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The Problem of Islam
Posted: 16 September 2012 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Is Sam being too hard on Islam in this Huffington Post piece?

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Posted: 05 May 2008 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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No, he is not.

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Posted: 05 May 2008 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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No, he’s not being too hard.  At all.

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Posted: 05 May 2008 01:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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If, by “being too hard” you mean should he lighten up, no. It’s just rancorous rhetoric, which is what readers want, and editors and publishers try to provide, within reason.

But he is revealing a lot about himself (and his readers) with these long redundant articles.

First, there is a fear factor. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it is not mortal fear. More like McCarthyism. A perceived threat to lifestyle.

Second, this theme of “moderates are as bad as extremists”, because they allow or enable the extremists, or because they aren’t somehow controlling the extremists—it’s really just a blame game.

One could cite countless examples of atrocities attributable to Islam, but I don’t for a minute think that Harris is concerned with peace and equality for all earthlings. He obviously has some kind of deep-seated emotional agenda.

**Fundamental Christians are holding up scientific progress. Therefore they are very bad. Moderate Christians aren’t so bad, but since they are not actively fighting against the fundamentalists, they are just as bad. Political correctness is making matters worse by discouraging what should be a logical outrage.

**Fundamental Muslims commit deplorable acts of violence, therefore are very bad. Moderate Muslims aren’t so bad, but since they are not actively fighting against the fundamentalists, they are just as bad. Political correctness is making matters worse by discouraging what should be a logical outrage.

He dropped the ball with that recurrent blame cycle: he has revealed himself as a propagandist using a limited toolset to rouse the rabble. His personal motivation is fear, and his motivational tool is fear. He is capitalizing on the usual political holy trinity—US, the good guys, THEM, the very bad guys, and YOU, the lax and/or corrupt institutions who are letting THEM victimize US.

But back to the original question—-give the people what they want, in other words, a moral virtual battlefield on which they can role play, and keep their minds off matters of consequence:

http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearing.cfm?id=3305

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Posted: 05 May 2008 03:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Is Sam being too hard?

If “hard” means pointing out hypocracies, appeasement and excuses, in relation to the film,  by   Europeans and the UN then Sam is definitely “hard.”

If “hard” means giving concrete and factual examples of how the civilized world reacts to the irate and violent behaviors of Muslims—by downplaying them, closing their eyes, excusing them; towards behaviors that are blatant examples of intimidation and threats (and even death to Dutch troops in Afghanistan);  and behaviors that completely and unequivocally offend our own western values of freedom of speech,  then Sam is definitely “hard.”


If “hard” means painting a picture of realism portraying Muslims’ irrational hostility for “perceived slights”  over their own religiously-induced daily atrocities and rantings in the name of Islam, then Sam is indeed “hard”.

If “hard” means Sam is challenging readers to understand there can be no “squaring” a round peg, (and that)  when you have two opposing beliefs (islam v freedom of speech) and an array of cognitive dissonance   among huge populations of people,  Western civilization will reach a point of saturation.  A civilization that (it seems) is being held hostage by the intimidating tactics of those holding said Islamic beliefs,  and those playing into their game, by giving freedom of speech   a back-burner status, then yes, Sam is certainly “hard.”

If “hard” means identifying that the word “culture” is simply a euphemism that allows us to acquiesce and excuse   behaviors we would all collectively deem highly immoral , illegal   and hideous   if they were practiced in our own communities, but under the guise of relativism,  punishes those   making a case against such acts (through films, books,  cartoons, etc…),  then Sam is quite “hard” indeed.

And if “hard” means Sam can offer to us his own personal trials and tribulations, using specific examples of   censoring and fear within the publishing world, and examples of conversations he has had with truly moderate Muslims who berate and patronize him in public, then Sam is being “hard”.

I think the word “hard” is appropriate as I take it to mean substantial, tough, descriptive,  diligent, adverse.  That is what I have come to expect from Sam.  Anything different or less, would not be authentically Sam Harris.

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LJ

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Posted: 05 May 2008 09:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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mcalpine - 05 May 2008 05:11 PM

If, by “being too hard” you mean should he lighten up, no. It’s just rancorous rhetoric, which is what readers want, and editors and publishers try to provide, within reason.

