Original Guest Post
by Jai Singh
There is currently increasing journalistic scrutiny of the atheist British scientist Richard Dawkins and his ally Sam Harris’ statements about Islam and Muslims. In December 2012, the Guardian published an excellent article highlighting the acclaimed physicist Professor Peter Higgs’ accurate observations about Dawkins’ pattern of behaviour when it comes to religion in general; Professor Higgs (of “Higgs Boson particle” fame) has forcefully criticised Dawkins. More recently, superb articles by Nathan Lean in Salon (focusing on Dawkins), Murtaza Hussain for Al Jazeera (focusing on Dawkins, Harris etc) and Glenn Greenwald in the Guardian (mentions Dawkins but focuses predominantly on Harris; also see here) have received considerable publicity. Readers are strongly advised to familiarise themselves with the information in all of these articles.
Before I address the issue of Richard Dawkins, it is worthwhile highlighting some key information about his ally Sam Harris. As mentioned in Glenn Greenwald’s extensively-researched Guardian article, Harris is on record as a) claiming that fascists are “the people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to Europe”, and b) stating “We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim”. Furthermore, bear in mind the following paragraph from a previous Guardian article about Harris: “…..But it tips over into something much more sinister in Harris’ latest book. He suggests that Islamic states may be politically unreformable because so many Muslims are “utterly deranged by their religious faith”. In another passage Harris goes even further, and reaches a disturbing conclusion that “some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them”.”
Richard Dawkins’ “atheist anti-religion” agenda has noticeably become increasingly focused on Islam & Muslims; his online statements (recently including his Twitter account ) have now become so extreme that a great deal of them are essentially indistinguishable from the bigoted, ignorant nonsense pushed by the English Defence League leadership and the main US-based anti-Muslim propagandists such as Robert Spencer etc.
In fact, as Nathan Lean’s Salon article mentioned, the following very revealing information recently surfaced: It turns out that Dawkins has publicly admitted that he hasn’t even read the Quran even though (in his own words) he “often says Islam is the greatest force for evil today”. Mainstream Islamic theology (including the associated impact on Muslim history) is not based solely on the Quran, of course, but Dawkins’ admission is indicative of a number of major problems on his part. So much for the credibility of Richard Dawkins’ “scientific method” in this particular subject. It goes without saying that this also raised questions about exactly which dubious second-hand sources Dawkins has been getting his information on Islam and Muslims from, if he hasn’t even taken the normal professional academic steps of reading the primary sacred text of the religion he has also described as “an unmitigated evil”. Not to mention the question of Dawkins’ real motivations for his current fixation with Islam and Muslims.
Well, it appears that some answers are available. It certainly explains a great deal about Richard Dawkins’ behaviour. In the main part of this article beneath the “Summary” section below, I have listed 54 anti-Islam/anti-Muslim statements posted by Richard Dawkins on the discussion forum of one of his own websites. (The list of quotes also includes embedded URL links directly to the original statements on Dawkins’ website).
Summary of Richard Dawkins’ actions
1. There is a direct connection to Robert Spencer’s inner circle. As confirmed by the URL link supplied by Richard Dawkins in quote #11, Dawkins has definitely been using that cabal’s anti-Muslim propaganda as a source of “information” for his own statements; Dawkins specifically links to the “Islam-Watch” website, which is a viciously anti-Muslim site in the same vein as JihadWatch and Gates of Vienna (both of which were the most heavily cited sources in the terrorist Anders Breivik’s manifesto). More pertinently, as confirmed by this affiliated webpage, the core founders & members of that website include the currently-unidentified individual who uses the online alias “Ali Sina”. This is the same fake “atheist Iranian ex-Muslim” who is a senior board member of “SIOA”/“SION”, an extremely anti-Muslim organisation whose leadership is formally allied with racist white supremacists & European neo-Nazis and has even organised joint public demonstrations with them. “Ali Sina” himself was also cited by Breivik in his manifesto.
Note that the SIOA/SION leadership inner circle includes: a) AFDI and JihadWatch’s Robert Spencer, an ordained Catholic deacon who has been proven to have repeatedly made false statements about Islam & Muslims and has publicly admitted that his actions are heavily motivated by his (unilateral) agenda for the dominance of the Catholic Church; b) AFDI and Atlas Shrugs’ Pamela Geller, who is now on record as advocating what is effectively a “Final Solution” targeting British Muslims, including mass-murder; c) the English Defence League leadership; and d) David Yerushalmi, the head of an organisation whose mission statement explicitly declares that its members are “dedicated to the rejection of democracy” in the United States. Furthermore, Yerushalmi believes that American women shouldn’t even have the right to vote.
