Briefly, criticising people's genes is wrong.
You can't change your genes.
You can't help being born white, black, Arab, or whatever.
But criticising people's memes is ok
- indeed it is what free speech is all about.
You can change your memes.
Being born an Arab Muslim doesn't mean you can't adopt western values,
be tolerant of gays, Jews and atheists,
even abandon Islam altogether.
Criticism of people's religion can be difficult.
How does one tell the difference between
and simple hatred and bigotry?
how does one tell the difference between
criticism of the
supernatural meme of Judaism
The trick, I think, is that
should be optimistic and positive.
be done with respect for the well-being of the people involved,
and hope that they change to better memes.
Instead of saying:
"Followers of meme X
are evil and we should fear them"
it is far better to say that:
"Followers of meme X should abandon it
and adopt better memes".
It should always be done with an open respect for
freedom of religion
- namely, the right of the person to ignore your criticism
and carry on believing in their memes freely.
Meme X itself cannot demand respect.
It should always be legal to say:
"Meme X is evil".
But then to follow it with:
"Believers in meme X should abandon it and adopt better memes"
to make it clear you are in the world of logic and debate
rather than in the world of extermination.
People imagine that their religions have been around forever,
when in fact they were only
invented at a certain point in history,
and before that, not one person on earth
believed in them.
So all Muslims have already
abandoned the culture of their ancestors.
They imagine that Islam is the "natural" religion of the Middle East,
when in fact it is a 7th century betrayal of the beliefs of the
ancestors of the Middle East population.
All Muslims have several billion pre-Muslim and non-Muslim ancestors who would be baffled
by their descendants' beliefs.
We have all betrayed our ancestors.
It is simply a matter of choosing which ancestors to betray.
A Canadian trade union leftist, Dave Coles,
calls criticism of Saudi Arabia "racist", Sept 2011.
He is criticising
the "Ethical Oil" ad
of Aug 2011.
He then has to face the ad author
- who is an Indian-Canadian Muslim!
A middle-aged white guy
tells an Indian Muslim that criticising oppression in the Islamic world is racist!
That's the left's world of "Islamophobia" for you!
Ezra Levant show.
Muslims who criticise Islamic culture get called "Islamophobic" by the left!
Algerian novelist Kamel Daoud
tries to explain why aspects of Islamic culture lead to rape:
"So is the refugee 'savage'? No. But he is different. And giving him papers and a place in a hostel is not enough. It is not just the physical body that needs asylum. It is also the soul that needs to be persuaded to change."
Western white leftists call him "Islamophobic".
Even though he actually lives in Algeria!
"They do not live in my flesh or in my land, and I find it illegitimate - not to say scandalous - that certain people accuse me of Islamophobia from the safety and comfort of their western cafes."
The Blackmail Of Islamophobia,
- How the accusation of "Islamophobia" is used to silence atheists, unbelievers
and moderate Muslims.
"What is this all about in reality? Removing the religion of the Koran from the test
to which the two other existing monotheisms have long been subject: the test of self-examination."
Far from being "racist",
".. arguing against a system of thought
or belief, rejecting its ideas, convictions which you judge, rightly or wrongly, to be false or dangerous is the
very foundation of intellectual life and free thought.
were alive today, we can bet that certain
"anti-racists" would have him thrown in prison."
Stop calling criticism of Islam 'Islamophobia',
Jackson Doughart and Faisal Saeed al-Mutar (an Iraqi), Sep 26, 2012.
"The strategic construction of "Islamophobia," ... is designed ... to equate bigotry against Muslims with criticism of Islam, blurring any distinction between these two very different actions.
While the prejudging of all Muslim citizens as suspicious and untrustworthy is indeed comparable with other forms of racial and religious bigotry, the study and refutation of Islam's claims to moral and philosophical authority is a just and necessary enterprise, fully compatible with a pluralistic society that values religious liberty."
(born an Egyptian Muslim)
on jihadi preachers in the West,
and the assertions that those who criticise them are "Islamophobic" racists:
"Such preachers are often regarded as a joke and as extreme even by moderate Muslims in Egypt
only to find themselves with new respectable status and freedoms they could only dream of
under Muslim dictatorships. Such Muslim radical preachers should never have been allowed in America.
