Oh my god! Moveable printed type!

We must keep this from the serfs, lest they gain literacy and threaten the landed gentry!!

Worried that some of us would start thinking Christians have a monopoly on teh stupid, Muslims in Indonesia have bravely stepped up to defend their faith against Evil Atheists like Richard Dawkins… By not letting people read his books…

Atheism books like Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, Sam Harris’ The End of Faith or Christopher Hitchens’ God is Not Great may have been on the bestselling charts somewhere else and can now be spotted in nearly all international airports, but the top local publishers have no interest in bringing these books to local bookstores.

… “The other reason why we don’t publish the book (The God Delusion) is that in it Dawkins, as a scientist, does not provide us with compelling scientific arguments,” he said.

… “We fear that people won’t even read the book as there is already prejudice against it. We actually have no problem with its content and even think that it could actually enlighten people to reexamine their faith,” Serambi’s editor in chief, Qomaruddin SF, said.

… “There is no use in publishing those books for the public. They can of course be used as an intellectual exercise for a small number of readers, and I think their availability in English editions at some local bookstores is enough,” the publisher’s founder, Haidar Bagir, said.

As a Muslim scholar, Bagir sees the new wave of books on atheism as a sign of frustration of the anti-religion thinkers who predicted that religions would naturally disappear in the twenty first century, and who are now facing what appears to be the opposite: Religions persist and there are more people returning to their faiths.


Shorter:

Average Joe/Jane Indonesian: What have you got there, my lord? Does that say ‘God Delusion’? Whats he mean?
Elegant, sophisticated Muslim: Nothing! Back to your turnips!

Ah, Islam and Christianity! Beautiful religions! Brothers in ignorance! Brothers in hate! Brothers in God! Such wonder!

All is not lost, however. Not everyone in Indonesia is a eunuch:

“We are looking for the right moment for its release,” Zulkifli A.H., the publisher’s editor in chief, said, suggesting that it could be by the end of this year or early next year.

He said the company was aware of all the risks; being accused of advocating atheism, being attacked by the beleaguered religionists, especially those who liked to mob buildings and burn books in the name of, sadly, God, or getting the books banned by the government.

…”We dare to publish those books because we think we have to. In the past decade, we have seen that religion, any religion, is being used to justify a lot of atrocities.

“In Islam, we all know, there is terrorism. Meanwhile, the foreign policies made by such developed countries as the U.S., especially when dealing with Iraq and Afghanistan, are undeniably influenced by certain theological considerations,” he said.

Good for you, dude. I just hope your factory isnt firebombed by one of those elegant, spiritual, peaceful Muslims who dont appreciate free thinking as much as you do.

Comments

  1. #1 alex
    May 29, 2008

    Bagir sees the new wave of books on atheism as a sign of frustration of the anti-religion thinkers who predicted that religions would naturally disappear in the twenty first century, and who are now facing what appears to be the opposite: Religions persist and there are more people returning to their faiths.

    well, heck – there’s a lot of the twenty-first century left.

  2. #2 Optimus Primate
    May 29, 2008

    Sounds like Qomaruddin SF has plenty of practice selling dead parrots.

  3. #3 Jason Failes
    May 29, 2008

    “The other reason why we don’t publish the book (The God Delusion) is that in it Dawkins, as a scientist, does not provide us with compelling scientific arguments”

    That’s a new one: We’re not publishing not because your book undermines our society’s entire belief system, but because we just don’t think it’s very good.

    …but they print what appears to be pulp-style war fiction:
    http://www.penerbit-kpg.com/detail.php?isbn=9789799102027

    …and graphic novels:
    http://www.penerbit-kpg.com/detail.php?isbn=9789799100849

    …and romance novels (in graphic novel form, I think.):
    http://www.penerbit-kpg.com/detail.php?isbn=9789799100412

  4. #4 the Backpacker
    May 29, 2008

    What are the God folk afraid of. If God is so great and the idea of God is so powerfull what do they fear from some frumpy old British dude with bad hair. Is he going to use his atheist mind powers to corrupt them? By the way, when do I get my atheist mind powers?

  5. #5 Jason Failes
    May 29, 2008

    “some frumpy old British dude with bad hair.”

    By the time I get to be RD’s age, I will consider myself lucky to have any hair at all, style be damned!

