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Come Reason's Apologetics Notes blog will highlight various news stories or current events and seek to explore them from a thoughtful Christian perspective. Less formal and shorter than the Web site articles, we hope to give readers points to reflect on concerning topics of the day.

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Monday, June 27, 2005

Disinformation in "Muslims in America"

Morgan Spurlock had aired a television show looking at trying to understand different types of people in the U.S., but don't expect any objectivity from the show. 30 Days , Spurlock's series on Fox cable channel F/X sought to document the changing views of individuals who are placed in a radically different environment for thirty days. The show was entitled "Muslims in America" and looked to see what happens when a "fundamentalist Christian" is asked to live and worship as a Muslim. BBC News reported this as one of Spurlock's favorites:
"We took a fundamentalist Christian from my home state of West Virginia, somebody who is very pro-war, pro-'us versus them,' that when you hear Muslim the only thing he thinks of is a guy standing on a mountain with an AK-47," Spurlock said.
The man leaves his wife and children at home and goes to live with a Muslim family in Dearborn, Michigan, home to one of the largest Muslim populations in the United States.

"He dresses as a Muslim, eats as a Muslim, he prays five time a day, he studies the Koran daily, he learns to speak Arabic, he works with an imam, a Muslim cleric, to learn the history of Islam, what are the five pillars, why are they important." And the transformation this guy goes through in 30 days is "miraculous, it's incredible," Spurlock said.
This all sounds interesting, but the main problem comes in when you find out that the "documentary" is nothing of the sort. The show's producers had the outcome determined even before they started shooting, according to Debbie Schlussel, a reporter and commentator who specializes in fundamentalist Islam.

In her blog Schlussel writes, "When I met David Stacy, I was amazed at how ignorant and uninformed he was. This newly-inducted 'expert' on Islam never heard of Wahhabism--the extremist Sunni strain of Islam that now dominates the religion. He was unfamiliar with terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. He did not believe me that Hezbollah murdered hundreds of U.S. Marines and civilians in Beirut and elsewhere. He seemed mystified to learn that President Bush shut down American Islamic charities, like the Holy Land Foundation and Global Relief Foundation, for funding Hamas and Al Qaeda. He hadn't a clue about taqiyyah, the Koranic principle allowing deception of non-Muslims."

Schlussel then writes, "Spurlock planned the outcome of this 'immersion' show and he found the perfect tabula rasa in Stacy. Spurlock also found the perfect 'experts' and 'key members' of Detroit's Islamic community to propagandize their easily swayed dupe.

"Paul Findley is listed as an 'expert' consultant for the show. A non-Muslim with no special knowledge of Islam, Findley's real expertise is having been an anti-Israel congressman who was defeated when he was targeted by Jewish groups. Another 'expert' is Muqtedar Khan, a faux moderate professor with close ties to Muslim extremist group, Al Muhajiroun, as documented by Militant Islam Monitor."


  1. I'd imagine that learning the whole nuances of the religion from 30 days of living as a Muslim would be a little hard to ask. (If he's American, why doesn't he know about the bombing of Marines in Beirut, Marines who were of course helping a murderous and illegal Israeli occupation and whose deaths lie on the shoulders of Sharon and Reagan as well as the Islamic resistance? Seems like an interesting question).

    I wonder if a new Christian would hear about the brutality of the Crusades or the American bombing of South Vietnam, North Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. I wonder if they would know of Paul's interesting position regarding the proper role of people versus the state expressed in Romans. Christian atrocities.

    (By the way: I'm Buddhist. You Middle Eastern religions and your one-god-rules-all attitude don't bother me.)

  2. Hmm illegal Israeli occupation? What defines who is the "legal" owner? If you trace history back practically every foot of this planet was taken or been exchanged through bloodshed. Do you own land because you stepping in it first? Are you really the descendant of the person to step foot on the land or people who moved in after the original people left. "Legal" is a man made concept, that is completely relative. All people are sinners, without a absolute standard, people will continue to be sinners.

