• Dear Atheist Defenders of Islam

    Shocker: Some of them are not named Muhammad, and do not have dark skin, either!
    Shocker: Some of them are not named Muhammad, and do not have a dark skin, either!

    The attack plot in Kansas by the Islamist nutcase Terry Lee Loewen is a good opportunity for me to go over the main criticisms directed at me for my writings against Islam, not by Islamic apologists, but by fellow secularists. And while this is not the first time that I do it, some of the old objections never falls out of favor, which is why such posts become necessary every once in awhile.

    To set the stage, let’s get into the mind of this psycho first:

    Terry Lee Loewen, 58, was arrested on Friday morning at Mid-Continent regional airport in Wichita, according to U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom, after being thwarted by an undercover FBI investigation.

    Grissom said Loewen planned to drive a car that he believed was full of explosives into a terminal at the airport and trigger the device in a suicide mission.

    A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Wichita on Friday charges Loewen with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

    According to the affidavit, the undercover agent was told by the suspect on August 5 this year: ‘As time goes on I care less and less about what other people think of me or my views on Islam.

    So when I make it clear that Islamic groups in western nations should renounce the doctrine of jihad, I haven’t gotten it all that wrong. A few more gems from the good Muslim:

    “I hate this government so much for they have done to our brothers and sisters, that to spent (sic) the rest of my life in prison without having taken a good slice out of the serpents head is unacceptable to me.”

    “As time goes on I care less and less about what other people think of me, or my views on Islam.”

    ‘I have been studying subjects like jihad, martyrdom operations and Sharia law.’

    “I believe the Muslim who is labeled ‘a radical fundamentalist’ is closer to Allah … than the ones labeled ‘moderates’.”

    “Brothers like Osama bin Laden … are a great inspiration to me, but I must be willing to give up everything (like they did) to truly feel like a obedient slave of Allah.”

    And then, the very best of them:

    “I don’t understand how you can read the Qur’an and the sunnah of the Prophet (saw) and not understand that jihad and the implementation of Sharia is absolutely demanded of all the Muslim Ummah.”

    With that light reading, let’s go back to the biggest criticism I have faced:

    “Religion is not the main motivator for Islamic terrorists; US foreign policy is.”

    Undoubtedly, left leaning political ideologues who like to blame everything that is wrong in this world on US government (while forgetting how much like their nemesis, the Tea Party, they look) will gleefully proclaim vindication at the “I hate this government for they have done to our brothers and sisters” quote . A closer look at the context, though, shows why this analysis is wrong.

    As it happens, for Islamists, the “concern” for what the US has done to their fellow Muslims does not form in a vacuum. They develop as the individual becomes more religious, as evidenced by this example, and others before it. And while we are at it, let’s look at a few undisputed facts:

    • Terrorist attacks coming from Non-Muslims in which the culprits claim vengeance on behalf of third country nationals are virtually unheard of.
    • Grievances against the US government (legitimate or not) are not limited to Muslims, but those coming from Non-Muslims are not avenged in this particular way.
    • Islamists themselves have, time and again, helpfully told us that the above points are not coincidences; the “logic” they use for committing violence on behalf of their fellow Muslims is traceable directly to Islamic Hadith: Muslims are one body (“Ummah”); if you attack one, you have attacked all of us.

    And hence, the effort to separate religious motivation from a backlash against US policies is fundamentally misguided; religion is the reason they think this kind of retaliation is justifiable.

    It is worth pondering for a moment why the culprits are never non-Muslims. The atheists claiming that attributing Islamist motivation to the Ummah concept “speculation” obviously have some sympathy with them, and think their grievances are legitimate. Why, then, is it that those atheists themselves do not become terrorists? If they are upset about “imperialism” just as the militants are, then why the atheists do not join Islamic militant groups? After all, those who do join are not motivated by religion, correct?

