Pharyngula

Johann Hari had a great piece in the Independent this week (with follow-up blog posts here and here) about increasing scrutiny of religion in general, and of Islam in particular.

An author named Sherry Jones has written a book, called The Jewel of Medina, that will never see the light of day because it novelizes the life and times, with particular focus on the marital details, of the prophet Mohammed.

The Jewel of Medina was bought by Random House and primed to be a best-seller – before a University of Texas teacher saw proofs and declared it “a national security issue”. Random House had visions of a re-run of the Rushdie or the Danish cartoons affairs. Sherry Jones’s publisher has pulped the book. It’s gone.

Hari goes on to criticize the kid gloves with which Islamic issues are dealt the world round, contrasting it to the relative ease with which people question the tenets of Christianity and other more ‘docile’ world religions. Although his East End perspective may not allow him to fully appreciate the rebounding resistence to criticism sought by Christians in America, his general conclusions are spot on:

It is condescending to treat Muslims like excitable children who cannot cope with the probing, mocking treatment we hand out to Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism. It is perfectly consistent to protect Muslims from bigotry while challenging the bigotries and absurdities within their holy texts.

There is now a pincer movement trying to silence critical discussion of Islam. To one side, fanatics threaten to kill you; to the other, critics call you “Islamophobic”. But consistent atheism is not racism. On the contrary: it treats all people as mature adults who can cope with rational questions. When we pulp books out of fear of fundamentalism, we are decapitating the most precious freedom we have.

Naturally, he is receiving a quantity of shrill concern-troll style email for daring to sing a refrain that might sound a bit familiar ’round these parts: NOTHING IS SACRED. The responses of anger and fear are as predictable as they are sad, and just as many, if not more, of the complaints are coming from the uber-tolerant left. It is frustrating how glibly the term ‘bigot’ is now deployed, from a seemingly untouchable ultra-politically correct position. I long as much for the freedom to call ‘bullshit’ when warranted as I do for the day when, through efforts of vocal rationalists and moderates, the chinks in Religion’s armor have been widened enough to let the light stream in, and words and symbolic actions challenging the merits of any faith or philosophy can be spoken, read and conducted with impunity.

__________________________________________________
Just in case it’s not clear from the title, this post was authored by Guest Blogger Danio.

Comments

  1. #1 SC
    August 16, 2008

    Haven’t read it yet. Just want to be the first comment.

  2. #2 MAJeff, OM
    August 16, 2008

    How dare you post a non-science entry on a science blog?!

  3. #3 Richard Harris
    August 16, 2008

    Rationalists have a duty to take the piss out of religion. We must not allow the Submissionists, (followers of the prophet Muhammad, piss be upon him), to silence us through fear. I’m appalled at the cowardly behaviour of Random House, although no doubt they’d rationalize it as commercial, or even social, responsibility.

  4. #4 Danio
    August 16, 2008

    SC WAS THE FIRST TO COMMENT!!!!! WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!

    SC, Hearty congratulations on your stunninig victory. Pleae e-mail me immediately to collect your valuable ‘first commenter’ commemorative plaque.

    How dare you post a non-science entry on a science blog?!

    My PhD only works 50 hours a week. :)

  5. #5 Karley
    August 16, 2008

    catholic mode>

    Yeah PZ you’re more than willing to desecrate the Eucharist BUT HOW COME YOU NEVER CRITICIZE ISLAM!!!111ONE!!!! You bigoted cowardly hypocrite secret muslim you!!!!1!

    /catholic mode>

  6. #6 Karley
    August 16, 2008

    And I just noticed that PZ didn’t write this. Whoops. I have horrible reading comprehension when I’m in Catholic mode.

  7. #7 SC
    August 16, 2008

    SC WAS THE FIRST TO COMMENT!!!!! WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!

    SC, Hearty congratulations on your stunninig victory. Pleae e-mail me immediately to collect your valuable ‘first commenter’ commemorative plaque.

    Do I detect a hint of sarcasm?

    Anyway, my contentless leadoff comment is there, forever. Suck it, Glen D! :)

  8. #8 chriss
    August 16, 2008

    I can understand the concerns Random House had about publishing this book. The publishing industry has developed a yellow streak for good reason…

    The real issue here is how to promote circulation of this book in the face of Muslim extortion; perhaps a form of electronic Samizdat by which Sherry Jones can be renumerated for her work and there is no clear target for Islamic wackaloons.

  9. #9 Bacopa
    August 16, 2008

    It must be a pretty pell-written bok for it to have gotten as far as it did at Random House. Maybe another publisher will pick it up. It’s a guaranteed success with this kind of publicity.

  10. #10 Elf Eye
    August 16, 2008

    Ooooh! This blog implies criticisms of Islam! According to the cracker defenders, the intolerant Moooslims are gonna get ya! This blog will be inundated with death threats from swarthy towel heads! The comment count will surge into the thousands!

  11. #11 Elf Eye
    August 16, 2008

    Are we there yet?

  12. #12 Elf Eye
    August 16, 2008

    Are we there yet?

  13. #13 MH
    August 16, 2008

    If people learned the definition and etymology of the word bigot they would hopefully use it less often.

    Criticism ? Intolerance.

  14. #14 KillerChihuahua
    August 16, 2008

    Elf, we’ll let you know when we’re there, ok? It probably won’t happen over the weekend. No crackers were mentioned, remember? For a thread to spiral into the kbytes of comments in such short order, cracker mention is the preferred methodology.

  15. #15 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 16, 2008

    it novelizes the life and times, with particular focus on the marital details, of the prophet Mohammed.

    HOW DARE THEY NOT PUBLISH THIS!! HAVEN’T ANY OF THE CHRISTIAN HATERS SEEN THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST?!?!?!?!/11111

  16. #16 Zar
    August 16, 2008

    I do kind of see where discomfort with criticism of Islam is coming from. We have a hard time distinguishing what sort of behavior genuinely comes from Islam, and what is just people being jerks.

    A major distinction, I think, is that critics of Islam (at least in the west) are often outsiders, basing a lot on cluelessness and stereotypes, whereas critics of Christianity (again, in the west) are insiders, often coming from a Christian background or just coming from a society where Christianity is everywhere.

    But dammit Random House, there is a difference between Fox News anchors slinging mud at the terr’ists and towel-heads and genuine, thoughtful criticism!

  17. #17 Jyotsana
    August 16, 2008

    Can the author find a new publisher? Or can she self publish? I would think that any form of publishing is going to be better than nothing.

  18. #18 speedwell
    August 16, 2008

    I don’t have a lot of money to throw around, but I’d be willing to pony up fifty dollars to a fund dedicated to publishing this gal’s book, if one existed. Heck, with the number of people we can put together to swing a stupid three-year-old online poll, we could do it up grand if everyone threw in fifty cents.

    Someone come up with a plan. Let’s roll. (heh)

  19. #19 Zeno
    August 16, 2008

    Excuse me, but “a national security issue”? How does a novel about the founder of Islam become a security issue (except, perhaps, for the author)? Because a University of Texas prof said so?

    Maybe we all need to start wearing Jesus and Mo T-shirts.

  20. #20 Hessenroots
    August 16, 2008

    RH offered to release the contract so she can shop the book around. According to her blog (which vanished from blogger.com last week) she’s doing just that.

