I have been quite outspoken in recent times about what I believe to be a necessary and inescapable connection between Islam, as properly understood (yes, that notion is wrought with issue) and violence (and intolerance). I have even debated this publicly and given a public talk on the topic (at the University of Exeter).
Two of the most interesting pieces concerning what has happened with regard to ISIS have come from The Atlantic and The Nation. I advise reading both, especially as The Nation’s piece is an attempt to rebut the first article.
The Paris mass shootings and bombings have been terrible. It’s a right minefield of religion, politics and sadness. One idea which has routinely popped up on social media has been that Christians should pray for Paris.
I am reposting this in response to the terror attacks in France last night, resulting in the deaths of over one hundred people. As ever, the internet is awash with right-wing shouts to “kill all Muslims” and refugees, to the left-wing shouts that it is the Imperial West to blame and not Islam or Muslims. Neither of these positions are correct. It is obviously thoroughly complex, indeed involving international politics. However, to deny the Qu’ran, Muhammad and the Hadith causal responsibility in these atrocities is to deny the self-determination of those very terrorists who claim that they are doing these actions in the name of Islam and their god.
Following what I reported from the BHA the other day, the Coventry Telegraph reports the following good and sensible news. Respect…
Nabeel Qureshi is great; he is a great resource for critiquing Islam, Muhammad, the Qu’ran and the Hadith. He is an ex-Muslim who converted to Christianity and now runs and MA course at Biola and runs his own ministry. His knowledge of Islam is super and his videos have certainly helped me in my exegesis and talks on Islam.
The BHA reports this annoyingly insane story. Please tweet them or email a complaint:
The British Humanist Association (BHA) has reacted with alarm at news that a non-religious human rights activist, Maryam Namazie, has been denied the opportunity to speak at a student society event, seemingly because she is an advocate of secularism who is critical of religious extremism.
This is a really good excerpt from the political discourse programme “This Week” on the BBC:
In a statement issued at the weekend, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the killing of Niloy Neel, the fourth humanist blogger in Bangladesh to be hacked to death by Islamists this year, and called on the Government to do more to prevent further attacks. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has welcomed his call, and reiterated its own similar desire to see further violence prevented.
I recently had a fascinating debate with David Warden of the Dorset Humanists concerning Islam, which I have written fairly extensively about. The debate was really well-mannered and a pleasure to be involved with. Thanks to the Dorset Humanists for hosing and inviting me. Here it is:
I was talking recently to a fellow liberal who happened to be a Hindu making correctly scathing attacks on UKIP, media bias and misrepresentation and, you guessed it, Islam. Again I was somewhat frustrated that an intelligent and informed guy was getting so much right and yet made one big error. I see it so often and have been involved in debating it here and here that I had to answer my critics here
I am interested in the conflict within Islam between being gay and believing in the Qu’ran and the Hadith. I would…
Adam Curtis has made some brilliant documentaries. Watch this one.
Over on a recent thread about the challenges I have met in my claims of Islam, a Catholic commentator asked this question:
I agree with you that Islam has problems. I have a quick question: do you read commentaries and theology books written by Muslims to offset your bias?
To which I said:
I have had many discussions concerning Islam and my views pertaining to it. I would like to flesh out here some of the criticisms I have had and answer them properly, also offering this as a post that I can point people to when this undoubtedly pops up again.
Tunisia’s second attack in recent times has left the country reeling, and British tour operators pulling out for the next week, at least. This has been the biggest attack on and death of British people in a terrorist attack since the 7/7 bombings in London and the country has been rocked. But not as much as Tunisia itself will be rocked.
I had a debate of sorts in my last talk to the Dorset Humanists on Thursday night. It was really interesting, and I am thankful to DH for inviting me and providing a thoroughly stimulating environment to discuss these things. As mentioned in previous posts, my talk was based roughly on my blog post about”True Islam” and violence, and I spoke first with DH’s David Warden following me and countering my view with a more liberal and accepting approach to Islam.
This is an excellent succinct synopsis of the issue of contradictions and abrogation in the Qu’ran. The Qu’ran can be broadly split into two based on when and where the revelations took place. This article is reblogged with kind permission from Beyond the Cusp – thanks! This is a quick synopsis for those of you who are unaware of things Qu’ranic:
The Quran as we know it today is in reality two quite different books. The older Quran was written in Mecca while the later Quran was written in Medina. This lead some scholars, both Muslim and non-Muslim, to refer to the Quran by its two parts, the Mecca Quran and the Medina Quran.
Sorry I have been quiet, but I have been preparing for a talk to the Dorset Humanists on Islam. This…
Just to let my British readers know… I will be speaking in Bournemouth to the Dorset Humanists, co-presenting an Understanding…