New Atheism should be able to criticise Islam without being accused of Islamophobia

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The atheist community is right to pursue rational, civilised debate, and should be able to do so without being tarred as bigots.


For a community that is often portrayed as aggressive and pugitive, New Atheism has recently been on the backfoot, defending itself from claims dreamt up by those who should – and, surely, in many cases do – know better.

This time round, the scientific and intellectual elite of Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens have found themselves accused of Islamophobia. The whole sorry saga was conveniently summarised in last Friday’s Independent. In short, recent pieces at salon.com and on Al Jazeera’s website have argued, in the words of columnist Murtaza Hussain, that the likes of these prominent atheists are giving a veneer of scientific respectability to today’s Islamophobic bigotry.

Sam Harris is accused of advocating pre-emptive nuclear strikes on Muslims and the profiling of those who merely look like Muslims. Richard Dawkins has come under attack from calling Islam “the greatest force for evil today” and the late Christopher Hitchens has been described as having a bloodlust towards Muslims.

But, sadly, nuance and allegations of bigotry make strange bedfellows. Take Sam Harris. His 2003 book End of Faith catalogues the Qur’an’s long list of orders to murder and exhortations to avenge. He imagines a radical Islamist state acquiring long range nuclear weaponry, thus able to vent its rage against the west. Add in the possibility that it’s headed by an avowedly suicidal regime and nuclear deterrence becomes a worthless currency. Harris anticipates the possibility that in that situation the US may find itself having to press the button first. But it’s a scenario he hardly welcomes.

Written By: Andrew Zak Williams
continue to source article at newstatesman.com

NO COMMENTS

  1. Bigots call for denying the civil rights of some group. They call for beating up some group. Sam Harris or any of the other aggressive atheists have never once done that. All they have done is say the claims of the Christians and Muslims have no evidence to support them. You could even look at what he is doing as inviting the Christians and Muslims to explain the reasons for their faith. It even possible Sam has never even claimed the Christians and Muslims are wrong, just that they have no evidence to support their beliefs. I have never seen any evidence despite a life-long interest in the matter. He is just stating the obvious. Many Christians don’t even deny that charge. They relish the fact they have no evidence as special virtue.

    In contrast Christians have threatened my life just for being gay on over 3000 occasions. They have fought my equal civil rights in dozens of ways. They are obviously bigots.

    • It depends on what you say and how you say it. Anyone who says all Muslims or Christians or Athiests etc are dangerous, bad, wrong, stupid or hateful is a bigot. Anyone who says Islam, Christianity or Athiesm can be used as a tool of hatred would be correct, as I have seen all three been used by people in that way, and to me it has much more to do with the people rather than what they believe or follow.

  2. If being opposed to Islam makes me a bigot, then I’m a bigot. So what?

    If I had been alive during WW2 I’d have been opposed to Nazism and Japanese Imperialism, If I had been old enough during the cold war to understand politics and ideology, I’d have opposed Communism, and no amount of nasty and slanderous accusations would have changed my mind.

    Islam is a totalitarian theopolitical ideology based upon the precepts of subjugation, oppression, racism and sexism, and is absolutely void of any virtuous characteristics.

    The sooner this vile ideology of death and hatred is recognized for what it is, and then dealt with in the manner it deserves, the sooner we can get on with the task of evolving humanity.

    • In reply to #3 by tyga:

      If being opposed to Islam makes me a bigot, then I’m a bigot. So what?

      If I had been alive during WW2 I’d have been opposed to Nazism and Japanese Imperialism, If I had been old enough during the cold war to understand politics and ideology, I’d have opposed Communism, and no amount of nasty and sl…

      I unconsciously repeated your comments on Nazism in my reply to Katy Cordeth. Not plagiarising, honest!
      She has me confused- what to make of her stance on islam??

  3. My experiences with Christians was primarily death threats. I see them as unscrupulous bullies. I think most people see them as sanctimonious, possibly misguided or foolish. I see them as pulling the oldest con telling any lie imaginable to trick people out of their money. I watch men like William Lane Craig cheat outrageously in debate. By looking down their noses at others, they have polished this image of being more virtuous that others. It is just part of the con. These attacks on Sam are the work of unscrupulous con men. They don’t deserve a polite response, though it may be strategic to give them one.

  4. So atheists or non-believers don’t have the right to criticise Islam? Why on Earth not? If a Muslim’s belief/faith is strong it shouldn’t matter who criticises Islam. Perhaps there is an Achilles heel epidemic, as with all religions, there are many who see the cracks, the bigotry, the contradictions of what they preach and what is actually contained in their holy books.

    When Islam, Christianity and other religions decide to update their holy books to reflect modern thinking and humanity instead of retaining the laws and words and nonsense of Bronze Age donkey nomads that are totally irrelevant to humans of today, then I will begin to believe that they are serious in what they preach and teach. Until that day, they are fair game for any decent, reasonable, caring human being to criticise.

  5. People like Hussain need to take a closer look and see the turds in their own backyard. A few eminent thinkers point out the execrable nonsense of the abrahamic belief system and they are libelled. Meanwhile in the more righteous places where Allah has deposited his blessings muslims are busy going about their business of killing anyone who disagrees with their version of the latrinalia, including other muslims.

  6. One innocent child killed by Nazism in WW2 was one too many; if that makes me a Naziophobe, then I’m a Naziophobe.

    One innocent young girl shot in the head for wanting an educaatio is one too many; if that makes me an Islamophobe, then I’m an Islamophobe.

    One blogger killed or tortured is one too many; if that makes me an Islamophobe, then I’m an Islamophobe.

    One honour killing is one too many; if that makes me an Islamophobe, then I’m an Islamophobe.

    One…

  7. ‘Islamophobia’ is a totally valid, rational and healthy response to a dangerous, retarded ideology.

    I’m islamophobic in exactly the same way as I’m ‘Catholophobic’, ‘Naziophobic’ and ‘Klu Klux Klanophobic’.

    • In reply to #11 by RationalConclusion:

      ‘Islamophobia’ is a totally valid, rational and healthy response to a dangerous, retarded ideology.

      I’m islamophobic in exactly the same way as I’m ‘Catholophobic’, ‘Naziophobic’ and ‘Klu Klux Klanophobic’.

      Me too. ISLAMOPHOBE, aka REALIST.

      • In reply to #45 by Nodhimmi:

        In reply to #11 by RationalConclusion:’Islamophobia’ is a totally valid, rational and healthy response to a dangerous, retarded ideology.I’m islamophobic in exactly the same way as I’m ‘Catholophobic’, ‘Naziophobic’ and ‘Klu Klux Klanophobic’.Me too. ISLAMOPHOBE, aka REALIST.

        I think you mean Ku Klux Klan; they don’t have a Klu!

        S G

  8. In reply to #1 by Roedy:

    Bigots call for denying the civil rights of some group. They call for beating up some group. Sam Harris or any of the other aggressive atheists have never once done that.

    According to the New Statesman piece, Sam Harris is accused of advocating pre-emptive nuclear strikes on Muslims and the profiling of those who merely look like Muslims. I don’t know if this is accurate, but if it is it would seem to fulfill your own criteria for what makes someone a bigot.


    With regard to the OP, of course New Atheism, or anyone else for that matter, should be able to criticise Islam without being accused of bigotry; but it should also expect to face criticism itself if it crosses the line, and not engage in temper tantrums, as Mr Harris did when Glenn Greenwald retweeted a couple of magazine articles; or, in an act of chutzpah which is either brilliant or moronic depending on your point of view, claim that the charge of bigotry is impossible to justify because there’s no such thing as Islamophobia. That’s handy, then: we get to be as hateful as we want and still think of ourselves as on the side of the angels. Yay for us.

    Take Sam Harris. His 2003 book End of Faith catalogues the Qur’an’s long list of orders to murder and exhortations to avenge.

    I haven’t read this book, although I’ve been a member of this site long enough to be familiar with the argument that because the Qur’an is full of stuff that would make Quentin Tarantino need to go and have a lie down with a cold flannel on his forehead, we should assume that all Muslims adhere to its every precept, and not give them the benefit of the doubt by imagining that every last one isn’t an ululating jihadist dedicated to the destruction of Western civilisation, or is pretending to fit in just until some dynamite and a pressure cooker can be procured.

    He imagines a radical Islamist state acquiring long range nuclear weaponry, thus able to vent its rage against the west. Add in the possibility that it’s headed by an avowedly suicidal regime and nuclear deterrence becomes a worthless currency.

    This is an argument only for not allowing fanatical West-hating regimes to become established. We could make a start on it by not droning the crap out of these places and treating the Middle East as our own personal gas station. And by putting an end to Western companies supplying WMD, arms and instruments of torture to any psychopath with a PayPal account.

    Harris anticipates the possibility that in that situation the US may find itself having to press the button first. But it’s a scenario he hardly welcomes.

    Well, Sam, we’re all capable of imagining horrible events; the trick is in not giving in to your fears and allowing them to dictate your own behaviour and make you paranoid. I have a fear of assault, but I don’t hide inside my home because of it; nor do I advocate the mass castration of all men, even the ones that “look like they could conceivably be” rapists.

    Surely, rational discourse should be permitted to tiptoe cautiously along the hallowed corridors of the house of Islam without the guards frogmarching it out, bellowing allegations of racism and bigotry… By all means, apologists may disagree with the likes of Harris and biologist Jerry Coyne. But what signal is sent by a refusal to permit the issues to be even debated?

    This guy is missing the point. No one, including the Muslim journalists involved, is saying that Islam shouldn’t be criticised. The charge being levelled is that New Atheism has gone beyond rational discourse when it comes to Islam and its attitude towards Muslims is “similar to the kind of scientific racism that was dominant within western cultures in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as they tried to use eugenics to classify – and consequently legitimise – the subjugation of certain races.” @

    • In reply to #12 by Katy Cordeth:

      In reply to #1 by Roedy:

      According to the New Statesman piece, Sam Harris is accused of advocating pre-emptive nuclear strikes on Muslims and the profiling of those who merely look like Muslims. I don’t know if this is accurate, but if it is it would seem to fulfill your own criteria for what makes someone a bigot.

      Hi Katy,

      It’s not accurate as the next paragraph of that article makes clear. Sam’s outlining an unpleasant hypothetical. How should the US react to a suicidal regime that possessed nuclear weapons? Mutually Assured Destruction is not going to work as it did with the Russians. Much of the criticism of Sam’s writing is based on pulling bits of hypotheticals out of context.

      You can find the exact quote on his website.

      Michael

        • In reply to #27 by Nodhimmi:

          In reply to #21 by kamel:

          In reply to #12 by Katy Cordeth:

          “I haven’t read this book” the quoran.

          I thought so.

          Did she say she had not read the koran, or Harris’ book?

          If she was referring to sam’s book she would’v phrased it as follow : I haven’t read HIS book.

          • In reply to #30 by kamel:

            In reply to #27 by Nodhimmi:

            In reply to #21 by kamel:

            In reply to #12 by Katy Cordeth:

            “I haven’t read this book” the quoran.

            I thought so.

            Did she say she had not read the koran, or Harris’ book?

            If she was referring to sam’s book she would’v phrased it as follow : I haven’t read HIS book.

            And yet she claims to know Islam, not having read the koran?? Having asked the question of many believers, no answer is ever forthcoming… “How can the words of allah be ‘mistranslated’ ‘misinterpreted’
            ‘misunderstood’ ‘taken out of context’ to such a degree as to mean the opposite of what they actually say?” Orwell’s ’1984′ always comes to mind.

          • In reply to #33 by Nodhimmi:

            In reply to #30 by kamel:

            And yet she claims to know Islam, not having read the koran?? Having asked the question of many believers, no answer is ever forthcoming… “How can the words of allah be ‘mistranslated’ ‘misinterpreted’ ‘misunderstood’ ‘taken out of context’ to such a degree as to mean the opposite of what they actually say?” Orwell’s ’1984′ always comes to mind.

            I don’t think I’ve ever claimed to know Islam. I’m woefully ignorant about the Qur’an; I think I have that in common with this guy. I’m willing to accept that there’s plenty in there which is appalling, as with the holy books of the other two branches of Abrahamism.

            But I’m also persuaded by this sort of thing. If Gordon Deitrich is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.

            I think I’ll hold fire on forming an opinion until and if I ever get around to reading the book.

