Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
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31-08-2012, 08:39 PM
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
Blaming Islamophobia on atheists is like blaming the levee failures during Katrina on kids picking up rocks along the waterfront. Maybe you could make a minor point about it, but your efforts are likely best spent looking elsewhere. Atheists are probably hated more than Muslims, I doubt many Americans are forming their opinions on Islam based on what a couple atheists say. The suicide bombers, beheadings, stonings, and general barbarism in certain parts of the Islamic world and the general ignorance of the American public on the other hand...

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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31-08-2012, 08:43 PM
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
Hey, Jeff.

Sikhs being shot to death. Pretty straight forward.

I'm not using racism in it's literal form, but in it's colloquial form just for ease of illustration. It's simply identity-based hatred (as emphasised in the previous quote from the article).

But your question is part of his point about Harris. Harris is trying to suggest that there is no such thing as Islamaphobia and is suggesting instead that it's just normal every day behaviour. He's what we in the industry like to refer to as wrong Cool

People have the right to say and think what they want. He's not at all saying don't say or think what you want. He's saying be cognisant of it because there's a cost. Huge difference.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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31-08-2012, 09:30 PM (This post was last modified: 31-08-2012 09:41 PM by Thomas.)
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
As they say in "the business" let the data speak.

FBI Hate Crime Statistics for 2010
There were 6,624 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against persons
US population: 312 Million (0.002% of the US population was involved in hate crimes)

Cause:
• 47.3% Racial Bias
• 20.0% Religious Bias
• 19.3% Sexual orientation Bias
• 12.8% Ethnicity/National Origin Bias.
• 0.6% Disability Bias

Type of Action:
• 46.2% Intimidation
• 34,8% Simple Assaults
• 18.4% Aggravated Assaults
• 0.7% Homicides (47 total)

Offenders Race:
• 58.6% White
• 18.4% Black.
• 12.0% Unknown
• 11.0% Other

Location:
• 31.4% Neighborhoods.
• 17.0% Highways, roads, alleys, or streets
• 10.9% Schools or colleges
• 5.8% Parking lots or garages
3.7% Churches, synagogues, or temples.
• 16.9% Specified locations or multiple locations.
• 14.3% Unknown

Looks like a real epidemic of anti-Islamic racism for sure.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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31-08-2012, 09:48 PM
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
(31-08-2012 07:02 PM)Ghost Wrote:  ... The counter argument to this is, well, insert slack-jawed yokel's demagoguic "Islam is evil" "Muslims are evil" "Muslims aren't human" "Muslims aren't Americans" bullshit argument. That sort of simplistic prejudiced argument has instant appeal and that, the author is saying, is the heart of the problem. That is what Atheists cannot afford to ignore.

I beg to differ slightly. Isn't the counter-argument the same as the argument against Positive Discrimination? It goes to the heart of the weakness of democracy i.e. majority rules and fuck the minorities (very Darwinian) vs. a society where the strong protect the weak.

So no, the argument does not hinge on the definition of Racism... Islamaphobia can not, by definition, be racism. And also I would disagree that it is about identy-based hatred... it is about identy-based fear.

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01-09-2012, 04:03 AM
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
(31-08-2012 08:43 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I'm not using racism in it's literal form, but in it's colloquial form just for ease of illustration. It's simply identity-based hatred

OK, I'm fine with using "identity-based hatred" as the meaning of "racism", but I don't hear hatred in the quotes from Harris. I think his point has been that we keep having these acts of criminal violence committed by believers of Islam, so in order to combat those crimes, we should use profiling and not pretend to do otherwise.

(31-08-2012 08:43 PM)Ghost Wrote:  People have the right to say and think what they want. He's not at all saying don't say or think what you want. He's saying be cognisant of it because there's a cost.

Can you clarify what the cost is? Is there something left unsaid within the idea of a cost? I think the concern among some is that saying "there's a cost" really means "because these Islam believers will go batshit crazy and start beheading people or blowing things up" in which case the argument seems to be don't exercise your rights out of fear or intimidation.
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01-09-2012, 07:58 AM
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
Hey, Jeff.

The author is a humanist. The great humanist, John Ralston Saul, wrote this:
Quote:We often think of definition as a cornerstone of reason – as our protection against superstition, prejudice and ignorance. A definition is therefore intended to clarify things, to free us for action. But what we have seen in our society is that a definition can just as easily become a means of control, a profoundly reactionary force.

‘Well what is your definition of ethics? Ah, well, if that’s your definition…’

And so, rather scholastic conventions can lock us into assumptions of inevitability and give comfort to received wisdom. A definition then becomes a crutch for certainty and ideology.
(Saul, On Equilibrium, p 11-12)

We can dance around the terminology all day: bigotry, racism, Islamaphobia, fear, hatred, but at the end of the day, defining the problem out of existence does not negate the existence of the problem. Muslims are reviled, pulled off of planes for the crime of flying while Arab, beaten, shot, imprisoned, denied basic human rights, and the swell of hatred/fear/whatever you may call it, is so powerful that even Sikhs, who have nothing to do with Islam whatsoever, get murdered because of it.

