Quotes About Extremism

Quotes tagged as "extremism" (showing 1-30 of 71)
Salman Rushdie
“From the beginning men used God to justify the unjustifiable.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses

Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Margaret Atwood
“There were a lot of gods. Gods always come in handy, they justify almost anything.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

Richard Dawkins
“The take-home message is that we should blame religion itself, not religious extremism - as though that were some kind of terrible perversion of real, decent religion. Voltaire got it right long ago: 'Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.' So did Bertrand Russell: 'Many people would sooner die than think. In fact they do.”
Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

Bertrand Russell
“The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holders lack of rational conviction. Opinions in politics and religion are almost always held passionately.”
Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays

“What can you say to a man who tells you he prefers obeying God rather than men, and that as a result he's certain he'll go to heaven if he cuts your throat?”
Voltaire, Philosophical Dictionary

Clint Eastwood
“Extremism is so easy. You've got your position, and that's it. It doesn't take much thought. And when you go far enough to the right you meet the same idiots coming around from the left.

(Interview, Time Magazine, February 20, 2005)”
Clint Eastwood

Salman Rushdie
“Fundamentalism isn't about religion, it's about power.”
Salman Rushdie

Theodore Roosevelt
“Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Guy de Maupassant
“Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched."

[My Uncle Sosthenes]”
Guy de Maupassant, Complete Short Stories

C.S. Lewis
“Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one's first feeling, 'Thank God, even they aren't quite so bad as that,' or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies are as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally we shall insist on seeing everything -- God and our friends and ourselves included -- as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Christopher Hitchens
“Now is as good a time as ever to revisit the history of the Crusades, or the sorry history of partition in Kashmir, or the woes of the Chechens and Kosovars. But the bombers of Manhattan represent fascism with an Islamic face, and there's no point in any euphemism about it. What they abominate about 'the West,' to put it in a phrase, is not what Western liberals don't like and can't defend about their own system, but what they do like about it and must defend: its emancipated women, its scientific inquiry, its separation of religion from the state. Loose talk about chickens coming home to roost is the moral equivalent of the hateful garbage emitted by Falwell and Robertson, and exhibits about the same intellectual content.”
Christopher Hitchens

Honoré de Balzac
“How did you get back?' asked Vautrin.
'I walked,' replied Eugene.
'I wouldn't like half-pleasures, myself,' observed the tempter. 'I'd want to go there in my own carriage, have my own box, and come back in comfort. All or nothing, that's my motto.'
'And a very good one,' said Madame Vauquer.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot

Christopher Hitchens
“During the Bosnian war in the late 1990s, I spent several days traveling around the country with Susan Sontag and her son, my dear friend David Rieff. On one occasion, we made a special detour to the town of Zenica, where there was reported to be a serious infiltration of outside Muslim extremists: a charge that was often used to slander the Bosnian government of the time. We found very little evidence of that, but the community itself was much riven as between Muslim, Croat, and Serb. No faction was strong enough to predominate, each was strong enough to veto the other's candidate for the chairmanship of the city council. Eventually, and in a way that was characteristically Bosnian, all three parties called on one of the town's few Jews and asked him to assume the job. We called on him, and found that he was also the resident intellectual, with a natural gift for synthesizing matters. After we left him, Susan began to chortle in the car. 'What do you think?' she asked. 'Do you think that the only dentist and the only shrink in Zenica are Jewish also?' It would be dense to have pretended not to see her joke.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

“Looking at Great-Great Grandpa Baldwin's photograph, I think to myself: You've finally done it. It took four generations, but you've finally goddamned done it. Gotten that war against reason and uppity secularists you always wanted. Gotten even for the Scopes trial, which they say was one of many burrs under your saddle until your last breath. Well, rejoice, old man, because your tribes have gathered around America's oldest magical hairball of ignorance and superstition, Christian fundamentalism, and their numbers have enabled them to suck so much oxygen out of the political atmosphere that they are now acknowledged as a mainstream force in politics. Episcopalians, Jews, and affluent suburban Methodists and Catholics, they are all now scratching their heads, sweating, and swearing loudly that this pack of lower-class zealots cannot possibly represent the mainstream--not the mainstream they learned about in their fancy sociology classes or were so comfortably reassured about by media commentators who were people like themselves. Goodnight, Grandpa Baldwin. I'll toast you from hell.”
Joe Bageant, Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War

“All extreme opinions consume themselves.”
Marty Rubin

Criss Jami
“What I admire about the modern atheist is not at all his logic, but rather his gift of imagination. There will always be the cartoon versions of Christianity further perpetuated by the extremist atheists who do not possess the humility to ask real scholars and theologians its difficult questions. There is little doubt that the atheist has the bigger imagination: the first reason is due to his persistent caricatures of what constitutes a Christian; the second because of his belief that most of his questions are actually rhetorical. From this I can infer that, instead of laughing at one another (the Christian at modern atheist immaturity and the modern atheist at Christian stupidity), we would have a better chance at productivity laughing with one another as we all dumb down what we don't understand.”
Criss Jami

