Intellectual freedom

Intellectual freedom: Him now, you next

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Unless, of course, it’s okay that bureaucrats and social engineers do your thinking for you … in which case, you won’t be next, you’ll just be toothpaste.

“In Defense of ‘Hurtful’ Speech” (The Wall Street Journal June 24, 2011) Geert Wilders speaks out on an issue of critical importance to the intelligent designcommunity: free thought:

I was tried for a thought crime despite being an elected politician and the leader of the third-largest party in the Dutch parliament.[ … ]

I was brought to trial despite being an elected politician and the leader of the third-largest party in the Dutch parliament. I was not prosecuted for anything I did, but for what I said.

[ … ]

I was dragged to court by leftist and Islamic organizations that were bent not only on silencing me but on stifling public debate …

Is this happening in your country? Shame! It was happening in Canada, and we have started to put a stop to it. We have a long way to go …

The secret of success is Multipartisan efforts. Everyone needs to agree that legal concepts like “It’s a crime to cause someone to feel offended” cannot work in a free society.

Serious commitment. A free society is worth saving.

No-nonsense confrontation. Traditionalist groups who hope to somehow get their own back through government control, based on postmodern nonprinciples are not your friends or their own.

See also:  Second open letter to Guy Earle, a liberal guy who learned too late that it’s really all about people you don’t know running your life according to their theories.

One of the most significant shocks of my own life was to discover the hard way how many people in my own country would sacrifice freedom for the near utopia of total government control.

Just when government can’t do much for you any more, figures it would want total control, and they’d want to be totally controlled.

27 Replies to “Intellectual freedom: Him now, you next

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Along the lines of Geert Wilders ‘crime’ for speaking out against ‘Islamization’ of his country;,,, This following video interview, with an expert on the history of Islam, shows that Geert Wilders is not so far out of line with his concerns;

    Interview with Bill Federer

    video description; Bill Federer’s book title says it perfectly: What Every American Needs to Know About the Quran. Few people understand Islamic history like this author. He spends 30 minutes reviewing Islam’s violent past and future plans for America. Is Sharia law coming to a city near you? You won’t hear this information from the liberal media, but hear it you must.

  2. 2
    News says:

    bornagain77, many don’t think this is mainly about Islam or what’s wrong with Islam but about traditional constitutional democracies and what’s wrong with them these days.

    Time was, no one could get anywhere causing this kind of sectarian/alternative lifestyle trouble. Fair to say it was unheard of.

    Non-Muslims can’t fix Islam if it’s broken, but citizens of constitutional democracies can take a look at laws that have sprung up in recent years to “help the government do good.”

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    News, I agree it is mainly about freedom of speech, but was surprised to find that his ‘Islamization’ concern was not paranoia, but had precedence in history.

  4. 4
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Ok, this is perhaps an unpopular view, but since we’re talking about freedom of expression, here it is:

    First of all, I’m glad they acquitted Mr. Wilders.

    I disagree with his views on Islam. Resistance to Islamization may not be a crime, but it isn’t very Christian either. He’s tried to legislate the actual deportation of people of the Islamic faith, viewing Islamization as destructive to Dutch culture. I think this is what happens in a society that has been Christian for so long, it forgets how to be Christian. The same could be said for American and Canadian culture.

    So to Mr. Wilders, I say: Trying to kick the Muslims out is hardly the Christian thing to do. The Christian thing to do is to see their presence as an opportunity to present them with the gospel, as well as to help them understand the benefits of democracy; which will spread to the folks back in their homelands. Do you have that freedom in your country? Great, then use your freedom to do good. God has brought them to you for a purpose; and I gather that it has something to do with bringing freedom and democracy to Islamic countries. Take a look at what’s going on. The time is ripe for change in the Middle East and in other Islamic areas of the world that do not have democracy.

    Attempting to send them back to their homelands will only increase the bitter feelings that Islamic people express towards Christians and the West. You now have an opportunity to reverse decades of hatred towards the West. I think you should consider changing your views on this one issue. The welcoming of people from different regions, backgrounds, faiths and beliefs has always been the mark of a great nation. Your country has demonstrated marks of greatness by acquitting you. Now you have an opportunity to contribute towards further exemplifying what makes your country great. Don’t blow it.

  5. 5
    Chris Doyle says:

    Hey CY, I’ll see your unpopular statement and raise you higher.

    Maybe Christians can learn a thing or two from Muslims. They’re not all one-eyed, hook-armed terrorists! There’s often an enormous gap between theory and practice in religion. We are right to condemn some so-called Islamic practices. But it might be worth taking a closer look at the Qu’ran…

  6. 6
    Alan says:

    Uncommon Descent needs to stick to what it’s good at, namely ID, rather than defending outrageous Islamophobes under the guise of defending free speech.