Extensive details on “Ali Sina” are available here. Quite a few of the quotes in that article are horrifying. Bear in mind that this is the person whose website Richard Dawkins has publicly cited and promoted. “Ali Sina” is on record as making statements such as the following:
“Muhammad was not a prophet of God. He was an instrument of Satan to divide mankind so we destroy each other. It is a demonic plot to end humanity.”
“I don’t see Muslims as innocent people. They are all guilty as sin. It is not necessary to be part of al Qaida to be guilty. If you are a Muslim you agree with Muhammad and that is enough evidence against you.”
“Muslims, under the influence of Islam lose their humanity. They become beasts. Once a person’s mind is overtaken by Islam, every trace of humanity disappears from him. Islam reduces good humans into beasts.”
[Addressing all Muslims] “We will do everything to save you, to make you see your folly, and to make you understand that you are victims of a gigantic lie, so you leave this lie, stop hating mankind and plotting for its destruction and it [sic] domination. But if all efforts fail and you become a threat to our lives and the lives of our children, we must amputate you. This will happen, not because I say so, but I say so because this is human response. We humans are dictated by our survival instinct. If you threaten me and my survival depends on killing you, I must kill you.”
“Muslims are part of humanity, but they are the diseased limb of mankind. We must strive to rescue them. We must do everything possible to restore their health. That is the mission of FFI [“Faith Freedom International”, “Ali Sina’s” primary website]. However, if a limb becomes gangrenous; if it is infected by necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease), that limb must be amputated.”
[Addressing all Muslims] “But you are diseased. You are infected by a deadly cult that threatens our lives. Your humanity is destroyed. Like a limb infected by flesh eating disease, you are now a threat to the rest of mankind…..Islam is disease. What does moderate Muslim mean anyway? Does it mean you are moderately diseased?”
“But there was another element in shaping his [Muhammad’s] character: The influence of Rabbis. Islam and Judaism have a lot in common. They have basically the same eschatology and very similar teachings…..These are all secondary influences of Judaism on Islam. The main common feature between these two faiths is their intolerance. This intolerance in Judaic texts gave the narcissist Muhammad the power to do as he pleased…..How could he get away with that? Why would people believed [sic] in his unproven and often irrational claims? The answer to this question is in Judaism. The Rabbis in Arabia had laid the psychological foundations for Islam among the tolerant pagans…..The reasons Arabs fell into his [Muhammad’s] trap was because of the groundwork laid by the Rabbis in Arabia.”
“Muhammad copied his religion from what he learned from the Jews. The similarity between Islamic thinking and Judaic thinking is not a coincidence.”
“By seeing these self-proclaimed moderate Muslims, I can understand the anger that Jesus felt against those hypocrites whom he called addressed, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”
“In Christianity, it wasn’t the religion that needed to be reformed but the church. What Jesus preached was good.”
“The image portrays the words of Jesus, “the truth will set you free.” That is my motto…..After listening to this rabbi, I somehow felt sympathy for Jesus. I can now see what kind of people he had to deal with.”
2. After Nathan Lean and Glenn Greenwald published the aforementioned Salon and Guardian articles, both “Ali Sina” and Robert Spencer rapidly wrote lengthy articles on their respective websites defending Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. It would therefore be constructive for Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris to publicly clarify if they welcome or reject “Ali Sina” & Robert Spencer’s support. It would also be constructive for Dawkins and Harris to publicly clarify the nature and extent of their involvement with “Ali Sina” & Robert Spencer.
3. Richard Dawkins’ anti-Islam/anti-Muslim narrative (including the stereotyped caricature and his own convoluted strawman arguments) is essentially identical to the hatred-inciting, theologically-, historically- & factually-distorted/falsified propaganda promoted by Far-Right groups such as the English Defence League and especially the owners of JihadWatch and Gates of Vienna. This is clearly not just a coincidence, considering Dawkins’ online sources of [mis]information.
4. Richard Dawkins is now on record as making a series of extremely derogatory statements in which he bizarrely refers to Islam (a religious belief system) as though it were a conscious, sentient entity (see #5, #32, #36, #49). The nature of those statements suggests that Dawkins is actually referring to Muslims. (Also see #7).
5. Richard Dawkins is now on record as repeatedly defending Sam Harris, including Harris’ claims about Muslims and Islam (see #42, #43).
