Here’s a provocative assertion:
“The recent Pew survey shows that Islam is the fastest growing religion, not because people are converting to Islam, but because they’re having more babies. The fertility rate is much higher than that of any other religious group. That means we’re going to have more and more children growing up with the default presumption that they’re Muslims.
“I think, however, that it’s not going to be as standard, obvious, or routine for them to stay Muslims when they grow up. Islam has a long, unfortunate tradition of treating apostates very severely, and I think that we’re going to see more of that. And I think that it’s going to backfire.
“How former Muslims or children of Muslims engage in the world in the next 20 years is a very, very important question. And I don’t have any clue as to how it’s going to work out.”
That’s a quote from Daniel Dennett, co-author of Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Faith Behind. Read more of his musings on religiosity in America here: “The end of religion as we know it”
The jury of public opinion is still out about whether ISIS had anything to do with the shootings in Garland, Texas, but there’s no doubt they’re still causing havoc in the Middle East.
This week’s target? The ancient city of Palmyra. (One place to read about it: The Ancient Wonders Of Palmyra Are At Risk Of Destruction By ISIS.)
There has been speculation lately that the videos of this kind of destruction are intended to cover a more sinister crime: these ancient sites are being looted for their treasures to fund ISIS operations, and the demolition is to cover the theft.
ISIS has claimed “responsibility” for the two gunmen shot down in Garland, Texas, on Sunday.
One wonders why, since the pair failed miserably in their attempt to kill some of the crowd at the event. Why crow about abject failure?
As many Muslims have already pointed out: all their attempt did was call international attention to an event that should have been allowed to remain in obscurity.
It’s one thing to use a cartoon or caricature to make a political point (as did the publication in France); it’s another to purposefully incite negative reaction with a “contest” designed just to tempt a couple of idiots to do something crazy.
Most of us, however, are aware that the underlying purpose of the sponsoring organization, Stop Islamization of America, is to incite violence by Muslims against non-Muslims — and we just ignore ’em. Too bad the guys from Phoenix weren’t as politically savvy: they gave SIOA its fondest wish last weekend.
Here’s more: Texas Attacker Left Trail of Extremist Ideas on Twitter
Elton Simpson, 30, and Nadir Hamid Soofi, 34, both of whom attended the same mosque in Phoenix, Arizona, turned up at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, Sunday in body armor and carrying weapons. Both were shot and killed by a Garland traffic officer who sustained a minor gunshot wound to the ankle.
The backstory to this event will prove interesting. (Phoenix? Why would they drive all the way to Texas? How could two men with AK47s in hand do so little damage? Where did they get the guns? Were they paid to do this? If so, by whom?)
The opening of the exhibit and its contest certainly are akin to waving a red flag in front of a bull, especially since the whole point of the event, sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (a New York-based group that also uses the name Stop Islamization of America). was to exhibit anti-Islamic cartoons and award a $10,000 top prize for the best caricature of the prophet. (“Best” is an arguable point, as the cartoons are described as juvenile and amateurish.)
Here’s one place to read more: Gunman in Texas Was F.B.I. Suspect in Jihad Inquiry