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This is what we need to fear
Posted: 19 January 2009 07:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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teuchter - 18 January 2009 10:28 PM

That is unacceptable, racist and bound only to result in greater chaos and disorder.

Islam is a religion, not a race.

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Posted: 20 January 2009 04:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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Piero - 20 January 2009 12:48 AM
teuchter - 18 January 2009 10:28 PM

That is unacceptable, racist and bound only to result in greater chaos and disorder.

Islam is a religion, not a race.

Yes, I’m aware of John Walker Lindh, and I am aware of the huge Muslim population of Indonesia.

However, due to the peculiarities of colonial history, in England, to say “Muslim” is to evoke a south asian, and particularly a Pakistani (or “Paki” as the Royal family evidently refers to them) just as to say Muslim in France evokes a North African, and often an Algerian.

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Posted: 20 January 2009 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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teuchter - 20 January 2009 09:12 PM

However, due to the peculiarities of colonial history, in England, to say “Muslim” is to evoke a south asian, and particularly a Pakistani (or “Paki” as the Royal family evidently refers to them) just as to say Muslim in France evokes a North African, and often an Algerian.

I’m aware of that. Nevertheless, we should not allow an issue of rational thinking become one of race: refraining from criticising Islam in the name of race relations would be, in my opinion, a gross mistake. It so happens that religious creeds tend to be geographically determined, and so do racial features. Well, that’s tough, isn’t it?

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Posted: 20 January 2009 04:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Nobody, or at least not me, suggests that anyone refrain from criticizing Islam.  Or drawing satirical cartoons about it.  Or writing novels that some Imam finds heretical.

What I said was that nobody should take action against all Muslims because he or she was angry at one Muslim.

A Muslim is not Islam.

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Posted: 20 January 2009 04:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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Fair enough. But that’s a different argument. Which does not convince me either, by the way. I know of no Islam-related issue that involves a single Muslim. For example, would you say it is unfair to criticize Islam because of the fatwa issued against Salman Rushdie by just one Muslim, namely the Ayatollah Khomeini?
Nope. I guessed so.

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Posted: 20 January 2009 04:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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We’re talking past each other here.

Criticize Islam to your heart’s content.  I hope you find a criticism that will convince all Muslims to stop being a Muslim (and same for christians and jews and hindus and zoroastrians)

What I’m saying is, let’s be careful not to attack all Muslims because some moron issue a fatwah against rushdie.

If you noticed, I talked about my friend, the lawyer in Pakistan, who is waging a real struggle for constitutional democracy.  Why attack him because some fuckwit doesn’t like Belgian cartoonists?

Why say must attack all christians because we criticize christianity.  Especially, because some idiot like Warren makes a reactionary statement, why would we attack a member of the Catholic Workers, a very progressive organization.

That’s all I’m saying.  I’m not defending any religion.  Oddly enough, for this forum, it turns out I’m an atheist.  I’m just saying don’t attack each person who happens to be identified with a particular religion.

Even Bruce Burleson has his redeeming points.  (It pales compared to his proseletizing, and seems to be limited to a shared interest in hillbilly music, but still)

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Posted: 20 January 2009 05:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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Unfortunately, it is not that easy to judge free-floating, unattached ideas. They tend to reside within brains, and brains usually belong to someone. So your lawyer friend may be, for all I know, a great chap, but he is still a Muslim; that means he takes the Q’ran to be the word of Allah. If I were you, I would ask him whether he believes everything the Q’ran says: if the answer is no, then he is not, by definition, a Muslim (though he might think of himself as one); if the answer is yes, then in his eyes you are an unbeliever and deserve to die; if the answer is “well, you have to consider the historical context”, then he is an idiot. So, the only alternative that would make your friend respectable is for him to answer “no”, and hence to accept he is not a Muslim after all. Fair enough?

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Posted: 20 January 2009 05:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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Piero - 20 January 2009 10:21 PM

So your lawyer friend may be, for all I know, a great chap, but he is still a Muslim; that means he takes the Q’ran to be the word of Allah.

Trust me on this point:  he is progressive.  He won the Asian Human Rights Prize, and I’ve known him, and been friends with him, since 1971;  I’m not friend with any religiously motivated persons.  Congenial?  Why not?  But friend?  Not a chance.

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Posted: 20 January 2009 05:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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Fine.So he’s not a Muslim. So his case is irrelevant to the thread.

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Posted: 20 January 2009 05:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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One thing that bothers me about Sam’s work is that so many rabid xenophobes seem to like it. It really makes me question my own enjoyment.

As for Islam not being a race, well, plenty of people who are not practicing Muslims, with names like mine, get “randomly” stopped at airports and used as boogiemen. There is a racial dimension at work, like it or not.

