• Lles Nats

    Great article.

    Americans are always presented with a scapegoat by the media, and every time they go right along with it.

  • TSD

    Granted I was only 19 at the time, I don’t recall any popular anti-muslim sentiment about any potential threat, prior to 9/11.

    What you are referring to with the catholics was going on without any catholics actually being responsible for any violence against the US.

    There really should be a distinction made there. You can’t really dismiss current islamic terrorist rhetoric involving the destruction of the United States and actual attacks on it’s people and interests.

    I would be in 100% agreement with you, were it not for the fact there are in fact islamic factions that have and desire to attack the US.

    In no way shape or form am I implying all muslims are terrorists or anything. I am more trying to point out the situations you are comparing are hardly apples and apples.

    While innocent people are absolutely caught up on the receiving end of fervor that is not warranted. Islamic factions have performed acts that have driven this hate and distrust of their religion through violent acts.

  • The Great God Pan

    “In the end, a series of investigations showed the Runaway Nuns to be hoaxes.”

    Then unless you think a series of investigations showed 9/11 to be a hoax, this analogy seems a bit muddled.

  • farooq

    9/11 is done by CIA.
    You need to open your eyes and realise the timing when muslims all over the world suddenly become terrorists. 911 happened suddenly Muslims hate U.S.A. where were muslims before when U.S was busy fighting Soviet Union. Actually mulims all over the world were allies of U.S.A.
    All of this is being done to oppress Muslims to change maps in the Middle East. But to that you need masses on your side. And the best way to do that is to creat fear.
    Just watch for few more years and you will see what i meant.
    Iraq, jordan saoodi arabia syria turkey afghanistan and pakistan they will be divided into many small countries.most of their population will die in civil wars and then you will see a greater Israel over almost all of the Middle East.
    What Great Briton and france did a century ago is being repeated by U.S.A , U.k and Israel.
    ISIS is western force in middle East.it is trained and funded by western countries.

  • Lles Nats

    I agree with you. There has been new buzz lately in the news concerning the 28 pages of the 911 report that bush classified. Some more congressmen are officially calling for them to be released.

    Of course I am unsure if I would even trust what the doc says if they were released, considering all the time thet have had to edit whatever the original said.

  • Atheist Max

    @Lles Nats,
    Yesterday you revealed your prejudices against Jews.
    Today you reveal you are a conspiracy nut. Got it.

  • Rashid.M

    “9/11 is done by CIA”

    The original link to the following article has disappeared, but well worth another read.

    “Muslims have a credibility problem. In the modern era, we have a tendency to believe and repeat wild theories, with our only criteria for accepting those theories being that they lend support to pre-existing attitudes” – Amir Butler

    “911 happened suddenly Muslims hate U.S.A. where were muslims before when U.S was busy fighting Soviet Union. Actually mulims all over the world were allies of U.S.A.”

    I take your point, but the truth is that the sympathies and support of ‘Muslims’ is no different to any other large group in terms of their geopolitical views and opinions. They are fluid and diverse. So there are no generalisations to be made here. Here’s what can be said with certainty. A group of self considered Muslims of the terror group Al Qaeda perpetrated the 9/11 attacks. Hundreds of Muslims in the twin towers were victims of the attack. And the vast majority of Muslims in the world do not support or engage in terrorism, regardless of political grievances, or claims by extremists and Islamophobes of scriptural instruction to do so.

  • Lles Nats

    Yes…I guess I can count as company the three additional congressmen who want to see ths papers too.

  • Atheist Max


    If I might demonstrate:

    QUESTION: “the vast majority of ____________ in the world do not support or engage in terrorism”

    ANSWER: ‘Islamists’ who reject the holy writ: “Slay them”
    ANSWER: ‘Christians’ who reject the holy writ: “Execute them”
    ANSWER: ‘Jews’ who reject the holy writ: “Kill Them”

    Because despite religion, most people insist on living by the Golden Rule;
    “Don’t bother me, I won’t bother you!”

    If each religion preached NO HATE we would be better off.
    If each religion preached only the golden rule we would be infinitely better off.
    because we practice The Golden Rule regardless of religion!


    So why bother with the hateful bits? Why not throw the holy books away?

    Eliminate the holy books
    and you are left with extremely decent people
    who are not bothering each other.

    Abandon religion. It is a phantom and nothing more.

  • Atheist Max

    THIS IS YOUR CLUE that God is pointless:

    “the vast majority of Muslims in the world do not support or engage in terrorism”

    Exactly. Because they don’t really believe in most of the holy book!
    Almost nobody would be a terrorist
    if there were no religion to die for.

