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Radical Islam, or Just Islam?

Watching this video of self-professed "non-radical, normal Muslims" at an Islamic peace conference in Norway should scare the shit out of people living in the modern world. An audience full of people who publicly agree that men and women should sit apart, that adulterers should be stoned to death, that the death penalty should be given to homosexuals, and any other horrible punishment, "if Allah (and his messenger) says that it is the best punishment there is". And that we, the rest of the world, should be subjected to the same rules. Spooky. In short. It's not radical. It's Islam.

Of course, as the first person to address the microphone explains, the Christian and Jewish holy books also have these punishments among their "rules" and no one calls them radicals. The reason, one of the invited Shaykhs explains, it that "Islam is the truth while Christianity and Judaism are not".

That, of course, is the kind of answer that explains nothing. It is also entirely the wrong answer. Christianity, as it exists today, is the result of having been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, a process that started with the Renaissance. Religion is ignorance taken as fact. Critical thinking and ducation are the antithesis of ignorance and therefore, religion. As people learn to think critically, ask questions, and increase their education, they naturally move away from religion. Islam is still trapped in the past that modern Christianity and Judaism have been forced to leave behind.

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Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.

Edward Gibbon