Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
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01-09-2012, 10:36 AM (This post was last modified: 01-09-2012 10:39 AM by Ghost.)
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
Hey, Phaedrus.

Thank you. Yeah I noticed that. Thanks for the explanation.

No one, however, is blaming Islamaphobia on Atheists.

Quote:... I don’t want to suggest that, like some of those mentioned earlier, the atheist community at large necessarily has an Islamophobia problem—or that legitimate criticisms of Islam (or any other religions) constitutes Islamophobia. The problem, I think, lies in a lack of sensitivity to or awareness of the rampant Islamophobia sweeping our society...

It should go without saying that this isn’t a problem with atheism, but it is a problem among atheists and it’s one that is being largely ignored.

Whether Atheists are more hated than Muslims is debatable (I don't know of any out of country human rights free prisons for Atheists), but irrelevant here. What is relevant is that both groups are looking for... well, they just want to live with dignity and respect and not be excluded or persecuted. The author is simply saying, it is in the best interests of Atheists to stand in solidarity with Muslims. Not to stop legitimate criticisms of Islam. But to give to another group the protection and support they themselves are seeking and, on a simpler level, simply to do the right thing.

Hey, Chas.

I understand your point, but again, don't understand how it relates.

If a woman in the sixties told other women, "We need to stand in solidarity with blacks because that might be us some day and no one deserves to be treated in that manner; stripped of rights, dignity and even life," what does fearing a blind allegiance to multiculturalism have to do with it?

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Matt
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01-09-2012, 03:32 PM
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
The underlying concept of coexisting with those of different views is that everyone seeks the same arrangement. This is not the case with Islam.

If Jews, Christians, Muslims, etc., can all agree that religion should be separate from the state and that laws take all views into consideration, coexistence is possible.

What is Islam's view of separation of church and state? In Islam the church is the state and the Koran is the unquestioned law. For a secular state to reign supreme over Islam is not negotiable.

The US Constitutional right of freedom of religion is by my assessment anti-Islamic; therefore, Islam is not Constitutionally compatible to US law. Any religious belief not compatible with the US Constitution and unwilling to change is unconstitutional and illegal in application.

This is the religious dogma that Harris, Hitchens, Dawkins, Dennett and others address. When a religious group believes that their beliefs reign superior to anything man-made there is no concept of coexisting by their own terms. Islam has no desire to coexist with any other religion or government. It is THE religion and THE government because the Koran says so.

If you are in America, swear an oath that the US Constitution reigns superior to the teachings of the Koran, the Bible, the Torah. If you can't do this you are our enemy because you choose to be. You are attacking us. You are assaulting our freedoms. We are not stopping you from reading a book in private that tells you to kill us for not believing the teachings of your profit, but we will stop you if you attempt to press your beliefs on our society. Perhaps the US is not the best place for you. It's a big world. Flights leave every day.

To group religious belief in with real racism, sexism is not acceptable. This is an offense to those who have suffered for doing nothing accept being born with an attribute like skin color or gender. Islam is not an attribute, It is a choice in belief and part of that belief is to not accept the beliefs of others, and that is unacceptable.

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01-09-2012, 04:00 PM
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
(01-09-2012 10:36 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Chas.

I understand your point, but again, don't understand how it relates.

If a woman in the sixties told other women, "We need to stand in solidarity with blacks because that might be us some day and no one deserves to be treated in that manner; stripped of rights, dignity and even life," what does fearing a blind allegiance to multiculturalism have to do with it?

By ignoring the very real threat of the Black Panthers.

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01-09-2012, 10:53 PM
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
Hey, Chas.

So is your argument that because in the 1960s, the Black Panthers existed (and I take very serious umbrage to your suggestion that they were a very real threat, but that's another conversation) that blacks did not deserve their civil rights?

If it is, then I think our conversation is over. If it's not (which is what I suspect), then I still don't see a reason that blacks did not deserve support in their quest for equality then or why Muslims do not deserve support in their quest for equality now.

