T Nation

5 Questions


Five questions non-Muslims would like answered
By Dennis Prager, Dennis Prager's nationally syndicated radio show is heard daily in Los Angeles on KRLA-AM (870). He may be contacted through his website: www.dennisprager.com .

THE RIOTING IN France by primarily Muslim youths and the hotel bombings in Jordan are the latest events to prompt sincere questions that law-abiding Muslims need to answer for Islam's sake, as well as for the sake of worried non-Muslims.

Here are five of them:

(1) Why are you so quiet?

Since the first Israelis were targeted for death by Muslim terrorists blowing themselves up in the name of your religion and Palestinian nationalism, I have been praying to see Muslim demonstrations against these atrocities. Last week's protests in Jordan against the bombings, while welcome, were a rarity. What I have seen more often is mainstream Muslim spokesmen implicitly defending this terror on the grounds that Israel occupies Palestinian lands. We see torture and murder in the name of Allah, but we see no anti-torture and anti-murder demonstrations in the name of Allah.

There are a billion Muslims in the world. How is it possible that essentially none have demonstrated against evils perpetrated by Muslims in the name of Islam? This is true even of the millions of Muslims living in free Western societies. What are non-Muslims of goodwill supposed to conclude? When the Israeli government did not stop a Lebanese massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982, great crowds of Israeli Jews gathered to protest their country's moral failing. Why has there been no comparable public demonstration by Palestinians or other Muslims to morally condemn Palestinian or other Muslim-committed terror?

(2) Why are none of the Palestinian terrorists Christian?

If Israeli occupation is the reason for Muslim terror in Israel, why do no Christian Palestinians engage in terror? They are just as nationalistic and just as occupied as Muslim Palestinians.

(3) Why is only one of the 47 Muslim-majority countries a free country?

According to Freedom House, a Washington-based group that promotes democracy, of the world's 47 Muslim countries, only Mali is free. Sixty percent are not free, and 38% are partly free. Muslim-majority states account for a majority of the world's "not free" states. And of the 10 "worst of the worst," seven are Islamic states. Why is this?

(4) Why are so many atrocities committed and threatened by Muslims in the name of Islam?

Young girls in Indonesia were recently beheaded by Muslim murderers. Last year, Muslims ? in the name of Islam ? murdered hundreds of schoolchildren in Russia. While reciting Muslim prayers, Islamic terrorists take foreigners working to make Iraq free and slaughter them. Muslim daughters are murdered by their own families in the thousands in "honor killings." And the Muslim government in Iran has publicly called for the extermination of Israel.

(5) Why do countries governed by religious Muslims persecute other religions?

No church or synagogue is allowed in Saudi Arabia. The Taliban destroyed some of the greatest sculptures of the ancient world because they were Buddhist. Sudan's Islamic regime has murdered great numbers of Christians.

Instead of confronting these problems, too many of you deny them. Muslims call my radio show to tell me that even speaking of Muslim or Islamic terrorists is wrong. After all, they argue, Timothy McVeigh is never labeled a "Christian terrorist." As if McVeigh committed his terror as a churchgoing Christian and in the name of Christ, and as if there were Christian-based terror groups around the world.

As a member of the media for nearly 25 years, I have a long record of reaching out to Muslims. Muslim leaders have invited me to speak at major mosques. In addition, I have studied Arabic and Islam, have visited most Arab and many other Muslim countries and conducted interfaith dialogues with Muslims in the United Arab Emirates as well as in the U.S. Politically, I have supported creation of a Palestinian state and supported (mistakenly, I now believe) the Oslo accords.

Hundreds of millions of non-Muslims want honest answers to these questions, even if the only answer you offer is, "Yes, we have real problems in Islam." Such an acknowledgment is infinitely better ? for you and for the world ? than dismissing us as anti-Muslim.

We await your response.


The basic tenant of Islam is the surrender of your mind, to the alleged will of Allah. As with all religions, this leave the door open to con men and other such vermin.
Harris -- an intelligient post! Must have read Ann Coulter over the weekend.


Ann Coulter is possibly the least sincere scam artist on the planet. She's laughing at all the people who take her bullshit seriously.

Though, I did have dinner with her a few years ago.


Yeah, she's disgusting. But good, sincere five points on how dysfunctional Islam is.


Interesting. Is it at the dinner when you discovered she's a scam artist and is laughing at 'all the people who take her bullshit seriously'?


Ok, I don't even know what you mean by that, but I'll just say that anyone--ANYONE--talking Ann Coulter seriously deserves a quick shot to the throat, just on general principle.