But believe it or not they have discovered that only in America
can they work the system to their advantage to demand this and that
and if anyone criticizes them they learn the good old buzz words in America:
racist, bigot and Islamophobia
- the choice words they learned quickly from some Muslim American organizations
who claim to be moderate."
'Islamophobia' Idiocy, Amir Taheri (Iranian atheist), July 3, 2007
- "Britain and a few other Western democracies are the only places on earth where Muslims of all persuasions can practice their faith in full freedom. A thick directory of Muslim institutions in Britain lists more than 300 different sects - most of them banned and persecuted in every Muslim country on earth.
A Shiite Muslim can't build a mosque in Cairo; his Sunni brother can't have a mosque of his own in Tehran. Editions of the Koran printed in Egypt or Saudi Arabia are seized as contraband in Iran; Egypt and most other Muslim nations in turn ban the import of Korans printed in Iran. The works of a majority of Muslim writers and philosophers are banned in most Muslim countries.
In Britain, all mosques are allowed; no Muslim author or philosopher is banned."
on the left's tolerance of sharia rules for Muslim women in the west:
"Multiculturalism was formed with good intentions as a counter-reaction"
[to the old racism]
"But it has become a mirror-image of this old racism, treating Muslim women - and others - as so different that they do not deserve the same rights as the rest of us."
Iranian feminist Azar Majedi:
"Multiculturalism is racism; cultural relativism is racism; this should be recognized once and for all. By defining different laws for different citizens on the basis of such arbitrary concepts such as culture or religion, we leave the lot of the weakest sections of that so-called "cultural community" to the mercy of the self-imposed leaders of that community."
Muhammad Sven Kalisch,
a Muslim who has come to believe that
The Prophet Muhammad never existed,
it is wrong to treat Muslims as if they are children
whose faith must be protected from criticism
and frightening new ideas,
whereas Christians need no such protection:
"The word "respect" sounds wonderful but it is completely inappropriate here because one really refers to the opposite. Whoever thinks that Muslims can't deal with facts puts Muslims on the same level as small children who can't think and decide for themselves and whose illusions of Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny one doesn't want to destroy."
Monica Ali, quoted 1 Feb 2009, says the way the left treats minorities could be seen as racist:
"Liberals, she says, "begin with sympathy for the underdog. They want to defend minority communities because they are beleaguered communities. But what they end up doing is listening to the loudest voices in those communities and ignoring the diversity".
It is striking, she points out, how, in the name of respect for minorities, minority voices themselves get silenced. The liberal idea of respect, Ali notes, is patronising: "It is a kind of moral superiority. What liberals mean when they talk about respect is that they can handle complex fiction, ambiguity, criticism, but other people can't, especially people in minority communities, because they are too sensitive.""
An open letter to Ben Affleck, Oct 2014.
says well-meaning leftists like Affleck are shutting down criticism of Islam, and hence letting down all the people
oppressed by Islam.
"Noble liberals like yourself always stand up for the misrepresented Muslims and stand against the Islamophobes, which is great
but who stands in my corner and for the others who feel oppressed by the religion? Every time we raise our voices, one of us is killed or threatened."
There is an extraordinary modern idea that we should "respect" other people's beliefs.
Often it is suggested that we should "respect" Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism or other religions,
because they are old, or have lots of followers.
This shows a basic lack of understanding of what a free society is.
A free society is one in which
you have the right to believe nonsense,
and I have the right to call it nonsense.
You don't have to "respect" my stupid beliefs.
And I don't have to "respect" yours.
But we both must agree to leave the other alone to believe what they want in peace.
So many so-called "liberals" fail to understand this basic building block of a western liberal society.
on the idea that we have to "respect" other people's beliefs.
"It is abject nonsense to say that we understand and even share to some degree
the primitive Muslim outrage expressed ...
at the Danish cartoons, in the unctuous Clintonian sense of feeling their pain.
Perhaps we understand the outrage in the anthropological sense,
as a symptom of injured pride and the thuggishness that injured pride generates.
But that is not what Jack Straw ... meant,
or rather intended us to think he meant."
"We do not, most of us, respect Islam any more than we respect people who speak in tongues.