     

    Category: Secularism

    Article by: No Such Thing As Blasphemy

    I was raised in the Islamic world. By accident of history, the plague that is entanglement of religion and government affects most Muslim majority nations a lot worse the many Christian majority (or post-Christian majority) nations. Hence, I am quite familiar with this plague. I started doubting the faith I was raised in during my teen years. After becoming familiar with the works of enlightenment philosophers, I identified myself as a deist. But it was not until a long time later, after I learned about evolutionary science, that I came to identify myself as an atheist. And only then, I came to know the religious right in the US. No need to say, that made me much more passionate about what I believe in and what I stand for. Read more...
    • Lynn

      If your an Atheist and defending Islam, sounds like you are a secret Muslim. People have no idea what is in store here in America. Christianity + Islam = No women’s rights! I have no tolerance for Islam. The leaders have a plan called gradualism and jihad with money. It is a slow cunning and deceiving process and it will be done with over population in western countries. They are here for one reason to dominate. Even if moderate Muslims say otherwise.

      • I find this to be paranoid tinfoil-hat country. America is, for its faults, on a very positive trajectory in terms of women’s rights. We owe that to many Christians as well as to non-Christians. You can be sure most of the suffragettes were not atheists, as very few female atheists existed then (though you can find a healthy contingent of secularists and free thinkers of the era and movement).

        I really can’t guess at whom the phrase “leaders of Islam” refers to, I must have missed the part where the Muslims elected a pope of their own. As for the actual jihadis, I would never call them cunning. They’ve turned out to be incredibly poor strategists with a long record of laughably bad failures. Each of their major steps in the last decades has backfired and reduced their chances of even small victories.

        In America you’re more likely to die by being crushed by furniture than by terrorist attack. Jihadis have failed to be more sinister than my TV, at least risk-wise. I think I will not succumb to existential fear just yet.

        • Lynn

          You have no idea what I have experienced as an American woman by Islam, NONE! Do you know in the last 2 yrs CAIR has filed more than 150 lawsuits against freedom of speech, speaking against Islam? Maybe you do not read or pay attention to what is going on.

          My life has been destroyed by Muslim grooming right here in the United States of America! In the land of the free I have not one right and an Iranian Muslim man has all of them. Glad you are a world expert on Islam!

          • Lawsuits cannot be filed against the US Constitution or Bill of Rights because those things are the supreme law of the land.

            I do not know what has happened to you and I am sorry to hear if you are subjected to any injustice or harm, but I can assure you that you do have rights if you are a US citizen.

            • Lynn

              A recent verdict in Sacramento, California. A Muslim man paid to have his second wife brutally murdered and read what the judge of this verdict says. http://tinyurl.com/k9dw6em

              The late Christopher Hitchens said, “Islam is a reactionary ideology in the US it means business, it means slavery, it means murder, it means bigotry, it means abolition of culture.

              We have different opinions and perspectives, less talk again in 10 years and see what is going on with Islam in America?

            • I am unsure why you wish me to see this. If anything, this sort of story makes Americans more anxious about Islam, not less. A judge being disgusted with a psychotic Muslim man’s ideology speaks against the claim that Islam is given deference, not for it.

              We also have deadly violent Christians who have bombed abortion clinics and murdered doctors. We have dangerous violent political extremists who tend to comprise our incidents of domestic terrorism (like the OKC bombing). These are horrible people doing terrible things, but none of them represent some looming existential threat to America.

              I would speculate what you are doing is the greater threat. Sowing fear and hysteria. Fear has been used to foment and justify every great atrocity in history. It is an excuse used by governments to take away civil liberties. It makes us alienated by omnidirectional suspicion and paranoia. You can’t save America by making it a place that isn’t worth living in.

            • Lynn

              I am glad you are the most well respected educated expert on Islam.

            • ThePrussian

              Not this again – yeah the occasional Christian bombs an abortion clinic because he thinks he’s saving innocent lives. Yawn. Almost half a million Christian refugees have been driven out of the Central African Republic by the Jihad.

              These are just not comparable.

            • Lynn

              Here is a video from a Swiss Member of Parliament Oskar Freysinger has had enough of Islam. Listen to what Islam has done to countries in Europe and surrounding.

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IXsTKzOTvo#t=120

            • Forceful rhetoric from an angry ex-MP. But I am unmoved by assertions and assumptions. We’re skeptics here. I will bow to the evidence. I see none in this video.

    • I wonder what it is you think would happen if western Muslims went on whatever endless and vociferous anti-terror campaign you recommend. Would the terror-minded fanatics then shrug and say, oh well we didn’t know we weren’t invited, so we’ll stop now, sorry ’bout that.? If I take your own quotes to be a guide, they would (or do) simply dismiss those Muslims as not “real” Muslims and probably also as apostates who should be marked for holy revenge.