            What I won’t do, though, is go on the sort of websites you seem to be so fond of, cherry-pick all the horrid, violent passages from the Qur’an, and cite them as evidence that Muslims are inherently despicable; anymore than I’d say that Barack Obama has no business being President because should David and Samantha Cameron drop by for a visit and the White House be subsequently besieged by ruffians demanding their release, he would obviously offer up Sasha and Malia, as that’s what the Bible tells him to do.

            My entire view of Islam is predicated on the little I’ve learned from membership of this site and a few others; by news programmes; by knowledge of current events; but mostly by association, be it casual or more involved, with actual flesh-and-blood Muslims.

            It’s just a suggestion, but instead of sitting hunched over your computer day after day, going on Jihadwatch and similar sites, and doing your own bit to spread the cancerous intolerance that these places vomit out to gullible, frightened fools, why don’t you try leaving the house and meeting some Muslims. Or talk to them online. You might find that some of them are actually nice, and funny, and warm; and won’t try to taqiyya you to death or even convert you.

            (Don’t tell me, I can guess: “Why, I’ll have you know some of my best friends are Muslims!”)

            At the very least, I wish you’d keep that stuff away from this site. The water in the oasis is starting to look distinctly like pus.

          • In reply to #69 by Katy Cordeth:

            In reply to #33 by Nodhimmi:

            In reply to #30 by kamel:

            And yet she claims to know Islam, not having read the koran?? Having asked the question of many believers, no answer is ever forthcoming… “How can the words of allah be ‘mistranslated’ ‘misinterpreted’ ‘misunderstood’ ‘taken out of context’…

            Then why are you promoting the myth of Peaceful Islam here, on the site whose founder describes it as “a very great evil”? I suggest the following actions-

            1. Stop obfuscating about Muslims and stick to the real issue, the RELIGION. This is a classic tactic of islamic apologists so I’m informing you now so you won’t fall into the trap in future.

            2. In law, ignorance is no excuse- with the koran, likewise. Read it or offer no further opinion on Islam or Muslims.

            3. Personal attacks [addressed also to the Mods]- First, I apologise and withdraw any and all committed by myself. Anger and frustration are the reason but no excuse.
              Obvious smears and innuendo from yourself, “Joxerthenotsomighty”, Holyschmit, et al are no better. Here I see another example of islamic apologist tactics at work.

            Free speech is paramount but it leaves open the possibility of ‘infiltration’ by those seeking to sway opinion to their cause. And there is evidence of such cause here; I hope most contributors will see through this.

            Typical of your lack of objectivity, the following-
            “What I won’t do, though, is go on the sort of websites you seem to be so fond of, cherry-pick all the horrid, violent passages from the Qur’an, and cite them as evidence that Muslims are inherently despicable”

            Accusation, without foundation. Cherry picking! These ‘horrid, violent’ passages DOMINATE* the book but of course you choose stay blind to that fact, refusing to check for yourself. ISLAM, not MUSLIM. AGAIN!!
            [*According to researchers over 60% of the koran and even more of the Hadith refers to violent threats against kuffar, infidels and people of the book]

            “It’s just a suggestion, but instead of sitting hunched over your computer day after day, going on Jihadwatch and similar sites, and doing your own bit to spread the cancerous intolerance that these places vomit out to gullible, frightened fools, why don’t you try leaving the house and meeting some Muslims. Or talk to them online”

            Accusation, baseless. Nice line in spiteful language, too. As I have told you before (and you ignored) I have lived in a muslim country now for 14 months, so don’t lecture me pompously about ‘knowing muslims’. How many times do I need to say it- ISLAM, not MUSLIMS.

            Let this nonsense end. Fact- koran is hate speech; muhammad was a monster; allah a vicious tyrant, islam a very great evil & muslims its victims. Clear, now?

    • In reply to #12 by Katy Cordeth:

      Bigots call for denying the civil rights of some group. They call for beating up some group. Sam Harris or any of the other aggressive atheists have never once done that.

      According to the New Statesman piece, Sam Harris is accused of advocating pre-emptive nuclear strikes on Muslims and the profiling of those who merely look like Muslims. I don’t know if this is accurate…

      Katy, if you don’t know if it’s accurate, then why don’t you go and find out before commenting?

      …claim that the charge of bigotry is impossible to justify because there’s no such thing as Islamophobia. That’s handy, then: we get to be as hateful as we want and still think of ourselves as on the side of the angels. Yay for us.

      This is also a logical error. The denial of ‘islamophobia’ as a form of bigotry is that in the form of criticism of Islam promoted by Harris focusses on ‘Islam’. Not muslims. Harris has never promoted any hatred or discrimination agains muslims, but concern about the teachings of Islam and the contents of the Koran. Conflating Islam with a race is in itself racist.

      Take Sam Harris. His 2003 book End of Faith catalogues the Qur’an’s long list of orders to murder and exhortations to avenge.

      I haven’t read this book

      Well stop there, then…

      the argument that because the Qur’an is full of stuff that would make Quentin Tarantino need to go and have a lie down with a cold flannel on his forehead, we should assume that all Muslims adhere to its every precept

      has never been put forward by Sam Harris, any New Atheist writer I’ve encountered, or anyone on this site. But surely any holy book which encourages a creed of hatred, misogeny and discrimination is therefore inherently bad. That individual muslims see this and choose not to follow the whole of the doctrine is up to them; that is not what is being criticised.

      He imagines a radical Islamist state acquiring long range nuclear weaponry, thus able to vent its rage against the west. Add in the possibility that it’s headed by an avowedly suicidal regime and nuclear deterrence becomes a worthless currency.

      This is an argument only for not allowing fanatical West-hating regimes to become established. We could make a start on it by not droning the crap out of these places and treating the Middle East as our own personal gas station. And by putting an end to Western companies supplying WMD, arms and instruments of torture to any psychopath with a PayPal account.

      Agreed. We all agree. And that is pretty much what Sam Harris says, which you would be aware if if you went and read his whole article, not just jumping to conclusions on what you have seen reported second hand.

      Harris anticipates the possibility that in that situation the US may find itself having to press the button first. But it’s a scenario he hardly welcomes.

      Well, Sam, we’re all capable of imagining horrible events; the trick is in not giving in to your fears and allowing them to dictate your own behaviour and make you paranoid.

      Sam Harris is a writer of philosphy. He carried out thought experiments and writes about what results. He is quite aware that people will disagree with some of what he writes, and I would speculate that he actively enjoy intelligent debate on the issues he raises. What gets his goat and inspires him to write back scathingly (and I would agree, slightly peevishly on occasions) is when his views are misrepesented, straw-manned and distorted (deiberately or just by misreading), as people like you get completely the wrong idea on what he’s trying to say.

      I don’t agree with everything Sam Harris says (like I don’t agree with everything Dawkins says, etc). But I don’t have to. These people are not authorities, all they are doing is putting forward their opinions. Unlike those in religious authority which they criticise, you are completely free to disagree.

      But, what is not fair to do in any case is to condemn or support any position without the information to make this decision. So, to support the Koran and dismiss Harris’s arguments without having read either is unfair and a backwards step in terms of reason.

      You can read the Koran for free online, and you can do the same for Sam Harris. So go and do that and come back once you’re better informed, and if you’re still keen to support the screed of hatred that is the Koran, I’ll be extremely surprised.

  9. Islam:- The enforced worship and adulation of a false prophet to a fake god. Bathed in sanctity and defended by armies of believers; all brainwashed to perpetuate the myth or die trying.

    To those who self-identify as good and moderate muslims. You might want to take another good look at your beliefs, you know, just to make sure you haven’t been used or something.

    • In reply to #13 by inquisador:

      To those who self-identify as good and moderate muslims. You might want to take another good look at your beliefs, you know, just to make sure you haven’t been used or something.

      I’m the sort of person who tries to find common ground others share; and do you know, inquisador, I think I’ve found the common ground between Islamists and New Atheists™.

      Both groups harbour a particular disdain for moderate Islam. Islamists because they’re inadequate losers who hate and fear women and want the entire planet to be as miserable and sex-starved as they are. New Atheists™ because the notion that it’s possible for someone to be a Muslim and a nice person takes away their favourite boogeyman.

      Man, they should take that World’s Best Thinker award off of Dawkins and give it to me.

      • In reply to #15 by Katy Cordeth:

        “I think I’ve found the common ground between Islamists and New Atheists.

        Both groups have a disdain for moderate Islam”

        Other brilliant minds have also made this observation, in case you were hoping to be the first. My view is that moderate Islam is an oxymoron. However,if there were no true Muslims heeding koranic instructions such as:-

        “Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it,” (2:216)

        then all would be well. The reality is that the products of ‘moderate’ Muslim families can quickly turn into more devout and observant specimens of Muslim. Ones who actually read and understand the very clear instructions of their adored and emulatable prophet.

        The Tsarnaev brothers proved themselves worthy of the highest reward in Islam when they set out to maim the infidels in every limb. As per:

        “I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, maim them in every limb” (8.12)

        Well done, Tamerlane and Bro.

        How can one criticize such sacred spiritual devotion to religion as this?

        I mean, I look at the accounts of these two young boys/men from their earlier existence as bright, flawed but genial, ordinary people and I can believe that that is how they really were then. The Boston bombers were exactly the same people, only after imbibing the poison of Islam. Not even radical or some wild interpretation of it, but the plain old vanilla islam according to Mo and Allah.

        How the fuck can we go on pretending that this stuff is anything but dogshit pie?

        • In reply to #19 by inquisador:

          In reply to #15 by Katy Cordeth:

          “I think I’ve found the common ground between Islamists and New Atheists.

          Both groups have a disdain for moderate Islam”

          Other brilliant minds have also made this observation, in case you were hoping to be the first. My view is that moderate Islam is an oxymoron….

          Moderate muslims exist because they are the ones who have NO IDEA what’s in their koran or sunnah or hadith. Everything they know of islam is what they’re told in the mosque; those who discover the truth have a hard choice- utter denial, or having to accept they have been duped. It has been a great shock to find EVERY muslim I speak to does believe the hogwash, no matter how ridiculous. And worse, they find ways to deny the existence of the verses of hatred and violence. Truly, truly, SICK.

          Case in point was Mehdi Hasan making an idiot of himself when proudly confirming his belief in Buraq; then getting his knickers in a knot when challenged on his irrationality.

          [Slightly edited by moderator]

  10. Law of the bigoted, political/PR/PC jungle. Whoso criticises Islam is racist/Islamophobic. Whoso criticises Zionism is racist/anti-Semitic. Whoso criticises the sale of young women as wives, or chattel slavery or polygamy, is a cultural imperialist. Whoso supports the right to abortion, is coercing and objectifying women. etc,etc,etc.

    The right is always adept at co-opting the language of the left and turning it on itself.

  11. Let’s hope the trickle of moderate Muslims who have the balls to criticise extremists turns into a flood. After all, it should be their job to keep their own house in order, not Harris’, Dawkins’ or Hitchens’.

  12. There is nothing irrational about fear of the far-right totalitarianism of militant Islam.

    Anything which can flying airliners into office buildings and which advocates the killing of innocent people for the most trivial of imaginary crimes is something which it is entirely rational to be very afraid of.

    Pat Condell’s excellent video covers all the relevant points:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfJ6FpabknY

  13. This guy is missing the point. No one, including the Muslim journalists involved, is saying that Islam >shouldn’t >be criticised. The charge being levelled is that New Atheism has gone beyond rational discourse when it comes to Islam and its attitude towards Muslims is “similar to the kind of scientific racism that was dominant within western cultures in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as they tried to use eugenics to >classify – and consequently legitimise – the subjugation of certain races.

    Well forgive us if we wish to be our own judges as to what constitutes reasoned discourse without having to bow to the delicate sensibilities of those we are critcising. You don’t get people marching in the street chanting Death to Infidels discussing the merits of political affiliations or sport teams. We do not have to allow those being criticised a veto over our right to criticise and those who advocate for such imbecility need to reevaluate what it actually means to have a right to free speech.

  14. Hussain and Greenwald I like to think of as “prime directive liberals.” They seemed to have watched too much Star Trek and think we need to respect primitive cultures and allow them to evolve at their own rate. The problem is, we have one planet to live on, and a primitive culture such as promoted by the Quoran has real world consequences. Criticizing an ideology is not racism. Calling a person a “phobe” or a “racist” shows the weakness of the argument. When you can’t win with logic, win with labels. That Greenwald has dragged himself down to the level of the “beltway journalists” he loves to attack shows that he has lost it. An unfortunate loss because he has been an important advocate for civil liberties in the U.S.