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Posted: 20 January 2009 05:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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Piero - 20 January 2009 10:29 PM

Fine.So he’s not a Muslim. So his case is irrelevant to the thread.

OK, you want to do this?  Let’s have a lesson in remedial reading.

Here was the original post:

Muslims will destroy our history, our art, and our culture.  This is why they SHOULD GET OUT OF EUROPE NOW!

To which I replied:

teuchter - 18 January 2009 09:22 PM

Well, it turns out that there are a number of Muslims who are, save their religious views, perfectly rational and delightful people, just like with christians;  as annoying as Bruce can be with his invisible friend, I have no desire to push him off the continent because some wacko blew up an abortion clinic.

I later added:

teuchter - 18 January 2009 10:05 PM

Most of us here would like to see Islam liquidated, as well as Christianity and Judaism.  But that is a far cry from liquidating Muslims, Christians or Jews.  I believe that latter goal has been tried, with some very unpleasant repercussions.

It reminds me of when Stalin was advised that the land reform was being impeded by the resistance of the wealthier peasants (and here, “wealthier” is a comparative, not absolute, term), and advised that the Kulak class should be liquidated.  He made the serious and fundamental error of liquidating the Kulaks, rather than the property relations which made the class possible.

We should be careful not to make a similar mistake with respect to Islam.

Now, if you are incapable of distinguishing between christianity and a christian, or between islam and a muslim, then you don’t have sufficient sophistication or intelligence for me to continue this conversation.  If you don’t understand the difference between Rick Warren and the gay Anglican bishop, or between Ted Haggard and the friends, then you aren’t worth talking to.  If you do, then what the fuck are you talking about?  You want to kill or exile all christians, muslims, jews and hindus?  Good luck, then your just masturbating and have no intention of changing the world.

You want to get rid of the oppression of religion?  Welcome aboard, and embrace any ally you can get.  Including some people who you identify as a religious.

Abu Sayf Al-Naziri - 20 January 2009 10:34 PM

One thing that bothers me about Sam’s work is that so many rabid xenophobes seem to like it. It really makes me question my own enjoyment.

And you know you have allies here, so fuck the rest of them.

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Posted: 20 January 2009 05:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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I sympathize with your predicament. My country, Chile, has a reputation for exporting pickpockets and burglars, so I often get stopped at airports. Do I resent it? Not really. Why should I? I think it’s entirely reasonable that, once a thousand Chilean burglars and pickpockets have entered a country, custom authorities should get a bit itchy.

The problem is that most people involved in suicide bombings and terror attacks have names like yours, whereas those who criticize Islam have names like Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Massimo Pigliucci, Piergiorgio Odifreddi, Michael Shermer and other European-sounding names. When shall we see an Abu Sayf Al-Naziri on television saying that Islam sucks? So far, we’ve only seen Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

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Posted: 20 January 2009 05:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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Piero - 20 January 2009 10:48 PM

My country, Chile,

Really? Who killed Victor Jara?  Muslims?  Christians?  No, Milton Freidman capitalists.  Henry Kissinger.  So, like I said, let’s pick our enemies and our allies carefully.

Y viva Allende!  Viva Victor Jara!

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“I am one of the few people I know who has argued in print that torture may be an ethical necessity in our war on terror.”  Sam Harris October 17, 2005

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Posted: 20 January 2009 06:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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Piero - 20 January 2009 10:29 PM

Fine.So he’s not a Muslim. So his case is irrelevant to the thread.

Well argued. This is always a problem, we (atheists) always know a lot of nice people who are believers and we try and justify that by saying that they don’t follow their religion like the “bad” believers, which really brings up the question; are they really believers. Islam my be more strict and therefore more straightforward, yet it’s still hard not to add gray to it.

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Posted: 20 January 2009 06:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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Teuchter, calm down. I’m nor trying to be obnoxious (I might inadvertently be, but it’s not my intention).
You said “Well, it turns out that there are a number of Muslims who are, save their religious views, perfectly rational and delightful people, just like with Christians”. I’m only arguing that being perfectly delightful and being religious are incompatible. Some people call themselves Christian or Muslim, and are very nice indeeed; in every single case I’ve met, they are sui generis believers. In fact, they don’t believe what they should believe in order to call themselves Christians or Muslims. Some of my friends call themselves Christian, but do not believe in the resurrection, for instance. Are they really Christians? I don’t think so. Some call themselves Catholic, but have no rpoblem with divorce or abortion. Are they really Catholic? Of course not. Some Muslims I know would never think of me as a contemptible unbeliever who deserves to die; are they really Muslims? No, they are not, because they reject the teachings of their Holy Book.
So, if someone declares him/herself to be a Muslim, they should automatically be denied entry to a non-Muslim country, since their beliefs imply they might incur in or condone violence against non-Muslims.

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