Is the Austrian policy on Islam right or just right-wing?

There is concern that radicalisation of Muslims is going on in mosques.

A battle is going on between moderates and radicals.

This is what Thomas Sutrina put up on one of my posts:

‘I am going to let a Muslim national leader tell you the facts:  2015 New Year’s day, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for a “religious revolution” in Islam that would displace violent jihad from the center of Muslim discourse.

“Is it possible that 1.6 billion people (Muslims worldwide) should want to kill the rest of the world’s population—that is, 7 billion people—so that they themselves may live?” he asked. “Impossible.”

Speaking to an audience of religious scholars celebrating the birth of Islam’s prophet, Mohammed, he called on the religious establishment to lead the fight for moderation in the Muslim world. “You imams (prayer leaders) are responsible before Allah. The entire world—I say it again, the entire world—is waiting for your next move because this umma (a word that can refer either to the Egyptian nation or the entire Muslim world) is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.” …

It is good to hear moderate Muslim leaders talking like this. We need more of it. Moderate Muslims should unite and reject radical teachings. They should all speak up.

In Austria the new Right-wing government is taking extreme action. They are expelling 40 Imams and shutting down 7 mosques. They claim these are funded from outside and used to broadcast radical views.

I am suspicious of right-wing motives but I largely agree. I do not believe that we should allow radical doctrines that are at odds with our values to be taught. I think radical doctrines that promote hate or division should be illegal and Imams who spread it should be deported and the mosques shut down (the same goes for Madrassas). I would prefer that the moderates do their own policing and I am still concerned that the Austrian action is in danger of being xenophobic or even racist. We’ll see how far it goes.

France, who have suffered a number of dreadful terrorist acts at the hand of radicalised fundamentalists, have already begun this process of expelling radicals and have shut down 20 mosques since December. Hopefully they will get the balance right.

Mosques should be places where people go to worship their god not somewhere that plots against its hosts. There is no place for politics in places of worship.

I think we should welcome Muslims who wish to integrate and accept our overriding values. The majority of Muslims are moderate and law-abiding. It is the minority who are spreading hate that need dealing with.

To start with we could put a stop to the ridiculous Tory policies that set up religious schools and support segregation of Muslim kids. We all need to learn to understand each other and get along together.


69 thoughts on “Is the Austrian policy on Islam right or just right-wing?

  1. I’d agree generally. The basic problem in Western countries is that anyone can open a mosque and there is little or no supervision by the State in contrast to Christian churches for example. If you go to a mosque in an Islamic State like Pakistan for example you will find that the Pakistani government is in overall control plus they don’t ask you for money in contrast to the mosques in the UK which are privately run as charities and are basically unanswerable to anyone. Btw the correct spelling of the Prophet’s name is Muhammad not Mohammed. Mohammed is the common first name but it is insulting to name someone with the Prophet’s exact name.

  2. One thing is for certain Opher, such action could simply not be classed as “racist”.
    How could you arrive at that expression in this context? This is plainly wrong to do so.
    Islam is not a race of people but a religious belief which maybe interpreted by any person from any race, creed, or culture.
    Why also would it be “xenophobic”? Didn’t you just describe the reasons for the clamp down, that there was evidence of expression of radical views. Why is that therefore, xenophobic?
    By your logic as expressed here, therefore, would you class the current prosecutions of Pakistani child rapists as “xenophobic”?
    You must be much more careful to use such expressions in a far more controlled and constrained manner. As this is one of the fall-down traits of these lefties who bandy around categorical expressionism like confetti. The words begin to lose the power of identity.

    Pakistan is an Islamic state. First and foremost is the word of Islam. You cannot compare that Islamic machine to anything of such nature in the UK. For very obvious reasons all mosques opening and/or running in UK (and any other non-Muslim state run country) are privately funded and completely without any state interference.
    It is only in very recent years due to the threats of radicalisation that infiltration has been conducted into some mosques to gather intelligence information. Prior to this, they were left to their own devices.
    I would say that these charities financial accounts are answerable to the Internal Revenue for examination purposes. In fact some creditable information has been gathered from such sources.

    Suffice to say that the moderate Muslims are not the problem, that stems from the 20% of radicals and leadership people. Islam is not a localised entity, but takes instruction of mandate from its controllers in Saudi Arabia. We can never have any control over that.

