The Ethnocentric Impacts of Metastasized Ignorance

November 14, 2011

This blog entry is simply the conversation threads leading from a public post on Google+ from Timothy Larkin. The discussion is rather lengthy (4000+ words), however, I think it is a fascinating look into the thoughts and opinions of a person who has over-consumed anti-Muslim extreme-right propaganda to the extent that he is unable to make rational arguments. A little sad, a little scary and a little depressing.


Begin Google+ post – original link here (assuming it hasn’t been deleted):


Timothy Larkin  –  Yesterday 7:33 PM  –  Public

Charlie Soeh originally shared this post:

A buddy share this with us!!!please share this if have the courage – Watch this video about the shocking similarites between Muslim and Nazi beliefs. Listen to a former Palestinian terrorist. What is being taught to Muslim…

–  Comment  –  Share  –  Share on …



Richard Cosgrove  –  Ah, the irony of a film putting forward evidence a religion is demonising another religion being used to demonise the religion accused of doing the demonising.

The public has to learn to that there is a difference between Muslims in general and those who promote and support terrorism, otherwise the hatred will continue to spread and problems of terrorism will continue.

Claiming that all Muslims support terrorism is the same as claiming all Christians support terrorism because of the actions of the Klu Klux Klan, the Army of God, Anders Behring Breivik and terrorist groups in Northern Ireland, all of who identify themselves as being Christians and/or doing the work of God.

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Yesterday7:46 PM


Timothy Larkin  –  +Richard Cosgrove It is not the same. Islam is unique in that it really is not a religion, but a political movement led by Muhammed. Sharia Law is a code for the State which is strictly political. Muhammed is a man that killed 600 enemies with his own hands. Also unique is that Islam allows men to lie to their enemies and their wives. Their is also “abrogation” where the last thing in the Quran trumps anything said before it. That last thing is the “Sword of the Verse”. People who don’t worship Allah, will either be killed or made into slaves.

To recap:

Christians follow Christ who never killed anyone, and he says to love our enemies.

Muslims follow Muhammed who killed 600 people, and says to kill or enslave his enemies.

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Yesterday7:58 PM

Marva Dasef  –  Tim: Islam is definitely a religion. That doesn’t make it good. Matter of fact, I’d say that anything defined as religion is a definite negative. All I’m saying is that there’s no need to differentiate. Fanaticism is the same whatever the base ideology is. Nazis, fundamentalist Christians, right-wing Muslims. Same, same, same. I doubt that Mohammad killed 600 enemies. That’s just PR to make him ‘cool’ in the eyes of the followers. Quit being prejudiced against Muslims. Every religion propagates hatred. You’ll get the same crapoloa from every one of them.

Yesterday8:13 PM


Anna Peeples  –  pro tip: everything that sucks about muslims has a christian analogue

Yesterday8:29 PM


Richard Cosgrove  –  The Koran and Muhammed also taught the following:

Muslims may only engage in war for the reasons of self-defence or to fight oppression.
When engaged in a war a Muslim army must agree to any request to surrender given by any opponent.
The Muslim army must accept any terms of surrender no matter how disadvantageous or punitive they may be.
All followers of ‘revealed religions’ – including Hinduism, Judaism and Christianity – are to be given equal rights as Muslims and treated with the same respect.
Jews and Christians worship the same God as Muslims – “Allah” is simply Arabic for “God”.
Murder is not permitted by Muslims.
All people should be free to follow their believes freely and without interference by the state – Muhammed put this into practice when he founded his city state of Medina
No person can be forced to become a Muslim
Women have the right to marry, divorce and to property – Muhammed introduced woman’s suffrage over 1,000 years before the West managed it
All Muslims are required to seek out knowledge and understand the world around them – it is demanded that all Muslims receive an education. Much of the theories and knowledge that underpin science today comes from research done by Islamic scholars, and their work preserving and codifying the knowledge of previous civilisations since the Ancient Greeks.

Muhammed did order the execution of 600 people who had betrayed his city state of Medina to another state. He had previously forgiven the same group for treason before and had not punished them. And in the time of Muhammed such brutality was unremarkable.

