Fundamentalists and Extremists Are The Exceptions, Not The Rule

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This post has been cross-posted to DovBear: Don’t Judge A Group By It’s Extremists

The Westboro Baptist Church practices and preaches an extremely fundamental version of Christianity. They hold that God punishes American soldiers in Iraq because there are “Gays in the military”. They hate Jews because Jews are they killed Jesus and are the cause of fornication. They protest at shuls, Holocaust Museums and funerals of soldiers. They are fundamentalists and like many fundies are obscene, anti-social and hateful.

There are orthodox Jews who practice a very fundamental view of Judaism. They say that God killed the Haitians in a massive earthquake because of Gays in the military (or Lashon Hara) See: Why The Earthquake in Haiti Happened. They say that Hurricane Katrina was punishment for Mardi Gras. They have been known to murder innocent people for the sake of their beliefs They hate liberals because they allow for depravity such as gay marriage. They protest all over on behalf of their causes.

There are Jihadist Muslims who practice a very fundamental and oftentimes violent version of Islam. They wish to rid the world of infidels, including Jews. They have bombed and fired weapons and thrown rocks in favor of their cause. They hate pretty much everyone that is not exactly like them and have no desire to integrate into a democratic society.

There are environmentalists who believe in a very fundamental version of liberalism. They are super passionate about the environment and nature. They stand in front of bulldozers, destroy private property and call people names all to protect nature. They put their lives at risk for their cause and spend millions of dollars promoting their cause. They put their cause above all else (for example instead of procreating) See: Green Gone Wild.

In all these examples, the extremists make a lot of noise and find their way into the headlines. Would it be fair to associate these extreme elements with the more moderate practitioners of their ideologies? Of course not. I don’t want to be judged by the crazed acts of fundamentalist orthodox Jews and I am sure that moderate Muslims, Christian and Liberals feel the same way about the extremists in their ideologies.

Extremism is bad. Nobody likes it except the ones acting extreme. I find it disturbing that Islam is judged solely by its extreme and fairly recent activities. Prior to the 20th century, Muslims were far more benevolent to members of other religions than Christians were. Recently, extremists have become the face of Islam. I think that is unfortunate. It is our best interest to support moderate forms of Islam and help them fight against the extremists.

Are there dangerous forms of Islam? Yes. Are there dangerous forms of all faiths, beliefs and ideologies? Yes again. We should be working together to foster moderates who are tolerant of others in all walks of life.

  • leslie friedman

    Hmmm, how many Orthodox fundamentalist Jews have murdered innocents? Did their communities praise or condemn the acts the one or two times it may have happened? Are people everywhere fearful of their safety when Orthodox Jews build a synagogue in their town? How many Christians use their churches to plot the assassination of non-Christians? Using a few freak examples in comparison to what is de riguer in the Muslim world is unfair and untruthful. The numbers, and percentages, of Islamic extremists warrants our concern, to put it mildly. To attempt to equalize each group, as though fundamentalist and extremist elements in the other religious groups are in any way comparable to Muslim fanatics, is a potentially suicidal fantasy. Ask yourself one question: when you hear about another bombing in the news, is your first assumption that it was committed by a Jew or a Christian, Hindu or Buddhist? No! We assume it was perpetrated by Muslims till proven otherwise. And when is it proven otherwise?

  • David Bookbinder

    First of all Leslie I refer you, again, to this website:
    http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/01/not-all-terrorists-are-muslims/

    Secondly, tell me with true pure unadulterated honesty that you believe that every single Muslim is evil and out to get us. Please I beg of you. Because then it will be that much easier to dismiss that ideology which sounds suspiciously like the ideology shared by pretty much everyone on the planet for a few millenia about the Jews.

    The world does not exist in two-tone. It is not simply black and white. When we fail to see in color, the world becomes a dangerous place.

    • richard friedman

      David I saw your thread Im shocked. The argument is not about people I.E. Muslims but the source of their beliefs the Koran. You must educate yourself on it -It is bent on world domination just as Nazism and Communism were . The difference is that islam is a religious as well also a political movement. It is a belief system of intolerance and conquest, which explains why Moslem upon Moslem violence is off the charts. There are many Muslims who are decent people this in spite of the cruelty and intolerance of the belief system they were inculcated with. Treatment of religious minorites homosexuals and women is mind- boggingly- horrible; when Palestinian children are taught thatJews are descendants of pigs and apes they are weaned directly from the Koran. During world war 2 there was a strong alliance between the Nazis and Muslims- it was a natural affinity- The most widely -read books in the Muslim world are Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Hitler’s Mein Kampf. When Farrakhan cited Hitler as a great man as well as iranian hol0caust denier Ahminedejhad it was a totally natural thought within Islamic philosophy. Please open your eyes to the dangers- It might be too late for Europe

  • Not every Muslim is a terrorist, but every terrorist is a Muslim was a refrain I used to hear often. It is not now, nor has it ever been accurate. But the reality is that the fundamentalists have hijacked the religion and the moderates are doing a piss poor job of taking it back.