Standard Arguments

There are several arguments that tend to crop up repeatedly wherever Islam and Islamo-Fascism are discussed. I will give my responses to standard arguments here. If you believe you have arguments on these topics which go beyond the standard presentation, you may comment to that effect on this page. I will consider any argument that is backed by good evidence and/or logic. Here is a list of the standard arguments:

  • SA 1: “Where’d you get that ridiculous translation of the Quran?”
  • SA 2: “You’re pulling verses out of context.”
  • SA 3: “Use of the term ‘Islamo-Fascism’ means you’re saying all of Islam is fascist.”
  • SA 4: “This is typical Islam bashing from a hate-filled Islamophobe.”

SA 1: “Where’d you get that ridiculous translation of the Quran?”

I generally use one of the three standard translations available from the USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts: Yusuf Ali, Pickthal, or Shakir. If you have a problem with these translations, please take it up with the Muslim Student Association. (I do sometimes copy other translations, if I know their meaning equates to the standard ones.)

Although individual Muslims often have their own personal preference, I have not found general agreement among Muslims and non-Muslims fluent in Arabic as to which translation is the most accurate. In addition, I have found that it is rare for a translation to give a meaning which is vastly different from the others (except for a few which I avoid). Also, according to Mumin Salih, a Middle-Eastern ex-Muslim, mistranslations of the Quran into English are more likely to err on the side of making the Quran more acceptable to English speakers rather than less.

SA 2: “You’re pulling verses out of context.”

If by “context” you mean the verses before and after, then of course, to select any verse is to pull it out of context. There are always verses before and after, and anyone who wants to can read the whole Quran. This is only a valid criticism if the verses before and/or after would negate or alter the meaning of the selection.

If by “context” you mean the situation in which the verse was “revealed”, which information is not included in the Quran, but is in the Hadith and Sira instead, you would need to give specific non-Quranic references and show how this quasi-historical context would make a difference to the meaning of the selection.

It is also interesting to read the interpretations that have been given by mainstream Muslim commentators throughout the ages. These commentators certainly considered both the context within the Quran and the quasi-historical context in forming their opinions.

SA 3: “Use of the term ‘Islamo-Fascism’ means you’re saying all of Islam is fascist.”

Actually, the term “Islamo-Fascism” is a hypenated word, meaning “fascism with roots in Islam”. This is precisely the meaning that I wish to convey when discussing the ideologies of Jihad and Sharia; Islamo-Fascism is exactly what they are. If “Islamo-Fascism” meant “all of Islam is fascist”, then “African-American” would mean “all Africans are Americans”.

I can understand this confusion coming from people who are not fluent in English, or people who have a poor grasp of basic English grammar. However, I have heard this from native English speakers who otherwise seem quite intelligent and articulate, such as Alan Colmes. I can only guess that these people are objecting not because they don’t understand basic grammar, but because they don’t want the subject of fascism with roots in Islam to be discussed at all. Perhaps they would rather we believe that Lutherans and Buddhists are just as likely to engage in Jihad and promote Sharia as are Muslims. I don’t really know what goes on in the minds of Alan Colmes and others, but this seems as likely an explanation as any.

The fact is, the term “Islamo-Fascism” was first used by Algerian Muslims who were victims of Jihad, slaughtered by the tens of thousands. And, you may have guessed, they were not being killed by Lutherans and Buddhists.

“Islamo-Fascism” is roughly equivalent to “Islamism” or “political Islam”, except it makes clear that we are speaking of fascist doctrines.

SA 4: “This is typical Islam bashing from a hate-filled Islamophobe.”

This “argument”, in itself, constitutes “hate speech” in that it is attacking the person rather than addressing the points being discussed. It is an error in logic called an “ad hominem” attack. Critics of ideologies do not necessarily hate those who espouse those ideologies, nor are they necessarly “phobic” of them. In addition, most of the statements I make are also made by genuine Muslim reformers, who do not appear to be “hate-filled Islamophobes”. If it were really true that I am a hate-filled Islamophobe, making groundless, irrational “bashings” of Islam, then it would be easy to refute my statements using solid evidence and logic. I invite you to do so.

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