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Richard Dawkins Takes Up Islamophobic Narrative about Muslims and Nobel Prizes

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Before the most recent example of a Richard Dawkins bigot fart, Jai Singh put together an extensive fact sheet exposing Dawkins’ long pattern of bigotry and hate against Muslims.

A Litmus Test for anti-Muslim Bigotry

By Murtaza Hussain

Richard Dawkins recently ignited a minor furor by pointing out that “All the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge”. His defenders rushed to point out that his statement was merely a fact and as such there was nothing bigoted about it whatsoever.

Dawkins declaration also happens to be true when you substitute the word “Hindus”, “Blacks” or “Chinese” for Muslims here, but his admirers would have had a harder time defending the same statement made about any of these groups without being tarred as xenophobes.

This situation is often decried by New Atheist advocates and their fellow travellers as a ‘refusal to acknowledge reality’ – the ostensible ‘reality’ being their own inherent superiority over others. Nonetheless, they are hesitant about whom they relate this to and toe the line when it comes to which minority groups it is safe to attack and which must be avoided. Dan Murphy of the Christian Science Monitor explained the fallacies behind this crude chauvinism:

Dawkins, as an educated man, should be well aware of the legacy of colonialism and of simple poverty…. When the Nobel Prize was founded in 1901, the vast majority of the world’s Muslims lived in countries ruled by foreign powers, and for much of the 20th century Muslims did not have much access to great centres of learning like Cambridge. The ranks of Nobel Prize winners have traditionally been dominated by white, Western men – a reflection of both the economic might of the West in the past century, preferential access to education for that class of people as well as a wonderful intellectual tradition .

The same reasons why Muslims are underrepresented in the halls of Western scientific achievement are also applicable to essentially every other group in the world besides white males living in Western countries. If there’s nothing bigoted about saying it about Muslims, Dawkins and his defenders should come out and make the same unqualified and context-free statements about other groups in society whom they see as not stacking up. The fact that they refuse to do so signals that this has little to do with courageously speaking the truth and more about picking out which minorities it is still safe to bash.

Read the rest…

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  • Just_Stopping_By

    True, ahh, well, I do plan on hearing some tekiyah this week. Anyway, despite being finally busted, you have to admire how well I’ve hidden it sho far.

  • Just_Stopping_By

    “Yes. Compare an entire group of people, spanning over 60 countries, with one college.”

    Dawkins was the one who started that comparison. You can’t blame anyone for continuing with it.

    “Wow. Muslims sure are Scientifically forward.”

    Wow. You sure know when to capitalize words.

    “Also, completely ignore that none of the prizes are in fields of science.”

    Again, it was Dawkins’ framework. But, even if we put that aside, modern science typically involves a lot of expensive equipment and years of research, so it is not that surprising that scientific advances tend to be made more in countries with a longer tradition of having access to wealth and where science has long been a notable field for talented youth. But, things are changing, and I expect we’ll see scientific advancements come out of the Middle East as petrodollars get funneled into education, for example.

    “Good job Muslim.”

    “The most frightening thing about that is the missing comma.” (credit to TBBT)

    The nicest thing is that you called me Muslim. I’m flattered. Plus, it shows how quick you are to jump to assumptions: I am actually not a Muslim. Perhaps rather than making such assumptions you could, umm, follow a more scientific approach to reach conclusions?

  • Guess

    Thank you for replying and for your kind words as well my dear sister Ilisha. I’ve missed you too, and frankly I’ve missed posting on LW. And yes, you’re right about the importance of this new victory sign, it seems like it took a life of it’s own in a very short period of time. It’s even more that important since it represent how a strong pious Muslim woman can be a symbol of liberation, a female role model that every oppressed religious (or non-religious) people can look up to, something we especially need this days. And may I add a good rebuke to Islamophobes everywhere who still believe (even though proven wrong many times) that practicing, pious Muslim women are somehow passive, inactive beings that accepts silently the misdeeds done to them, including by Islamophobes.

  • Solid Snake

    Did you get my message? Apologies if it was uncalled for, I was just curious 🙂

  • Seeker

    You’ll note how they always miss the “He saw” bit that is crucial to this discussion.

  • MichaelElwood

    I wrote my previous comment in a hurry, and I referenced Wikipedia. Having edited a few Wikipedia articles, I know from experience that they sometimes leave much to be desired. Although Wikipedia is vastly superior to Wikiislam. I don’t know if you remember, but someone gave a link to that site that had an amusing graphic purporting to show how Muslims couldn’t pray on a spherical earth. 🙂

    Anyway, if you or any else want to follow up on this subject, here are some more respectable references.