    She’ll find one, no doubt. If nothing else Rael Publishing (yep, the alien cultists) have made a press release stating they’d like to put it to print.

    I read the prologue of the book, didn’t care for it and let it go. Historical Fiction(with an inkling of romance novel subtext) isn’t my thing. I’m in full support of the author from a creative standpoint but I can say I’ll likely never read it.

  21. #21 Calladus
    August 16, 2008

    Does the book still exist. The way the article is written – I have to wonder.

    Granted, we live in an age where digital information never goes away, but the article makes it sound like she sent her only manuscript from her IBM Selectric.

    Perhaps she’ll take a lesson from Scott Sigler in publishing her book. I’d happily send her $10 for a digital copy.

  22. #22 mayhempix
    August 16, 2008

    From the comments:

    “Unfortunately for many of you in this world, Christ is the only way to the kingdom of God. No matter what religion you have. You will all believe this when you see him coming in the clouds to institute God’s wrath. Pray, repent and accept Christ to cover your sins and you will be forgiven. Scoff if you like, I tell you this with love in my heart for all of you. Remember this when the tribulation begins, then I may not sound so crazy as the rest of the non-Christian world thinks I am. The Muslim faith WILL take over this world and everyone will be subject to its wrath. After this, God will return cleanse the earth.”
    Posted by Jason | 14.08.08, 15:38 GMT

    The above is a perfect description of Bush’s foreign policy.

  23. #23 MYOB
    August 16, 2008

    Perhaps PZ, when he gets the time, can address the spelling/grammar checker he has in place for entering comments?
    I like the idea but when I originally attempted to write the word muslim the word was automatically flagged as a mistake. When I right-clicked on it the recommendation was that I capitalize the word muslim.
    Sometimes it did this, sometimes it did not.
    Now is it just me or is this something that contradicts the very foundations of what we are trying to discuss here on this website?

  24. #24 Ian H Spedding FCD
    August 16, 2008

    I can understand why Random House acted as they did but there is no way round the fact that such capitulations hand a bloodless victory to Islamic militants. We have all lost – including those Muslims lucky enough to share in it – when we allow our hard-won freedoms of speech, thought and belief to be curbed by the threat of violence from a small group of murderers.

    I haven’t read Rushdie’s book. There are many others I prefer to read first. I probably would not have read Sherry Jones’s book. But that isn’t the point. In a free society, they should be available to anyone who does want to read them. I understand that Muslims find such books offensive and believe they are forbidden by their faith. But being offended is not – and should not be – a licence to practice censorship. If they don’t like the books, they don’t have to read them.

    I have no objection to people following whatever faith they choose providing they don’t try to impose those beliefs on others against their will. I won’t try to convert Muslims – or any other believers – to agnosticism or atheism. I don’t want Muslims or Christians or cephalopodiatrists telling me what I can and cannot read.

  25. #25 Julian
    August 16, 2008

    UT actually has pretty stellar cultural, political, history, and foreign policy departments. It may be a state school, but its high up there quality wise (too bad it has so many stupid frat rats :/).

    Even having said that though, I agree that its a peculiar statement to make; maybe this is an example of the Telephone Game in real life? We actually have a fairly significant and active Near Eastern population at the Austin campus, but it’s really more dedicated to political issues, like Palestine, or Turkey and the EU than to religious questions. Beyond that, it gets along just fine with Hillel(sp?), so I doubt this could be some religious over-reaction on the professor’s part.

    I’d say this likely is simply a case of the professor being overly sensitive to Near Eastern views. Given the political situation in Mesopotamia atm, and the dismal level our reputation is at over there right now, perhaps she (or he) thought that this book could upset some of the delicate processes we’re trying to rehabilitate by offending the Islamic restriction against depictions of Muhammad, that, having done this, radical imams would seize on to the book to argue how vile and deep the Christian hatred of Islam is, or how apostate U.S. Muslims are, and from there, argue against dealing with us. If that’s the case though, I’d disagree. Imam’s may get attention with their pronouncements but, contrary to what people think, they do not run Muslim society. If the secular authorities see U.S. actions as being in their interests, then religious pronouncements will slide off their backs like water off a duck.

  26. #26 raven
    August 16, 2008

    Jason the weird:

    Remember this when the tribulation begins, then I may not sound so crazy as the rest of the non-Christian world thinks I am. The Muslim faith WILL take over this world and everyone will be subject to its wrath. After this, God will return cleanse the earth.”

    Jason the fundie isn’t crazy. He is just a modern day cargo cultist praying for death and destruction to come out of the sky. At least the Pacific islander cargo cultists wanted something tangible and useful, canned food, shovels, fishing tackle and so on.

  27. #27 Richard Harris
    August 16, 2008

    Elf Eye @ # 10, …death threats from swarthy towel heads!

    For your information, they don’t wear towels on their heads, they’re little sheets. They are, therefore, little sheet heads.

  28. #28 becca
    August 16, 2008

    The blog SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.com has three entries about this book. at one, http://tinyurl.com/63djpk, you can read a .pdf of the prolog. There’s further discussion of why the book was killed at http://tinyurl.com/25nw2s.

  29. #29 Jared
    August 16, 2008

    Something which would really impress me would be for the author to make the book available for download for a few dollars (just print it yourself). If, of course, no other publisher picks it up. The prologue is already available here:
    http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/index.php/weblog/comments/the-jewel-of-medina-the-prologue/

  30. #30 Louis
    August 16, 2008

    You always pick on christians, you don’t have the balls to pick on anyone who might blow you up like the muslimists….

    …….waaaaaaaaaaaaait a minute!
    ;-)

    Louis

  31. #31 pcarini
    August 16, 2008

    @MYOB (#23): I think the spelling/grammar checker is part of your browser, not scienceblogs. Here’s a simple test: find another site with a big text box for entering in comments, and see if it behaves in the same way.

    On topic, I was going to recommend wikileaks for Sherry Jones, before I read that RH let her out of the contract.

  32. #32 Owlmirror
    August 16, 2008

    Now is it just me or is this something that contradicts the very foundations of what we are trying to discuss here on this website?

    Um, no. Not at all.

    PS: Downe weeth ourthugrafic phashismn!

    PPS: Scienceblogs does no spelling check. That’s a firefox feature. You don’t like it, right-click, and uncheck “Check spelling”.

  33. #33 mayhempix
    August 16, 2008

    A big problem is that certain uninformed fundamentalist members of the left (and I am an unapologetic leftist) equate criticism of Islam as support of the “Islamofascism” fear-mongering tactics used by Bush and the right to promote the war in Iraq and the possible invasion of Iran. I have even heard some claim that Iran is a virtual paradise compared to the US. One leftist “brother” told me it was none of our business when I pointed out that Iran had executed by crane hanging with metal cables, two minors for engaging in homosexual acts. My response was that human rights is everyone’s business be it clitoral castration in Africa or beating gays to death in the US.

    Did anyone else ever read “The Jesus Incident”? It was a fictionalized novel about the life and conspiracy of Jebus’ resurrection with plenty of “seed spilling”. Far more sexy, radical and “blasphemous” than Last Temptation, I was disappointed that the movie was never greenlighted.