6. Richard Dawkins is now on record as enthusiastically praising the Dutch Far-Right politician Geert Wilders (see #50).
7. Richard Dawkins is now on record as publicly claiming that “communities” has become code for “Muslims” (see #18) and that “multiculturalism” in Europe is code for “Islam” (see #19).
8. Richard Dawkins is now on record as repeatedly praising & defending Ayaan Hirsi Ali (see #20, #26, #50). Hirsi Ali has been proven to have fabricated aspects of her background/experiences (as confirmed by the BBC). Hirsi Ali is also on record as revealing the full scale of her horrific beliefs, including the fact that she sympathises with Anders Breivik and blames so-called “advocates of silence” for Breivik’s mass-murdering terrorist attack.
9. Richard Dawkins is now on record as repeatedly promoting the Far-Right conspiracy theory that British police avoid prosecuting Muslims due to fears of being labelled “racist” or “Islamophobic” (see #1, #24, #28, #45). Robert Spencer & Pamela Geller’s closest European allies, the English Defence League leadership, are amongst the most vocal advocates of this ridiculous conspiracy theory.
10. Richard Dawkins is now on record as explicitly describing himself as “a cultural Christian” (see #54).
11. Richard Dawkins is now on record as proposing what is basically an “enemy of my enemy is my friend” strategy, specifically in terms of Christians vs. Muslims (see here and here. Also see #16). This raises questions about exactly how much support Dawkins has secretly been giving to certain extremist anti-Muslim individuals/groups, or at least how much he is personally aware that these groups are explicitly recycling Dawkins’ own rhetoric when demonising Islam & Muslims.
12. Richard Dawkins is now on record as exhibiting very disturbing attitudes towards the British Muslim Member of Parliament Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and the British Muslim Independent journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, including repeatedly making highly offensive claims that they are “tokens” with zero qualifications for their respective jobs and are in positions of seniority/influence solely because they are “female, Muslim and brown/non-white” (See #25, #29, #30, #31, #35, #53). Dawkins clearly shares the EDL leadership’s noticeable hostility towards Baroness Warsi in particular; furthermore, note Dawkins’ sneering “open letter” to Baroness Warsi (see #29), and also note the fact that the EDL leadership recently published a similar “open letter” to Baroness Warsi on their main website, written by an unidentified anonymous author.
13. Richard Dawkins has published a lengthy diatribe by Robert Spencer/Pamela Geller/EDL ally/SIOE co-founder Stephen Gash.
14. Richard Dawkins has enthusiastically republished a large number of viciously anti-Muslim comments originally posted on the discussion thread of a Telegraph article written by Baroness Warsi. Dawkins claimed that the only reason he was reproducing these comments on his own website was “because the Telegraph is apparently censoring them”.
15. Despite the claims of Richard Dawkins’ defenders that he is an “equal opportunity offender” in terms of his criticisms of various organised religions, the aforementioned 54 quotes speak for themselves and Dawkins’ real pattern of behaviour is self-evident. Amongst other things, it raises the question of whether Dawkins was already perfectly aware that the anti-Islam/anti-Muslim propaganda he is basing his statements on originates in members of Robert Spencer’s extremist inner circle and their respective hate websites (which would have very nasty implications about Dawkins himself), or whether Dawkins has been astonishingly incompetent about researching his sources of “information”.
Examples of statements by Richard Dawkins:
#1: [Quoting: “No I don’t think it was racist to feel that way. If you saw a European mistreating his wife in public wouldn’t you feel the same? “] “Of course. In that case I might have called a policeman. If you see a Muslim beating his wife, there would be little point in calling a policeman because so many of the British police are terrified of being accused of racism or ‘Islamophobia’.”
#2: “Religion poisons everything. But Islam has its own unmatched level of toxicity.”
#3: “Religion poisons everything, but Islam is in a toxic league of its own.”
#4: “…..But let’s keep things in proportion. Christianity may be pretty bad, but isn’t Islam in a league of its own when it comes to sheer vicious nastiness?”
#5: [Quoting: “He blamed ‘radical stupid people who don’t know what Islam is,’”] “They are certainly stupid, but they know exactly what Islam is. Islam is the religion that wins arguments by killing its opponents and crying ‘Islamophobia’ at anyone who objects.”
#6: “This horrible film deserves to go viral. What a pathetic religion: how ignominious to need such aggressively crazed defenders.”
#7: “Muslims seem to suffer from an active HUNGER to be offended. If there’s nothing obvious to be offended by, or ‘hurt’ by, they’ll go out looking for something. Are there any other similar examples we could think of, I wonder, not necessarily among religious groups?”