      I doubt any plans would be called off, no sea change in Islamist business would be forthcoming. Of course, I see no connection between these groups to begin with.

      • NoCrossNoCrescent

        What I am calling for is very concrete: renunciation of the doctrine of jihad. And no, it may not affect jihadis plans. But then when these Muslims will at least have a basis to defend themselves against accusations of complicity. As is all their whinings about discrimination and Muslim rights look like a cynical attempt to use the system to destroy the system.

        • So all of this talk about the jihadist threats, all the ink spilled on it, is just so you can prove that western Muslims are hypocrites? Not to actually impact the real threats in play? That seems like a poor choice of goal that serves neither skepticism nor secularism. I am a bit surprised by your attitude.

          • NoCrossNoCrescent

            I am not sure I understand your point Ed. To begin with, I do see exposing religious hypocrisy a worthy goal, and last time I checked it was one of the defining points of New Atheism. So I hardly see how the spilled ink would be wasted, if that were the only reason for my writings. But, besides, you don’t think that if individual Muslims heard their imams condemn the jihad doctrine as misused and outdated, that will have a bearing on whether they will gravitate toward militancy?

            • You seem to be focused more on political hypocrisy, not religious. You are concerned about allegiances and who is condemning whom, and who is giving the appearance of being part of what team. This is politics and sociology- politics of religious groups of people, but nonetheless politics.

              I also think it is unduly focused on the people instead of the ideas or the social phenomenon of religion. You said these Muslims will at least have a basis to defend themselves against accusations of complicity. Note that that is a topic-free statement. You’re not talking about what they believe or who they actually support, but instead about how well they can thwart an accusation about who they support.

              You want to make a litmus test and pressure religious people into taking your test, to prove to your satisfaction that they are good people. That is unreasonable. The burden of proof is not upon them to prove to you or anybody that they are not Islamists. If you are making that claim about them, it is you who must prove it with positive evidence not supposition.

            • NoCrossNoCrescent

              I couldn’t disagree more, Ed. It is a political matter, but it is religious too. I see it the job of secularists to condemn religious doctrines and demand their abandonment when they cause harm. And there is nothing new about litmus tests here. The catholic church abandoned its thousand year old antisemitic doctrines calling Jews Christ killers at the second Vatican council. The Mormon Church finally accepted black people in its clergy at 1979. Would demanding that the catholic church or Mormon Church make those changes be unreasonable too?
              I am getting the impression that everyone just wants to give Islam underserved and exceptional deference, including atheists. Now, I find that unreasonable.

            • The kind of engagement you are doing is political and I’d say rather petty political, regardless of the topic being religion and religious people. You are not discussing why ideas are wrong or harmful, but why people should wave a flag you prefer (anti-islamism), how they should do it, and that they should do it merely as a sign of their acceptability to you (other reasons exist, but that is primary, according to you).

              Making demands of the Mormon church to include black people made sense because the Mormon church openly and unarguably stated that it forbade black people from clergy positions. Not that it would have made sense for a secularist to campaign for black clergymen, I don’t want more people to be priests or priestesses. I’ve never stumped for the Episcopalian church to include gay Bishops, neither have you I notice. But more to the present point, we’re talking about people with no ties to Islamism, and for which I see no other logical connection either.

              Also, as a secularist, I am not in the habit of demanding that anyone do anything. That isn’t how a free society functions. I criticize ideas, actions, dogmas; I may favor or disfavor reforms, laws, and policies. But people have freedom of conscience, and that means a lot to me; I will never, ever “demand” they stop believing anything or start believing anything.

              I am getting the impression that everyone just wants to give Islam underserved and exceptional deference, including atheists.

              I am sorry, but this is just the most barking mad statement on the face of it. In the US, anybody who looks like they might be or are Muslim face serious, constant harassment, discrimination, and violence. After 9/11 more than 300 Sikhs (not Muslims, just “look” Muslim) have been assaulted, some of them murdered. I don’t see waiters saying Oh you’re Muslim? Oh please right this way to our finest table! in America.