  34. #34 secularguy
    August 16, 2008

    Religionists and their problem with understanding the concept of fiction

  35. #35 Rob
    August 16, 2008

    I would like to point out that during PZ’s absence, there’s been a conspicuous lack of poll crashing.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10103521/

    Does “In God We Trust” belong on our currency?

  36. #36 Pierce R. Butler
    August 16, 2008

    It is permissible at Pharyngula to draw Mohammed cartoons on crackers, but only from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday.

  37. #37 inkadu
    August 16, 2008

    Nobody seems to have explicitly mentioned this yet: but the book doesn’t seem to be critical of Islam. At least, that’s not the problem Danio mentioned. The problem is it treats Mohammed as a human being, likely with human foibles.

    The word for this is not criticism, it’s blasphemy. Let Random House say it won’t print blasphemies — then their idiocy will be (more) obvious.

  38. #38 Danio
    August 16, 2008

    Rob @35:
    I can’t speak for the other Minions, but I have purposely avoided posting a link to this particular poll. It’s an old poll, attached to a story that originated in November 2005. While it is indeed impressive that the links to the poll provide in numerous recent comments have managed to swing the ‘yes’ votes from 9% to around 40%, posting it at the top of the page would, for me, feel like a cheap bid for attention. YMMV. Carry on.

  39. #39 Escuerd
    August 16, 2008

    “I long as much for the freedom to call ‘bullshit’ when warranted as I do for the day when, through efforts of vocal rationalists and moderates, the chinks…”

    The what? Not racist, eh? Your true colors have just shown through, Danio.

    First you support the publication of slander of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and next thing you know, you’re flinging racial slurs left and right.

    [This post was satire, just for the record. Damn you, Poe's Law!]

  40. #40 Escuerd
    August 16, 2008

    @ Danio @ #38:

    Speaking of cheap bids for attention,

    PZ is still number two with a meager 24% of the vote in this poll:
    http://www.skepticfriends.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=10220

    And despite my earlier attempt at crashing, evolution only leads by a paltry 51% here:
    http://www.topix.com/forum/city/paris-tx/TD054PUM4CROE27P6

    Yes, I’m being a bit of a whore. No, I have no shame.

  41. #41 Sastra
    August 16, 2008

    Excellent post, Danio. I’m glad you commented on this — Ophelia Benson has been waxing wroth over it on Butterflies and Wheels. The common tendency to treat religious belief itself with deference and respect — regardless of its content or its truth — is often kicked into high gear when the believer is somehow seen to be an oppressed minority or from another culture. Suddenly, those people shouldn’t be treated like rational human individuals who share a common ground, but as “The Other” — delicate flowers of sensitivity defined by their culture, with its own ways of knowing and doing. What masquerades as “respect” is really a sort of romanticized essentialism, dividing humanity off into air-tight compartments in the name of diversity.

    (OT: I leave for camping with my mom today, and will be offline till next Friday. Give my regards to PZ, and to all and sundry — thanks for the fish!) :)

  42. #42 Briar
    August 16, 2008

    What Hari ignores is that, in this country, Islam is a minority faith held in the main by groups which are marginalised and vulnerable to discrimation due to the ignorant racism they evoke. That’s why we have to think carefully before adding fuel to the racist fire. When we criticise Christianity and Judaism (Judeo-Christian culture, that vile invention) we challenge those with power, those using power to impose injustice on the weak and excluded (as in Palestine). Helping Judeo-Christian persecution of those it deems enemies is an act unworthy of liberals of any kind, including atheists.

  43. #43 Danio
    August 16, 2008

    Inkadu,
    You are right that the concern seems to be about the depiction of Mohammed in the book. Apparently it was deemed to be just as likely to cause outrage as the now infamous Danish cartoons, and I guess unabashedly producing something blasphemous = criticism in some circles. I would argue that the reaction itself constitutes a criticism, which I think is what Hari is getting at. Pulling the book presupposes that the followers of the Islamic faith would be incapable of dealing with its release on their own.

    Here’s another take on the matter, with more info about the reaction of the UT Prof who condemned the book.

  44. #44 Ruth Dickson
    August 16, 2008

    The Firefox spellchecker is an equal opportunity theist/atheist. Although it will automatically capitalize the names of religions, it will also point to the word “bible” as an advertisement. If you use their AdBlocker plug-in, it will offer to ‘block this item’ whenever it appears.

  45. #45 Olorin
    August 16, 2008

    Huh. Nice feigned occupatio in the title, Danio

  46. #46 inkadu
    August 16, 2008

    Oppressed minorities don’t have books cancelled on their behalf.

  47. #47 mac
    August 16, 2008

    I posted on this cop out by Random House and found their spineless safe-than-sorry position inexcusable.

    Geert Wilder’s video Fitna is a lot more offensive – it targets the Qur’an directly and Muslims in a graphic, documentary fashion. There were plenty of threats of blood and mayhem if it was released – virtually no violence ensued.

    Islam, unlike other religions, has a tendency to project its control mechanisms onto non-believers … onto society at large. This is completely unacceptable and it has to be resisted. I’m not referring exclusively to Islam, but to Christianity also.

    These religions have no mandate over non-believers, nor do they have sacred copyright over their scripture. The days when they could burn infidels at the stake haven’t yet returned.They can’t be allowed to dictate the rules.

  48. #48 scooter
    August 16, 2008

    As far as the East Ender perspective, consult Pat Condell over on You Tube as far as caving into Islam out of fear, liberalism or both.

    He seems like a Michael Savage styled bigot from a US perspective, but the situation is different.

    I see the problem in GB a result of a state religion, which makes it difficult to argue from a legal secular position.

    London has had problems with neo fascist groups and skinheads targeting ethnic minorities so they instituted an anti-blasphemy law protecting Jews and Sikhs, prohibiting criticism of their fairy tales.

    During the cartoon frenzy, Muslim interest groups managed to push a bill into Parliament with identical protections. It was backed by ‘Tony the Christian’.

    I covered this a couple of years ago, if you’re interested Rowan Atkinson Beans Blair

    The title is due to the irony of Rowan Atkinson leading the charge against this bill, giving a speech to Parliament, and handing ‘Tony the Christian’s’ reign of servility it’s first legislative defeat.

    Unfortunately I had to read the speech because there was no recording of it.

    I’m not sure if the original anti-blasphemy law has been repealed in the interim.

  49. #49 BobC
    August 16, 2008

    Random House had visions of a re-run of the Rushdie or the Danish cartoons affairs.

    Part of being a successful person is not getting killed, and the managers of Random House might not much care for the idea of getting murdered by Muslim extremists.

    I don’t know what the solution is. It’s horrible to censor a book that might offend idiots just because the idiots are dangerous.

    Off-topic: Rob in #35 talked about the MSNBC poll that asks does “In God We Trust” belong on our currency? It’s looks like the Christian theocrats are going to win it, no matter how many readers of this blog try to defend the Establishment Clause.

  50. #50 inkadu
    August 16, 2008

    Briar – Frankly, I find your view offensive to minority atheism. How dare you impugn liberal atheists are in cahoots with Islamaphobic genocidal Christianists? You are just giving ammunition to the majority to oppress us further. I think it would just be better if you didn’t say anything about anyone anymore ever; you’ll be sure to be giving implicit support to some horrid cause or another; and I don’t think that’s worthy of a liberal.

