the wishes of people and government; the establishment of effectively Taleban states and Sharia law in the Arab world en route to one caliphate of all Muslim nations.

We don't have to wonder what type of country those states would be. Afghanistan was such a state. Girls put out of school.

Women denied even rudimentary rights. People living in abject poverty and oppression. All of it justified by reference to religious faith.

The 20th century showed how powerful political ideologies could be. This is a religious ideology, a strain within the world-wide religion of Islam, as far removed from its essential decency and truth as Protestant gunmen who kill Catholics or vice versa, are from Christianity. But do not let us underestimate it or dismiss it.

Those who kill in its name believe genuinely that in doing it, they do God's work; they go to paradise.

'Legitimate targets'

From the mid 1990s onwards, statements from Al-Qaeda, gave very clear expression to this ideology: "Every Muslim, the minute he can start differentiating, carries hatred towards the Americans, Jews and Christians. This is part of our ideology. The creation of Israel is a crime and it has to be erased.

"You should know that targeting Americans and Jews and killing them anywhere you find them on the earth is one of the greatest duties and one of the best acts of piety you can offer to God Almighty. Just as great is their hatred for so-called apostate governments in Muslim countries. This is why mainstream Muslims are also regarded as legitimate targets".

At last year's (Labour) party conference, I talked about this ideology in these terms.

Its roots are not superficial, but deep, in the madrassas of Pakistan, in the extreme forms of ****** doctrine in Saudi Arabia, in the former training camps of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan; in the cauldron of Chechnya; in parts of the politics of most countries of the Middle East and many in Asia; in the extremist minority that now in every European city preach hatred of the West and our way of life.

This is what we are up against. It cannot be beaten except by confronting it, symptoms and causes, head-on. Without compromise and without delusion.

The extremist propaganda is cleverly aimed at their target audience. It plays on our tolerance and good nature.

It exploits the tendency to guilt of the developed world, as if it is our behaviour that should change, that if we only tried to work out and act on their grievances, we could lift this evil, that if we changed our behaviour, they would change theirs. This is a misunderstanding of a catastrophic order.

Their cause is not founded on an injustice. It is founded on a belief, one whose fanaticism is such it can't be moderated. It can't be remedied. It has to be stood up to.

And, of course, they will use any issue that is a matter of dissent within our democracy. But we should lay bare the almost-devilish logic behind such manipulation.

'Callous indifference'

If it is the plight of the Palestinians that drives them, why, every time it looks as if Israel and Palestine are making progress, does the same ideology perpetrate an outrage that turns hope back into despair?

If it is Afghanistan that motivates them, why blow up innocent Afghans on their way to their first ever election? If it is Iraq that motivates them, why is the same ideology killing Iraqis by terror in defiance of an elected Iraqi government?

What was September 11, 2001 the reprisal for? Why even after the first Madrid bomb (in March 2004) and the election of a new Spanish government, were they planning another atrocity when caught?

In the end, it is by the power of argument, debate, true religious faith and true legitimate politics that we will defeat this threat.

Why if it is the cause of Muslims that concerns them, do they kill so many with such callous indifference?

We must pull this up by its roots. Within Britain, we must join up with our Muslims community to take on the extremists. Worldwide, we should confront it everywhere it exists.

Next week I and other party leaders will meet key members of the Muslim community. Out of it I hope we can get agreed action to take this common fight forward. I want also to work with other nations to promote the true face of Islam worldwide.

Round the world, there are conferences already being held, numerous inter-faith dialogues in place but we need to bring all of these activities together and give them focus.

Defeating the threat

We must be clear about how we win this struggle. We should take what security measures we can. But let us not kid ourselves.

In the end, it is by the power of argument, debate, true religious faith and true legitimate politics that we will defeat this threat.

That means not just arguing against their terrorism, but their politics and their perversion of religious faith. It means exposing as the rubbish it is, the propaganda about America and its allies wanting to punish Muslims or eradicate Islam.

It means championing our values of freedom, tolerance and respect for others. It means explaining why the suppression of women and the disdain for democracy are wrong.