    If modern ID is ever to become a grown-up movement that can transcends its narrow Christian base, and if it is to avoid becoming immediately politicized along ancient religious faultlines, then the majority of ID proponents (who happen to be Christians at the moment) will have to avoid the undeniable temptation to take cheap shots at Islam and Muslims.

    Instead of defending anti religious bigots who pay lip service to free speech in order to advance their own hate filled agendas, why not try to build bridges with fellow theists (i.e. Muslins). For example, there still remains a desperate lack of knowledge / recognition of the massive, centuries long contribution to modern science made by Muslims when Christian Europe was experiencing the Dark ages.

  7. 7
    Chris Doyle says:

    Hear hear, Alan.

  8. 8
    CannuckianYankee says:


    Absolutely. I agree. A relative of mine is a Christian missionary who goes specifically to Islamic countries. Those people are her best friends. We absolutely could learn a thing or two from them, and that’s an understatement.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: A well documented briefing on the relevant issues: 1, 2. Hard to accept, perhaps, but we need to understand what the media are not telling us. We live in a very dangerous world, and many are in denial.

    (To test yourself to see if you begin to understand enough of what is going on: (i) what was Sept 11, 2001 the 318th anniversary of less one day? (ii) What is the significance of the Gharqad tree? (iii) What is the black flag army from the direction of Khorasan? (iv) What key event does the date 1919, joined to the names Feisal and Chaim, signify?)

  10. 10
    Alan says:

    “We live in a very dangerous world, and many are in denial.”

    Thats what Richard Dawkins tells us every time religion (any religion) rears it’s head “in the guise of science”. Should we be doing his work for him? Does living and acting in paranoia fear of what others might potentially do, really make the world a safer place?

    “To test yourself to see if you begin to understand enough of what is going on”

    How many Muslim children died as a direct or indirect consequence of Western interventions in Iraq alone? Why did we go into Iraq again? How many Muslims voted for Al Kayeeda and the 9/11 attacks? Who should be more frightened?

    Do Christianity and Judaism have skeletons in the closet also? Should religions be judged solely on the basis of the worst crimes carried out in their names? How can ID hope to become anything like a global movement, reaching out to agnostics and even atheists, if all they see is religiously motivated ID proponents squabbling and washing each others dirty laundry?

    What is the BAYT al-HIKMA?

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:



    I guess I need to make a clarifying aside to deal with something that is off-topic for the blog, but important.

    So, I note for the record [having already pointed to major reference resources], not to enter into a debate:

    1 –> Clearly, “religion” is a good that is capable of being abused, counterfeited or perverted to do evil. (The most effective way to do evil is usually in the name of doing good. For then zeal for doing good is in blinded service to evil, and those caught up think they are doing good when they are doing wrong. that is why we must never think that “let us do evil that good may come” is a legitimate idea. We may sometimes face a terrible choice of the lesser of evils, but we must not ever think that such is a choice between good and evil. Every time a statesman must take up the sword in the face of evil and impending evil that is what he is looking at. And, when an evil enemy holds the innocent hostage and uses them as shields for his evil enterprise, we may have to ask the terrible question of whether 10 innocents dead now will be better or worse than hundreds or thousands later at his hands. And all the more so when all that would be required is for the evil hostage taker to stop his evil. But of course one takes hostages to protect evil until it is ready to launch its destruction broadscale. I can only thank God that I have never been in a position to face such a choice.)

    2 –> So, first, the Dawkins, tar them all with the same brush card is irrelevant — the issue is not “religion” or even Islamic religion but IslamISM, one of two great threats to the world in our day. The other, being radical, nihilist, amoral evolutionary materialist secular humanism; as Plato warned against 2350 years ago in The Laws, Bk X.

    3 –> Second, kindly note that I am from the Caribbean, so I have no commitment to support or oppose Western actions, save on a case by case basis. I come from the region where we were the first victims of Western global expansionism. And, having escaped the frying pan, I am not eager to now jump into the fire.

    4 –> There is an undeniable history of IslmIST expansionism and oppression of subject peoples under Dhimmitude, with slavery and the full equivalent of apartheid involved.

    5 –> Indeed, by and large “those pirates” who “rob I” and “sold I” to the Englishman’s “Merchant ships” were by and large Muslim Arabs, Muslim Berbers and Arabised African tribes; so all are guilty alike. (See, my neighbour Bob Marley knew his history quite well.)

    6 –> I have had occasion to see Westerners and descendants of Caribbean Island slave market owners make public apology for their family guilt. I have even seen a Ghanian princess publicly kneel down and ask forgiveness on the behalf of her ancestral people.