In WWII, Canada interned Japanese Canadians (including, most notably, Canadian national treasure David Suzuki) and Italian Canadians. In the 50s, communists, even suspected communists, in the US had their lives destroyed by the McCarthy trials. The two common threads in all of these are that these people were viewed as "the other", as something that our antibodies needed to destroy, and all of these things are, in hindsight, considered terrible wrongs.

Are you in favour of the racial profiling of blacks? Because it's the same thing.

If I cannot impress upon you exactly why institutionalising the profiling of Muslims is wrong and why it's pure bigotry, well, that's a problem in and of itself. But it would illustrate how easy it is to swallow what Harris is (and people like him are) saying and view it as a rational response.

As far as the cost, perhaps you should re-read the article. We've had a lengthy conversation so you have new insights, a new lens to see it through and secondly, I don't want the discussion to be about what I think to reproduce in this post.

That being said, the costs are:
1 - People, human beings, are being persecuted. You have the moral obligation to not let that happen to ANY group.
2 - People are denying that this is happening. That's wrong but also dangerous for Atheists on the day people deny you are being persecuted.
3 - Muslims are a minority group looking for respect and inclusion, just like Atheists. If you stand in solidarity with them, you help yourself. If you do not, why should anyone take your appeal seriously?

It's early. That's all I can think of. Please don't consider that list exhaustive.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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01-09-2012, 08:15 AM
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
(01-09-2012 07:58 AM)Ghost Wrote:  That being said, the costs are:
1 - People, human beings, are being persecuted. You have the moral obligation to not let that happen to ANY group.
2 - People are denying that this is happening. That's wrong but also dangerous for Atheists on the day people deny you are being persecuted.
3 - Muslims are a minority group looking for respect and inclusion, just like Atheists. If you stand in solidarity with them, you help yourself. If you do not, why should anyone take your appeal seriously?

But we do have the problem of minority groups who are not looking for inclusion. There are, for instance, Muslims in the U.K. who deny the applicability of civil law to themselves and only recognize Sharia law.

In the U.S. there are many minorities not seeking inclusion, like Amish and Mennonites, extreme right wing groups, and some more of those Muslims.

Some of these groups want to be left alone, some want to overturn democracy in favor of their absolutist philosophy or religion. We can't just blithely ignore their existence.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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01-09-2012, 10:16 AM
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
Hey, Chas.

But what does that have to do with an American Sikh man being shot to death because he's "Arab like" while screaming "I'm a patriot"? If people choose to opt-out, that's their right. If people are excluded, that's another thing entirely. If people are shot to death for being who they are, that's a whole other level.

What you're talking about is entirely unrelated to this particular issue. It's like traveling back to the civil rights movement and countering the message, "We should stand in solidarity with blacks as they seek full rights and recognition," and saying, "But what about the Mennonites?" What about them indeed.

Throw onto all of this that Atheists are just like blacks, Muslims, women, Mexicans, Catholics before Kennedy, Italians and the Irish way back in the day... the list is long. If one says "We deserve rights, respect, recognition, freedom and all the rest," but one is not willing to stand in solidarity with other minority groups who are saying the exact same thing, then how can they be taken seriously? If they're silent in the face of the persecution of other groups, why should anyone go to bat for them when their time comes?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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01-09-2012, 10:25 AM
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
(01-09-2012 10:16 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Chas.

But what does that have to do with an American Sikh man being shot to death because he's "Arab like" while screaming "I'm a patriot"? If people choose to opt-out, that's their right. If people are excluded, that's another thing entirely. If people are shot to death for being who they are, that's a whole other level.

What you're talking about is entirely unrelated to this particular issue. It's like traveling back to the civil rights movement and countering the message, "We should stand in solidarity with blacks as they seek full rights and recognition," and saying, "But what about the Mennonites?" What about them indeed.

Throw onto all of this that Atheists are just like blacks, Muslims, women, Mexicans, Catholics before Kennedy, Italians and the Irish way back in the day... the list is long. If one says "We deserve rights, respect, recognition, freedom and all the rest," but one is not willing to stand in solidarity with other minority groups who are saying the exact same thing, then how can they be taken seriously? If they're silent in the face of the persecution of other groups, why should anyone go to bat for them when their time comes?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

I'm concerned about a blind allegiance to multiculturalism, inclusion, and tolerance.
These are good and high ideals, but there are dangers.

This is in no way denying that bigotry is unethical, or that ignorance is defensible.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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01-09-2012, 10:25 AM
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
I'd like to repost what I said earlier because the moderation queue for new members hid it from y'all...


Blaming Islamophobia on atheists is like blaming the levee failures during Katrina on kids picking up rocks along the waterfront. Maybe you could make a minor point about it, but your efforts are likely best spent looking elsewhere. Atheists are probably hated more than Muslims, I doubt many Americans are forming their opinions on Islam based on what a couple atheists say. The suicide bombers, beheadings, stonings, and general barbarism in certain parts of the Islamic world and the general ignorance of the American public on the other hand... Look to thine own houses.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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