    1. Simple – I apply racism in a broader sense than you do. Hence I can apply it to a religion.
      As I said – I am not concerned as long as the actions are aimed purely at the radicalised fundamentalists. They deserve to be kicked out. That wouldn’t either be xenophobic or racist in my view. My worry is that behind this is a wider belief that is both racist and xenophobic and could be directed at a wider Muslim population.
      I would suggest that we have to look at where funding is coming from and why and start regulating and policing mosques much more thoroughly but this has to be done with the help of moderate Muslims. I think it is in their interests as well.

      1. Sisi got rid of the Muslim Brotherhood because they had created a social environment in which extremists considered they had a free hand to compel with impunity citizens to behave in a specific way. For example women were viciously attacked in public for not covering up.
        Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on O2
        From: Opher’s World
        Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2018 11:55:43 +0000
        ReplyTo: Opher’s World
        Subject: [New comment] Is the Austrian policy on Islam right or just right-wing?

        Opher commented: “Simple – I apply racism in a broader sense than you do. Hence I can apply it to a religion. As I said – I am not concerned as long as the actions are aimed purely at the radicalised fundamentalists. They deserve to be kicked out. That wouldn’t either be “

    2. That’s true Roger but attacks on adherents to Islam are often based on racist grounds.
      Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on O2
      From: Opher’s World
      Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2018 11:48:09 +0000
      ReplyTo: Opher’s World
      Subject: [New comment] Is the Austrian policy on Islam right or just right-wing?

      Roger Newcombe commented: “One thing is for certain Opher, such action could simply not be classed as “racist”. How could you arrive at that expression in this context? This is plainly wrong to do so. Islam is not a race of people but a religious belief which maybe interpreted by”

      1. Yes Bernard, I do understand that. But I think it is high time that we should promote correction of this misuse of the term. Or are we also going to give our language away, too?

    3. Well Opher, I can only suggest that you reign that misuse in. You need to find another word because short of accusing you of ignorance of the English language, I can’t think of anything other than to do so.
      You have access to a dictionary. Please use it and stop bastardising our language.

      1. Well language evolves and unless there is another word that adequately defines that type of hate then I’m happy with widening its scope. What word would you suggest to replace racism when applied to Islam?

      2. Opher, Racism is about Race. Islam is about Religion. Never the twain shall meet.
        What part of that can’t you understand.

      3. I understand that very well. But the hatred aimed at a stereotyped group is exactly the same and, as Bede said, it is aimed at particular groups with a racial element. I see no real distinction. I asked you for a suitable term and you haven’t come up with one. Racism has all the connotations that I perceive as being necessary. Until a better word comes along I’m happy to describe it as racism.

      4. That doesn’t make you correct. Just because you happen to misuse a term does not in any way make it correct to do so. That simply only goes towards highlighting your lack of language skill and obtuse deficit of vocabulary.
        Neither is Bede correct, but he simply expressed a given situation. That does not mean that he himself actually expresses such a term in the exact same manner.
        To use a word or term and to explain a word or term are two entirely different forms of expression. I don’t think that you have fully grasped the differences.

        Opher, there is no substitute term for Race per se. Only sub-genres such as creed, and generalist terms such as breed, folk, people and tribe, none of which are applicable in this context.
        Had you actually studied Latin at school we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
        Malapropos is your weakness.

        RACE: n.
        1. each of the major divisions of humankind, having distinct physical characteristics.
        2. a tribe, nation, etc., regarded as a distinct ethnic stock.
        3. the fact or concept of division into races (discrimination based on race).
        4. a genus, species, breed or variety of animals, plants or micro-organisms.
        5. a group of persons, animals, or plants connected by common descent.
        6. any great division of living creatures (the feathered race; the four-footed race).
        7. descent; kindred (of noble race; separate in language and race).
        8. a class of persons etc. with some common feature (the race of poets).

        What you need to find Opher, is a suitable expressive term that encompasses empathy towards a religious connotation. Then you could by means of malleability find the exact specific that would serve you best.

      5. Well at least, despite your extensive knowledge of Latin, you admit there is no word for describing the hate and superiority directed at Islam.
        You once again accuse me of being a liar! I note it. It’s a sign of uncouth rudeness.
        I will, in the face of a lack of alternative, continue to use racism as a term to describe the actions and intentions of a group of ignorant people. The function of language is to communicate. Language is fluid both in definition and use. Racism amply communicates the hatred and attitude of smug superiority aimed at Muslims. I really do not care if Muslims are a race or not. As long as people understand the connotations it performs its task as a term. You are being incredibly pedantic again. Language is not fixed in concrete. Get used to it.

