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Islam and its Adolescence

As far as I can tell, Islam is experiencing its own version of adolescence. We Christians had one too, some of you may have heard of it; the Crusades. Granted I'm no master of theology, but that’s just the way I see it, especially after finally getting around to watching the parts of the documentary 'Islam vs. Islamist,' which, though funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, was blocked from airing on PBS's 'America at a Crossroads' series, allegedly because of political bias at PBS

I say "allegedly" because I have no way of knowing for certain, but if I had to bet, based on its history, it certainly sounds pretty reasonable to me. Yeah, I know I'm sort of behind the curve in this case, as Fox has been airing this for a while now, I just haven't been watching TV when they ran it, so I went and downloaded it instead.

Some of that stuff is really scary, and, as I mentioned before, it further reinforced my belief that Islam is in its teenage years and embroiled in an internal battle that will determine its survival. Just like when we are teens, we have an extremist and a reasonable side, an analogy being maybe deciding whether to go out and get completely wasted with your friends, or stay home and study.

Yes, you'll have plenty of other people telling you what you should do, but in the end, it all comes down to your OWN choice. Islam is faced with that situation today. Its inner struggle is between the radical Jihadist sect of Islam and the moderates, who advocate separation of church and state, democracy, etc., and no matter how much Westerners or others try to dictate to them what's right and wrong, it can only be Islam and its followers who arrive to that decision.

That's why I feel it's so important for documentaries like this to be seen, as it's very hard to hear the voice of moderate Muslims over those of the extremists.Luckily, PBS in Oregon will be airing 'Islam vs Islasmist' in August, and hopefully other public television stations will follow suit.

Also, if you are interested in hearing what REAL moderate Muslims are talking about, check out the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.

About RePo

  • zingzing

    this has been said before. luckily, we christians grew out of all that nastiness, right? ahh, let’s just forget the catholic/protestant schism and its political/violent fallout, the inquisition, the kkk, fred phelps, cbn…

    we’re no angels.

  • RePo

    I mentioned the crusades within 5 lines, maybe you should try reading before commenting, you’ll come across smarter ;-). Christianity is far from perfect, but, at the same time, we are also no longer waging holy wars. And don’t even start about Bush and Iraq being a holy war, as funny as it is that some people are dumb enough to believe that, that is not the point of what I’m saying.

  • zingzing

    you did mention the crusades, but you forgot to mention all of these other things that happened in the decades and centuries after our supposed “adolescence” “ended”… maybe you ought to read a little more carefully, because you’ll note that i skipped right past the crusades, and you’ll also note that i obviously DID read your article.

    ;-) or whatever.

    i don’t think our current war in iraq is religious for everyone… but when bush says, “god told me to invade iraq,” it makes it kinda obvious that it is to him. of course, he’s not the brightest bulb of all the boobs running this thing. maybe cheney just whispered it in his ear one night after giving bush his milk.

    that said, thanks for letting us know about this program, as i hadn’t heard of it.

  • RePo

    They still don’t really compare with the scale of Jihadism in Islam at the moment though, Christianity has definitely mellowed out compared to what it used to be.

  • zingzing

    oh, they compare… terrorism is terrorism. during the inquisition, those who did not convert were killed for it. and it was state-sanctioned!

    in england during the 15th and 16th centuries, being catholic was like putting a price on your head. then, a couple of years later, being protestant meant the same thing. then, it would switch back…

    during the reconstruction right up through the civil rights movement and beyond, a radical “christian” group in the united states took it upon themselves to terrorize a group of people based on their skin color. (that being the kkk, of course.) and why? they hated them for their “freedom.”

    yes, christianity has mellowed out. but, if you’re really defining christianity’s “adolescence” as the crusades and nothing more, you’re not being honest about our past.

    christianity committed many atrocities against others and fought internally for centuries before calming down. islam could very well do the same.

    if anything, by downplaying christianity’s centuries of stupidity, you downplay the threat that is radical islam. this could go on for hundreds of years before they calm down!

    by saying “they’re just being stupid, like teenagers” and then saying, “they should follow christianity’s example,” you’re wishing a world of hurt upon us. and by misunderstanding or lying to yourself about christianity’s past, you miss a chance to understand the motivations of radical islam. let’s just HOPE they don’t have our same tolerance for radical religious persecution.

    this world is a lot smaller than it used to be, and everyone is in everyone else’s business now. we (america, christianity, whatever) are involved in their mess. we should point to our own failures as fair warning that they shouldn’t do the same.