    Good works + God = Good works
    Bad works + God = 9/11

    You can see it.
    God adds nothing to good works.
    But God adds infinite evil to bad works.

  • Rashid.M

    He appears not to be Catholic. What “core beliefs” he retained we can only guess.

    Time: Are you religious?

    McVeigh: I was raised Catholic. I was confirmed Catholic (received the sacrament of confirmation). Through my military years, I sort of lost touch with the religion. I never really picked it up, however I do maintain core beliefs.

    Time: Do you believe in God?

    McVeigh: I do believe in a God, yes. But that’s as far as I want to discuss. If I get too detailed on some things that are personal like that, it gives people an easier way [to] alienate themselves from me and that’s all they are looking for now.

  • Rashid.M

    Hi Max

    Your conclusion is based on a false premise. Whilst I can’t speak for every other Muslim, the reason I do not support or engage in terrorism is because I accept the ‘holy writ’, not because I’ve rejected it. My acceptance of it is based on my interpretation. Your rejection of it is based on yours. Given my interpretation, it doesn’t follow that I should reject the ‘holy writ’. It follows that I reject your interpretation.

  • bm

    Lousy article.

    1) Brian Regal confuses scapegoating and being afraid of something that is really responsible for a lot of things. Blaming Boko Haram or the ISIS for some atrocities is really not scapegoating. Blaming Islam for 911 is not scapegoating. They are obviously responsible for what they have done and they refer to Islam.

    2) It is not the same when a terrorist is just a particular adherent of some religion and if he refers to that religion as an ideological basis of his attack. I don’t know if Timothy McVeigh referred to Christianity, if he did, I am ready to blame Christianity for his attack too.

    So for an atheist your strategy to blame Christianity instead of Islam does not work. We are ready to blame both. It is a FALSE DILEMMA.


  • Rashid.M

    “Blaming Islam for 911 is not scapegoating. They are obviously responsible for what they have done and they refer to Islam…”
    “…I don’t know if Timothy McVeigh referred to Christianity, if he did, I am ready to blame Christianity for his attack too.”

    I don’t think this is a valid position at all. If the perpetrator of a crime cites his/her religion, then what they are in actual fact doing is citing a subjective interpretation of it.

    For example, If you compare a 9/11 terrorist with myself, then firstly it can be concluded that we are both Muslims and that we both purport to follow Islam. If, ‘because’ of our respective following of Islam, he is violent and I am peaceful, and if we are both truthful about what we believe, what conclusion can be neutrally made regarding Islam? At best, all that can be said is that it is capable of more than one interpretation or misinterpretation. And it can be concluded that when he and I talk of what ‘Islam’ is, we’re not necessarily talking about the same belief system. Blame and praise therefore, can only be apportioned on the morality or immorality of an individuals actions, rather than a religion which can mean vastly different things to different people.

  • Atheist Max

    Hi Rashid,
    That is my point.

    I accept the SAME holy writs you do: the ones I agree with.
    I even accept the holy writs of religions I have never heard of – any holy writs regarding the golden rule.
    I accept the writs that encourage kindness toward others.
    I accept the few holy writs which encourage intellectual exploration.
    I accept the holy writs that encourage use of the mind.

    Yet I am an Atheist
    and I do not accept these writs because of a God or other claimed Authority. I accept those holy writs because they happen to be the few good bits which are always buried somewhere in most religions.

    The good holy writs in religions are not true because God made them.
    The good holy writs are true because religion would have no appeal otherwise – man created gods to conform to MAN.

    The Golden Rule + Religion = The Golden Rule
    God is superfluous.

  • Rashid.M

    “I do not accept these writs because of a God or other claimed Authority. I accept those holy writs because they happen to be the few good bits which are always buried somewhere in most religions.”

    I accept these writs because they appeal to both my rational and moral self. I accept God because of personal experience through prayer and observation. The two then compliment and strengthen each other.

    The Golden Rule + Religion + God = Muslim believer

  • Atheist Max


    I won’t challenge your ‘personal experience’ explanation for God.
    But in my own life my personal experience of God ended up being nothing more than a phenomenon best explained by deep love and attachments to my parents, grandparents and family.

    They did not mean to do evil and teach me to hate Jews.
    But most of them found Jews to be at least problematic.

    They did not mean to suppress my freedom of thought with threats of hell. But that was the outcome.

    They did not mean for me to live my life in some shame for having some sex before marriage. But that was the outcome.

    They did not mean for me to be afraid of Muslims. But that was the outcome.

    Unintended consequences are the price we pay for religion.
    Please consider that as part of your ‘personal experience’ too.