    “If God is so great and the idea of God is so powerful…”

    You’ve got it here. It is precisely because the first part isn’t that the second part has to be, ie because God is not great, does not interact with the world in any measurable way, and likely does not exist (at least in any of the forms conceived of by human beings), the idea of God must be all the more powerful to compensate.

    …Although the term “powerful idea” has different meanings to different people.

    On scienceblogs, it probably means something like an idea with a lot of evidence that produces unique testable predictions.

    To the moderate Protestant, it probably means something like an idea one really, really powerfully believes in/ has faith in.

    To a fundamentalist Muslim, it probably means something like, an idea one will really, really kill you for if you don’t believe the same idea too.

  6. #6 FtK
    May 29, 2008

    Abbie,

    When you moved to scienceblogs, I thought perhaps there was a minute chance that you would try to focus your attention more toward actual science rather than the relentless religion bashing.

    Guess I was wrong.

  7. #7 Jason Failes
    May 29, 2008

    Oh, and my first post vanished into moderation hell, but in a nutshell, go to their website and and look at what else they publish, to see how much water their we-didn’t-print-it-because-we-just-don’t-think-it’s-that-good excuse holds up.

    FtK, there’s a good analysis and discussion of this issue going on over at Greg Laden’s blog:

    -/2008/05/how_much_science_does_a_scienc.php

    Personally, I think that pulling towards science and pushing away from religion (and other anti-science) are just two sides of the same coin, but of course there are a multitude of opinions on this matter.

  8. #8 Dustin
    May 29, 2008

    Guess I was wrong.

    How is that guessing? You’re wrong about everything all of the time.

  9. #9 Optimus Primate
    May 29, 2008

    FtK (#6), pointing out the bad (and illogical) behavior of religious people is not, in any way, “relentless religion bashing.”

    You rather remind me of those drivers who, when I blow the horn at them to let them know they ran a red light, cut me off without using a signal, or very well ran me off the road, proceed to turn around and flip me off. As if to say, “How dare you point out the fact that I did something wrong!”

    Get over yourself. The sort of thinking that Abbie attacks is diametrically opposed to, and indeed an impedance to, scientific inquiry. You can’t just mop up a floor when the tub is overflowying; you have to work at shutting off the spigot, too.

  10. #10 Eric Saveau
    May 29, 2008

    Religion-bashing is inextricably intertwined with science these days. This unfortunate fact is entirely due to the religious people who have invested a lot of time and energy and money and political gamesmanship in making it that way. It didn’t have to be that way. You have only yourselves to blame.

  11. #11 J-Dog
    May 29, 2008

    FTK – One definition of Craziness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result…or expecting Abbie to turn into Behe because her blog host changed. Except it’s not quite the same, as Behe no longer does any science. HTH :)

    BTW – Have you checked your closet and thrown out all your black and white checked silk scarves?

  12. #12 FtK
    May 29, 2008

    “Religion-bashing is inextricably intertwined with science these days….”

    Not really. Personally, I know many people who are able discuss scientific issues without screeching about “Christians”, “Muslims”, “Fundies”, “Religious nut cakes”, etc., etc., etc..

    Honestly, until I became involved in the ID/evolution debate, I’d never run across folks like those who blog for “Scienceblogs”. There isn’t a day that goes by that you can’t find several posts that have virtually nothing to do with science and everything to do with bashing the philosophical beliefs of those who don’t wholeheartedly swallow their own personal “scientific” *beliefs*.

    And, I certainly agree with you that “religious people” AND *atheist groups* who invest a lot of time and energy into insisting that their viewpoints are the *only* ones worth considering are both doing horrific damage to both science and religion.

  13. #13 the Backpacker
    May 29, 2008

    FtK:

    You have no right to tell Abbie what to post. This is her blog. If you want a blog that is pure science feel free to start one, I might even read it from time to time. Blogs are web diaries that people are kind enough to let others read, no one is so one dimensional that their diary will be on a single subject

  14. #14 chancelikely
    May 29, 2008

    FtK is wrong.

    In other news, Joseph Ratzinger is Catholic.

  15. #15 midwifetoad
    May 29, 2008

    LOL. ForTheKids has lots of blogs, none of which have any impact. Just ask yourself whether you can name any of them or cite any original and lasting thoughts posted on any of them.

    As for science and religion bashing, I believe you can trace this to the obsession that creationists have with Reconstructing America. Only a fraction of religious people want to impose anti-science through legislation, but they are a noisy lot and have friends in a lot of legislatures.

