October 9th, 2014
09:45 PM ET

Let’s be honest, Islam has a problem right now

By Fareed Zakaria

There is a cancer of extremism within Islam today. A small minority of Muslims celebrates violence and intolerance and harbors deeply reactionary attitudes toward women and minorities. While some confront these extremists, not enough do so, and the protests are not loud enough. How many mass rallies have been held against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) in the Arab world today?

The caveat, “Islam today,” is important. The central problem with Maher’s and Harris’s analyses are that they take a reality — extremism in Islam — and describe it in ways that suggest it is inherent in Islam. Bill Maher says Islam is “the only religion that acts like the Mafia, that will [expletive] kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book.” He’s right about the viciousness but wrong to link it to “Islam” — instead of “some Muslims.”

Read the Washington Post column

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Topics: Fareed's Take

soundoff (255 Responses)
  1. brink70

    According to most of the Muslim world, cartoons have a bigger problem than killing in the name of Allah. And there's your problem, Fareed.

    November 5, 2014 at 3:08 am | Reply
  2. deniz boro

    Take Yoga or Meditation. Or any popular diet to detox your body. You will find parelles of it in any written Holly book. Take the Holly books on how people should behave, and the basic rules laid by them...On hygiene, trade, best practice, agriculture...You will see the bases of what the modern society aims for.
    It was not the religions that misdirected people. It was the "in-between-guys".

    March 26, 2015 at 9:52 am | Reply
  3. deniz boro

    The World has a problem now...after the World became global and homa-sapience shares news, belief, knowledge, opinion.The problem of the WORLD IS: "HOW THE HELL DID WE AS A FAMILY, A SOCIETY OR A STATE" cause these children. The solution is not in baring the public news/ info channels etc. It can only delay the output. . pLS REFER TO Erick Fromm Escape from Freedom.

    March 26, 2015 at 11:17 am | Reply
  4. Kevin Ventura

    Hard to remember Bill Maher ever being so outclassed in a discussion as he was here.

    Fareed Zakaria educates Bill Maher – Intelligence over willful ignorance
    Fareed Zakaria made so many consecutive intelligent points that unlike other guests on the same subject, Bill Maher was unable to interrupt.
    DAILYKOS.COM
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    Kevin Ventura

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    Kevin Ventura I agree with both Fareed AND Bill. I think there is something fundamentally wrong with Islam, but I also think Bill's approach to the situation is, in fact, misguided.
    Like · Reply · 18 mins

    Kevin Ventura http://www.theatlantic.com/.../what-isis-really.../384980/

    What ISIS Really Wants
    The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with...
    THEATLANTIC.COM
    Like · Remove Preview · 16 mins · Edited

    Kevin Ventura http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Pages/Myths-of-Islam.htm

    TheReligionofPeace – Myths of Islam
    Ignorance of Islam has become Islam's...
    THERELIGIONOFPEACE.COM
    Like · Remove Preview · 17 mins

    Kevin Ventura I believe that, though he never expressed it in words, Joseph Campbell held a similar view of Islam. If one watches the Mythos series especially when he was talking about the Silk Road, one can sense a slight reticent distaste to how the Islamists, destroyed the road "raping and pillaging" along the way. As I said, Joseph Campbell never verbalized this, but let us not forget that he mentored George Lucas, while Lucas was creating Star Wars, and the Tusken Raiders (sand people) certainly seems to be a jab at Islam, or at least of Arabic Islam. Now, I take issue with all the Abrahamic religions, because I personally find that they are extremely dogmatic. There are fundamentalists in all of them, but I think the most dogmatic of all is indeed Islam. Nevertheless, I believe that most people of the Islamic faith are indeed peace-loving moderates as in all religions, and Bill Maher's tactics will not solve a thing, but I do believe that people of all faith should engage in some critical thinking in regards to their religion – particularly those of the Islamic faith. I would tell Bill Maher this: Don't let the Tusken Raiders turn us into Darth Vaders!

    April 13, 2015 at 10:41 am | Reply
  5. Kevin Ventura

    Hard to remember Bill Maher ever being so outclassed in a discussion as he was here.

    Fareed Zakaria educates Bill Maher – Intelligence over willful ignorance
    Fareed Zakaria made so many consecutive intelligent points that unlike other guests on the same subject, Bill Maher was unable to interrupt.
    DAILYKOS.COM

    Kevin Ventura I agree with both Fareed AND Bill. I think there is something fundamentally wrong with Islam, but I also think Bill's approach to the situation is, in fact, misguided.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/.../what-isis-really.../384980/
    What ISIS Really Wants
    The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with...
    THEATLANTIC.COM
    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Pages/Myths-of-Islam.htm

    TheReligionofPeace – Myths of Islam
    Ignorance of Islam has become Islam's...
    THERELIGIONOFPEACE.COM
    Kevin Ventura I believe that, though he never expressed it in words, Joseph Campbell held a similar view of Islam. If one watches the Mythos series especially when he was talking about the Silk Road, one can sense a slight reticent distaste to how the Islamists, destroyed the road "raping and pillaging" along the way. As I said, Joseph Campbell never verbalized this, but let us not forget that he mentored George Lucas, while Lucas was creating Star Wars, and the Tusken Raiders (sand people) certainly seems to be a jab at Islam, or at least of Arabic Islam. Now, I take issue with all the Abrahamic religions, because I personally find that they are extremely dogmatic. There are fundamentalists in all of them, but I think the most dogmatic of all is indeed Islam. Nevertheless, I believe that most people of the Islamic faith are indeed peace-loving moderates as in all religions, and Bill Maher's tactics will not solve a thing, but I do believe that people of all faith should engage in some critical thinking in regards to their religion – particularly those of the Islamic faith. I would tell Bill Maher this: Don't let the Tusken Raiders turn us into Darth Vaders!

    April 13, 2015 at 10:44 am | Reply
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