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#Manchester Stronger Than Ever

Manchester. Another city added to the list of horrific attacks by individuals, usually men, who have been misguided into thinking their actions are somehow a salve for whatever torments them, or helpful to those suffering occupation and the terror of non-distinguishing “smart bombs” dropped in the tens of thousands on the homes of innocents. Also bewildering is the tenuous allegiance paid by attackers such as Salman Abedi to groups like ISIS and AlQaeda; whose bastardized modernist twisting of theology and law is no solution to grievances but only compounds and entrenches the multi-dimensional challenges and problems faced by Muslims. It takes God out of the center of din (way of life) and replaces it with jihad. When the hoped for victory is not achieved it often results in greater resentment, extremism and blind victimhood.

We have known that attacks of this kind do not end the vicious cycle of bloodletting but only feed it. The explosive growth industry of the field of “terror studies” and its ties to power, both governmental and non-governmental means that there is little incentive or effort to truly understand what causes “extremism” (aside from a handful of scholars and specialists) beyond the problematic radicalization models that lead to programs such as PREVENT and CVE.  Statistics highlighting that the nebulously defined category of so-called “Islamic terrorism” is less of a threat than dying in car accidents, or of an allergic reaction to peanuts is of no comfort, since Islamophobia is tied to existential and emotional concerns about the decline of Christianity, challenge to white supremacy and rise of minority groups, especially Muslim populations. Rational thinking doesn’t enter the equation.

This is not to say that imperialism cannot and should not be resisted but that the contemporary movements that are wreaking havoc are clearly not the way to respond to the challenge. Any resistance and liberation from the dominant paradigms however must be rooted not only in socio-economic terms but foremost in an authentic and spiritually grounded ethos.

Despite the hysteria and exploitation by the usual fear merchants: Katie Hopkins who tweeted for a “Final Solution,” the never-reconstructed EDL bigot Tommy Robinson claim that the mayor of Manchester is in cahoots with “Islamic radicals,” the laughable stupidity of  a UKIP politician whose brilliant response was to demand the return of the death penalty for suicide bombers, or Israeli PM Netanyahu’s shameless attempt to milk the tragedy by analogizing the Manchester attacker to Palestinian resistance, the overwhelming response of Britons and the City of Manchester has been to reject hate and the politics of division.

Take the message by Islamic scholar Abu Eesa from Manchester that has gone viral.

The comments are heartwarmingly refreshing in their solidarity and the expression of united grief for the victims. The message is clear we will not be divided, we will be stronger.

Also take Aarron Lambo’s viral video:

There’s many more such instances of togetherness and we hope that these attempts to divide us and subvert our democracy whether by terrorists and their Islamophobic dopplegangers will come to naught.

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  • Okay, let’s get down to precisely why I’ve decided it’s pointless to engage with you.

    I have already explained to you that if you follow the philosophy of religion to it’s logical conclusion, all you get is agnosticism. Not atheism. That is a leap, as is believe in God, which religions concede right up front–hence the word “faith.”

    Now, you continue to use the very same method to argue with me, even though we’ve already established that method does not yield an answer.

    You appear to be spiritually blind, and I already gave an example related to that. Let me give another.

    If you were color blind and could not see green, and we were looking at a color test, you would see nothing but gray blobs where I see gray blobs and green blobs. How much point is there in arguing with you, insisting there really are green blobs if you can’t see them and therefore refuse to believe that they exist?

    Also, I don’t find your talking points interesting. I’ve heard all or most of them before. What does interest me is what you’re doing here.

    This is not a religious website. It’s secular, and the mission is to defend Muslim civil rights, not Islam or religion more generally. There are religious people here, but there are also atheists and agnostics. You are treating this like it’s a philosophy of religion debate forum. Why?

    If you are so very content with your atheism and so convinced you’re right and no one can counter your arguments, why bother with these long, tedious debates here?

    I “jumped in” because you made such a poor parallel, it jumped out at me. Once started, I gave another shot to see if I could get past your blind spots.

    I don’t want to engage with you further because (1) it seems pointless (2) I spent part of high school and ALL of my university years debating these matters, and have heard all this before (2) I’m content with my own beliefs and don’t feel a need to prove anything to anyone (4) my time is limited and I have other things I’d rather be doing.

    If you feel more content believing the stated reasons are lies and the true reason is that your dazzling assertions are unassailable, then enjoy your perceived victory and move on.

  • Because I don’t know if engaging you is pointless until I actually try a few times and see how you respond.

