Anyone who has seen a buddy cop film knows the Good Cop Bad Cop Scenario. There’s a suspect that needs to be interrogated, because they want a confession out of him, but he’s young and inexperienced. He isn’t going to just spill the beans without some manipulation, but the suspect’s scared and gullible. So two cops work together to give the kid an illusion that confiding in someone is okay.

So the bad cop goes into the interrogation room first. He can’t be too violent to the kid for legal reasons, and he doesn’t want the kid to “lawyer up” and demand to see an attorney (which is any suspect’s right), but he wants to intimidate the suspect so that he’ll be afraid and desperate. The bad cop may threaten violence, will probably deny the kid any requests made (except for the lawyering up thing at least in theory), and just as it feels like the bad cop’s gonna lose his temper and strike, he’s called away on business or otherwise pretends to have to leave the room. Then after the kid’s been left in the interrogation room alone for several minutes to stew and overthink his situation, the good cop saunters in with a glass of water or a cup of coffee for the kid and pretends to be his pal. The good cop explains the kid’s situation, probably compares it to his own life experience or that of a friend he knows, and evokes compassion and empathy to convince the suspect that the good cop is on his side. However, that bad cop in the other room is nasty bad and the good cop can’t help the suspect or protect him from the bad cop if the suspect doesn’t cooperate.

Whether or not this scenario is actually used in real life, I have little to no evidence. It is a legendary technique that has become a regular plot trope in cop movies and tv shows, but of course you can’t use tv and movies as proof of real life, though I’m of the opinion people do it all the time. I may even be one of them when I’m not consciously paying attention to myself. I don’t want to ever have personal experience first hand that this takes place. I’d probably fall for it. Chances are most suspects brought into police stations nowadays are too savvy and worldly educated to fall for this routine, and I also question the ethics of doing this. If you know everyone has a right to an attorney (as stated in the Miranda Rights) why not just give the guy his freaking attorney? The law was put in place specifically to keep people from doing this to other people, and we do it anyway.

This is a game that’s played to skirt the fact that everyone should have the same equal rights under the law, because getting a confession out of someone before they lawyer up makes it easier to put them away in court. However, I’m not interested in telling First Responders how to do their jobs. I’m actually mostly interested in just staying out of a policeman’s way. Why? Cuz cops frankly scare me. I think they’re supposed to scare us. That’s part of their job: to be there as a deterrent to committing bad behavior, or anything that might get the attention of the long arm of the law.

For most of my life, even back when I was a Believer in the Christian faith, I’ve looked at the Muslim community with confusion and wariness. I have met some great people who just happened to be Muslim. They were “normal” in most ways to my tolerance of what I deemed normality to be. Maybe they dressed different, but their clothes often looked comfortable so I just chalked it up to that. They may have had some quirks, like praying at strange times of the day no matter what was going on, but that wasn’t what I found strange.

What was strange was they believed in Moses and Jesus just like I did, but they also believed in Muhammad, who so far as I could tell wasn’t in the Judeo Christian Bible, but he wrote a third bible called The Quran, which would be like me writing a comic book about Batman and Wonder Woman having a child that turned around and beat up on Superman in an old folks’ home and then expecting DC Comics to take me seriously. I was twelve at the time. I had weird thoughts like that. Imagine my surprise when many years later I learned that Batman and Wonder Woman started flirting with each other in the Justice League cartoon. I had to shield the eyes of my inner child.

I didn’t do any deep investigations as a kid, but I did pick up a friend’s Quran once (back then I thought it was spelled KORAN and sometimes I still see it like that so I don’t know if I’m spelling it correctly now or not). It was a leather bound book with no name on the cover but it was an English translation which made leafing through it less intimidating. I don’t recall exactly which passage I landed on but I remember distantly that what I scanned briefly went something like this:

Allah has cursed nonbelievers. To not believe Allah exists is to be his enemy. With this attitude, the 40 plus me is also the scourge of unicorns, the bane of leprechauns, and sasquatch shuns me with wanton abandon.

