The more I listen to people like Sam Harris, the more I think that stuff-shirt academics are leading the world towards destruction. Harris, like every other unthinking atheist, grabs at straws to prove his argument not realizing that the straws he is grasping at are disproving him.
There are two gems in this interview with Fareed Zakaria. First, his citing of a University of North Carolina study conducted by Charles Kurzman and Ijlal Naqvi, which shows that between 1969 and 2009, Islamists won 15% of the vote in parliamentary elections throughout the Islamic world. First, how many countries in the Muslim world have held elections in that time period? You can count them on one hand. Second, he fails to read the entire study, which states that “in Muslim-majority countries, where these parliamentary elections took place, voters had little enthusiasm for Islamic parties, and increased voter participation didn’t increase the share of seats those parties secured.” Put more simply by Omar Sarwar, “the freer the elections, the worse the Islamists’ performance.”
The 2nd gem out of Harris’s mouth is that we, the Christians and atheists, need to convince Muslims that jihad actually means the inner struggle, not the armed war. I’d like to point out for my readers that jihad, even loosely translated, means struggle in the Arabic. Holy War is al-harb al-muqaddas, a term that does not exist in any form of the Islamic tradition. The term “holy war” actually orginates from Emperor Constantine and 4th century Christianity, when Christianity was a minority religion that was often persecuted. But coming back to my point… atheists need to convince Muslims that jihad actually means the inner struggle. Hasn’t every non-violent, peace-loving Muslim been screaming this since 9/11? Have we not repeatedly said that jihad has nothing to do with violence?
So tell me again… when do you think the mainstream media will start to listen to the moderate Muslims?
I do have to give it to Fareed Zakaria though when he says to Harris, so “you and Osama bin Laden agree on the interpretation of Islam.” Harris tries to explain that bin Laden, the world’s most hated Muslim, is the one that is right about Islam and it would take some serious stretches of imagination to paint Islam in a different light. While Zakaria keeps hammering him for an answer, he deflects and deflects until the interview is over. Never being able to prove his statement that Islam is a violent religion.
But this is nothing new, listen to Bill O’Reilly talk about Islam after an article by legendary basketball star, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s op-ed piece in Time magazine:
What I wonder is when will the world start to recognize that the people that are the most vocal about the “radical Islam” are the ones that know nothing about Islam. You have to ask yourself a question – when 1.6 billion Muslims are all saying one thing and living their lives in a peaceful manner, do you really want to listen to the guy that agrees with Osama bin Laden?
But to increase your knowledge on the topic, here are a couple of documents that should help you understand the face of Islamic terrorism today: