Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Islamic Origins

JZ argues…

Well, here is a little shout out to all of my Catholic, Judaeo-Christian friends out there. Now, I know that you have all grown up in the Christian bubble here on the West side of the world. However, I would like to open up your holy minds and hearts to another major monotheistic tradition that has existed for the last seven hundred years. Lately, its gotten a little bit of a bad rap due to a few “incidents” that have happened in the world. However, I would like to argue that Islam is a relatively peaceful religion that stresses human rights and justice in its teachings and origins.

First off, you need to understand the original context for the religion of Islam. The Prophet Muhammad grew up on the Arabian peninsula at a time of the Bedouin tribes. Each tribe had its own god or spirit and believed that its spirituality was superior to all others. The only way to keep peace between the tribes was to build a temple to all of the pagan gods in Mecca. This temple, or Ka’aba housed statues that represented all of the pagan gods. Here, the tribes would meet once a year to trade in peace. However, outside of Mecca, the tribes were fiercely independent, competitive and war like.

Women and the poor were given harsh treatment in this society. The poor were all together ignored and allowed to simply beg from one city to the next. Most tribes treated the poor, who had no land or animals, as objects to be ignored. Women fared even worse. Women were seen as complete property of families. Girls were traded from one family to the next as dowries for marriages. Unwanted daughters were often eliminated by burying them in the desert after birth.

Then, along came Muhammad and his received revelation of the Qur’an. Muhammad claimed to have received a revelation from God through the angel Gabriel. This revelation stated that there was only one God, Allah, who would unite all of the tribes. This undermined the Bedouin belief in polytheism. The Qur’an called for justice in the treatment of the poor, women and innocent life.

Muhammad returned from his retreat in the mountains and called for both unity amongst the tribes and a more moral treatment of the lowest members of the Arabian societies. The leaders of the Bedouin tribes saw Muhammad as a threat because he wanted to end the multiple gods that gave them their power. Also, he called for an end of the obsession with materialism thus ending their power and wealth. The leaders forced Muhammad into exile and he fled to Yathrib that was later named Medina.

Muhammad only became war like when the leaders of these tribes began to attack Medina. They saw that Muhammad had gathered too many followers. After several battles, Muhammad gained enough followers to return to Mecca where he easily captured the city. According to the customs of the day, he should have allowed his military to destroy the city, take the riches, rape women, and sell the survivors into slavery. Rather, he commanded them to respect the property of others, treat the women with respect, and destroy nothing. The only violence to property was Muhammad’s destruction of the statues of the gods inside of the Ka’ba. He kept the Ka’aba itself but made it into a shrine to the god of Islam, Allah.

There is an obvious question that should arise then. Why does Islam participate in all of the violence that we see today if its origins were relatively peaceful? Could it be due to the effects of the Crusades? Do we remember that Christian soldiers destroyed Jerusalem and murdered Jewish and Islamic people inside? Could it be due to the West’s interference in the Middle East? Remember, the US propped up Saddam Hussein in power during the 1980s. We still provide the weapons and aid that keeps the government of Saudi Arabia in power. And, they are just as brutal as Saddam or the Taliban to their women. Is it possible that our cultural values cause the misperceptions in the Middle East? We do seem to promote a culture that simply believes in power, acquisition of wealth, and the use of sex for any pleasurable experience.

How else do you explain the problems of violence and terrorism in the Middle East?

50 comments:

JFF said...

I believe that society as a whole is too willing to blame problems on the factors that make people different. That is, people enjoy being around others who are similar and often reject that which is different. As a result, we are too willing to generalize people into categories (Muslims, terrorists, “you people,” etc.). In fact, terrorism has very justifiable roots.
While some would say religion is the cause of extremism and terrorism, they are actually caused by myriad issues which together have led to the current situation. The Middle East is seen as an Other. It is portrayed as a realm where a different species of people come together to plot to overthrow the pure and holy West. In reality, we would be doing the same thing as the terrorists if we were in their situation. If the U.S. were conquered by hostile aliens with different views who imposed their will on us, we would surely rebel. If we could not organize a traditional rebellion, guerilla warfare (aka “terrorism”) would come naturally. If the terrorists had access to the tools the U.S. military has, they too would fight in an organized manner.
In a more direct answer to your question, I would say that the very concept of “Why does Islam participate in all of the violence that we see today if its origins were relatively peaceful?” is fundamentally flawed. There is not “all of the violence”; there is just a response to imperialism and invasion by a foreign power with a hugely different value system and society. Furthermore, “all of the violence” amounts to a fraction of the death caused by many and numerous other conditions which could be fixed or at least lessened relatively easily. The Crusades simply prove that Catholics are not immune to the exact same thing that people complain about. Crusade and jihad are the almost identical; only their names differ; their implications, roots, and flaws are largely shared.
I will append a response when someone else posts.
-Jan F-F Period 4

sora the hedgehog said...

Yeah, so, apparently those wounds weren't as bad as I thought and I'm still alive (damn!). If you look at Islam just like you would Christianity (minus the priests having sex and whatnot), you'd probably say "Yeah, these guys aren't so bad. They're kinda cool, I mean with all these peaceful pilgrimages, starving, and helping out the poor, yeah, they're nice." Yeah, you just keep saying that.
Fortunately, Islam is like that, a nice little happy religion (yay!). Unfortunately, the stereotype is "no, they're not" because of terrorists. I have to agree with Jan, seeing as he's the only one to agree with here. Society in the middle east just won't accept Christianity or any other religions you throw at them. "Denied! Denied! Denied!" That's what they'll say. They, as Jan stated, like to be with people similar to them and won't accept anything that is a threat to this tie that makes them so similar, that is, religion. They just aren't going to cope. Then again, look at us as Christians. Back then, we weren't any different, saying that Christianity is the correct religion. If you don't follow this, then you shall be eternally damned, at least from our standpoint. Jews believe their religion is correct, Hindus and Buddhists theirs. Notice that even within faction of these groups, they won't accept anything else as correct and will react to this through many ways, even violence. But is it really their fault? Is it really our fault? Not really. I say that it is only human to deny something we have believed in for so long, and then someone comes and tells you, "no, I'm right you're wrong." What are you going to do, submit to this stranger? Hell no! You're going be in denial! Why? Because the religion you've come to love and belief in is being threatened by another religion stating that they're right when you believe that your religion is right. *phew* For all you impaitient readers damn you! Just kidding. (Yes these are real lengthy just deal with it). Point: Islam, like other religions, is a nice peaceful religon that is misunderstood due to the fact that people won't accept religions that threaten their own beliefs.
Speaking of misunderstood, aren't we all? Yes, well, as far as religion goes. Stupid stereotypes. Like Jan said, people like to group people. We see it everyday in your class, Mr. Zucker, as it would seem there hasn't been one class where you haven't mad fun of the french, polish, sedish, etc. I kid! But people like to group religions. Catholics: "Meh. They're okay...if you like priests who have sex and the pope. Guy can't ever seem to stay out of trouble."
Islam: *points* "Terrorists! Terrorists!"
Jews: Hitler says "Stupid bankers! Burn in hell!"
Buddhists: "Ha ha! Duh, they're bald and they wear stupid robes, duhh."
Please, these are just examples of stereotypes and I'm very sorry if I offended anyone, especially Rabi and all those who are catholic. The point is, people have done little grouping projects and pound on them. As far as America's concerned, we typically do associate Islam with terrorists. Stupid Americans can't even think straight. These terrorists, based on Jan's idea, are Islamic, but it doesn't necessarily mean that all Muslims are terrorists. A good example is 24. The first episode of the most recent season started off with an Islamic trying to get on a bus. Everyone screams and the driver closes the door on him. Few seconds later, the bus blows up, not because of the Muslim, but because of another guy (Christian I think). From this example, we see that the "bad" guy (Muslim) is misunderstood. Point is that we as a whole have misunderstood the people of the Islam faith, not just Islam itself.
"Well...um, uh...they're violent!" True, but so are we. For Islam, there were many factors that made them so violent. Just as there are many branches of the Catholic faith, the Protestants, and Buddhists, Islam had its branches too. There were two main branches: the Shi'ites and the Sunni. Think of these two as brothers. They could never agree about the way they looked at the Qur'an, their "bible." Now give guns to these two brothers, and they start to shoot at each other. This is the product of any two branches of a religion, depending on how raidcal it was. These groups were indeed radical, as they believed in jihad, where they would do anything for God, even fight against each other. The Sunni heard God's message one way, the Shi'ites, another. And so begins a neverending war. But that's not the point. Christians had an effect on this too. Sure, the Muslims did follow jihad, especially when they conquered, but it was the crusades that helped make them violent toward Christians. The Muslims were very tollerant of religions when they conquered. People could still be Jew, Christian, Hindu, etc. In fact, they believed in Jesus as being a prophet, but minor in comparison to Muhammad. Then come the Christians, storming into the Middle East and hitting them hard. This would cause another neverending war, this time, Christians vs. Muslims. We, as Americans, also had something to do with this too. The reason why we came into Iraq recentlywas to go after the terrorists in their "hellhole," then to find the so-called weapons of mass destruction (little specks of dust), and back to the terrorists. But according to you Mr. Zucker, we've been there since 1980. As if 7 years there wasn't bad enough, that is a really long time. And during that time, the people are building up in violence. Why? Here's an example. President Bush walks up to your door and says he's going to stay at your house for the rest of his presidency (oh the horrors!). Oh yeah, he's brought his military with him. Now, unless you're a die-hard Bush fan, you're going to say something along the lines of "Hell no!" And he'll come in anyway. That's how the Middle Eastern Islamics felt toward us coming in. Jan's right. We would do the same thing if we were in their shoes. Guerilla tactics, espionage, spying, and when they're weak, full assault and then we throw them out. Oh, and I agree with Jan too when he says that Islam is not in all of the violence. 1. It's just their reaction to us barging in and setting up camp without any warning. 2. It didn't kill a lot of people. All this violence only made so many kills. Final point: Islamics are just about as violent as Catholics are, Muslim extremists only attack because we just barged in saying "Hey terrorists! Knock knock!" and made ourselves comfy there, and that Islamics aren't involved with all violence.
If I didn't make it clear, I agree with your arguement Mr. Zucker *sticks pistol up to head. click...click...clickclickclick.* Dang, need to buy more bullets. Anyway, I do think that Islam is a peaceful religion. It's the people following it who are violent. Terrorists? Just extremists who didn't like our prescense in the Middle East. Jihad? Like Jan said, a fancy word for crusade. Sunni vs. Shi'ites? Same as the Puritans vs. the Anglicans. Same teachings, different views that the opposing groups won't accept. The reason behind all these inner struggles are because the braches don't agree with each other, and they all believe that their branch is correct and will retaliate in order to prove and protect it. Man, that was long.
"Regret. Regret. Regret."
"Catchy. What's it mean?"
"Dear Humanity, we regret being alien bastards. We regret coming to Earth. And we most definitely regret that the Corps just blew up our raggedy ass fleet!"
"Hoo-rah!"
Cortana, Cmndr. Keyes, Sgt. Avery Johnson (best...charcter...ever), and marines respectively-Halo 2
Christopher Tan, Period 5

RussianDF said...

I believe that the Islam that Muhammad preached is not a bad religion at all, and it is actually very close to Judaism and Christianity. The problem is that today Islam has broken up into many different sects, and one of them, radical Islam, does preach terror. Radical Islam is a way of thinking that is used by people such as Osama Bin Laden and Ahmadinedjad to make people believe that "infidels" must be all murdered. However, very few Muslims are "radical", and it is a stereotype that all Muslims or Arabs are terrorists. But yes, although Islam origins were relatively peaceful, it has become a stereotypically violent religion. But, I do not believe that Jihad and Crusades are the same thing at all! The Crusades were an organized army, which were aiming for what seemed a good cause. What is going on in the Middle East now is completely different. They have no organized army, and they fight guerrilla warfare, including terrorism, in defense to attacks. I don't agree with Chris that we just "barged in and set up camp" in the Middle East. We did that after terrorists blew up the World Trade Center and killed 3,000 people, and after Saddam Hussein wouldn't allow UN inspectors into his country for years. At the time of our actions, nobody could think of a better choice, so I think we had a good enough reason to invade Afghanistan, or even Iraq. So to conclude, I do believe that Islam is a generally peaceful religion, which is stereotyped way too often, and that by far not all Muslims are terrorists. However, Radical Islam = terrorism in pure form, and it is a direct threat to our country.

RussianDF said...

Daniel Fotinich,
Period 4

Rude said...

I think terroism and groups like Al-Quida exist because the are unhappy with how their lands have been Americanized. I believe that they think we have no buisness in the Middle East. I think the only reason they attack us is because they want the Middle East to be the way it was before America ever got involved, long before the Iraq War.
Also, I believe that, like in any religion, there are some radicals who take every word in the Quran or Bible literally and seriously. That could be another reason for the terrorist groups.

I believe that the Muslim religion itself has changed. It seems that back in Muhammad's time war was used as a last resort and women were treated better than they are know. (I am basing this claim on a movie I saw last year in history class which Mr. Line said was true).

But what I don't understand is why the Muslims fight wars against the Jews. I can understand if they are for land, but "holy wars"? Come on. The Quran contains the books that the Jews worship and Islam traces its roots back to Abraham, who is also very important to Jews.

I agree with what JFF said about how the Middle East is portrayed as "other", but isn't everything? England is other. France is other. Europe is other. Canada is other event though it is very much like us. I also agree with how he said Islam is reacting to imperialism and invasion. But, only some fighting can be justified as self-defense.

Matt Rude
Period 5

The Ballster said...

JZ,
I completely agree with you that Islam in itself is an extremely peaceful religion. As Fotinich said, it's not much different from Christianity or Judaism. However, it seems that in today's distorted version of Islam, radicals have taken control of the religion and turned it and Arabic society into a backwards state. History proves that this is not uncommon with religion. For example, the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the Holocaust are only few of the many horrible acts committed in the name of Jesus. I would also agree with Rude because I do believe that these Terrorists can be justified. Although their acts are completely horrible, primitive, and disgusting, they are simply uneducated, poor preachers who blame the West for all their problems. They're not much different from Germany after World War I when Hitler blamed the Jews for all of Germany's problems. I strongly believe that Islam needs to return to its roots as Catholicism had to do after Vatican II, and rid such a pure and peaceful religion of the violence and corruption it suffers from today

Matt Ball
Period 5

JFF said...