But he is revealing a lot about himself (and his readers) with these long redundant articles.

First, there is a fear factor. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it is not mortal fear. More like McCarthyism. A perceived threat to lifestyle.

Second, this theme of “moderates are as bad as extremists”, because they allow or enable the extremists, or because they aren’t somehow controlling the extremists—it’s really just a blame game.

One could cite countless examples of atrocities attributable to Islam, but I don’t for a minute think that Harris is concerned with peace and equality for all earthlings. He obviously has some kind of deep-seated emotional agenda.

**Fundamental Christians are holding up scientific progress. Therefore they are very bad. Moderate Christians aren’t so bad, but since they are not actively fighting against the fundamentalists, they are just as bad. Political correctness is making matters worse by discouraging what should be a logical outrage.

**Fundamental Muslims commit deplorable acts of violence, therefore are very bad. Moderate Muslims aren’t so bad, but since they are not actively fighting against the fundamentalists, they are just as bad. Political correctness is making matters worse by discouraging what should be a logical outrage.

He dropped the ball with that recurrent blame cycle: he has revealed himself as a propagandist using a limited toolset to rouse the rabble. His personal motivation is fear, and his motivational tool is fear. He is capitalizing on the usual political holy trinity—US, the good guys, THEM, the very bad guys, and YOU, the lax and/or corrupt institutions who are letting THEM victimize US.

But back to the original question—-give the people what they want, in other words, a moral virtual battlefield on which they can role play, and keep their minds off matters of consequence:

http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearing.cfm?id=3305

Your entire post contained virtually no arguments and a few dubious claims with zero evidence (like Sam not being concerned about peace and equality).  It almost sounds like one of those automatic complaint generators.  You attribute this position to Sam:

Second, this theme of “moderates are as bad as extremists”, because they allow or enable the extremists, or because they aren’t somehow controlling the extremists—it’s really just a blame game.

Sam has consistently stated that moderates are not as bad as extremists.  Don’t put words into his mouth.

Basically what your post is struggling to convey is that there is fear in his article and that he is blaming people for things.  Then near the end you make a vague remark that seems to pander to some form of moral relativism.  You could have summarized your entire post in a single sentence.  It might have gone something like this.

“Sam is just being scary and saying certain people are causing problems.”

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Posted: 05 May 2008 09:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Mintcheerios—

Excellent analysis of my response to the question:

Is Sam being too hard on Islam in this Huffington Post piece?

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Posted: 06 May 2008 03:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Admin - 05 May 2008 12:56 PM

Is Sam being too hard on Islam in this Huffington Post piece?

Losing Our Spines to Save Our Necks

“This is what we owe the true moderates of the Muslim world: we must hold their co-religionists to the same standards of civility and reasonableness that we take for granted in all other people.”

Does he mean to the standards of his Govt. spokeswoman who said on public TV that the price (lives of half a million Iraqi children) is worth it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK_QshS2EW8


But then those were Iraqi children. What if some Muslim leader announced it is worth half a million American lives to stop US from invading Muslim countries?
The whole western world would have gone wild.

Racism is deeply rooted in the white mans conscience.

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Posted: 06 May 2008 04:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Does he mean to the standards of his Govt. spokeswoman who said on public TV that the price (lives of half a million Iraqi children) is worth it?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK_QshS2EW8

Complete bullshit. This rather makes the case that the regime change in Iraq was long overdue and should have happened in 1991. The sanctions made everything worse, we know that, but this is mainly thanks to the Saddam Regime that cynically let the Iraqi people starve while building palaces and toying around with the inspectors as well as brainless pacificsts and dictatorship-appeasers in the West who don’t care if Muslims continue to be ruled by criminal psychopats and superstitious mullahs. (probably because they are, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali notes, the real racists: “they think the brown people are so different that they don’t need human rights” as some postmodernists and postcolonial demagogues seem to say)

But then those were Iraqi children. What if some Muslim leader announced it is worth half a million American lives to stop US from invading Muslim countries?
The whole western world would have gone wild.
Racism is deeply rooted in the white mans conscience.