  15. I completely agree that the “New Atheism should be able to criticize Islam without being accused of Islamophobia.” But to be quite honest, Sam Harris is too much of an Islamophobe for my taste, and I also find his stance on foreign policy and gun-control pretty disgusting.

    • In reply to #25 by Andres Heredia:

      I completely agree that the “New Atheism should be able to criticize Islam without being accused of Islamophobia.” But to be quite honest, Sam Harris is too much of an Islamophobe for my taste, and I also find his stance on foreign policy and gun-control pretty disgusting.

      See post 26

  16. NOBODY is allowed to criticise Islam. Proven worldwide on numerous occasions, by rampaging mobs of murderous followers of the Profit

    And, how many times do we have to hear the bogus weasel word ‘islamophobia’?

    “The loathsome term Islamophobia is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics. In an effort to silence critics of political Islam, advocates needed to come up with terminology that would enable them to portray themselves as victims.” — Abdur-Rahman Muhammad

    Also dropped by Associated Press and others. Just more taqiyya from the Religion of Lies…

  17. “Man, they should take that World’s Best Thinker award off of Dawkins and give it to me”

    If I disagree, will that make me an “islamophobe”?
    Your modesty is exceeded only by your charm

  18. Anyone read the bible recently. Those attacking moderate muslims for what it says in the koran would do as well to hurl their vitriol against cultural xians for supporting the bigotry the bible espouses and if white atheists are mistaken for xians and get caught in the crossfire then I guess its their fault for not growing beards and wearing towels on their heads.

    • In reply to #34 by jjbircham:

      Anyone read the bible recently. Those attacking moderate muslims for what it says in the koran would do as well to hurl their vitriol against cultural xians for supporting the bigotry the bible espouses and if white atheists are mistaken for xians and get caught in the crossfire then I guess its th…

      Nobody is attacking ‘moderate muslims’- this is a canard beloved of the islamophobia industry. Attacking ISLAM, however is both valid and required. Yes, the bible is also execrable- but not as bad as the koran.

      SO, your point is?….

      PS- your racist remark about “white atheists caught in the crossfire” is noted.

  19. While we’re discussing bedfellows, let’s take a moment to consider those next to whom Sam Harris lays his weary head.

    Let’s face it: The innominate radical Islamic state Sam Harris fears is pursuing “ long range [sic] nuclear weaponry… to vent its rage against the west [sic]” is none other than the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    Let’s face it: Harris’ ideas are not original. As Greenwald concluded, he is merely echoing “the standard neocon, right-wing worldview of Muslims.”

    In 2002, for example, Ariel Sharon, who served as Israel’s Prime Minister from 2001 to 2006, described Iran “as the ‘center of world terror’ and bent on acquiring nuclear weapons… he declared that the Bush Administration should put the strong arm on Iran ‘the day after’ it conquered Iraq.”

    According to Mearsheimer and Walt, moreover, “Op‐eds and articles now warn of imminent dangers from a nuclear Iran, caution against any appeasement of a “terrorist” regime, and hint darkly of preventive action should diplomacy fail.

    Israeli officials also warn they may take preemptive action should Iran continue down the nuclear States. If Washington could live with a nuclear Soviet Union, a nuclear China, or even a nuclear North Korea, then it can live with a nuclear Iran. And that is why the Lobby [AIPAC] must keep constant pressure on U.S. politicians to confront Tehran. Iran and the United States would hardly be allies if the Lobby did not exist, but U.S. policy would be more temperate and preventive war would not be a serious option.”

    Let’s face it: As suggested above, a nuclear-armed Iran does not, Harris’ delusions notwithstanding, pose a threat to United States.

    Let’s face it: Atheists like Sam Harris are the selfsame bigots who eagerly demonize Islam but also turn a blind eye to the West’s unending campaign of violence and human rights violations in the Middle East.

    Let’s face it: As Machiavelli suggested some 700 years ago, politics and religion, or in this case, a lack of religion, make the aptest of bedfellows.

    • In reply to #36 by HolySchmidt:

      While we’re discussing bedfellows, let’s take a moment to consider those next to whom Sam Harris lays his weary head.

      Let’s face it: The innominate radical Islamic state Sam Harris fears is pursuing “ long range [sic] nuclear weaponry… to vent its rage against the west [sic]” is none other than t…

      “A nuclear-armed Iran does not, Harris’ delusions notwithstanding, pose a threat to United States”

      Perhaps not in the immediate future- but how long before it does? IF allowed to develop nuclear and even, perhaps thermonuclear weaponry and the delivery mechanism, whence your ‘argument’. You miss the point- this is by its own declarations a theocracy for which Mutually Assured Destruction is no deterrent.

      “Lets face it”- there is no need to demonize Islam, it does a fine job on its own

      “Lets face it”- ‘unending campaign of violence and human rights violations’ is a good description of ISLAM;
      and it has been going on unbroken for 1400 years, by the Religion of Peace

      “Lets face it”- ‘lack of religion, make the aptest of bedfellows’ – fundie, or muslim troll?

      “Lets face it”- depressingly, 4 others embrace the same delusion

      • After a cursory search, I’ve discovered that you, unsurprisingly, are an active member of JihadWatch.org, a blog that has been described as “one of the main homes of the anti-Islamic, right-wing counterjihad movement on the internet.”

        The Horowitz Freedom Center, which is also far-right organization according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, pays the blog’s director, Robert Spencer, a six-figure salary, and, of course, the blog itself receives a significant portion of its funding from donors who support ultraconservative Israeli politicians.


        As for me, as my surname suggests, I’m just a beer-swilling, semiliterate Teuton, who has an axe to grind with those who masquerade as freethinkers for self-gain, insofar as their profits usually come at the expense of those who (in this case, moderate Muslims) are unfortunate enough to get caught in the crossfire.

        And if Pam Geller is reading this, I also like idioms, long walks on the beach, and popcorn.

        In reply to #40 by Nodhimmi:

        In reply to #36 by HolySchmidt:

        While we’re discussing bedfellows, let’s take a moment to consider those next to whom Sam Harris lays his weary head.

        Let’s face it: The innominate radical Islamic state Sam Harris fears is pursuing “ long range [sic] nuclear weaponry… to vent its rage against the…

  20. I was discussing organised religion with a neighbour recently, and pointed out that the rank and file followers of Islam remain for the most part silent on the matter of violence perpetrated by their fellow brethren in the name of their prophet, and he reminded me of the fact that they probably feel too intimidated to speak out.

    They’re trapped from the time that they were at their mother’s knee by a doctrine which demands absolute and unthinking submission, and it’s much easier for Muslims to insult and accuse outsiders who they know will not commit violent acts against them than to face up to reality and risk receiving violence from within their own community.

    There are still vestiges of this inside the RCC, which I think is why my Catholic friend flew off the handle when ever I tried to discuss religion with her.

    In my experience religion is not a subject that can be discussed fruitfully with people of faith, which makes it a huge problem for the rest of us.

  21. Within Islam this problem is amplified by the powerful coercive effect of the death threat for blasphemy or apostasy, and the ease with which such charges can be brought against defectors/freethinkers.
    A powerful system; one which makes soldiers out of everyone in society.

    Think of how nearly all the people in Islamic majority countries are descended from the Christian/Pagan/Jewish/Hindu/Buddhist/Sikh peoples who once inhabited those places.

    Monoculturalism of the worst kind.

  22. Many more islamist/christian ‘commenters’ seem to coming to the site- am I mistaken? No problem except they drag out the same tattered discredited arguments ad infinitum.

    Please try to produce something fresh and valid, this is after all “….for reason and science”

  23. Hi, JJ

    It’s a question of degree; both are violent fantasies but christians have abandoned the Old Testicle as a fable whereas Islam forbids all reform. Thus the profit Mo remains the Ideal Man to be imitated, despite being a psychopathic narcissist whose preferred modus operandi was slaughter, rape and slavery (those being the better parts of his character). In addition, the koran has polished the turd/bible into a shiny new manual of cruelty and conquest. What’s your opinion on their relative merits?

  24. In reply to #45 by Nodhimmi:

    …Me too. ISLAMOPHOBE, aka REALIST.

    In reply to #26 by Nodhimmi:

    …And, how many times do we have to hear the bogus weasel word ‘islamophobia’?

    For as long as there are weasels who revel in the description while simultaneously claiming it doesn’t exist, I guess.

    Is Islamophobia a real thing or isn’t it? There seems to be a bit of schizophrenia over the issue.

    If you’re unhappy with this term, for whatever reason, fair enough, pick another one; many people who hate gays don’t like being described as homophobic, preferring homo-skeptic or homo-intolerant.

    But even they don’t spout their bile whilst simultaneously claiming not to be intolerant.

  25. In reply to #41 by Nodhimmi:

    In reply to #34 by jjbircham:

    Nobody is attacking ‘moderate muslims’- this is a canard beloved of the islamophobia industry.

    RDFRS. Leap of Faith: Church of England en route to extinction:

    Islam is exposing itself to more ridicule, the more it screams its message of hate. Solution- 1. Stop Muslim immigration 2. Ditto mosque construction 3. Repatriate where possible 4. Ban the koran as the hate-mongering evil it is 5. Educate children (and ignorant adults) as to what is mandated in that book 6. Block Islamic websites 7. Ban Islam itself and public worship 8. Most important- tell Islamists that the west repudiates The Religion of Peace


    …Yes, the bible is also execrable- but not as bad as the koran.

    From EvilBible.com:

    The God of the Bible allows slavery, including selling your own daughter as a sex slave (Exodus 21:1-11), child abuse (Judges 11:29-40 and Isaiah 13:16), and bashing babies against rocks (Hosea 13:16 & Psalms 137:9).

    There’s plenty of other stuff, as I’m sure you’re aware, but I think I’ll stop there. If you can find anything in the Qur’an that’s worse than smashing infants against rocks, I’d like to know what it is.

  26. In reply to #48 by Nodhimmi:

    In reply to #47 by jjbircham:

    Nodhimmi, How is the bible not as bad as the koran?

    It’s a question of degree; both are violent fantasies but christians have abandoned the Old Testicle as a fable whereas Islam forbids all reform.

    I guess none of these guys got the memo:

    Liberal movements within Islam;

    Modernist Reform Movements Within Islam;

    A New Quran?;

    Islamic Reformers

    I’d provide links to the other 4,129, 996 results that came up when I googled Islamic reform movements, but It’d take me forever.

  27. In reply to #29 by Nodhimmi:

    Is it time your question was put to the Useful Idiot for Islam currently in the White House…. and a great many other arse-lickers of islam masquerading as leaders of western civilisation.

    You seem to be fond of the phrase Useful Idiot for Islam. You’ve said it about me on a few occasions. I don’t mind; it’s water of a duck’s back. I do wonder sometimes, though, who is the bigger friend to Islamists.

    Is it those of us who refuse to acquiesce to fear of terrorism, and stubbornly cling to the belief that most people, Muslims included, are basically good and decent? Or is it those on the other side, the ones who go on websites and post comment after comment about how proud they are to be Islamophobic and how they trust no Muslim, be it a great grandmother, a scientist or a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl; and who get into bed with disgusting, thuggish hate groups?

    A terrorist’s raison d’être is to instil fear. I can’t help feeling that the current lot have been pretty successful if some of the members of this site are anything to go by, and can now lean back, kick off their curly-toed slippers, and reflect on a job well done.

    • In reply to #54 by Katy Cordeth:

      In reply to #29 by Nodhimmi:

      Is it time your question was put to the Useful Idiot for Islam currently in the White House…. and a great many other arse-lickers of islam masquerading as leaders of western civilisation.

      You seem to be fond of the phrase Useful Idiot for Islam. You’ve said it about…

      “Is it those of us who refuse to acquiesce to fear of terrorism, and stubbornly cling to the belief that most people, Muslims included, are basically good and decent? “

      I find that it is easier to understand politics (for instance) by taking the default position that political parties are huge gangs intent on growing their turf. Let the evidence then show that this is wrong in particular cases.