    7 –> I have yet to hear of an acknowledgement and penitence over the guilt of the trade form representatives of those whose co-religionists were still involved in the evil trade in recent years in places like Sudan and Mauretania etc.

    8 –> that tells me a lot, and I ent jumpin from fryin pan into fiah, no sirree.

    9 –> I am fully aware that most Muslims (like most other people of any faith or worldview you care to name) are ordinary and decent people, but I also know that there is a dangerous radical fringe estimated as about 10% by a Saudi Prince that is acting on the global stage in very dangerous ways.

    10 –> Ways that build on their readings of history, law and foundational documents and examples [I here refer to Quran (esp Surah 9:5 and 29 in light of the concept of Abrogation) and various Hadiths including the Black Flag army hadith and the Gharqad tree hadith that you are so reluctant to expound on in the context of those who are trying to run with them, such as Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood], in ways that make the video clip of Mr Federer — for all the reservations on points I can and do have — all too dangerously close to the truth.

    10 –> You will note that I hav e focussed my comments above on that IslamIST fringe, and note how I consistently do that block capital-ling to emphasise that this is not Muslims as a whole.

    11 –> However, that is not to say that I do not find some pretty serious problems with Islamic theology, starting with the gross and utterly false and even slanderous distortions of the Bible and the Christian and Jewish faiths that are written into the Quran; e.g. just read on from v 29 in Surah 9 for starters, and there are others that are equally bad. (Cf remarks here and here for a starter, the previously linked will give much more of the concerns I have.)

    12 –> Those who know me will know that my theology is a moderate Biblically anchored inclusivism, which sees Rom 2:5 – 8 and 14 – 16 as decisive on how God deals with peoples in all sorts of conditions, i.e. he evaluates us on the light that we have or should have, and how we live in response, by penitent and persistent walking towards the right and the true, or the reverse:

    Romans 2:5-8

    Amplified Bible (AMP)

    5But by your callous stubbornness and impenitence of heart you are storing up wrath and indignation for yourself on the day of wrath and indignation, when God’s righteous judgment (just doom) will be revealed.

    6For He will render to every man according to his works [justly, as his deeds deserve]:(A)

    7To those who by patient persistence in well-doing [[a]springing from piety] seek [unseen but sure] glory and honor and [[b]the eternal blessedness of] immortality, He will give eternal life.

    8But for those who are self-seeking and self-willed and disobedient to the Truth but responsive to wickedness, there will be indignation and wrath . . . .

    14When Gentiles who have not the [divine] Law do instinctively what the Law requires, they are a law to themselves, since they do not have the Law.

    15They show that the essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts and are operating there, with which their consciences (sense of right and wrong) also bear witness; and their [moral] [a]decisions (their arguments of reason, their condemning or approving [b]thoughts) will accuse or perhaps defend and excuse [them]

    16On that day when, as my Gospel proclaims, God by Jesus Christ will judge men in regard to [c]the things which they conceal (their hidden thoughts).(A)


    In that light, I solemnly and urgently call your attention here and more broadly here, and to other things that you can access easily.

    Good day, sir

    GEM of TKI

  12. 12
    Alan says:

    “IslamISM, one of two great threats to the world in our day.”

    This is what we were taught when a justification was justification was required for aggressive colonial style interventions in oil rich Muslim lands. Over the next few years, what remains of the obsession with “Islamism” will largely dissappear, as America begins to wrestle with a the genuine problem of maintaining it’s living standards while containing the rise of China.

    As the Arab spring unfolds, it is clear that Islamism is being promoted by a tiny minority of extremists who get far more attention from the Western media than they ever get from other Muslims. The threat of Islamnism is nil compared to the dangers of wars being brought on as nations compete over resources.

    I visited Pakistan recently and found the majority of Pakistani’s to be only mildly interested in their Islamic faith, and to have no interest in imposing Islam on the rest of the world in the way that the Neocons hoped to spread their version of democracy.

    What I did see was the first steps towards “radical, nihilist, amoral evolutionary materialist secular humanism” in the middle classes.

    For that reason, I am going to manfully avoid trawling through the history of abuses justified in the name of Christianity because I don’t want to step into your world.

    As I am sure you know, there are websites specifically designed to accumulate and magnify every excess carried out in the name of Islam and other religions. I just hope that UD doesn’t become one of them

  13. 13
    Alan says:

    While it is apparent that a few regular posters at Uncommon Descent may personally wish to champion Geert Wilder’s right to freedom of speech, e.g. to call the prophet Muhammad a “barbarian, a mass murderer, and a pedophile”, I just don’t think that UD is the place for this. Promoting Geert Wilders in the name of “free speech”, promotes someone who himself advocates censorship of the Koran (He compares it with Hitler’s Mein Kampf). Effectively, he wants to silence an entire world religion.