The Old Testament of Christianity and the Torah of Judaism records stories of brutalities in war far in excess of those deaths. In Numbers it states that Moses ordered the Israelites to go to war against the Midianites. Moses’ followers did so and killed every man, took all of the Midianites’ possessions, enslaved their women and children, and burnt down their settlements. Upon their return Moses ordered every male child to be killed, every woman who’d had sex to be killed, but that the Israelites could keep virgin girls for themselves.

When it comes to Christians and violence you need only look at the Crusades (Crusaders were pre-forgiven their sins before invading the Holy Land, so had carte blanche to act violently), and Christian’s treatment of so-called heretics – from the witch trials, the eradication of the Cathar and Knights Templar, and the work of the Inquisition (which still exists, and the current pope used to oversee), like the execution of Urbain Grandier and events surrounding the nuns of Loudon.

Jews and Christians hold Moses up as one of the leading figures in their religions. So should they be condemned as violent because of the actions of Moses described here, if Muslims are to be condemned for violence committed by Muhammed? Or should all Christians be condemned for the actions of the crusaders?
Like all of the major religions Muslims hold major political power. The West is still ruled by laws and customs that are based on Christianity. And Christianity is still a major power in politics today. In the UK Church of England bishops sit in our Parliament’s House of Lords; the Catholic Church wields immense power in many areas of the developing world; while protestant churches churches hold enormous political power in the USA.

Sharia law is formed by the Koran – just as many aspects of Western secular law originates from the laws of Christianity and the contents of the bible. However, Sharia law is not just what is written in the Koran. It’s also taken from the Sunnah – stories of how how Muhammed acted during life; Hadith – sayings attributed to Muhammed during his life; Ijma – rulings by religious scholars (fatwas); and Qiyas – deductive reasonings based on the Hadith and Quran, used where there are gaps in rulings or contradictions.
Islam today, much like Christianity, has become corrupted by politicians and those who seek power by spreading hatred.

This world would be a safer place if people of different religions took the time to understand other religions and accept their right to follow their religious beliefs – so long as it brings no harm to other people – rather learning to hate them by reading and listening to propaganda created by those who want to divide humanity for their own ends.

And I am not a Muslim, Jew or Christian. I have no religion.

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Yesterday8:42 PM


Richard Cosgrove  –  +Marva Dasef +Anna Peeples Far-right Muslims, Jews and Christians probably have more in common with each other than they have dividing them.

Yesterday8:44 PM


Kirsten Crippen  –  Years ago the History Channel did a program about the connections between Islam and the Third Reich. The American far right likes to compare Obama with Hitler when the truth is that they have more in common with many of the same tactics than the current administration does.

Yesterday 9:24 PM  

Daniel Shortell  –  Sad, bigoted comments from +Timothy Larkin who clearly searches out, consumes and digests one-sided, bullshit crapumentaries, supporting opinions which crystallized in his gray matter long ago. This is the sort of shallow analysis, which unfortunately, continues to promote hatred, mistrust, ignorance and violence. You know Tim, yeah, we get it. Extremists from all walks of life have clearly forfeited their ability of rational thought for one reason or another (of which, 99.5% of the time is completely unjustified). But to simply make some big leap that all Muslims are indoctrinated by a belief system which aims to systematically destroy every non Muslim? That is ignorance of pretty epic proportions bud. How do the various Islamic factions work into your analysis? Are the Shia, Sunni, Sufi, Ahmadiyya, Berghouata, Wahhabis, Kharijites, etc all on the same page with this master plan?

I’m fascinated by your use of wikipedia-flavored ‘truth nuggets’ to ‘prove’ that you know anything about Islam (let alone the incredibly nuanced and complex political situations influencing the religion across an incredibly diverse range of people throughout the world). Tell me Tim, how many Muslims do you know personally? How many Muslim countries have you visited or even lived in? How many masjids have you attended in the world? How many kutbahs have you listened to (and out of that lengthy experience, from how many different countries were the imams giving those kutbahs from?) Ever been to a nikah? Ever participated in a kurban, or hung out with a Muslim family on Eid(al-Adha or ul-Fitr, you choose)? If you ever did complete any of the aforementioned, what percentage of the time was spent discussing anything remotely close to the destruction of all non-Muslims? Knowing a little more about the religion you are castigating may actually help you to get some perspective and enable you to develop more informed opinions.