#8: “Paula’s letter in today’s Independent (see above) will doubtless provoke lots of fatuous bleats of “Oh but Islam is a peaceful religion.””
#9: [Quoting: “But it has nothing to do with islam.”] “Oh no? Then why do the perpetrators, and the mullahs and imams and ayatollahs and ‘scholars’, continually SAY it has everything to do with Islam? You may not think it has anything to do with Islam, but I prefer to listen to what the people responsible actually say. I would also love it if decent, ‘moderate’ Muslims would stand up and condemn the barbarisms that are carried out, or threatened, in their name.”
#10: “What is there left to say about Sharia Law? Who will defend it? Who can find something, anything, good to say about Islam?”
#11: [Quoting: “needed to respect other religions”] “That word ‘other’ worries me and so does ‘respect’. ‘Other’ than what? What is the default religion which makes the word ‘other’ appropriate? What is this ‘other’ religion, which is being invoked in this high-handed, peremptory way. It isn’t hard to guess the answer. Islam. Yet again, Islam, the religion of peace, the religion that imposes the death penalty for apostasy, the religion whose legal arm treats women officially as second class citizens, the religion that sentences women to multiple lashes for the crime of being raped, the religion whose ‘scholars’ have been known to encourage women to suckle male colleagues so that they can be deemed ‘family’ and hence allowed to work in the same room; the religion that the rest of us are called upon to ‘respect’ for fear of being thought racist or ‘Islamophobic’. Respect? RESPECT?”
#12: “All three of the Abrahamic religions are deeply evil if they take their teachings seriously. Islam is the only one that does.”
#13: “Yes, Christians are much much better. Their sacred texts may be just as bad, but they don’t act on them.”
#14: “Quite the contrary. I think the problem [with Islam] is with the MAJORITY of Muslims, who either condone violence or fail to speak out against it. I am now praising the MINORITY who have finally decided to stand up for peace and nonviolence.”
#15: [Quoting: “Actually I think linking to every video this bigot releases does look like an endorsement, even if it’s unintentional. Why not link to some news items by some other right wing bigots the BNP or the EDL, they’re always banging on about Islam so it should qualify.”] “I support Pat [Condell]’s stance on Islam. It is NOT based on racism like that of the BNP, and he is properly scathing about so-called ‘Islamophobia’.”
#16: “After the last census, Christianity in Britain benefited, in terms of political influence, from the approximately 70% who ticked the Christian box, whether or not they were really believers. With the menacing rise of Islam, some might even be tempted to tick the Christian box, for fear of doing anything to boost the influence of the religion of “peace””.
#17: [Quoting: “What sort of justice is this? My daughter has been beaten to death in the name of justice,” Mosammet’s father, Dorbesh Khan, 60, told the BBC.] “What sort of justice? Islamic justice of course.”
#18: “Just as ‘communities’ has become code for ‘Muslims’, ‘multiculturalism’ is code for a systematic policy of sucking up to their often loathsome ‘community leaders’: imams, mullahs, ‘clerics’, and the ill-named ‘scholars’.”
#19: “Forgive me for not welcoming this judgment with unalloyed joy. If I thought the motive was secularist I would indeed welcome it. But are we sure it is not pandering to ‘multiculturalism’, which in Europe is code for Islam? And if you think Catholicism is evil . . .”
#20: “I don’t think this is a matter for levity. Think of it as a foretaste of more serious things to come. They’ve already hounded Ayaan Hirsi Ali out of Holland and their confidence is growing with their population numbers, encouraged by the craven accommodationist mentality of nice, decent Europeans. This particular move to outlaw dogs will fail, but Muslim numbers will continue to grow unless we can somehow break the memetic link between generations: break the assumption that children automatically adopt the religion of their parents.”
#21: “I said that Islam is evil. I did NOT say Muslims are evil. Indeed, most of the victims of Islam are Muslims. Especially female ones.”
#22: “Whenever I read an article like this, I end up shaking my head in bafflement. Why would anyone want to CONVERT to Islam? I can see why, having been born into it, you might be reluctant to leave, perhaps when you reflect on the penalty for doing to. But for a woman (especially a woman) voluntarily to JOIN such a revolting and misogynistic institution when she doesn’t have to always suggests to me massive stupidity. And then I remember our own very intelligent Layla Nasreddin / Lisa Bauer and retreat again to sheer, head-shaking bafflement.”