  28. So…New Atheists want to be able to criticise whetever they want, without…being criticized themselves?

    I for one, while I do think that Islam is many times a vile thing the way it is practiced, 100% disagree with the assertions that the reasons for, say, 9/11 were “religious”. If I remember correctly, the hits were against symbols of capitalism and imperialism(Twin Towers and Pentagon), not against churches or the Vatican. Harris makes the absurd prediction that a…nuclear strike might be warranted, based on a catalogue of Quaran’s lists of orders to murder…forgetting perhaps that the tribe war god of the Old Testament, which christians still think as inerrant, gives plenty of such commands himself? Or that USA is still the one and only country that has used nuclear bombs against civilians, and has been waging wars all over the world ever since, like the one they waged, for example, in Serbia (around my neighbourhood, that is, as I live in Greece, incidentally a country where, in 1967, a military dictatorship was places with plenty of support from the US of A – and, a propo, a country where the Americans first tested their fabulous napalm technology), in which they used depleted uranium ammunition? So, as non-religious and non-American, maybe I have the right to place USA too in the list of the great evils in this world, and maybe suggest that the rest countries should think about taking whatever measures necessary to stop them from declaring wars when they see fit? How would Sam Harris feel about that, I wonder?

    Everyone has the right to criticize and blame Islam(and every other ideology) for whatever they think, and everyone also has the right to point out that they’re missing the damn point. Deal?

  29. Katy Cordeth

    Sorry, no can do- as an atheist/anti-theist, whatever label suits, I cannot in conscience condone what Islam teaches.
    You admit to not reading the koran which stuns me, actually; surely, to have a valid opinion one is morally obliged to
    be fully informed. If/when you do, I challenge you to explain the many examples of violence and hatred to all humanity
    except muslims- and its supremacist dictates, muslims being the ‘best of peoples’, Jews ‘pigs and monkeys’, etc, etc.

    Ironically you mention ‘tu quoque’ and immediately produce a fine example of it (above), plus logical fallacies-

    “I for one, while I do think that Islam is many times a vile thing the way it is practiced, 100% disagree with the assertions
    that the reasons for, say, 9/11 were “religious” Check out OBL’s statements on 911- “allah be praised” nothing to do with religion!

    “forgetting perhaps that the tribe war god of the Old Testament, which christians still think as inerrant, gives plenty of such commands himself?” ‘tu quoque’

    I am still unsure if you are genuine in your beliefs, in denial of evidence, an islamic apologist or an outright troll.
    As for my ‘membership’ of right wing ‘hate’ sites, so what? I don’t accept these are ‘hate’ sites and suggest you investigate
    the SPLC more closely as a propaganda organisation. I have no interest at all in politics- right, left, center or any other
    flavor. I’m interested only in doing what I can exposing islam as the evil fantasy of the psychopathic killer muhammad;
    Geller, Spencer et al are doing it better than me and I applaud them for their courage in the face of death threats from the RoP.

    Formerly I had leant towards anti-Americanism but islam has converted me. The USA may be the rock on which jihad crashes.
    Can you tell me how you explain away the violence in so many islamic countries now? Iraq, now free of infidels, is more violent
    than ever, muslims bombing muslims (shia/sunni)?? Egypt on the way to sharia? Syria taken over by Al Nusrah? On it goes.

    Was it morally wrong to hate Nazism, Stalinism, Pol Pot’s regime? Is it morally wrong to hate Muhammad’s vicious dogma? No.

    Look, your view is that ‘moderate muslims’ pose no threat and you may be right; mine is that koranic teaching reviles ‘moderate muslims’ as hypocrites for refusing jihad. I hope your opinion proves correct- but personally, knowing Islam I very much doubt it and advocate taking the safe option. Keep Islam in its place- NOT in any western democracy.

  30. She has me confused- what to make of her stance on islam??

    Maybe you’re confused because you confuse her posts with my post?

    And incidentally, how is my remark that the TARGETS OF 9/11 had nothing to do with religion a “logical fallacy” and how you think it is demolished because OBL was “praising allah” in his PR videos, is something that escapes me; so please respond addressing my full statements and not 1/4 of them. I’d really like an answer about why the targets of 9/11 were the Twin Towers and the Pentagon if the reasons for the attacks were to wage war on the ‘infidels’ and deniers of Muhammad…they would find plenty of those in religious places and make their point stronger too, no?

    • And incidentally, how is my remark that the TARGETS OF 9/11 had nothing to do with religion a “logical fallacy” and how you think it is demolished because OBL was “praising…

      Here’s the fallacy- you argue that because the targets were not religious buildings, the attack was not motivated by religion? Rational thought-NOT!

      Strange then that the islamists on the planes shouted Allahu Akhbar before crashing. Surely there is no need to point out the blindingly obvious? Or your risible attempt at taqiyya?

  31. In reply to #56 by HolySchmidt:

    After a cursory search, I’ve discovered that you, unsurprisingly, are an active member of JihadWatch.org, a blog that has been described as “one of the main homes of the anti-Islamic, right-wing counterjihad movement on the internet.”

    The Horowitz Freedom Center, which is also far-right organizatio…

    This is bollocks.

    “the blog itself receives a significant portion of its funding from donors who support ultraconservative Israeli politicians.”

    Slapdash drivel and nonsense.
    These people you so deplore are doing a great service by reporting news on jihadist activities around the world that are often under-reported generally. Often excoriated reflexively by some for challenging the liberal ‘progressive’ assumptions about Islam, Robert Spencer is nevertheless a careful scholar who is motivated not by ‘islamophobia’ but by love of human rights for all people.

    Front Page and Jihad Watch are excellent resources. They published a debate in the form of a symposium some years ago between some Islamic reformers. Robert Spencer and Bill Warner also took part, because, like the rest of us, they would love to see genuine reform; though they are realistic about it.

    Thanks to Katy Cordeth, we can all see that worthwhile discussion at a click of her link

    Thanks, KC, I didn’t realize you were such a supporter of Jihad Watch.

    For further research on why reform in islam is so difficult, see the original biography of Mohammed, by Ibn Ishaq; it explains a great deal.

    • In reply to #61 by inquisador:

      In reply to #56 by HolySchmidt:

      After a cursory search, I’ve discovered that you, unsurprisingly, are an active member of JihadWatch.org, a blog that has been described as “one of the main homes of the anti-Islamic, right-wing counterjihad movement on the internet.”

      The Horowitz Freedom Center, wh…

      Her link says it all- the debate concluded no possibility of reform for islam without contradicting the koran, so why would she shoot herself in the foot? I need time away from this lunacy!

  32. Thus far, Nodhimmi has made 18 posts in this thread, most of which have not been favorably rated. Yet he or she doesn’t want “this site [to] become a squabbling match for the RoP [the religion of peace - i.e., Islam].”

    Perhaps that, in and of itself, speaks to the diversity of the RD community.

    Likewise, he or she doesn’t know why bin Laden attacked us on 9/11, even though bin Laden clearly addressed this in 1998 in his second fatwa. In response to the self-posed question of “Why are we fighting you?”, for example, he says, among other things:

    “(1) Because you [the West] attacked us and continue to attack us.

    (a) You attacked us in Palestine:

    (i) Palestine, which has sunk under military occupation for more than 80 years. The British handed over Palestine, with your help and your support, to the Jews, who have occupied it for more than 50 years; years overflowing with oppression, tyranny, crimes, killing, expulsion, destruction and devastation. The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals. And of course there is no need to explain and prove the degree of American support for Israel. The creation of Israel is a crime which must be erased. Each and every person whose hands have become polluted in the contribution towards this crime must pay the price, and pay for it heavily…”

    Whosoever denies the fact that Israeli-Palestinian conflict lies at the heart of the greater Arab uprisings only obfuscates the issue.

    Clearly, what we need most is a viable solution, not more empty rhetoric from right-wing provocateurs and hatemongers.

    • In reply to #65 by HolySchmidt:

      Thus far, Nodhimmi has made 18 posts in this thread, most of which have not been favorably rated. Yet he or she doesn’t want “this site [to] become a squabbling match for the RoP [the religion of peace - i.e., Islam].”

      “Whosoever denies the fact that Israeli-Palestinian conflict lies at the heart of the greater Arab uprisings only obfuscates the issue”

      Wrong. The issue goes back to the founding of Islam and the fanatical Jew hatred of its inventor which continues unabated to this day. Look to the Charters of Hamas, PLO, Hizbullah for the facts. Whilst Israel exists they will allow no peace, unless there is a fundamental reassessment of those documents.

      Interestingly, no Arab/Muslim state will offer their Palestinian brothers a land of their own, or even allow them citizenship.
      Saudi Arabia is not short of land or money, yet…

    • In reply to #65 by HolySchmidt:

      Thus far, Nodhimmi has made 18 posts in this thread, most of which have not been favorably rated.

      So what? Is this some sort of popularity contest? At least he or she has the patience to argue with the bleeding-heart-liberal-numbnuts who fail to see the difference between hating a religion as opposed to hating the people who follow it.

      Likewise, he or she doesn’t know why bin Laden attacked us on 9/11, even though bin Laden clearly addressed this in 1998 in his second fatwa. Because you [the West] attacked us and continue to attack us.

      Yeah right! OBL is the next Nelson Mandela, you know fighting for the oppressed – hiding in his mansion with multiple wives and entourage. He is nothing but a silver spoon fed, privileged, xenophobic tosser of the Saudi royal family which still endorses slavery – live the life of a poor south-east asian or south asian or chinese worker in the Saudi mansions and come back and lecture us on the benevolence of that faith.

      And please do not for one second equate OBL and his low-life scumbags to IRA or LTTE or the Baader-Meinhof Group or even the naxalites or the Euskadi Ta Askatasuna.

      Born into wealth, how many scholarships did he setup? How about lifting people out of poverty in Afghanistan? How about empowering women and protecting children in Kabul? or how about building universities and libraries and research labs in Kandahar?

      And of course there is no need to explain and prove the degree of American support for Israel. The creation of Israel is a crime which must be erased.

      So attacking innocent civilians is retribution? Attacking Western China or Southern India or Spain or Israel or South-East Asia is a retaliation for American imperialism? So their claim that “infidels (the pagan street-vendor living under $1 a day in southern India practicing idolatry) must be killed” when bombing towns in India has nothing to do with their faith?

      What did the Jews in Bombay do to them? They have lived in the sub-continent for over 2500 years! But suddenly they are responsible for Palestine? So we need to tell that little girl who saw her parents shot in front of her eyes during the Bombay attack in Jewish colony that she shouldn’t criticize irrational and superstitious attitudes of dessert dwelling barbarians?

      I have spend most of my time protesting against Hinduism (the faith that I was born into). But I am not stupid enough to ignore the excess of other faiths as well. Criticizing religion is not xenophobia! Please get off your moral high horse and see how it really affect billions of people around the world.

  33. Islam’s Glorious Koran & Hadiths—- a small sample. Remember, this is the inviolable, eternal word of allah and cannot be changed. Defenders of this 7th century savagery have some explaining to do?

    Quran (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”
    Quran (61:4) – “Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way”
    Bukhari (52:177) – Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.”
    Bukhari (52:220) – Allah’s Apostle said… ‘I have been made victorious with terror’
    Tabari 9:69 “Killing Unbelievers is a small matter to us”
    Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 327: – “Allah said, ‘A prophet must slaughter before collecting captives. A slaughtered enemy is driven from the land. Muhammad, you craved the desires of this world, its goods and the ransom captives would bring. But Allah desires killing them to manifest the religion.’”
    Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 992: – “Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah.”
    Q 22:19-22: “for them (the unbelievers) garments of fire shall be cut and there shall be poured over their heads boiling water whereby whatever is in their bowels and skin shall be dissolved and they will be punished with hooked iron rods.”

    Quran 18:29 – “Say, ‘The truth is from your Lord’, Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject; for the wrong-doers We have prepared a Fire whose (smoke and flames), like the walls and roof of a tent, will hem them in; if they implore relief they will be granted water like melted brass, that will scald their faces, how dreadful the drink! How uncomfortable a couch to recline on!” 

    Quran 40:70-74 “Those who reject the Book (Qur’an) and the (revelations) with which We sent our messengers; but soon shall they know, When the yokes (shall be) round their necks, and the chains; they shall be dragged along; In the boiling fetid fluid; then in the Fire shall they be burned; Then shall it be said to them: ‘Where are the (deities) to which ye gave part-worship; In derogation of Allah?’ They will reply: ‘They have left us in the lurch. Nay, we invoked not, of old, anything (that had real existence).’ Thus does Allah leave the Unbelievers to stray? 