      6. Eh, one tiny detail here, Opher. By the time Muhammad supposedly wrote his prophesies, the language of Latin was pretty much on the way out and under the tutelage of only the Vatican and for religious teaching purposes. Sadly, any further evolution and additions to the language were stunted and hence, why there is no such anti-Islamic term available within the language of Latin.

        I didn’t call you a liar! I stated that I detect that you did not in fact study Latin. The fact that you make claim to the contrary is not my business. I can determine by the virtues of your argument and the manner in which you engage. Any scholar would have immediately agreed with me. But because you are acting on a wing and a prayer and can not supply a smithereen of language genesis appropriate to the discussion, speaks of an end game as far as I am concerned.

        It’s exactly this type of uncouth and semi-educated people with wanton disregard for substance and established protocol who are responsible by design for the slump in the standards applied to our wonderful language. Those readers with an education upon reading your text could only regard you with some degree of pity. It’s people with this sort of careless attitude that bring the worst of habits into our spoken vocabulary, with the misuses of terms such as “obviously” as frequently used as a sentence opener, and multiple injections of “like” sprinkled in between every second word. It’s absolutely appalling. You really should be ashamed of yourself.
        You’d be better served to say sweet f.a.

        You are actually nothing more than a blethering skite. You cannot compare apples and oranges in the manner that you want to. It doesn’t work. The language is not that fluid and definition and use are very clearly defined. As they were by the fucking Oxford Dictionary extract as seen above. Only somebody half-witted without any guidance could arrive at the conclusions as described by yourself. Good grief, a seventy year old man with all the cockiness of some petulant fifteen year old brat, who won’t take a telling. How embarrassing for you. I even feel embarrassed for you.

        The term “Racism” bloody well does not amply communicate the hatred and attitude of smug superiority aimed at Muslims.
        The nearest term that you could properly use would be “anti-Islam” or “anti-Islamists”, because I realise you lefties can’t live without an “ist” word, regardless of how misused and out of context it maybe.

        I believe they do night classes for English language studies. I suggest that you take a night off from the poetry and run along there while the goings still good. It’ll do you wonders.

      7. Feeble Anrew – absolutely feeble – and you’ve done it again! Your arrogance shines out of your arse. How do you pretend to know enough about me to say that I did not do Latin at school? What a pompous prick.
        I did my Latin and failed as I told you. Not that it’s the slightest concern of yours. You just like swaggering around and being a prat. Language genesis. Now you’re an expert on etymology.
        It is pointless talking with someone who is so deliberately provocative, rude and arrogant. It shows a failing in your character I’m afraid.

      8. Opher, if you actually read anything and could remember for more than thirty seconds, you were asked a simple question – what was the literary content of your school’s Latin curriculum? I asked you that straight up. No sneakiness, no back entry, just a straight upfront question. And you know what I got from you there, Opher?
        Nothing. Absolutely Nothing. So what else was I supposed to determine from that?
        That you did or you did not study Latin at school. Surely, even after all these years you could have come up with just a smidgen of information. Just one name of just one Latin writer. But no Opher. You offered nothing and expected me to believe that in fact, despite all the lack of anything that would back your story up, that you had in fact studied Latin at school. But we both know the truth, don’t we Opher? So why play this immature charade?

        Put it this way Opher. I will know a great deal more about the etymology of the English language and the genesis roots of our vocabulary than you ever did or ever will, simply because of the deficits appertaining to your own education. This is neither your fault nor mine, but simply a hard fact of life. I am not being arrogant about this.
        But in the due course of attempts to fully explain to you why you may not use the term “Racist” when used as a collective term towards those persons opposed to Islam or people who practice the worship of Islam, namely Muslims, it was yourself who in fact engaged in a severe form of expression of provocativeness, rudeness and arrogance by exclaiming that you may use any word you so chose in any manner you so chose. Well that’s bullshit and I told you it was. But you being the perpetual spoiled brat wants to whine himself into a corner until he gets his own way.
        Well, put it this way matey, I couldn’t give a flying fuck how semi-educated you look when using the wrong words in the wrong context. It’s your look out and your call. All that remains is for me to mock, scoff, snigger and laugh. Delete as appropriate.

