• Muslim killed over 70 people on Bastille Day

    Today, July 14th, is the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille and the beginning of the French Revolution.

    During the celebration of the National Day, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove a truck into a crowd in Nice, killing more than 70 people. Witnesses reports claim that Humbert shouted Allahu Akbar.

    Besides the general comments that I outlined after the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, there’s not much more to say — the killing of those who don’t think alike and do not believe is a divine order which is directly derived from the sacred books. That is demonstrably true.

    It’s frustrating and distressing to think that the more people refuse to properly diagnose the problem, the more victims there will be. But they would rather believe that religions only produce peace and love! The fear of offending or ‘alienating’ millions of believers pales at the prospect of losing more innocent lives.

    Do you think it is farfetched to claim that people who keep denying the relationship between religion and terrorism have blood on their hands?

    (image: @Admitonesin)

    Category: Atheism


    Article by: Ðavid A. Osorio S

    Skeptic | Blogger | Fact-checker

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    • How does willingness to “properly diagnose the problem” help make everyday citizens safer? What ought France do differently?

      On the far right right in America, the answer is to institute a religious test for immigration. Surely that isn’t the answer you’d suggest.

      • BertB

        I think many people see the connection between religion and terrorism…whether it is an Islamist with and AK-47 or a truck…or a Christian fundie murdering a doctor at an abortion clinic. Some are still mouthing the “No true Scotsman…” fallacy, but while it is recognized that there are many peaceful religious believers, I think it is hard, even for them, to claim that religious belief does not motivate these atrocities.
        But, as Damion says, then what?
        Punishing all Muslims (or all Christians) for the acts of a few nutcase believers is not a reasonable solution. Sorting out the nutcases is a futile needle-in-a-haystack task that nobody knows how to do. Eliminating assault weapons would be a good first step, but it would not have stopped this guy. His weapon was a truck.
        It’s a terrible problem, and I don’t see a solution. I think we are going to have to do as the Israelis do…get on with our lives, and accept the risk. Dying in a terrorist attack is probably a lot less likely than dying in a crash on the freeway.

        • Who said anything about punishing all Muslims (or Christians)? Tracking back heinous acts back to a specific belief is not “punishing” anyone.

          How do you expect to find a solution if you don’t want the problem to be diagnosed correctly because that would be “punishing all Muslims”?

          • BertB

            I agree with identifying religious belief as the source of the problem.
            And yes, there are people…Trump for one…who has advocated deporting Muslims along with his immigration ban. A lot of loyal US citizens who happen to be Muslim are being treated badly right now in this country, and probably in many other countries.
            That is a real problem, because we need those people on our side in this struggle against the fanatics. In fact, I do not think we can win this war…and it is a war…without their help all over the world.
            Here is a piece I wrote on this subject back in 2003. I have thought about it a lot since then, but I still think it is substantially correct.
            One more thing: I identified Christian belief as the cause of the murder of the abortion clinic doctor, and the harassment of people entering clinics. I don’t blame all Christians for that, but I think both Christians and Muslims use the “No true Scotsman…” excuse for the atrocities committed by their believers. In both cases, we need the help of peaceful believers to identify the nutcases if possible.

        • Clare45

          I find it hard to believe that there was not a single mosque in Nice that admitted this man was ever a member. How did he get so rapidly radicalized? Maybe it was just over the internet, but I doubt there were no real people involved in his conversion.

      • Otto T. Goat

        What’s wrong with religious tests for immigration? We aren’t obligated to accept immigrants.

      • With the willingness to properly diagnose the problem we can actually do that, and with a truthful diagnosis, we can *treat* the problem.

        France (and all Western, liberal-democracies) ought to finish what they started 300 years ago: full secularism.

        End all kinds of religious privilege they have embedded in their laws: no more allowing people to break the law in the name of their deity, tax religions, forbid religious exemptions, no more Sunday school, and stop pretending religions can’t or shouldn’t be criticized (because they can and should be!).

        Have our presidents and prime ministers grow a pair, so they dare to challenge the beliefs of other people when those beliefs are harmful and result in the loss of human lives, instead of cowardly tip toeing around anytime a religiously-inspired massacre happens.

        If someone doesn’t have the balls (or the ovaries) to call out religion when someone else kills inspired by it, then they are not fit to run a country.

        I want them to have the balls to call out the beliefs, stop pandering to bullies who threaten to “alienate” their bases if something even remotely suspicious is said about their superstition.

        So that’s my suggestion: grow a pair and stand up to bullies! Is that too much to ask?

        • It is not too much to ask, but I seriously doubt whether it would prove effective as a deterrent, especially when dealing with a movement that utterly despises secularism. Someone radicalized by Islamic State agitprop isn’t about to modify their planned attack on soft civilian targets because their nation doubles down on laïcité.

          • Even if it wouldn’t be effective as a deterrent, it could have two other positive effects:

            1) It will stop the current flow of votes towards the likes of Le Pen, UKIP and the European far right (that is the *racist* right; I understand the GOP to be racist while being the mainstream right in the US). This point is made by Douglas Murray: http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/07/french-mood-finally-snaps-marine-le-pen-will-waiting/

            2) It will put pressure on the Muslim communities in the West, so they get their shit together. If there’s no pressure on them, they will have no incentive whatsoever to do this… hence these attacks will be a far more likely. This point was made by Sam Harris during his conversation with Dave Rubin on the new Rubin Report format: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0jPryEaR3w

            No matter how you see it, this is the only way not to play into the hands of the far right, both the Islamic one and the Western one.

            • I will concede the second point, but here in the U.S. the far-right is fairly practiced at turning secularist efforts to “[e]nd all kinds of religious privilege” into claims of grievance and cries of persecution, and using those attitudes to whip up the base when the time comes to cast votes.

            • And it’s our job to show why that’s wrong and misleading.

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