What we respect is the right of Muslims to practise their religion in perfect peace,
in so far as it does not conflict with our laws.
Tolerance is not a matter of respecting what is tolerated
- if it were, tolerance would hardly be necessary."
"Surely Muslims in this country and elsewhere know perfectly well that we, most of us,
do not respect their religion, in the sense of according it
intellectual, moral or artistic status
in the modern world
Some among them find this intolerable"
He is appalled at politicians' response to the cartoons hysteria:
"Instead, Muslims should be told quite clearly that
our citizens have the legal right
to criticise, lampoon, ridicule and mock Mohammed to their heart's content,
in any way that they wish: that Islam and Muslims have no special claim to protection
from the rough and tumble of post-Enlightenment intellectual, political and social life.
If they cannot live in a society in which this is the case, they should go somewhere else"
The atheist Johann Hari on Islam, 14 August 2008:
"Insulating a religion from criticism - surrounding it with an electric fence called "respect" - keeps it stunted at its most infantile and fundamentalist stage. The smart, questioning and instinctively moral Muslims - the majority - learn to be silent, or are shunned (at best).
So why do many people who cheer The Life Of Brian and Jerry Springer: The Opera turn into clucking Mary Whitehouses when it comes to Islam?
It is condescending to treat Muslims like excitable children who cannot cope with the probing, mocking treatment we hand out to Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism."
Religious tests and public office:
"If you're a religious believer, don't ask me for respect; you don't have it. Call me an "Islamophobe" or a "Christianophobe" and I will accept these terms as compliments ... If you seek legal protection for your religious beliefs (as opposed to the freedom to worship any god or none) then I will oppose you and accept no compromise. But leave me and (more important) my fellow citizens alone, and I will remain indifferent to whatever myths of origins and eschatology you espouse."
Q. "So are you saying that it is "inherently unreasonable" for any religious group to ask for respect?"
A. "Yes, of course. The most, as well as the least, that any religious group is entitled to is freedom of belief, conscience, speech, worship and association, and that there be no religious test for public office. To ask for respect as well is inherently unreasonable."
Oliver Kamm, August 14, 2008:
"I strongly reject the notion that belief in the sacred is entitled to protection, whether by voluntary indulgence or legal sanction. The principle of respect for other people's deepest beliefs is not one I hold, and I consider its implications are pernicious."
The idea that it should be forbidden to mock Islam,
but ok to mock other ideas:
Mehdi Hasan is a British Muslim religious nut
with a history of bigoted speech against non-Muslims.
He complains about the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of Islam.
He aggressively asks why not Holocaust cartoons?
Or cartoons mocking 9/11?
The obvious reply is: Does he say this every time UK conservatives or US Republicans are mocked?
"Hey, you drew an anti-Tory cartoon! Why not mock the Holocaust? Double standards!"
Reply to Mehdi Hasan
sums up the problem with the argument:
"It implies that Islam is in some way different, and must be treated differently to other ideas, and that a protected space must be carved out specifically for one ideological framework of power (in this case, Islam), that no other system of belief is granted.
There was no anger or claims of racism when Charlie Hebdo mocked Catholicism. If "Have I Got News For You" mock conservatism, it isn’t usually followed by the suggestion that the show has ‘taken free speech too far’, nor Mehdi Hasan suggesting that "Have I Got News For You" should consider satirising 9/11 just for some balance. These ideas – Catholicism, conservatism, liberalism, Hinduism, capitalism – are all rightly granted no implied protection. Thus, they are considered on a level playing field, open as they should be, to criticism, mocking, and satire ... There is no legitimate reason to protect religion – or a single religion – from the forms of criticism that all others are open to."
Some anti-counterjihad people like the above
say that hostility to Islam and Islamism
is like the old anti-semitism, that
"Muslims are the new Jews"
who now need to fear persecution and extermination.
There are however some differences with pre-1939 anti-semitism:
Jews in the early 20th century were not carrying out terrorist attacks
on the western democracies.
If they were, then hostility to Judaism would have been quite justified.
Jews in the early 20th century were not threatening to end human rights
in the western democracies
and impose an oppressive Jewish religious law.
If they were, then hostility to Judaism would have been quite justified.