              Our President is called Muslim as an insult meant to demean him, which everyone immediately understands as an insult. Where is the deference in that? What I believe that you are responding to is a loud but relatively small liberal view that fear has created anti-Muslim hysteria and bigotry; this group can be shrill and can go too far, I would say. But to say they amount to “everyone”? That’s a deeply distorted view. “Everyone’s” view has lead to the fine harassment experience you get at the airport if you are Muslim or look it; “Everyone’s” view has made looking Muslim a risk factor for assault and harassment.

            • NoCrossNoCrescent

              Ed, Ed.
              I have discussed extensively why Islamic ideologies are harmful. Just check some of my past posts I linked to, in the body of this one.
              So you don’t think secularists should be in the habit of telling fundamentalists to stop telling children the world is 6000 years old? Fine. They have their freedom of conscience and expression. I have mine. I will tell them they need to stop. And I will tell Islamic groups if they preach jihad they cannot disassociate themselves from actual jihadis. To each of us our own. I am not particularly happy about more clergy either but I dislike racism even more.
              I don’t see why I can’t tell Islamic groups they need reform, for example, when you can tell me I shouldn’t be making demands. Freedom of conscience is for everyone. Not just Muslims.
              None of examples you provided makes a dent in my argument. I am not talking about crazy conspiracy nuts that don’t even know the difference between Muslims and Sikhs. I am talking about the intellectual world where Richard Dawkins gets flak for “Islamophobia” for a factual statement; where Bill Maher’s challenge for a “Book of Islam” counterpart to the Book of Mormon never gets any consideration or response (and we all know why); and about work environments where wearing the hijab is acceptable but saying that it is a symbol of hate is not.

            • Criticize is different from demand. A demand is a request with the implication of entitlement that it be met. You have no such right. Pretension to such a right makes you sound hostile and overbearing and I think that is counter-productive. Want people to close their ears and ignore everything you have to say? The fastest way to do that is to declare them evil and wrong and demand that they do as you tell them.

              You know what being correct is worth? It and a dollar will buy you a Pepsi.

              I think my examples do dent up your argument that “everyone” wants to give exceptional deference to Muslims. IF your claim is true, then the effects should be observable in broad social trends and attitudes. Do we see deference in social attitudes? No, we do not. We see the opposite. Muslims are distrusted and marginalized. That runs completely counter to your claim.

              You bring up Dawkins and Maher, but they’re just celebrities in the media who are lightning rods for censure from all sides. In particular, they both get chastised by the far left. That just isn’t “everyone” as you said. That’s a small, loud group of pundits and bloggers. You want to justify the “everyone” claim, tell me about the behavior of millions of people, not what happens to two celebrities on twitter.

            • NoCrossNoCrescent

              Use whatever wording you want, Ed. “Demanding” that Islamic organizations denounce jihd for me is the very same as “demanding” Answers in Genesis to stop lying to children. It is not a “demand” in the legal sense. I condemn them for what they do. And again, if they have their freedom of conscience, so do I.
              The accusation of being “overbearing” has been flung at Dawkins, Hitchens et all for the longest time. I am not particularly bothered by it.
              And no, your examples are completely irrelevant to what I was saying.
              I do see deference to Islam. It is not like, you can criticize this religion without being accused of being an Islamophobe, racist etc. Like I said, there is nothing wrong with wearing the hijab, but there is definitely something wrong with pointing out how hateful and misogynistic it is (you’ll get fired from your job for sure). And please, if you want to tell me I am wrong, don’t start talking about people who don’t know the difference between Muslims and Sikhs. I am talking about the media and the intellectual class.

            • Answers in Genesis is a website entitled to print whatever they wish (within the confines of the law). I will make no demands of them, as I have no right and neither do you. Not legal or otherwise. You have no such right, not of any kind. You and I do have the right to criticize. To speak to the glaring flaws and to talk about the social harm they are responsible for; we may also lobby for legal reform using the same such material.

              Are you comparing yourself with Dawkins or Hitchens? I must say that you, sir, are no Dawkins or Hitchens and you are not deserving of the leeway they may be granted nor is the criticism you earn at all the same thing as theirs, necessarily.

              As for my examples, it is you not me who set the terms. You said everyone…. Everyone includes people who do not know the difference between a Sikh and a Muslim. In fact, I’d wager 9/10 Americans don’t know the difference, so your “everyone” and “people who don’t know the difference…” are the same people. Moreover, the point is what is their attitude about Islam regardless of their ability to pick a Muslim out of a line-up? The Sikhs who have been attacked prove that there is hostility and harassment toward anyone who seems Muslim, proving they believe that Muslims are bad and awful and not to be deferred to.