    Was it really a good move for UD to risk alienating a billion theists and potential ID proponents in order to defend Geert Wilders and his selective understanding of free speech? Given that the damage has been done, perhaps someone ought to balance things out by writing an accompanying article called “Religious Freedom – Them Now, you next”.

  14. 14
    Chris Doyle says:

    Hi Alan,

    Sadly, there doesn’t appear to be much interest in this thread. But, your comments about Islam highlight a very important matter, one that has massive implications in many areas of modern life.

    I fully understand the concerns that kairosfocus raises. There are a number of so-called Muslims who perform some of the most horrendous acts of evil imaginable. Are you familiar with the tribal courts of Pakistan? In particular, the so-called trial of Mukhtaran Mai? It is an example of indisputable, concentrated pure evil. And it is not good enough to say that such things only happen at the hands of an extreme minority. Because the moderate majority of muslims are nowhere near loud enough in their condemnation. And condemnation is not enough in these cases. There should be swift and incredibly harsh punishment handed out to all transgressors. The problem is, the minority is bigger and more powerful than we think.

    There is a huge irreconcilable difference between Islam and Christianity that kairosfocus is also concerned about: the fact that no muslim would ever believe that Jesus (or anyone else) is the Son of God and no Christian would ever believe that Jesus, like Abraham and Moses, was only(!) a prophet of God.

    That said, I believe we live in times where believers must unite. We should seek to respect each others differences and recognise that we have a whole lot of very important things in common with each other: belief in God, belief in Moral Law and belief in Life after Death. Which I think is where you are coming from, Alan, am I right?

    The Qu’ran itself, is not a book to be dismissed lightly by anybody. It may well be God’s final revelation to mankind.

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:


    I spoke for the record, and accurately.

    There is no need to try to distract us by changing the subject or trying to point fingers elsewhere.

    There is a serious faction of Islam that is globally destructive, just as — as I also pointed out — there is a serious faction of western culture (a specifically atheistical and anti-christian faction, BTW) that is destructive.

    These are both clear and present global level dangers. (And that is long before we deal with debating theological or worldview level issues, we are talking here about ruthless, immoral or amoral factions that do enormously destructive things. First things come first, and just as Christians in the West are in the forefront of challenging evolutionary materialist, secular humanist, amoral atheism and its fellow travellers on their destructive agendas, it is Muslims who should be in the vanguard of dealing with the IslamISTS.)

    In the meanwhile, I and many others have no intention to allow ourselves to be distracted from making sure we do not jump from frying pan into fire.

    That means (for example) that when a Sheik El Faisal (formerly a high schooler in Hanover, Jamaica with the nickname “Dictionary”) after his training in Saudi Arabia and his work in the UK is deservedly the first person in a great many years gaoled for sedition in the UK, in the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings — where a fellow Jamaican radicalised Muslim convert joined the ranks of the suicide bombers — and was then deported to Jamaica, we are going to challenge him on his calls to violence [they are on record].

    It would be helpful indeed if we were to see more moderate Muslims in the forefront of exposing, correcting and denouncing what is going on on the part of the Sheik El Faisals and Osama bin Ladens of the world, etc etc.

    But, sadly, there are too few of these, far too few of these.

    So, pardon, when it is necessary to address the matter, we are going to stand up. We are NOT going to stand idly by and see more of our neighbours and our sons indoctrinated into radical IslamISM — again, not the distinction I am making — and turned into suicide bombers and other kinds of cannon fodder for fanatical cults.

    You can take that to the bank.


    GEM of TKI

  16. 16
    Alan says:

    “There are a number of so-called Muslims who perform some of the most horrendous acts of evil imaginable.”

    This is true, and sadly, some of these acts are done in the name of Islam. Few Muslims would deny that there are many serious problems in the Muslim world at present. These problems have certainly been exacerbated by outside interference, but it is no excuse for Muslims simply to blame others for their situation.

    At the same time, the vast majority of “the most horrendous acts of evil imaginable” are perpetrated without any religious intent whatsoever. This fact is often deliberately overlooked by those who are successfully branding religion (meaning all religion) as “the root of all evil”. No amount of war, death and cruelty done in opposition to religion, or in the absence of religion seems to matter. 100million deaths in the 20th century due to man – made ideologies, has done nothing to dent our confidence in the ability of Man to decide his own destiny, in the absence of the Divine.

    Yes I am aware of the horrific Mukhtaran Mai case, but I am not aware of any attempt to give an Islamic justification for her treatment. To me, It appeared to be the result of a number of perverse tribal customs that conflict sharply with the teachings of Islam on many levels. Should Muslims do more to work against such customs, and a corrupt / incompetent judicial system? Certainly they should. However, crimes like this occur all over the world. Somehow this particular case has caught the worlds attention, while many other similar acts become mere statistics. As in the above case, such horrific crimes seem to occur most often in the absence of any sense of moral responsibility and accountability, rather than because of it.