Jews in the early 20th century were not running countries
where religious minorities were persecuted and oppressed
under Jewish religious law.
If they were, then hostility to Judaism would have been quite justified.
Jews in the early 20th century were not
engaged in constant warfare and terror attacks throughout the world.
If they were, then hostility to Judaism would have been quite justified.
Jews in the early 20th century were not threatening to
conquer the world under their religion.
If they were, then hostility to Judaism would have been quite justified.
So not much of an analogy there, then.
Hostility to Judaism looks creepy not because Judaism makes sense (it makes no sense at all)
but because it is so harmless.
If Judaism was violent and oppressed people, I would certainly be a lot more hostile to it.
"Muslims are going through that situation right now that the Jews faced before the Holocaust.
That was going on in Germany before the Holocaust, same thing is happening now about Muslims."
Said the sharia-promoting creep.
Robert Spencer replies, noting the similarities:
"Remember all those Jewish terror plots? Jews shouting "Shema Yisrael" as they blew themselves up in crowds of non-Jews and flew planes into buildings? Remember those captured internal documents of Jewish organizations saying they were working toward "eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within" so that "the religion of Moses was victorious over other religions"?"
made the same point:
"Yes, we all recall the Jewish suicide bombers of that period, as we recall the Jewish yells for holy war, the Jewish demands for the veiling of women and the stoning of homosexuals, and the Jewish burning of newspapers that published cartoons they did not like."
"Yes, yes, of course. You may recall from the histories of those days that Catholics newly arrived in the U.S. in the 19th century loudly proclaimed that they were there to take over, and numerous Catholics engaged in terror plotting, as well as in non-violent attempts to assert the primacy of Catholic canon law over American law. You remember the Fort Hood Catholic shooting, the Arkansas recruiting center Catholic shooting, the Christmas underwear bomb Catholic Crusade attempt, the Times Square Catholic car bomb attempt, ... and on and on. No wonder non-Catholics were suspicious, and in all good faith wanted Catholics to show that they rejected the wellsprings of all this violence and supremacism."
"Perhaps the closest parallel to today's hysteria about Islam is the 19th-century fear spread by the Know Nothing movement about "the Catholic menace." One book warned that Catholicism was "the primary source" of all of America's misfortunes, and there were whispering campaigns that presidents including Martin Van Buren and William McKinley were secretly working with the pope. Does that sound familiar?"
"Catholics in the 19th century were not blowing up buildings, nor was the Vatican vowing to overthrow the US government and replace it with a papal-led theocracy. ...
The group that came closest to this was the anarchists,
who really did launch bombings,
assassinated President William McKinley
in 1901, and advocated for the overthrow of government."
But saying "Fear of Islam is like 19th-20th century fear of violent anarchist bombers"
just doesn't sound as good.
I like a lot of what D'Souza writes on
America and communism and the Cold War,
but he seems to be useless on Islamism.
It seems that because he is religious and Islam is religious,
he feels defensive of it in some way.
D'Souza says the right
should stop criticising Islam and the Prophet:
"First, stop attacking Islam. Conservatives have to cease blaming Islam
for the behavior of the radical Muslims. Recently the right has produced a spate
of Islamophobic tracts with titles like
Sword of the Prophet, (*) and
The Myth of Islamic Tolerance.
There is probably no better way to repel traditional Muslims,
and push them into the radical camp, than to attack their religion and their prophet."
In other words, D'Souza is saying that an Islamic Reformation,
or an Islamic Enlightenment, should not be allowed to take place,
and Islam and the Prophet must remain forever beyond criticism,
as Christianity and the Church were in the Middle Ages.
But my point stands that
open criticism of "their religion and their prophet"
is exactly what Islam needs, and far from creating more radicals,
it will create more apostates and moderates,
just as open criticism of Christianity has done over the last 200 years.
D'Souza also says about Islamic countries:
"if they want Sharia, let them have it."
"Worse than its sophomoric treatment of serious issues is its presentation of a blinkered and politically correct version of the Muslim world. It is a presentation that the young Mr. D'Souza would have scorned.
... Mr. D'Souza's portrait of the Muslim world verges on apologetics.
