Questionable Motives

December 9, 2014

Why does reality suffer from Islamophobia?

Filed under: Criticism,Islam,islamophobia — tildeb @ 11:59 am

wahhabi libertyReality suffers from Islamophobia because that’s the only way Islam is both a religion of peace and the koran is the perfect word of god. By reality offering us compelling evidence that this duo is in practice incompatible means that reality is the problem and this is because it suffers from Islamophobia. Muslims have to face this reality and choose one or the other. It’s just that simple.

Sure, many muslims will continue to delude themselves with a lovely bit of circular thinking, namely, that because Islam is a religion of peace, any violence done in its name is not true Islam, and so criticisms of the scripture that offers directed divine support for violence – the perfect word of god, don’t forget – is not representative of the correct meaning of the scripture.

Mulberry Bush, meet the circumbendibus weasel.

Let me introduce to you John Maguire, a Canadian muslim calling for other Canadian muslims to kill other Canadians. How is it possible he thinks his call is divinely sanctioned?

Well, it’s a mystery. It couldn’t possibly be due to his Islamic beliefs derived from the scripture of the koran, now could it? We are told repeatedly by ‘experts’ that doing what he’s doing – using scripture from the koran to justify violence done in its name – is a mysterious exercise of some kind of nefarious ‘radicalization’ process obviously divorced from the religion itself (ie ‘radicalization’ meaning the effects that may occur when someone points out this call to violence contained in scripture to someone who accepts that it is the perfect word of god. Experts agree that the real problem comes from the guy talking and not the guy listening and most definitely not because of the scripture saying what it says. No, no, no… ).

How is this divorce between scriptural calls for violence and violence done in its name made clear to the rest of us who mistakenly think Islamic violence is somehow connected to Islam?

Well, first we must assume that the scripture couldn’t possibly mean what it says because Islam has to be a religion of peace because it truly is a religion of peace, you see… sort of like the Shriners of the religious world. Mind you, that there are no Shriners calling for the killing of non Shriners – funny that – but this lack of ‘radicalization’ in the Shriners ranks is in all likelihood another great mystery to these same self-described ‘experts’. So many mysteries.

Secondly, we must assume that those who do believe this scripture calls for certain actions to be undertaken in its name has been interpreted correctly if and only if these actions are not violent… as if working hard in community service and charity downplays the very real tendency towards taking over political governance and imposing sharia law in place of democratic jurisprudence, which is more like a bloodless change in business management and administrative policy… business (almost) as usual, you see….

Thirdly, as any ‘good’ muslim knows, any violent actions done in the name of Islam cannot be true Islam. This is just a fact, you see. The koran really is the perfect word of god… except where it makes calls for violence, in which case it must be reinterpreted to mean something other than what it says. The perfection is still present and non violent, of course, because true Islam is a religion of peace; it just has to be interpreted correctly. Those who become ‘radicalized’ have failed to interpret the perfect word correctly and have taken it at face value… which advocates for violence that cannot possibly be associated with true Islam because true Islam is a religion of peace…. as every good (ie not ‘radicalized’) muslim knows. Sure, much koranic scripture is to be taken at face value as god intended and not interpreted by ‘radical’ reformers – radical because they presume they have some right to interpret god’s most perfect word in areas like gender differences and roles and so on – but taking scripture at face value in call for violence is the opposite, you see. In this case, taking scripture at face value is what’s radical because true Islam is a religion of peace.

Fourthly, anyone who criticizes this whack-a-mole notion that the koran itself as not being the perfect word of god (this bit of the koran perfect by its literal directive, this bit perfect by interpretive direction, you see, so the whole remains quite perfect and reasonably so) is by definition racist and an Islamophobe. They are the worst kind of people because they are intolerant of muslims for really bad reasons that have no basis in fact. These radicals just don’t understand why true Islam is the religion of peace and made so by submitting to the fact that the koran is perfect word of god in spite of overwhelming evidence reality offers us to the contrary. Because reality itself demonstrates that Islam is not a religion of peace when followed by those willing to submit to its literal understanding of scripture, reality is at fault because the koran is the perfect word of god AND true Islam is a religion of peace.