              Let’s talk about general American attitudes about Muslims. A 2011 poll showed that “Forty-one percent would be uncomfortable if a teacher at the elementary school in their community were Muslim.” If we replaced the word Muslim with “gay” we’d call that attitude homophobic. A 2013 survey of American Muslims said that 28% report facing harassment or suspicion. In a 2010 Gallup poll, 43% of Americans said they feel at list a little prejudice toward Muslims.

              http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/06/poll-many-americans-uncomfortable-with-muslims/

              http://www.gallup.com/poll/125312/religious-prejudice-stronger-against-muslims.aspx

            • NoCrossNoCrescent

              Am I getting this right, Ed? Are you telling me I don’t have the right to condemn Islamic organizations that preach jihad?
              Because that is what I am doing. I don’t exactly what it is that I have no right to do otherwise. Whoever talked about “demanding” from them (by addressing them directly I suppose) anything? It appears to me that this “demand” story is just a game of semantics.
              And I never claimed that I have the stature of Hitchens and Dawkins, but I don’t see why that is relevant in the least. It is the type of criticism that they have received that is identical to mine: being too shrill and failing at changing minds. They grew a thick skin and so have I.
              As for the issue of facing harassment, what exactly do they mean by that? In case you forgot it, the protests that broke out in the Islamic world were over an “insult” against them in a foreign land. If someone gets an odd look and feels threatened by it, then sorry, there are things in life we have to get used to.
              I do need to make one point clear: by “everyone” I meant everyone in the intelligentsia and mainstream media.

            • You can condemn, that is, strictly disapprove of, anything that you wish. “Demand” is different from “condemn”. It isn’t a matter of semantics. One carries the meaning of a request made that one ought to be obliged to follow. Nobody is obliged to do as you like. I will make this as simple as I can. Consider these statements:

              1. I think your hat is atrocious.
              2. Give me your hat right this instant that I may destroy it.

              Number 1 is a criticism. Number 2 is a demand.

              The fact of criticism of a tone being given to Dawkins or Hitchens or anybody else does not prove that it is not well-directed at you. This is very poor reasoning. It’s like saying “Sure you laugh at my water-powered car invention, but they laughed at Einstein too, so there!” The details and context matter. I think all three of you have had or are likely to get some unfair criticism. That doesn’t mean nothing you do is wrong, that you’re never overbearing unduly or that you aren’t wrong about some of it. I think you are.

              I do need to make one point clear: by “everyone” I meant everyone in the intelligentsia and mainstream media.

              Then you misspoke quite substantially, because that is not what “everyone” means absent you limiting the scope, which you did not do. Even that among that group, I would put it to you that it is not “everyone”, but rather you are likely to only notice the critics and especially the shrill and vocal ones. Dawkins, for example, is widely beloved. In the MSM, among the intelligensia, and without it. How could that be, if “everyone” in them reviles him? They don’t.

            • NoCrossNoCrescent

              I am still not sure how my original post came to mean I have made “demands”. I do consider the jihad doctrine anachronistic and dangerous. I do condemn those who preach. That is what I have said and I stand by that.
              I do not see how the substance of the point that being “overbearing” does not change minds is different from criticisms made frequently against Dawkins et al. My stature is not relevant to the point. Dawkins makes the point that he tells it like it is. Whether that changes anyone’s mind or not doesn’t enter the equation. Neither does it for me.
              As for being”popular”-I beg to differ. He has been subjected to criticism from atheists in different camps (say, at freethoughtblogs as well as on this network) for different reasons. He does have his fans. But being Dawkins most definitely does not protect you from getting torn up by the media for speaking the truth about Islam-not even from atheists. Which is exactly the problem. And that is what I meant.

            • You spoke of making demands. To quote you,
              I see it the job of secularists to condemn religious doctrines and demand their abandonment

              I do not see how the substance of the point that being “overbearing” does not change minds is different from criticisms made frequently against Dawkins et al

              Because the criticism may not have applied to Dawkins, i.e., that Dawkins was being called overbearing without actually being overbearing. None of that has any effect on my claim that you may be overbearing at points, unless you are claiming that it is literally impossible for you to make that mistake. The same criticism can be valid in one instance and invalid in another.