#23: “Apologists for Islam would carry more conviction if so-called ‘community’ leaders would ever go to the police and report the culprits. That would solve, at a stroke, the problem that has been exercising posters here. ‘Community’ leaders are best placed to know what is going on on their ‘communities’. Why don’t they report the perpetrators to the police and have them jailed?”
#24: “Presumably we shall hear all the usual accommodationist bleats about “Nothing to do with Islam”, and “It’s cultural, not religious” and “Islam doesn’t approve the practice”. Whether or not Islam approves the practice depends – as with the death penalty for apostasy – on which ‘scholar’ you talk to. Islamic ‘scholar’? What a joke. What a sick, oxymoronic joke. Islamic ‘scholar’!
It is of course true that not all Muslims mutilate their daughters, or approve it. But I conjecture that it is true that virtually all, if not literally all, the 24,000 girls referred to come from Muslim families. And all, or virtually all those who wield the razor blade (or the broken glass or whatever it is) are devout Muslims. And above all, the reason the police turn a blind eye to this disgusting practice is that they THINK it is sanctioned by Islam, or they think it is no business of anybody outside the ‘community’, and they are TERRIFIED of being called ‘Islamophobic’ or racist.”
#25: “Apologies if this has already been said here, but “Baroness” Warsi has no sensible qualifications for high office whatever. She has never won an election and never distinguished herself in any of the ways that normally lead to a peerage. All she has achieved in life is to FAIL to be elected a Member of Parliament, twice (on one occasion ignominiously bucking the swing towards her party). She was, nevertheless, elevated to the peerage and rather promptly put in the Cabinet and the Privy Council. The only reasonable explanation for her rapid elevation is tokenism. She is female, Muslim, and non-white – a bundle of three tokens in one, and therefore a precious rarity in her party. You might have suspected her lack of proper qualifications from the fatuous things she says, of which her speech in Rome is a prime example.”
#26: [Quoting: “Muslim extremists have called for Aan to be beheaded but fellow atheists have rallied round, and urged him to stand by his convictions despite the pressure.”] “For one sadly short moment I thought the ‘but’ was going to be followed by ‘moderate Muslims have rallied round . . .’ Once again, where are the decent, moderate Muslims? Why do they not stand up in outrage against their co-religionists? Maybe Ayaan Hirsi Ali is right and “moderate Muslim” is something close to an oxymoron. How can they not see that, if you need to kill to protect your faith, that is a powerful indication that you have lost the argument? It is impossible to exaggerate how deeply I despise them.”
#27: “There are moves afoot to introduce sharia law into Britain, Canada and various other countries. I hope it is not too “islamophobic” of me to hope that the “interpretation” of sharia favoured by our local Muslim “scholars” will be different from the “interpretation” favoured by Iranian “scholars”. Oh but of course: “That’s not my kind of Islam.””
#28: [Quoting: “Richard, I really dislike disagreeing with you. However, female genital mutilation is not really based on Islam. My wife is from Indonesia and I have asked around and none of them know of anyone who does that in their country. From all that I have read and seen, it seems like it predates islam and is mostly found in Africa and to a lesser extent the Middle East.”] “Even if you are right (and I am not necessarily conceding the point) that FGM itself is not based on Islam, I strongly suspect that the British police turning a blind eye to it is very strongly based on islamophobophobia – the abject terror of being thought islamophobic.”
#29: “Dear Lady Warsi
Is it true that the Islamic penalty for apostasy is death? Please answer the question, yes or no. I have asked many leading Muslims, often in public, and have yet to receive a straight answer. The best answer I heard was from “Sir” Iqbal Sacranie, who said “Oh well, it is seldom enforced.”
Will you please stand up in the House of Lords and publicly denounce the very idea that, however seldom enforced, a religion has the right to kill those who leave it? And will you stand up and agree that, since a phobia is an irrational fear, “Islamophobic” is not an appropriate description of anybody who objects to it. And will you stand up and issue a public apology, on behalf of your gentle, peaceful religion, to Salman Rushdie? And to Theo van Gogh? And to all the women and girls who have been genitally mutilated? And to . . . I’m sure you know the list better than I do.