    Danio – The strange thing I think the liberal fear of upsetting the Muslim is the flip side of the conservative fear of Islamafascism. They both stem from the idea that Muslims are irrational hot heads. Conservatives would like to exterminate them (or convert them), and liberals would like to put them all in day care and teach them the Way of Peace. Both views are equally insulting.

  51. #51 negentropyeater
    August 16, 2008

    Danio,

    Here’s another take on the matter, with more info about the reaction of the UT Prof who condemned the book

    And in all fairness, here’s the reply of that UT Prof, Denise A. Spellberg:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121824366910026293.html

    Not that I think it matters much to the essential point of Hari’s piece, just so that one can get the complete picture.

  52. #52 B.T. Murtagh
    August 16, 2008

    What a phenomenally annoying comment system the Independent uses.

    The most recent comments are at the top, so if anyone makes reference without quoting to a previous comment (and I’ve yet to see anyone who had the courtesy to use comment numbers to indicate what they were referring to) you have to go back and try to find it, sometimes a page or two back, scrolling down to get below the entire article at the top each time. Sadistic.

    The organization of the suras in the Koran makes more sense, and that’s not because they make any sense at all.

  53. #53 mayhempix
    August 16, 2008

    - Posted by: scooter | August 16, 2008 3:31 PM
    - “As far as the East Ender perspective, consult Pat Condell over on You Tube as far as caving into Islam out of fear, liberalism or both.
    He seems like a Michael Savage styled bigot from a US perspective, but the situation is different.”-

    Condell and Savage have nothing in common.

    Condell uses the blunt forces of reason and satire and is even across the board in his depictions of the insanity of all religions. You may not agree with his tactics but his scathing criticisms are not bigotry.

    Savage uses a chainsaw of racism and bigotry to attract legions of idiots to his radio show to sell advertising slots. He is also the main investor and owns with his son “Rock Star” energy drinks. There is a growing movement to boycott “Rock Star” and I recommend that everyone do the same.

  54. #54 inkadu
    August 16, 2008

    Scooter – The European situation is almost completely different than it is here, you’re right. I remember a play that muslims didn’t like was shut down in Britain because of fear of violence. That bugs me. A few years ago, some “conservative” cold-country (Norway? Sweden?) politician was killed by mulsims because he was anti-muslim. I thought, well, that’s terrible, but understandable. I mean, I’d understand if black people gunned down the grand wizard of the KKK. But the more I learned about this “conservative” politician, the more sense his position made. He was a homosexual, and it makes sense for homosexuals not to be too excited about large communities of staunchly anti-gay muslims moving into a modern, liberal, gay legal paradise.

    Here in America, the culture warriors all tend to be regressive. Liberals don’t complain about straight characters being introduced into gay sitcoms. So when I, as an American, hear people bashing people different from them, I assume they are reactionary tribalists.

    But orthodox religions… they do creep me out. They don’t integrate well. I want my modern society. I don’t care if we speak Spanish in the United States, and I don’t care if we’re black, brown, or have tentacles or anything. But what I do care about is that we are a free, liberal society, and I’d be concerned on those grounds about ANY orthodox religious group that has trouble getting with the Enlightenment program. I don’t think the United States has much to worry about – we’re pretty damn big and seem to do a good job integrating new groups; so cultural concerns in the US would seem to be a bit hysterical.

    And I don’t really know much about the European sitch. Probably most of the anti-immigrant fervor is straight xenophobia. But an argument can be made for preservation of values, in this context, without sounding like Pat Roberson or David Duke.

  55. #55 inkadu
    August 16, 2008

    Scooter – The European situation is almost completely different than it is here, you’re right. I remember a play that muslims didn’t like was shut down in Britain because of fear of violence. That bugs me. A few years ago, some “conservative” cold-country (Norway? Sweden?) politician was killed by mulsims because he was anti-muslim. I thought, well, that’s terrible, but understandable. I mean, I’d understand if black people gunned down the grand wizard of the KKK. But the more I learned about this “conservative” politician, the more sense his position made. He was a homosexual, and it makes sense for homosexuals not to be too excited about large communities of staunchly anti-gay muslims moving into a modern, liberal, gay legal paradise.

    Here in America, the culture warriors all tend to be regressive. Liberals don’t complain about straight characters being introduced into gay sitcoms. So when I, as an American, hear people bashing people different from them, I assume they are reactionary tribalists.

    But orthodox religions… they do creep me out. They don’t integrate well. I want my modern society. I don’t care if we speak Spanish in the United States, and I don’t care if we’re black, brown, or have tentacles or anything. But what I do care about is that we are a free, liberal society, and I’d be concerned on those grounds about ANY orthodox religious group that has trouble getting with the Enlightenment program. I don’t think the United States has much to worry about – we’re pretty damn big and seem to do a good job integrating new groups; so cultural concerns in the US would seem to be a bit hysterical.

    And I don’t really know much about the European sitch. Probably most of the anti-immigrant fervor is straight xenophobia. But an argument can be made for preservation of values, in this context, without sounding like Pat Roberson or David Duke.

  56. #56 mayhempix
    August 16, 2008

    Posted by: Briar | August 16, 2008 3:17 PM
    -” Helping Judeo-Christian persecution of those it deems enemies is an act unworthy of liberals of any kind, including atheists.”

    I’m sorry but this is complete BS. To claim criticizing Islam fuels the fires of wingnut bigotry is ridiculous. You are making a causal relationship that has no proof in fact. If you haven’t, read my post at #33. To deny human rights violations by any group on the basis of political correctness is wrong.

    Muslims in the US who are concerned about false perceptions of the religion they practice have every opportunity to speak out and present their point of view. But I can promise you that will not change the minds of the wingnut bigots who have already decided what is evil in this world. To hold atheists or anyone else including those on the left who point out the foolishness of Islamic fundamentalism as responsible for acts of of verbal and physical aggression by the bigots and racists is foolish and irresponsible.

  57. #57 scooter
    August 16, 2008

    #53

    I agree with your post.

    However, if Pat Condell were talking about the United States, while going off on Muslims taking over because of Liberals, he might be confused with Michael Savage, because it would be somewhat baseless.

    Because he is talking about London, he is definitely NOT MICHAEL SAVAGE.

    I’m sorry if that was unclear..

    I did find it disturbing that Condell includes Michael Savage rants in his Favorites, I’ll write that off as Condell’s ignorance of US ChristoFascism on the ground.

    Houston has a huge population of Arabs, and Middle Easterners because of the oil trade. There’s no way they would attempt the antics they do in GB, they are too busy looking over their shoulders already.

    You lay low when the skinheads are the moderates, and everybody has assault rifles. I see families out and about in Arab dress, they keep their children close, speak softly and tend not to interact more than necessary.

    they’re frightened, and probably horrified if they are unlucky enough to stumbe across AM radio freaks like Savage, he ain’t the only one

  58. #58 negentropyeater
    August 16, 2008

    Inkadu,

    A few years ago, some “conservative” cold-country (Norway? Sweden?) politician was killed by mulsims because he was anti-muslim. I thought, well, that’s terrible, but understandable. I mean, I’d understand if black people gunned down the grand wizard of the KKK. But the more I learned about this “conservative” politician, the more sense his position made. He was a homosexual, and it makes sense for homosexuals not to be too excited about large communities of staunchly anti-gay muslims moving into a modern, liberal, gay legal paradise.

    are you talking of Pim Fortuyn ?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pim_Fortuyn

    The “cold country” then was the Netherlands (not that “conservatve” btw, neither are Norway or Sweden, at least compared with the USA) ? He wasn’t killed by a muslim, but “by a militant animal rights activist Volkert van der Graaf, who claimed in court to murdering Fortuyn to stop him exploiting Muslims as “scapegoats” and targeting “the weak parts of society to score points” in seeking political power.”