Allah makes all nonbelievers deaf, dumb and blind, and being a nonbeliever is synonymous with wrong-doing. Now, this didn’t bother me too much when I was 12 cuz I was a Believer. Allah’s just another word for God, right? They’re not talking about me. Refusing to accept Allah’s Way will be punished by fire in the belly, and you will be persecuted in this life and punished harshly in the next one. It goes on and on but you get the idea. I remember looking at this and thinking wow, the Muslim god’s meaner than my god is. How can they be the same guy? Then I remembered that God killed thousands of people and animals by flooding the Earth, but that was a very long time ago. When Jesus showed up, there’s not as much talk about God killing people by the thousands in the New Testament. And remember, I was twelve. I was a kid. This is about as far along the thought process as I’d get before I’d be distracted by cartoons or candy. I guess I just assumed The Quran god was part of the Old Testament god. That he’s kinda mellowed with age, maybe? It wasn’t until later I learned the Quran was actually written AFTER Jesus died on the cross. So when you look at the timeline, God used to be an asshole, then he lightened up around Jesus’ time, then he became an asshole again.

Like in parts of the Old Testament, there is no coddling language in much of the Quran. It’s all about how if you’re not on our side, you’re evil, and our god will punish you for not accepting his lack of evidence as evidence that he’s there. If you see our god differently than we do, we don’t tolerate that. You accept the word of Muhammad who is Allah’s prophet, or you get fires in the belly and impending dooms. These are your choices. Who wouldn’t choose a loving god and his adorable little prophet in the face of fire and doom? Really. This is a no-brainer.

Some years later I’d happen upon Jews or Christians who attacked Islam as if it weren’t complementary to their beliefs, and they’d cite passages like 2:109 where it explains that Jews and Christians are somehow envious of Muslims, and will try to steer Muhammad’s followers away from believing Muhammad is the prophet of Allah. The Quran directs the Muslims to be nice to the Jews and Christians with a smile and a nod until Allah gives the signal. Muslims are to forgive the non Muslims until Allah gives his command. Of course it’s fuzzy on just what this command is and what you’re to do after, but that’s where we get moderate Muslims versus extremist Muslims. Presumably, a true Believer in Islam will know the command of Allah when it happens, and you’ll know what to do, and different Muslims approach this less than clear verbage in different interpretive ways. Just like the Jews and Christians respond to the loopholes and fuzzy logic in their own ancient books. So they’re not all that different after all.

Then in 2:111 The Quran directs Muslims to challenge Jews and Christians on their claims that you can’t be Muslim and make it into heaven. Of course, it fails to point out Muslims have no more proof as a Muslim than the Jews and Christians have. At any rate, The Quran is pointing out here that it differs from those other faiths. There’s no tolerance here. The Muslims will get to heaven. The Jews and Christians will be left out in the cold, and the reason is because Muhammad is not being followed. He changed the locks.

So now when I look at a “moderate Muslim” I can’t help but think of the Good Cop Bad Cop scenario. It’s the same Quran. It’s the same book. These moderates are worshiping the same god that the extremist Muslims do. Some Muslims take the Quran more literally, but it’s clear when you actually read the Quran that you can’t be on the side of the nonbeliever. You can’t be on the side of even Jews and Christians who claim to worship the same one true god and just don’t accept Muhammad as a prophet. You are their enemy, if you are Allah’s friend. However, you wouldn’t want your enemy to know you hate them, unless you’re an extremist Muslim.

An Extremist Muslim is like the Bad Cop. He’s got a temper and he’s a loose cannon. He could go violent at any moment and you have no recourse. You’re trapped in this place with him and you’re already in enough trouble as it is. How can you defend yourself in this situation? The extremist radical Muslim refuses to negotiate or cooperate or offer any level of civility. He threatens immediate danger here and now, and he also talks about how his Allah is going to finish the job and make you suffer for eternity later. Then he runs off foaming at the mouth and screaming at the top of his lungs about all the virgins he’s gonna get, and you’re left there freaked out that you share a planet with someone that insane.