Martin Luther King Jr.
“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

Michael Muhammad Knight
“You know,” said Jehangir, breaking the silence, “it's only Muslims who use the term 'innovation' to mean something bad.”
Michael Muhammad Knight, The Taqwacores

“We know Jesus taught that if someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to the left. We know that Mohammed was sacked from his village and stoned at Ta'if, but he quietly left for Medina.
If both of these men, beaten, and bloodied—the incarnations of their respective faiths—asked God to forgive their aggressors, then who were today's religious leaders to advocate holy war?”
Eliza Griswold

Bangambiki Habyarimana
“For good people, religion means peace with everybody, for bad guys a tribe to protect”
Bangambiki Habyarimana, The Great Pearl of Wisdom

Criss Jami
“The foundation of morality on the human sentiments of what is acceptable behavior versus repulsive behavior has always made morals susceptible to change. Much of what was repulsive 100 years ago is normal today, and - although it may be a slippery slope - what is repulsive today is possible to be normal 100 years into tomorrow; the human standard has always been but to push the envelope. In this way, all generations are linked, and one can only hope that every extremist, self-proclaimed progressive is considering this ultimate 'Utopia' to which his kindness will lead at the end of the chain.”
Criss Jami

Alex Morritt
“For millenia migrating birds have filled the skies, heading south in search of
warmer climes and richer pickings. Conversely, these days, droves of our fellow beings struggle northbound against all odds, seeking safety and a better life. The key difference ? This vast exodus of human traffic moves in one direction only. A testimony to failed foreign policy and disastrous military intervention that may have sown the seeds of European disintegration.”
Alex Morritt, Impromptu Scribe
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Thomas L. Friedman
“Virulence is the sound of a self-selecting community talking to itself and positively reinforcing itself with no obligation to answer to anyone or look anyone in the eye.”
Thomas L. Friedman, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

David Halberstam
“particular rootlessness of the society had always lent itself to powerful extremes of both the left and the right, there was, in the volatility and evanescence of the culture an atmosphere ripe for extremism, each side with its own Utopian dreams, each side driving the other to a more polarized position.”
David Halberstam, The Powers That Be

Pew Research Center
“There's no evidence from decades of Pew Research surveys that public opinion, in the aggregate, is more extreme now than in the past. But what has changed -- and pretty dramatically -- is the growing tendency of people to sort themselves into political parties based on their ideological differences.”
Pew Research Center, The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown

“The problem is not just liberal extremism or conservative extremism. The problem is extremism.”
Flavil R. Yeakley Jr., Why They Left: Listening to Those Who Have Left Churches of Christ

“Centuries have passed since the wars of religion ceased in Europe, and since men stopped dying in large numbers because of arcane theological disputes. Hence, perhaps, the incredulity and denial with which Westerners have greeted news of the theology and practices of the Islamic State. Many refuse to believe that this group is as devout as it claims to be, or as backward-looking or apocalyptic as its actions and statements suggest.

"Their skepticism is comprehensible. In the past, Westerners who accused Muslims of blindly following ancient scriptures came to deserved grief from academics—notably the late Edward Said—who pointed out that calling Muslims 'ancient' was usually just another way to denigrate them. Look instead, these scholars urged, to the conditions in which these ideologies arose—the bad governance, the shifting social mores, the humiliation of living in lands valued only for their oil.

"Without acknowledgment of these factors, no explanation of the rise of the Islamic State could be complete. But focusing on them to the exclusion of ideology reflects another kind of Western bias: that if religious ideology doesn’t matter much in Washington or Berlin, surely it must be equally irrelevant in Raqqa or Mosul. When a masked executioner says Allahu akbar while beheading an apostate, sometimes he’s doing so for religious reasons.”
Graeme Wood

“It would be facile, even exculpatory, to call the problem of the Islamic State 'a problem with Islam.' The religion allows many interpretations, and Islamic State supporters are morally on the hook for the one they choose. And yet simply denouncing the Islamic State as un-Islamic can be counterproductive, especially if those who hear the message have read the holy texts and seen the endorsement of many of the caliphate’s practices written plainly within them.”
Graeme Wood

“The Islamic State’s ideology exerts powerful sway over a certain subset of the population. Life’s hypocrisies and inconsistencies vanish in its face. Musa Cerantonio and the Salafis I met in London are unstumpable: No question I posed left them stuttering. They lectured me garrulously and, if one accepts their premises, convincingly. To call them un-Islamic appears, to me, to invite them into an argument that they would win. If they had been froth-spewing maniacs, I might be able to predict that their movement would burn out as the psychopaths detonated themselves or became drone-splats, one by one. But these men spoke with an academic precision that put me in mind of a good graduate seminar. I even enjoyed their company, and that frightened me as much as anything else.”
Graeme Wood

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