    Or was it another openly gay politician with negative views on Islam ?

  59. #59 Rey Fox
    August 16, 2008

    “If people learned the definition and etymology of the word bigot they would hopefully use it less often.”

    As we saw during the whole cracker debate, people are quite happy to make up their own definitions of the word “bigot”.

  60. #60 mayhempix
    August 16, 2008

    - Posted by: scooter | August 16, 2008 4:10 PM#53
    - “I did find it disturbing that Condell includes Michael Savage rants in his Favorites, I’ll write that off as Condell’s ignorance of US ChristoFascism on the ground.” -

    Thanks for the response. I was not aware that Condell had condoned any Savage rants and also find it disturbing. Hopefully he is misinterpreting Savage in the context of Islamic extremism in Europe.

  61. #61 inkadu
    August 16, 2008

    Negentropyeater – Righto. Pim Fortuyn. And this is why I’d be a terrible eye-witness at any trial. “Are you sure, Mr. Inkadu?” “No, I’m not. I pretty much don’t trust a single damn thing that’s in my head. I probably made most of it up.” And now I have to revise my entire polemic about teh muslims in Europe, since he was assassinated by an extremist of the Briar-persuasion and not an actual muslim. BTW – I think he was described as “conservative” by the press, which, as far as his immigration policy goes, he probably was.

  62. #62 Tabby Lavalamp
    August 16, 2008

    MYOB wrote:

    I like the idea but when I originally attempted to write the word muslim the word was automatically flagged as a mistake. When I right-clicked on it the recommendation was that I capitalize the word muslim.
    Sometimes it did this, sometimes it did not.
    Now is it just me or is this something that contradicts the very foundations of what we are trying to discuss here on this website?

    One of the foundations is that we insist “Muslim” isn’t a proper noun? I dislike the religion as much as anyone here, but it seems silly to me to throw out proper English as a way to lessen the opponent.

  63. #63 negentropyeater
    August 16, 2008

    Well, Fortuyn was a bit of a special case, he was supposed to be a Catholic, but “conservative” in the American sense, I wouldn’t say so. He was far-right, but not really. Just someone difficult to put a label on.

  64. #64 SC
    August 16, 2008

    Here’s some information on recent developments in Iran that I’ve received over the past few days:

    http://www.labourstart.org/cgi-bin/solidarityforever/show_campaign.cgi?c=416

    http://iran-women-solidarity.net/spip.php?article430

    There seems to be a campaign underway against the “Family Protection Bill,” but I’ve had technical problems getting to it. I’ll post more information as I get it.

  65. #65 inkadu
    August 16, 2008

    Tabby -

    Muslim may be a proper noun, but it seems weird to capitalize to me, because it’s just another descriptor, no more or less important than anyone else. Do we capitalize black, white, blond, conservative, liberal? In that context, it doesn’t make much sense to capitalize someone’s religion. The only thing I tend to capitalize is names of people or localities…

    Ah, the politics of grammar…

  66. #66 scooter
    August 16, 2008

    The key to Fortuyn’s seemingly confusing views my very well be the fact of his being Gay.

    I have a friend in NYC who does a program on WBAI, and he is virulently anti-muslim, while also a staunch human rights advocate, and a lefty/moderate.

    The reason he does not abide with typical lefty tolerance of Islam is quite simple.

    He would regularly read off the names of young men who had been recently executed for homosexuality, just in Iran, and believe me, it makes the TX execution mill seem humanitarian.

    In the present, there are no Christian nor Jewish nor secular nations that execute homosexuals, so you can not make the argument that Islam is just another quirky stoopid religion like Christianity to someone who is serious about Gay human rights.

    This might explain Mr. Fortuyn’s political views

  67. #67 inkadu
    August 16, 2008

    Negentropyeater – In the United States, a conservative gay politician is a contradiction in terms.

  68. #68 El Herring
    August 16, 2008

    Inkadu #55: I’d just like to point out that it was a Sikh play, not a Muslim one, that was cancelled due to protests (by Sikhs). It happened in my home town, Birmingham (England).

    It’s unusual for Sikhs to cause such a rumpus, but personally I don’t care who it was. If you don’t like something, you have no right to stop others seeing it.

  69. #69 craig
    August 16, 2008

    “What Hari ignores is that, in this country, Islam is a minority faith held in the main by groups which are marginalised and vulnerable to discrimation due to the ignorant racism they evoke.”

    The obvious solution is to be evenhanded. Write a novel where Jesus and Mohammed come back, fall in love and get married.

  70. #70 Tabby Lavalamp
    August 16, 2008

    inkadu wrote:

    Muslim may be a proper noun, but it seems weird to capitalize to me, because it’s just another descriptor, no more or less important than anyone else. Do we capitalize black, white, blond, conservative, liberal? In that context, it doesn’t make much sense to capitalize someone’s religion. The only thing I tend to capitalize is names of people or localities…

    I’m Canadian (sorry – canadian). We do capitalize Liberal and Conservative here. :)
    Seriously, if someone is a member of the Liberal or Conservative parties, we do capitalize the word that shows their affiliation. Just as you (hopefully) capitalize Democrat or Republican.
    Islam, as with Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. is a proper noun, and following that, so are Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, etc.
    Belgium is the name of a country, and Belgian is just a descriptor relating to the citizens of that country, but we wouldn’t call them “belgians” just because we don’t believe the nation really exists ( http://zapatopi.net/belgium/ ).
    Religion needs to be diminished, but through logic, reason, ideas, and more reason. Playing fast and loose with grammar is just silly and only a few steps above nonsense like “feminazis” and “LIEberals”.

  71. #71 scooter
    August 16, 2008

    #67

    Cmon inkadu, certainly you mean, In the United States, a conservative OPENLY gay politician is a contradiction in terms.

    Otherwise, they seem to be quite the norm, you can spot them by their ‘over-the-top’ voting records on Family Values issues.

  72. #72 Greta Christina
    August 16, 2008

    Random House had visions of a re-run of the Rushdie or the Danish cartoons affairs.

    They should be so lucky. “The Satanic Verses” was HUGE seller. The argle-bargle turned a book that normally would have been bought and read by a handful of literary fiction readers into an unstoppable best-seller.

  73. #73 valor
    August 16, 2008

    Jewel of Medina isn’t even about Mohamed (so many different ways to spell that….). It’s primarily about his wife A’isha.
    I think that the book is in no way supposed to be critical of Islam. (Sherry Jones learned Arabic to write it. Have you ever tried to learn Arabic? there are 8 distinct “h” sounds. No one learns that with out love).
    The thing that bugs on me is that Random House should have realized months before print date, like when the book was first shopped to them, that it might rub some people the wrong way. If they were going to be cowards, they should have been cowards a long time ago.