---
This is in addition to my above post. I'll be adding another example and responding to another post.
---
I agree with Chris Tan's point that all religions tend to believe they are the best. While we might often think of Muslims trying to force us to convert, other religions are just as guilty. In the modern day, it is a common occurance to get preached to by a born-again Christian. And as I alluded to previously, Catholics used perhaps the most severe form of conversion to exist: the Crusades.
People enjoy thinking that they are not biased. Terms like "colorblind" reflect the true lack of perception that people possess in realizing their own assumptions. For example, I have seen that at the airport people constantly stare at Arabic people because they think that Arabs and Muslims are terrorists. Of course, none of these people were terrorists, but passengers continue to generalize them nonetheless.

mchogsta said...

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Bronson said...

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London said...

I would have to disagree with your opinion that Islam is "relatively peaceful religion that stresses human rights and justice in its teachings and origins." Islams have the Jihad which makes them think they will be rewarded by their god for bombing building. They are people that wont except any other ideas or help. As the united states we have done nothing to develop these ways. Also, Islams major flaw is its different groups. Groups like the Shiites and Sunni are almost just as bad as having different gods. These groups fight for land and create unrest. It is no coincidence that so many followers seem to be violent.

I completely agree with sora the hedgehog saying "just won't accept Christianity or any other religions you throw at them." He is right they seem to be so different then any other religion out there. Think about it, what would be the status of security at airports if we didn't have Muslims. We really haven't had any problems at all with terrorist attacks not counting them. Because of the Jihad they believe god will reward them for these wars of "terrorist attacks."

Gregory London, Period 4

Otaku14 said...

Yes I agree with you that Islam is a generally peaceful religion and the fact that it is a mystery of why these people are committing these acts of violence.

I do not think that the Crusades had anything to do with the violence that we see in the Middle East today. Yes that may have spurred up some tensions between the Muslims and the Christians, but that was then, and this is now. They even made a treaty after the third crusade to stop this tension. It pretty much did stop it because the 4th Crusade attacked Constantinople and all the other Crusades were failures.

I agree with what pretty much everyone else has said that, yes, Islamic people and just arabs in general are stereotyped. This is because unfortunatly we only focus on the terrorists that are arabs. Because America is somewhat of a media based country whenever we see an arab we think "AHHHHHH, watch out he could be a terrorist." I mean really what are the possibilities that the person is a terrorist.

You mentioned that we keep giving arms and such to the Saudi Arabian government well the reason that we're doing this is not because we support what they are doing, but it is because we need the oil that they can give us. This goes back to the whole Machiavelli theory that government does not think in terms of morals, but they have to think in terms of what must I do to make my nation better.

I agree with Chris that yes the Muslims are violent, but they have good reason. What would Americans do if people came in and tried to "help our country" but ended up killing many people? We being Americans who think that violence is "cool" would probably fight back. Is that not what the people in Iraq are doing right now? They are just pretty much fighting for their country. Even though Saddam was a dictator he at least kept his country in order. This is like in the Bible when the Israelites were freed from Egypt they had freedom but had no idea what to do with it. I also agree with Fotonich that the percentage of Muslims that we actually hear about is very small, because these are the few radical Muslims.

Chris I have to disagree with you the seargent might be the greatest character in Halo but not in the world.

ROCK LEE (the guy in my icon if you can see it) RULES. He is the best character in Naruto hands down

Otaku14 said...

Doesn't he look awesome like he's going Super Saiyan. Oh, and this is Michael Porterfield Period 5

Tostitos said...

It looks like this weeks question consists of why are Islams so "violent" or partake in things such as terrorism, and did Western Civilization influence this. Well, before I can even argue my point, I think I should mention the fact that not ALL Islamic people are terrorists. In fact, a only an incredibly small amount of them take part in terrorist activity. The few who actually do have given a horrible stereotype to the rest of their people. Now, to answer the main part of the question, the religion of Islam is not an evil one at all, and really is quite similar to ours. I disagree with Chris when he says that Muslims won't accept any religion you throw at them. Remember that they still believe in Jesus and his works, but believe Muhammad to be the next prophet. Their ideals reflect his teachings the most. They may not want to just go and convert to Catholicism, but would you want to convert, for example, to Hinduism if someone just told you to? Us Americans may find it strange to combine Religion with Politics as Islamic Society does, but to them it is completely normal. I mention this because a few people would blame their "violence" on that system. Yes, I do believe that government and religion should not be integrated with one another, but its not like a good society could not exist if it was. Muslim teachings consist of morals that most people with common sense would follow. Its just a little...strict. Now for the second question, I do not believe that Western Civilization events such as the Crusades, effected the RADICAL Muslim terrorists. The events are definitely similar (religious warfare) but I do not think they would say, if asked, that they were planting car bombs because Englishmen once entered their city and slaughtered everyone inside. Lastly, I would have to agree with Jan again when he says that we consider the Middle East an "other." In other words, they are just those guys that live in that place(until we went to war with them)...yeah. The only reason for this is the differences between our society and government systems and theirs. England and Canada have different systems too, but we know how they work. We are closer allied to them and have similar ideas, so it seems easier to relate to them. Phew, that was a good blog.

Philip Tostado
Period 4

stephen said...

JZ,
I think that the religion of Islam was a good way to keep people away from pagain worship, unite the different tribes, and give better treatment to women and the poor. However my only problem with Islam is that Muhammad believed that he was the third prophet to God's revelation, putting him on the same level as Jesus Christ himself. This goes against the belief of all Christians. The basic teachings about Islam (including calling for both unity amongst the tribes and a more moral treatment of the lowest members of the Arabian societies) were good except for the fact of having Muhammad seen as such a high spiritual figure.
I believe that Islam is so violent because they want to protect what they believe in. I agree with JFF when he said "In reality, we would be doing the same thing as the terrorists if we were in their situation." As the west side christian bubble, we believe that we are the protagonists and they are the antagonists. If seen from the different side of things, we would probably be doing the same thing as they are.
-Stephen Shigematsu
Period 5

Bronson said...

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kearney asada said...

Dear Mr. Zucker

The Islamic religion itself is not participating in the violence and crisis we witness in the Middle East today. Honestly, there can be a connection between the Islamic religion and the idea of pluralism in the religion of Christianity. Not only have we seen Christianity broken down into Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, Jesuits, and more, but there is also internal tension building between each group. For example, there are Calvinists and Anabaptists, as well as Lutheranisms. All these groups are different forms of Protestant believers. The religion of Christianity itself had no harmful intentions, and was based on the opposite of that. Faith, good deeds, and pure lifestyles based the religion. It is very simple; the religion had no intentions to be harmful. However, we look at groups participating in the Crusades, and we see that violence and war is tangled with the idea of religion. Just like the Islamic religion, the principles are based on good intentions. However, extremists and different groups interpret the faith in their own manner, thus tweaking the outcome of the practice of the faith. Some people are more intense, and will kill or die for their faith. However, this has nothing to do with the actual implications of the faith itself. Islamic religion is just like Christianity or Judaism in the sense that it bases its teachings off of good morals and manners, and they follow rules according to teachings preached and given by God.