    Quran 19:86-87 “And We shall drive the sinners to Hell, like thirsty cattle driven down to water, and None shall have the power of intercession, but such a one as has received permission (or promise) from (Allah)

    If anyone would like more, there is limitless such filth to bring to your attention.

    AND some of us are accused as “right-wing provocateurs and hatemongers”?? The words above are not mine, but authentic koranic verses. You, the readers be the judges…

  34. A man who has sex with a 9 year old is a pedophile. Mohammed (phuh) is a pedophile. That’s just what words mean. It’s not even criticizing Islam, but the simple statement of fact is considered Islamophobic or hateful. Maybe pedophiles are awesome and worthy of taking moral instruction from… probably not but Mohammed (phuh) was a pedophile, per the definition of words. The ability to criticize Islam is a lofty goal, when the honest and accurate use of language is forbidden.

    As for the infighting in this thread, none of it makes me a sammich,

  35. Moderators’ message

    This site permits a wide range of views to be expressed and argued, but we do require all users to argue their cases rationally, reasonably, objectively and courteously, and without making personal comments to or about those who disagree. This is a final warning to any user who finds him or herself unable to abide by this simple requirement.

    The mods

    • In reply to #71 by Moderator:

      Moderators’ message

      This site permits a wide range of views to be expressed and argued, but we do require all users to argue their cases rationally, reasonably, objectively and courteously, and without making personal comments to or about those who disagree. This is a final warning to any user who…

      Addressed this in post #72 and made my mea culpa. Recent comments go beyond mere discussion, toward infiltration, IMO. Conflation of ‘muslim’ with ‘islam’ is dishonest and intended to mislead…

  36. And incidentally, how is my remark that the TARGETS OF 9/11 had nothing to do with religion a “logical >>fallacy” and how you think it is demolished because OBL was “praising…
    Here’s the fallacy- you argue that because the targets were not religious buildings, the attack was not >>motivated by religion? Rational thought-NOT!
    Strange then that the islamists on the planes shouted Allahu Akhbar before crashing. Surely there is no >>need to point out the blindingly obvious? Or your risible attempt at taqiyya?

    Yes, I argue that the characteristics of the actual attack, such as the country that was attacked, the targets that were selected, the justifications that Al-Quaeda gave for the attacks, and the reasons these terrorist acts against the US were supported by muslim populations(which is the ultimate strength of terrorists, if they don’t have some kind of moral support from the masses, they are lost) are more important than what crazy slogans the terrorists in the planes happened to shout. The question is now whether or not there will always be insane individuals eager to kill and be killed for insane reasons. You can’t do anything to complete erase the possibility of two insane muslim brothers putting bombs on a marathon event, like you can’t do anything to erase the possibility of a bloodbath in a Batman movie from a non-muslim shooter. The question is whether those have support from the masses, and the solutions will come if those acts and the perpetrators lose that support and be made outcasts and not heroes.

    You’re very, very naive if you think the root causes of the attacks and islamic terrorism in general is because of some Quaran verses. It doesn’t matter what it says. The political and economical reasons far outweigh the religious ones. They always have, they always will. In fact, the reasons those verses were put in the Quaran in the first place are economical and geopolitical, as is always the case for any war ever waged, not theological disputes about…the “nature of God”. The Bible says similar things, which most modern Christians just flat out ignore. The key to deal with Islam’s backwardness which, don’t get me wrong, is a very real and serious problem, is work towards bringing the muslim nations into the modern era, thus making fundamentalists irrelevant, as they will lose the support from the masses. It is easily demonstrated that fundamentalism in any population, IN GENERAL, is weakened when the quality of life is raised. Turkey, for example, is nowhere near as bad as other muslim countries, and the urban areas of turkey, particularly the ones close to Europe, are nowhere near as bad as the rural ones. This isn’t a coincidence. Those parts of the Turkish population that lead more civilized lives and still state that they hold the Quaran as holy don’t “reinterpret” the Quaran verses that talk about waging holy wars as “peaceful”. That’s not possible, of course. They just fucking ignore them because they now have actual lives to live. That is, the very thing that most christians westerners do with their holy books. That is a rational way to think about the problem and the solutions to it. If you think your incoherent shouts are the epitome of….reason, well, let’s just say I’d have to disagree.

    PS. I’m unsure if the phrase “risible attempt at taqiyya” was meant to imply that I’m really an undercover…Muslim(!), since I haven’t heard the term before today, so I’ll let that one pass, but…wow :P :P

    • In reply to #77 by JoxerTheMighty:

      You’re very, very naive if you think the root causes of the attacks and islamic terrorism in general is because of some Quaran verses. It doesn’t matter what it says. The political and economical reasons far outweigh the religious ones.

      Compare this,

      How many Pakistani Hindu terrorists bomb schools and hospitals in Pakistan, due to the fact that Hindus are subjected to inhumane treatment and systemic subjugation? None!

      How many Indian muslim terrorists bomb schools and hospitals in india, due to the fact that Muslims are subjected to inhumane treatment and systemic subjugation? One a week!

      Exactly same ethnic group, exactly same geographical location, exactly same levels of poverty (even though one would argue Indian muslims do not face the levels of cruelty the religious minorities suffer in Pakistan)

      So the only difference, please repeat after me, the cults they belong to!

      Answer this, a muslim living in US & Europe feels the need to kill his/her innocent neighbors due to the economics conditions of their brethren 1000s of miles away.

      But Hindus and Buddhists and Jains don’t feel the need to do that? How many US civilians lost their due to Vietnamese conflict in US soil? How many Sri Lankans in Canada, UK & US lost their lives to ethnic conflicts in Sri Lanka even though these countries host people from both side of the conflicts.

      How many US civilians in US lost their lives due to the conflicts in Northern Ireland even though US hosts the largest Irish diaspora outside of the British Isles.

      How many civilians in US & UK lost their lives due to Basque separatists even though both these countries are home to a significant portion of Spaniards?

    • In reply to #77 by JoxerTheMighty:

      And incidentally, how is my remark that the TARGETS OF 9/11 had nothing to do with religion a “logical >>fallacy” and how you think it is demolished because OBL was “praising…
      Here’s the fallacy- you argue that because the targets were not religious buildings, the attack was…

      Remember that dualism is characteristic of Islam.

      The Al Qaeda attacks of 9/11 were both acts of politics and of religion. While Osama was writing his justifications for such things to other Muslims in religious terms; when it came to addressing the infidels he emphasised complaints such as the US support for Israel and the presence of US troops in Saudi.

      The Al Qaeda Reader by Raymond Ibraham, translator of Al Qaeda archive material, has much more on this. For example, this extract by Bin laden explains the attitude of the Muslim towards the infidel, as decreed by his religion:

      As to the relationship between Muslims and infidels, this is summarized by the Most High’s Word: “We renounce you. Enmity and hate shall forever reign between us — till you believe in Allah alone.” So there is an enmity, evidenced by fierce hostility from the heart. And this fierce hostility — that is, battle — ceases only if the infidel submits to the authority of Islam, or if his blood is forbidden from being shed, or if Muslims are at that point in time weak and incapable. But if the hate at any time extinguishes from the heart, this is great apostasy! Allah Almighty’s Word to his Prophet recounts in summation the true relationship: “O Prophet! Wage war against the infidels and hypocrites and be ruthless. Their abode is hell — an evil fate!” Such, then, is the basis and foundation of the relationship between the infidel and the Muslim. Battle, animosity, and hatred — directed from the Muslim to the infidel — is the foundation of our religion. And we consider this a justice and kindness to them.

  37. How many Pakistani Hindu terrorists bomb schools and hospitals in Pakistan, due to the fact that Hindus >>are subjected to inhumane treatment and systemic subjugation? None!
    How many Indian muslim terrorists bomb schools and hospitals in india, due to the fact that Muslims are >>subjected to inhumane treatment and systemic subjugation? One a week!
    Exactly same ethnic group, exactly same geographical location, exactly same levels of poverty (even >>though one would argue Indian muslims do not face the levels of cruelty the religious minorities suffer in >>Pakistan)
    So the only difference, please repeat after me, the cults they belong to!

    How many Hindus live in Pakistan? 2.5-4.5 million.(2005)

    How many Muslims live in India? 160 million.(2009)

    So no, the only difference is definately not the cults each group belongs to.

    The numbers are so vastly apart that the respective group dynamics just can’t be compared this way. It’s like having 3 Hindus in a building, and 160 Muslims in another one, and wonder why the muslims always seem to make the most noise.

    • In reply to #80 by JoxerTheMighty:

      How many Pakistani Hindu terrorists bomb schools and hospitals in Pakistan, due to the fact that Hindus are subjected to inhumane treatment and systemic subjugation? None!
      How many Indian muslim terrorists bomb schools and hospitals in india, due to the fact that Muslims are >>subjected to inhuman…

      Really? What percentage of British population is muslim? What percentage of US population is muslim? So, somehow the smaller group dynamics works in favour of muslims in the west?

      Either you are being disingenuous or we are hitting wag-the-other-dogs tail situation. And how conveniently you ignored the other points as well.

      • Really? What percentage of British population is muslim? What percentage of US population is muslim? So, >>somehow the smaller group dynamics works in favour of muslims in the west?

        Uh, no, they don’t. Who said they do? The biggest domestic terrorist attack in the history of USA was carried out by the very American, very non-muslim and Persian Gulf War veteran McVeigh(who was raised Catholic, later identified himself as ‘agnostic’ and stated that ‘science is his religion’, but, whatever, the guy was nuts anyway), and that single incident easily tops all other domestic terrorist acts carried by muslims combined. Exactly like the numerous shootings against innocent civilians in USA, in grade schools, universities, cinemas and elsewhere made by Americans easily top those done by muslims, the recent Boston incident included.

        • In reply to #83 by JoxerTheMighty:

          Uh, no, they don’t. Who said they do? The biggest domestic terrorist attack in the history of USA was carried o…

          Please do not change the topic. I beg you to stick with the point we are arguing about!

          You said, smaller the population, the difficult it is for any group to commit terror attacks. (Hindus in Pakistan are small compared to Muslims in India, hence Hindus cannot commit terror attacks against Pakistan)

          To counter this, I asked, then how come relatively small percentage of Muslims in UK, US and Europe (Spain) are able to commit atrocities. You jumped topic and started rambling about gun violence.

          Again, how does the group dynamics not work for hindus and buddhists and jains and christians, when ever they are amongst minority group in a country, while it works for muslims. Again, name a few hindus terrorist attacks outside of the sub-continent, or jains/buddhists outside of the sub-continent, or christians in the sub-continent or any other part of the world where they are a minority?

          Please do not evade the question or jump to another one or come up with a completely irrelevant response. Try to stick to the point. I feel like I am arguing with a theist, after all !!!

    • In reply to #80 by JoxerTheMighty:

      *How many Hindus live in Pakistan? 2.5-4.5 million.(2005)

      How many Muslims live in India? 160 million.(2009)..*

      If we compare these numbers with the situation at the time of partition, it becomes clear that Muslims have greatly increased in numbers in India, while Hindus have been declining in their homelands on the Pak side of the border.

      I wonder why?

  38. If we compare these numbers with the situation at the time of partition, it becomes clear that Muslims have >>greatly increased in numbers in India, while Hindus have been declining in their homelands on the Pak side >>of the border.
    I wonder why?

    Now, let me get this straight guys, I’m supposed to provide an answer to every situation involving muslims around the globe, but I don’t deserve an answer on why Turkey(and note, I’m Greek myself, so it’s not like I particularly love Turkey) is in much better shape than most other muslim countries, and not only that, but urban areas close to Europe are, again, in much better condition than the rural, ‘deep’ Turkey(in which, indeed, many awful situations such as honour killings still happen)? Because I see a pattern here as I compare Turkey with Pakistan and even one Turkish area with another , and it’s not due to the Quaran. If I’m not mistaken, Turkey is still predominantly a muslim country, right?

    • In reply to #85 by JoxerTheMighty:

      Well, what’s wrong with the usual explanation; simply that after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire came the great reformer, Ataturk, who secularised the government and took the politics out of Islam and the Islam out of politics, hence thereafter allowing modernisation on European lines?