      9. Well Andrew – as if I have to justify myself to you. What are you some arrogant shit after causing trouble?
        We studied Pliny as our main text. Mr Tatloe, my teacher, usually did Caesar but had done it so often he was bored with it. Pliny was tedious for fourteen year olds and I certainly lost interest. The only bit I can remember is some sailor spewing seawater.
        Now, as I am sick of your rudeness I will refrain from answering any of your posts if they contain further slights and unpleasant stupidity.

      10. Opher, Hello! This is the Real Andrew speaking, not the fake one that you’ve started to accuse the Roger guy as being. Poor Roger having to take that shite from you.
        But hey, didn’t he do well!
        From what I’ve just read – as pointed out to me by one of my little elves that give me feedback from various places – he’s whacked your arse into touch well and truly and right out the ball park. Well done that man. Roger In, Opher Out! Excuse me, I really shouldn’t laugh at my own jokes, but why break a bad habit for the sake of political correctness? Not my style, really, what!

        Anyway, I just thought I’d drop in on you Opher and see that it’s still very much the status quo, with you on the back-hoof of defense fending off more intelligent people than your good old self. Hey ho, why change a horse in the middle of a good gallop, eh?

        Seems I’m really not needed as Roger’s doing a bloody good job, isn’t he?
        You must actually be quite pleased to have someone of his caliber around, even if he does smash your dizzy old decrepit ideas into the rubbish collection.
        I see your still banging on about Muslims and Islam. Jings, what more do you need to know? Is that you going about just selecting all the nice and acceptable ones that suit your delicate self. Good for you. Woe betide anything that could cause harm or friction. That just wouldn’t do would it?

        Oh, yes, and Tommy Robinson, too. Of all people in Opher’s World, Tommy Robinson. Dare I even ask your opinion of him or was it about that legal injustice issue, the one that’s upset what looks like half of the thinking world. Top stuff anyway. Seems Roger knows what he’s talking about there too. But that’s just my immediate opinion, so don’t take it personal.

        I nearly forgot Opher. That wee issue you’ve been harbouring for years now, Latin!
        Now Opher, let’s be crystal clear on this, we both know because you told me so some time ago, that you did not in fact do any Latin at school at all. So why the big story to the new guy Roger, all of a sudden. What’s that about. That you covering for perceived inadequacies of some undisclosed nature? Whatever, he’s going to know. Truth is, he clocked you red handed on that, didn’t he.

        That’s all I’ve time for tonight, something else going at 12:30.

      11. OK Opher, I don’t think you received Pliny the Elder at school as that was no way to be introduced to and learn Latin. You did not receive a Naturalis Historia, an encyclopedia of 37 books organised into 10 volumes on natural history as an introduction to learning Latin. What good would that be as it was not a teaching book.
        You as a former teacher should fully understand that and it was most foolish of you to try and pretend to me otherwise.

        The Latin text that you did in fact study, as per every school in the land was not Pliny.
        Had you studied Latin at school, you would have begun with Ecce Romani, which teaches verb structure, Amo, Amas, Amat Amamus, Amatis, Amant, etc., sentence structure, grammar and vocabulary This would have been simply impossible with Pliny the Elder.
        After two years of that you would have moved onto Ovid and only Ovid. You would have read Ovid’s Metamorphoses back to front translated into English and back again translated into Latin. You would have been sick to death of Icarus and Daedalus and cheered every time Icarus fell into the sea and drowned.
        Let that be the end of this nonsense.

      12. I’d see the doctor Andrew. Both schizophrenia and delusions of grandeur can be treated. I’m not sure about the personality faults though.

  3. Opher, wrong guy.
    What is unbelievable and arrogant and stupid is your claim to have been introduced to learning Latin verb structure via an compendium of Nature Encyclopedias.
    You wouldn’t have had a chance in hell of learning anything.
    The more one thinks about that the funnier it gets. LOL.

  4. Opher, Oh dear, here we go round again.
    You didn’t do Latin. We discussed this some time ago. So why the about turn and the ill-conceived and very poorly researched story?
    Picture this, school boy, never even seen a word of Latin, gets some compendium of nature encyclopedia put in front of him and he’s expected to learn verb structure from it! Good god man, what the fuck were you on when you concocted this bullshit story?