Now, based upon what I just said and without contradicting myself, I will agree that the religion of Islam is involved in a copious amount of violence around the world today. However, is not every religion politically involved in war? Is not Christianity also involved in warfare with the Islamic religion? We only hear about how terrible or how despicable the Muslim religion is, but we must look at the other side of things. What do they say about us? The Muslims must say the exact same thing about us from a different perspective.

I disagree with the idea of the actions are still a retaliation from the middle ages. As we evolve, our grudges tend to dwindle. However, I do agree that our involvement has consequently led to the actions taken by the Muslim or Islamic religion. Of course the Opposing forces will respond based upon what its adversary does.

We must understand that the perspective and interpretation of any given faith lies in the eyes of the beholder. The faith itself has nothing to do with any actions taken by people carrying out their idea of faith. I explain the actions of violence of the Middle East has nothing to do with a religion telling one to do so, but it is based upon extremists twisting the true teachings of the religion into what they believe is true. As we link it to Christianity, Calvinists believed that they were depraved and predestination was their only salvation. Luther believes that good faith alone gets you into heaven. This is a parallel to explain that the faith may say one thing, but two Muslim groups can interpret the faith they believe in whatever way they please or in whatever way appeases their interest.

I can also agree with Jan Flatney-Feldman. He seems to agree with the idea that the blame is placed on the society as a whole and on the factors making people different. This ideas are linked and in close relation supporting my argument

PERIOD 5
JOSEPH KEARNEY (BIBLICAL)

KM Hernandez said...

I believe that the roots of Islam were not based in a relatively peaceful society. As you said Mr. Zucker, the different tribes of the area were very warlike and constantly fighting because of the differences in their beliefs. I think that this led to the development of Islam in a belligerent state, but not as ready to fight as the neighboring tribes. However, I think that serious Islamic followers would not think twice about carrying arms for Allah, especially in that time. Although I may be contradicting myself, I think that an unfair image has been cast upon the Middle Eastern Islamic believers because of radical Islamic followers who see force as one of the few strategies to get Allah's message to the western civilizations. I believe that the attacks from such groups as Al Qaeda can be traced back to western involvement in the Middle East beginning with the massacre of the First Crusade. This undoubtedly brought a great deal of enmity towards the Catholic members of the West, and today America, England, Spain, and several other countries may be seeing repurcussions from the Crusades and interferences in the Middle East such as the Iraq War. I agree with Jan when he says that people are to ready to associate Islam with Terrorism because of recent events. Overall, I think that the Middle East has been involved with so many countries interfering with the "world affairs" that take place in this region, and therefore, radical Islamic groups are trying to rid themselves and possibly get payback for these occurences.

John Sapunor said...

First, I agree that Islam was a religion that wasn't formed as a violent religion. Muhammad saw that the Bedouins didn't have good values. He had a vision and began to preach. His followers were few at the start, but when he moved to Medina, he gained enough followers to conquer Mecca. He also converted the people to a new faith and destroyed the idols at the Ka'aba.

I think that one reason there is violence in the Middle East is because Muhammad captured Mecca, but I don't think it is Muhammad's fault. Muhammad and Allah are the most important figures to Muslims. Muslims in the Middle East probably consider Mecca and other places Muhammad traveled or considered holy to be very important to their religion. If Muhammad conquered Mecca, they must keep it. If Mudammad converted the people in Mecca, they should do the same.
Does the Qur'an say to kill people in order to capture land or suicide bomb people who aren't Muslim? No, but as we have seen, religions tend to break into branches and may come up with beliefs that are different from those that the religion started on. Also, the Middle East has a poor population, and the poor will often follow a radical leader before the rich will. The leaders may say the time has changed and that it is necessary for some of the religious laws to be broken in order to keep the land and kill all non-believers.
I don't think that the extremists care that America doesn't have perfect values, but they see America as a world leader that is more powerful than them. Obviously America has a stronger military, but suicide bombings don't require much technology and can do critical damage, so the extremist leaders probably felt they had to manipulate people's minds, and this is how suicide bombings probably began.
That is why i think there is violence and terrorism in the Middle East.
I disagree with jff because I think terrorists are not fighting against alien rulers, but rather they are fighting against non-Muslims. They suicide bomb because of the promise of the 40 virgins in heaven. Therefore, I don’t think that people in the United States would become terrorists if a similar situation was presented, and if we needed a guerilla army, we wouldn’t fight the same was as the extremists do and wouldn’t fight for the same reasons.

John Sapunor said...

John Sapunor
Period 5

jack said...

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Tyler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tyler said...

Again I say "Touche," Mr. Z, for reasons I will soon point out. Essentially, I believe that the Muslims in the Middle East are just like our own faith, just in different time periods.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Did I just say "Christianity and Islam are alike?" Of course I just did! Shocking isn't it? It shouldn't be. For one, its the same concept! Monotheistic, lead a dedicated life of worship or at least that's what the model Christian does), and serve each other on this Earth. I mean, for crying out loud, Muslims even ACCEPT that Jesus was here! They even call him a great Prophet of (their) Allah, (our) God! You know how much Muhammad is mentioned in the Bible? (Hint, it's a four letter number that begins with "z" and ends in "-ero"). So basically Christians are saying that Jesus saved the world and truly was God, and Muslims say, "Eh, not really. I mean he was great and all, but Muhammad was basically doing the same thing (a little better, as they would say), and that They are Prophets, not actually God." Truly, a fundamental belief of "Christ"-ianity is Jesus = God. But aren't the ideals the same? I mean Muslims are known for their devout worship five times a day, but don't we also look to God at least five times a day, just personally in our lives? A Pillar of the Islamic faith is "Almsgiving to the poor." Hello? Ringing a bell on what we are called to do as Christians? Fasting during Ramadan for Muslims; fasting during Lent for Christians.
And the list goes on, and on, and on...
And on...
So basically I argue we have similar faiths. Yet how can I relate current Christianity to current Islam? It is neigh impossible to do so. Instead I see history in a new light. I compare Christianity during the Crusades to current Islam, and Islam during the Crusades to current Christianity. At both times, Crusade-era and current, one faith was attacking and one defending.

In the middle ages, around the 11th to 12th centuries, the Crusades swept across the Holy Land, destroying cities, razing towns, and senselessly killing all Muslims populating that region. And the Crusades were actually called for by min-information by Alexius I, Emporer of Byzantine at that time. He claimed Muslims were attacking Byzantine and Christianity, even though the battle was provoked and unjustified. So then the Crusaders come, with their thirst for blood "in the Name of God," and wage war on a peaceful faith, Islam.

