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Bad Faith

"What, other than religious belief, explains the notion of the ummah, the invisible 'nation of Islam' which exists wherever Muslims are, and with which fellow Muslims are obliged to side against the infidel? If not Islamic theology, what exactly explains the jihadist redefinition of 'oppression' and 'innocence', whereby those who are perceived to oppose or inhibit Islam in any way -- whether combatants or not -- are deemed legitimate targets?"

MAY 2005
"In this fashionable rush to condemn those who cause offence, we are in danger of overlooking something important. All grievances are not of equal merit. Nor are they deserving of equal sensitivity or accommodation. Whether or not a person is offended may not depend on what is actually said or written, which may be perfectly coherent, measured in tone and serious in intent."

MARCH 2005
"When the literally faithful get theologically excited, the subject almost invariably veers towards damnation and punishment. Suffering and revenge are topics to which literal believers seem strangely drawn and upon which they seem to linger rather suspiciously. In contrast, heaven seems almost incidental to the quasi-pornographic appeal of eternal torture. If heaven is envisioned at all, it is generally depicted in terms that lack both philosophical sophistication and aesthetic flair."

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