    Quite what schizophrenia and delusions of grandeur have anything to do with correcting you on your bullshit story is anyone’s guess.

  5. Andrew – don’t lie. I did my Latin thanks. I didn’t pass it but I did it.
    If I want to know anything more about my life I’ll contact you. You seem to be the expert.

    1. Opher, OK then, let’s just change that word “lie” to “making up stories” or “gross exaggeration”.
      Expert no. But I do know what tools were employed in order to introduce one and teach the language of Latin. It was universal throughout every grammar and/or academy school in the land.
      I went to three secondary schools, one a fee-paying in Scotland for years 1 & 2.
      Although I missed 6 months with being in Brazil with my dad and had to get cramming tutors in upon return. One very horrible summer holiday ruined.
      A county grammar school in Hampshire for year 3 and an academy in Yorkshire for year 4 (O-level). All the same course and all the same teaching books.

      Anything else you need to know while I’m here?

      1. Yes Andrew – when you were doing yours a decade later than me or more things might well have changed.
        We did our stuff on a blackboard with chalk. We didn’t have any textbooks. We wrote endlessly in exercise books. In 1964 -6 Latin was pretty boring. He wrote on the board and we copied it down and learnt it. We regurgitated it next lesson. It was tedious. The book we worked on was a translation of Pliny which was also tedious.
        My school was poor. My education was poor and my teachers were crap. Despite the fact that I was really motivated to do Latin because of my Biology I achieved a grade 8.
        Now I don’t care if you believe me or not. I just know that you have a bloody cheek calling people a liar when you haven’t a clue. It’s just more of your rudeness.
        It was largely because of the atrocious education I was subjected to that I went into teaching. I knew I could do it better and I was right.

      2. Opher, verb structure is the key to understanding any language. That’s the first thing ever taught with languages, whether in children’s school or adult further education classes.
        It’s highly doubtful that Pliny the elder would be your source of introduction to Latin for the simply reason he was regarded as having included outlandish “facts” within the 20,000 or so contained within his compendium collected from over 100 authors of astrology, medicine, geography, zoology and botany, as he did not always fact-check his material and a lot of which may be seen as humorous today.
        He was “big” in the Middle Ages, but somewhat of a forgotten man come the 20th century.
        For instance, Pliny recommended, that in order to counteract a scorpion sting, one should burn the scorpion and drink its ashes with wine.
        Many of Pliny’s entries began with “Some people say…”, hinting to the reader that some of his information was based on conjecture.
        Much of Pliny’s work would be viewed as superstitious by modern readers.

      3. You plonker. I never suggested that we studied grammar with Pliny. We went through all our grammar on the blackboard – pay attention. Pliny was our set book for the exam. What are you prattling on about?
        What are you trying to prove with your pathetic silliness? If you don’t believe me so fucking what? A puerile game.
        Puerile – Latin derivation – boy or child! Very appropriate.

      4. Opher, don’t double back on me now.
        Read your posts and you will see what you said.
        You hadn’t even thought about Verb Structure until I told you about that.
        I can read you like a book and another has already pulled you up for lying.
        You couldn’t even tell me whether it was Pliny the Elder or his nephew Pliny the Younger.
        And you expect me to buy into a single word you make claims to?

        Which book? He had 37 books compiled into 10 volumes. The table of contents needed more than 70 pages!
        In Pliny’s 37 volumes of Natural History, Volume 1 mostly summarized the remaining 36 books. Volume 2 covered cosmology and astronomy. Volumes 3 through 6 described geography. Volumes 7 through 11 covered zoology — everything from people to fish to bugs — relying strongly on the teachings of Aristotle. Volumes 12 through 19 covered botany, including much of the work of Theophrastus. Volumes 20 through 32 were devoted to drugs and medicine. Volumes 33 through 37 covered rocks, metals, and precious stones.
        Very heavy duty stuff and way above the needs of children’s introduction to Latin.
        This is the sort of thing studies by university students at Harvard etc.

        Incidentally, Pliny the Elder was killed during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. It’s uncertain if it he suffocated from volcanic gases or had a heart attack as he had taken a boat into the danger zone earlier then subsequently fell ill with very laboured breathing.
        The lava did not kill him!