In the modern time, around the 20th to 21st centuries, a jihad-ic movement lead to an attack on the World Trade Centers, which were symbols of the Western World. This jihad was unjustly called for by Osama bin Laden, an extremist terrorist leader of Al-Queda, on false claims that the Western World/Christianity is mocking the Muslim faith. Thus the car-bombs, violence, and war was unjustified, lead by a man who used "Islam" as a guise for a quest to destroy Western Civilization culture. So the jihad-ists come, thirsty for blood "in the name of Allah," and wage war on the peaceful religion of Christianity.

I hope I've made my point.

And to Matt Ball: I really like the exapmples in your argument. Very informative, especially how radicals have corrupted a very pure faith, that of Islam. I just hope I was able to expand upon that also.

And on that I'm out.

Tyler Davenport
Period 4

wiznewski said...

I do agree that Islam is a relatively peaceful religion; however, like with all things, extremists have taken questionable parts of the Koran and adapted them to their own ideologies. After 9/11, Muslims have been stereotyped as terrorists, car-bombers, and killers just because of the actions of small group of radicals in their faith. People need to look past this and see the true context of their faith and see that it really is not so different than Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, or any other religion. Like you said, it stresses human rights and peace and justice but then why are there those few Muslims who take their faith to a radical level.

First, in no way am I supporting terrorism, but as kearny said you have to look at things in their perspective to understand what they are doing in their so called "jihad" to rid the world of the "infidels". This hatred that these few terrorists have is most likely not caused by the crusades, but more of our western ideals conflicting with their way of life. The terrorists did not just wake up one day and decide to kill innocent people for their faith. Instead, they, like many other faiths, used religious ideas that are skewed to justify their actions because many of the terrorists are justifying their killings in the name of their god, "Allah". For example, Osama bin Laden didn't just become angry at the U.S. overnight and decide to orchestrate attacks. It was due to his hatred towards western ideals and culture as well as conflicts concerning the U.S. and Saudi Arabia in the 90s. We need to understand what and why the terrorists do the things they do and not make generalizations about the entire religion because only a minuscule part engages in such radical behavior. The only way to solve these problems and violence in the Middle East is through looking at issues in the other sides point of view

wiznewski said...

oh and by the way, the previous comment was by Michael Wisniewki Period 5

K-SWISS said...

Mr. Zucker,

I believe that there are a few main factors that influence this violence in the Middle East and the perception of Islam as “terrorism” in our country. First, you should always start with the source of these “jihads” and violence. In the Qur’an it states that a jihad is not necessarily war. It is a struggle to do good and to remove injustice, oppression and evil from the society. This struggle should be spiritual as well as social, economic and political. It also says that war is the last resort if needed after negotiations and peace treaties fail. Most of all, the word jihad means “struggle” or “striving.” The word that is used for war in the Qur’an is “Quital.” Therefore, these radical Islamic people are using the Qur’an to exploit and misuse the meaning for their own political objectives.

The reason for these wars against the West is that they perceive us as evil and unjust. One of these reasons is the brainwashing by leaders such as Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, and other leaders created this West hatred. One of the reasons for this was because the global news is censored in those countries. So all of the American stories told to the Islamic people were extremely biased; therefore, because there was no unbiased opinion of the West, people are willing to die to defend their faith because we are perceived us as an “evil people.” So because we are perceived as unjust and evil, according to the Qur’an’s principles of removing these factors, we must be demolished from their society. I agree that our society is one of power, wealth, and pleasure and that differs so much from the Islamic way of life, so these radicals take it a step further and interpret the removing or these injustices and evils by blowing us up and physically destroying us.

Another huge factor is that the West is in their country and it reminds them of the Crusades, which they still hold a grudge over. For this reason I agree that we are seen not only as a threat, but as a chance to have revenge over what happened not so long ago.

I agree with Joe Kearny when he says that all we hear about is how terrible the Muslims are. To further on this point, the media only focuses on the radicals in the Islamic faith. All you hear on the news is about the terrorism that the radical Muslims have done to our troops. But why would we want to show the peaceful side of Islam when we have grudges against them for 911? We wouldn’t want to and so because of this we have created this sense that true Islam is warfare, car bombings, and torcher, which is not true at all. On the other hand would these Islamic people have the same or very similar views on us as a country? Yes, of course. They see our invasion into Iraq as uncalled for and they see it as an attack on their faith. But we have made our mistakes too that has caused some of this hatred. The accusation of nuclear bombs in Iraq was an excuse for revenge against the Muslims for 911. The manipulation of our government allowed us to go to Iraq because of our irrational thought. But here is the reason that we were so misinformed. On CNN Gen. Peter Pace said, “One of the mistakes I made in my assumptions going in was that the Iraqi people and the Iraqi Army would welcome liberation, that the Iraqi Army, given the opportunity, would stand together for the Iraqi people and be available to them to help serve the new nation.” So you cannot say that they are the only problem. We tried to understand the Iraqi people and got burned rather than just staying out of their business. We have really furthered this hatred of one another rather than trying to diffuse it.

Kevin Swick
Period

K-SWISS said...

period 4

connor said...

I think, as with all religions, there will be some people who take everything literally and turn a good thing into something bad. That is why the terrorists blow things up. Their Qu'ran says that they should fight the devil noo matter what, they take this literally and they think that we are the devil. The best example I can think of that exemplifies this is an old classmate of mine named Elizabeth. Her father was a religious proffessor so her family adhered to the Bible more closly than my Church's clergy. But rather than doing good, she was all about proving that she was better than homosexuals and Jewish people. This led to many a debate between my teacher and her. So you see, it isn't that altogether
uncommon.
Another reason that they seem so barbaric is because of the religious differences between the Sunni and Shi'ites. But they are just as bad as the gang wars in the U.S. A big part of the problem is our media, which focuses on the bad news a opposed to the good news, that way we do not see the larger good side, only the dark, evil terrorists who want to kill us.
I agree with Fotinich when he says that not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are a direct threat to our country.
Connor Sharpe Period 4
P.S. Elizabeth is annoying

B.C. said...

dear jz,
i agree with your points on the ideals of Islam and how they are manipulated by modern "freedom fighters" in order to accomplish their own goals. Religion has been used and manipulated through the centuries by most culutres WESTERN AND EASTERN. The crusades were a perfect example of the manipulation of religion. Religion is so easily manipulated because it usually applies to everyone in society and is a force that applies, not only in life, but also in eternity after death.
I agree with Swick and Kearney when they mentioned that we only hear about the radical, extremist muslims who hate our way of life and our culture. The media biasly depicts those situations by reporting only the bad, disturbing news which is usually more graphic therefore raising the tv rating for that station. Not all the muslims are enemies to the U.S. but the few that are make a bad name for the rest.

Leaders such as Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and other radical muslim leaders have an unquestioning hatred of anything Western or American. We were attacked on 9/11 not because of the Crusades or "misunderstanding." We were attacked because they hate our way of existence and our culture.

Islam participates in Terrorism because the leaders manipulate religion in order to use it as a brainwashing tool to manipulate the masses of innocent, easily manipulated people. Without religion leaders such as Osama bin laden would have a hard time trying to explain the reason for this "jihad."

