More fun facts for you to hide from:LIBERALISM THEN AND NOWTHEN:"Mahomet was an imposter, since he completely abolishes the freedom which is granted by that universal religion revealed by the natural and prophetic light, and which I have shown ought to be fully granted." Benedictus de Spinoza (1632-1677) "Letter 49: Spinoza to Isaac Orobio" (1671) ."And what was God thinking . . . when the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to reveal the Law to Moses? And what was God thinking . . . when the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to reveal the sacred Quran to the prophet Muhammad?" John Bryson Chane, "What were you thinking of God?" Sermon preached at Washington National Cathedral (12/25/03) ."I usually call myself these days a freelance monotheist. I draw nourishment from all three of the religions of Abraham… And I can not see in essence any one of these three faiths as superior to any of the others." Karen Armstrong, "Now with Bill Moyers" (3/1/02) ."(The) panreligious perspective may prove especially important where our global civilization's responsibility for the earth is concerned." Al Gore, "Earth in the Balance - Ecology and the Human Spirit" (1992) .THEN: ."It is a misfortune for human nature when a religion is granted by a conquerer. The Mahometan religion, which refers only to the sword, is more likely to motivate those with the same destructive spirit that founded it." Montesqieu (1689-1755) "The Spirit of Laws: Book XXIV, Chapter IV" (1748) .NOW: ."In the aftermath of the cold war, the fall of the Soviet Union and the discrediting of communism have created a "threat vacuum" that has given rise to a search for new enemies. For some Americans the enemy …is (the) Islamic world… Islam and Muslim culture are portrayed as somehow peculiarly and inherently expansionist and prone to violence and warfare." John Esposito, "Political Islam: Beyond the Green Menace," Current History (1/94) ."The notion that Islam 'imposes itself by force and violence and has always been against Christianity' -- that is not true at all." Karen Armstrong, "Former nun's concern grows after Madrid," Chicago Tribune (4/24/04) ."(Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman is) dedicated to a free Egypt…I knew that there was a possibility that the government would cut me off from him for releasing this statement. But he told me he wanted this statement to get out to his people." Lynne Stewart, "The Terrorist's Lawyer," 60 Minutes (9/21/03) .THEN: ."Mohammed had not only religious doctrines descend from Heaven and placed in the Koran, but political maxims, civil and criminal laws, and scientific theories. The Gospels in contrast, speak only of the general relations of men to God and among themselves. Outside of that they teach nothing and oblige nothing to be believed. That alone, among a thousand other reasons, is enough to show that the first of these two religions cannot dominate for long in enlightened and democratic times, whereas the second is destined to reign in these centuries as in all others." Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) "Democracy in America: Volume II, Chapter V" (1840) ."Neither Islam nor its culture is the major obstacle to political modernity." Robin Wright, "Islam and liberal democracy: Two visions of reformation," Journal of Democracy 7.2, (1996) ."The heart of Islam beats with the heart of the American people." Karen Armstrong, "Interview," Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, Episode 602 (9/13/02) ."The theoretical undertaking of synthesizing Islam and democracy is promising. …Muslims and non-Muslims alike should welcome the intellectual efforts, and yes, dreams, of Islamic democrats. …their aspirations represent the way of the future. …Islamic democrats are the best hope for the future of the Muslim world—and they deserve our admiration and our support." Noah Feldman, "The Best Hope," Boston Review (4-5/03) .THEN: ."To pretend that Christianity was intended to stereotype existing forms of government and society, and protect them against change, is to reduce it to the level of Islamism or of Brahminism. It is precisely because Christianity has not done this, that it has been the religion of the progressive portion of mankind, and Islamism, Brahminism, etc. have been those of the stationary portions; or rather (for there is no such thing as a really stationary society) of the declining portions. There have been abundance of people, in all ages of Christianity, who tried to make it something of the same kind; to convert us into a sort of Christian Mussulmans, with the Bible