Posts Tagged “Islam”

New Yorker cartoon cover w/ObamasHere’s yet another news item of the “water is wet” variety. As the Los Angeles Times reports, Republicans in the deep south remain convinced President Barack Obama is a Muslim (WebCite cached article):

fter years of battling false claims and viral emails alleging that he is a Muslim, President Obama hasn’t gotten far among Republican voters in Alabama and Mississippi – about half still believe he is Muslim and about 1 in 4 believes his parents’ interracial marriage should have been illegal, a new poll shows. …

The poll of Mississippi Republicans found that 52% said they believed Obama is a Muslim, 36% weren’t sure and only 12% said they believed he is a Christian. He fared slightly better in Alabama, where 45% said he is a Muslim, 41% weren’t sure, and 14% said he is a Christian.

Recalling his childhood, Obama has said his family did not go to church every week, but said his faith grew as he got older and that his Christian beliefs have guided his career in public service.

People retain this irrational belief — in spite of the fact that both Obama himself, and politicians of both parties, have all said that he’s a Christian — because of something known as the “backfire effect.” This is a psychological phenomenon in which people retain untrue notions despite having their falsehood demonstrated, and in fact, they become even more intractably attached to the incorrect belief. I’ve blogged on this effect before. None of the researchers who’ve noted this phenomenon have offered any explanation for how it happens. My guess is, it results from the emotional attachment people have to their irrational beliefs; when faced with compelling evidence they’re false, they simply retrench and continue to tell themselves it’s true, because they can’t handle the emotional pain that would follow from letting go of the (false) belief. They really and truly prefer to lie to themselves, and others, rather than just admit they were wrong.

It’s like when a child plugs his ears, clamps his or her eyes shut, and yammers, so that s/he doesn’t have to hear something s/he’d rather not have to hear. In other words … it’s childish. Yes, folks, this means the Republican party in the deep south is populated mainly by little children who need to fucking grow the hell up for once and get over it already.

As for the legality of interracial marriage, that was established decades ago, by the US Supreme Court, in its decision in Loving v. Virginia (1967). I suppose people can believe anything they want to about it, including that it should be illegal, but it is legal nevertheless and it will remain legal indefinitely, in spite of their belief. Mature adults would just accept that fact and move on with their lives … but the GOP in the deep south is far too juvenile to do that, apparently.

Hat tip: Lordrag at Pulling to the Left on Delphi Forums.

Photo credit: New Yorker cover courtesy of scriptingnews, via Flickr.

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An Afghan policeman keeps watch as locals inspect the wreckage of a car at the site of a suicide attack in the city of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province, Feb. 27, 2012. (Getty)

An Afghan policeman keeps watch as locals inspect the wreckage of a car at the site of a suicide attack in the city of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province, Feb. 27, 2012. (Getty)

The people of Afghanistan continue to express their sanctimonious rage over the burnings of some Qur’ans at the Bagram military base. As CBS News reports, nine people were killed at Jalalabad because of it (WebCite cached version):

A suicide car bomber struck early Monday at the gates of Jalalabad airport in eastern Afghanistan, officials said, killing nine people in an attack insurgents said was revenge for U.S. troops burning Korans. …

The explosion comes after six days of deadly protests in Afghanistan over the disposal of Korans and other Islamic texts in a burn pit last week at a U.S. military base north of the capital. …

More than 30 people have been killed in protests and related attacks since the incident came to light this past Tuesday, including four U.S. soldiers.

As I’ve noted previously, there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight to this violence and little to no effort is being made by the Afghan government to calm their people. If anything, the government seems to be stoking the fires of protest — at the same time that it mouths acceptance of apologies by the US and has sent police in to break up some protests. What a wonderful crew.

Oh, and to any Christians out there who may be feeling smugly superior to the Afghans because you don’t think your fellow Christians can’t handle blasphemy … guess again. Christians have been known to react badly when they think Jesus is being “dissed,” too, and have threatened people who dare to get in their way. So get off your high horses about it. OK?

Photo credit: Getty photo, via CBS News.

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Afghan demonstrators destroy a U.S. flag during a protest against Quran desecration in Helmand province, Feb. 23, 2012. (Getty)Having already displayed their raging, sanctimonious immaturity over some Qur’ans that had been burned at the Bagram military base in their country, Afghans decided to ramp it up even further, and have killed over it. CBS News reports on this murderous childishness (WebCite cached article):

Two U.S. troops have been shot to death and four more wounded by an Afghan solider who turned his gun on his allies in apparent anger over the burning of Qurans at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, an Afghan official tells CBS News.