  • Perry Stewart

    “In years to come, we will look back on the current anti-Muslim hysteria and wonder how we could ever have felt this way ..”

    I very much doubt it.

    Sadly, Brian Regal has an understanding of Islam which is in desperate need of revelation. Islam, despite the mantra of so many US political leaders claiming it to be a religion of peace, is anything but.

  • Rashid.M

    I certainly accept that any experience is essentially a personal phenomenon. The drift of a person from his/her religious experience, or a person’s drift towards religion, is often through dissatisfaction and/or a search for meaning in one’s personal life. Also, profound personal events, both positive and negative, can work both ways in the context of one’s relationship with religion and God.

    I too had a religious upbringing, and I have often had a strained relationship with my father because of it. Not because his religion was wrong, but because his method for presenting and practicing it was inflexible, and often blurred the lines between religion and culture. In my case though, as an adult, I have in a sense ‘reinterpreted’ and reconnected with the religion of my parents. But I’ve done this in a way which makes sense to me and my experience, and in a way which I’m comfortable to follow in practice.

    Ironically, in the end, differences between the way I now practice and understand my religion, and the way my parents do, are generally subtle, but profoundly important to me personally. A central catalyst to these changes was a personal, private reconnection with God through prayer. This was accompanied with a desire to gain an understanding of the faith from a personal perspective. Parents generally do the best they can but we tend to too readily remember the negative. I hope you won’t judge yours too harshly.

  • Atheist Max


    No, I do not judge my parents too harshly. They did a good job.
    They were indoctrinated to ‘love’ and ‘fear’ the Lord (or what they thought was the Lord) and they were not allowed to consider alternatives. The entire culture is steeped in the assumption that the religion claims are true and alternative ways of thinking are continually discouraged.

    I live by the Golden Rule, like the majority of Atheists.
    The vast majority of humanity is decent. I see nothing to worry about regarding most believers.

    But freedom to think for oneself should be a human right.
    Instead, the UN is looking for ways to enforce and broaden blasphemy laws.

    I think this is yet another silent but serious humanitarian disaster caused specifically by (perhaps well-meaning) religious people of the world who simply are afraid of considering alternatives for themselves and so they deny it to others.

    All free people should unite to discourage and overturn blasphemy laws. If a God can’t handle a little blasphemy, how powerful can they really be?

  • sun

    Hundreds of children have been murdered in their own lands over the last ten days by Israel. The apartheid, occupation, state-terror continues, with the shameless support of the US.
    Have you seen the dead body of the unborn child shot in the womb of her mother? I saw it. I also saw the comment of the Israeli girl: “I saw the killed pregnant Arab women. It was so good–I had an orgasm.”
    T-shirts are sold in Israel having the belly of a pregnant Palestinian woman in the target. Next to it is written: “one shot two kills.”
    Yesterday an Israeli “professor” claimed that the only way to stop the Palestinian resistance is mass rape of their women.
    These are happening in the lands Israel is occupying in violation of the international laws that the world, including the US, recognize. On the other hand you will see a whole discourse targeting Arabs in an essentializing way. Polls and statistics display that the majority of Israeli Jews have racist ideas and sentiments. Check youtube: you will see that many comments of Israeli Jews on Palestinians -Muslim or Christian- are dramatically identical with those circulating in Nazi Germany.
    Terror, apartheid, occupation, murder is what Israel is doing for more than five decades.

  • susan

    People will find reasons to fight and kill each other without religion. Human violence goes much deeper than religion. It is not so easy to wipe out even if nobody believed in God or in any religion.

  • @Susan,

    “People will find reasons to fight and kill each other without religion….It is not so easy to wipe out even if nobody believed in God or in any religion.”

    You are ashamed of Israel and you are terrified to admit it.
    Just as decent Arabs have been ashamed of Hamas and Hezbollah.

    Meanwhile, you tell this horrible lie: Religion isn’t the problem.

    God to the Jews: “You are the chosen. This land is yours”
    God to the Muslims: “You are the chosen. This land is yours.”

    If you took GOD out of it, nobody would have permission to kill the other side.
    If you remove GOD’s decrees nobody would have permission to continue the slaughter.

    Shame on you.

  • Susan

    Max, let me say this again and maybe it will sink in. Many Zionists are atheists or secular Jews. They don’t believe that they are chosen or that God gave them this land. Reconstructionist Jews, who are religious, don’t believe in the concept of the chosen people. What matters to these Jews is that Jews need a homeland. Recent events in Europe have proved them right. This is not about God. It is about a place where Jews can control their own destiny. A country they can’t be kicked out of and where Jews will always be admitted, Jews have no where else to go. Israelis are not waiting for God’s decree. They are defending themselves.