    Hmm, interesting you mention Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Whose governments ruthlessly tortured and executed their own people once left to their own devices. Ever heard of Pol Pot? Ever heard of the Hmong people? Using your line of thinking should we create scorecards of atrocities. Whoever commits the most is the worst offender? So what happens to the guy in second place, who just tortured 1000 people, he's a nice guy? The Bible tells us all of mankind is under judgement.

    Well if a new Christian asked me about the topics and website you mentioned. I would tell him to not let these things waver his faith. In fact it confirms the warnings from the Bible, not everyone who claims he comes in Christ's name is Christian. If you wanted to be the best accountant in the world would you quit because of deeds someone else did in Enron? That is why Paul tell us Christians that when we run the race we must make sure we ourselves are not disqualified.

    I'm surprised that Christian attitudes don't bother you. As in the Bible it says God will come and throw sinners into hell. That the Word of God is the only standard and that without Christ as your savior you will not be saved. Both Buddhism and Chritianity can't be both right.

  3. " Buddism and Christianity can't both be right "

    Yeah but they can both be wrong.

    Actually the way I see it all religions can be right if the people practicing them don't inflict their moral views on others.

    All religions have equal merit in the knowledge they contain and the valuable sense of morality they can bring.

    Also all religions can be equally destructive when they are a source of bigotry, predujice and blinkered ignorance.

    If there is only one God up there, well then, dude, y'all are praying to the same God.

    Do you really think God has such an ego that he ( or she, or it ) is bothered by the intricacies of how an individual expresses ones faith?

    lol, you guys make me laugh.

  4. so far we have History, land, Muslims, buddhist, and Christians. Well time and The Word proves people are jerks. All land belongs to God (science itself hints at a temperary use permit). All we have left is faith and jerks. For the sake of argument, You are a dying person in need of immediate attention. Who will help you?
    First, comes yer muslim neighbor, Jews and Christians are called people of the book, they get special privlage, join islam, pay the jizya(high tax) and live under the subjugation of islamic law( dont try stealing kids ), or DIE. That is the real koranic truth. Oh and my buddhist buddy, you get no special treatment, you are an idolator to muslims, you just Die. A fun read is the politically incorect guide to islam.
    second, comes yer buddhist nieghbor, hmmm, lets see, he is far too busy trying to get out of this endless cycle of karma, death and that pesky rebirth thing. If he really is into his world view then not only will he give up ALL that he is for the sake of reaching oneness with EVERYTHING ( no fun at a party, or a family reunion ), He should walk past your poor dying soul and think that it is a favor he is doing for you by letting you die because that is yer Karma, You had it comming from a past life. so he would not help you in order that you may pay yer karmic debt and be released from the suffering of death and rebirth or be born into a better life next time. fun!!!
    Finally comes a silly Chritian, he is dying too just like everyone else. If he really believes his world view, then it is his duty to help. Feed you if yer hungry, give you water if yer thirsty or clothe you when yer naked, no matter what you believe. Jesus was clear about who are the sheep and who are the goats (heaven vs hell) he never said which religion wins.
    The point is this who will save your life unconditionally, without a cost to you? here are three different people with three different world views. Which one is more conducive to living in yer time of need?

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. It seems that "Fatboy" who dislikes those imposing their moral views on others has stated "Also all religions can be equally destructive when they are a source of bigotry, predujice and blinkered ignorance." has a ring or imposition about his moral view on those he disagrees with no?