A statement from the International Security Assistance Force – Afghanistan, the international coalition in the country, confirmed that two troops were killed in Eastern Afghanistan on Thursday by “an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform.” …

The source also said the shooting appeared to be motivated by the burning of Qurans at the sprawling U.S. Bagram air base, north of Kabul, but he did not provide additional details as to what led him to that conclusion.

Way to go, Afghans. Congratulations. Well done! I’m impressed. You must all be so proud of your accomplishment!

Update 1: Afghan immaturity continues to impress. As of Saturday, 2/25/2012, the violent protests continue, and more people have died as a result (cached). There doesn’t appear to be any end in sight.

Photo credit: Getty photo, via CBS News.

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The Rev. Franklin Graham said Obama was 'born a Muslim' because his father was Muslim. / AP PhotoI’ve already blogged about the Christianist Franklin Graham, son of famed preacher Billy Graham. He’s a Christofascist of the first order, as one might expect, and certainly much more of a buffoon than his more-famous father … and he proved it this morning while on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show (WebCite cached article):

Graham, the CEO and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, told a Morning Joe panel he couldn’t say for certain that Obama is a Christian. …

Graham told the Morning Joe panel that he and Santorum share the same moral beliefs, and that he’s confident Santorum is a fellow Christian.

So while Franklin claims uncertainty about Obama’s Christianity, he has no such reservations about Santorum’s. So he contradicted himself. He also reiterated his prior claim that Obama may be a Muslim:

But Graham also said he couldn’t “categorically” say Obama wasn’t a Muslim, in part, because Islam has gotten a “free pass” under Obama. Graham also said the Muslim world sees Obama as a “son of Islam,” because the president’s father and grandfather were Muslim.

This is, of course, complete bullshit:

According to Edina Lekovic, director of policy at the Muslim Public Affairs Council, being born in a Muslim family doesn’t make one a Muslim. A person has to make an active choice to become a Muslim, Lekovic said.

However, Graham considers himself an “expert” on Islam and is likely not interested in hearing what real, living Muslims think about it. And Obama is not a Muslim, even if Graham wants people to think he is.

What’s not clear, here, is what Graham meant when he said “Islam has gotten a ‘free pass’ under Obama.” If you ask me, in this country, all believers of all sorts get a “free pass,” because they always expect their religious beliefs — whatever they are, no matter how irrational they may be — must be respected by everyone.

Graham went on to vacillate idiotically on GOP candidate Mitt Romney’s religion:

Graham spoke with a little less confidence about Gingrich’s faith, and cast doubt on whether Romney’s Mormonism is compatible with Christianity.

“I think Newt is a Christian, at least he told me he is,” Graham said. He added that Romney’s Mormon faith is not recognized as part of the Christian faith by most Christians, but he wouldn’t give his own view.

Truthfully, since Mormons honor the teachings of Jesus Christ, this makes them Christians. Period. They may not have exactly the same beliefs about Christ as other Christians, but there are many varieties of Christianity, so they’re no less Christian than other types of Christians.

Here’s video offered by MSNBC of this clown in action:

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I have to congratulate Franklin Graham on his achievement. On his own he did a far better job of proving he’s a total idiot, than I ever could have. What a marvelous achievement, Mr Graham. You must be so proud!

Photo credit: AP Photo, via Politico.

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Afghan protesters in front of Bagram Air Base during an anti-U.S. demonstration, Feb. 21, 2012. (AP)The Afghan people managed to display their hyperreligious childishness once again, and as before, this was over some burned Qur’ans. As CBS News reports, this time the Qur’an burning was unintentional, but that clearly doesn’t matter to these sanctimoniously-enraged overgrown children (WebCite cached article):

More than 2,000 angry Afghans protested outside an American air base on Tuesday after they learned that copies of the Quran (Koran), the Muslim holy book, were burned in a pile of garbage at a sprawling U.S. military base north of Kabul.

“Die, die, foreigners!” the demonstrators shouted. Some fired rifles into the air. Others threw rocks at the gate of the base.

The Qur’ans were burned amongst a pile of other garbage that Bagram staff had thrown out:

[Provincial chief Ahmad Zaki] Zahed said five Afghans working at the pit told him that the religious books were in the garbage that two soldiers with the U.S.-led coalition transported to the pit in a truck late Monday night.