Even more bullshit, your “white man” crap shows that you are the racist here. (What has f.e. Finland ever done to you?)
Btw. this kind of propaganda that Americans should be killed is pumped out all over the middle east all the time by Djhihadists. What do you think does Bin Laden say, “We should all be friends?”? Who by the way kills now the people of Iraq? - the fanatical Muslims, Sunni as well as Shia!

Sam Harris is right, civil society must be defended against the islamists. It is high time to stop the excuses for their atrocities.

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Posted: 06 May 2008 06:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Mel, you took the words right outta my mouth.  On point.

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Posted: 06 May 2008 08:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Mel Olontha - 06 May 2008 08:37 AM

Does he mean to the standards of his Govt. spokeswoman who said on public TV that the price (lives of half a million Iraqi children) is worth it?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK_QshS2EW8

Complete bullshit. This rather makes the case that the regime change in Iraq was long overdue and should have happened in 1991. The sanctions made everything worse,

and they were imposed by YOU guys on the people of Iraq destroying the Iraqi society killing millions of children and strengthening Sadam.

we know that,

Of course you knew but still continued with them.

but this is mainly thanks to the Saddam Regime that cynically let the Iraqi people starve while building palaces and toying around with the inspectors

Which just proves that if your actions lead to the killing of millions of innocent lives, you wont bother as long as the blame can be placed on a tyrant dictator i.e your leaders are morally no better than the criminal psychopaths.

as well as brainless pacificsts and dictatorship-appeasers in the West who don’t care if Muslims continue to be ruled by criminal psychopats and superstitious mullahs.

probably because they witnessed enough lies and excuses from your rulers and intellectuals to goto war in the name of freedom and end up destroying countries killing millions of innocent people in the process.

(probably because they are, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali notes, the real racists: “they think the brown people are so different that they don’t need human rights” as some postmodernists and postcolonial demagogues seem to say)

The lie of human rights/freedom wont work even when parroted by apostates who’ve made a career out of their apostasy. These people are hypocrites and have no sympathy for the cultures/societies/traditions they’ve sold for personal glory.

But then those were Iraqi children. What if some Muslim leader announced it is worth half a million American lives to stop US from invading Muslim countries?
The whole western world would have gone wild.
Racism is deeply rooted in the white mans conscience.

Even more bullshit, your “white man” crap shows that you are the racist here. (What has f.e. Finland ever done to you?)

What did Iraq do the US? What did the Palestinians do to the Jews to deserve being expelled from their lands by terrorism? What did the Afghan ever do to Russians and Americans to deserve decades of wars imposed on them?

Btw. this kind of propaganda that Americans should be killed is pumped out all over the middle east all the time by Djhihadists. What do you think does Bin Laden say, “We should all be friends?”? Who by the way kills now the people of Iraq? - the fanatical Muslims, Sunni as well as Shia!

Sunnis and Shias have been living peacefully in Pakistan and other Islamic world. Thanks to the US invasion in Iraq they’re now at each others throat. But Sam Harris or you wouldn’t care a bit if Sunnis kill Shias or otherwise would you. Except if you wanted to bomb them.

Sam Harris is right, civil society must be defended against the islamists. It is high time to stop the excuses for their atrocities.

Civil society must be defended against your B52 bombers, Phosphorous bombs, Daisy Cutters and other Weapons of Mass Destruction that have destroyed dozens of countries and killed millions of innocent people. Its time all the civilized people woke up and realized what the real threat to world peace is.

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Posted: 06 May 2008 09:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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and they were imposed by YOU guys on the people of Iraq destroying the Iraqi society killing millions of children and strengthening Sadam.

Iraqi society was destroyed by Saddam. He could have complied with the international rules. He didn’t. As I said, that just shows he should have been taken out in 1991.

but this is mainly thanks to the Saddam Regime that cynically let the Iraqi people starve while building palaces and toying around with the inspectors

Which just proves that if your actions lead to the killing of millions of innocent lives, you wont bother as long as the blame can be placed on a tyrant dictator i.e your leaders are morally no better than the criminal psychopaths.