Pretending that there’s nothing inherently dysfunctional and violent about believing the koran somehow contains the perfect word of god and that word is peaceful is to deny reality. And that reality is that the source scripture called the koran continues to be used as a divine source to justify violence done in its name. How so many of the ‘experts’ addressing the problem of violence done in the name of Islam continue to miss this hard-to-miss connection I think is the only truly Great Mystery at work here.

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November 2, 2013

Why is islam such a dangerous foe of liberal democracies?

Because of  the teachings of the koran stand contrary to them.

The music is irritating but the video reveals what I’ve been saying forever: the koran itself – and not a ‘few bad apples’ who mistakenly take its teachings too seriously – is incompatible with Western liberal secular values.  Pointing out this fact does not make one a racist or an islamaphobe. It makes one a realist who is awake and aware.

Sam Harris makes a very good comment on it here as does Jerry Coyne here.

April 3, 2013

Is New Atheism a cover for racist hatred of Muslims?

wahhabi libertyI’ve come across this trope so many times that I realize people are actually falling for it… people (I presumed) who have great difficulty comprehending the written word. After all, I know that even in my country of Canada with its high standing in comparative public education achievements, nearly a third of the population is functionally illiterate. So it’s no surprise to find those who suffer from this unnecessary problem may have difficulty grasping the well written explanations describing why it’s a good thing to criticize ideas and doctrines that have profoundly negative effects in the public domain. And it requires a similar kind of illiteracy to fall for this lie that islamaphobia – an irrational fear of islam – is driven by racist motives rather than good reasons based on compelling evidence.

As if this willful blindness to the very real danger to our secular principles islam contains isn’t bad enough, these people who criticize us – those who have the bad manners to point out why islam requires robust and public critcism – fail to see the obvious: what is truly disturbing is how easily this blindness, this abject stupidity to blame the messenger for the message,  morphs into support for the trope that any and all criticism of the doctrine that empowers islam to be so dangerous in reality is really racism in action.

What is remarkable is that this blatant lie is so easily embraced by those who can read, who can comprehend the written word, who can understand why this misrepresentation and misapplication of what the criticism is all about matters. And to add insult to injury, those who promote and extend this dangerous trope seem to suffer no qualms to attribute the real danger to be those of us who have the moral fortitude and intellectual integrity to point out why the doctrine of islam in particular is so dangerous to us all by standing contrary to the foundational principles that support the liberal secular democracies we have inherited, namely, the New Atheists.

The doctrine of islam is the teachings of koran. If you ask any muslim a specific, straight forward question like this, “Do you believe the koran is the perfect word of god?” be prepared for the fundamentalist answer: “Yes.” This answer does not come only from some fringe element, some extreme radical group of the religion, but the mainstream, from the average muslim. If pressed about what constitutes the difference between a good muslim and a poor one, you will find out from the muslim that how closely the koran is followed determines this status. Why we delude ourselves to think that there will be some maturation of this mainstream fundamentalist thinking with exposure to western secular values is simply as mystifying as it is foolish and dangerous. (The latest evidence is from a trio of high school graduates – who classmates describe as normal and nice and typical – from London, ON who converted to islam, and then participated in mass murder in an attack on gas workers in Algeria.) The motivating factor for this travesty of misdirected young lives was islam. It was not New Atheists!

Those muslims who speak publicly about the evolution of the religion from its violent origins to become what it is not, namely, a tolerant, moderate, living doctrine that respects the rights and freedoms of its members similar to liberalized christianity and judaism, are not speaking on behalf of the religion as good muslims and they know it. The listener – eager to show common cause in the name of secular values like tolerance and respect for the beliefs of others – is ripe for the picking. Such muslims who speak publicly about islam, as if it were an equivalently tolerant religion to those who wish it were, are not moderate muslims at all and do not represent the majority: they are poor muslims by definition… unless they are lying to your face in order to promote by stealth the advancement of islam and shari’a into the public domain. This technique is called taqiyya (for anyone unaware of its religious approval) and it describes why and on what koranic authority this intentional deceit (that fools well meaning but gullible people in secular democracies) is the right thing to do for a good muslim!