    If you’d like to think the reason I don’t want continue is that I lack the ability to counter, believe that and feel good about it. No problem for me.

  • Khizer

    It’s not really hate, it’s basically satire on the hate spewed by a lot of New Athiests. The people on that subreddit pretend to be exaggerated versions of those kind of Athiests in order to expose the absurdity of them. Here are some examples, read the comments, that’s where most of the satire is from, they are making fun of the athiesm subredit’s commenters (who are quite, frankly very unpleasant people).

    https://www.reddit.com/r/magicskyfairy/comments/zvxd1/a_muslim_moved_in_next_door_to_me_ಠ_ಠ/?ref=search_posts

    https://www.reddit.com/r/magicskyfairy/comments/12jydz/all_muslims_are_brainless_violent_fanatics_also/?ref=search_posts

    https://www.reddit.com/r/magicskyfairy/comments/107vi9/this_is_literally_how_every_single_muslim_man_in/?ref=search_posts

    Everything else about your comment is very true though.

  • I only see anti-Muslim hate on that link today.

    I find it funny when they act as if their arguments are fresh and original, and religious people are just too dumb to understand. You can explain the same things to them over and over, and all you will ever get back is a canned talking point like “there’s not a shred of evidence to support your claims”—as if you’ve actually made that argument.

    Then when you realize it’s pointless, they say, “Oh see…you’ve given up because you can’t touch my smashing good arguments can you?? Huh? Huh???”

    No. I’ve just realized I’d be as well off to talk to my shoe. I’ve had great conversation with atheists, more often in real life, who are not like this. They’re thoughtful and reasonable. But as with any group, it’s the most obnoxious ones who are usually hogging the microphone!

  • Khizer

    New Athiests have drank too much of the Kool aid of P U R E I D E O L O G Y.

    Here is a subreddit comprised of religious people and Athiests making fun of these nimrods by satirising their ‘le logic’ beliefs and behaviour.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/magicskyfairy/search?q=Muslim

    What do you think?

  • That was my sincere reaction to reading your post.

    What “argument” is it you think I should counter? I already explained to you in a previous why I see engaging with you as pointless.

  • Alistair John

    What a empty, meaningless statement. You don’t have a counter argument do you?

  • MichaelElwood

    Alistair John wrote: “What you have chosen to ignore is the main point I made, the record of violence by Mohammed and the condoning of violence in the Quran. In the latter, it is explicit and hard to explain away, even by you. You are in a weak position as a Muslim condemning those who don’t rule out violence in all circumstances as your holy book is steeped in violence.”

    You don’t have a main point. Muhammad didn’t have a record of violence. And he certainly didn’t fight or kill people for having “bad intentions” or “dangerous ideas,” as Sam Harris and his groupies promote. Muhammad and his followers only fought defensive battles:

    “You may fight in the cause of GOD against those who attack you, but do not aggress. GOD does not love the aggressors. You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Sacred Masjid, unless they attack you therein. If they attack you, you may kill them. . . .” [Quran 2:190-191]

    “Why should you not fight in the cause of GOD when weak men, women, and children are imploring: ‘Our Lord, deliver us from this community whose people are oppressive. . . .'” [Quran 4:75]

    “O you who believe, if you strike in the cause of GOD, you shall be absolutely sure. Do not say to one who offers you peace, ‘You are not a believer,’ seeking the spoils of this world. For GOD possesses infinite spoils. Remember that you used to be like them, and GOD blessed you. Therefore, you shall be absolutely sure (before you strike). GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.” [Quran 4:94]

    “The disbelievers plot and scheme to neutralize you, or kill you, or banish you. However, they plot and scheme, but so does GOD. GOD is the best schemer.” [Quran 8:30]

    “You shall fight them to ward off oppression, and to practice your religion devoted to GOD alone. If they refrain from aggression, then GOD is fully Seer of everything they do.” [Quran 8:39]

    “If they resort to peace, so shall you, and put your trust in GOD. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.” [Quran 8:61]

    “Would you not fight a people who broke their oaths and intended to expel the messenger, especially while they were the ones who attacked you first. . . ?” [Quran 9:13]

    “They were evicted from their homes unjustly, for no reason other than saying, ‘Our Lord is GOD.'” [Quran 22:40]

    Unlike the atheism Harris and his groupies espouse, Islam values human life, and teaches that life can only be taken in self-defense or as a punishment for taking someone else’s life (not for “bad intentions” or “dangerous ideas”):

    “. . . .You shall not kill – GOD has made life sacred – except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you, that you may understand.'” [Quran 6:151]

    “You shall not kill any person – for GOD has made life sacred – except in the course of justice. . . .” [Quran 17:33]

    “. . . .nor do they kill anyone – for GOD has made life sacred – except in the course of justice. . . .” [Quran 25:68]

    By the way, how do know what the Quran says about violence or anything else when you said that you were too impatient to sift through it? The same psychic way that you divine Muslims “bad intentions”? Anyway, I’ll be away on business for most of next week and won’t bother continuing to go in circles with you. You and your evidence-free claims are dismissed.

