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The Curious Cases of Nawaz & Ali

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In case you haven’t yet heard, The SPLC has published a list of what they call Islamophobes. I prefer the traditional term, which is simply racist. Or in this precise case what I’d call racist opportunists. You can read more about the debacle here. Included in the list were two people of some renown in atheist circles, Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Now, far be it from me to criticise people who criticise religion- I’m all for that- but these two are indeed a special case. Their names link to two articles which paint an interesting picture.

As I see it, they’ve simply found an exceedingly effective way to make the news. To get talked about. One that seems to be increasingly popular. You say something borderline like…

  • “I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars.”
  • “Just like Nazism started with Hitler’s vision, the Islamic vision is a caliphate.”
  • or that Breivik was “censored” by authorities for his writings in favour of Christian superiority and so he felt that he had “no choice” but to commit terror.

And bang. Guaranteed exposure. Controversy et al. This is actually a very straightforward issue, so I won’t beat around the bush. Both Nawaz and Ali treat Islam as The Worst of religions. Somehow a Catholic can divorce and still be a Catholic. A Jew can eat scallops and still be a Jew- but Muslims? They’re incapable of being Muslim without the bombie-bombie-kill-kill part. This is of course hogwash. Muslims are just as happy as anyone else to leave religious rules by the wayside as soon as they can. And if you don’t believe me, look up the numbers of how many people actually go to mosque in France or in the UK. French people even manage to live in a country with one of the biggest Muslim populations in the western world without being subjected to sharia law- or watching adulteresses get stoned in the street. In fact I still haven’t heard of the European Muslim baker who wants to refuse service to gay people.

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36 comments on “The Curious Cases of Nawaz & Ali

  1. john zande
    November 3, 2016

    I read Valerie’s post yesterday (hard not to respect that woman, she’s a gem), and I’m surprised Sam Harris isn’t on the list. He’s said far worse things than Nawaz or Hirsi Ali.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m surprised as well. There’s always next year 😀 If he keeps trying (and he *is* trying), I’m sure he’ll get there eventually.

      Liked by 2 people

      • john zande
        November 3, 2016

        I would like to be on the list 🙂

        Naturally, I’ll need some coaching from you, first, so as to master those beautifully delivered smack-down’s.

        I still giggle today remembering one of the first posts of mine you started commenting on, to whom I can’t quite remember, but in retort to some banal reply you said something along the lines of, “Well, I was trying to be polite, but as that seems to have been beyond your comprehension let me put it this way…”

        Liked by 5 people

      • HA! That does sound like me 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • john zande
        November 3, 2016

        It was golden

        Liked by 1 person

  2. dpmonahan
    November 3, 2016

    So there are no issues with the integration of European Muslims? Is it Anabaptists shooting up Paris every few months?
    Ali doesn’t have a right to be pissed that a bunch of guys cut off her genitalia?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d argue the issue of (alleged lack of) integration is enormously overblown. It in no way resembles what right wing media portrays.

      Each of the recent attacks was a different case, religion being one but by no means the only contributing factor.
      And Ali can do what she likes. The thing is that sort of mutilation is region specific. It’s not a characteristic of a religion as a whole.

      Like

      • dpmonahan
        November 3, 2016

        Then argue it is overblown, but don’t poo-poo it. Which religion was the common contributing factor? Shintoism? Zoroasterism?
        I understand not wanting to condemn an entire segment of the population but the inability of people on the left to speak clearly is what gives authority to blowhards on the right.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Did you apply that same standard to the Catholics during the troubles in Northern Ireland? Were those Catholic crimes? Catholic extremism? Why didn’t Catholics condemn the violence?

        Like

      • dpmonahan
        November 3, 2016

        If you were to say “There was a problem with Catholic terrorism in N. Ireland” I’d have to agree. I’d be dishonest if I were to say “Religion had nothing to do with it”. Now if some blowhard were to argue N. Ireland is proof of Catholic inferiority I’d re-educate him and call him names.

        Liked by 2 people

      • That’s my point. There’s obviously an issue of religion being used as a weapon- but that doesn’t mean anyone born to Islam is somehow inclined to violence which is the implication in arguments by both Nawaz and Ali.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sirius Bizinus
    November 3, 2016

    I read the report, and I think it’s the SPLC not shying away from controversy. They stated why they compiled the list, what qualifies to be on it, and then provided supporting evidence to justify their conclusions. As I see it, I think articles like Ms. Tarico’s are questioning whether saying demonstrably false things about Islam to vilify it should qualify as Islamophobia (and not racism, because Islamophobia has to do with a religion and not a race).

    To me, that these people have made demonstrably false statements about Islam doesn’t negate any other legitimate criticism they might have of the religion itself. The SPLC is just calling people out for lying, and they proved it in their report.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree 100%

      Liked by 1 person

    • Godless Cranium
      November 3, 2016

      I haven’t read into this yet but what demonstrably false things have they said to villify Iskam?