    I think hostility to them is equivalent to what you might feel if someone tried to prevent you from getting medical treatment for your kids. Not just an analogy.

  16. #16 FtK
    May 29, 2008

    I have “lots of blogs”? Hmmm…wasn’t aware of that.

    And, true…Abbie can post anything she wants on her “web diary”. I guess I was under the evidently mistaken assumption that “Scienceblogs” was, well, about “Science”. But, obviously Seed (or whoever chooses the bloggers for this group) is more about politics and religion than actual “science”.

  17. #17 Sili
    May 29, 2008

    SB invited ERV here. I think it’s safe to say they knew what they were getting. And anyway LABELS AIN’T DEFINITIONS.

    Methinks those publishers should consider printing TGD under another title – or with an innocuous cover; like HP for grownups.

    Jason Failes, I resent the suggestion the graphic novels = BAD.

    ERV, you misspelled “stoopeed”.

  18. #18 the Backpacker
    May 29, 2008

    Most of this blog is Science. The majority of the posts on erv are well erv based. But even still this is not a peer reviewed journal there is no implicit authority in what people write here (hence the comments section open to a bio undergrad, me) so they can write whatever they want. Seed just funds the server and invites people they think are cool they don’t manage the content in anyway I can see. There are literally thousands of sites devoted only to science of differing types, and thousands more devoted to promotion of religion this is just not one of them. So skip the posts you think are going to offend you and try to no bunch up your boxers to much.

  19. #19 EyeNoU
    May 29, 2008

    FtK, you seem to like Uncommon Descent, which posts about such scientific topics as “California’s Top Court Legalizes Gay Marriage”……did you post a comment about them being off topic? Oh, wait, I guess the comment wouldn’t make it through moderation, so we wouldn’t know……….

  20. #20 qbsmd
    May 29, 2008

    When you moved to scienceblogs, I thought perhaps there was a minute chance that you would try to focus your attention more toward actual science rather than the relentless religion bashing.

    Guess I was wrong.

    Honestly, until I became involved in the ID/evolution debate, I’d never run across folks like those who blog for “Scienceblogs”. There isn’t a day that goes by that you can’t find several posts that have virtually nothing to do with science and everything to do with bashing the philosophical beliefs of those who don’t wholeheartedly swallow their own personal “scientific” *beliefs*.

    Which is it? If Scienceblogs is a place for “bashing philosophical beliefs”, then why would you expect someone to stop doing that after joining?

  21. #21 Eric Saveau
    May 29, 2008

    Not really. Personally, I know many people who are able discuss scientific issues without screeching about “Christians”, “Muslims”, “Fundies”, “Religious nut cakes”, etc., etc., etc..

    Yes. Really. Personally, I know many people who’d love to able to be free to pursue science and scientific discussions without having various types of religious nut cakes screeching at them.

    Honestly, until I became involved in the ID/evolution debate,

    “Debate”? The scientists are telling the truth, the IDiots are liars. There is no debate.

    I’d never run across folks like those who blog for “Scienceblogs”. There isn’t a day that goes by that you can’t find several posts that have virtually nothing to do with science and everything to do with bashing the philosophical beliefs of those who don’t wholeheartedly swallow their own personal “scientific” *beliefs*.

    To be accurate and truthful, it’s not so much “bashing the philosophical beliefs” as much as it is telling the truth about a well-funded, well-organized, and well-connected group of evil, destructive, truth-hating fuckwits who are hell-bent on bringing a Dark Ages fever dream to life in the modern world and who absolutely must be opposed. There are no “personal “scientific” *beliefs*” to “swallow, there is only the reasonable expectation that the IDiots and their ilk should be able, regardless of their documented history, to act like adults.

    And, I certainly agree with you that “religious people” AND *atheist groups* who invest a lot of time and energy into insisting that their viewpoints are the *only* ones worth considering are both doing horrific damage to both science and religion.

    You agree with me? About the statement above? That’s funny, because I didn’t say that. Nor have I ever. My original comment didn’t lend itself at all to this kind of repurposed mangling. Very clumsy of you.

  22. #22 waldteufel
    May 29, 2008

    Instead of wasting your time here, FtK, why not curl up with your Wholly Babble, where you can read oodles of stories about your genocidal, infanticidal, petty, rapine, raging lunatic god. You know, the god who will throw your ass in the hellfires for eternity just for thinking for yourself.