You said that you had dinner with the woman. Why are you saying you don't know what I mean by that? I'm trying to discern how you came to your conclusions.

At the college where I teach part-time, I teach a class about the laws of human thought. A valid argument must be in one of 3 forms: Modus Ponens, Modus Tollens, or Transitivity. I am simply looking for how you came to your conclusions.

BTW: Do you want to give everyone who disagrees with you a 'shot to the throat'? Do you want to give some little old grandmother a 'shot to the throat' if she happens to like the work of Ann Coulter? Hmmmmm....


You teach at a college and you don't know the difference between "tenant" and "tenet"? Hmmmm....


I've been wondering those exact same things.

It's a dangerous delusion to assume you can be tolerant or permissive of something that is inherently intolerant and opressive of your beliefs and way of life. Not all cultures believe tolerance is a good thing and the West needs to be realistic about that.

You can't protect yourself from intolerance and opression by being tolerant or permissive of it.

The western way of life is worth protecting, for the benefit of all, and we need to become more hardline and realistic about it. We don't realize how lucky we are. Many of us have become like spoilt brats taking for granted the freedom we enjoy.

As evil as the US is, which type of regime would you rather live under?

The western way of life is worth protecting even if it means to prevent even more opressive systems from enveloping it.


Well, first of all, I've been sick as a dog, which made me miss that one. But secondly, of all the things in this thread, THAT'S what you choose to comment on? A guy says he'd punch anyone in the throat who dislikes Ann Coulter and you ignore that but go after my momentary lapse in spelling?!? (The guy who wrote that is obviously off-the-rails.) You liberals never cease to amaze me. A throat strike, a potentially lethal strike against someone because they happen to be a conservative, that gets ignored?

Go back to moveon.org or your porn sites.
If guys like these two represent the intellectual level of attainment of the 'average Joe' in this country, we are screwed. Turn off the lights, the party is over.


How did grandmothers fall into this discussion? I had to research Ann Coulter because I rarely hear much about her outside of being on O'Reilly's "news show". I am wondering why you seem to give her random thoughts so much credit. Clearly much of what she says is simply to get a reaction and sell more books. You think she is a valid source of deeper thought and meaning in pop culture? What are you arguing?


I'm not arguing in favor of Ann Coulter (though I do like her wit). I was having a little fun with Harris, when he said that ANYONE who likes Ann's work should be punched in the throat. By implication, this means that he wants to punch a little old grandmother in the throat, if she happened to like Ann's work. I was also trying to find out how he came to his conclusions about the validity of her work.

This thread IS way off the original topic!


Well, I think the bitch has a few screws loose. I personally would specifically slap grandmothers who buy her books because they could be doing more productive things like...baking cookies and keeping their grand-daughters from growing up to be like Ann.


I recommend you read The trouble with Islam today and then look at religions throughout the context of history. You can ask many questions about Christianity, Judiasm, Hinduism, Buddhism, and any other ism you would like to add and see that all of them are perveyors and perpetraitors of the same things we label inhumanities today.

How did dinner with Ann Coultier even get brought into this?


p.s. Please dont nit-pick about spelling unless it is atrocious. It shows a tendency to attack a person rather than their argument and generally does more harm than good.


Another violent person! Now, back to Islam...a religion of peace, btw.


All these peace loving liberals using violence to assert their viewpoint, kinda makes you wonder eh...


Who said I was a liberal? Because I don't like Ann Coulter?

All of these conservatives running around judging everyone based on what political affiliation they think they are kinda makes you wonder eh.....?


Any viewpoint, religious or not, can be twisted and used to fit personal agendas. This is the problem that most people have with organized religion and it prevents a lot of people from opening up to religion.

The problem occurs when the rest of the "true" believers don't stand up and denounce those that corrupt and abuse faith. Unfortunately for Islam, it seems that either they are ALL corrupt in their faith, or it is NOT a religion of "peace".
If Christians were to solicit terror in the name of Christ, then 99.9% of the Christian world would denounce them (the other .1% being perpetrators). When Oral Roberts gave his "$5million or God will call me home" act about 10 years ago, most of the Christian world spoke up against what he was doing.

Islam is unwilling to stand up to terror or denounce terror. Therefore, one could only summize that they, as a whole, SUPPORT terror.


One problem is that if you denounce a terrorist, and live in a Middle Eastern country, you may be killed as an infidel or supporter of infidels, by the local wack-job. Living there is akin to living in Nazi Germany -- speak out and pay the price.

How brave would any of us be in pre-2003 Iraq, against Saddam? Would we have spoken out?


Excellent point.