When people deluded by religion collide.

You get video clips like this one of a street preacher who calls a passing Muslim woman ignorant (the irony alone is worth watching the video for) and then goes on to say “Mohammad was a pedophile.” The Muslim woman hauls off and slugs the street preacher and then shouts out “Don’t talk about my prophet! I’ll kill you!” Check it:

Hemant over at The Friendly Atheist asks who’s in the wrong here?

So, be honest: What was your reaction to that?

  • I’m gonna just step back and let this thing play out…
  • The preacher was right about his take on Islam.
  • The girl was provoked and did the right thing.
  • The preacher was trying to provoke violence and got what he deserved.
  • I am so glad I’m an atheist.

Something else entirely?

My initial reaction is to pull up a chair and grab a bowl of popcorn ‘cause this could be very entertaining indeed. There’s a certain guilty pleasure in watching two people argue over which pretend God/Prophet is real. I will say that it doesn’t do the image of Islam any favors to have the Muslim woman react in the manner she did – religion of peace and love my ass – but it’s not like the Christians don’t have anything to answer for as well.  The only thing that really concerns me about this video, however, is that both of those people can vote in the next election.

13 thoughts on “When people deluded by religion collide.

  1. That question at the end; “When was the last time you saw a suicide belt on a Christian, a Jew, or an atheist?” ignores several realities.  Suicide bombings are a natural result of asymmetric warfare. At the other extreme are satellite-guided cruise missiles, Predator drones, night scopes, armored vehicles, etc. It says more about the economic success of the religions than it does about the content of the religions.

    And yeah, that preacher wanted a fight.

  2. You see the same activities from the extremists in the Western spectrum when they’ve found enough reason – witness Oklahoma City, the Atlanta Olympic bombings, and the various civil rights conflicts in the past. I think its a mistake to exclude those sorts of things from religious violence when condemning Middle Eastern violence because frankly politics and religion are are often the same thing (and that’s another huge reason I disdain religion, its disingenuous to cap your political leanings off with religion to gain credibility rather than make an informed argument.)

  3. I will say that it doesn’t do the image of Islam any favors to have the Muslim woman react in the manner she did – religion of peace and love my ass

    And what would have happend if the insult had been at a Christian about Christ?  Lots of places in the US where the reaction would have been the same.

    asymmetric warfare

    Have to agree- plenty of historical precendent for women and children fighting and invader- how is fighting to the death with a gun different to blowing yourself up?

    The kid who rolled a grenade into a US army tent is to be tried as a war criminal.  I can’t help but think the US (who incidently refuses to sign up to the war crimes tribunal) has redefined ‘war crime’ as killing a US soldier.  On the other hand Bush gave the order to fire a cruise missile at a civilian restaurent on the basis they thought Hussein MIGHT have been going there that night.

  4. Both pedophile and paedophile are acceptable spellings for the same term in American English, with pedophile being the more common of the two.

  5. LH writes…

    And what would have happend if the insult had been at a Christian about Christ?  Lots of places in the US where the reaction would have been the same.

    And I’ve had said the same thing about that as well.

  6. We have an excellent test case in the ever-gentle and respectful wink  person of PZ Myers, who insulted Catholics by desecrating a ‘consecrated’ communion wafer, Muslims by desecrating a Koran, and presumably atheists by, well, you can’t really desecrate an atheist book but by dropping a copy of The God Delusion in the trash next to a Koran and a communion wafer, sticking a rusty nail through them, and dumping in some coffee grounds and a banana peel.  He has received countless death threats against him and his family from Catholics, the Catholic league is relentlessly trying to get him fired from his position as a biology professor, and so far not a peep from the Muslim community.  Not even one death threat. 

    So in an actual road-test, are American Catholics more violent (or at least more threatening) than American Muslims?

  7. Let me see, Bay of Pigs anyone?  tongue wink
    And, for the sake of history, Muhammed married Ayesha when she was SIX years old. The marriage was not consumated until she was nine. Patience is a virtue!

  8. PZ dumped some coffee grounds and a banana peel in the garbage, not in the compost?  Shame on him.

    LH- don’t go that road, unless you are willing to defend “æra”, “æthereal”, “encyclopædia”, and “Ægypt” as well.  It’s a sad fact, but spellings do change.

  9. LH- “mangle” is just another word for “evolve”.  I can get just as exercised over “bad” spelling as anyone else (my pet peeves, for what it’s worth, are the internet specialities “definately”, “arguement”, “there” and “your” for “their” and “you’re”, and possessive “it’s”), but in the end, or better said, as we go along, the forces of linguistic evolution will prevail.  If they didn’t, we’d still be saying stuff like:

    HWÆT, WE GAR-DEna in geardagum,
    þeodcyninga þrym gefrunon,
    hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon!

    Now, I admit I love Old English, the language of this Beowulf quote, and Chaucer and Shakespeare too, not to mention the Middle High German stuff my wife and I perform.  But for me, the important thing is depth and precision of expression, not some particular point in the evolution of language.

    The mavens of “correct” language usage often don’t seem to realize that they are not only fighting a losing battle against the forces of change, but that their position can only be a most arbitrary one:  exactly where can one draw a line and say “this is correct; what went before this and what comes after is wrong”?

  10. I’m with you, Les.  It really depresses me that these people can vote.  If it was only Christians and Muslims that would be killed in a holy crusade or a jihad, then I’d have a big bowl of popcorn and a lawn chair on my front porch.  The problem is not that these people believe what they believe without evidence or even that they try to convert people like me.  The problem is that because I don’t believe I am seen as a threat to them.  They make me an enemy when I seriously could not care less, and since they feel threatened, I need to be ‘put in my place’ or in extreme cases, imprisoned or killed.

    I’m beginning to think that the “Great Atheist Threat” comes from the fact that we seem perfectly happy without God.  If we were miserable, then we’d be the loyal opposition.  They’d actually need us as an object lesson.  But since we aren’t miserable, we become a reason for others to leave the faith.  That’s what bothers them.  We don’t have to preach to convert.  We don’t have to try.  We have reality making our case for us 24/7. They do have to try.  They have to make the ordinary into magic.  They have to reinforce on a daily basis sometimes that logic does not apply to their religion, and that it is perfectly normal (even desirable) not to use logic.  Given that kind of environment, it would make anyone touchy about their faith.  They can’t afford to let things slide.  They HAVE to be right, otherwise what’s the point?  I can’t imagine a better recipe for holy wars than that.  Christians have had 600 years longer than the Muslims to get over violence as the primary means to shut up the ‘heretics’, but that doesn’t mean they’ve ceased trying to shut people up.  They’re much more creative, but no less dangerous in the long run if they succeed.

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