      Unless you know something we don’t, then it looks like the problem there was too much Islam.

      Erdogan seems to have other ideas, unfortunately, and by some accounts, is busy desecularising and re-islamising the country.

      Big mistake.

  39. Argueing with certain religious bigots is a lose-lose game .We ARN’T ALLOWED to carry a point. Nevertheless it needs to be done now & then
    ISLAMOPHOBIA is a tainted word if one is against the core values of ISLAM as any decent free thinking person should be one is Technicallt an Islamophobe. Not nessesarily in the sense of advocating beting up Muslims or denying them the right to believe damn fool nonsesnce

  40. Well, what’s wrong with the usual explanation; simply that after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire came the >>great reformer, Ataturk, who secularised the government and took the politics out of Islam and the Islam out of >>politics, hence thereafter allowing modernisation on European lines?

    Nothing is wrong with it, that’s pretty much my point: That reform is possible without having the population denounce its faith to the Quaran. What I disagree with is the position that, because Quaran says what it says, and since the text does not change, any negotiation with a population that considers it a holy text is not possible. Which is proveably wrong, as the Bible has quite a few commands given by God to destroy cities and nations worshipping “false gods”, which were very much in effect at one time, but are, for all intents and purposes, obsolete today. Since 14th centrury christianism evolved to 21st century christianism without actually having the text considered as ‘holy’ changed, the same can happen with muslim populations and the quaran. And yes, considering a text ‘holy’ and at the same time ignoring many of its verses is a glaring contradiction; but who ever said that absolute logical consistency bothers too many people in this world? The goal is to have everyone living in a functional, peaceful society, not everyone being “correct”.

    • In reply to #88 by JoxerTheMighty:

      Nothing is wrong with it, that’s pretty much my point: That reform is possible without having the population denounce its faith to the Quaran. What I disagree with is the position that, because Quaran says what it says, and since the text does not change, any negotiation with a population that considers it a holy text is not possible. Which is proveably wrong, as the Bible has quite a few commands given by God to destroy cities and nations worshipping “false gods”, which were very much in effect at one time, but are, for all intents and purposes, obsolete today. Since 14th centrury christianism evolved to 21st century christianism without actually having the text considered as ‘holy’ changed, the same can happen with muslim populations and the quaran. And yes, considering a text ‘holy’ and at the same time ignoring many of its verses is a glaring contradiction; but who ever said that absolute logical consistency bothers too many people in this world? The goal is to have everyone living in a functional, peaceful society, not everyone being “correct”.

      Yes, exactly. You are right.

      Except for one little factor which you left out. The current state of fervid radical fundamentalist Islamic extremist violence and jihad warfare. A volatile meme currently multiplying through the web and social forums, mutating and infecting susceptible people along the way. Some of whom, inevitably become fully committed to the global jihad.

      Islam is more dangerous than other religions because it is currently acting out its’ teachings for real, while the rest are not (on the whole). If the Baptists were to start suddenly slaying unbaptised people on the basis of some bible verses then we would have to start dealing with them. Hopefully more effectively than we have so far dealt with the jihad warriors.

      • In reply to #91 by inquisador:

        In reply to #88 by JoxerTheMighty:

        So, what I’m saying, is that it matters little what horrors are lurking in the pages of any holy book. Always provided that
        they are never enacted for real.

        Until we can say that about Islam, the worst repeat offender in this regard, then jihad insurgencies and bombings will continue; probably inciting more and more retaliation and escalation.

    • In reply to #88 by JoxerTheMighty:

      Well, what’s wrong with the usual explanation; simply that after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire came the >>great reformer, Ataturk, who secularised the government and took the politics out of Islam and the Islam out of >>politics, hence thereafter allowing modernisation on European lines?

      Nothi…

      “That reform is possible without having the population denounce its faith to the Quaran. What I disagree with is the position that, because Quaran says what it says, and since the text does not change, any negotiation with a population that considers it a holy text is not possible”

      A fair point- depends what you define as ‘reform’. Turkey is a very strange country, almost psychotic; secular, westernised and forward looking but simultaneously in a state of denial- in particular, about evolution but also unwilling to see any fault in Islam. Adnan Oktar is held in high esteem by the majority, over 90% of whom (according to polls) will not countenance evolution; meanwhile Ataturk commands God-like reverence. Ignorance is rampant- most can see no contradiction…

  41. To counter this, I asked, then how come relatively small percentage of Muslims in UK, US and Europe
    (Spain) are able to commit atrocities.
    You jumped topic and started rambling about gun violence.

    No, I pointed out that domestic terrorist attacks made by muslims in US soil are relatively minor and isolated, as is to be expected by their low numbers compared to the christian population, which is indeed responsible for the majority of domestic terrorism. Am I wrong in this, don’t the data show that? I didn’t say “low population=no terrorism”, this isn’t a 1-1 exact law, I’m just pointing out observable general patterns. We agree that the Quaran contains many horrible things but I’m at a loss at what exactly do you propose we do so the muslims don’t enforce them; bomb the muslim nations until they are so broken that they denounce the Quaran? Because if there’s another solution that you are proposing, I don’t see it.

  42. Am I wrong in this, don’t the data show that? I didn’t say “low population=no terrorism”, this isn’t a 1-1 exact law, I’m just pointing out observable general patterns.

    Yes, you are wrong and this is how,

    Data suggests, even though muslims are minority in many countries, they still tend to commit terrorist atrocities. How ever small or irrelevant it may be to you, it is significant to the rest of us, the daily terror attacks in conflict zones – kashmir & gaza, the monthly terror attacks on India & Israel, the annual terror attacks on the west. They might be a smaller percentage compared to other deaths – gun violence, gang violence, road accidents, infections & diseases. That is not what we are arguing here! Please stick to the point!!!

    Again, I am reiterating my question, do other cults commit similar atrocities around the planet when they are a minority? If so, compare and contrast the data with the atrocities of this particular cult.

    Does the LTTE bomb Sri Lankan consulate in London or Vancouver? Do the naxals bomb the Indian consulate in China? Do the basque bomb Spanish consulate in Rio? If not, why don’t they?

    But somehow muslims feel offended by everyone on the planet who is not one of them? They feel victimized by everyone in the planet? Every continent apart from Antarctica, this cult has committed atrocities and we are xenophobic to point that out!

      • In reply to #99 by The Grapes of Roth:

        In reply to #92 by kbala:

        Data suggests, even though muslims are minority in many countries, they still tend to commit…

        Can you present this data please?

        Just in the past month (listing only countries where muslims are a minority, if I were to list Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan, it would be very long indeed)

        April, 11th – Pattani, Thailand (predominantly Buddhist) (2 dead / 6 wounded)

        April, 15th – Boston, US (predominantly Christian) (3/180)

        April, 16th – Bangalore, India (predominantly Hindu) (0/16)

  43. But somehow muslims feel offended by everyone on the planet who is not one of them? They feel victimized >>by everyone in the planet? Every continent apart from Antarctica, this cult has committed atrocities and we >>are xenophobic to point that out!

    Just for the record, I do not call anyone ‘islamophobe’ or ‘xenophobic’, I only point out the lack of level-headed and practical proposals that could actually bear fruits. Because, correct me if I’m wrong, filling the internet with “ISLAM IS EVIL AND MURDEROUS” memes and then…nothing, probably makes the meme creators feel all good and noble, but doesn’t actually do anything. I’m not an “Islam is a religion of peace” type, it’s not, just as the God of the Bible is not a “God of Love”. What I am in favour of is actions towards modernization of the muslim populations, of course hand-in-hand with pointing out the harmful practices that are being carried out today(modernization couldn’t happen without that element anyway), but surely not in the way that Harris&Co does it, who is practically assembling a fantasy league that will carry out a (nuclear?) war against imaginary islamist superpowers.

    • In reply to #94 by JoxerTheMighty:

      Just for the record, I do not call anyone ‘islamophobe’ or ‘xenophobic’.

      Then re-read the title.

      Because, correct me if I’m wrong, filling the internet with “ISLAM IS EVIL AND MURDEROUS” memes and then…nothing, probably makes the meme creators feel all good and noble, but doesn’t actually do anything.

      What matters is, is it true or not. In the same way as saying Racism is evil or Misogyny is evil or Child abuse is evil.

      but surely not in the way that Harris and Co does it, who is practically assembling a fantasy league that will carry out a (nuclear?) war against imaginary islamist superpowers.

      Yeah, Sam Harris is doing exactly that. Give us a break. Listen to what he says before rambling on about what he is supposed to be doing. I suggest you read at least, Letter to a Christian nation and Moral Landscape before you comment further about his intentions.

      • In reply to #97 by kbala:

        In reply to #94 by JoxerTheMighty:

        I find it astounding the number of otherwise intelligent people who are quite happy to discuss what they think Sam Harris might have said without having read his work. I don’t agree with everything he has said, and would be quite happy to debate the topics if the people on the ‘other side’ were not basing their condemnations on hearsay.

        Perhaps is because the moral and ethical issues he raises are complex, but I’ve never known another write who is misquoted so frequently and so damagingly. I can see why he gets frustrated.

  44. One for the ladies—
    [cherry-picked, of course]

    ● “Allah permits you to shut them (women) in separate rooms and to beat them, but not severely. . . Treat women well for they are like domestic animals and they possess nothing themselves. Allah has made the enjoyment of their bodies lawful in his Quran.” (Tabari IX:113)

  45. But that’s just fine, because—

    ● “Allah said, ‘It is My obligation to make Eve bleed once every month as she made this tree bleed. I must also make Eve stupid, although I created her intelligent.’ Because Allah afflicted Eve, all of the women of this world menstruate and are stupid.” (Tabari I:280)

  46. Apologies for banging on…

    “Among the inmates of paradise women will be the minority” – Sahih Muslim 36: 6600

    “I (Mohammed) have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-Fire are women… because they are ungrateful to their husbands and they are deficient in intelligence” – Sahih Bukhari 2:24:541, 2:18:161

    And from a dreadful ‘hate’ site… http://frontpagemag.com/2013/jamie-glazov/muslim-mommy-dearest/

    Related– marvel at the words of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s former brother-in-law, searching for a reason behind this month’s latest Islamist outrage. “He was angry,” said the bro-in-law, “that the world pictures Islam as a violent religion.” SUCH an islamophobe.

    • In reply to #101 by Nodhimmi:

      Apologies for banging on…

      “Among the inmates of paradise women will be the minority” – Sahih Muslim 36: 6600

      “I (Mohammed) have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-Fire are women… because they are ungrateful to their husbands and they are deficient in intelligence” – Sahih Bukhari 2…

      I’m probably reading this out of sequence, however I cannot restrain myself from making a comment. What a shocking piece of text! I don’t know why there would be one female follower.

      • In reply to #109 by Nitya:

        In reply to #101 by Nodhimmi:

        Apologies for banging on…

        “Among the inmates of paradise women will be the minority” – Sahih Muslim 36: 6600

        “I (Mohammed) have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-Fire are women… because they are ungrateful to their husbands and they are deficient in…

        Nor do I!

    • In reply to #104 by Roedy:

      I find Sam is hypersensitive to whatever mayhem Islamic terrorists commit, and completely blind to the mayhem his own country commits against Muslims.

      Have you read his book, Letter to a Christian nation?

      Have you listened to his debate with Willian Lane Craig?

      If you have, could you honestly claim he hasnt criticized US at all?

  47. In reply to #77 by JoxerTheMighty:

    PS. I’m unsure if the phrase “risible attempt at taqiyya” was meant to imply that I’m really an undercover…Muslim(!), since I haven’t heard the term before today, so I’ll let that one pass, but…wow :P :P

    Your wow is entirely justified. Taqiyya is a conspiracy theory beloved of far-right anti-Muslim groups. Certain people have tried to introduce this mental meme here at RDnet. I’m pleased to say that it hasn’t really caught on.

    If you’re interested, follow this link to an article which completely refutes the paranoid nonsense.

  48. In reply to #72 by Nodhimmi:

    Then why are you promoting the myth of Peaceful Islam here, on the site whose founder describes it as “a very great evil”?

    I’m promoting it because that’s what the evidence of my senses tells me. Look out of your window. Does it resemble a scene from a zombie movie? Are there hordes of bloodthirsty Muslims shambling along, hungry for Western flesh? I’m guessing not. The reason for this… actually, if I need to explain the reason for this then I really am wasting my time.