  • Atheist Max

    You are the one being obstinate.
    A two state solution could happen in ten minutes except
    the “Parties of God” on both sides have a veto over any peace.

    Atheistic Israelis and Atheistic Palestinians are NOT the problem.
    Always it is the religious segment who stop the peace.

    Furthermore, if the ‘atheistic’ Israelis are defending
    their growing apartheid system – then the problem is even worse.

    Here is honesty:

    David Silverman, president of American Atheists explained it perfectly:
    ” ‘I am not a Jew, I am a child of Jews’..Silverman ultimately concluded that Judaism is, at its heart, a religion—one that is incompatible with atheism.
    He notes that much of what is defined as Jewish culture, such as music or food, is simply Judaism-the-religion ‘taking credit’ for a geographically specific regional culture—Ashkenazic culture primarily being simply Eastern European, for instance. The only thing world Jewry has in common is the Torah…”
    [excerpt from Rachel Silberstein, “Can You Be an Atheist and a Jew at the Same Time? David Silverman says No.’- The Tablet, A New Jewish Read, Dec. 9, 2013]

    If Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslims were made up instead of serious Atheists
    like David Silverman everybody could have peace by tomorrow morning.
    But until Jews and Muslims drop their religions we will keep reading about a need for a Jewish homelands and Palestinian homeland.

    We are all from Africa; one people, one race. No gods.

  • Susan

    I disagree with David Silverman. It is perfectly possible to be an atheist Jew. Judaism is a religion, but Jews are also an ethnic group with a culture and a history. Judaism is a CIVILIZATION. I know we are all from Africa and are one people, but we have developed many cultures and that is part of being human. It’s ridiculous to pretend otherwise. I know atheist Jews who study the Talmud or the Bible for non-religious reasons. Not all Jewish culture is just Eastern European culture. There are uniquely Jewish aspects of the culture too.

    Atheists can worry about their security too. I have read Jews who support this invasion and think that its necessary for their safety. They think Hamas is a serious danger that needs to be stopped. That doesn’t make them religious fanatics.

  • Jews: “God gave us Jerusalem”
    Muslims: “God gave us Jerusalem”

    I see both sides. But You keep seeing only the Jewish viewpoint as in “Most Israelis are atheist.” so what?
    The insidious ingredient is still “God”

    David Silverman is correct. Judaism is just a religion. What we call Jewish culture is just an amalgam of other cultures picked up in the diaspora through Europe and Africa.

    I wish Israel could figure out what to do to save itself and become a decent country – at some point Israel can’t blame Gaza on Gaza or the West Bank on the West Bank. These are ghettos created by Israel’s expansions and Arab wars.

    But what has emerged in Israel over the last 60 years is a sick apartheid.
    A country with a special class of people is not going to be democratic or happy or safe. Especially with God as arbiter.

    The healthier response to Hitler’s Aryan “faith-based” Final Solution would have been for the whole world to realize that all faith-based ideas (Not just Hitler’s) lead to dangerous, genocidal nonsense.

    Most of Japan understood – it abandoned religion after the catastrophe of Hirohito.
    Most of Europe understood – and abandoned religion after Hitler
    Most of Spain understood – and abandoned religion after Franco

    But Jews were rightly defensive after Hitler – who could blame them?

    As David Ben-Gurion said, there should be no Constitution of Israel because it is a work in progress. But what sort of a work is this?
    Israel looks more like a house of cards.
    Even without YAHWEH, faith is a central claim.

    It is a ‘faith-based’ claim that Judaism is a culture and not a religion.
    As David Silverman said, There is no evidence for it.
    Faith-based programs are failures.

  • Susan

    You have a faith based position that if David Silverman says it, it must be true. Neither you nor David Silverman have the knowledge of Jewish history and culture to back up your claims. I have thousands of years of Jewish history to back up my claim.

    The West Bank and Gaza were originally created by the Arab inability to accept Israel’s existence. The Palestinians could have had their own state in 1948. They thought that Jews would be easy to beat. Well, they were wrong. Even in 1967, Israel was willing to gave back land for peace, but now it will be much harder. I don’t like or agree with Netanyahu, but I understand why he was elected.

  • Don’t Push the Red Button

    Susan – this is you: “I have thousands of years of Jewish history to back up my claim”

    Well – For thousands of years the Egyptians had claims about Osiris, Isis and the proper way to build pyramids, make musical instruments and what food will grow in paradise. But that culture ran out of steam.