I think I know what you mean when you say "blind support" (and a lot of what follows is just me getting something important off my chest so please don't feel that it's all directed at you personally), but no one is calling for anyone to be blind. Right now, there's blind support of Islamaphobia. The article is calling on people to stop being blind to it. On top of that, the article is not calling for blindness when it comes to reacting to legitimate terrorist threats or to the criticism of Islam (or of any other religion for that matter). So I agree. Blind support of anything is to be avoided.

There's over a billion Muslims in the world. Even if a million Muslims were jihadists (which is a preposterous notion), that still represents 0.1% of global Muslims (to put into perspective how preposterous that is, the Canadian Forces, including regular force, reservists and civilians, is only one tenth that size at about 100 000 strong). We don't even hit 1% until we get to ten million jihadists (which is an order of magnitude more preposterous). But somehow, for that reason, we can deny fundamental human rights to 99% of the Muslims in the world?

The only way that makes any sense is to make one the other by suggesting that 100% of Muslims are out to get you (something that Harris excels at). To suggest that Islam itself is out to get you. In that way, anything that happens to an Muslim is actually happening to Islam, so it's fine. It is the ultimate in dehumanising arguments and it is textbook. Make them the other, treat with impunity.

You are being played.

No one is saying, "Don't criticise Islam." All that is being said is that Muslims the world over, ones who have never done a damn thing to you, or me, or anyone else, and Americans, no different than any American on this forum save for the fact that they happen to be Muslim, want the same rights that you and I already have. If something happens, God forbid, and you as an Atheist are denied rights because you're an Atheist, would you not want someone to stand up and support you, or would you want everyone to just turn a blind eye?

This idea that every Muslim on the planet has a bomb strapped to them and that every God damn Muslim in the world wants to shred the Constitution and institute Sharia law is racist nonsense. Plain and simple. It's no different than blacks are stupid criminals, Asians are good at math, Jews are cheap, white men have small dicks, Gays are pedophiles, men are all rapists, women can't drive, the list is vomitously extensive. How many people here have Islamic friends? If you don't, then you're talking out of your ass. If you do, do you really think they want to kill you? We need to stop listening to the demagogues and the jingoism and the hawks and the straight up racists that have been fomenting and preying upon American's fears with fire and brimstone, the-sky-is-falling nonsense for what will be 11 fucking years in just 9 days.

Enough already. It's time to call a spade a spade. It's nothing more than naked bigotry and it's disgusting. This is the 21st century, if we can't get past that kind of bullshit now, then fuck the human race, we deserve everything we get.

If we call ourselves moral, it needs to end.
If we call ourselves just, it needs to end.
If we call ourselves reasonable, it needs to end.
If we call ourselves free thinkers, it needs to end.

Quote:The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.
-George Orwell

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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02-09-2012, 03:20 AM
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
(01-09-2012 07:58 AM)Ghost Wrote:  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.

I don't see "the problem" as you do, so my asking you to define your terms is meant as a way to understand what you're getting at, rather than just dismissing it. However if defining the words or the problem "defines the problem out of existence", it suggests to me that there's less of a problem than claimed.

(01-09-2012 07:58 AM)Ghost Wrote:  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.

You don't give the context for these actions. My overall impression within the US is that our reaction-to and handling-of muslim issues in the aftermath of 9/11 has been very good, with the exception of isolated incidents, which in the context of the numbers is good. The isolated incidents are bad, but this isn't the widespread problem that your paragraph suggests. I welcome seeing data to the contrary.

(01-09-2012 07:58 AM)Ghost Wrote:  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.