for a Koran, prohibiting all improvement: and great has been their power, and many have had to sacrifice their lives in resisting them. But they have been resisted, and the resistance has made us what we are, and will yet make us what we are to be." John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) "The Subjection of Women: Chapter II" (1869) NOW: "…ignorant and self-deceiving Arab intellectuals …have seen in the atrocities of 9/11 a sign that the Arab and Islamic worlds are somehow more diseased and more dysfunctional than any other, and that terrorism is a sign of a wider distortion that has occurred in any other culture." Edward Said, "The meaning of Rachel Corrie," Counterpunch (6/23/03) "People who talk about the need for Islam to have a reformation, ‘as we did’ in the 16th century, show a great ignorance of Islam and the Protestant Reformation. People who think there was something special about the Reformation are ignorant about world history." Karen Armstrong, "Interview," Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, Episode 602 (9/13/02) "… (the Constitution) which although a secular document reflecting the wealthy, white, slaveholding, Anglophilic men who wrote it, is treated with the reverence accorded to scripture by any good fundamentalist anywhere." Edward Said, "American elections: System or farce?" Al-Ahram (12/00) THEN: "The matrimonial condition is not the same in reality in Mahometan and Christian countries. Here, the woman contracts with her husband nearly upon a principle of equality; there, marriage is impressed with a character of servitude: here, the woman preserves her liberty; there, at least among the more opulent, she is kept in a state of seclusion."Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) "Of the Influence of Time and Place in Matters of Legislation: Chapter I" (1843) NOW: "There is no difference between Islam and human rights." Shirin Ebadi, "Iranian rights activist wins Nobel Nobel" CNN (10/10/03) "Mohammed gave women rights of inheritance and divorce, that we wouldn’t have in the West until the 19th Century." Karen Armstrong, Now with Bill Moyers (4/9/04) "We will also be working against religious fundamentalism and its attack on women everywhere, including by Christian fundamentalist groups in the United States."Margaret Owen, "Women to fight ‘fundamentalism’," Reuters (4/8/04),1227,266549-1-9,00.html "…And part of the way that they are able to debunk Islam is to use over and over and over the women issue. So unless they intend to make equal pay for women and not quibble over Title Nine and all the other things they do in this country, I find that it's sort of the pot calling the kettle black." Lynne Stewart, "Lynne Stewart Interview" World War 3 Report, issue 40 (6/30/02) THEN: "War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) "The Contest in America" (1862) "War is always an acknowledgment of failure." Dominique de Villepin, "Villepin: 'War is acknowledgment of failure'" CNN (3/9/03) "It is clear that using force is not the answer to resolving the conflict with terrorists." Romano Prodi, "The Spanish response," Washington Post (3/16/04) "At the same time, war (against the Taliban) would reinforce the worst elements in our own society-- the flag-wavers and bigots and militarists."Katha Pollitt, "Put out no flags," The Nation (9/20/01) "A truce must be called with radical Islam." Patrick Seale, "Patrick Seale: Painful stings are unavoidable when a hornet's nest is stirred" Gulf News (3/19/04) THEN: "… there is a minority of intellectual pacifists, whose real though unacknowledged motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration for totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writings of the younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States..." George Orwell (1903-1950) "Notes on nationalism" (1945) NOW: "…if the word "cowardly" is to be used, it might be more aptly applied to those who kill from beyond the range of retaliation, high in the sky, than to those willing to die themselves in order to kill others."Susan Sontag, "The talk of the town," The New Yorker (9/24/01) "The only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military. I personally would like to see a million Mogadishus." Nicholas de Genova, "Professors Condemn War in Iraq At Teach-in," Columbia Spectator (3/27/03) "The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not ‘insurgents’ or ‘terrorists’ or ‘The Enemy.’ They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow –and they will win"Michael Moore, "Heads Up…from Michael Moore" (4/14/04) ANY QUESTIONS?