    Seems the Judaism is on its way out, too. Judaism is a sinking ship. And Israel may not have a reason to exist without real jews. At least not a reason the world will respect. Egypt has forgotten its old religions and replaced them that is why Egypt still exists. If Egypt had connected its fate to its religion it would have faded away as a country.

    I happen to agree with Silverman too. Judaism is just a religion. Although I don’t know how agreeing with a comment makes it a faith based matter.

  • Susan

    Dont Push the Red Button, Jews were always a vey small population. You seem to want Jews and Judaism to end asap. I have been emphasizing the secular Jews in Israel because Max seems to think that the problem is with religion, but its also about security and other secular issues as well. What I haven’t said is that the religious population in Israel and the US is growing because they are the ones having large families.

    Jews ought to have the ability to define ourselves. Aside from David Silvernman, most Jews would agree that Jews are part of an ethnic group and a Jewish culture as well as a religion. It is not up to you to tell them they are not.

  • Don’t Push The Red Button

    Susan, You are correct. It is not up to me to define (or defend) any Jewish argument or state.
    Good luck with Israel. I hope it succeeds in protecting Jewish ‘culture’ (I guess you see it as a living museum like the Amish country???)
    It is failing miserably and I don’t think anyone should try to keep up this charade any longer – nor should anyone support it. If Israel can’t survive I guess that means the Palestinians will have their land back.
    But religion must die – including Judaism – and with it will go the states that sponsored religion.
    Because all state sponsorship of religion Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism – is ultimately a fascist undertaking. It is based on nothing.
    God doesn’t exist so Jews and Gentiles and Muslims are just victims of an imaginary divider. Remember that.

  • Susan

    America does not have state sponsored religion and religion is alive and well here. I don’t think that Israel should have state sponsored religion either, but Israel would still be a Jewish state without state sponsored religion.

    “God doesn’t exist so Jews and Gentiles and Muslims are just victims of an imaginary divider. Remember that.”

    First of all, I know atheists who study Torah and Talmud and go to synagogue and pray most weeks, but according to you, they aren’t Jewish.

    God is also a unifier. Yes, religion can divide, but it also unites. I have seen it. I have seen it in Jews, Christians and Muslims. I have seen religion make people better and more caring people. Everything has a shadow side, including atheism.

    The Jewish people and Israel have been declared dead and dying before. Israel will survive, despite you.

  • Osama Bin Laden was representative of a very significant & powerful movement within modern Islam.Timothy McVeigh didn’t represent anybody but himself.

    If the writer thinks that radical Islam isn’t seeking to destroy the West then he is seriously deluded. If he thinks that the West’s current hedonistic and materialistic philosophies are robust enough to withstand it, then all the more so.

    Once a civilisation is rotten to the core, it takes only a good shove.

  • Don’t Push The Red Button

    “I know atheists who study Torah and Talmud and go to synagogue and pray.”
    No you don’t. Now you are going totally off the rails.
    Atheism is a non belief in gods – if you don’t believe in a god you won’t be saying any prayers!
    And yes I am hoping for the end of Judaism, Islam, Christianity as soon as possible. Not by creating laws or by banning religion – but by people simply getting educated.
    Jews claim Jerusalem is theirs because of an invisible purple elephant. Muslims claim it because of an invisible yellow elephant. Christians think the winner of Jerusalem will determine the second coming of the paisley elephant. Religion is a delusion and the world will blow up unless people stop believing in invisible elephants.
    The traditions built up around invisible elephants are just as dangerous as the belief n the invisible elephants because the invisible elephants want war all the time.
    Israel won’t survive in the long run because it is acting the way the invisible elephant is telling it to act instead of the way it must act to be humane.

  • Good grief.

    “the West’s current hedonistic and materialistic philosophies are robust enough to withstand it, then all the more so.”

    Christian superstition and Christian philosophy is what rules America.
    That is the root of a selfish civilization which sees its God existing especially for them and their ‘special’ place in history!
    The selfishness you bemoan is exactly from the source you praise!

    “Once a civilisation is rotten to the core, it takes only a good shove.”

    Where are you getting this?
    America has strayed away from its true salvation, The Establishment Clause and in the last 40 years we have drifted into a more Christian government with Christian edicts all over the place instead of a free society.

    The Christian High Power Oligarchs: The Koch brothers, The Falwells, The Greens, et al
    Have been hard at work destroying our Constitution while delusional Christians wring their hands about the wrong problem!

    Christian government is the problem. Just as Islamic government is the problem in Islamic countries.

    State money and power at the beck and call of superstitions; all of which are arrayed against humanity.

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