      I know Nawaz is a Muslim and he seeks to reform the religion from the inside. Ali was a Muslim. I’m not familiar with their entire body of work, but what I have read of it, it doesn’t seem hateful or Islamophobia at all.

      Like

      • Sirius Bizinus
        November 3, 2016

        It’s in the report.

        Like

      • Godless Cranium
        November 3, 2016

        So you agree with the entire report?

        Like

      • Sirius Bizinus
        November 3, 2016

        Are you disagreeing with the entire report?

        Like

      • Godless Cranium
        November 3, 2016

        Why would you answer a question with a question? You made a statement and I asked for clarification.

        Do you agree with the entire report?

        Like

      • Sirius Bizinus
        November 3, 2016

        You’re asking me to read the report for you. It’s pretty straightforward. The least you can do is read it yourself.

        Like

      • Godless Cranium
        November 3, 2016

        No. I asked if you agree with it all. I didn’t ask you to read it.

        Like

      • Sirius Bizinus
        November 3, 2016

        “I haven’t read into this yet but what demonstrably false things have they said to villify Iskam?”

        Right there, you asked me to go find the specific matters in the report and place them here. I directed you to the report itself. The matters I referenced above in my comment are contained therein.

        Asking me if I agree with the entire report is a whole other matter entirely to the issues you raised. I haven’t fully informed an opinion on that yet. But, to the extent that they did show false statements by Nawaz and Ali, I agree that the SPLC is indeed correct.

        Like

      • I personally do agree with the report. It’s very straightforward and not really open to interpretation. They cite the modus operandi of each of the people listed- all of whom have made their positions widely known.
        Nawaz, Ali (along with Harris and others) frame Islam as an independent entity. Interestingly they do so in a quasi religious way. Everything bad that’s done by a Muslim is Islam’s fault. Everything bad done by Christians or Jews is a casual event unrelated to religion. This is the very definition of discrimination. Special standards applied to one group and one group alone.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Godless Cranium
        November 3, 2016

        Fair enough. I’ll have to give it a read when I get home from work. I hadn’t even heard of this till I read your blog.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s why I included Ali’s comment justifying the Anders Breivik massacre in Norway. He was a Christian White Supremacist- but she managed to frame it as if in his case religion was irrelevant. From a logical perspective that’s highly problematic.

        Like

      • If you scroll up I included some of their statements in the post.

        Like

      • Sirius Bizinus
        November 3, 2016

        I apologize for being terse below, but I do feel the report is important enough to read for oneself. It has a lot to do with our previous discussion on Islamophobia that didn’t go so well. Included in it is a new way of referring to Islamophobia that hasn’t been brought up before.

        Suffice it to say that my opinions on it really don’t matter.

        Like

      • Godless Cranium
        November 3, 2016

        No worries. It’s an emotional topic for some. I’m no stranger to disagreement. I’ll definitely give it a read when I get off work.

        I was just curious about what parts you found particularly convincing or not before I read it. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sirius Bizinus
        November 3, 2016

        Quite frankly, I don’t want to ruin it for you. The report raises a ton of issues that people really need to consider for themselves. And it’s a big thing that the SPLC just did.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. acflory
    November 3, 2016

    @ John Zande Vintage Pinky 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sirius Bizinus
    November 3, 2016

    I can’t reply to that other comment you left, so I’ll try to respond here. I might not fully agree with the report because of how broad its effects are. One risk that they’re running is that it might include people as hateful who just say a false thing about Islam in error. While the SPLC has not had that problem in the past, there’s always the chance that this might be too broad.

    That said, I think it’s really important how the SPLC framed the issue here. Is it okay to lie to criticize something? What lies are okay, and what lies aren’t? These are some profound ideas.

    Like

  6. Diane G.
    November 5, 2016

    ” but that doesn’t mean anyone born to Islam is somehow inclined to violence which is the implication in arguments by both Nawaz and Ali.”

    That is such a strawman. Have you read Hirsi Ali’s Heretic? Or much of Nawaz?

    Like

    • If I say the fundaments of a religion are linked to terrorism, I’m implying the problem is foundational.

      Like

      • john zande
        November 5, 2016

        I’d say all evangelical, proselytizing fath-based beliefs are terror-based.

        If it weren’t for the fact that we in the West wrestled control from the church some 400-300 years ago, Christians would still be happily spilling the blood of the pagans and the heathens, launching “just wars,” and retarding the pursuit of natural law under the banner of the golden cross.

        Liked by 2 people

      • YES! Exactly. And how successfully we wrestled control away from the church is still an ongoing matter. A few weeks ago a court ruled a father could force his teenage daughter to have communion. The house of lords has 26 appointed bishops voting. Spain, Germany and others still heavily fund the church. Last years Spain paid the church 11 billion (11 thousand million as we say here.) The current anti-gay movement in France is funded by Catholic groups…

        Liked by 3 people

      • john zande
        November 5, 2016

        Finland still has to pay a church tax

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: The Trouble With Extremism | Amusing Nonsense

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This entry was posted on November 3, 2016 by in activism and tagged , , , , , , , .
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