Then the moderate Muslim saunters in, tells you he’s not like that guy but he can’t control him. The moderate Muslim shows compassion, tends to focus on our similarities and not our differences, accentuates the positives and delineates the negatives, but doesn’t offer to help you stop that crazy madman from threatening you and causing damage to the planet. The moderate Muslim is the good cop, but when you look at all this objectively, these two different point of view still share the same common goals, and they still don’t see you as a part of the family. The moderate Muslim may make overtures that the extremist Muslim refuses to make, but ultimately they’re always empty and inconsequential, and sometimes moderate Muslims simply can’t hold up their end of any concrete, seemingly well-intentioned deal. Cuz they just can’t do anything about their more violent radical partner.

Now there’s a significant difference here between Good Cop/Bad Cop and Good Muslim/Bad Muslim.

When it comes to cops, the bad cop is being bad. This is not how a law enforcement officer should behave. You’re the good guys. Your job is to keep the peace, and you don’t do that by even pretending to be a loose cannon or a crazed imbecile. You do it by being a rational, thoughtful, caring human being. So the good cop is actually at least pretending to do the right thing in this scenario, though both guys agreed ahead of time to put on this charade for the suspect in order to accomplish a mutually beneficial goal.

When you read the Quran the “good” Muslim is actually not all that good of a Muslim. If you’re showing religious tolerance, and not threatening nonMuslims with fires in the belly and impending dooms, what book are you reading from? Cuz that’s what the book says. The “bad” Muslim is actually doing what the book tells him to do. So the only real difference here is whether you’re behaving as your Allah says you should behave.

Which brings us back to “the command of Allah.” What is this command, exactly? Well, depending on where you look in the Quran, it could be a number of things. For example, there’s a few places in the Quran where it predicts a massive earthquake and when that happens, that’s when Allah will come down and invoke justice on everyone. That’s the Muslim equivalent of The End of Days. An earthquake. So that could be Allah’s command. There could be other things too that would be a sign from God, but I’m just using earthquakes as one example.

Well, earthquakes happen all the time. So depending on where you’re expecting this earthquake to happen, it’s possible your god’s already given you your command. You just have to interpret which earthquake is god saying go get those nonMuslims and show them what for. So when we look at moderate Muslims and extremist Muslims, we may simply be looking at the same kind of Muslim, but each Muslim is waiting for Allah’s command, and an extremist Muslim is a guy who already thinks Allah has given his command, but the moderate Muslim is still biding his time and pretending to be a nice guy, cuz he hasn’t heard his Allah command him yet.

Whether it’s an earthquake they’re waiting on or some other sign from their master, they still believe all this crazy bullshit in the Quran, but they’re not going to show you how crazy they really are, cuz while they’re waiting for their Allah to give them the signal, they still have to share this planet with you, and they still want to enjoy their lives while their Allah still allows them to enjoy it. So they’re gonna be your friend, until the time has come for Allah and his Believers to strike. Then they’ll all be “good” Muslims, and they’ll all act like bad cops multiplied by a googolplex.

So take this, and then look at the extremist Christians in our midst. Those who are moderate Christians and not extreme like the radicals in the Westboro Baptist Church, could simply have not been given a sign from on high that convinces them the Bible is REALLY the word of their god, and that you have to follow it to the letter if you want to please the one who created you and then sacrificed himself for your benefit. Cuz the crazy shit of abortion doctor murderers and people who stand on street corners shouting obscenities about gay people? It’s in the bible. They got verses that back up their behavior. That’s why they’re acting like crazy people. The bible tells them to do this crazy shit.

2 Chronicles 15:12-13 from the Judeo-Christian bible says “And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul, but that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman.”

It’s plainly printed in black and white in every Bible there is. Clear as day. There is no mistaking it. The God of Israel, the one who sacrificed himself on a cross in the form of a carpenter named Jesus, who is also the One True God Allah and Muhammad is His prophet, says all nonbelievers should be put to death. You are just waiting on a signal from on high to start doing it. Believers are not on the side of nonbelievers. You are not on the side of people. You are on the side of a god you can’t prove exists but you believe must be real cuz it says so in a book that you may or may not have actually read.

If you’re a Muslim, a Christian, or a Jew, and you’re not doing exactly what it says in the Bible, what will it take to get you to realize that, if this shit is real, you’re not doing your part? You’re just playing the good cop and you’re biding your time for your captain to tell you when it’s okay to start playing bad cop. And I’m not falling for your tactic. Fuck judgment day. I want my lawyer.