  23. #23 Travis
    May 29, 2008

    FtK, as has been said this is Abbie’s blog so she can post whatever she actually wants. If scienceblogs have a problem with her posts I suppose they might be able to step in.

    Also, your inital comment makes it sound like she hasn’t posted anything about science. Well, lets look at the posts on the erv main page right now:

    Science related posts
    HIV-1 Vaccines: A step in the right direction
    REPOST: EXPELLED EXPOSED: Actin Networks
    Intro to ERVs: **gag**
    Slashdot Science: HIV-1 virion assembly
    REPOST: HIV and the failures of Intelligent Design
    When Good Scientists Go Bad: How Kooks are Made

    Other
    Oh my god! Moveable printed type!
    The Beehive Theory

    Now that looks like there have been a number of science related posts lately. Now you might argue some of them were harsh and mean to ID, or HIV deniers, but they are still posts related to science.

  24. #24 ShavenYak
    May 30, 2008

    I bet when the religious stop attacking science, scientists will stop “attacking” religion.

    It’s also worth noting that no scientific organization has ever had a religious dissenter burned at the stake.

  25. #25 J-Dog
    May 30, 2008

    Shaven Yak: It’s also worth noting that no scientific organization has ever had a religious dissenter burned at the stake.

    No, but Abbie has totally burned Behe for his latest attemopt at a book, and pantsed Dembski and made him cry in public the last time he was in OK.

  26. #26 John Kwok
    May 30, 2008

    Hi J-Dog,

    Hope finally to find some time to join you online at you know where. I concur with your glowing assessment of Abbie. Meanwhile, as for myself, I’ve been “entertaining” the likes of Behe and Dembski with some sinfully delicious parodies as thoughtful, critical Amazon.com reviews of their mendacious intellectual pornography.

    Cheers,

    John

  27. #27 Torbj�rn Larsson, OM
    May 30, 2008

    FuckTheKids (over and over) has blogs?! Oy.

  28. #28 Natasha Yar-Routh
    May 30, 2008

    Backpacker #6

    Sorry the Atheist Mind Powers got recalled, major problems with the calibration and targeting controls. We hope to have it back in production and ready for distribution real soon now.

    FtK,

    Abbie does mostly science posts and damned interesting cutting edge science posts at that. She is out on the bleeding edge of viral research sending brilliantly written dispatches back to the rest of us.

    Now if you want religion bashing come on over to my blog. I’m a trans gender atheist who never misses a chance to give religon a good swift kick in the balls.

  29. #29 Dr Benway
    May 30, 2008

    FtK, how do you define “science”?

    I think of science as a method for assigning confidence to claims about the world using four tests: corroboration, falsification, logic, and parsimony. Sometimes the method is called the “hypothetico-inductive method” or “inductive-deductive reasoning” or simply “reason.”

    Any religion that includes claims about our shared world may become the target of scientific criticism.

    Good scientists are quick to criticize others –not just pseudoscientists and believers but other scientists as well– who assign a confidence to claims that cannot be justified by a proper application of the scientific method.

  30. #30 the backpacker
    May 30, 2008

    Natasha Yar-Routh:

    This is exactly the reason I said they should not with with Microsoft for the Athiest mind powers. Man I hate always being right.

  31. #31 Albatrossity
    May 31, 2008

    Here is how FtK views science, from her latest blog post.

    “I could be converted to Darwinism and be lookin’ at eternal life in the fiery depths of hell!!!!!”

    IOW, science = religion, and the “wrong” religion will condemn you to eternal torment, as prescribed by the correct religion.

    So the irony of having her accuse Abbie of mixing too much religion into her science blogging is priceless!

  32. #32 slpage
    May 31, 2008

    The greatest iroy, of course, is that FtK employs draconian comment ‘moderation’ at her blog and sees no problem with the same at the right-wing, pro-ID and creationist blogs and discussions forums she frequents/frequented, yet is free to post her ignorant hillbilly drivel at places such as this with no such potential censorship.

    But WE are the ones trying to prevent folks like her from speaking their mind, right?