  7. Wow, how very insightful of some of the posts but it does make for good hearty laughter. Frederic (our own Buddhist) tells me that he doesn’t care about our Middle Eastern Religions, I am sure you mean Western Religions. If you were a Buddhist you would realise that the one of the most important principles of Buddhism is acceptance, I guess you never read that part, please do and then realise exactly what you said. The only person with insight and who made sense was Fatboy although I have to agree with AC, where do you stand? Supermechace, well let us assume that the bible you are talking about is correct, then I have to agree with Fatboy even more, do you truly believe that God needs a human to fight His battles? Do you truly believe that we are all under judgement? I don’t even want to go into the manipulation of the bible (I don’t think people are allowed that space in the comments) but your weak argument that governments who torture people should be punished, that is your train of thought. Tell me, what are the marines doing in Iraq? Why did the US allow the use of weapons of mass destruction, twice! (By the way, the only country ever to use atomic weapons is the country who today tells us how wrong it is and wants every other country do destroy their weapons of mass destruction yet they themselves still go on manufacturing it). You are right, there is a warning in the bible, the wolf and the sheep and unfortunately the wolf is not whom you think it is. Then we got Craig’s comments, a true master regarding Buddhist beliefs it seems yet has not a single clue what it is about. If you had any sense of science you would know that you are a part of everything, regardless of your beliefs and if you read your bible (which I can tell you don’t) then this is also something that you would have picked up.

    All killing is wrong, there is nothing we can say to justify the taking of a human life. Just funny how some call themselves Christians but when it comes to judging others they are there with their Muslim counterparts. When the Muslims bombed the Buddhist temples not one Christian said a word of condemnation, they cheered and applaud the action. When Jews kills Muslims nobody but the Muslim complains, when the Muslims kills the Jews the Christians condemn them immediately, then the Christians kills the Jews it is justified and the Muslims joins the parade, if Jews kills the Christians the Christians complain and kills a Jew and again the Muslim joins in the parade. Tell me, has any killing ever solved anything?

  8. Thanks, Antz, for your attempt at reason. However, your diatribe was full of incomplete and generalized innuendo; nothing of a thoughtful, intellectual analysis. Most of the rest were merely attempts, also.

    First, remember that not all who call themselves Christians are truly followers of Christ. Second, not everyone who claims Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism or any other world religion are true adherents to the core of their faith. So, the question we must ask to judge a faith (and no, all religions are not compatible, as they all make exclusive claims) ought to be: "How does a true disciple of any faith live out the tenets of his belief?"

    So that we don't get distracted by pointing out who best represents any religious faith, let us instead then go to the founder of that faith. Look at the life of Siddhartha Buddha, Mohammed and Jesus. (Since there is no historically recorded individual responsible for the 300 million + gods of the Hindi systems of faith, take your pick of the leader of a sect.)

    I'll admit to not knowing too much about Buddha, except that he is really just one of those Hindu sect leaders - one who rebelled against the caste system inherent in Hinduism. Mohammed's life includes many points easily criticizable (like a 9-year-old wife, a career start as a caravan raider and the blood of thousands on his hands). Judaism's starts were in the hands of men like Abraham, a liar, Moses, a murderer, King David, an adulterer/murderer/liar, etc.

    All these truths show that these religions, however inspired, were in the hands of men. Christianity, in Jesus' hands, gives the only glimpse, if you can receive it, of a life lived perfectly and a love shown sacrificially. No other "founder" of a faith has ever performed the miracles done by Jesus, lived perfectly as did Jesus, claimed to be God as did Jesus, or gone to his own death in order to save all of mankind from the disease we all know we suffer from.

    Jesus' words, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father except through me," should speak to us that Jesus made a very exclusive claim. Either you accept the testimony about him and are forced, by logic, to follow him with abandon, or you simply deny him, as many do, and argue about the other faith groups as to which one would best suit you.

    God leaves the decision up to you. Don't make the mistake of making generalizations about history and persons you never knew and cannot know. Get to know the One who promised he would never leave us nor forsake us. You will be faced with the same choice we all are: Jesus was either true in claiming Lordship (as God in the flesh), or he was crazy or a big liar, in which case he should be disregarded. Don't change him to suit your own belief. Take him for who he said he was.

    Then follow him so that others don't question Jesus because of your example.


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