Your argument would be more effective and come across as less hysterical if you quoted the claims of Harris and then refuted them with data. For anyone interested, here is a discussion of his views http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/to-pr...o-profile. Here's a sample:

"Imagine that a terrorist is attempting to board an airplane bound for a major city in Europe or the United States with a bomb strapped to the body of his four-year-old daughter. Let’s also assume that he is not some lone lunatic engaged in an inexplicable crime. Rather, he has a community of supporters behind him who have helped bring this terrible plot to fruition. A trained engineer made the bomb and showed him how to detonate it; another accomplice drove him and his daughter to the airport; even his wife gave her blessing and vowed to perform a similar act of terrorism with their son in the near future. The man has dozens of confederates who would have been willing, even eager, to take his place with a child of their own—and each of these people knows a score of others who fully support his aims. In fact, there are hundreds of thousands of people, in dozens of countries, who would actively support this man’s actions, if given the chance, and perhaps millions who would do nothing to dissuade him, even if they could. What are the chances, in your view, that this terrorist is Muslim?"

The answer from the person he is debating, the one defending muslims is "High."
The rest of the discussion is equally fascinating. http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/to-pr...to-profile
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02-09-2012, 04:25 AM (This post was last modified: 02-09-2012 05:16 AM by Chas.)
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
(01-09-2012 10:53 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Chas.

So is your argument that because in the 1960s, the Black Panthers existed (and I take very serious umbrage to your suggestion that they were a very real threat, but that's another conversation) that blacks did not deserve their civil rights?

If it is, then I think our conversation is over. If it's not (which is what I suspect), then I still don't see a reason that blacks did not deserve support in their quest for equality then or why Muslims do not deserve support in their quest for equality now.

I think I know what you mean when you say "blind support" (and a lot of what follows is just me getting something important off my chest so please don't feel that it's all directed at you personally), but no one is calling for anyone to be blind. Right now, there's blind support of Islamaphobia. The article is calling on people to stop being blind to it. On top of that, the article is not calling for blindness when it comes to reacting to legitimate terrorist threats or to the criticism of Islam (or of any other religion for that matter). So I agree. Blind support of anything is to be avoided.

There's over a billion Muslims in the world. Even if a million Muslims were jihadists (which is a preposterous notion), that still represents 0.1% of global Muslims (to put into perspective how preposterous that is, the Canadian Forces, including regular force, reservists and civilians, is only one tenth that size at about 100 000 strong). We don't even hit 1% until we get to ten million jihadists (which is an order of magnitude more preposterous). But somehow, for that reason, we can deny fundamental human rights to 99% of the Muslims in the world?

The only way that makes any sense is to make one the other by suggesting that 100% of Muslims are out to get you (something that Harris excels at). To suggest that Islam itself is out to get you. In that way, anything that happens to an Muslim is actually happening to Islam, so it's fine. It is the ultimate in dehumanising arguments and it is textbook. Make them the other, treat with impunity.

You are being played.

No one is saying, "Don't criticise Islam." All that is being said is that Muslims the world over, ones who have never done a damn thing to you, or me, or anyone else, and Americans, no different than any American on this forum save for the fact that they happen to be Muslim, want the same rights that you and I already have. If something happens, God forbid, and you as an Atheist are denied rights because you're an Atheist, would you not want someone to stand up and support you, or would you want everyone to just turn a blind eye?

This idea that every Muslim on the planet has a bomb strapped to them and that every God damn Muslim in the world wants to shred the Constitution and institute Sharia law is racist nonsense. Plain and simple. It's no different than blacks are stupid criminals, Asians are good at math, Jews are cheap, white men have small dicks, Gays are pedophiles, men are all rapists, women can't drive, the list is vomitously extensive. How many people here have Islamic friends? If you don't, then you're talking out of your ass. If you do, do you really think they want to kill you? We need to stop listening to the demagogues and the jingoism and the hawks and the straight up racists that have been fomenting and preying upon American's fears with fire and brimstone, the-sky-is-falling nonsense for what will be 11 fucking years in just 9 days.

Enough already. It's time to call a spade a spade. It's nothing more than naked bigotry and it's disgusting. This is the 21st century, if we can't get past that kind of bullshit now, then fuck the human race, we deserve everything we get.

If we call ourselves moral, it needs to end.
If we call ourselves just, it needs to end.
If we call ourselves reasonable, it needs to end.
If we call ourselves free thinkers, it needs to end.