I’ll give these third-world primitives a little bit of credit: At least they’re protesting Qur’ans that actually had been set ablaze; in the past they raged, rioted and looted over a Qur’an that had not actually been burned yet. So I’ll take this as an improvement. A microscopic one to be sure, but an improvement nonetheless.

As I was typing this post, I noticed another story on this matter, from the AP, which suggests the Qur’ans had been burned intentionally (cached):

A military official with knowledge of the incident told The Associated Press on Tuesday that it appeared the Qurans and other Islamic readings were being used to fuel extremism, and that detainees apparently were leaving notes for one another inside them.

If this is true, I can’t say I blame the military for burning them. They can’t have prisoners passing messages to one another — even if they’re on the pages of Qur’ans. I also have to wonder if these Afghan prisoners hadn’t themselves already desecrated these Qur’ans by having written notes to each other inside of them? If so, maybe Afghans should be blaming each other for this blasphemy, not the US or NATO.

In any case, I suggest it’s high time for people to stop using religion as an excuse to bluster, fume, rage, riot and pillage like spoiled brats throwing a temper-tantrum. It’s time for humanity — even humanity that dwells in third-world hovels — to fucking grow the hell up for once. No one is harmed by a burned Qur’an, or Bible, or any other sacred texts. Sacred texts — and really, any text at all — cannot be harmed by burning copies of them. The content and ideas they contain exist independently of any given copy of it, and they remain, forever and always. This is obvious, and it’s not rocket-science, so even Afghans should be able to comprehend it.

Photo credit: AP photo, via CBS News.

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In a courtroom sketch, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the man who tried blowing up a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day 2009 is sentenced to life in prison by U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmonds in federal court in Detroit, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Jerry Lemenu)This is a story which, no doubt, has lifted the hearts of America’s Neocrusaders, and which will — as they see it — confirm that Islam needs to be banished from the US. As CBS News reports, the infamous “underwear bomber,” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was sentenced for his attempt to bomb a plane as it approached Detroit in December 2009 (WebCite cached article):

After a short prayer, [Abdulmutallab] said sheik Osama Bin Laden and sheik Awlaki “are alive” and the “mujahedeen are proud to kill for Allah” and that it was “exactly what we were told to do in the Quran”.

I expect violently hyperreligious nutjobs like Abdulmutallab to spew crap like this. The Qur’an is large enough for them to sift through and extract any number of passages that they view as mandating their campaign of terror and death. I’m sure that Abdulmutallab and his murderous cohorts are certain that 72 houris await them in Paradise after their deaths (his, of course, will likely occur in prison decades from now).

While Neocrusaders will view Abdulmutallab and his claim as proof that Islam must be eradicated, they will also miss the real point here, which is that any religion based solely on faith, which presumes to press itself on reality, and which considers itself mandatory for all of humanity, is going to generate murderous followers like Abdulmutallab. There are, for example, Christian groups that advocate killing, such as the Army of God. There have been bombings and killings by Christians who believe their religion orders them to be violent.

In short, this problem is not solely limited to Islam, as the Neocrusaders would have us believe. Any sufficiently religionist system can conceivably lead to terror and murder in the name of metaphysics. Yes, even within Christianity. The sooner we all understand this, the better off we’ll all be.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Jerry Lemenu, via CBS News.

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Graffiti was spray-painted on the front door and two back doors of the mosque. (CBC)I’ve blogged about attacks on mosques around the US (including churches mistaken for moques!), and about a mosque in New York City that was Molotoved recently (although likely not for religious reasons). But this Neocrusading activity is not limited solely to the US. A mosque in Canada has been a repeated target of vandalism recently, as the CBC reports (WebCite cached article):

A mosque in Gatineau, Que., that has been a target of vandalism was spray-painted with graffiti overnight Thursday, prompting a condemnation from Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Workers at the Outaouais Islamic Centre awoke Thursday to discover swear words and derogatory references to Arabs and Allah spray-painted in white. …

The mosque had earlier been vandalized Monday morning when someone smashed the windows of two cars and attempted to set fire to them in the parking lot. …

Police said it was the fourth incident in the last six months.

Muslim and Jewish groups alike are condemning this vandalism … the latter possibly because stars of David were among some of the graffiti. At any rate, the lesson here is that Neocrusading is not a phenomenon unique to the US. It’s yet another American export that the rest of the world definitely does not need.

Photo credit: CBC.

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