I Can't Believe You Wrote That!

There have been some predictable responses to the article Islam Is Peace!   The responses fall into a few categories:

1) "Oh, how crass that you would use a tragedy to critique Islam."

Response: Oh, how crass to bomb the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Oh, how crass to kill innocents in the name of Allah and under the inspiration of the Qur’an.

2) Christianity has done bad things too."

Response: Ever read a logic text? Re-read it! There is a an informal logical fallacy called the tu quoque fallacy. It is the attempt to critique an argument by saying the arguer is guilty too. It is fallacious because it really does not address the original argument; it just comments on the arguer. Of course, Christians have acted sinfully and have illegitimately used force. The brand of Christianity that inspires that kind of action is disgusting. The Islam that inspired the terrorists is disgusting. That Islam does not mean peace. Now, can we move beyond logical fallacies?

3) "Look at the history of Christianity. The Crusades and the Inquisition were horrible, so Christians can’t condemn the Islamically motivated attacks on the World Trade Center."

Response: I guess we can’t get away from logical fallacies. This is just another version of the tu quoque fallacy. The Crusades were ridiculous and are to be condemned. The Inquisition was inexcusable. The Christian witch hunts in Europe and the U.S. were deplorable. Thank God most Christians learned that lesson. Muslim terrorism is evil and we hope Muslims will learn that peace and justice cannot arise out of terrorism.

4) "You are not being polite. We should tolerate all religions because they are all the same deep down."

Response: I won’t bother commenting on the politeness issue. That is a waste of my time. I am not polite about terrorism. I won’t hold your hand and sing "We are the World," while innocent civilians are murdered. The claim that all religions are the same is just that—merely a claim. Develop an argument and I can respond. Making a claim loudly, attacking my politeness, resorting to tu quoque fallacies, demanding tolerance, or speculating about my motivation are all irrelevant in moving toward the truth.

5) "You need to understand what motivates terrorists. They are frustrated by the Zionist-Christian conspiracy against Palestinians and Islam."

Response: We have made giant strides in developing medications to help with psychoticism (including paranoid ideation). The paranoia of some Muslims in terms of their belief in a Zionist-Christian conspiracy against them is grounded in the false assumption that Jews and Christians spend our time thinking about Islam and Muslims. By and large, we don’t. We have better things to do with our lives. About the only time we take time away from our busy lives to focus on Islam is when Muslims resort to terrorism. If your goal is to have people focus on you, you are doing exactly the right thing. However, don’t delude yourself in thinking that we looked because of a conspiratorial attitude on our part. We looked because you committed crimes against humanity and didn’t have even the decency to take credit for your crime. We look at you because it sadly reminds us how low humanity can sink and how a religion can be used to sink those precious souls.

Someone wrote asking whether I get angry with attacks on my articles.

Response: No, I expect disturbed people to act in disturbed ways.

Series: Second Thoughts On Common Islamic Assumptions
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