D'Souza stigmatizes [criticism of Islam]
as "Islamophobic." It is a judgment he expresses in the lexicon of the high church of political correctness that Mr. D'Souza mocked in a previous life. Getting in the spirit, he asserts that conservatives "have to cease blaming Islam for the behavior of radical Muslims." (We must instead learn to blame "the cultural left" for the behavior of radical Muslims.)"
In reference to the Muhammad cartoons, D'Souza attacks the idea that
"it is within the parameters of acceptable satire to blame Muhammad for the pathologies of radical Islam".
First, he gets it wrong by suggesting this would have to be satire, rather than
a reasonable theory (maybe D'Souza should read about the life of Muhammad).
Second, he suggests this is satire which is beyond the bounds of acceptable satire!
Robert Spencer summarises why
D'Souza is wrong to think of our liberal permissive society as a
cause of the Islamist jihad,
no matter how much Muslims might talk about it.
D'Souza is falling into the same trap as those who think Israel, say,
is the cause of the Islamist jihad:
"no redressing of Islamic grievances against the West (as Obama is relentlessly pursuing) will blunt the force of the global jihad: the grievances are just counters and recruiting tools for a jihad imperative that is based simply on the fact that we are Infidels, not Infidels with an objectionable foreign policy or pop culture."
D'Souza claims the West's freedom of speech and sexuality
repels "traditional Muslims", who are apparently different from "radical Muslims".
When asked for an example of the former, who the West should apparently be wooing,
D'Souza named the Mufti of Egypt,
There is a claim
that Ali Gomaa
"Muslims must kill non-believers wherever they are unless they convert to Islam."
I think this is a fake quote.
If you have proof either way, please tell me.
The Mufti of Egypt,
who Dinesh D'Souza praises as the kind of traditional Muslim
western conservatives should be allying with,
supports wife-beating. "Women in some cultures are not averse to beatings. They consider it as an expression of masculinity, and as a kind of control, which she herself desires."
The Dennis Prager controversy of 2006
shows some clear water between me and some other people on the right.
For me, the right to practice your religion (including Christianity and Islam)
is fundamental to a free society.
You cannot demand that I "respect" your mad supernatural beliefs,
but you have the right to practice them unmolested,
and especially without having other people's mad beliefs forced on you.
is a bizarre article
saying that congressmen should swear on the Bible.
What is bizarre is that Prager does not believe in the Bible.
At least, not the Christian Bible that congressmen swear on.
He is a Jew.
He claims that historically,
non-believers like Jews and Mormons have gone along with
swearing on the Bible,  and he thinks this is good,
and represents the unity of America.
I disagree. I think it is bizarre.
What is the problem with allowing any book? Or no book at all? 
I see no problem at all.
 In fact, no book is required by law.
Nor can it be, under the constitution.
The problem with Prager's argument is the element of compulsion.
Prager's original article
says that swearing on the Bible should be forced on all congressmen.
"Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned,
America is interested in only one book, the Bible.
If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress."
Though in the followup he says he does not want people to be forced by law.
"I don't think anything legal should be done about this.
I'm not arguing legality. I'm arguing what you should do."
Prager later regrets his article:
"'It was a rare example of my passion getting the better of my reason,'
said Prager, who regrets any implication that Ellison should not have the legal right
to swear on the Koran. Prager said he did not believe a
"religious test" should be a requirement to hold office."
"whose work I often much like".
He notes that
Presidents Franklin Pierce and Herbert Hoover (a Quaker) didn't swear at all,
but rather affirmed.
"This year, one newly elected House member
.. will choose to take his oath of office on his own sacred scripture, the Koran.
Some religious conservatives have made themselves look terrible
- mean-spirited and intolerant and theocratic - by objecting to this innocuous gesture"
"Dennis Prager's argument ...
intolerant, misinformed and downright un-American.
Members of Congress, like all Americans, should be free to observe their own religious practices without government interference or coercion.".
Mary Katharine Ham
notes that it is like a ceasefire in the blog world.
"unified Americans of the right and left blogospheres in a very rare way."
I still like Prager on other topics.
Since Prager doesn't believe in the Bible,
this must I think ultimately be filed as a bizarre,
rather than a bigoted Christian, statement.