    Atheist apologists insist that Alexander the Great is Dhu l-Qarnayn. For the hypothesis that Moses is Dhu l-Qarnayn, see Wheeler M. Thackston’s “Moses in the Qur’an and Islamic Exegesis,” RoutledgeCurzon, 2002, pp. 31-33 (I bought Prof. Thackston’s “An Introduction to Koranic and Classical Arabic” when I was a teenager).

    Atheist apologists insist that daha always refers to the flat nest (madhy) and never the round egg (dahyah). However, the ancient usage of dahyah for egg is preserved in the Libyan dialect (which is the most conservative Maghribi dialect). This dialect grew out of the dialect of the Banu Halil and Banu Sulaym Arabs who migrated to Libya from the Hijaz, Arabia. For dahyah as egg, see the introduction under the subtitle “Is The Earth Flat” in Martha Schulte-Nafeh’s “Quran: A Reformist Translation” 2007, Brainbow Press. Also see Sumikazu Yoda’s book “The Arabic Dialect of the Jews in Tripoli (Libya): Grammar, Text and Glossary,” Otto Harrassowitz GmbH & Co. KG, Wiesbaden, 2005, pg. 212, and Temuhu.com’s “English-Arabic Word List” ( http://www.temehu.com/english-arabic-word-list.htm ).

    Here’s a larger picture of the painting of the Arabian ostrich’s nest and eggs from al-Jahiz’s “kitab al-hayawan”:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Al-Jahiz_-_pages_from_Kitaab_al_Hayawaan_4.jpg

    Coincidentally, an ostrich egg globe was discovered a few days ago. It’s said to have one of the earliest depictions of the “New World”:

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/08/oldest-globe-showing-the-new-world-discovered-on-ostrich-egg/

    Atheist apologists also insist that Muslims have always interpreted the Quran to mean that the earth is flat (they love to quote ibn Kathir and al-Suyuti). For the exegetes al-Juba’i and ar-Razi, who interpreted the Quran as saying the earth is round, see Muhammad Asad’s footnote for 18:86 (I mistakenly said it was 18:17 in my previous comment) in “The Message of the Qur’an,” 1980, Dar al-Andalus Limited. For ibn Hazm’s view on the sphericity of the earth, see “Ibn Hazm of Cordoba: The Life and Works of a Controversial Thinker,” Konenklijke Brill NV, 2013, pg. 556.

  • Jekyll

    yup…got the answers

  • Jekyll

    We are all little unbelievers these days. Our own pompous ideas are more of a front to defend than anything than what “our” religion espouses.

    “Steadfast believers”…that’s a rather bold statement. If some of the “companions” were scared of doubt, how can you be so sure ?

  • Guess

    Hi llisha, it’s me Géji, I haven’t posted here for awhile (though I visit often, read every article & every comment from wherever- a big fan) giving the bit of reprimand (though not so severe) changing moniker posters get here. I understand though since I believe it’s became more like a family setting here (though not intentionally) and I still consider myself a member of this family – though bad of me I don’t communicate as I should. I’ve decided to express myself giving the many political injustices we witness, to accord my dissatisfactory, raging fillings of injustices through my moniker. So don’t be surprise, if you see me as “No to US Imperialism” or “Free Palestine”, I’m sick of the double standards the so-called “West” plays, look at Egypt, the hopes it gave, and how it end-up, with the “West” consent, I mean where is the justice, the “democracy” talk Bush invaded 2 countries for ? Imperial Hypocrisy! that’s what it is. But its so nice to see you still kicking the ass of ignorant Islamophobes, every time I see your name on the “comment” section, I click on it even if I hate this new system where it takes you awhile to find recent comments. Continue the good work, I even observe in my replies your style of replying – honest, direct, still gently minded 🙂

  • Jekyll

    “waxed agnostic”…now I get it…your views are now cleared up…

  • Hyde

    Black piss..as someone I know called the oil. Ruined a great people.

  • Christian-Friend

    Hey, Freedom of opinion. If you don’t like it, you can go back to Jihadwatch.

  • Solid Snake

    Please, please Mods, let GuestofGuests post go through. This guy is a walking comedy show..heres one of his posts that is still awaiting confirmation:

    “Of course I know arabic, and that’s precisely why you feel the need to confront me: Because all of your lies can’t affect me.

    You can try as hard as you want, you simply cannot change etymology and the rules of grammar to suit your needs (even though you are trying to do so, any arab speaker with a little bit of common sense left will easily destroy your lies).”

    Wow…”all of your lies can’t affect me.”

  • Solid Snake

    But-but-but HE KNOWS ARABIC! He knows Arabic (words), you cant trick him anymore with your facts !

    (Seriously, amazing post. Also I remember reading that when Dhul Qernain reached the place where ‘He observed’ the sun setting in a body of water (or a murky pool not sure how its described). Not that the sun DOES set in a body of water but that he saw from his perspective.)

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