The idea that elected governments are the preserve of those of any other faith or culture is insulting and wrong. Muslims believe in democracy just as much as any other faith and, given the chance, show it.

We must step up the urgency of our efforts. Here and abroad, the times the terrorists have succeeded are all too well known.

Less known are the times they have been foiled. The human life destroyed we can see. The billions of dollars every nation now spends is huge and growing. And they kill without limit.

They murdered over 50 innocent people (in London) last week. But it could have been over 500. And had it been, they would have rejoiced.

The spirit of our age is one in which the prejudices of the past are put behind us, where our diversity is our strength. It is this which is under attack. Moderates are not moderate through weakness but through strength. Now is the time to show it in defence of our common values."
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/h...ws/4689363.stm

Published: 2005/07/16 14:53:18 GMT

© BBC MMVIII
Originally Posted by Mr. Baldy
3. From Tony Blair or Charles Clarke’s point of view there is no moderate or extremist Muslim, there are only acceptable and unacceptable parts of Islam. In his speech on 16th July 2005 Blair mentioned several things that he feels are prerequisites to being a ‘moderate’:

* legitimising Israel
* abandoning the idea that shariah is the basis of Islamic law
* abandoning the idea that the Muslims should unite under one Khilafah.
* adopting western liberal values
I can't see him saying any of those things? ^o)
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MTAFFI
01-08-2008, 07:09 PM
To me a Muslim is a Muslim, or a man or woman who submits to Gods will and abides by the teachings of the Quran and Gods final prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Nothing more and nothing less. There isnt really moderate and extremists, because an extremist is not acting islamicly, and therefore does not submit to Gods will or the teachings of the Quran. I am not really sure what a moderate is, if it is what Fishman calls a moderate, to me that is just a Muslim. If a moderate is someone who simply claims to be Muslim but does not abide by the teachings and does not live by the rules set forth by Allah, then he/she doesnt appear to be a Muslim at all. I am not one to judge who is and who is not, but certainly someone blowing himself/herself up in a market, was not acting islamicly and will be judged for such in the hereafter. And someone who does not abide by the teachings but only claims to follow islam will also be judged accordingly.
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Ninth_Scribe
01-09-2008, 09:53 PM
Originally Posted by anupha
Its called double standard.....if muslims want to have an independant country and defends their country..theyr're called terrorosts. However, if its another group..they're called 'independant fighters"..although both of this group have essentially da same aim..interesting eh? its called playing with words. :mad:
It is an awesome point. The U.S. invaded Iraq and the Iraqi fighters have not "lost" the war. Those who remain have every right to defend their land and deputize additional fighters (foreign or not) in the same way the U.S. brought in it's "foreign" fighters (from England and other countries). BOTH sides have inflicted great harm to civilians and neither side is willing to surrender, despite the harm to civilians. The same can be said for Israel, Palestine, Lebanon and so on.

I *hate* to hear other Muslims call these fighters UnIslamic because the laws that govern the military - anyone's military - are very different from the laws that govern the people in general. In Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy books the people are not permitted to kill. But there are major and very specific exceptions made for combat, regardless of which of the three religions above you belong to.

All soldiers, American and Iraqi Fighters, have a 5% minimum crap-content - though Bush has just recently increased that ranking by lowering the standards set to determine whether a person can be accepted. His answer to our enlistment problem (yes, we have one) is... more thugs!

From where I'm sitting, I can't condemn one side without condemning the other. Both sides have commited the same "crimes" regardless of how the media spins it. As for the divide and conquer strategy, it takes one who is cold enough to be an @--hole and another who is stupid enough to be a victim.

In America - we support our troops regardless of what a handful have done. Regardless of what our politicians have done. Whether we want them there or not... Those are OUR men out there! I would expect that this is how the people of Afghanistan and Iraq would feel - yet they don't! They critisize and back-stab them. They don't send them any money, goods or letters of encouragement... and then they b-tch about how "unguided" they've become!

It's really disgusting... but if Afghanistan and Iraq fall... the people have no one to blame but themselves for what happens next - because they didn't stick up for their own! They're letting themselves be divided! But the only difference I see is that some of the men are soldiers... and some of them are not.