  74. #74 David Marjanovi?
    August 16, 2008

    The book has seen the light of day.

    In Serbia.

    Dragulj Medine by ?eri D?ons is delivered to the USA and Canada within 7 to 15 working days

    It’s a small world…

  75. #75 David Marjanovi?
    August 16, 2008

    there are 8 distinct “h” sounds.

    How did you count? I can’t get beyond 5 or maybe 6 by the most generous definition… :o)

  76. #76 Big Cat
    August 16, 2008

    Actually I’d REALLY like to see a movie about the life of the prophet Mohammed starring Mel Brooks :)

  77. #77 Lancelot Gobbo
    August 16, 2008

    If no publisher will take this book, then it should be sent to lulu.com as a PDF where it can be sold as a print-on-demand book for whatever profit the author deems appropriate. Sounds like there would be a few copies sold to Pharyngula readers!

  78. #78 Moses
    August 16, 2008

    I want me some crackers!

  79. #79 Mark
    August 16, 2008

    I hope the book gets published at some point, because this is just ridiculous.

    I mean, it’s one thing for cowards to capitulate when Islamic radicals threaten them. It’s quite another to capitulate before the radicals have even had a chance to make any threats! I mean, what do we call people who are way more cowardly than the people that we are calling cowards now? Ultra-cowards? Double-plus cowards? Do we need a whole new way to describe cowardice? Given the way that society is headed, we’ll probably require a logarithmic scale or something.

  80. #80 negentropyeater
    August 16, 2008
  81. #81 DiscoveredJoys
    August 16, 2008

    Ian H Spedding, #24

    Cephalopodiatrists – brainy foot doctors? Surely you mean Cephalopdists, or is there some sect that worships the diamond file and sacred clippers?

    Anyway, I respect no religion, but I do tolerate them as long as they tolerate me… my Pentacostalist sister-in-law called me a skeptic today. That was the nicest thing she has ever called me.

  82. #82 chuko
    August 16, 2008

    “It is condescending to treat Muslims like excitable children”. Hmmm, is it condescending when they act like excitable children?

  83. #83 Pierce R. Butler
    August 16, 2008

    mayhempix @ # 65: Muslims in the US who are concerned about false perceptions of the religion they practice have every opportunity to speak out and present their point of view.

    As scooter & others have noted above, most Muslims in the US feel about one elbow-bump away from a lynch mob, with about as much “opportunity to speak out and present their point of view” as a vegan at a rodeo.

    And if any of them did speak out, or have spoken, they get/got about as much news coverage as Michael Dukakis’s most recent birthday.

    Please stop pretending this is an equal-opportunity society, even to the token degree it was a generation ago.

  84. #84 JStein
    August 16, 2008

    Gotta say that I agree with Hari a lot in this article, but it’s nothing that hasn’t been said before.

    The truth is, we do use baby gloves when we handle Islam. We use them for religion in general, but especially for Islam.

    There is something in America that believes political correctness is sacred.

    As far as I’m concerned, honesty is more important. If it offends people, then that’s better than sparing their feelings by ignoring the elephant in the room.

  85. #85 inkadu
    August 16, 2008

    Tabby – You’re mostly right, but what constitutes a proper noun isn’t exactly clear, except by fiat and custom. For instance, “Blacks” used to be capitalized because it used to be considered a race. But now it strikes people as anachronistic and odd. But that doesn’t mean that black don’t exist any more.

    In America, we don’t have a Liberal and Conservative party, but we have liberal and conservative world views. I put religion in that mental box of “world view” which doesn’t merit capitalization. Capitalizing Pentecostalist or Catholic seems to make more sense, because that’s more like official membership in an organization, which seems more “proper”, rather than an acceptance of a broad set of ‘Christian’ beliefs without any formal declaration.

    Look at it from the opposite direction, why aren’t I an Atheist and a Skeptic? Greeks could have been capital s Skeptics, but a modern couldn’t. Why not?

    I know I’m being churlish here, but what is the root of this proper noun business, and why is it extended to nouns in some cases and not in others?

  86. #86 genesgalore
    August 16, 2008

    some DNA might be considered sacred. some parts religion are benefical, such as song, meditation and community, but never sacred: historically interesting but not sacred.

  87. #87 eddie
    August 16, 2008

    Sounds more like Mills & Boon than anything actually readable.

    Anyway, why is there such a difference in reaction when publishers say “religious nuts will protest” than when they say “nobody will buy this and we’ll lose momey”?

    Don’t give in to corporate terrorism!

  88. #88 inkadu
    August 16, 2008

    Pierce – On whether muslims are an oppressed minority is kind of a matter of degree, isn’t it? Sure, being a Saudi Arabian living in Texas is one thing, but what about being a Muslim in Dearborne, Michigan? Or a Nation of Islam member in Harlem? I’m about as down on this country and it’s culture as anyone, but we are far, far, far from the universal and systematic levels of oppression that you seem to be implying. Catholics and Jews keep their heads down in some parts of the country, too … the same parts of the country that Muslims and gay (Gay?) people keep their heads down and for the same reasons.

  89. #89 eddie
    August 16, 2008

    IStein @84 used the term “baby gloves” when I think (hope) he meant “kid gloves” which are made from the skin of a kid, or baby goat.

  90. #90 negentropyeater
    August 16, 2008

    JStein,

    The truth is, we do use baby gloves when we handle Islam. We use them for religion in general, but especially for Islam.

    Correct, but let’s analyse the reasons why we use those baby gloves for Islam on one hand, and Christianity on the other.

    When I say we, I say “Westeners who live in countries where muslims are a minority and where Christians are a majority”.
    (and this varies also greatly between the USA and W.Europe btw)

    For both religions, we have the usual reasons linked with the fact that we don’t want the reactions within our western nations of the members of these religions, we’re scared, we need to respect, etc… All these reasons are, in my point of view, and I think Hari’s article is about that, not justified. Crackergate is also an example of how we shouldn’t have to “respect” these idiotic beliefs, wether they are those of Christians or Muslims. We shouldn’t be cowards. Nothing is sacred.

    But for Islam, there is another type of reason, IMHO, which we need to evaluate more carefully, which are the reasons put forward by some of these ultra-tolerant lefties, as Danio calls them, which have to do with the reactions in those predominantely muslim countres, knowing that the USA already has a reputation in those countries for having overtly followed an imperialist strategy especially with the current administration. Question here is wether we are helpng these countries to reduce the influence of Islamic fundamentalism, or on the contrary, exacerbing it ?

    I’m not saying that I’m defending that second part, but that it does seem to complicate matters, especially for Islam.

  91. #91 Helioprogenus
    August 16, 2008

    I’m not convinced that the hostility most Muslims have towards the West’s depiction of their prophet is religious in nature. Ultimately, it comes down to the disenfranchised feeling most of the Islamic world feels towards what they see as unilateral behaviors and actions directed against the Middle East (such as the blind eye the West turns when Israel bombs blocks of Palestinian apartments for a few tinker toy rocket attacks, yet the anger they present at Russia for doing the same thing). I’m not condoning their behavior, or their idiotic rants about depicting their prophets, but trying to have a deeper understanding of the underlying reasons for their hostility. If the Islamic Golden Age proved anything, it’s that what we now perceive as Islamic behavior and dogma is actually a recent change. Just as in any religion, the overall zeitgeist shifts based on a number of factors. At the moment, many feel embattled and on the defensive, and therefor act accordingly. It seems to me then, that they’ll find any excuse that offends their “religious sensibilities” to strike out against what they see as a threat. It’s human nature applied to a mass scale.