    There does indeed appear to be an irreconcilable difference between Islam and Christianity, as there does between Judaism and Christianity. Having said that, there is an even greater irreconcilable difference between all three Abrahamic faiths and “radical, nihilist, amoral evolutionary materialist secular humanism” It seems to me that dwelling on differences, while ignoring many areas of agreement, plays greatly into the hands of those who would like to dispense with all traditional religion and any sense of absolute morality.

    ID is something that all the Abrahamic faiths (and some others) will be greatly attracted to. It makes no sense to pass up an opportunity to agree on something that is foundational to all three faiths. As a former atheist, I can vouch for the fact that the disbelievers will hate the idea of different faiths working together on anything, never mind a science that may one day undermine their intellectual fulfillment.

    Those who believe (in the Qur’an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

  17. 17
    Alan says:


    “Muslims who should be in the vanguard of dealing with the IslamISTS.”

    Of course Islamic extremism is a serious problem that Muslims must deal with, even if it only applies to a tiny proportion of Muslims. A considerable amount of work does go on behind the scenes that is seldom appreciated and never reported. However, it is not easy to persuade Muslims who have grown up surrounded by images of death, persecution, humiliation ( ask the Palestinian people about humiliation), and the knowledge that Western governments have been choosing and sponsoring their tyrants, that they should turn the other cheek. They are only human, after all. Of course Muslims should do more, but it would be much easier for them to do more IF Muslims were not being killed in such vast numbers by Western governments.

    It is estimated that half a million Iraqi children died as a direct consequences of the sanctions imposed between 1991 and 1998 alone. That is only a small fraction of the innocent Muslim lives lost through aggressive Western interventions in recent decades. In this sense, these numbers truly dwarf those killed in 9/11, 7/7 and all all the deaths due to Islamic Terrorism combined. Another major difference is that nobody voted for Al-Qaeda, but….

    So, who is responsible for the deaths of the Iraqi children? Who takes the blame for the hundreds of thousands of deaths in the last gulf war? Sure, Bin Laden was conspiring with Saddam Hussain to conceal those WMS’s (irony intended). But seriously, is it not reasonable, according to your line of reasoning, to ask Christians to work harder to persuade their own governments to end this slaughter?

    Better still, why not leave such topics for another time and place.

  18. 18
    Chris Doyle says:


    Once again, spot on! I absolutely agree with everything you say and I hope your comments are being widely read by others.

    The problem with Islam is that the gap between theory (ie. What the Qu’ran itself says) and practice (the influence of dodgy Hadiths, mad mullahs and other non-Qu’ranic influences) seems to be huge on many occasions. If all Muslims just stuck with the Qu’ran, the situation would improve dramatically. That said, man will still be free to perform evil, twisting scripture to suit his wicked ends. But as you’ve pointed out, man will be solely to blame: not religion.

    Re-unite the Abrahamic faiths, what a wonderful aim! I hope to see major inroads into that in my lifetime. And maybe the universality of science will provide a foundation for that.

    I hope this discussion continues and becomes more prominent.

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:


    Pardon, but remember I live in the Caribbean.

    I saw the rising trend that led to the sort of extremist groups that I described, twenty years ago, when people were sent back into the region, having been taken out to the ME for training.

    Look, man, I have seen — held in my own hand, personally — documents from the early Sudan Al Qaeda conferences in the 1990s that were then headlined on BBC. I know for a fact that Caribbean people were going to those conferences, so the Richard Reids, 7/7 bombers and agitators from the Caribbean are no accident. Let us not forget that El Shukrijumah — one of Al Qaeda’s most wanted (who is targetting the US etc in this region, according to reports) — is Guyanese/ Trinidadian, as were those recently convicted in open court in the US for a bomb plot at JFK.

    I also saw the response of too many moderate Muslims including authorities, when the first warnings were sounded: denial and evasions and misdirections.

    When El Faisal was deported, in the teeth of easily accessible evidence that showed his guilt beyond question — and AFTER plain and repeated cases of involvement of Caribbean Muslim converts in terrorism up to and including suicide bombing, the immediate response was to try to cast doubt on his conviction and to dismiss the concerns of those who were noticing the links.

    Talk about quiet behind the scenes work is fine but absent very plain and public denunciation and corrective, self-policing steps, the talk comes across as enabling behaviour.

    A lot of Germans and Europeans more broadly in the 1930’s did not like what Hitler was up to, but their silence and thinking they could play along and restrain quietly behind the scenes, was a fatal blunder that cost 60 million lives.