  • MichaelElwood

    Alistair John wrote: “Until you answer those it is impossible to take you seriously.”

    I’m not going to keep going in circles with you, Alistair. I already answered those questions. And to the extent that you keep asking them, it’s hard to take you seriously.

    Alistair John wrote: “No. The atheist community might be whatever atheists say and do in the name of atheism, but atheism remains the lack of belief in the divine. My ‘preferred’ definition of atheism remains the universal one, except by you, as you seem to have some strange desire to show atheists as bigoted monsters who believe in as much nonsense as you do yourself.”

    No, not just the atheist community, but atheism itself is whatever atheists do and say (just as you claim Islam is whatever Muslims do and say). And the only place your preferred definition of atheism is universal is in your head.

    Alistair John wrote: “To ask for evidence of anything is not unscientific, it is the definition of science.”

    It’s also the definition of philosophy.

    Alistair John wrote: “Even if there is a non-physical world in order for you to prove its existence you need some sort of evidence.”

    The question is not whether you need evidence for God, but whether that evidence must be of be of a “physical” nature, as you dogmatically claim. A priori sciences like mathematics get along just fine without recourse to the “physical” evidences of a posteriori sciences, and so does much of philosophy.

    Alistair John wrote: “An attack without evidence is, like your faith, easily dismissed.”

    I’m ’bout to easily dismiss you and your atheist nonsense in a minute, Alistair.

    “The burden of proof would still be on atheists to justify their epistemological belief that God is a scientific subject that must have “physical evidence” of an empirical nature.”

    Alistair John wrote: “Atheists ask for evidence.”

    The irony of this statement is apparently lost on you.

    Alistair John wrote: “I wasn’t speaking of Muslims particularly, but anyone with bad intentions. I would say it is reasonable to call Mao, Hitler and Stalin men of bad intentions and to suggest a strong argument could be made in favour of violence against them is not totally outrageous.”

    Don’t insult my intelligence! You were speaking about Muslims and so was Sam Harris. A lot of paranoid atheists see big, bad Muslims with their big, bad intentions under every rock and around every corner. These atheists think these Muslims are just waiting for the right time to spring cat-like from the shadows and get ’em! And because of this, these atheists believe that aimless violence against Muslims is ethically justified.

    Alistair John wrote: “You have your own version of history which is not shared by many historians who have studied the spread of Islam but which suits your own agenda. All I will say is Islam spread through the rise of Islamic empires, not through mass missionary work.”

    You sound crazy as usual, Alistair. This is why I can’t take anything you say seriously. What you call my own version of history is shared by many scholars like Prof. Daniel W. Brown or Prof. David J. Wasserstein, who wrote:

    “One feature that has characterised the preaching of Islam and conversion to that faith over the last fourteen centuries is the general absence, other than in the cases of conversion of an entire state of group for political reasons, of compulsion. Justified by a sentence in the Qur’an (Q2:256), ‘there is no compulsion in religion’ (la ikraha fi al din), the prohibition thus implied has been largely honoured. Exceptions have been few and scattered. . . .” (see “The New Cambridge History of Islam” vol. 2, pg. 200)

    One of the ways Islam spread was along the widespread trade routes that pre-Islamic Arabs used. For example, one of the oldest mosques (I think it’s the 3rd or 4th oldest) in the world is the Huaisheng Mosque in Guangzhou, China, which was built in 627 AD. By the way, can you name any of these supposed many scholars who agree with your evidence-free claims? Are they credible (like the ones I cited), or are they crackpots? Do they teach or have a background in Islamic Studies or Near Eastern Studies (like the ones I cited), or do they spend their time speaking and writing to people like you who don’t require any evidence for their beliefs?

    CONTINUED IN NEXT COMMENT

  • NotAMuslamic

    What is this, revelations?

  • NotAMuslamic

    What is this, final fantasy 10?