The bottom line is that Muslims in the West should be free to practice their religion,
dress how they want,
build mosques, proselytise,
run for office, swear on the Koran,
and in general enjoy all the religious freedoms that are found in western secular democracies
and not in Islamic countries.
Islamic fundamentalism may be a deadly violent threat to the West,
but that is no reason to abolish freedom of religion.
As I say elsewhere,
we shouldn't give up our religious freedom just because some Middle Eastern hellholes deny it.
is another person
who talks sense on Islamism and global politics,
but talks nonsense about religion (this is quite common on the right).
And she also, like Prager, is, bizarrely, a Jew
who buys into Christian supremacism:
in an attack on atheists
on the Paula Zahn show, CNN, January 31, 2007:
"Listen, we are a Christian nation.
I'm not a Christian. I'm Jewish, but I recognize we're a Christian country
and freedom of religion doesn't mean freedom from religion."
Complete rubbish, of course.
The fundamental difference between the West and Islamic countries
is that we do have freedom from religion.
Look at their 5 point plan
to combat Islamophobia
"to address the negative perceptions and stereotypes of Islam and British Muslims".
In their plan, there is no mention of
fighting (or even criticising!)
those Muslims who support terror, violence and oppression.
No mention of
opposing sharia law
and defending freedom of religion for apostates, atheists and infidels.
The "Islam is Peace" ad campaign.
A Photoshop commentary on the "Islam is Peace" campaign, using the
An even more ludicrous ad campaign for Islam:
"Inspired by Muhammad",
claiming that Muhammad believed in women's rights (or any human rights).
As Edmund Standing
"It's hard to tell if this campaign is run by sadly deluded people who actually believe the slogans are accurate or if this is an example of dissimulation for a kufr audience."
He also unearths the dodgy associations of
the woman above.
In response to the (rather pathetic) argument that maybe Muhammad
was "advanced for his time",
points out that pagan Roman philosophers
like, say, the 1st century AD
Gaius Musonius Rufus
had ideas on women that
were far more advanced than Muhammad,
To the "Islamic Jihad" organisation
(which enjoys widespread popular support in the region)
"jihad" means blowing up buses full of kuffars.
Moderate western Muslims need to take them on, and expose their evil,
rather than waste time trying to re-define and whitewash the word "jihad".
Robert Spencer gives the "Islam is Peace" campaign a better
5 point plan:
As Spencer points out, if they actually implemented his plan,
it would lead to a dramatic reduction in "Islamophobia".
But of course they are not listening.
Spencer then works through each of their 5 points in turn:
But of course they are not listening.
The poll claims that lack of "respect" for Islam by the West is a major problem
(rather than violence and oppression by Islam).
It asks the world's Muslims the loaded question:
"Many Muslims around the world have said to improve relations with the
Muslim world, the West must show greater respect for Muslims and Islam.
What of the following actions would be most meaningful to you?"
It only gives 3 answers to pick, all of which are
leftie-Islamist themes of what the West needs to do:
the Quran and
fairly in policies
that affect them"
Muslims in films"
Of course, the world's Muslims go for these ideas in droves.
But the real problem is the poll thinking that any of this is important in stopping
and improving relations.
To "improve relations" between the West and the
Muslim world, of course, the Muslim world needs to stop being violent and oppressing people.
As Robert Spencer
notes, the poll did not say this:
"A large majority of Muslims say the best way for the West to improve relations with them would be for jihadis to knock off the terrorist attacks and stealth jihad in the West."
Robert Spencer explains how to end Islamophobia.
His 5 point plan starts
But of course, whining grievance-mongering groups like
are not listening.
If Muslims want to reduce
fear and dislike of Islam in the West, they should, Spencer says:
Focus their indignation on Muslims committing violent acts in the name of Islam, not on non-Muslims reporting on those acts.
Renounce definitively not just "terrorism," but any intention to replace the U.S. Constitution (or the constitutions of any non-Muslim state) with Sharia even by peaceful means. In line with this, clarify what is meant by their condemnations of the killing of innocent people by stating unequivocally that American and Israeli civilians are innocent people.
Teach Muslims the imperative of coexisting peacefully as equals with non-Muslims on an indefinite basis.