#30: [Quoting: “Blimey Richard! This really has got up your nose, hasn’t it? Your comments are usually a great deal more measured. It’s not exactly uncommon for a Minister to “rise without trace”. I think we can all agree that our political system is “sub-optimal” to put it politely. Tokensim is one possibility (though if the Tories were really just after the muslim vote its interesting that they opted for a female muslim token).”] “I didn’t mean to suggest that the Tories were after the Muslim vote. I think they know that is a lost cause. I suspect that they were trying to live down their reputation as the nasty party, the party of racists, the party of sexists, the Church of England at prayer. More particularly, the ceaseless propaganda campaign against “Islamophobia” corrupts them just as it corrupts so many others. I suspect that the Tory leadership saw an opportunity to kill two, or possibly three, birds with one stone, by elevating this woman to the House of Lords and putting her in the Cabinet.
I repeat, her [Baroness Sayeeda Warsi’s] qualifications for such a meteoric rise, as the youngest member of the House of Lords, are tantamount to zero. As far as I can see, her only distinction is to have stood for election to the House of Commons and lost. That’s it.
Apart, of course, from being female, Muslim, and brown. Like I said, killing three birds with one stone.”
#31: “Baroness Warsi has never been elected to Parliament. What are her qualifications to be in the Cabinet? Does anyone seriously think she would be in the Cabinet, or in the House of Lords, if she was not a Muslim woman? Is her elevation to high office (a meteoric rise, for she is the youngest member of the House of Lords) any more than a deplorable example of tokenism?”
#32: “I too heard Paul Foot speak at the Oxford Union, and he was a mesmerising orator, even as an undergraduate. Once again, Christopher Hitchens nails it. It is the nauseating presumption of Islam that marks it out for special contempt. I remain baffled at the number of otherwise decent people who can be seduced by such an unappealing religion. I suppose it must be childhood indoctrination, but it is still hard to credit. If you imagine setting up an experiment to see how far you could go with childhood indoctrination – a challenge to see just how nasty a belief system you could instil into a human mind if you catch it early enough – it is hard to imagine succeeding with a belief system half as nasty as Islam. And yet succeed they do.”
#33: “Orthodox political opinion would have it that the great majority of Muslims are good people, and there is just a small minority of extremists who give the religion a bad name. Poll evidence has long made me sceptical. Now – it is perhaps a minor point, but could it be telling? – Salman Taseer is murdered by one of his own bodyguard. If ‘moderate’ Muslims are the great majority that we are asked to credit, wouldn’t you think it should have been easy enough to find enough ‘moderate’ Muslims, in the entire state of Pakistan, to form the bodyguard of a prominent politician? Are ‘moderate’ Muslims so thin on the ground?”
#34: “It is almost a cliché that people of student age often experiment with a variety of belief systems, which they subsequently, and usually quite rapidly, give up. These young people have voluntarily adopted a belief system which has the unique distinction of prescribing execution as the official penalty for leaving it. I have enormous sympathy for those people unfortunate enough to be born into Islam. It is hard to muster much sympathy for those idiotic enough to convert to it.”
#35: [Quoting: “Why do any media outlets keep repeatedly inviting her [Yasmin Alibhai-Brown] (excluding more capable, intelligent, qualified guests) as if she is some kind of authority or expert on anything at all?”] “Do you really need to ask that question? Media people are petrified of being thought racist, Islamophobic or sexist. The temptation to kill three birds with one stone must be irresistible.”
#36: [Quoting: “I’m surprised nobody has acknowledged the elephant in the room — namely, multicultural appeasement of Islam. The fact that (a) the paper was accepted, and (b) it took only five days to get accepted, suggests that there’s something funny going on here. Could it be that the referee of the paper was a subscriber to the popular opinion in Britain that anything associated with Muslims short of murder in broad daylight is somehow praiseworthy and something to be encouraged?”] “Yes, I’m sorry to say that is all too plausible. Perhaps the Editor decided it would be “Islamophobic” to reject it.”
#37: [Quoting: “I seem to remember a very bright young muslim lad”] You mean a bright young child of muslim parents.
#38: “Oh, small as it is, this is the most heartening news I have heard for a long time. What can we do to help these excellent young Pakistanis, without endangering them? If, by any chance, any of them reads this web site, please get in touch to let us know how we might help. If anybody here has friends in Pakistan, or elsewhere afflicted by the ‘religion of peace’ (it isn’t even funny any more, is it?), or facebook friends, please encourage them to join and support these brave young people.”
#39: [Quoting: “The obvious question is: who cares, are we saying when it was a catholic school it was ok and a Muslim school is worse.”] “Yes. It is worse. MUCH worse”
#40: [Quoting: “I was even accused of having converted and married into another religion. But I wasn’t worried as I’m a true Muslim,” says the feisty young woman.”] If only she were a bit more feisty she would cease to be a Muslim altogether – except that would make her an apostate, for which the Religion of Peace demands stoning. Indeed, you’ll probably find she’d be sentenced to 99 lashes just for the crime of being feisty.”