    Stop obfuscating about Muslims and stick to the real issue, the RELIGION. This is a classic tactic of islamic apologists so I’m informing you now so you won’t fall into the trap in future.

    Thank you. This thread is about New Atheism and its perceived bigotry towards Muslims. From the OP:

    This time round, the scientific and intellectual elite of Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens have found themselves accused of Islamophobia.

    …Hitchens has been described as having a bloodlust towards Muslims.

    Do you think people are up in arms about intolerance of the idea of Islam and its written works and that’s why New Atheism is “on the back foot”, or do you understand that Islamopohobia goes hand in hand with hatred of Muslims? Hitchens was accused of having a bloodlust towards Muslims, Nodhimmi, not Islam. The idea that Islamophobia can be separated from prejudice towards Muslims would be risible were it not for the fact that hatemongers such as Wilders and Griffin hide behind this lie and insist that it’s the religion they hate and not the followers. It’s really depressing that some people here are not capable of seeing this for the deceit it is.

    In law, ignorance is no excuse- with the koran, likewise. Read it or offer no further opinion on Islam or Muslims.

    Tell you what, if you make this same demand of Richard Dawkins, who as we’re aware is about as familiar with the Qur’an as I am, and insist that he read the thing or cease mentioning Islam, then I’ll accede to your order. I can’t say fairer than that.

    Here I see another example of islamic apologist tactics at work.

    Forgive me, and I hope the moderators don’t take this as a dig, but you seem to think that anyone who disagrees with you is an apologist for Islam. If you insist on saying that you and your far-right buddies, Inquisador, kbala etc don’t have any problem with Muslims and your contempt is reserved entirely for their religion, then fine. Who knows, you may even believe that yourself. But just because some of us on the other side of the argument don’t believe this and seek to challenge it doesn’t make us Islamist sympathisers, apologists for terrorism or, as you accuse Joxer, part of this bizarre Taqiyya fantasy you’ve bought into hook, line and sinker.

    Free speech is paramount but it leaves open the possibility of ‘infiltration’ by those seeking to sway opinion to their cause. And there is evidence of such cause here; I hope most contributors will see through this.

    Can I just ask, who exactly do you think is infiltrating RDnet? You repeat this assertion a few posts later:

    Recent comments go beyond mere discussion, toward infiltration, IMO.

    Again, no slight intended, but this is pretty paranoid stuff, Nodhimmi. Seriously, man, stay away from conspiracy websites; they’re not doing you any good.

    Typical of your lack of objectivity, the following- “What I won’t do, though, is go on the sort of websites you seem to be so fond of, cherry-pick all the horrid, violent passages from the Qur’an, and cite them as evidence that Muslims are inherently despicable”

    , without foundation. Cherry picking! These ‘horrid, violent’ passages DOMINATE the book but of course you choose stay blind to that fact, refusing to check for yourself. ISLAM, not MUSLIM. AGAIN!!
    [According to researchers over 60% of the koran and even more of the Hadith refers to violent threats against kuffar, infidels and people of the book]

    Yeahhh, I’m gonna need to see some of these statistics. Who exactly are these researchers? Can you provide a link to their findings? Saying “According to researchers…” makes it sound like you’re trying to sell me shampoo.

    “It’s just a suggestion, but instead of sitting hunched over your computer day after day, going on Jihadwatch and similar sites, and doing your own bit to spread the cancerous intolerance that these places vomit out to gullible, frightened fools, why don’t you try leaving the house and meeting some Muslims. Or talk to them online”

    Accusation, baseless. Nice line in spiteful language, too. As I have told you before (and you ignored) I have lived in a muslim country now for 14 months, so don’t lecture me pompously about ‘knowing muslims’. How many times do I need to say it- ISLAM, not MUSLIMS.

    Did you tell me that before? I don’t remember. When you wrote your post calling for the mass deportation of Muslims, I made the assumption that you lived in a non-Muslim nation. Surely you don’t think Muslims should be deported from Muslim countries. Gee, now I’m the one getting confused!

    Let this nonsense end…

    Amen to that.

  49. _In reply to #76 by bobe_s:

    In reply to #12 by Katy Cordeth*

    According to the New Statesman piece, Sam Harris is accused of advocating pre-emptive nuclear strikes on Muslims and the profiling of those who merely look like Muslims. I don’t know if this is accurate…

    Katy, if you don’t know if it’s accurate, then why don’t you go and find out before commenting?

    Bob, because my time is finite and I have other responsibilities. If I inhabited this site 24/7 I would be able to read every article, watch every youtube clip, listen to every online debate that is made available by the good burghers of RDnet. But as I say… time is my enemy.

    I read the New Statesman article and the Independent piece it linked to before I decided to post my comment. Given that the former of these was in defense of New Atheism, when Andrew Zak Williams wrote “Sam Harris is accused of advocating pre-emptive nuclear strikes on Muslims”, and didn’t refute this anywhere else in his article, I took it on faith that there was some truth to this.

    I find it a little ironic that my honesty in prefacing my comment with the disclaimer that I wasn’t certain if I was in full possession of all available knowledge is what prompted someone to chastise me for daring to post said comment.

    Perhaps in future I should do what many others here do and just lie my ass off and pretend to be more knowledgeable than I am. “Yes I’ve read the entire Qur’an. Cover to Cover. Know it chapter and verse I do. I certainly haven’t just gone onto http://www.evilkoran.com and picked out all the violent bits. I’m a scholar I am.”


    …claim that the charge of bigotry is impossible to justify because there’s no such thing as Islamophobia. That’s handy, then: we get to be as hateful as we want and still think of ourselves as on the side of the angels. Yay for us.

    This is also a logical error. The denial of ‘islamophobia’ as a form of bigotry is that in the form of criticism of Islam promoted by Harris focusses on ‘Islam’. Not muslims

    I can’t really respond to this as I don’t understand what it means.


    Conflating Islam with a race is in itself racist.

    And yet antisemitism is considered to be a form of racism.


    Take Sam Harris. His 2003 book End of Faith catalogues the Qur’an’s long list of orders to murder and exhortations to avenge.

    I haven’t read this book

    Well stop there, then…

    Seriously? Am I not permitted to comment if I haven’t read every goddamn book, newspaper column or magazine article that the subject of the thread has ever written? Am I not allowed to form an opinion based on what I read on this site?


    the argument that because the Qur’an is full of stuff that would make Quentin Tarantino need to go and have a lie down with a cold flannel on his forehead, we should assume that all Muslims adhere to its every precept

    has never been put forward by Sam Harris, any New Atheist writer I’ve encountered, or anyone on this site.

    That’s quite a bold statement to make. Your profile says you joined RDnet at the beginning of this year. You must have been very busy reading every comment that’s ever been submitted here.


    But surely any holy book which encourages a creed of hatred, misogeny and discrimination is therefore inherently bad.

    I can only refer you back to what I said in comment #69:

    I don’t think I’ve ever claimed to know Islam. I’m woefully ignorant about the Qur’an; I think I have that in common with this guy. I’m willing to accept that there’s plenty in there which is appalling, as with the holy books of the other two branches of Abrahamism.
    But I’m also persuaded by this sort of thing.


    He imagines a radical Islamist state acquiring long range nuclear weaponry, thus able to vent its rage against the west. Add in the possibility that it’s headed by an avowedly suicidal regime and nuclear deterrence becomes a worthless currency.

    This is an argument only for not allowing fanatical West-hating regimes to become established. We could make a start on it by not droning the crap out of these places and treating the Middle East as our own personal gas station. And by putting an end to Western companies supplying WMD, arms and instruments of torture to any psychopath with a PayPal account.

    Agreed. We all agree. And that is pretty much what Sam Harris says, which you would be aware if if you went and read his whole article, not just jumping to conclusions on what you have seen reported second hand.

    Again, this was an article about Sam Harris, written by another party, in Harris’ and others’ defense. And what whole article by Harris? Are you referring to this one, which was provided by my friend Michael Murray?

    This is the New Statesman article. This is the Independent article it links to.

    Where is the article by Sam Harris you scolded me for not having read, Bob?

  50. Katy, you are the original chess- playing pigeon . Your persist in defence of the indefensible, ignoring all calls to desist from your ‘you hate muslims’ meme, post ridiculous ‘hordes of bloodthirsty muslims’ analogies and spouting venom to all who dare call Islam what it actually is.
    This has wandered a little off-topic, yes; but not that far.
    As for statistics on koran, look it up yourself- no, you won’t because you’re “too busy” (read, don’t want to know ‘cos it ruins my agenda). Defence of muslims is your smokescreen for defence of Islam- which I don’t recall you ever condemning- correct me if I missed it. SO let’s hear it from you- ISLAM IS A GREAT EVIL,
    and muslims are its victims. Koran is hate speech that contravenes UN Dec of Human Rights. Let’s hear it!

    “Hitchens has been described as having a bloodlust towards Muslims” ‘Has been described as’??
    This is your ‘PROOF’? Impeccable logic, as usual.

    “I’m promoting it because that’s what the evidence of my senses tells me” Wow, I missed this initially.
    There it is; self-confessed supporter of Islam. No further need to respond to your nonsense. By the way trusting your senses is not reliable in all cases- this is such a case.

    Next for you- move to a real Islamic society and enjoy the fruits of your conviction?

  51. Andrew Zak Williams says: “The atheist community is right to pursue rational, civilised debate, and should be able to do so without being tarred as bigots.”

    And this thread provides a perfect example of how difficult it is to have an honest, civilised debate with regard to Islam: those critical of this dreadful religion have been fervently and repeatedly tarred as bigots.

    Guilt by association is my least favourite of the common informal fallacies because it is so often employed successfully to chill or inhibit debate. Here, it has been used in an attempt to disqualify criticism of my least favourite religion. You’d think people would be embarrassed about having to stoop to such tactics, along with various other appeals to emotion, but I suppose such behavior is to be expected from those who wish to win an argument while proudly proclaiming their almost complete ignorance of the subject of debate.

    • In reply to #113 by skeelo:

      but I suppose such behavior is to be expected from those who wish to win an argument while proudly proclaiming their almost complete ignorance of the subject of debate.

      I’m guessing you aren’t that familiar with a gentleman called Socrates, skeelo.

      • In reply to #115 by Katy Cordeth:

        I’m guessing you aren’t that familiar with a gentleman called Socrates, skeelo.

        This strikes me as a rather desperate attempt to change the subject, but I’m guessing that I am at least as familiar with him as you are, Katy Cordeth. Indeed, I don’t expect that much of your behaviour on this thread (including your Argumentum ad Googlum at post 53), even under the most generous of definitions, could be described as Socratic, but I’m happy to be shown otherwise.

    • In reply to #113 by skeelo:

      Andrew Zak Williams says: “The atheist community is right to pursue rational, civilised debate, and should be able to do so without being tarred as bigots.”

      And this thread provides a perfect example of how difficult it is to have an honest, civilised debate with regard to Islam: those critical of…

      Then you must be appalled by Harris accusing critics of Israeli foreign policy of anti-Semitism.

      • In reply to #116 by The Grapes of Roth:

        Then you must be appalled by Harris accusing critics of Israeli foreign policy of anti-Semitism.

        This is just whataboutery. But, just for future reference, if you wish me to be “appalled” by something, you’ll need to provide me with some evidence of it.
        Would this be the same Sam Harris who wrote, in 2012 “As a secularist and a nonbeliever—and as a Jew—I find the idea of a Jewish state obnoxious.” ?

        • In reply to #118 by skeelo:

          In reply to #116 by The Grapes of Roth:

          Then you must be appalled by Harris accusing critics of Israeli foreign policy of anti-Semitism.

          This is just whataboutery. But, just for future reference, if you wish me to be “appalled” by something, you’ll need to provide me with some evidence of it.
          Woul…

          “Berman observes, for instance, that much of the world now blames Israel for the suicidal derangement of the Palestinians. Rather than being an expression of mere anti-Semitism (though it is surely this as well), this view is the product of a quaint moral logic: people are just people, so the thinking goes, and they do not behave that badly unless they have some very good reasons. The excesses of Palestinian suicide bombers, therefore, must attest to the excesses of the Israeli occupation. Berman points out that this sort of thinking has led the Israelis to be frequently likened to the Nazis in the European press. Needless to say, the comparison is grotesque.”