  • RePo

    “christianity committed many atrocities against others and fought internally for centuries before calming down. islam could very well do the same.”

    exactly, we’ve been through it, so we know what can happen, and I hate to say it, but they way things went for Christianity was probably the best it could have gone.

  • zingzing

    “the way things went for Christianity was probably the best it could have gone.”

    FOR christianity, yes, maybe. but not those for in christianity’s path towards relative stability. just ask the jews, the germanic pagan tribes, those conquered by christian empire-builders, the english, native americans, the african-americans, the homosexuals, some of whom were christian themselves… christianity cut a nice chunk of the earth out of the west and remade it in its own image to a large degree, and it wasn’t all peaceful. not by a longshot.

    in our history, the radicals won. or at least had large amounts of success. hopefully, their time is done.

  • zingzing

    that’s “but not FOR THOSE in…”

  • RePo

    While you make some nice points, I feel you may have missed the point of this article a little bit. EVERY religion has had its share of extremism and has a period where the religion must decide in what direction it wants to go in, a large majority of it anyway, and no outside influence can determine that. Which brings us Islam, which is itself going through that period right now.

  • Lee Richards

    A religion that sends everybody else to eternal damnation and hellfire probably isn’t quite as placid and innocent as it may seem. More like the dormant volcano that still might erupt at any time.

    Anyone who is convinced he has a monopoly on eternal truth and is one of God’s chosen instruments is potentially very dangerous. And I think a fair number of Christians would say that the war on terrorism is a fight for their faith against a religious enemy.

  • zingzing

    repo, i was just trying to make sure you didn’t let christianity off as lightly as you seem to in the article.

  • bliffle

    It never seems to end, does it, the thirst of the hyper-religionists for infidels blood? The doctrines of moral superiority, the denigration of infidels. It’s still going on in christianity and judaism, even after all these years. The most violent and radical are merely muted, temporarily.

    Ascribing todays excesses to ‘adolescence’ is to suggest that some imagined process of maturation will end these aberrant behaviours, but since no such thing happens even among humans, we have little hope. Even ‘mature’ adults will hang infidel blacks from a tree. Right here in Mature Christian USA.

    What we need is an end to belief in spooks. The only benign religion is a dead religion.

  • moonraven


    I ABSOLUTELY WILL start with Iraq being Bush’s Holy War.

    The crosseyed crackpot (George the Chicken-hearted) setting a country off to war because God told him to do it is even more of an “adolescent” response than the very cynical and politically astute capers the popes and the bloodthirsty (Richard the Lion-hearted, etc.) got up to from the 11th through the 15th centuries.

    The entire premise of your piece is bogus and racist–when not just plain silly.

  • Lumpy

    Oops. Wrong thread. Thought the title was ‘iran and its obsolescence’ but I must have misread it.

  • RePo

    Making a comment about the internal struggles of a religion is racist? Islam is a race? Guess I missed that day in class.

  • zingzing

    repo, meet moonraven. she’s a socialist! she’s from canada, used to live in the u.s., but now resides in old mexico. she’s a teacher, a poet, a journalist, a seller on ebay, a consultant and all sorts of other thingies!

    she hates everyone on this site, everyone in america, every white person and every male! if you open your mouth as one of the above groups, you are a racist, a mysoginist and a liar! she knows more than you and doesn’t mind telling you so.

    she is blonde and of a fair complexion. she likes to take vacations. she is not bitter or ever wrong, as you always are in her eyes. even when she agrees with you, remember, you are (presumably) a white male american and a liar, so therefore, you are lying to her and you are wrong anyway. get used to it.

  • Zedd


    I don’t know what the hostage hold that the West has on the rest of the world will be interpreted as in the future. I would guess that Christian us will not be considered to be done with our terrorism of everyone else on this planet at this point in our history.

  • Zedd


    I don’t think that the THING that caused people to hang blacks was religion. It was a dehumanization of people who are different.

    You see the Jihadists real problem is that yes they are angry at us because of our policies and how they feel they are affected by them. Moreover, they would harm us because they don’t see out humanity. They’ve been brainwashed and simply don’t see us to be just people.

  • Clavos

    “I don’t think that the THING that caused people to hang blacks was religion. It was a dehumanization of people who are different.”

    I agree. Religion had nothing to do with it.

    It was ignorance and xenophobia driven.