  • Your arrogance amuses me. 🙂

  • Alistair John

    “That’s (You are no different than people who believe the world is flat) a bad parallel for reasons that should be obvious.”

    Only to the degree that God is unproven either way, whereas we know for certain that the Earth is round. However, if you believe some parts of the Quran are the literal truth, such as the Adam and Eve story, it is a very good parallel.

    “If you had studied your history more carefully, you’d know people were generally NOT forcibly converted under Muslim rule. The people gradually converted, voluntarily.”

    It doesn’t necessarily need to be as crude as conversion by the threat of violence. You can simply make conditions worse people, with taxes and secondary status for non-believers and that will encourage people to align with the religion of the ruling regime. How truly voluntary that is very debatable.

    “No one has to prove anything to you. Be an atheist. Who cares? Just leave other people alone.”

    It wasn’t me that started this particular debate. If you find it tiresome or upsetting you can simply ignore it. This is between me and Michael Elwood. I spoke originally of nothing more than my reservations about the word ‘Islamophobia’, a word which many non-Muslims have a problem with as it confuses people with ideology and suggests (Michael made this explicit) that to hate an ideology is necessarily to be bigoted against its followers.

    “You are NEVER going to eradicate religion. It’s always been part of the human experience, and it always will be.”

    Always is a very long time. Who can tell what happens in the future? Within certain cultures, I can certainly envisage a time when groundless superstitions are discarded unless some disaster makes us regress to a more primitive state.

    “We can see from places where atheism spread in a sustained, concerted effort with strong government support, and yet people are drifting BACK to religion–take both Russia and China as examples.”

    I’m not sure they ever drifted away from it. Adhering to an ideology like communism takes as much blind faith as following Islam or Christianity.

    “Most human beings are God conscious.”

    I would say most human beings are fond of fairy stories. And not all religions have a god figure. The less violent ones such as Jainism and Buddhism avoid a creator figure altogether.

    “There are many things even in the physical realm that defy explanation.”

    Yes, but we don’t have to turn to superstition to explain them anymore. In previous ages the mysteries of gravity, electricity, space, the stars etc. were all unknown and people invented their own explanations, none of which had any bearing on the truth.

    “From that experience you know something not captured by any other means. God is far more complex than a fragrance. The means of knowing Him is the heart, not the head.”

    But you don’t know him/her/it. You merely imagine you do. There is nothing about a smell, even the effect of it on our brain and mood which is not explainable without reference to some divine being.

    “If you don’t get that, that’s your problem.”

    It’s not a problem to me. I am able to smell and enjoy roses without worshipping imaginary friends. If you want to indulge your time in superstition that’s fine by me. People’s time and beliefs are their own.

    “No one has to prove anything to you.”

    You don’t have to prove anything if you are content for people to not believe something for which there is not one shred of evidence. As I said before, you can simply ignore naysayers. Arguing someone who is asking for evidence will get you nowhere if you have none.

  • Funny how these people think Muslims “hate America” because of Islamic doctrine, as if it was mentioned before it even existed. “You must lop the head off of Uncle Sam in the name of Islam!” <~ Didn't you read that part of the Qur'an?

    Sure. It's not the ceaseless bombing and plunder that makes Muslims mad at America. It's their crazy religion! If only they were a bunch of Wiccans, they would appreciate being robbed and slaughtered!

    If only religious people were logical like these atheists…the world would be such a grand place. With a crater here and there, with all the dead people in it the atheists didn't like, but otherwise, really peaceful.

  • You are no different than people who believe the world is flat …

    That’s a bad parallel for reasons that should be obvious.

  • Alistair John

    So, we now have two points you continually ignore:

    1. The possible selectivity of your beliefs from the Quran and the literal truth, or lack of it. of the Adam and Eve story.

    2. The challenge for you to identify an ideology which is shared by all atheists (something beyond a lack of belief in the divine) and which needs to be in order for one to be an atheist.

    Until you answer those it is impossible to take you seriously.

    “Atheism is whatever atheists do or say in the name of atheism. There is no atheist pope or holy text. And other atheists needn’t defer to you or your preferred English dictionary for their definition of atheism.”

    No. The atheist community might be whatever atheists say and do in the name of atheism, but atheism remains the lack of belief in the divine. My ‘preferred’ definition of atheism remains the universal one, except by you, as you seem to have some strange desire to show atheists as bigoted monsters who believe in as much nonsense as you do yourself. The only thing which unites all atheists is a lack of belief in the divine. In all other respects, they need have nothing in common whatsoever.