              As for being”popular”-I beg to differ

              Well, his books consistently have amazing sales; he sells packs rooms wherever he goes, he gets invited to major venues for talks, to speak on major news outlets, to write for the largest print publications in the world. Atheist love letters to him fill the internet, and drown out the pittance that criticize him. If Richard Dawkins is not popular and beloved, then those words have no meaning.

            • NoCrossNoCrescent

              Ed, I have no idea whatsoever why you are so hung up on semantics. This is the definition of “demand”, according to dictionary.com:
              de·mand [dih-mand, -mahnd] Show IPA
              verb (used with object)
              1.
              to ask for with proper authority; claim as a right: He demanded payment of the debt.
              2.
              to ask for peremptorily or urgently: He demanded sanctuary. She demanded that we let her in.
              3.
              to call for or require as just, proper, or necessary: This task demands patience. justice demandsobjectivity.
              4.
              Law.
              a.
              to lay formal legal claim to.
              b.
              to summon, as to court.
              verb (used without object)
              5.
              to make a demand; inquire; ask.

              I have been using the 3rd definition. And unlike what you said, I have every right to. I am not backing off of that.

              Here is the similarity between me and Dawkins: he gets called overbearing. He blows it off. I get called overbearing. I blow it off. Clear enough?
              And interestingly those same atheists who “love” Dawkins so much tore him apart when he spoke the truth about Islam. Which goes to show that it is extremely common for everyone in the intelligentsia and mainstream media to go out of their way to protect Islam.
              I am not backing off of that either.

            • It is not a semantic issue, although you seem to be determined to make it one. In this sentence that you wrote:

              I see it the job of secularists to condemn religious doctrines and demand their abandonment when they cause harm.

              There is no ambiguity about what is meant by demand. You are insisting that they abandon their doctrine because you asked, and because you said ‘demand’ is the implication you have the right to ask.

              Definition 3 is a conditional and never applies to personal usage. Notice that both examples are not personal, they are conditions that abstract ideas are said to entail. Justice demands objectivity.

              You’ve also already reinforced what you meant when you wrote,

              “Demanding” that Islamic organizations denounce jihd (sic) for me is the very same as “demanding” Answers in Genesis to stop lying to children.

              So you compared it to telling AiG to cease a specific action which you believe we are entitled to do.

              Here is the similarity between me and Dawkins: he gets called overbearing. He blows it off. I get called overbearing. I blow it off. Clear enough?

              So you believe that because X criticism is given to Richard Dawkins, X criticism can never apply to you? You can never, ever be guilty of X. It is absolutely impossible that you could ever do X, and you know this because some other person in the world is wrongly accused of X? That seems like deeply supernatural thinking.

              those same atheists who “love” Dawkins so much tore him apart when he spoke the truth about Islam.

              No they didn’t. Most people never even heard about that. I think you are confusing a handful of pundits and bloggers for being “the masses” or the “intelligensia” (whatever that means). Dawkins is massively, overwhelmingly popular today, and that is obvious at every appearance he makes in public or in the media.

            • NoCrossNoCrescent

              Ed. Throughout this thread you have been fundamentally wrong about 2 points. Which I am going to correct now.
              First, my personal style is not something I need your opinion about. If I don’t change any minds because I am overbearing, that is my problem. Not yours. You don’t like my style, don’t be like me. Thanks for your concern.
              Second, and more importantly, you don’t get to tell me what rights I have or don’t have. You are not the law. My rights do not come from you. And I am not going to stand this kind of treatment any longer. I am not retracting any of what I have already said. You have made it clear how strongly you disagree. Which is interesting but not otherwise important for me.
              This conversation is over.

            • 1. I’ve never said you need my opinion. As you said a few replies ago, “They have their freedom of conscience and expression. I have mine. …I don’t see why I can’t tell Islamic groups they need reform, for example.” I believe the targets of your criticism would also say that they do not need your opinion. However, I am free to express myself nonetheless and I will do so any time I wish.

              2. I can see that I have offended you and that is lamentable. Please let me clarify that I meant “right” in the social and moral sense and not any legal one. The reason that is important is not that I want to tell you what you can or can’t do, but because social discourse only works when those involved show basic mutual respect for each other as people and citizens. If you expect people to listen to you, to treat your words fairly, and respect your personal dignity and autonomy, then you must do the same.