The Ninth Scribe
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Qingu
01-10-2008, 05:34 AM
Originally Posted by Halima
Salaam.

I might just want to add one point. "Fanatacism" is a word that is most commonly used by the non-muslims whom they proceed into pointing out the extreme side of Islam. They consider suicide bombing extreme in Islam when in Islam it is considered a crime. There is no such thing as Jihad in the name of God when a human being decides to mutinize the life of other innocent people. No action similar to that can substantiate the name of Islam. If anything it denounces the true meaning of peace demonstrated in our beloved religion. Fanaticism degrades the true images of what Islam is really supposed to manifest for. As for Tony Blair, it's his notion that suicide bombings, and beheadings, is the barbaric act that it is. Tormenting the people from their every day lives. This time apprehension is in the air. Agony, worry, and fear aswell.
The problem is that a huge number of Muslims disagree with you and think suicide bombings are a legitimate form of warfare.

http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?ReportID=257

In some countries, 20% of Muslims surveyed said suicide bombings against civilians are sometimes/often justified "in defense of Islam." In Palestine, more than 70% said so. And the more strictly Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Afghanistan weren't even surveyed. And again, we're not even talking about strictly military suicide bombing attacks, we're talking about attacks against civilians.

I am very happy that so many Muslims like yourself are able to make elegant arguments against suicide bombing on the basis of your religion. But you apparently have a lot of work to do because a huge part of the so-called ummah disagrees with you.
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Muezzin
01-13-2008, 04:57 PM
Lies, dang lies and statistics...

They're great for term papers, sales pitches and political manifestos, but a bit rubbish otherwise - unless of course they tell you how many people were actually surveyed, what kind of cross-section of a given group they represent, what the people conducting the survey are trying to prove etc. Also, like you said, the 'more strictly Islamic countries' weren't even surveyed, so how can one make a judgement either way?

That said, there are a large number of Muslims who do justify criminal behaviour behind the facade of Islam. These people are mistaken, to say the least, and should be educated so. These people are also still a minority when you take into the account how many Muslims there are in the entire world. Proportionality. A baker's best friend.

As to the topic of this thread, you're either acting Islamically or you're not. It's really very simple.

And to clarify where I stand on such things; if anyone should hear of a plot to bomb civilians, try and talk the culprits out of it, and if that fails, call the police.

Again, really very, very simple. Some people are just scared of Muslims. I suspect it's because those people have been in one too many Indian shops and don't like the smell of turmeric. If it's any consolation, neither does anyone else.
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Omari
01-13-2008, 05:08 PM
Originally Posted by Muezzin
That said, there are a large number of Muslims who do justify criminal behaviour behind the facade of Islam.
would you like to give me an example of such a group? [don't say taliban]
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Muezzin
01-13-2008, 05:12 PM
Originally Posted by Omari
would you like to give me an example of such a group? [don't say taliban]
Not a group per se, but rather a bunch of individuals scattered everywhere. Every group, be it ethnic, religious or political in nature has its fair share of nutters.
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Qingu
01-13-2008, 11:46 PM
Originally Posted by Muezzin
Lies, dang lies and statistics...
Okay. Where is your survey that tells you otherwise? I agree that surveys are often incomplete and statistics can be misleading, but I linked to the survey's site which, I believe, discusses methadology; the PEW is pretty well-respected as far as polls go.

Also, like you said, the 'more strictly Islamic countries' weren't even surveyed, so how can one make a judgement either way?
We can't from a poll. However, in Saudi Arabia's case, the strand of Salafi Islam popular there is also popular among a wide range of violent jihadists. I certainly think it's safe to say that Saudi Arabians are going to be at least as supportive of suicide bombings as many of the other countries surveyed.

That said, there are a large number of Muslims who do justify criminal behaviour behind the facade of Islam. These people are mistaken, to say the least, and should be educated so.
On what authority do you make such a statement? Are you among the ulema? You do of course realize that al-Qaeda and the Taliban and all the other Muslims who support violence in jihad say the exact same thing about you, correct?