If you are going to have any success in a career as an effective bigot, you should bring some knowledge to the table, otherwise you just sound like another ignorant American asshole (of which there are plenty and we really don’t need anymore). Perhaps you should spend more time playing your Xbox rather than attempting to act as if you are some sort of multi-cultural/religious intellectual. Or maybe I’m all wrong here and you are just playing some role to get a divisive conversation going…please confirm the latter for my sanity’s sake.

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Yesterday10:43 PM  –  Edit


Timothy Larkin  –  +Daniel Shortell The truth is clear. Just look at the world today. Christianity is a religion of peace. Just look at America and the western world. Free and brave people who work hard and debate openly. Look at the Middle East and any country that is led by Islamic law. They live in fear. Christians and Jews are persecuted. Their media is censored. Their women can’t drive cars, or wear normal clothes. There are no innovations in that part of the world because they are not free to share ideas. They are preoccupied by Sharia Law.

Do I need to spend time in a mosque, or living among Muslims, or have a best friend as a Muslim to see these things?

If you have no faith in any religion, and you rely on your physical eyes to determine truth, you should be able to see the obvious. The U.S. was founded by the principal that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”. The U.S. is the most prosperous nation in the history of the world.

How are Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, and Lebanon doing?

Iraq and Afghanistan have had some peace in the last decade. Why? Because a country of free and brave men, with their western allies, traveled thousands of miles to kick thousands of Islamic terrorists out of their comfort zone.

This is physical evidence for those that have no faith.

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12:45 AM

Anna Peeples  –  “Christianity is a religion of peace. Just look at America and the western world. Free and brave people who work hard and debate openly.”

LOL what weirdo parallel universe do you live in?

12:53 AM


Anna Peeples  –  oh man the US is a place of peace and love and freedom and stuff *shuts down legitimate free speech and assembly left and right* *bombs the shit out of the middle east for oil and jesus*

12:54 AM


Daniel Shortell  –  Tim, based on your previous comment, I have a sneaking suspicion that you are simply pulling my leg, but since I enjoy a good chat, I’ll play along.

First, a good way to start a discussion based on different opinions (if you are attempting to be intellectually honest) is to avoid using platitudes such as “the truth is clear”. It is a useless mechanism which poorly attempts to legitimize an argument before any proof is provided. Not a good start.

You make broadly sweeping claims, “Christianity is a religion of peace”. By what metric do you even substantiate this? Arguments, if they are to serve any purpose, need to be based on something akin to reality.

My wife, and her extremely large family and network of friends, is from Malaysia (which is a country led by an Islamic majority). For you to say they live in fear is just, well, ignorant. Her family is Muslim, she was educated in Catholic schools and half of her friends were Hindu. This is the reason why I asked all the questions in my first post about your knowledge about anything Islam. If you were to have even just a little experiential knowledge you would have better informed opinions. If I had more time, I’d be happy to share with you similar situations for friends (and family) of mine in Indonesia, Egypt, Lebanon, and even the scariest Islamophobic country du jour…Iran! Preoccupied with Sharia? What the hell are you talking about? Yeah, the general population of Muslim countries are preoccupied with Sharia law much the same way Americans are preoccupied with digging into our state law books and case precedents.

Ok, on to the next oddity…”normal clothes” wft? Is this by your standards? Do you find my clothes odd? (I usually wear jeans and tshirts) What do you not consider normal? Burqas? Niqabs? Hijabs? Or is it all just weird crap that oppressed Islamic women are forced to wear? I think nuns wear abnormal clothes (this is irony).

Tim, please list (preferably in alphabetic order) the countries in the world where women are not permitted to drive. Also if you could state whether this is written law or merely cultural convention that would be nice.

Your use of “Their” is scaring the crap out of me. Never a good idea to just wrap billions of members of a diaspora into one blanket pronoun.

Yes, the middle east is mired in remnants of colonialism and aggressive western commercial policy which (among many other things) has contributed to their stifled innovation. I don’t see how this has anything to do with Islam. Ancient Babylon was about as innovative as they come. Progress will be made over time in the modern day mid-east…UAE, Qatar, Bahrain are good examples of innovation in technology and service. Plus, keep in mind that the most populous Islamic country is in South East Asian (always bugs me when bigots can sort out the difference between Arabic and Islamic).