            • NoCrossNoCrescent

              I do want to add one thing. Show up for work (or even on the street for that matter) with s shirt saying “hijab is a symbol of hate” and compare the harassment you receive to someone actually wearing it. Would make for a nice scientific experiment.

      • ThePrussian

        Can I try and make this simple? Lynchings were going to continue as long as southern whites tolerated regarding blacks as subhuman. Jihad will go on as long as the Ummah regards us infidels as subhuman. We simply cannot put up with this.

        • The analogy is not coherent because southern whites’ attitudes about lynchings pertained to the communities they lived in. The same is not true of the US; The 9/11 guys were not Americans. No community of people in the US “tolerates” violent terror attacks against the US leading them to continue.

          That’s just an awful, nonsensical comparison.

          • ThePrussian

            Are you so sure? From what I have seen, a large proportion, very large, of US mosques are built with Saudi money and staffed by Wahhabis. You reckon the wahabis preach that us kafirs are equal to the believers? I’d doubt it.

            And what I said was “regarding us infidels as subhuman” – please respond to what I actually write. That is an appallingly widespread view. Sure, they may not “tolerate violent terror attacks”, but who gives a damn when they still use the word “kafir”? There were probably many US southerners who didn’t “tolerate” lynching, but what difference did that make when they still threw around the word… You get the point.

            • Am I sure that terror attacks are not excused because Americans have such great deference to Islam and Jihadism? Yes, I dare say that I am sure about that.

              The “Ummah” do not regard nonbelievers as subhuman. As I said, that is too large a group to make such extreme claims about. That’s like saying “Christians oppose abortion in all circumstances”. No. Some do. Some don’t. I have had about a dozen Muslim friends and acquaintances, none of which regarded me or any atheist as “subhuman”. The interfaith tolerance movement asserting the dignity and respect for everyone, including atheists, was created by Muslim Eboo Patel and includes a significant number of other Muslims.

            • ThePrussian

              Question: Did every single member of the US South regard blacks as subhuman? No. Was the statement “the South regards blacks as subhuman” inaccurate? No.

              There certainly are some individuals, and even a few organizations… but as a Hindu once put it, for every Akbar the Great, you can find a dozen Aurangzebs.

              There’s not a single Muslim majority society that treats infidel minorities well. Not one single member of the OIC can claim that. That is not an accident.

            • Oh I quite agree with what you’re saying here. However, in terms of the old US South, you would find that extremely negative racist attitudes in the first half of the 20th century were the norm; that is to say, statistically majority, and dominant. Those details matter. Who are we talking about exactly and what are their attitudes?

              If you are arguing that Muslim theocracies are bad places to not be Muslim, I agree. Of course, they’re also totalitarian or fascistic societies to begin with. The Christian ones were or are no better; the atheistic ones were no better. If Muslim attitudes vary with political system (Canadian Muslims are not Islamists), then it seems like religion is not the only important variable, or even the most important. If religion is key, then Muslim attitudes should be the same in ever country. They are not.

          • ThePrussian

            Simply put, the Klan was just the final product of southern racism, and the jihad is the final product of the Ummah’s anti-kafir bigotry, Trying to stop the jihad while not tackling that bigotry is like trying to stop lynching while considering racism irrelevant. It can’t be done.

            • The Klan is an organization localized in the southeastern US, often publicly so. We may rightly agree the people who inhabit those places in which we know for a fact the Klan operates bear some responsibility.

              The Ummah refers to the global population of Muslims, about which virtually no one thing is true, nor is it reasonable to foist upon 2+ billion people the moral responsibility for anything done by any sector of it. By that logic, my aunt who is a Christian in the sense that she plays Bingo at church every 2 weeks is responsible for human rights abuses of the rising Russian Orthodox Christian Church. It does not follow.

      • NoCrossNoCrescent

        Hi Ed. On this thread when I told you that people constantly fall short of criticizing Islam, you called that “barking mad”, and produced numbers showing Muslims (subjectively) feeling under pressure. As it turns out, though, how the public views Muslims has little to do with the question of whether anyone in the media can get away with criticizing Islam without getting feathered and tarred-and I explain that at the end of my most recent post. http://shar.es/9zN7t

        • Let’s be clear about what I was objecting to that you said. It was not that people “fall short of criticizing Islam” but this much stronger statement,

          I am getting the impression that everyone just wants to give Islam underserved and exceptional deference, including atheists.