Drivel. Ever heard of causality? The Saddam-Regime brought the sanction upon itself by breach of international law, the International Community had to act somehow. They decided not take him out anymore so they resorted to sanctions. A disgraceful game, as I said. Proves my point that Saddam was a psycho and our leaders irresponsible, not more.
International law is a mess, admitedly. But the sad fact that we live in the jungle means not that we all should act like monkeys but that we should think about how a human beeing would act. (Danger, figure of speech!)
You statement just shows complete moral relativism.

as well as brainless pacificsts and dictatorship-appeasers in the West who don’t care if Muslims continue to be ruled by criminal psychopats and superstitious mullahs.

probably because they witnessed enough lies and excuses from your rulers and intellectuals to goto war in the name of freedom and end up destroying countries killing millions of innocent people in the process.

Who said that “we” are perfect? We don’t live in the 70s, anymore a lot of things changed since than. That you are ignorant of those changes does not mean they don’t exist. If we can learn something from Bosnia, Somalia and Ruanda it is that appeasement does not work. Military Force is still necessary and to be employed against fascist regimes that take their own citizens as hostages might be messy sometimes but in the end inevitable.

The lie of human rights/freedom wont work even when parroted by apostates who’ve made a career out of their apostasy. These people are hypocrites and have no sympathy for the cultures/societies/traditions they’ve sold for personal glory

Interesting. But you are aware that in excluding everybody that is in favour of human rights from your club, it will look rather like a totalitarian organisation?

Even more bullshit, your “white man” crap shows that you are the racist here. (What has f.e. Finland ever done to you?)

What did Iraq do the US? What did the Palestinians do to the Jews to deserve being expelled from their lands by terrorism? What did the Afghan ever do to Russians and Americans to deserve decades of wars imposed on them?

You did not answer my question about Finland. I guess you still look up if they maybe were part of a crusade in 1211 or so (hint: they might be evil because their flag shows a cross). Was your “white men” rant just some stupid demagogy?

The Afghans were unlucky in ending up on a front in the cold war, like the Germans, Koreans, Vietnamese and many others. If you ask me it was a mistake by the Carter administration to give weapons to the Islamists against Babrak Karmal and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, they were corrupt and communist but not unbearable. Anyway, muslim Afghans were killing muslim Afghans there, they could have at least decided to stop after the Russians were out. But they didnt. Cutthroats and Bandits like the Islamist Hekmatyar decided that their “career” will be worth to kill some million people more, no US conspiracy needed for that.
About Israel/Palestine, in 1948 there could have been a peaceful solution within an UN-peace plan. The Arabs did not agree with it and started a war that they lost. Now 60 years later it’s a bit late to wipe Israel of the map don’t you think? Anyway, I’m all for a 2 state solution on the base of the 1967 green line, but for that Hamas would have to start to behave. (Gaza: another example of Islamist psychos taking civilians hostage)
Anyway. The Cold war is over since 1989 did you realise that? With Bosnia, Ruanda etc. (and 9/11) there is a new situation. By the way, how did you like US help for the Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo? Or the failed attempt to feed the starving Somalis? Or is this all just part of the big US imperialist conspiracy as well?

Sunnis and Shias have been living peacefully in Pakistan and other Islamic world. Thanks to the US invasion in Iraq they’re now at each others throat. But Sam Harris or you wouldn’t care a bit if Sunnis kill Shias or otherwise would you. Except if you wanted to bomb them.

Yeah, right. Sunni and Shia only live in “peace” in places where it is clear who dominates, otherwise they have to show each other who is the real Muslim.
By the way, I do care a lot about Sunnis, Shia etc. I know that if they go on ruinning their countries with theocracy and civil war they will first send millions of refugees and later terrorists to also fuck up my country.

Sam Harris is right, civil society must be defended against the islamists. It is high time to stop the excuses for their atrocities.

Civil society must be defended against your B52 bombers, Phosphorous bombs, Daisy Cutters and other Weapons of Mass Destruction that have destroyed dozens of countries and killed millions of innocent people. Its time all the civilized people woke up and realized what the real threat to world peace is.