    Remember, the 1982 Muslim Brotherhood 100 year global subjugation plan is now public record, having been captured by Swiss Financial police, and similarly the HLF trial documents on settlement-jihad processes and the like are all public record. the Gharqad tree Jew-massacre hadith is built into the Hamas Covenant, Article 7.

    I even have copies of those 100 year plan maps that say the Indians, Nigerians, Chinese etc have excellent reason to be seriously concerned, not 100 years time but right now.

    And, I know enough Islamic history, the history of dhimmitude, eschatology and the significance of Q 9:5, 29 ff — and the remarks on both Jews and Christians are gravely inaccurate, misleading and even slanderous in this and many other indisputably Quranic texts — in light of abrogation to know it is not just a few dodgy hadiths off in a dark corner. (I already gave some links for the serious onlooker to follow up.)

    Anyway, this is off topic for the blog, so I see no good reason to keep on an exchange on this matter.

    Sufficient has been said to show why there is a serious concern.

    And why moderate Muslims need to step up to the plate, and act in public. Now, not later.

    GEM of TKI

  20. 20
    Chris Doyle says:

    Greetings kairosfocus, I share many of your serious concerns about Islam. But I agree, this is not the place for Christians to criticise other religions.

    However, unless religion is completely off-topic at Uncommon Descent, then surely we can discuss religions other than Christianity? If we just dismiss religions like Islam as teaching “gravely inaccurate, misleading and even slanderous” things then we will be missing a great opportunity to see what insights other religions can bring to the table (and I believe these include insights into Intelligent Design too).

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:


    Pardon, my basic concern is that there is a dilemma — get into religious debates and feed the aggressively promoted perception that ID is about religion; ignore it and all sorts of smears will be pushed. (The recent exchanges with DM show this very specifically.)

    I am trying to find a balanced response that will not fall into either, so pardon if I am coming across as dismissive.

    Actually, the links above give extensive discussions and justifications for what I said in compressed summary.

    In particular the referenced Surah 9, Al Tawba (Repentance or Dispensation) at aya/verse 5 has the well known sword verse that abrogates over 100 irenic verses (typically from the earlier Meccan period) in the usual reckoning, and in v 29, there is the verse of tribute in respect of subjugation of Jews and Christians into that has now in effect become dhimmitude, a second class, apartheid-like subject person status. In the immediately following verses, there is an offered justification that — regrettably — is simply, patently false and smearing.

    Similarly, the concept of the Trinity, or the sense of Eternal Sonship of Jesus as can be found in historic Christian thought are strawman-ised and misrepresented. It is also outright asserted that Jesus did not die on the cross, cutting across the authentic historic record and the core foundational principles of the Christian Gospel as reported in the AD 55 1 Cor 15:1 – 11, fulfilling prophecies in the 700 AD Isa 52 – 53. In defense of such claims, there is a concept of asserting that he Bible has been willfully and deceptively tampered with, again in the teeth of evidence. [Cf here and the succeeding much longer specific discussion through the link at the bottom of the just linked page.)

    [ . . . ]

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    There is a 1400 year debate here, and while there are both IslamIST — my major concern, obviously — and more broadly Muslim apologists (such as the late Achmed Deedat [cf 8+ MB d/load here]) who can sound quite impressive [BTW, so do many of the new atheists, if that is who you listen to without getting an informed view of the rest of the story], when the full balance of issues is put on the table, in light of a deeper level than one would get in the typical Sunday school or pew, a decidedly different picture will emerge.

    But, to get into the elaborations of that, there are other fora that are far more appropriate.

    Now, I would also take issue with the idea of religious insights into Intelligent Design.

    ID is a specifically scientific approach to detecting causal patterns on tested, empirically reliable signs, in particular, functionally specific, complex information. For instance, ever since the very first ID technical work, TMLO by Thaxton et al in 1985, it has been freely conceded that the signs that point to design in life forms do not by themselves point to a designer within or beyond the cosmos. I often put it as that a molecular nanotech lab several generations beyond Venter would adequately explain the phenomena we observe. When it comes to the evident fine tuning of the observed cosmos, a combination of inference on the sign of complex functional organisation that puts one at an operating point amenable to C-chemistry cell based intelligent life, and the logic of origin of a credibly contingent cosmos [i.e refer to the Big Bang evidence] points compellingly to a necessary and intelligent being as the designer of the cosmos, which per its operating point was intended to have such life in it.

    But, that is not based on any religious tradition or scriptures. There is a general compatibility with say a generic theism, but that was not built in from the outset as an explicit or covert controlling a priori. Unlike the challenge faced by evolutionary materialism, which does indisputably impose such an a priori.

    GEM of TKI

  23. 23
    Chris Doyle says:

    I agree, Kairosfocus, the 1400 year debate you are referring to does not need to spill onto Uncommon Descent.