Do I need to drink a glass of water to know how it tastes? Do I need to acquire knowledge about people before making broad generalizations? Yes Tim, to make rational judgments about the world around you, it is logical to think that experiential knowledge will help to shed some ethnocentric skin in addition to widening your understanding of culture, religion and the implications of so much history and politics.

I just don’t even know how to respond to your third paragraph, but I’ll try. Ok, I’ve studied and practiced numerous religions over the past 30some years, I usually rely more heavily on my physical eyes (although occasionally I will consult my third eye) to understand the environment around me, yes I agree one of the founding principles of this nation is that “all men are created equal…”, and I guess you could say the US is the most prosperous (again, what metric are you talking about?) nation in the history of the world (although historically speaking at their peaks, the British Empire, Mongol Empire, Russian Empire, Spanish Empire, Qing Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty, Umayyad Dynasty, the French, the Abbasid, the Tang and the Portuguese all had substantially larger land masses). Also, prosperity in a “free” country should probably take into account relative income inequality levels, right? because if all the prosperity was held by just a tiny majority then that would sound oligarchic or monarchic. There was a recent study performed comparing income inequality around the world…the US didn’t do so well (28th worldwide??)

Your question, “How are Iran, Syria, Pakistan….doing?” is just to massive to answer in the space of a comment. My guess is you think that all of these predominately Muslim countries problems are all caused by Islam. If yes, you should read more. You know what, no, I’m going to take a page out of your logic book and blame the Great Recession on Christianity.

Iraq and Afghanistan have had some peace in the last decade? WTF? Go tell that to anyone of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed during the war…yeah, that was a little freedom present we gave them.

I don’t even know what your last sentence means, so I’m not even going to try.

Tim, the reason I think you are pulling my leg is that your declarations have the same ring to them as Ron Burgundy’s did when I watched Anchorman :

Care to come clean yet?

Why the hell did I stay up late to type this out.

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2:35 AM  –  Edit


Richard Cosgrove  –  +Daniel Shortell It is illegal for women to drive in Saudi Arabia, amongst many other things they’re not permitted to do, all if it justified through Sharia law. However, Saudi Arabia is the home of Whaddhism – a sect of Islam so extreme that it has little connection with Islam, and more with Medieval Western laws and culture; and which is the theological justification used by Al-Quida.
And before anyone says it, Islam does not justify, support or permit terrorism:

+Timothy Larkin Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan have known peace for over a decade now. And they’re not close to real peace now. Both military actions, which were led by your governments previous administration, have become this century’s versions of the Vietnam conflict.
I suggest you visit mosques in your area and discuss your fears regarding Islam with the imams there. Or at least read some balanced, factual books on the subject.

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3:06 AM

Daniel Shortell  –  Wait, doh! +Richard Cosgrove, you took +Timothy Larkin‘s test for him!

3:16 AM  –  Edit

Fawad Mastoi  –  Wow Timothy, I guess you shoulda listened to your folks when they told you not to open your mouth without knowing the facts, or were you out again playing marbles during that speech?

Tell me, when you go out in the sun for a while, does that make your neck turn red? If so, would that make you a redneck? No, same with Muslims bro, just because the dude’s got a beard don’t mean the dude’s packin!

6:48 AM

Timothy Larkin  –  +Daniel Shortell That was a long response!Here’s my comments:When I say “the truth is clear”, I mean that it doesn’t take faith to determine it. An example of clear truth is comparing North Korea to South Korea. A satelite photo at night of both countries shows that North Korea has just one light at Kim Jung Il’s palace. South Korea is flooded with lights. It’s obvious that North Korea’s policies are wrong, and South Korea’s are right. Similar comparisons can be made when comparing the Christianized West to the Islamic Middle East.Christianity is a religion of peace because Christ never harmed anyone and never advocated harming anyone. The apostles and many saints followed the example of Christ and became martyrs.

Differnet countries have different attitudes. Turkey is another Muslim country that is more open and free. My expertise is in Christianity. In my studies, the Arab people have always hated Jews. In general, there has never been peace between Arab nations and Jews. Arab nations have always embraced pagan religions. I am asking, why?