Again bullshit. Democracies try to minimize casulties as much as possible. The interventions since the nineties have not cost many civilian lives compared to earlier wars. And military force is always only the last resort (in the case of Bosnia and Iraq way to late).
So in your opinion Saddam should have annexed Kuwait and have gassed the Kurds? Afghanistan should be under the rule of the Taliban and train suicide murders to kill thousands of people in the cities of Europe and the USA? Iran should have nukes to destroy Israel?
If I would not know that there are many morons everywhere believing this kind of crap I would think you want to make fun of me.

[ Edited: 06 May 2008 10:25 AM by Mel Olontha]
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Posted: 06 May 2008 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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mansoor is yet another despicable Muslim pathologically unable to take self-criticism, along with condemning his co-religionists for the havoc THEY, and they alone, wreak in the world.

Instead, for no good reason whatsoever, Muslims like mansoor scream “we are oppressed!!”, and then gleefully runs along in order to rape and murder yet a few more innocents.

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Posted: 06 May 2008 03:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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The piece contains a quote from Ziauddin Sardar. Readers may like to know that Sardar is carrying out a year long exercise called ‘Blogging the Qur’an’ on the Guardian newspaper website, with a post every week, followed by a discussion.

The address is here.

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/quran/index.html

The article gets him nearly right, but not quite. I would summarise his argument so far like this.

He wants to take a liberal line, but he also wants to maintain that the Qur’an is the literal word of God. This obviously creates a problem, or more accurately thousands of individual problems.

To square the circle, he uses several techniques. For instance, he explains away gruesome descriptions of the tortures of hell as metaphor. Unacceptable rules are defined as products of their time, only meant to be applied then, and not now.

He also addresses problem verses generally by arguing that all verses have to be understood in the context of the Qur’an as a a whole. In practice, he always says that unpleasant verses are to be reinterpreted in the light of more benign verses, and never the other way round.

There is a moral sense that lies behind his project, which is that he is as appalled by standard Islamic practice on subjects like gender equality as we are. He is often highly critical of Muslim culture, but insists that when Muslims behave badly they’re deviating from the text, rather than simply interpreting it as it’s written.

His worst problem is that he has no concept of intellectual rigour. He never comes up with any coherent guidelines for distinguishing the literal from the metaphorical, the historic from the timeless, the key verse from the verse which is to be read in the context of the key verses. He simply chooses.

He also frequently argues that the text as offered is a poor translation, and suggests alternatives. The problem here is that by his own admission he doesn’t speak Arabic, so why his choice should be considered of more value than the translators is a mystery.

Sam, if you should read this, the whole thing is crying out for some kind of riposte.

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Posted: 06 May 2008 04:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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mcalpine - 05 May 2008 05:11 PM

If, by “being too hard” you mean should he lighten up, no. It’s just rancorous rhetoric, which is what readers want, and editors and publishers try to provide, within reason.

Rancorous rhetoric ?

Go tell that to Ayaan, or Rushdie or Geert Wilders or the relatives of Theo van Gogh or a couple of thousand grieving families after 9/11, or the women in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia or every single homosexual in the Muslim world or some unfortunate Danish cartoonists who have to live out the rest of their lives in fear of being butchered by bearded lunatics.

I suppose that their complaints are just rancorous rhetoric too.

Has it ever occurred to you that Sam has to look over his shoulder for the rest of his life because he is brave enough to speak his mind about Muslim violence, something that most of us, including you, would never have the balls to do ?

Shame on you Mac.

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Posted: 06 May 2008 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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mansoor531 - 06 May 2008 12:23 PM

Sunnis and Shias have been living peacefully in Pakistan and other Islamic world. Thanks to the US invasion in Iraq they’re now at each others throat. But Sam Harris or you wouldn’t care a bit if Sunnis kill Shias or otherwise would you. Except if you wanted to bomb them.

Is this a joke? A little massacre in the mosque here and there during Musharaf’s days doesn’t count, of course, because Musharaf was an American agent.

I understand that it’s difficult for a Muslim man to live peacefully under a dictator. But what motivates Muslims to kill people in countries like Sweden, Spain, England, Denmark or Holland? Revenge for American bombs? Go get psychiatric help, my friend.

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