Monday, December 2, 2013

Karen Armstrong blames the West for the problems with Islam

One of the few people on earth that apologizes for Islam and has the ear of Western leaders.  A dangerous combination that she has exploited for a number of years.  Her claim to fame is her collaboration with John Esposito on a Gallup poll/book that purported to show the number of "moderate" Muslims worldwide.  Problem was they cooked the numbers to inflate the actual number and published those numbers as a fact.  She is a former nun who is under the spell of Islam, and has numerous issues with both anti-jihadists but also with much of the religious world, except Islam.

Keep her name in mind for she always pops up.  Her book on M Uhammad is a good read for the history, not so good for learning about true Islamic ideology.

From FPM November 28 by Andrew Harrod

Karen Armstrong’s 9/11 British Empire Blowback Thesis

“We did this,” popular British religion writer Karen Armstrong said in a November 21, 2013, keynote address at Georgetown University in reference to her country’s imperial history and Al Qaeda’s September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Speaking to Georgetown’s Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) Armstrong clearly showed with bizarre, anti-Western self-accusatory explanations for jihadist violence how “I like to turn the finger against myself first.”

“We have all done terrible things,” Armstrong stated at ACMCU’s 20th anniversary conference on “Muslim-Christian Relations in the 21st Century: Challenges & Opportunities.” Armstrong in particular was “very conscious as a person of the British Empire” about how “we are all implicated” in problems afflicting Muslims globally. Armstrong referenced Anglo-French involvement during World War I in determining Middle Eastern borders and Pakistan’s “almost impossible” borders derived from Indian partition in 1947. Armstrong also considered “our Palestinian mess” as a British sin inciting Muslim violence today.

American drone strikes around the world and “new images of Muslim suffering” following America’s military regime change in Iraq added to Armstrong’s anti-Western litany. “Disgraceful” also for Armstrong was global poverty such as the “people in the world who do not have clean water.” Reverently referencing “Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him,” Armstrong cited an Islamic hadith about the immorality of sleeping while others hunger. In light of all this suffering, Armstrong rejected making Islam a “scapegoat” for the “violent sins of the 20th century.”

“Muslim pain, Muslim suffering” and the “desire to do something about it” were thus Armstrong’s explanation for violence from groups like Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda videos, for example, presented a “collage of pain” and yet “we don’t see the half of it.” “Self-interested policies have blown up in our face,” Armstrong concluded, and demanded that people “look at these images of pain.”

“Hiroshima and 9/11” result from deficient personal reflection, Armstrong concluded. Armstrong compared impersonal killing from the “high altitudes” of World War II bombers to “killing from a helicopter” and criticized Westerners for being a “privileged caste” removed from the world. In contrast, “weeping together creates bonds between human beings.” Armstrong argued that the world should have wept for Muslims following 9/11 just as the Greek playwright Aeschylus mourned for his enemies slain at the Battle of Salamis in The Persians.

Armstrong perceived no threat in any given religion such as Islam, for all faiths according to her have a “version of the Golden Rule.” Armstrong saw religious fundamentalisms “rooted in a profound fear of elimination,” not any aggressive ideology, such that they became “more extreme” under attack by military force and media. The tearing off of women’s veils by Iranian troops under the Shah, for example, incited a backlash of Shiite fundamentalism. The present Islamic Republic of Iran, meanwhile, elicited from Armstrong merely the comment that the “Iranian revolution is still continuing.”

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