  33. #33 Barklikeadog
    May 31, 2008

    FtK is well….how do I say it? I guess I don’t need to, the rest of you already did. I read ERV because of the science & I’ve learned more neat stuff than I did before. I read PZ for that reason too. I also read to keep abreast of the IDiots. I can reasonably rely on Abbie & PZ to bring it into the light as soon as it’s made evident. thanks to them. I also thank FtK for the chuckles she brings. Nothing like an IDiot to make me laugh. I was (this is long ago) really high one night and turned to a channel & caught Ernest Angley on the tube. I thought it was parody at 1st. Turned out to be for real and constant amuesment for me & my undergrad friends at the time. It dates me somewhat doesn ‘t it?

  34. #34 Blaidd Drwg
    June 1, 2008

    Actually, the banning of certain books may well have the opposite effect than what is intended. After all, don’t people generally desire more that which is prohibited? Isaac Asimov once remarked that he ardently hoped for one of the far-right religious groups to pan one of his books – it would be certain to be a best-seller.

  35. #35 Martin Gamble
    June 1, 2008

    Comment #27 was totally inappropriate..

  36. #36 Eric Saveau
    June 1, 2008

    Comment #27 was totally inappropriate.

    Really? Why?

  37. #37 Martin Gamble
    June 1, 2008

    Well, the language, for one thing..

  38. #38 Eric Saveau
    June 1, 2008

    Well, the language, for one thing..

    And… how is that inappropriate?

    And what are the other things?

  39. #39 Martin Gamble
    June 1, 2008

    I didn’t agree with the choice of words to describe somebody…

  40. #40 Martin Gamble
    June 1, 2008

    We should speak about people as we would like them to speak about us…

  41. #41 Eric Saveau
    June 2, 2008

    I didn’t agree with the choice of words to describe somebody…

    Noted. I, however, did. I found it entirely appropriate to the person being described.

    We should speak about people as we would like them to speak about us…

    That sounds ever so nice. And in a perfect world, etc., etc. But such sentiments have proven significantly less than valid in dealing with Ftk and other like-minded lying hatemongering bigots. They are Very Bad People, and go to great lengths to demonstrate this over and over again. They merit no consideration of moderated language whatsoever; in fact, moderating descriptive language with respect to them leads only to inaccurate descriptions of them.

    If you feel that you must speak to and of them in a polite and/or deferential manner then, well… you do. That’s entirely your business. As to the rest of us, we will continue as we have because it is, in a word, appropriate.

  42. #42 Lee Harrison
    June 2, 2008

    We should speak about people as we would like them to speak about us…

    Horsecrap. FtK is a lying liar telling lies, and immensely creepy. Personally I would consider it good advertising if she called me an arsehole.

    Creepy, concern troll, liars-for-Jesus who have demonstrated over and over that they will not return the favour if others moderate the language aimed in their direction deserve every epithet thrown at them. There is truly no helping some people.

  43. #43 BAllanJ
    June 2, 2008

    Re: #33:
    Ah yes, Ernest Angley. That man could get more syllables into the name “Jesus” than any 2 other bible thumpers. Thanks for the flashback.

  44. #44 Dr Benway
    June 2, 2008

    I haven’t had a conversation with FtK before, although I think I recognize the pattern.

    Swear words are a wonderful invention. They save us from the headache and legal hassles associated with actually having to beat someone with a tire iron. And so in a small but important way, swear words promote world peace.

    I hope you fuckers will join me in supporting National Curses Week when the petition gets round to your inbox.

  45. #45 Krubozumo Nyankoye
    June 2, 2008

    The irony of Ftk trying to chastise Abbie for not posting about science is … well, stunning. It typifies the attitude of those who, willfully and arbitrarily insult the professional, dedicated, and hard working people who actually DO science with the snarky and snide implication that they are somehow responsible for living up to an arbitrary standard in the fantasies of the deluded.

    That is really the whole of the so-called debate. One group of people assuming they have knowledge of absolute truth, versus another group of people, equipped with the methodology of elucidating progressively more accurate and more useful truths. All of which are provisional.

    The history of the thing is clear and unambiguous, the people using the scientific method have changed the world. Can anyone imagine what the world would be like today without the advances of knowledge that have been achieved in the last two centuries, or even the last half century?

    Please tell us Ftk just exactly what contribution you have made to understanding HIV, or for that matter anything.

    We all already know the answer is nothing.

  46. #46 Peter Mc
    June 4, 2008

    FtK: I read ERV because she makes her branch of science accessible to a clapped out B.Sc. like me.

    If you don’t like it have a full refund, bugger off and pester someone else.