The problems of violence and terrorism in the middle east are the result of manipulation of Islam and Muslims which has created a generation of American Haters against which we must fight for our very way of living, our culture, and survival as a country

by the way, WE ARE STILL THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. USA!USA!USA!

Benjamin Coupe
Period 5

Manalo said...

I believe that Islam was a very peaceful religion, but as everyone here says, the Muslim people are very often stereotyped as terrorists. But, as Fotinich says, it is just the very small portion of radical Muslims that practice acts of violence and terror that are terrorists. Since we always hear about the radical Islamic people that do these acts of terror, people associate all Muslims as terrorists. However, Islam can be the same as any other religion, but it is broken down to sections, for example the Protestants have the Calvinists, the Lutherans, and the radical Anabaptists.


I also agree with Porterfield that the U.S. provides Saudi Arabia with weapons in exchange for oil. With the teachings of Machiavelli, the U.S. will provide for a better society.

I also agree with Chris Tan that people won't accept any religion you throw at them. People that strongly believe in a religion will defend themselves from other people who say that their religion is not the true religion. That is what they interpret as the truth. Again, with Machiavelli’s theory that leaders create a sense of love with the people in their society, the religion creates a sense of love with the people, and the people out of their love of their religion will protect their beliefs. The Machiavelli theory can also explain why radical Muslims and extremists do acts of terror. It is because that’s what the radical and extremist Muslims believe in, and in addition, the Muslims who follow the radical leaders have that sense of love with their leader also, so they can do their acts of terror for their leader and for their religion.

Patrick Manalo
Period 5

Alex said...
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Alex said...
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Alex said...

First, I completley agree with the statement that Islam is a very peacefull and nonviolent. It's teachings are almost exactly the same as those of Christianity and Judaism. The Qur'an, much like the Torah teaches to respect life, to love your enem, etc. Hoowever, like both Judaism and Christianity, there are always going to be radicals, who think that what they are doing is best for the people.

I, personally, agree with both your reasons for why islam is violent. I think that some of it comes from the bad imprsessions given by the Crusaders, when they killed all those Muslims and Jews for their religion. The other reason is, like you said, our interference in the Middle-East. We are setting up stuff the way we want it set up and are not giving any thought to what it is doing to the people of that area.

I agree with what Matt Rude said abbout Al-Quida existing and acting the way it does because they do not likie the americanization of the land. They believe that it is their land (which it is) and that we do not have the right to barge in their and do whatever we want (which we don't). And to asnwer Rude's question, they are fighting over the land BECSUASE they both trace their lineage back to Abraham. God promised Abraham the promised land and so both groups think that it should belong singularly to them. The Muslims because their father (Ishmael) was first born and the Jews because their father (Isaac) was the only ligitement son. This is another reason for the fighting going on and the Mulims have taken the examples of the Crusaders and are trying to fight for the holy land.

Alex Flynn
Period 5

Alopez said...

I agree that there are parts of Islam that are non-violent. But extreme Islamics want to spread their religion even if requires them to risk their lives. I found this pretty similar to the Crusades. The Crusades had an army attack Jerusalem. While in the meantime, the Crusades were spreading their religion. So basically Al-Quida is starting their own crusades by attacking other countries. Also, Islam could feel threatened by other countries. Such as women in the Islamic culture needs to hide their bodies, women should stay at home and care for the family, and women should be seen not heard. In American, teenagers these days are wear short skirts (but who's complaining). Also, Hillary Clinton running for president is against the Islamic belief that women should be seen not heard.
I agree with Fotinich how he says that not all terrorists are Islamic. I believe that there are always going to be people who believe that they are better than other people.

Alex Lopez

Period 4

leaningtower55 said...

The Western world has caught itself in a situation that cannot be escaped. Because Islamic terrorism is religious, many extremists feel that it is right to follow this path. I truly believe that the West's interference in the Middle East over the 20th century has really influenced and created Islamic terrorism. From the United States siding with Israel to the Gulf War, we have had major problems with Islam in the Middle east. We cannot forget the United States protecting the hated Shah during Iran's Islamic revolution. This lead to Islamic students holding the US embassiy in Iran hostage and later ruined our relationship with one of Islam's most powerful countries.
Terrorists probably use Islam as an excuse to fighting and they probably abuse some of Muhammad's great teachings and ideas to get their violent point out. They know that Islam is one of the fastest growing religions on Earth and they want to brainwash as many peole as they can through this massive religion. The Middle East in general probably sees the Western World (especially the U.S) as immoroal, violent, and greedy oportunists that only come to the region to benefit themselves. We see on television the soldiers that raid through peoples homes in Iraq and the scared faces of the families that live there. How do you think the images of America are through the eyes of that kid whose home was raided through? We also see the wealthy U.S-supported countries such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and U.A.E with Sheiks, kings, and some of the inhabitants living in the lap of over-the top luxury. Many Middle Easterners feel threatened by the domination of Western Influence over tradition. In response, they feel that the only way to stop the Western domination is to fight with envy and revenge.

leaningtower55 said...

Oh yeah, leaningtower55 is Karlon Johnson

trojans07 said...

I believe that religion, like everything else in this world has changed as time has passed. We have to remember that life today is not like it used to be a thousand years ago. I see where you are going with you argument but unlike the previous two times I have to agree with you for once.

When people think about the Islam people the first thing that usually comes to mind is terrorism. We as human beings have a great problem with stereotype. I believe that not all Islam followers are as violent as we make them. Religion is not what causes conflict but political issues. For example, in Iraq even though it wasn’t completely peaceful, it was enough to keep everything passive. Like Machiavelli said “the ends justify the means”. When we went in there we made everything change. Now people can’t go into the street with the fear of being shot or blown up through a car bomb.

But….

I have to disagree with you when you stated that through religion women got some respect and power. Last time I checked, women are stoned to death in the streets just for showing some of the skin on their legs. Let me tell you something, that isn’t very peaceful.

I would have to agree with Jan because he states that most people are about to associate Islam with terrorism. Like I stated in the prior paragraph, most people stereotype everyone that we feel goes against our belief system.

Salvador Valle, Period 5

<<===tHe JeDi===>>> said...

Jay-Z:
I agree that the origins of Islam which, involved separate tribes, may have been sketchy and immoral; however that does not mean that all Muslims are like that in today's world. All major religions seem to have had a period in which corruption controlled the belief system, but the teachings of Islam today are not corrupt and that is my main point. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam share more commonalities than we think. Each religion believes in one God even though they have separate names for Him. He is the same God that spoke to Moses, that came to earth as Jesus, and that revealed the Qu'ran to Muhammad. Along with the belief in one God, the Holy Land of Israel is an important site to all three religions. It is where Jesus was born, where Moses led the Hebrews to, and where Muhammad ascended into heaven to be alongside God. The struggle today between Jews and Muslims is control over the land of Israel; thus sparking conflict and violence among the two religions. Switching now to the Middle East violence, i believe that the nations there evidently face injustice and corruption; however this should be separated from religion. The corruption is political and nothing else. Al Queda claims to fight for Allah, but this is a selective group of peple who go out and recruit other Muslims when they are young, raising them with the belief that violence is the only way. This tradition has kept violence and terrorism at a high level. The religion itself is genuine and no different from Judaism or Christianity which makes up 33% of the world. Therefore we should not be deceived into thinking Islam is a terrorist organization that only wishes to take over the world; just read what's in the Qu'ran. That should tell you what Muslims truly believe. In conclusion, i believe that "religion is being manipulated" as Patrick Manalo said, and that in actuality, Islam promotes strong devotion to God with strict traditions.