I'm genuinely curious: what do the four schools of Sunni ulema say about the morality suicide bombings? Is there any sort of consensus?

These people are also still a minority when you take into the account how many Muslims there are in the entire world. Proportionality. A baker's best friend.
Really? How on earth do you determine that they are a minority? Where is your survey, and what are its methodological biases?

Again, really very, very simple. Some people are just scared of Muslims. I suspect it's because those people have been in one too many Indian shops and don't like the smell of turmeric. If it's any consolation, neither does anyone else.
I like the smell of turmeric. But although I wouldn't characterize myself as "afraid" of Muslims, I do think that Islam is, on the whole, dangerous to both the stability of the world and potentially to my own well-being. And I made this determination not because I dislike middle-eastern cuisine, but rather because I've read the Quran, which—among other things—claims that I and the rest of the unbelievers are worthless, disgusting liars who deserve to spend all of eternity being tortured in unimaginably painful ways, and that we should submit to the true believers are destined to rule the world.

I am very happy that many Muslims such as yourself are peaceful, thoughtful and kind to unbelievers. In the same way, I am very happy that the majority of Christians and Jews are peaceful and thoughtful and pay no attention to all those verses in the Bible that condone slavery and genocide. But nevertheless, having read both the Bible and the Quran, I cannot escape the conclusion that the scriptural foundation of both of these religions condones a great deal of violence and xenophobia against unbelievers, and so I am not surprised when people who take these scriptures very seriously commit violence against unbelievers.
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The_Prince
01-14-2008, 12:36 AM
the ulama in saudia actually condemn terrorism and the likes of bin laden. saudia's top islamic scholar bin baz made a fatwa against bin laden before any of you people in the west ever heard of this name.....

visit www.salafipublications.com and you will find the fatwas and condemnation for yourself, hence your assumption of Saudi salafis was simply based on bigotry and ignorance.....
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Muezzin
01-14-2008, 10:01 AM
Originally Posted by Qingu
Okay. Where is your survey that tells you otherwise? I agree that surveys are often incomplete and statistics can be misleading, but I linked to the survey's site which, I believe, discusses methadology; the PEW is pretty well-respected as far as polls go.
I need a survey to tell me otherwise?

We can't from a poll. However, in Saudi Arabia's case, the strand of Salafi Islam popular there is also popular among a wide range of violent jihadists. I certainly think it's safe to say that Saudi Arabians are going to be at least as supportive of suicide bombings as many of the other countries surveyed.
And what survey do you base this on?

:p

If we need surveys to make statements on a message forum, I'm not sure what kind of planet we're living on. Unless this is some sort of game - the religious people quote scripture, the non-religious quote statistics. I'm not interested in such games as they're far too abstract, obscure the issues and often discount the real, the tangible. We're not robots operating on probabilities so why do we insist on maintaining the pretense in 'formal' debate? Madness.

On what authority do you make such a statement? Are you among the ulema?
Huh? If you're mocking me or Islamic tenets, it's really too early in the morning for me to tell. I'm condeming people who hide behind religion to justify acts of terrorism, yet it seems I am being called to account for it. What gives?

You do of course realize that al-Qaeda and the Taliban and all the other Muslims who support violence in jihad say the exact same thing about you, correct?
I do indeed realise that. So what?

I'm genuinely curious: what do the four schools of Sunni ulema say about the morality suicide bombings? Is there any sort of consensus?
Killing civilians is forbidden. Whatever view people take of the 'suicide' part of it, the slaying of civilians is forbidden, thus making the entire act forbidden. It's fairly straightforward. Of course there are... cooky people who believe it's not forbidden because 'the enemy' does the same to them, but they're wrong.

And before anyone gets into the whole, 'right and wrong are relative', you know killing civilians is wrong, I know killing civilians is wrong, so let's just agree that anyone who does it deliberately is a wrongdoer. The wrondoer's opinion on those who label him so is irrelevant.