#41: [Quoting: “Disgusting and hideous as this practice is, I think the article makes it quite clear that it’s not limited to any one religion or community. It’s common to Christians, Muslims, Hindus, yezidis and many others.”] I just did a rough count (I may have missed one or two) of the named victims Robert Fisk mentioned. As follows:
But of course, Islam is the religion of peace. To suggest otherwise would be racist Islamophobia.”
“Whatever else you may say about Sam Harris’s article quoted above, and whether or not he is right about the NY mosque, the following two paragraphs, about Islam more generally, seem to me well worth repeating.
[Quotes Sam Harris] “The first thing that all honest students of Islam must admit is that it is not absolutely clear where members of al Qaeda, the Taliban, al-Shabab, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hamas, and other Muslim terrorist groups have misconstrued their religious obligations. If they are “extremists” who have deformed an ancient faith into a death cult, they haven’t deformed it by much. When one reads the Koran and the hadith, and consults the opinions of Muslim jurists over the centuries, one discovers that killing apostates, treating women like livestock, and waging jihad—not merely as an inner, spiritual struggle but as holy war against infidels—are practices that are central to the faith. Granted, one path out of this madness might be for mainstream Muslims to simply pretend that this isn’t so—and by this pretense persuade the next generation that the “true” Islam is peaceful, tolerant of difference, egalitarian, and fully compatible with a global civil society. But the holy books remain forever to be consulted, and no one will dare to edit them. Consequently, the most barbarous and divisive passages in these texts will remain forever open to being given their most plausible interpretations.
Thus, when Allah commands his followers to slay infidels wherever they find them, until Islam reigns supreme (2:191-193; 4:76; 8:39; 9:123; 47:4; 66:9)—only to emphasize that such violent conquest is obligatory, as unpleasant as that might seem (2:216), and that death in jihad is actually the best thing that can happen to a person, given the rewards that martyrs receive in Paradise (3:140-171; 4:74; 47:5-6)—He means just that. And, being the creator of the universe, his words were meant to guide Muslims for all time. Yes, it is true that the Old Testament contains even greater barbarism—but there are obvious historical and theological reasons why it inspires far less Jewish and Christian violence today. Anyone who elides these distinctions, or who acknowledges the problem of jihad and Muslim terrorism only to swiftly mention the Crusades, Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, the Tamil Tigers, and the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma, is simply not thinking honestly about the problem of Islam.”
#43: [Quoting: “I am newish here (and not planning to stay). Could someone please just set my mind at rest by confirming whether or not this poster is the real Prof. Dawkins. I really, really hope not. I used to have respect for him and I supposed that, being a busy man, he would never have time to come here, and therefore could not be held responsible for all the bigotry, against believers in general, and Muslims in particular, which gets aired here in the guise of Reason. If this really is him, then I guess he can’t disassociate himself from it and from the charge of providing a platform for bigots and haters. If it’s really you, Prof. Dawkins, you should be ashamed of yourself.” Quoting his own comment: “Whatever else you may say about Sam Harris’s article quoted above, and whether or not he is right about the NY mosque, the following two paragraphs, about Islam more generally, seem to me well worth repeating. Richard”] “You mean the Koran and the Hadith don’t say what Sam claims they say? I’m delighted to hear that, but can you substantiate it? I do hope you can, then we can all sleep easier. If, on the other hand, Sam is summarising Islamic scriptures accurately, why should I be ashamed of myself for simply quoting Sam’s accurate summary?”
#44: “Some critics have suggested that Paula should fairly have quoted, in equal measure, from Islamic scriptures. Since she was responding to a specific question set by the Washington Post about ‘religious and moral considerations’, it was appropriate for her to concentrate on the religions that dominate the readership of the Washington Post, namely Christianity and Judaism. However, it would be an interesting exercise for one of our Koranically-informed readers to undertake a matching article drawing on the scriptures of the ‘Religion of Peace’. Which of the ‘great’ monotheistic faiths will win First Prize for bloodthirsty nastiness and ethnic cleansing zeal?”
#45: “I have it on the authority of a London schools inspector that the reason the police do not prosecute is that they are afraid of being accused of racism or “Islamophobia.” In the words of the police officer quoted in this article, they “don’t want to alienate communities.” You might as well refrain from prosecuting child rapists because you don’t want to alienate the pedophile community. If arresting these vicious hags really were “islamophobic” (or course it isn’t), I’d be proud to be called islamophobic.”
