Today I want to look at one specific hypothesis which can be summed up like this: In fact, the huge success of the Saint Petersburg summit and the Parliamentary Forum is proof that this strategy is working. This hypothesis is predicated on one crucial assumption:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali Everyone followed the cartoon crisis, or the crisis about the cartoon drawings of Mohammed in Denmark. That led to an explosion of violence because large groups of Muslims still will not accept criticism of their religion.
Over and over again, when in the name of Islam, human blood is shed, Muslims are very quiet. When drawings are made or some perceived slight or offences given by writing a book, or making a drawing, or in some way criticising the dogmas of Islam, people take to the streets.
We have all these leaders of the organisation of Islam, the countries who oppressed on people, coming to demand the people apologise. The vast majority of Muslims are said to be moderates.
But where are the moderates? Where are the Muslim voices raised over the terrible injustice of incidents like these? How many Muslims are willing to stand up and say, in the case of the girl from Qatif, that this manner of justice is appalling, brutal and bigoted — and that no matter who said it was the right thing to do, and how long ago it was said, this should no longer be done?
For example, I would welcome some guidance from that famous Muslim theologian of moderation, Tariq Ramadan. We hear that violence is not in the Koran, that Islam means peace, that this is a hijacking by extremists and a smear campaign and so on. But the evidence mounts up. Islamic justice is a proud institution, one to which more than a billion people subscribe, at least in theory, and in the heart of the Islamic world it is the law of the land.
It is this order to choose Allah above his sense of conscience and compassion that imprisons the Muslim in a mindset that is archaic and extreme.
If moderate Muslims believe there should be no compassion shown to the girl from Qatif, then what exactly makes them so moderate? Unless that happens much more widely, a moderate Islam will remain wishful thinking. Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by God, if ye believe in God and the Last Day: Alikhat What do I dislike about theism?
I dislike the veneration of ignorance, the glorification of idiocy, the wild-eyed hatred of progress and the fear of education, which send the faithful shrieking, vampire-like, from the light of knowledge. I dislike the way in which prejudice is passed off as piety. The way superstition is peddled as wisdom.
The way intolerance is raised to the lofty heights of "Truth". I dislike how hatred is taught as love, how fear is instilled as kindness, how slavery is pressed as freedom, and how contempt for life is dressed up and adored as spirituality.
I dislike the shackles religions place on the mind, corrupting, twisting and crushing the spirit until the believer has been brought down to a suitable state of worthlessness. So lost and self-loathing, so bereft of hope or pride, that they can look into the hallucinated face of their imaginary oppressor and feel unbounded love and gratitude for the additional suffering it has declined, as yet, to visit upon them.
I dislike the way reason is reviled as a vice and reality is decreed to be a matter of convenience. The way common sense and ordinary human decency get re-named "holy law" and advertised as the sole province of the faithful.
I dislike how intelligence is held as suspect and inquiry is reviled as a high crime.
I dislike the pillaging of the impoverished, the extortion of the gullible, the manipulation of the ignorant and the domination of the weak. I dislike the invention of sins for the satisfaction of those who desire to punish.
I dislike the demonization of unbelievers, The ill-concealed hate of proselytisers, The hysterical rants of holy rollers, The wigged-out warnings of psychic healers, The dismantling of public education via religious school vouchers, The erosion of civil rights by theocratic right-wingers, The righteous wrath of gun-toting true believers, The destruction wrought by holy warriors, The blood-drenched fatwas of ayatollas, and the apocalyptic prophesies of unmedicated messiahs.
Most of all, though, I dislike the certain knowledge that religion, in one grotesque form or other, will be with us so long as there is a single dark, cobwebbed corner of the human imagination that a believer can stuff a god into.
And, oh yeah, what do I like about theism? Some nice art, some pretty music and some photogenic buildings. Being an activist means owning your desire. Once the bombs begin to fall, Americans support every war, believing it unpatriotic to do otherwise.
Poke your eye out if you look at women other than your wife … then come to me. They can only deal with one thing at a time and that one thing now is the gay bit. Every successful massacre is consecrated by a Te Deum, and the clergy have never been wanting in benedictions for any victorious enormity.
How many of them then transfer that figure to America and come up with 14m? Various national characteristics — self-reliance, a fiercer patriotism than any in western Europe, an assiduous geographical incuriosity — have created a deficit of empathy for the sufferings of people far away.A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z.
A. Cezarija Abartis. Cezarija Abartis’ Nice Girls and Other Stories was published by New Rivers Press. Her. [This analysis was written for the Unz Review] The re-nomination (albeit somewhat reshuffled) of the “economic block” of the Medvedev government has elicited many explanations, some better than others.
Moderation / Criticism / Exposition / Exposés David Aaronovitch. Catholics try, rather unconvincingly, to show how conferring sainthood is different in principle to the pagan apotheosis (the process that made Claudius, for instance, into a God), but the distinction doesn't quite wash.
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