  • gonzo marx

    well now..Religion is one of the dehumanizing influences…some can even contend it’s #1 on that hit parade

    infidel,heathen, dirt worshipper and other epithets have all been hurled at non-believers in the name of Religion

    in all of the religious wars it was deemed ok by the “holy men” since the heathens had no souls…or it was “god’s work” to kill them off

    just a Thought


  • bliffle

    Ignorance and xenophobia are the children of religion. Every religion promotes ignorance, the better to control their subjects. The christians burn “Lady Chatterleys Lover” and the muslims demand the death of Rushdie. The Scientologists sue people who try to quote their own documents. Religion infiltrates political structures and exacerbates invidious comparison with other cultures.

  • moonraven


    From what I read in your silly article, as well as what you have commented, it is clear that you know squat about Islam.

    The former Cat Stevens gave an interesting interview at the end of the Live Earth Hamburg concert to some folks from here (Mexico) which appeared in La Jornada this morning. In it he made some good comments about the struggles of Islam to become accepted in The West. I do not know if it is available somewhere in Internet to
    English-only folks.

    As for zing’s foolish comments about me–of course he is wrong: I am not a socialist (although I believe it is a legitimate option–especially since capitalism has led to the impoverishment of most of the planet), was born in the US and am a US citizen, have never in even my wildest moments considered selling ANYTHING on eBay, and do not hate anyone–but do hold racists, liars, misogynists, skinny white guys who can’t dance, puerile brits and assholes in general in very LOW esteem.

  • Clavos

    “assholes in general”

    Aawwriight!!! I made the list!!!

  • moonraven

    Leave it to clavos to say the obvious….

  • RePo

    socialism is an option…..ok, your credibility, what little was left of it, evaporated there. Can’t agree with someone? Insult em, right? That kind of thinking, from both far ends of the political spectrum, needs to stop for any real progress to be made

  • gonzo marx

    “That kind of thinking, from both far ends of the political spectrum, needs to stop for any real progress to be made”

    Quote for Truth


  • moonraven

    There will be no progress–real or even illusionary–until folks like you realize that you need to get an education.

    Foolish kid–you think socialism is NOT an option? Tell that to the Norwegians.

  • RePo

    Last time I checked Norway was a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system similar to the UK. Social democrats are not the same thing as true socialists. And, thank you for helping me to prove my point with the unfounded and inaccurate insults.

  • Dr Dreadful

    THANK you, RePo! Most Americans seem to have trouble telling the difference.

  • moonraven

    Excuse me, but this poster is the one saying that what you folks are calling socialists are social democrats.

    Example: the government of Venezuela under the first 8 years of Chavez was essentially one of social democrats. (But of course the fools in the US and the majority of same on this site inistsed that it was hard-line communist.)

    In this, the 9th year of Chavez’ government, the government is moving towards 21st Century Socialism–which means more centralization of certain activities and increased nationalization of resources and key enterprises.

    [Personal attack deleted]

  • RePo

    Well, let’s see first you called me a racist for talking about the inner struggles of a RELIGION, then you told me a good example of socialism working was Norway, a Constitutional Monarchy where more than have the government needs to be a member of the church of Norway at any given time for it to be a legal government, and that is a Lutheran church btw, I know that socialists are big on religion, right? But I’M the undereducated one. Right. Hehe.

  • moonraven

    The socialists I know–including Hugo Chavez–are VERY big on religion.

    That’s why Chavez always refers to Jesus as The First Socialst.

    Get a GED.

  • troll

    RePo and Dreadful – as you see it other than nationalization what is the defining difference between true socialists – social democrats and democratic socialists

    a matter of centralized planning – ?

  • http://LesPaulisanexcellentguitarplayerwithanadmirablegraspofgoodjazz. bliffle

    I’ve never directed my ire at MR before, but now she’s gone too far:

    “#27 — July 12, 2007 @ 18:02PM — moonraven

    There will be no progress–real or even illusionary–until folks like you realize that you need to get an education.”

    Though true, such incendiary ideas should not be voiced lest the frail egos of Certain BC Contributors be disturbed and lead to radical acts.

  • moonraven

    Radical acts:

    1. Getting a GED

    2. Learning to read

    3. Getting a driver’s license

    4. Seeing a dermatologist

    5. Asking your mom to buy liver more often (a la Portnoy)….

  • RePo

    A GED, aiming high huh MR? When someone proves you wrong, insult them right? Sounds like you might be the one who needs to revisit education.

  • moonraven

    As an educational consultant to various universities around the planet, I revisit education very regularly, thanks.

    And if you mean dusting off my PhD from 1972–I don’t do housecleaning.