-Lucas Cielak
period 4

Leviathan said...

I believe that the beliefs of Islam are what caused the terrorism. Islam stresses Allah as the one and only God to be regarded above all else, so when they loo at the predominatly christian western civilization, they see us as infedels. Like you said in the blog, the Qu'ran dennounces all pegan Gods and Muhammad breaks their statues. Bu terrorizing us, they might feel as though they are doing their leader's will. Maybe, the Islams feel by Killing Christians, that they are saving us from are god like M. saved them from the pegan gods. However, the main reason is the strict code of conduct Islams follow, such rules lead to misinterpretation and rebbellion, as people interrpret law for themsleves.

In response to JFF's Blog, he says that in thier situation, we would act the same way. I disagree with this. Being Christian, we live lives of faith centered aroung Christs teachings. Even if we were oppressed, Christ's message would prevent us from rebellion and terrorism. Christanity does not force their will upon others, but rather takes the cards its elt. When Jesus knew he was going to die he faced his fear. If we are being oppressed I'd like to think humanity would face its oppressors.

Tim Period
P. 4

mchogsta said...

I have, undoubtedly, grown up in a “Christian bubble,” having gone to three different schools with the vast majority of the students being Christians. However, this “bubble” was not so thick that I have learned so little about Islam to assume that all Muslims are terrorists just because the extremists make the news much more than the non-Christian hating Muslims. What I have learned about Islam does not reflect the actions of terrorists, such as the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11. I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you that I, along with most of the rest of the class, agree with your statement that Islam is a relatively peaceful religion that does not condone acts of violence such as that of 9/11.

So, why has terrorism been a problem among the followers of Islam? You posed the question of whether the Crusades could have something to do with it. People uneducated about the religion of Islam might believe that Christianity is the kind of religion that puts love first and would treat each member of a conquered Islamic city with care and put a piece of chocolate on every Muslim’s pillow. The same people might say that people of the Islamic faith would mercilessly exterminate all the inhabitants of a city they have conquered. QUITE THE OPPOSITE, on the first crusade the Christian soldiers murdered Jews and Muslims in Jerusalem where as Muhammad ordered his soldiers to treat the people of Mecca with respect and not to harm anyone. I think that the animosity felt by the small fraction of Muslims today towards Christianity started from the Crusades, but this is far from being the only thing they hold against us. The United States has several times been guilty of meddling with the affairs of the Middle-East. Saddam Hussein’s former place of power because of us and our backing of Saudi Arabia are two prime examples of this. Also, most notably at this time, is the war in Iraq; America lashing back at whatever Muslims they could find because of 9/11. How we got from war against Osama Bin-Laden and his followers in Afghanistan to “War on Terrorism” in Iraq is a history lesson that needs to be taught to me. It brings to mind Pope Urban II and the first Crusade in which the Byzantine emperor needed help in fighting the Seljuk Turks and the Pope thought, “Hey, the Seljuk Turks are Muslim, why don’t we fight all Muslims and, hey, the Muslims control Jerusalem, I’ll have that too.” Osama Bin-Laden believes in a twisted form of Islam that does not reflect the teachings of Muhammad. The people of America can not take Bin-Laden’s view of Islam to be true of all Muslims or even a large percentage of Muslims. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Saddam Hussein was a horribly cruel leader, but the United States only stirred up the hive’s nest by entering Iraq, not to mention the fact that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 besides the fact that they are an Islamic country.

I strongly disagree with Greg London. I believe he is misinterpreting the Islamic religion in that he believes the actions of extremists count for the actions of all Muslims. Greg said that Islam is not a peaceful religion because a few of its followers crashed planes into buildings. There would be no more buildings in the world if all Muslims were like this. He almost made is sound like the world would be better off without Muslims through an example of the tighter security at airports nowadays. Islam is the second largest religion in the world, think about all the people who have found refuge in its teachings and beliefs and then tell me the world would be better off without the religion. Finally, Greg, I have to point out that the followers of Islam are not, as you called them “Islams,” they’re called Muslims; if you don’t know their name I can hardly believe you know their religious beliefs. For example, you said a jihad is simply a suicide mission that will give a Muslim a place in heaven. This view of a jihad is one that has been perverted by Islamic extremists. Jihad literally means “struggle” and in the context of the Qur’an it means doing God’s will on earth. A jihad can be a simple mission that someone has everyday. The problem is that people do not know enough about Islam and think the terrorist’s view of a jihad is the universally accepted view, whereas the real meaning as described by the Qur’an is something that can be very positive.

Marcus Högsta, Period 5

jack said...

Mr. Zucker,

I agree with you on many of your points concerning the Islamic religion today, but i must disagree with your remark about us Christians living in a bubble on the west side of the world. Los Angeles is the most religiously diverse city of the world. Whereas a major country of the middle east, Iraq, is over 96 percent Muslim. I believe that the West is very much open to change and new ideas.
I do agree that Islam is a relatively peaceful religion. It is similar to both Christianity and Judaism in many ways. All three religions trace their ancestry back to Abraham. All are monotheistic and worship the same god. Both Christianity and Islam share key beliefs about Jesus' life, teachings, and death. The Qur'an like the Bible, has many readings which encourage peace and tolerance. For example, chapter 3, verse 172, of the Qur'an, "Of those who answered the call of Allah and the messenger, even after being wounded, those who do right and refrain from wrong have a great reward." Many may argue that the Qur'an also has violent callings for followers, such as, "8:12, I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them." The same argument can be made towards Christianity. For example, Exodus 21:23–27, "an eye for an eye." suggests retaliation against ones enemy. The majority of Christianity clearly does not wish to do harm towards others. This is also true for Islam. Very few Muslims are radicals which wish to harm other human beings. Just like the Bible, the Qur'an contradicts itself multiple times. The Qur'an says many different things about a variety of issues. Many verses are intended for specific people or events, and are not intended to be applied universally as a means of justification of terrorism or radicalism. It is up to the reader to interpret or "pick and choose" which readings to apply to their lives.
I must disagree with Matt Rude's comment about terrorist groups attacking the United States because of the Americanization of the Middle East. Prior to September 11th, America was involved with the Middle East, and partly responsible for the subtle Westernization of the people. On the contrary, I believe that we were attacked for reasons other than that. The only thing that the attacks of September 11th did was get America even more involved in the affairs of the Middle East.

-John Hawley (0273), Period 5

Clint Rosser said...

I think that people today attempt to stereotype people too much. I am aware that this statement seems like it has been said so many times, but it is true. Many people from various groups have performed what some people may call radical stunts. There have been tons of reports throughout the years of religious cults killing themselves in a mass suicide. These terrorists just decided to kill others rather than themselves for their beliefs. People do not act a certain way or do certain things because of the group they belong to. It may influence them, but when it comes down to it everyone makes their own choice based on their morals and ethics on how they want their behavior to reflect that.