Begin comprehensive international programs in mosques all over the world to teach against the ideas of violent jihad and Islamic supremacism.
Actively work with Western law enforcement officials to identify and apprehend jihadists within Western Muslim communities.
If Muslims do those five things, voila! "Misperceptions" of Islam will no longer hold sway among Americans. And "outright bigotry"? Forget it! It will be about as common as outright anti-Buddhist bigotry!
"Rusty Shackleford" on what liberal Muslims must do
"Rusty Shackleford", 13 Aug 2010, has an eloquent description of what liberal Muslims must do for us to admire them.
Talking about a Muslim anti-terrorism video, he says:
"it's not enough to "denounce terrorism" as the clerics in the video do. Everyone "denounces terrorism". Terrorists "denounce terrorism". It's all in how you define "terrorism"."
"I'm going to go further and say to Muslims that it's not enough to denounce terrorism. That's great and all, but there are two more things you must do if you want my friendship.
1) Denounce sharia law.
2) Denounce specific acts of terror by Islamist groups against non-Islamists.
Doing those two things brings you into the 21st century and we can deal with our political disagreements in a civil fashion."
"One other problem I have with the ad .. is that it doesn't really counter the jihadist narrative. The jihadist narrative does not begin with violence for violence's sake. The narrative begins with a story about how Muslims are oppressed all over the world by non-Muslims.
What you need to do to counter the narrative must be to show that however oppressed Muslims are
... that the alternative, sharia law, is even more oppressive. That oppression in Muslim countries is most likely to occur in the name of Islam, rather than in spite of it.
And to do that you must reject sharia law."
He says that if "moderate" Muslims denounce Al Qaeda,
but still stick to the idea that America and Israel oppress Muslims
(but somehow terror is not the answer)
"This seems very much like the debate between Marxists who believed in change at the ballot box vs. Marxists who believe in revolutionary and violent change. One is simply an extreme -- and to many, logical -- outcome of the other. And in the end, both means gets you to the same oppressive ends. Muslims need to denounce both the ends and the means."
People scratch their heads about the cause of "Islamophobia".
Are westerners just hostile to "difference"?
I suggest the main cause of "Islamophobia" is
the never-ending series of Islamic terror attacks.
If somehow Islam could stop these, Islam would be ignored like Hinduism and Buddhism are.
Rev. Alberto Cutie
"how are we going to end this stigma of Muslim equals terrorist?"
Robert Spencer replies:
"Hmm. That's a tough one, Cutie.
Maybe it would help if Muslims stopped committing acts of terrorism and justifying them by reference to the texts and teachings of Islam?"
"It is interesting to ponder why Chinese or Indians or Muslims or Arabs can enter Freiburg University or the Sorbonne or Oxford or Harvard or Chicago University or Toronto University and specialize and earn a universally respected academic degree in their own Chinese or Indian or Muslim or Arab culture, but no German or Frenchman or Englishman or American or Canadian can enter any Chinese or Indian or Muslim or Persian or Arab university and specialize and earn a universally respected academic degree in his own German or French or British or American or Canadian culture.
The reason is that these non-Western universities (and therefore their own native cultures which they themselves reflect) have not yet sufficiently caught the insatiable original Greek curiosity about all being; they are interested in others only to a degree; for the most part only utilitarian, only to use them, only to learn from them. They are not interested in knowing their essence, their being; they are for the most part wrapped up in themselves; the others are perhaps too strange, too forbidding for them; their original, natural, wholesome curiosity is somehow inhibited."
- Lebanese Christian
understands the West
a lot better than Muslims who scream about
Westerners are absurdly stereotyped as racists
by leftists and Islamists.
But in fact Westerners tend to be endlessly curious
about the rest of the world.
If Muslims get outraged when Islam or Islamic countries
are criticised by westerners,
that is not because westerners are racists.
It is because Islam does not have a tradition of self-criticism like the West does.
Who I block:
I will debate almost anyone.
I love ideas.
I will not debate (and will block) people who do the following:
(a) Make threats.
(b) Accuse me of crimes.
(c) Comment on my appearance.
(d) Drag in stuff about me not related to the topic. (My professional career, my personal life.)
(e) Complain to my employer.
Yes, people do all these things.