    I also agree that, Intelligent Design theory doesn’t have any religious dependencies whatsoever. It’s findings stop well short of any statements about the Designer(s)’ identity, motives, etc.

    But if religion is not offering any insight into Intelligent Design, then what is it bringing to the debate? The fact is, Christianity crops up here on a regular basis – complete with quotes from the Bible. So, if that serves any purpose, then why stop at Christianity and the Bible? Why not hear what Judaism and Islam have to say on such matters?

    If we should keep ALL religious references out of discussions here on Uncommon Descent then that’s perfectly reasonable and understandable. On the other hand, keeping all non-Christian religious references out of the discussion is entirely unreasonable, wouldn’t you agree kairosfocus?

  24. 24
    Chris Doyle says:

    Sorry kairosfocus, I only responded to post 22, I just noticed you addressed a post to me at number 21. I would like to respond to that if you are interested, but maybe not here…

    Just briefly, I believe that the take home point from the Qu’ran on the topic you refer to is not about who the enemy is, but rather what we can and cannot do to the enemy when it has been identified (usually, a force that will slaughter you and your family without thinking twice about it).

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:


    Actually I broke a single post in parts, as the number of links would have mod piled me.

    All I will say substantially is that the foundational history takes Islam from Yathrib — a formerly Jewish town in Arabia [find out about what happened to the three Jewish tribes there] — to the conquest of Arabia in M’s lifetime, which is the setting of the abrogating Medinan Surahs and ayas, then onward within 100 years to the conquest of Spain and the invasion of India.

    The apt question is what were the Caliphs defending from France (and the shores of Ireland) to India, and you need to talk to an Indian about his views on that last. Surah 9 is not primarily defensive, but on any objective reading offensive. the world is divided into two houses,t he house of submission under Allah, Allah’s prophet, Allah’s law and warriors, and the house of war. between the two, there can only be temporary truces, and war continues until the world is in submission. Islam, of course is a word that has just that submission as a central meaning. It is through that submission that the world will have “peace.” Similar to the Pax Romana of old, in the lands conquered by Rome.

    In this context the way that M dealt with Yathrib and then Mecca and the other polities in and around the Arabian peninsula set authoritative precedents, per the Hadiths that record these.

    The IslamISTS take this foundational history, the relevant texts and the Hadiths — and the Hadiths are the no 2 authoritative source in Islam, indeed the Quran cannot be properly deeply studied without the Hadiths that give context — and have constructed a 100 year programme of global conquest. In that eschatologically tinged programme, the hadith on the black flag army from the direction of Khorasan, among whom Mahdi shall be found, plays a crucial role. Khorasan is E Iran and somewhat eastwards.

    This is the subtext of Al Qaeda’s base in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the invincible BFA is to be joined even if one has to crawl over ice and snow to do so. In that context the choice of Sept 11, 2001 as the day for the 9/11 attacks was significant, as the date was 318 y less one day from the lifting of the 1683 siege of Vienna by Jan Sobieski charging at the head of his winged Hussars of Poland and Lithuania, with altogether 20,000 horse. That is, the implicit message — missed by the Western media, was, OBL was picking up from the high water mark of the Caliphate, i.e this was a bid to be Mahdi.

    Indeed, Al Qaeda is explicitly exploiting this hadith in its promotional videos nowadays. Now you know what those black flags you so often see in IslamIST rallies mean.

    The black flag army hadith envisions subjugation of the ME, and the Gharqad tree hadith slaughter of the Jews under Dajjil, is integrated.

    From that base, on IslamIST eschatology, Mahdi, joined by prophet Isa — an Islamic latterday twist on Jesus — will break crosses, kill pigs, convert Christians to Islam, and subjugate the world to the east and the west.

    Cf here the 100 year Muslim Brotherhood world conquest programme, and the vision of Ahmadinejad et al that they are in effect the vanguard of the 12th Imam’s army. (In Shia Islam, the Mahdi is the re-emergent 12th Imam, who is presently in concealment or seclusion, for something like 1,000+ years.)

    That is the context of the Iranian push to acquire nukes and the missiles to launch them.

    It is the context of the Hamas Covenant Article 7 on the slaughter of Jews.

    It is the context of the radical IslamIST take on the so-called Arab Spring, and much more.

    Our media, being dominated by the antichristian bigotry that is so plainly in evidence and the dechristianising agenda that is so blatant, refuses to see this.

    But, that is what is happening. Counting the Cold War as WW III, we face WW IV, since 1979. And it is now plainly at nuke threshold.