          Do you mean to withdraw this stronger version in favor of your modified one?

          It seems in your new post the person “in the media” getting tarred and feathered was a writer at a small feminist website. The censure came from said website. Seems like it might be more about the intolerance of dissent among some political activist feminists, but in any case is too small a story to have much relevance, nor does it feature any broad backlash.

    • kraut2

      http://www.wzb.eu/sites/default/files/u6/koopmans_englisch_ed.pdf

      If anybody after reading that still thinks Islam is not a threat to our western democracies is either deluded or in denial of the true impact of this religion

    • Amie Bee

      Speaking of jihad, if I may, what about changing the context in which the word is used? http://myjihad.org/

      • NoCrossNoCrescent

        See. That is a conscious, deliberate lie. Which is precisely why I maintain that Islamic organizations cannot be trusted unless and until they renounce jihad once and for all.

        http://www.skepticink.com/nocrossnocrescent/2013/07/30/innocent-looking-tsarnaev-beyond-the-controversial-rolling-stone-picture/

        And
        http://www.skepticink.com/nocrossnocrescent/2013/04/25/why-us-muslim-groups-denunciation-of-terrorism-rings-hollow-the-more-technical-version/

        • Amie Bee

          You want “renunciation of the doctrine of jihad” which isn’t going to happen, but this is an attempt to clarify the meaning of the word. I’d think you’d support this effort.

          • NoCrossNoCrescent

            No jihad won’t be renounced, and neither will the public perception of whiny Islamic organizations in the US as hypocrites. As for the “clarification”, a more fitting word would be deception.

            • Amie Bee

              Awww NCNC you’re a grinch. Isn’t religion what you make of it? Who’s to say what defines jihad? Let’s not forget it took a few centuries for Christianity to mellow to this point (the Tea Party notwithstanding). If there are a group of Muslims trying to talk sense, even atheists should support them.

            • NoCrossNoCrescent

              Lol, the good old “Tu quoque” fallacy again. Will you Islam apologists ever grow up? Or is it that you’ve got nothing else?

              http://www.skepticink.com/nocrossnocrescent/2013/11/13/an-incredibly-popular-logical-fallacy-among-defenders-of-islam/

              As for who gets to define jihad-I’m not picky. I will settle for the definition coming from founders of world’s most popular Islamic organizations-Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-e-Islami, whose materials get distributed all over the other world.

              http://www.skepticink.com/nocrossnocrescent/2013/04/25/why-us-muslim-groups-denunciation-of-terrorism-rings-hollow-the-more-technical-version/

              And you want me to join you in your effort to mislead the public about the meaning of jihad so you can claim to be peaceful while preaching godly violence? Lol. Here is a suggestion. Pray to Allah to get me to convert to your cause, we’ll see how omnipotent he is.

            • Amie Bee

              Oh dear. You think I’m a troll! And you think I was attacking you (I guess “grinch” is an insult, but I meant it to be jocular) and you think I want Sharia law. Nothing is further from the truth!

              In fact, I have no roots in Islam. I’m an atheist but my family is Coptic. The reason I thought to support “MyJihad” is because I want to make Islam non-threatening – harmless, if you will – for me and mine. After all, the only way to combat Islamic fundamentalism is with Islamic moderation, so shouldn’t we support the sorely needed vocal moderate Muslims who want to change popular perception of their religion? Not just to the outside world but to each other. Or do you think it’s impossible? I mean, if more Muslims lined up behind this ideology, maybe Christians in Syria and Egypt and Iraq and everywhere else can be spared a lot of damage.

            • NoCrossNoCrescent

              Assuming everything you just said was true, your approach is terribly misguided. I don’t dispute that the only way to defeat radical Islam is through moderate Islam (complete secularization would be very unrealistic). But I do not consider those trying to whitewash jihad for infidels and use different languages for Muslims and non-Muslims moderates; I call them cynics. If you follow my link above, then you will see that there are in fact Muslims who believe in renunciation of jihad doctrine. Those are the actual moderates. But you already said that is not going to happen; in which case you think it is “impossible” too, so it is not just me.