Really? How on earth do you determine that they are a minority? Where is your survey, and what are its methodological biases?
Again, I need a survey to make a statement? Why would I use statistics to prove a point when I know that you would then attack its credibility just as I have attempted to attack the credibility of yours?

Taking the survey you provided for instance, if 20% are in favour of suicide boming, then it follows that 80%, the majority, are not in favour.

And just looking around you, using your own eyes, do you see the majority of Muslims bombing places? Do you hear the majority of Muslims talking about killing disbelievers?

If you don't, but still say, with a sneer, 'yeah, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen, in secret, snuk, snuk', then you're simply prejudiced and judging an entire group of people as guilty until proven innocent. And because of the presumption of innocence, the burden of proof is on the person seeking to claim that the majority of a given group are wrongdoers.

But then again, people will see what they wish to see. It's the way of things. Then we argue over things in such a way (i.e. over an internet forum) that the outcome doesn't really matter.

What people can do is if they know of someone hatching a terrorist plot, is to first try and talk that person out of it, and if that fails, tell the police. Practical advice. Not easy necessarily (nothing is), but practical. What is a fanatic terrorist hell-bent on killing civilians really going to respond to? A good talking-at by a lecturer in a crowded hall, a heart-to-heart with a friend, or the police smashing his door down?

I like the smell of turmeric. But although I wouldn't characterize myself as "afraid" of Muslims, I do think that Islam is, on the whole, dangerous to both the stability of the world and potentially to my own well-being.
Here we go...

And I made this determination not because I dislike middle-eastern cuisine, but rather because I've read the Quran, which—among other things—claims that I and the rest of the unbelievers are worthless, disgusting liars who deserve to spend all of eternity being tortured in unimaginably painful ways, and that we should submit to the true believers are destined to rule the world.
Did you read the whole Quran or just the abridged version served up by various essays on Google? Have you read the Ahadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him) which Muslims are to live by? You can find them in collections by Bukhari or Muslim.

The Quran is not meant to be read in isolation. For starters, if it were, Muslims wouldn't know how to pray. The Quran tells Muslims they must pray, but it doesn't tell them exactly how to do that. To find out Muslims must look to the Ahadith and Sunnah (basically the actions and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him).

I'm not in a position to comment about the Bible, since I'm not sure exactly how it is meant to be used in the various Christian sects - is it meant as a main text with parables supplementing it, or the other way round? Do parables simply illustrate Biblical concepts?

Incidentally, this is why Religious Education should be compulsory, so we don't get ignoramases like myself making silly remarks about things they know nothing about and probably causing offence and thus conflict in so doing. But certain sections of society are offended by the very idea because they're ultimately scared of religion and would rather run from it than learn about it. As the Governator might say, they 'Lack discipline!' :p

I am very happy that many Muslims such as yourself are peaceful, thoughtful and kind to unbelievers. In the same way, I am very happy that the majority of Christians and Jews are peaceful
On what statistics do you base this statement? Tell me! Your statement is false unless it is supported by arbitrary statistics! :p

I am of course joking.

and thoughtful and pay no attention to all those verses in the Bible that condone slavery and genocide. But nevertheless, having read both the Bible and the Quran, I cannot escape the conclusion that the scriptural foundation of both of these religions condones a great deal of violence and xenophobia against unbelievers, and so I am not surprised when people who take these scriptures very seriously commit violence against unbelievers.
Have a look at these conflicts and tell me whether they are waged more along religious or political lines. I'm not going to get into the rights or wrongs of them, although, if anyone deliberately attacks civilians, obviously they're wrong to do so and should be punished as the law allows.

Religion is mixed up in the concotion of violence because that's just the way it is in certain countries - the overriding objective still tends to be political in nature (unless we're talking about Israel and Palestine, in which case it's both religious and political, equally). Secular countries seem to be held as a paradigm, a state of 'normality' which all other countries must adhere to, which is just fallacious - especially when certain Internet Secularists imply that all political actions of citizens of religious countries are religiously-fueled. It's like saying because a given country allows alcohol, any offences involving the consumption of alcohol must have been fueled by it. Such a simplification doesn't allow for grudges, 'Dutch Courage' etc.
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