        Well done Opher, you learned to work an internet dictionary?

  6. I do believe there are way more moderates out there than extremists in any religion. The trouble is, the folks who take “love your neighbor” seriously don’t go around tooting their own horns so you don’t hear about them.

      1. So how do we remove them from the spotlight which is want they want, to be front and center in the news. Lord knows stories about good people and things don’t sell newspapers or grab our attention on the internet. Or would that just inflame the situation? Sort of like happens on your blog when people decide to be asses.

      2. I don’t know Cheryl. It seems the more extreme always create the stories people want to hear. At my school we promoted tolerance, respect, empathy and responsibility. It took a while to settle in but it worked and created a very pleasant, friendly environment. I think that is what needs to happen globally. All the violence, aggression and unpleasantness is processed though restorative practice. It works.
        So there is no easy answer but there is a way forward.

      3. But we don’t want a way forward. We want an answer RIGHT NOW and the powers that be will accept nothing less it seems. So let’s not consider ANYTHING! Blah…

  7. Their answer is to blow up, kill, ostracise, ban and build walls. Then, when that only serves to exacerbate the situation they call for more wars, more bombs, better missiles, more hatred, bigger walls………. Then when that doesn’t work………………….

  8. I am a little confused about the name of your post. Why ask a loaded question? You yourself say there is a clear need for intervention into radical Islam and the government is right, yet you say you don’t trust them, even though you agree with them? Perhaps you should trust them more and not worry about which political affiliation they have if they are doing a good job? I personally don’t share the notion most of Islam is mederate. I have personally read the Koran and frankly it’s a pretty uncivilized book. Just because more Muslims are not blowing people up now, or in general does not mean they are not still extreme. The way women are treated in most Islamic countries and even in free nations where liberals allegedly believe in equality for women, Islamic and non Islamic women in Islamic countires are still being abused and discriminayed against and not much has really changed. Saudi Arabia recently executed for speaking ill of the “prophet.” Women caned in public by the government in Iran. A woman punched in the face, another arrested for refusing to wear the veil and dancing of all henous crimes. Yeah I’m not convinced. I applaud the government in Austria, and any other than cracks down on radicalism, but I don’t think they’ve gone far enough.

    1. I don’t think that was a loaded question at all. It was asking a genuine question.
      I too think that we should crack down on radicalisation. I think we should put pressure on governments to protect human rights. I think there is a struggle going on in Islam. Most Muslims are not extreme. I think we need to encourage more moderate views, greater equality and move towards secularism.
      The sooner all religion is dumped as the archaic superstition it really is the better.
      Having said that I think the rise of fascism is the most worrying aspect of this whole terrorism/immigrant issue. The last thing we need is the return of Nazism with its racism, authoritarianism and obnoxious control.
      As Dylan said: … Although he killed six million Jews
      It don’t matter too much that he was a Fascist
      At least you can’t say he was a Communist
      That’s to say like if you got a cold you take a shot of malaria

      1. Read Einstein’s comments about whether there is a god or a supernatural power. You may be surprised. You have blind faith in science but in reality you don’t know the truth. None of us do. Your description of Fascism could apply equally to the far left. Mao & Stalin introduced secularism into their countries. Look how many people died under their watch.

      2. Quite agree. There is much to be understood and authoritarianism is despicable in any form. What I want is democratic socialism.
        I’ve read what Einstein said about god. He thought that belief in a personal god was naïve. He kept open the idea that there might be a force behind the order of the universe.

      3. A force behind the order of the universe is exactly what a god is in any religion. Your god is clearly Jezza. Which reasons do you ascribe as the cause of the increase in far right extremism and the rise of populism? You subscribe to the Corbyn version of democratic socialism. Can you name me any country where this form of government has worked and has successfully prevented extremism or populism?

      4. Not necessarily – Buddhists have no god but they see an order in the universe. I believe there might be a unifying force in the universe. I’m not sure I’d imbue it with intelligence or consciousness. In terms of a god I certainly don’t buy into the primitive concept of any supernatural force that interacts with mankind. That seems just too naïve and simplistic. And I do not buy into any of the manmade religions – all too obviously created by people and used for power.

