Friday, February 20, 2015


That ISIS has nothing to do with Islam, is a reckless conception. Yet that is what President Obama has said. Nearly all Muslims reject the Islamic State. That's true. ISIS does not represent true Islam. That's true. But ISIS zealots are driven by a reasoned interpretation of Islam. Enough 'Wingnuts' reside in every state of the Union that the White House seeks to avert a horrid Islamophobic response at home. We are not in a holy war, so Obama said, "No religion is responsible for terrorism. People are responsible for violence and terrorism." Further, he terms the atrocities 'violent extremism,' when he should call it 'Islamist extremism.' That's what it is. ISIS doesn't deny this.
President Obama (Alex Wong/Getty)

It was disingenuous and disgusting when Obama deliberately described the 21 beheaded victims as "Egyptians", rather than 'Coptic Christians.' They were targeted precisely because of their association with the cross of Christ. Religion is very much at the heart of what is going on in the ISIS world. Americans should be able to count on their President having a clear view and honest acknowledgement that ISIS's Islam is a combination of a revived ancient puritanical Islam and some modern politicized Islam.  The President's disavowal does not serve inter-faith dialogue well, nor mutual tolerance. The Islamic State is unquestionably Islamic, even as it has attracted adventurists and psychopaths.

Graeme Wood has written an intelligent, meticulously researched article for The Atlantic Monthly March 2015 issue, entitled, 'What ISIS Really Wants'. I encourage you to read it.


  1. Obama is quite right to say that ISIS has nothing to do with true Islamic beliefs. Although there are different branches of Islam, they all promote a moral and ethical code. He is quite right that you cannot tar all Muslims with the same brush, anymore than you can tar all Christians, or where would it end. Shall I blame you Ron for the tortures of the Spanish Inquisition, or the denial of truth imposed on Galileo by the Pope. That good born-again evangelical Christian George W. Bush eagerly bombed and killed well over sixty thousand innocent Iraqi men women and children. He was supported by thousands and possibly millions of other bible belt zealots in the U.S.A. Has that got anything to do with true Christian belief. I too am sorry that Obama said that so many Egyptians were killed. He should simply have said so many people were killed. It was a terrible thing to do whether they were Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Egyptian, German or Inuit. Most religious believers tend to pick and choose the bits of their holy books that suit them at the moment. I seem to remember reading about some guy, who who advised people to take the beam out of their own eyes before pointing out the mote in their neighbour's eye. I think he was not a Christian, but an very orthodox Jew.

    1. That is a mistaken read of both Obama's remarks and my reason for finding them unacceptable. Furthermore, your comment is the most objectionable verbiage I have ever read from you and I am surprised. I would not have objected or wasted my time with the issue if Obama had simply said that ISIS does not accurately represent Islam nor is it true Islam. That's not what he said. He completely disassociated ISIS and its horror show from Islam and religion. That is not being truthful. Even if the ISIS interpretation of the Quran is grotesque, it is nevertheless for those distorted religious reasons that ISIS did what it, by beheading 21 Coptic Christians and by shooting and burning to death, 60 men, women and children at worship in a church. No one is saying that these atrocities should be laid to the accounts of moral, highly principled, spiritually minded Muslims. You do not, however, make that point by ignoring the religious intention of the perpetrators who base their actions on their sourcebook. And of course, such madness done to anyone, of any nationality or faith is wickedly appalling, but Ray, you purposely steer from ISIS's point. They did it to these 21 Egyptians because they were Christian and because after torturing them for days, they did not recant, repent and turn to Islam.

      On the other hand, I will disassociate George Bush's military assaults from anything to do with Christianity or my faith. The US military is not a Christian organization, nor is aligned with my Statement of Faith. No military action in our lifetimes by USA or Canada or a Coalition is conducted for Christian/religious reasons. There is no cause for throwing Christ's words back in my face.

    2. This is today's BBC Middle East News for 24 February 2015, "'Islamic State 'abducts dozens of Christians in Syria'"

      At least 90 Assyrian Christians, men, women and children have been abducted by ISIS fighters who swept through a strong of villages along south bank of the Khabur River in north-eastern Syria during dawn raids on Monday. This is in Hassakeh province in Syria, where 40,000 Assyrian Nestorian Christians live, speaking Syriac, a form of Aramaic, the language of Christ. Many Assyrians have fled Syria to escape extremist pressure to convert to Islam, to pay a religious levy or to face death.

      Now tell me again that the conflict is not in any sense religiously motivated.

      Furthermore, The group's aim is to establish a "caliphate", that is, a state ruled by a single political and religious leader according to Islamic law, or Sharia. As it seeks to move beyond its present confining borders of Iraq and Syria into Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine, it demands that all swear allegiance to its leader - Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai, better known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
      ISIS is now commonly known as IS, and IS members are jihadists who adhere to an extreme interpretation of Sunni Islam, considering themselves to be the only true believers. For them, the rest of the world is comprised of unbelievers who are seeking to destroy Islam, and that justifies IS attacks against other Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Beheadings, crucifixions and mass shootings have been used to terrorise their enemies. IS members have justified such atrocities by citing the Koranic verses that talk of "striking off the heads" of unbelievers, but Muslims have denounced them. Even al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who disavowed IS in February over its actions in Syria, warned Zarqawi in 2005 that such brutality loses "Muslim hearts and minds".


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