Newburyport, Massachusetts is a town of around 21 thousand people. It's 35 miles from Boston, and the commuter rail link to that city ends there. It's a port, and so it gets a lot of its income from marine activities. It has an industrial park which, according to Wikipedia, provides "a wide range" of jobs. The town also has a local paper, the Daily News. (link 1)
On November 20th that newspaper reported that a meeting was held at the "Friends Peace Center" which was attended by approximately 50 locals. Speaking at the meeting was Mohammed Lazzouni, who is apparently the chairman of the "Center for the Study of Jewish Christian Muslim Relations" at Merrimack College.
According to the Daily News, Mr. Lazzouni claimed that non-Muslim Americans already "resented" Islamic countries prior to September 11th 2001, but since the terrorist attack carried out on 9/11, "relations" (whatever that means) between Muslims living in America and other Americans "have hit an all-time low".
Mr. Lazzouni claims that there are around 7 million Muslims living in the United States. He claims that approximately 65 per cent of those 7 million Muslims are what he calls the "silent majority" whose core Islamic beliefs cannot be known, since they don't profess their faith openly. Mr. Lazzouni acknowledges that a group of Muslims exists - "less than a percentage point" - which are "radicalised" and which believe in carrying out murder and desctruction in the name of allah.
According the the Daily News, Mr. Lazzouni believes that if the "silent majority" of Muslims were to clearly define their positions on terrorism, violence, women's right and the religious rights of non-Muslims, then that would "open the door to more productive discussions". (link 2)
There are several problems with this. The first is that it is not clear just how many Muslims Mr. Lazzouni says are hell bent on perpetrating murder and mayhem in the name of allah. The term "percentage point" is normally used to express a difference between two relative percentages. If for example the interest rate on a loan (let's say) had increased from 5 percent to 6 percent, that would be an increase of one percentage point. So if Mr. Lazzouni was making an assertion about the number of Muslims in America who believe that murdering non-Muslims would send them on their way to the Islamic "paradise", along with their promised 72 virgins, then that ought to be expressed in a straightforward percentage, not in percentage points.
The reporter could have made a mistake about what Mr. Lazzouni said. Mr. Lazzouni could simply have claimed that one percent of all Muslims living in America believed in murdering non-Muslims in the name of allah. That would mean that there were 70 thousand people in America hell bent on mayhem and destruction in the name of Islam. So obviously, there's no problem there.
In any event, whether Mr. Lazzouni misused the expression "percentage points" or the reporter misrepresented what he said, it's difficult to tell how many Muslims living in America Mr. Lazzouni believes are seeking to kill innocent people in order to enjoy the sexual favours of 72 virgins.
One cannot help wondering about the gender of any virgins in an Islamic "paradise". The initial assumption is that these will be virgins of the female gender, but who can say if this is the case? It would be a real hammer blow to be straight as a die, to run off and murder heaps of people in order to get into the Islamic version of "paradise", then discover that you had to sleep with six dozen "twinks", taking turns, 3 or 4 of them a day, each day, every day, for the rest of eternity.
But it's no secret that there has been buggery among the bedouin. One needs only recall the opening passage of "Seven Pillars of Wisdom" where young, sturdy men lived candidly together with other men, slaking their needs together, quivering in the hot sand as their shaking limbs held one another in a hot embrace. Sodomy in the sand!
So although it might be a blow, if you were straight, to have to sleep with 72 "twinks" exclusively for the rest of time, it would be just as much of a blow if you were into shirt-lifting in a major way, only to discover that in the Islamic version of "paradise" you could no longer sleep with fit young lads, but had to compromise and make do with hetero sex from then on.
According to the claims made by Mr. Lazounni, only a miniscule percentage of Muslims believe in the notion that killing innocent people will get you to the Islamic "paradise" with its 72 virgins. The majority of Muslims do not believe that. So the "silent majority" of Muslims ought to have no problem with anyone ridiculing the beliefs of a miniscule percentage of "extremists" who do not (apparently) believe in the core tenets of Islam. The "silent majority" ought to remain silent should anyone criticize the beliefs of "extremists", since they're not addressing their religon at all. Apparently. If anything, the "silent majority" of Muslims should speak up, and do the same. Regularly - and very loudly. On the other hand, if the "silent majority" of Muslims do actually believe that killing innocent women and children is the path to the Islamic "paradise" then we all really do have a problem, the least of which would be that a kafir has poked fun at a preposterous and deeply immoral belief.
Another problem with Mr. Lazounni's talk is that there is no guarantee that the actual beliefs of the "silent majority" of Muslims would conform to the wishy-washy Weltanschauung of Western Islamic sympathisers. In fact, on December 7th, a follow-up letter appeared in the Daily News which pretty much undermined that notion. The author indicated that for either Mr. Lazounni or the members of the "silent majority" of Muslims to openly condemn terrorism and other forms of violence, promote women's rights, and grant complete religious freedom to non-muslims would require them to renounce their own Muslim faith. They provided several quotes from Islam's holy book, the Koran, in support of their assertion. (link 3)
It's important to remember the context in which this talk took place. One of the "Amesbury Friends" who attended claimed that learning more about Islam was one way to combat people's ignorance of the subject. This stunningly original insight may be correct. But it does not necessarily follow, as this "Amesbury Friend" claims, that non-Muslims knowing more about Islam will "combat" what this "Amesbury Friend" refers to as "hostility" (although what that word specifically refers to in this particular context is not made clear.) If Islam teaches that devout Muslims should be "hostile" towards non-believers, then it is logically inevitable that kuffar finding that out will not alter the beliefs of those devout Muslims one iota.
The author of the letter to the editor in the Daily News dated 7th December recommends that Americans educate themselves about the nature and teachings of Islam, and points out that the resources to carry out such a project are nowadays available to all online. This seems to be good advice. In addition, he quotes John Quincy Adams, America's 6th President, who wrote extensively about the Islamic religion. And perhaps any readers of Newburyport's Daily News, or of this post, should consider carefully Adam's views as they strive to educate themselves about the true nature of an ideology which forced its way back into the consciousness of Americans once again on September 11th 2001:
"In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar, the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth.
[...] The precept of the koran is perpetual war against all who deny that Mahomet is the prophet of God. [...] the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force. (link 4)
Good to know, eh?
Tags: 6th American President, American ignorance of Islam, Jihad in America, John Quincy Adams To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Patriot's Corner. Thanks!