          (The End of Faith, p. 135)

          “Would this be the same Sam Harris who wrote, in 2012 “As a secularist and a nonbeliever—and as a Jew—I find the idea of a Jewish state obnoxious.” ?”

          It was wise that you cut off that quote where you did because he then proceeds to write:

          “But if ever a state organized around a religion was justified, it is the Jewish state of Israel, given the world’s propensity for genocidal anti-Semitism. And if ever criticism of a religious state was unjustified, it is the criticism of Israel that ceaselessly flows from every corner of the Muslim world, given the genocidal aspirations so many Muslims freely confess regarding the Jews. Those who see moral parity between the two sides of Israeli-Palestinian conflict are ignoring rather obvious differences in intent.”

          http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/islam-and-the-future-of-liberalism

    • In reply to #113 by skeelo:

      Andrew Zak Williams says: “The atheist community is right to pursue rational, civilised debate, and should be able to do so without being tarred as bigots.”

      And this thread provides a perfect example of how difficult it is to have an honest, civilised debate with regard to Islam: those critical of…

      Haven’t seen you post before, skeelo; welcome and well said. Often I fail to ‘see the wood for the trees’; your contributions 113 & 117 state precisely what I’ve been trying to express!

      Sam Harris makes errors of judgment, for sure but generally he’s pretty accurate in skewering Islam. Which is the prime directive, for me.

  52. In reply to #119 by The Grapes of Roth:

    I see nothing in either of those two quotes to be “appalled” about. Harris does not suggest that Israel should not be criticised, nor does he claim criticism of Israel must only be motivated by antisemitism; just that it sometimes is.

    Here endeth my indulgence of your whataboutery.

    • In reply to #133 by Nodhimmi:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aodam1x6xDY

      OT but wonderful Karma.Hilarious!

      I don’t understand. The shirtless guy throws a bottle at the man with the dogs, who then sics his dogs on the thrower.

      From the title and one of the comments…

      That raghead deserved to get bitten for being some a lame rock thrower. Bent wrist fag

      …I gather that this footage may have been shot in an Arab country.

      Other than that, I’m at a loss. God knows humour is subjective, and what one person finds chucklesome is just as likely to leave somebody else cold, but a little context would be helpful, particularly if you intend to submit the video to America’s Funniest Animal Attacks.

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  54. yet another case where religious people believe a thing without using reason to verify the validity of their opinions. Hey, anyone who calls Sam Harris “Islamophobic” answer me this: What has he or Richard or Christopher ever said about Islam that isn’t TRUE?

  55. In reply to #137 by Smill:

    Sam Harris is ‘accused’ of advocating profiling of Muslims and Muslim ‘look-a-likes’, or Sam Harris does advocate profiling? I thought it was the latter? One should criticise one’s own bad ideas as well as others. For a sobering (and intelligent) examination of why profiling might be a bad idea,…

    He does advocate ethnic profiling.

      • In reply to #140 by skeelo:

        In reply to #138 by The Grapes of Roth:

        He does advocate ethnic profiling.

        No. He advocates profiling.

        No. He advocates ethnic profiling.

        “It is not enough for moderate Muslims to say “not in our name.” They must now police their own communities. They must offer unreserved assistance to western governments in locating the extremists in their midst. They must tolerate, advocate, and even practice ethnic profiling.”

        Sam Harris, Bombing Our Illusions
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sam-harris/bombing-our-illusions_b_8615.html

          • In reply to #142 by skeelo:

            In reply to #141 by The Grapes of Roth:

            No. He advocates ethnic profiling.

            I see, so you would suggest that small fragment of a piece written in 2005 offers a better guide to what Harris ‘advocates’ than the much more recent articles where he spells out his position at great length?

            In Defense of…

            It’s there in plain English: “They must tolerate, advocate, and even practice ethnic profiling.”

          • In reply to #143 by The Grapes of Roth:

            It’s there in plain English: “They must tolerate, advocate, and even practice ethnic profiling.”

            You didn’t answer my question. Do you think that a small fragment of a 2005 article, where Harris addresses what Muslim moderates could and should do in order to weed out the extremists in their midst, gives you a better idea of Harris’s position on profiling than the articles I linked to, written in 2012 and 2013, where he makes his views on the matter crystal clear?

          • In reply to #144 by skeelo:

            In reply to #143 by The Grapes of Roth:

            It’s there in plain English: “They must tolerate, advocate, and even practice ethnic profiling.”

            You didn’t answer my question. Do you think that a small fragment of a 2005 article, where Harris addresses what Muslim moderates could and should do in order to…

            Yes and I also think that the later articles serve as telling examples of how Harris likes to dishonestly move the goalposts on issues.

          • In reply to #145 by The Grapes of Roth:

            Yes and I also think that the later articles serve as telling examples of how Harris likes to dishonestly move the goalposts on issues.

            I see. This is quite breathtaking: you wish to ignore the vast majority of what Harris has recently written on profiling, preferring to rely upon a single sentence from 2005, so that you can mischaracterise his position. Not content with that, you also wish to claim that Harris has behaved “dishonestly” for subsequently demonstrating, at great length, that his position isn’t what you, and many other of his critics, pretend it is.

          • In reply to #146 by skeelo:

            In reply to #145 by The Grapes of Roth:

            Yes and I also think that the later articles serve as telling examples of how Harris likes to dishonestly move the goalposts on issues.

            I see. This is quite breathtaking: you wish to ignore the vast majority of what Harris has recently written on profiling,…

            You said that Harris did not advocate ethnic profiling. I provide you with unequivocal evidence that he does. You ignore it. When a man writes that Muslims “must tolerate, advocate, and even practice ethnic profiling”, makes statements about ethnic profiling in his Joe Rogan podcast, proposes that “We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim” and then turns around and says “I’m not talking about ethnic profiling, honest” I have every right to accuse him of dishonesty.

          • In reply to #147 by The Grapes of Roth:

            You said that Harris did not advocate ethnic profiling. I provide you with unequivocal evidence that he does. You ignore it. When a man writes that Muslims “must tolerate, advocate, and even practice ethnic profiling”, makes statements about ethnic profiling in his Joe Rogan podcast, proposes that “We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim” and then turns around and says “I’m not talking about ethnic profiling, honest” I have every right to accuse him of dishonesty.

            It should be abundantly clear to anyone willing to look, with any care at all, at what Sam Harris has written on the subject of profiling that his position cannot be honestly summarised as “He does advocate ethnic profiling”. His position can, however, be fairly summarised as ‘He does advocate profiling’.

            Harris does not become “dishonest” just because you find what he has written to be at odds with the caricature of his position that you choose to keep in your head. The evidence for what Sam Harris actually thinks about profiling is abundant: he has written upon the subject at great length. You may wish to demonstrate further that you have not read even a tiny fraction of what Harris has written about profiling, while dogmatically repeating your misrepresentation of his position; it’s a strange sort of a way to pass the time, but you are certainly within your rights to indulge in such behaviour.

  56. Islam is without question the very best example of the barbarous stupidity of religion.
    As I’ve said before it should be the subject of satire to help people to dump all the ridiculous theistic fairies.

  57. In reply to #149 by Smill:

    Harris has provided repeated explanation of the “conceivably be Muslim” quote. For example:

    When I speak of profiling “Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim,” I am not narrowly focused on people with dark skin. In fact, I included myself in the description of the type of person I think should be profiled (twice). To say that ethnicity, gender, age, nationality, dress, traveling companions, behavior in the terminal, and other outward appearances offer no indication of a person’s beliefs or terrorist potential is either quite crazy or totally dishonest. It is the charm of political correctness that it blends these sins against reasonableness so seamlessly. We are paying a very high price for this obscurantism—and the price could grow much higher in an instant. We have limited resources, and every moment spent searching a woman like the one pictured above, or the children seen in the linked videos, is a moment in which someone or something else goes unobserved.

    But, of course, Harris’s critics aren’t willing to listen. They seem desperate to conclude that Harris is a racist (and/or Islamophobe) and what he advocates is simply crude ethnic profiling, leading to separate lines at the airport: one for white people, and another for everyone else. In order to reach this conclusion it is necessary not only to disregard almost everything Harris has written about profiling but also to believe that Harris is in a state of such spectacular ignorance that he would repeatedly endorse an approach to airline security that would allow someone like Richard Reid to walk onto an aircraft entirely unmolested, before putting his feet up and blowing himself and his fellow passengers to smithereens.

    Harris did indeed have a rather long, but entirely reasonable, exchange with the security expert Bruce Schneier. Many of the points that Harris’s critics have vilified him for making were, in fact, conceded by Schneier but this seems to have escaped most people’s notice.

    Harris is in favour of profiling which will indeed take into account people’s ethnicity as well as a myriad of other factors. This position cannot be honestly reduced to advocacy of what most people understand as ethnic profiling any more than standard bricklaying technique can be reduced (if you neglect to mention the cement and water) to sticking blocks together with sand.

    This will be my last post on this thread: I have neither the time nor the inclination to continue smacking my head against a brick wall for the benefit of the terminally confused. For those who are interested, here is Harris’s own short summary of his argument:

    My position on profiling is very simple: We should admit that we know what we are looking for (suicidal terrorists) and that certain people obviously require less scrutiny than others. We should scan everyone’s luggage, of course, because bombs can be placed there without a person’s knowledge. But given scarce resources, we can’t afford to waste our time and attention pretending to think that every traveller is equally likely to be affiliated with al Qaeda.

  58. “Certain costumes and behaviour constitute ideological performances – which is to say, WE CAN KNOW WHAT A PERSON BELIEVES, OR IS LIKELY TO BELIEVE, BY HIS APPEARANCE ALONE.’ “

    Well, if he is referring to CERTAIN (not all) costumes and behaviour as allowing us to know what a person believes or IS LIKELY TO BELIEVE (important nuance), I think Mr. Harris is simply right. If, in the middle of an airport in Madrid I see a long bearded man wearing typical devout muslim clothes, clutching a copy o the Koran and walking three steps ahead of his (presumed) wife in a burka, I think there are a few safe bets we can make about a few thins he IS LIKELY to believe. For instance, I am pretty confident that he will think my wife is a slut for wearing a miniskirt and a tight shirt.
    To change the focus, think of a guy with a shaven head, wearing a bomber jacket and Doc Martens boots, while reading Mein Kampf… Are you sure you cannot know anything about what he is likely to believe on a few issues?
    Denying that seems to me absurd.

  59. Ok, so a priest walking down the street in his priest’s clothes and holding a Bible is not expressing any message whatsoever about his beliefs. If I assume he believes in God and the resurrection of Jesus… well, it only demonstrates what I think, my bad.

  60. @ tyga:

    The sooner this vile ideology of death and hatred is recognized for what it is, and then dealt with in the manner it deserves, the sooner we can get on with the task of evolving humanity.

    and how would you deal with it?? (the manner it deserves..) I can think of a couple of things, but they would make me no better than those effing believers!!
    but I share your view.. it would be nice if they were dealt with in an appropriate manner.. (with any luck the sunnis and shia will deal with themselves ;) )

    @ the rest..
    one has very easily earned the label islamophobist when one dare say anything about islam when one is not a muslim him/ herself.. these people cannot handle any comment about their religion and especially their purported prophet whatsoever. personally I am not pleased with the term islamophobist.. I have no fear of these idiots. I have no phobia, I just dislike the bastards. they (and other believers) have just got the wrong end of the stick and it is up to us to tell them so and give them evidence to prove we are right (which they cannot produce pertaining their god..)
    I would rather opt for another term (I just cannot think of a right one..). like I said, it is not a fear for/ of islam, its a dislike: anti-islam/ antislam….

    • In reply to #156 by Anti-theist preacher:

      .. these people cannot handle any comment about their religion and especially their purported prophet whatsoever. personally I am not pleased with the term islamophobist.. I have no fear of these idiots. I have no phobia, I just dislike the bastards.

      Good for you. I dislike Jews. It has nothing to do with fear; I just hate the bastards. But when I try to express my views, I’m called a bigot for it. It’s political correctness gone mad if you ask me. Thanks for giving me the courage to come out as a so-called ‘antisemite’.


      …but I share your view.. it would be nice if they were dealt with in an appropriate manner.. (with any luck the sunnis and shia will deal with themselves ;) )

      Yeah. Let’s hope they all eventually just kill each other off. ‘Specially if they manage to take the Jews with them! ;-)

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