  92. #92 mayhempix
    August 16, 2008

    - Posted by: Pierce R. Butler | August 16, 2008 6:42 PM
    - “… Please stop pretending this is an equal-opportunity society, even to the token degree it was a generation ago.”-

    I never claimed anything of the kind. Please don’t misdirect my words to suit your misguided agenda.

    As an atheist I am fully aware that this is not an equal-opportunity society.

    If a group of atheists decided it was time to assassinate radical Christians or Muslims I would hope that everyone, atheist and otherwise, would condemn those actions even though religious wingnuts would start screaming that all atheists are militant godless murderers. The point is that the idiots will proceed ragardless of whether or not politically correct blanket protection of all atheists is deemed more important than the exposure and denunciation of that small group’s actions.

    There is no doubt that the great majority of innocent Muslims have been unfairly judged by the attacks of 911 and many live in fear of retribution, but to continue to promote the false perception that criticsm of Islamic fundamentalism supports and buys into right wing paranoia and fuels discrimination and attacks against Muslims in the US is only feeding the problem you claim to be concerned about. Telling the truth that a small but dangerous group if Islamic fundamentalists (as well as all religious fundamentalists) are the real problem is the only effective way to convince the general public that Muslims per say are no more dangerous than any other religious persons. To deny this only reinforces in the public eye that all Muslims must be like the batshit crazy radicals.

    Please stop pretending that you are called upon to protect Muslims by criticizing indisputable facts. You do them more harm than good.

  93. #93 Radwaste
    August 16, 2008

    Say – isn’t anyone going to mention Aisha’s age when Mohammed, um, you know…

    And Muslims are supposed to emulate Mohammed, right?

  94. #94 razib
    August 16, 2008

    i can’t believe so many people here glibly sanction the use of perlocutionary speech against muslims. this is nothing but a cover for bigotry and racism against people of color. just because their own values and cultural norms deviate from yours does not give you license to attack and denigrate them. hate speech is not speech at all, and should be sanctioned by the government in some manner.

  95. #95 inkadu
    August 16, 2008

    Negentropyeater – I think the second set of your concerns you listed are fairly minimal. First of all, what we do in our countries will have almost no impact on internal politics. Second, even if it did, I don’t know how you can expect to have a free society where speech is proscribed based on imagined effects on international politics. It’s all a bit silly. And third, wouldn’t encouraging a modern, moderate, liberal view of Islam, and give it a place to incubate and grow, not be a great way to destabilize fundamentalist regimes? Well, Malaysia has a relatively moderate form of Islam, by reports, and it hasn’t seemed to do any good. See point one.

  96. #96 JoJo
    August 16, 2008

    One of the problems in the Middle East is that the working poor majority are kept in their place by religion. Marx was right, religion can be used as a opiate. The rulers of Middle Eastern countries will announce “see how America/Jews/The West/Anyone Who Isn’t Us show their hate for us by sneering at Islam and its prophet.” This is an old political trick. Get the masses to ignore their problems and discontents by exposing insults by foreigners/unbelievers/anyone who isn’t us. It works, too.

  97. #97 inkadu
    August 16, 2008

    razib – i find your use of the word “perlucotionary” more interesting than any facile argument you might have. where are you from? where did you learn that word? what does it mean?

  98. #98 JoJo
    August 16, 2008

    inkadu #97

    i find your use of the word “perlucotionary” more interesting than any facile argument you might have. where are you from? where did you learn that word? what does it mean?

    A perlocutionary act is persuading, convincing, scaring, enlightening, inspiring, or otherwise getting someone to do or realize something.

  99. #99 Ryan
    August 16, 2008

    MSNBC Livevote:

    Should “In God We Trust” be removed from our currency?
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10103521

  100. #100 razib
    August 16, 2008

    razib – i find your use of the word “perlucotionary” more interesting than any facile argument you might have. where are you from? where did you learn that word? what does it mean?

    someone from the *canadian council on american-islamic relations* explained to me that this sort of speech has a silencing affect on muslims. fundamentally, it is a form of psychic violence and should be banned by the government, or an inquiry at least made. unfortunately in the united states classical liberalism has run amok and religious feelings can not be protected as they were in past. nevertheless, current immigration patterns make me hopeful that that will change in the future.

  101. #101 MH
    August 16, 2008

    Say – isn’t anyone going to mention Aisha’s age when Mohammed, um, you know…

    “Aisha was six or seven years old when betrothed to Muhammad. She stayed in her parents’ home until the age of nine, when the marriage was consummated.”

    I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

  102. #102 inkadu
    August 16, 2008

    Jojo writes: The rulers of Middle Eastern countries will announce “see how America/Jews/The West/Anyone Who Isn’t Us show their hate for us by sneering at Islam and its prophet.

    Kinda like “see how Communists/Arabs/Chinese/Muslims/Anyone Who Isn’t Us show their hate for us be sneering at our Freedom and the Baby Jesus.”

  103. #103 inkadu
    August 16, 2008

    Perlucotionary – I found the word on wikipedia, too, but it seemed to have a negative connotation. I guess a “kind” of perlucotionary speech could be a bad thing.

    Razib – Yep. It’s an argument that can be made. Some people might not like speech and feel intimidated into being silent. Candians are much more concerned about that sort of thing. The American philosophy is (or at least I like to think it should be) that the answer to speech is more speech. Partly this is because the United States is very hesitant to have the government involved in ideological conflicts — we don’t trust the government as a fair referee. I don’t think any possible amount of immigration is going to change that fundamental aspect of United States government philosophy (excluding sedition, of course).

    I also wonder what, specifically, you think is bigotted. If Mohammed married a six year-old, he married a six-year old. How is it bigotted to write about it?

    I also ask where you were from because, and I could be wrong, that Indians have an extensive parallel English vocabulary — words they picked up from the British, but that have become archaic in the United States and UK.

  104. #104 razib
    August 16, 2008

    If Mohammed married a six year-old, he married a six-year old. How is it bigotted to write about it?

    the tone is pretty obvious where your kind are coming from. muhammad, PBUH, was the prophet, and his actions need to be placed in their proper context. instead, you caricature in the service of hate. speech is not the proper response to blasphemy, because by the very act of response one condones the act of blasphemy as within the reasonable domains of human behavior.

    I also ask where you were from because, and I could be wrong, that Indians have an extensive parallel English vocabulary — words they picked up from the British, but that have become archaic in the United States and UK.

    i’m from america. a nation where muslims now outnumber jews. so all this talk is fundamentally irrelevant. in 2042 whites will be a minority and those of us who wish to change the culture only have to wait and vote appropriately. and it isn’t like godless europe will be a refuge for you heathens; there are more believers in those lands than here!

  105. #105 Elf Eye
    August 16, 2008

    There is still time to vote on the MSNBC poll regarding whether “In God We Trust” should be removed from our currency.