Christian law is summarized as “to love God”. The only other specifics, in terms of an explicit law, are the ten commandments, of which the first is “to love God”. (The Jews had many laws, derived from the Old Testament. These laws got way out of hand. Christ condemned those complex laws by saying, “My yoke is easy”.) Compare this to Sharia Law. I assume (since I’ve never read it) that they are explicit and derive directly from the Quran, or Hadith, much in the way that the Jews had explicit laws (for example how and what you can sacrifice and the manner they are to be sacrificed).

The Great Recession is the fault of the Western nations because they are the only ones with large robust economies.

Iraq and Afghanistan have been given a great opportunity to see what men are capable of doing. You don’t have to milk mountain goats and live in caves to make a living. Men can accomplish great things. Men can live in a home with conditioned air. They also voted for the first time in their lives.

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6:24 PM
Anna Peeples  –  “Christianity is a religion of peace because Christ never harmed anyone and never advocated harming anyone. The apostles and many saints followed the example of Christ and became martyrs.”lmao tell the money changers at the temple that!!wait so why are we letting the money changers run everything in the name of Jesus, again?

Timothy Larkin  –  He didn’t harm the money changers. Besides, the money changers were in the temple! Inside! Not outside! Inside!
Anna Peeples  –  and our OIL is INSIDE the middle east
6:44 PM
Richard Cosgrove  –  +Timothy Larkin I’m no longer going to take part in this discussion. Your long reply has shown me that you don’t just lack knowledge and understanding about Islam, Islam’s relationship with other religions, the Arab peoples and their countries, the Middle East’s complex political situation, and the effects of the war have had on Iraq and Afghanistan, but that you are wilfully ignorant on all of these subjects.
Discussing this subject with someone as prejudiced as you are is pointless. When you are ready to learn, people will be willing to help you. I just hope that day comes soon.

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6:59 PM
Anna Peeples  –  wow 9/11 really sucked huh, and totally wasn’t a response to our miserable failures in foreign policy or anything, I know let’s start a gigantic war and kill civillians in droves. I wonder why ‘they’ hate us? must be because of our christian freedoms.
7:02 PM
Daniel Shortell  –  Oh hell +Timothy Larkin, I don’t think I can do this anymore! I feel like I’m trying to balance a glass of water on a block of Jell-O.Clearly you are passionate/interested in these topics, which is a good thing, and I hope you will consider expanding your knowledge even further. All the best to you mate.Final thought. Many people in the world milk animals, grow food, work on the land they own. They don’t do this out of some sort of pitiable obligation or a lack of other opportunities. Many do it simply because that is the life they choose to live. Simple and happy. My grandmother-in-law is actually one of these people. In her eighties now, she was dragged over to Malaysia from her native Pakistan by the Brits so that she and her husband could provide cheap labor to work the rubber trees. After Merdeka, she and her husband worked to save enough money to purchase a small plot of land. Nowadays she spends her time milking her cows and watching over her land which she leases out to several different farmers (they grow palm oil trees on her land). She does this not because there are no other options (she would look funny in a cubicle), it is just her life, the way she wants to live. She is a devout Muslim, prays her 5+ a day, has been for hajj, and wears a hijab. Seven years ago, she welcomed me (a big white Catholic guy from the US) with open arms as her new grandson-in-law. Her only crime towards me since then is centered on her desire to stuff me to death with her amazing cooking. Where she lives in Malaysia (just north of KL) lies almost exactly on the equator. Year round temperatures rarely drop below friggin 90 degrees. I sweat like a damn pig the whole time I’m there because she doesn’t have an air conditioning. Not because she can’t afford one, she just doesn’t want to feel cold. She has adapted to living on the equator. It’s all just a matter of perspective.

Again, I wish you all the best Tim. Please, push yourself to continue to learn beyond your comfort zone. I think we should all aim to do this every day of our lives.

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7:14 PM  –  Edit


End post:


Sadly, Timothy Larkin uncircled me after my second round of comments. I guess he wasn’t pulling my leg 😦  I trust he prefers staying in his information silo rather than taking the time to learn about other perspectives.

RIP to the latest person to 'uncircle' me on Google+, Timothy Larkin

RIP to the latest person to 'uncircle' me on Google+, Timothy Larkin