#46: “Most Muslims don’t do honour killings, but the vast majority of honour killings are done by Muslims, loyally practising their faith and following what their religion has taught them is the right and proper thing to do.”
#47: [Quoting: “Given what the Palestinians have been through in the last 40 years, expecting polite grace & dignity at all times might be a little optimistic.”] “And you think these people were Palestinians? Or were they just Muslims?”
#48: “Islam is surely the greatest man-made evil in the world today, and I think I’d feel a tiny bit more secure against the menacing threat of Islam and Islamic faith schools, under the Tories than under Labour”.
#49: [Quoting Steve Zara: “Now, it seems like the Cartoons were designed to be quite offensive. That was the artistic intention. Putting aside any judgement on that, wouldn’t it have been more interesting if the cartoons had been designed to be hardly offensive at all, in the style of the UK atheist bus campaign. It would have make those claiming insult and offence look very silly indeed.”] “..…The Westergaard cartoon implies nothing more offensive than that Islam is a violent religion, a fact that was amply demonstrated by the response to it. Part of the problem, as many here have pointed out, is that Islam expects special treatment: expects to be allowed to take disproportionate offence, far beyond that assumed by anybody else on Earth.”
#50: “I have just watched Fitna. I don’t know whether it is the original version, but it is the one linked by Jerry Coyne. Maybe Geert Wilders has done or said other things that justify epithets such as ‘disgusting’, or ‘racist’. But as far as this film is concerned, I can see nothing in it to substantiate such extreme vilification. There is much that is disgusting in the film, but it is all contained in the quotations, which I presume to be accurate, from the Koran and from various Muslim preachers and orators, and the clips of atrocities such as beheadings and public executions. At least as far as Fitna is concerned, to call Wilders ‘disgusting’ is surely no more sensible than shooting the messenger. If it is complained that these disgusting Koranic verses, or these disgusting Muslim speeches, or the more than disgusting Muslim executions, are ‘taken out of context’, I should like to be told what the proper context would look like, and how it could possibly make any difference.
To repeat, Wilders may have said and done other things of which I am unaware, which deserve condemnation, but I can see nothing reprehensible in his making of Fitna, and certainly nothing for which he should go on trial. Like the film of Theo van Gogh and Ayaan Hirsi-Ali, the style of Fitna is restrained, the music, by Tchaikowski and Grieg, is excellently chosen and contributes to the restrained atmosphere of the film. The horrendous execution scenes are faded out before the coup-de-grace; all the stridency, and almost the only expressions of opinion, come from Muslims, not from Wilders.
Why is this man on trial, unless it is, yet again, pandering to the ludicrous convention that religious opinion must not be ‘offended’? Geert Wilders, if it should turn out that you are a racist or a gratuitous stirrer and provocateur I withdraw my respect, but on the strength of Fitna alone I salute you as a man of courage, who has the balls to stand up to a monstrous enemy.”
#51: [Sarcasm] “How dare you interfere with their culture? Obviously these people should be allowed to follow their own customs, without interference from Islamophobic imperialists. In any case, I expect only SOME women will be stoned for the crime of being raped. And even they will almost certainly deserve it, as they surely wouldn’t have been raped if they hadn’t shown an inch of bare wrist or ankle, or if they hadn’t left the house unaccompanied by a male relative.”
#52: “I am not in favour of banning the burqa, because I am not in favour banning any style of clothing. But I think Pat is right to compare the burqa with a Ku Klux Klan hood or a swastika armband (which shouldn’t be banned either). I think he is right to speak of Islamic fascism, I think he is right to condemn the use of the word ‘Islamophobia’….I think Islam is probably the greatest of all man-made evils in the world today. It takes courage to speak out against it. Pat has that courage. He will be making enough enemies among the Islamofascists. I prefer not to encourage them by attacking him from the other side. “
#53: “For a while now I have carried on a sporadic, and more-or-less friendly, correspondence with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. I continually try to provoke her with the horrors of Islam, in order to persuade her to leave it. She roundly condemns the bad bits of Islam, but I wonder where there are any good bits for her to retreat to. I am becoming increasingly curious. Are there ANY good things about Islam at all?”
#54: “I find it hard not to resent the implication of Comment 36645 by oao. I obviously refer to Christianity, by default, more than to Judaism (or Islam) because I am a cultural Christian, writing in a cultural Christian country (Britain) with an eye to a larger audience in another (more than merely cultural) Christian country (USA).”