When people refer to “Muslims attacking” they aren’t actually thinking about Muslims. In general when people make these type of statements about terrorism, they are picturing a middle-eastern man wearing a turban around his head. This is a stereotype, and this is who people are referring to in this comments.

Like you told us in class, it is human nature to rebel. This is no different for people in America, China, or the Middle-East. We all have that same desire to strict out against the authority which oppresses us, whether it be school administration, a boss, or the government.

People in the Middle East are simply angry with America’s control over them. It is difficult for Americans to comprehend the thoughts behind terrorism, but if analyzed them seem relatively strait forward. We are so used to our pampered lives here in the states, with no rule from a foreign nation. If we were being control by an outside force we would rebel without a doubt. An excellent example of this was the colonists. They didn’t appreciate the rule of Britain. So what did they do, they rebelled an broke free of their control. The people of the Middle East simply do not have the resources to put up a substantial fight against America, which is controlling more and more of their lives. Some of the most radical of these people decided to take matters into their own hands and are attempting to do the most damage they possibly can with the funds available to them.

Most major groups of people have had a history of violence in some fashion. The Germans had Hitler and his persecution of the Jews. Christians had the Crusades. Colonists had the killing of Indians and stealing their land. No group is immune to this.

I agree with what Kearney and Swick said about the media showing only the radical Muslims. This can be said for everything. The news always shows the car crashes, fights, and controversies. This is because these are the things people are interested in. If the news reported on all the good things (they do report a few inspirational stories) people would most likely not watch as much. People watch the news to learn what is wrong in the world, not to here that everything is running smoothly.

Clint Rosser
Period 5

Jonathan said...

JZ, I'd like to start off saying that once again there are some good facts that give you a good case. Unfortunately I have to argue that you're reading them the wrong way. Yes, Christianity attacked the Muslim Jerusalem. Yes, there have been several "terrorist" attacks made on a largely Christian United States. But the two are virtually impossible to relate to eachother. The current day attacks are not an Islamic retaliation for a war that Muslims won over 700 years ago. In those 700-ish years, the pain of the crusades has been all but forgotten, if not ignored. The attacks made today are just like the crusades, in that they are a few leaders calling for war to gain power for themselves. Back then it was to control the Holy Lands. Now it's probably to establish themselves in a ruling position, but since the attackers haven't come close to accomplishing any obvious goal, we have no way of knowing for sure. Two SEPARATE wars for similar, but seperate reasons.
At this time I would like to acknowledge and agree with Phil Tostado And Tyler Davenport. They both had similar arguments when they said that Christianity and Islam are very similar religions. They both have very similar value systems. The extreme terrorists are just that. They take small parts and blow them up into something to live by. Their custom of violence developed from Muhammad's siege on Mecca, not Westerners being violent to them. If anything, these guys would want to do whatever we're not doing.

Jonathan Daroca
Period 4

Sweet N' Low said...

I agree with you completely Mr. Zucker. Islam is a peaceful religion on the whole, it is mix of its radical followers who have made it Christian hating, women beating religion and those who only listen to what the media tells them. I do believe that people in the 21st century believe that all Muslims are like the ones we usually see on news and in newspapers,those being the ones who hurl rocks at women and commit suicide bombings, and don't even pay attention to the fact that there are Muslims living outside the middle east. This all leads to a negative stereotype about all Muslims, that every Muslim wants to beat his wife and blow up a building. This negative stereotype has spread around the world and often leads to many making fun of Islam and its people.If one can remember the incident in with a Danish comic artist depicted Allah in a comic and was soon killed for drawing it by to Muslims, this what I speak of, these people who think of Islam as just a word that unites a bunch of crazy suicide bombing freaks. This is why Islam and those in the middle east have in part become so violent. Since the feel the rest of the world hates them. I agree with Mr.Ball from your period 5 class when he says though their acts are "horrible, primitive, and disgusting, they are simply uneducated, poor preachers who blame the West for all their problems." Most of the ones committing these acts of terrorism are mislead by those above them. Those who tell them that it is Allah who is commanding the to go forth and kill the "white man."Muslims didn't just decide they wanted to go blow up the world trade center, they were uneducated and most of very religious, it is like the crusades. People were told by Pope that God wanted Jerusalem and that they had to go and get it and they were to kill whomever stood in there way. This is the same for the Muslims. They have been told that Allah wants to do this, it is Allah's will that they commit there suicide bombing. Truly the men commit these act of terrorism are not innocent but, do them because they are uneducated and mislead by those who tell them that the West is the source of all their problems.

-Zachary "Sweet N' Low" Wilson
Period 4

MC HAIT said...

I think that if people look on at religion on their most basic and realistic forms they would agree that Islam is a peaceful religion. Many people when they interpret their religion many factions inside the religion occur due to the fact the people always will have different ideas. Many Islamic people have a “bad rep” due to the fact the radicals of their faith are exploiting them. The majority of people that believe in Islam do not what the radicals of their faith are doing. The problem is that the radicals of the Islamic faith that they get all of the media attention. These leads all other people to think that all people of this faith are they same as those they see on the television. Radical Islamic people by their own acts have turned the world against and others of their religion. Matt Ball said this and I agree with him. People by their own actions have lead to the hatred of others who do not believe in their radical form of Islam. Many people must realize, Islamic peoples, people in today’s society, and people everywhere must realize that their actions do not only affect them, but also affect the way people view them in society.

Matt Chait, period 5

Cameron L said...

I agree with you and I think that Islam really is a very peaceful religion. The only problem with the Islam religion is that it is influenced by crazy radicals and because of these radicals all Muslims are stereo-typed as terrorists. The extremists have twisted the beliefs of the Qur'an and somehow think that mass suicide bombings are justified because it is the will of Allah, or so they are told by the leaders of evil organizations like Alkida. I agree with Daniel, he says, “The problem is that today Islam has broken up into many different sects, and one of them, radical Islam, does preach terror. Radical Islam is a way of thinking that is used by people such as Osama Bin Laden and Ahmadinedjad to make people believe that "infidels" must be all murdered.” His point makes sense because these things actually are happening in the Islamic religion today, and even though it is not right, it is nearly impossible to be stopped. The terrorists only make up a small part of the population of Muslims, and I am willing to bet that other Muslims don’t even accept them as part of their religion.

(>Cameron Lancey
(>Period 5

K-Fed said...

I think the reason for all this terrorism from the Middle East is because of human nature. The people there simply want to rebel and get America away from them. I believe that Clint hit the nail on the head by comparing this to the colonies revolting against Britain. Both the Middle Eastern peoples and the colonies felt the people controlling them were oppressing them. Americans would do the same thing if they were to be controlled by some country that forced them to change to communism for example. The reason why terrorists do such extreme stunts is because they feel this is a way to get noticed and prove their point. If you die for something then you believe it’s for a great cause.

Dylan said...

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Logan said...

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K-Fed said...

Sorry that post was Kevin F. Hernandez Period 4

Dylan said...

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