    All of this can be elaborated in much greater details, but I do not think this is the proper forum for that.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: To contact me, go to the always linked page through my handle and find contact details. Spammers and sponsors of the attack blog, which has now implicitly threatened family members, misuse of my email — in light of this development — will be dealt with seriously. CD, you need to understand what we are dealing with; remember I have strongly emphasised that the number one ideological threat the world faces now is the radical evolutionary materialist agenda and its fellow travellers.

    PPS: I am uncomfortable when there is an attempt to get into a big debate over Christian theological and scriptural matters at UD [much of which rests on the notions and talking points pushed by what Peter terms the “unstable and unlearned” [cf 2 Pet 3:15 – 18 & James 3:1 – 13] who wrench scripture out of context without understanding and mislead themselves and others], and you will see that if/when I have intervened, I normally make a summary point and point elsewhere to where such matters can be better discussed. (If you wish to hold yourself forth as knowledgeable and able to instruct others on significant and controversial theological matters you need to be in such a level that once you hear a given reference or text, you automatically recall the context and the wider Biblical context, in light of the historical settings of the relevant text and the wider cluster of issues. THAT TAKES AT LEAST 5 – 10 YEARS OF STUDY AND 3 COMPLETE INSIGHTFUL READINGS OF THE BIBLE IN LIGHT OF COMPETENT SCHOLARSHIP. AT PROFESSIONAL LEVEL YOU NEED TO BE COMPETENT IN ORIGINAL LANGUAGES, WITH THE DEGREES TO BACK UP THAT CLAIM, AND NOT FROM SOME FLY BY NIGHT DEGREE MILL EITHER. If you are sick you don’t hand yourself off to any quack who puts up a shingle or posts a web page with his notions. BTW, I now strongly recommend that any serious Christian or interested person get the free online software like The Word or eSword, and load up a serious suite of Bible reference resources. That’s at amateur, “Berean” level, per Ac 17:10 – 11. At pro grade level, get yourself something like Logos, with a full suite of solid materials. No excuses.)

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Remember, you are not needing to “correct” my views on these matters, but the likes of bin Laden et al, Ahmadinejad et al, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas [the Palestine branch of the MB], Hezbollah, El Shukrijimah and Sheik El Faisal over in Jamaica.

  27. 27
    Alan says:

    Hi Chris

    One thing I have learned from my long involvement in the ID vs Darwinism debate, is that it is best to let your opponents characterize their own position, rather than you doing it for them by erecting a straw man. I appreciate it that you are open to a view of Islam that is not based entirely on missionary material, and is probably closer to the Islam that most Muslims accept. The vast majority of Muslims really don’t spend their evenings looking for Islamic justifications to force Islam on the rest of the world, (for the simple reason that a faith rooted in compulsion is unnacceptable to God).

    The only people who seem to do this are a minority of genuine Muslim extremists and the extreme scaremongers who want to discredit Islam. The way I see it, there are too many urgent problems that need to be dealt with, to allow the most extreme views on either side to dominate the conversation.

    I would prefer a future based on peaceful co-existence, rather than endless conflict, especially between the Abrahamic faiths. While their are some urgent problems that Muslims need to address (kairosfocus does raise some valid points), a worldview based largely on the fear of what others may do, inevitably becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The following conversation comes to mind:

    Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

    Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

    Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

    (In an interview with Gilbert in Göring’s jail cell during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials (18 April 1946) )

    Few people want to live in a world dominated by paranoia and fear. I can see huge and very real problems that need to be dealt with at a global scale. e.g. the unequal distribution of wealth and natural resources, leading to famine, natural disasters, disease, greedy institutions, slavery through debt, the sex trade, mans addiction to worldly secuity – leading to the proliferation of weapons that can destroy the planet……. Add to these huge problems fear, paranoia and suspicion, and what do you get?

    Genuine and immediate threats already abound, without the need to speculate endlessly on potential ones. Global threats need to be dealt with in a spirit of global cooperation. The last thing the world needs right now is another round of religiously inspired conflict. Such cooperation is the future, and it is a necessity, rather than a preference.

    Leaving aside moral arguments for the moment and leaving aside questions about the official justifications for war, America simply cannot afford to impose democracy on the rest of the world, and to police it. Neither can Europe. $4 trillion dollars of borrowed money was spent on the Iraq war, and the Afghanistan war alone by the US. See:

    Click HERE to view graphic (101 kb)

    The only option is to seek cooperation based on shared values. Endless arguments between the Abrahamic faiths, where each side bases its case on the least charitable characterization of the opponent, ought to be a thing of the past. A shared perception of ID is one of many bridges between the Abrahamic faiths. Cooperation in areas of shared interest will do more to improve the relationship between faiths, than any amount of finger pointing. The main problem with the approach put forward by kairosfocus is that it is rooted in angst and will only serve to reinforcing division and will do nothing to improve the situation of Christians or anyone else.

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