      5. All religions, if used fairly and responsibly, can be a force for good, teaching morals, social responsibility, respect for other people and forms of life empathy etc. In addition many people need a belief in a higher force which gives meaning to their life & to the lives of others. That in itself is a form of interaction with a greater force. That can only be a good thing. I’d lay money you would cry out for the intervention of a higher force given the appropriate circumstances.

      6. Yes they all can do some good. I contend that the evil they do outweighs the good by a long chalk. Yes some people do need a leaning post to give their life purpose. I don’t.
        No I wouldn’t. I know how stupid that would be.

      7. I appreciate your reply. I understand your metaphor not to cut off an arm when all it needs is stitches. However, I feel when it comes to Islam and really all soft invasiions by “migrants.” The truth is it seems like we are placing band-aids on bleeding arteries. We must remember that in order to have freedom of religion we cannot always have freedom from religion in every aspect of life. I think though when we really think about it, what laws should or shouldn’t be, how people should or shouldn’t be able to act; one rule that’s easy to follow always comes to my mind, and that is the golden rule. So your rights to excercise your religion, or whatever should end when it effects the rights of another. So like you said the first step should be every man woman and child worldwide having equal rights as best can be granted. Then we can enforce the laws against violating those rights. Until Islam accepts this, it will never be moderate in my opinion. Also speaking of fascism, I really can’t think of any group of people in the world in total, which is more fascist than Islam as a whole. Islam is not taught to respect the laws of it’s nation as most are, Islam requires it’s religion to be all the laws. Leaving no real room for the religion to be able to function as is in individual countries with different beliefs but mainstream laws. Even when Islamics come to other “free” nations, they still honor kill over the most ridiculous of things. Why? The Koran. Perhaps we all need to stop worrying so much about political titles and worry about what is right and wrong.

    1. Did you not see the results of the last Swedish election only a week ago? The outcome did not suggest that democratic socialism was working there. There’s an emerging strong populist party especially among the young.

      1. Yes I did. the right-wing managed 18% and that caused alarm. Doesn’t to me. There is a hysteria around about immigration.
        Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland have all been stable societies with very nice lifestyles and standard of life. I was well impressed when I visited. Mass immigration – and particularly Muslims associated with terrorism, rape and murder – has been the cause of great upset and a surge of right-wing crap.

    1. My friend Pete was living there. He’d been working on a contract. I got to meet and interact with the people he was working with which gave me a very good insight into their lifestyle and how the country worked that was well beyond that of any tourist. I was well impressed. It was a very fair society without the huge inequalities that we have here. The provision of social utilities – swimming pools, cycle tracks, playgrounds, theatres, libraries, road systems, parks – was far superior to anything we have over here. The standard of living was very high with good food and drink. Taxes were high and prices were high but wages were high too. It seemed a very successful place to me.

      1. Yes, all the Scandinavian countries have but like in other European countries a reasonable proportion of young people are adopting populist views. I watched a short documentary prior to the election where groups of young people were asked their views on voting for the right-wing Sweden Democrats. It was disappointing to hear their reasons. In any event Sweden is not a democratic socialist state of the type you want ie. Corbyn’s project. The main centre-left ruling party is more like the current UK Labour Party.

      1. An interesting article. Unfortunately when I think of Islam I think of indoctrination of children and blind faith. After that bright start it seems to have become moribund and left behind. The place where agriculture, writing, maths and science started up has simply stopped contributing.

  9. I’d agree with the listed contributions from Islamic scholars. Most of it seems to have been lifted from a BBC4 documentary series from last year. What the article ignores are the numerous civilizations which occurred and contributed much in the way of innovation, thinking etc. well before the advent of Islamic scholars. What about the Chinese, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians for example? There was a massive library in Alexandria well before 622AD.

    1. I agree with you Bede. The current state of knowledge, science, technology and all manner of art and music is the result of the combined contributions and innovations of a multitude of cultures.

  10. hear what you’re saying for sure. But in this world where facts suddenly seem to be subjective, I think I’d want to visit one of the suspected mosques myself before taking someone’s word for it. I wonder how many of us would be brave enough to do that.

      1. Are you serious? Even if you were allowed in (and women are not normally allowed at standard prayer times), you would be regarded with the utmost suspicion. If you do attempt it, ensure you discard your footwear at the entrance and preferably cover your head.

  11. Cheryl – I do find religious rituals fascinating. I think there is something inbuilt into humans about rituals that harks right back to our tribal roots.

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