This is what happens when you don't actually read the post but just jump straight in on your favourite hobby horse.

This is Ann's first comment to this post.

All Ann appears to have read in my post is the first paragraph. If she had read the whole post she would have noticed that most of it was about the similarities between legalistic Islam and legalistic Judaism and Christianity. That was the whole point of the post.

But it never stops there. People then comment on the comment of the person who didn't bother reading the post and the whole thread gets hijacked by people hurling insults at each other instead of addressing the post itself that had taken hours to put together.

And calling a friend a racist at the first opportunity is a bit off. The statement, "Islam is a bad religion" is only a racist statement if Richard Dawkins having a go at Christianity is racist. I have every right to say I think a particular ideology is destructive and oppressive. I never once said Muslims were a bad idea but Ann and others constantly commented as if I had.

One of the most painful things about blogging is when you end up being the fall guy in someone else's guilt trip.

So, please stop it.

Thank you to the few of you who did bother to read the post and get what it was actually about.



  1. Now, MP, in all fairness you linked to your first post in which you initially made your claim about Islam and the entire first paragraph of the next post was a restatement of that belief of yours.

    And IMHO I don’t see what was in Ann’s comment that got your panties into such a bunch…

    Of course, once the mud was flung that was a different story further down…

    But IMHO as an experienced blogger surely you realize that when you make such a significant link between posts you can’t get all upset when a commenter follows your lead and still addresses earlier ideas?

    You really should consider just going down to your local pub, quaffing a few pints, and then picking a fight with one of the locals to work off your aggression…isn’t that what you working class hetero Brit males do?

  2. And as an aside…

    I’m not quite sure what the point is behind actually leaving a note that says “I’m leaving/taking a break/going on hiatus from your blog.” Jeez, just do it. Don’t make a big production of it. Unless what you REALLY want is Jonathan to say “oh no please don’t go, I’ll be good.”

    Which is sick.

    Tracie (waiting for the flames)

  3. Not to mention, Tracie, that we could be getting into a “how dare you publish my private e-mail message” meme…just sayin.

    (heading for the fall out shelter)

  4. So what if it’s my belief? I think lots of things are a bad idea. I think Chinese communism is a bad idea. That doesn’t make me a racist.

  5. I didn’t say that…but I also didn’t get that from Ann’s comment either.

    I wholeheartedly agree that you are entitled to that belief and I would like to continue to be able to listen to your arguments when they are not simply saying “I’m right, you’re wrong – Americans just don’t know…yadda, yadda, yadda…feckin liberals this and feckin liberals that…”

    I still think that you are taking examples from history that relate to Islam and ignoring the greater context of geopolitics of that region amongst many empires, tribes, and faiths and using that as your example of how Islam is a bad idea.

    What I would like to hear from you would be more specific info directing me to sources so I can understand your point of view and see where I may me lacking in information and/or suffering from a bias in previous historical analysis. That would go a long way to convincing me of your argument over just bashing American liberals…no matter what they call you in the meantime.

  6. Let’s get this straight, I am most definitely attacking modern Western liberalism in my post (I didn’t even realise you Americans had your own liberalism although I should have guessed you would).

    The Eastern Church over the last 2000 years is a huge subject but “The Lost History Of Christianity” by Philip Jenkins (an American scholar) is good for the broad sweep. As for Islam I suggest your read the Qur’an (in English, of course).

  7. Ok, so I zip over to Amazon to check out the book you have recommended, I will likely order it as it sounds interesting. However, I’m a bit confused as I would expect this book would support your argument against Islam, so imagine my surprise when I read the following in one of the starred reviews…
    “They consisted of hundreds of bishoprics from Egypt and Abyssinia to India and China, with the greatest concentration in Mesopotamia. For centuries, they got along well with neighbor faiths, especially Islam. But the pressure of invaders into Islamic-ruled lands, from the East (Mongols and Turks) even more devastatingly than from the West (the Crusades), and the fact that Christians often allied with those invaders, eventually provoked savage reaction from Muslims, especially, and most lethaly, from Islamicized-Turks.” Perhaps you are really mad at the Turks who brought their violence to Islam when they converted? Just sayin…

  8. What?!!! You think I read books and just agree with everything the author writes. I don’t even do that with the Bible, mate. The author is very careful not to demonise Islam. That’s why I suggested it to you. I don’t cheat.

  9. Islam isn’t a race.

    How can criticising it be a “racist” thing?


    That’s right up there with the “you can’t say ‘illegal immigrant’ any more – you have to say ‘undocumented worker’ because ‘illegal immigrant’ is a racist slur!”

    Bullshit! If the word “illegal” is a “racist slur” then someone needs to tell me which race it refers to.

    This PC nonsense is so stupid and pisses me off so fiercely it makes me want to utterly spit.

    (waits for the flames to begin)

  10. One thing you’ve obviously run up against is the current trend amongst the socially/politically liberal to cut Islam a whole lot of slack, based primarily upon the Israeli-Palestinian kerfuffle. That’s definitely one of the handful of issues where liberal politics and I part ways (not that the conservative elements of the Israeli gov’t are much better 😛 )

    Your post, if one read the entire thing, was just fine and classic MP. Any charge of “racism” is nonsensical and rather puzzling. And as for being too hard on Islam ? Heck, I don’t even cut my own religion much slack.

  11. Thanks, David. I often condemn Israel for it’s policies against the Palestinians and, most definitely, the overlooked Christians in the West Bank. I also, at the time, condemned most vehemently the Serbs as they committed genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Muslims of Bosnia. But these things were about people and the subject of my recent “controversial” posts has been an ideology. It annoys me that we can’t have a reasonable discussion about ideas without someone immediately trying to make the conversation all about people so that they can hurl accusations of prejudice all over the place. And it’s always either Islam or Judaism that garner such responses. When I say that Buddhism is a bad idea people argue with me about the doctrines of Buddhism. They don’t accuse me of being prejudiced against Buddhists (which, of course, I’m not, but I’m not prejudiced against Muslims either, I just think the Islamic religion is inherently unable to ever align itself with what we would label enlightened, inclusive, modern moral thinking).

  12. Well, I took the weekend and thought about this…and remembered a book I have read, called “The Faith Club.” It is about how 3 women (one Muslim, one Jew, one Christian) got together for a project – a children’s book describing the similarities between the three faiths. It was initiated by Ranya Idliby, the Muslim woman, because she was having some problems reconciling her Muslim faith with the violent BS that led to 9-11. These women live and work in NYC, and their faiths all took a big hit in different ways when the planes hit the WTC. These three women describe what they went through in coming to understand each other’s faiths as they worked on this project.

    Ranya’s form of Muslim faith seems very hugely mystical, and I kind of identified with this kind of faith.

    I HIGHLY recommend “The Faith Club” to anyone. I have it on my Nook, and I’m sure it’s available on Kindle too.

    I stopped hating Christians because of the people here.

    I could stop being suspicious of Muslims because of people like Ranya, or one of my coworkers who is Muslim.

    I’m sick and freaking tired of it all. I’m so frustrated with the backbiting and hatred and anger and accusations and all that, I could just collapse in screaming tears.

    ok sorry…

  13. Tracie, thanks for the recommendation of the book. The Faith Club sounds like something I’d like to read.

    Christian, Muslim, Jew: ‘You will know them by their fruits.’