Quote:The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.
-George Orwell

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Quote:No one is saying, "Don't criticise Islam."
Well, yes, some people are. Islamists are. Religious liberals are. Social relativists are.

Quote:...they happen to be Muslim, want the same rights that you and I already have.
No, many of them don't. And they want me not to have the rights I have. Islam as a religion is, for many, inseparable from Islam as the state. This is also true of the extreme Christian right in the U.S.A.

Religion can be used for in group/out group fear and hatred, and has been for thousands of years. Muslims do it, Christians do it, Hindus do it, ...

My only point is that while one adheres to a principal of inclusion and tolerance, and abjures racism, sexism, etc., one must be aware that others won't and don't - including the very ones being tolerated/included.

I fear for the U.S.A., that it is entering a period of intolerance, both xenophobia and internal purification. The right may get the upper hand in the coming election and you and I will be in a vilified minority - that of educated, skeptical, humanist people capable of relative and ironic thought.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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02-09-2012, 06:55 AM (This post was last modified: 02-09-2012 07:03 AM by Ghost.)
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
Jeff.

Hysterical?

In 2009 I traveled to London and decided one day to a walking tour of the South Bank. I visited the Globe, the Tate, the Royal Nat, the Millennium Wheel, all of the sites. I had my backpack on with a Canadian flag patch sewn to it and was snapping photos with my smartphone. I'm half white and half black, so my skin is dark and at the time, I wore a beard. Two Bobbies strolled up to me and stopped me on suspicion of terrorism. I'm not even joking. Before they realised that I was just a Canadian tourist, they were ready to pull me aside, detain me, strip search me, all manner of humiliation, all perfectly legal under the law; and they handed me documentation detailing their rights. They took down all of my information, where I was staying, who I knew, what I was doing in the country, and radioed it in to their dispatch. They then gave me a receipt. They told me if I was stopped on suspicion of terrorism again, that I could just show my receipt to let them know I had already been stopped and processed.

I wasn't pulled off a plane. I wasn't told I couldn't build a mosque somewhere. I didn't suffer rendition to another country. I wasn't tortured. I wasn't arrested at 15 and held in Guantanamo for nearly a decade. I wasn't told that I'm not actually a citizen on my own country. I wasn't beaten. I wasn't shot to death. I wasn't a lot of things.

Would you tolerate any one of those things if it happened to you?

If you want to sit there and tell me that there is no problem, that Muslims are treated as equals, well I got news for ya son. If you want to sit there and tell me that what's going on is perfectly rational, I'm here to tell you that we've done this sort of thing before with Italians, Japanese, communists, just to name a few and it was wrong and racist then and it's wrong and racist now.

Donald Woods stayed in my home once. He was a South African journalist who didn't think there was a problem. They made a film based on his life. It's called Cry Freedom. I suggest that you watch it. It's an excellent film and it may offer some perspective.

Hey, Chas.

Maybe some people are, but you and I are having this conversation.

OK. Many of them don't. So answer the question. Does the fact that "many" of them don't want to be included negate the right of others to be included? More importantly, does any of this mean that we should deny rights to all of them?

I assumed your answer was no, but now I'm not sure. I'd appreciate a response.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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02-09-2012, 04:36 PM
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
(02-09-2012 06:55 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Chas.

Maybe some people are, but you and I are having this conversation.

OK. Many of them don't. So answer the question. Does the fact that "many" of them don't want to be included negate the right of others to be included? More importantly, does any of this mean that we should deny rights to all of them?

I assumed your answer was no, but now I'm not sure. I'd appreciate a response.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

No, of course not, and no, of course not.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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02-09-2012, 04:44 PM
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
Hey, Chas.

I'm glad Smile





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02-09-2012, 05:06 PM (This post was last modified: 02-09-2012 05:19 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril
Hey Ghost how many ex-muslims can you name who don't receive death threats daily?

formermuslimsunited.org

And what is the punishment for leaving the muslim/islamic faith?



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