At the end of the day, the point of the doctrine of islam is to live a godly life, and by faith this means living under god’s law, which is not compatible with either the secular principles of tolerance and respect showered on its adherents in the West. This law is shari’a and it is incompatible in authority with your individual rights of autonomy, your individual freedoms for legal equality, your secular principles of tolerating and accommodating religious differences, your allegiance to your nation. Shari’a is incompatible with the foundational principles of western liberal secular democracies. These are the facts and not some imaginary racist assertions meant to to slander.

But don’t take my word for. Find out for yourself (first by reading and then by asking real muslims) why claims about the peacefulness of the religion of islam are not true in practice by good muslims. Ask about their interpretation about the  verse of the sword, the one used to overturn all the previous koranic claims about promoting peace and love, when defending the faith (or watch a short video about it here). Find out for yourself why islam and shari’a are not like the doctrines of any other liberalized religion but stand firmly against any social advancement past the seventh century morality that has been encoded in the koran. Check out ongoing violence done in the name of islam and ask yourself how and why this is any different from other religions. In other words, stop pretending that tolerating and respecting freedom of religion means that it is only right and proper for you to respect islam. By doing so, you are threatening the very values of tolerance and respect you are self-righteously exercising!

Now that we have compelling evidence from reality that the doctrine of islam is incompatible with western secular values, how much sense does it make – and who does it serve – to vilify New Atheists for talking about this compelling evidence in the public domain?

You guessed it: it serves only to grant more cover for stealth jihad. How can any literate person who supports western secular values be so stupid as to be intolerant of much needed criticism towards the doctrine of islam? Well, I think there are four possibilities: illiterate, ignorant, delusional, complacent, or complicit.

For those who are illiterate, get help.

For those who are ignorant, open your mind and eyes and ears and learn.

For those who are delusional, respect reality. Recognize that your beliefs – especially religious beliefs – do not create reality but require adjudication by it if you wish to have them respected.

For those who are complacent, who wish that these inherent conflicts between faith-based beliefs and our valued principles would just go away, wake up. Recognize the danger and join in the criticism or get out the way.

For those who are complicit, who try to lay the blame for islamic intolerance on some fringe element of it rather than the doctrine that empowers the whole, who will not think for themselves but go along with the charade that islam is a religion of peace and tolerance in spite of compelling evidence to the contrary, who will not see the danger to themselves –  to their own legal welfare and that of their neighbours – or others, who allow their complicity to enable the advancement of islam and shari’a unimpeded by legitimate criticism, know that you are exposed for the ethical hypocrites and moral cowards you are.

As a shining example of what it is we face as New Atheists in this battle to get more of us to respect reality rather than faith-based beliefs about it, consider this exchange between one the Four Horsemen of New Atheism, Sam Harris, and the usually reasonable columnist Glenn Greenwald. I have extracted Sam’s final reply and added the bold for emphasis:

The idea that “new atheism” is a cover for a racist hatred of Muslims is ridiculous (and, again, crudely defamatory). I have written an entire book attacking Christianity. And do you know what happens when I or any of my “new atheist” colleagues criticize Christians for their irrational beliefs? They say, “Of course, you feel free to attack us, but you would never have the courage to criticize Islam.” As you can see, our Christian critics follow our work about as well as you do.

Needless to say, there are people who hate Arabs, Somalis, and other immigrants from predominantly Muslim societies for racist reasons. But if you can’t distinguish that sort of blind bigotry from a hatred and concern for dangerous, divisive, and irrational ideas—like a belief in martyrdom, or a notion of male “honor” that entails the virtual enslavement of women and girls—you are doing real harm to our public conversation. Everything I have ever said about Islam refers to the content and consequences of its doctrine. And, again, I have always emphasized that its primary victims are innocent Muslims—especially women and girls.

And for the money quote:

There is no such thing as “Islamophobia.” This is a term of propaganda designed to protect Islam from the forces of secularism by conflating all criticism of it with racism and xenophobia. And it is doing its job, because people like you have been taken in by it.

Exactly:, propaganda.

Are you falling for it?

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