    “Science is the study of the physical, natural world. Non-physical subjects like God is not science’s domain. That’s the domain of philosophy. The belief that God and other subjects of philosophy is, or ought to be, the domain of science is known as scientism.”

    Yes, science studies the physical world. As yet there is no evidence for a non-physical, supernatural world so any claim about its existence without some form of evidence is necessarily unscientific. If your God is able to create, move and change the physical world it is not unreasonable to ask for evidence of this.

    If atheists cannot prove that God doesn’t exist and the religious cannot show any evidence of his/her/its existence then not believing in his/her/its existence remains the more rational position. At the moment your particular philosophy is, at best, a hypothesis or, at worst, wish fulfilment and idle fantasy.

    “And the belief that there must be empirical “physical evidence” for God is known as Logical Positivism. Both dogmas are common among atheists. And both dogmas are philosophical, not “scientific” in nature. So, no, atheism is not “scientific”.”

    To ask for evidence of anything is not unscientific, it is the definition of science. Even if there is a non-physical world in order for you to prove its existence you need some sort of evidence. Without it (and there is none whatsoever) then there is no reason to take any claims made about the existence of the divine in the least bit seriously. You have nothing to show anyone about the possible existence of your imaginary friends and even less that the specific beliefs of Islam are anything more than a set of fairy tales. You are no different than people who believe the world is flat or who believe in astrology.

    “Frankly, your inability to weigh evidence of mundane subjects like scripture, history, etc., doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that you’d be capable of weighing the evidence of ethereal subjects like God, even it were a scientific rather than philosophical subject.”

    An attack without evidence is, like your faith, easily dismissed.

    “The burden of proof would still be on atheists to justify their epistemological belief that God is a scientific subject that must have “physical evidence” of an empirical nature.”

    Atheists ask for evidence. You have none. Anyone who claims anything exists, from fairies to an economic theory to a vision of history, is always asked to produce evidence to support their thesis, not the other way around. You make yourself look ludicrously weak otherwise. With no evidence whatsoever any claim can of cause be dismissed as out of hand. “God exists because I think he does” is not an argument, it’s just a groundless claim.

    “Nah, I’m not obsessed with Sam Harris. I think atheists are embarrassed by him. They’re constantly dismissing his ideas as not representative of atheism, but they’re unable to explain his popularity with atheists and his ability to make a comfortable living off of them by peddling his ideas (which could only be possible if his ideas were widely held by atheists).”

    Sam Harris is a well-known atheist, but he is not the voice of atheism. Any individual atheist can choose to be embarrassed or impressed by them. Even if every atheist agreed wholeheartedly with his most controversial ideas that still doesn’t make atheism anything more than a lack of belief in the divine.

    “LOL! “Bad intent”? That’s Harris-speak. Harris and his groupies think that the same actions they find morally objectionable in Muslims are justified when atheists do them, because the former have “bad intentions,” but the latter have “good intentions”.”

    I wasn’t speaking of Muslims particularly, but anyone with bad intentions. I would say it is reasonable to call Mao, Hitler and Stalin men of bad intentions and to suggest a strong argument could be made in favour of violence against them is not totally outrageous.

    “Yeah, I’m in a pretty strong position because the belief that Islam was spread by the sword is one of the many things atheists believe without evidence.”

    You have your own version of history which is not shared by many historians who have studied the spread of Islam but which suits your own agenda. All I will say is Islam spread through the rise of Islamic empires, not through mass missionary work.

    What you have chosen to ignore is the main point I made, the record of violence by Mohammed and the condoning of violence in the Quran. In the latter, it is explicit and hard to explain away, even by you. You are in a weak position as a Muslim condemning those who don’t rule out violence in all circumstances as your holy book is steeped in violence.

  • Khizer

    True

    Always remember that many internet Athiests (the ones who are influenced by YouTube pop Athiests) are trash.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/GamerGhazi/comments/6hpfcf/a_reminder_internet_atheists_fucking_suck/

  • MichaelElwood

    That sounds about right. A lot of atheists who espouse positions like that claim that they’re decent people who came to their indecent ethical positions reluctantly, or with a heavy heart. “I’m a pacifist by instinct. however. . .” or “I’m usually on the peaceful side, but. . .” they say. There are atheists who are actually pacifists, like Noam Chomsky. But he’s considered part of the “regressive left” by these atheist degenerates.

  • NotAMuslamic

    WE FREEDUM WE LOJIK WE NOBEL PRAIZ!

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