    At the moment, 49 % vote ‘yes’; 51 % vote ‘not’.

    Poll link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10103521/

  106. #106 negentropyeater
    August 16, 2008

    What complicates matters with Islam, is the following :

    In many W.European nations, over the last 100 years, we have been succesful in reducing greatly the influence of Christianity, and especially Christian fundamentalism which has almost dissapeared (apart from a few countries such as Italy and Poland).

    In the USA not really, for many reasons we all know, the biggest one simply being because Americans waited for so long, and only since a decade has an effort really started, partly led by the New Atheists.

    In both cases, these efforts were from within, not the result of external pressures from agents from foreign nations or cultures. One could argue that Europeans are putting some pressure on Americans, and if it were the case that it’d be felt too strongly, Americans would probably react.

    In both cases also, not much effort has been done, until recently, to tackle Islam simply because they were a minority.

    Recently, especially in W.Europe, people have become more vocal against Islam, partly because on one hand, Christian fundamentalists are now a small minority and on the other because Muslim fundamentalists are growing within certain parts of W.Europe.

    Also, both in W.Europe and the USA, there is a clear associaton in most people’s mind of muslim fundamentalism with terrorism either within those nations or from the middle east.

    So the question now is, how to reduce the influence from muslim fundamentalism within our western nations and would external pressures work for reducing Islam’s influence in those predominantely muslim nations, or would this be received by those populations as a new 21st century crusade from the west ?

  107. #107 Elf Eye
    August 16, 2008

    Danio, oops: I didn’t see your comment at # 38. Sorry.

  108. #108 JoJo
    August 16, 2008

    inkadu #102

    Exactly.

    In early 1982, the military junta ruling Argentina was having major domestic problems. Inflation was running over 20% per month, unemployment was rising rapidly, and there were riots in Buenos Aires. The junta sought to maintain power by diverting public attention playing off long-standing feelings of the Argentines towards the Falkland Islands. Galtieri and the boys didn’t think that Britain would or even could respond militarily. That turned out not to be the case. The Argentine loss of the war led to ever-larger protests against the military regime and is credited with giving the final push to drive out the military government that had overthrown Isabel Perón in 1976 and participated in the crimes of the Dirty War. Galtieri and the rest of the junta were forced to relinquish power and legitimate elections were held the next year.

    The point is that giving the public an external crisis takes their minds off of whatever is happening with their daily lives. It didn’t work for the Argentine generals, but it does work in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Emirates, Egypt, and other places in the Middle East.

  109. #109 razib
    August 16, 2008

    So the question now is, how to reduce the influence from muslim fundamentalism within our western nations and would external pressures work for reducing Islam’s influence in those predominantely muslim nations

    any resistance to islamic fundamentalism in europe is simply racist neo-colonialism. muslims in europe have a right to settle there because of the nature of colonial oppression, with expropriate land and labor. they have a right to create a space of their own where their values are respected. it is simply a fact that the way swedish women are expected and allowed to behavior will not do for muslims who live in sweden. sweden must change, simple as that. that’s not an opinion, it’s a prophecy based on demographic projects. your kind do not breed, so you will become what you once were, marginals who are silent because the majority expect you to be.

    enjoy your time in the sun, it will be a short day indeed….

  110. #110 razib
    August 16, 2008

    La illaha illah Allah!!!

  111. #111 Sven DiMilo
    August 16, 2008

    they have a right to create a space of their own where their values are respected. it is simply a fact that the way swedish women are expected and allowed to behavior will not do for muslims who live in sweden. sweden must change, simple as that.

    You don’t see the contradiction between your first and third sentences? Also, is it somehow insulting to The Prophet to use the Shift key?

  112. #112 inkadu
    August 16, 2008

    razib – please stick around. you are greatly entertaining. but, please, don’t talk to my sister. she won’t vote for obama because she thinks he’s muslim, and she wont vote for muslims. i don’t want your ignorance influencing her opinion about muslims who aren’t drooling cave dwellers. i’m leaning towards poe’s law on you, too.

    JoJo – You might like “Wag The Dog” which, though based loosely on the Clinton administration, is more of a pre-documentary of the Bush years.

  113. #113 JoJo
    August 16, 2008

    razib #109

    muslims in europe have a right to settle there because of the nature of colonial oppression, with expropriate land and labor…sweden must change, simple as that.

    Refresh my memory, please. Where were the Swedish colonies?

  114. #114 razib
    August 16, 2008

    You don’t see the contradiction between your first and third sentences?

    there is an asymmetry between the accommodation due to people of color who have experienced colonialism and those who live their lives on the gains accrued through said colonialism and the current regime of white skin privilege. IOW, minorities can treated differently because they are different. here is what pz said a few years ago re: denmark:

    There are some things a cartoonist would be rightly excoriated for publishing: imagine that one had drawn an African-American figure as thick-lipped, low-browed, smirking clown with a watermelon in one hand and a fried chicken drumstick in the other. Feeding bigotry and flaunting racist stereotypes would be something that would drive me to protest any newspaper that endorsed it–of course, my protests would involve writing letters and canceling subscriptions, not rioting and burning down buildings. There is a genuine social concern here, I think. Muslims represent a poor and oppressed underclass, and those cartoons represent a ruling establishment intentionally taunting them and basically flipping them off. They have cause to be furious!

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/02/poxridden_houses.php

    so pz himself understand that those of color are not the same as those who have white skin privilege. so keep attacking christian fundamentalists for being savages; when you do the same to people of color there are very different implications and historical baggage which you’re running into. in the USA you can currently keep doing this, but not in most of the world. and i suspect you’ll see a change in your lifetime in the USA too.

  115. #115 razib
    August 16, 2008

    i don’t want your ignorance influencing her opinion about muslims who aren’t drooling cave dwellers.

    no, not all muslims are cave dwellers. that being said, i do find it amusing that your kind are open minded toward us, because we are under no illusions as to your Error and the just desserts that you will receive in the hereafter.

  116. #116 negentropyeater
    August 16, 2008

    Inkadu,

    And third, wouldn’t encouraging a modern, moderate, liberal view of Islam, and give it a place to incubate and grow, not be a great way to destabilize fundamentalist regimes? Well, Malaysia has a relatively moderate form of Islam, by reports, and it hasn’t seemed to do any good. See point one.

    Of course we need to encourage this. That’s qutie obvious. The question is, how do we do it ?
    I lived more than 3 years in Malaysia, a country that I know well. Liberalisation was under way, the influence of fundamentalism was decreasing rapidly, many local thinkers and intellectuals were active, those were efforts from within. Until Mr Bush started with his war on terror which got interpreted over there into war on Islam. And everything got worse.

  117. #117 mayhempix
    August 16, 2008

    - Posted by: razib | August 16, 2008 8:09 PM
    - “i can’t believe so many people here glibly sanction the use of perlocutionary speech against muslims. this is nothing but a cover for bigotry and racism against people of color.”-

    Please quote one real example of this in this thread. Are criticisms of fundamentalist Christianity also proof of bigotry and racism against white people?

    - Posted by: razib | August 16, 2008 8:22 PM
    - “… this sort of speech has a silencing affect on muslims. fundamentally, it is a form of psychic violence and should be banned by the government, or an inquiry at least made.”-

    Of course he doesn’t see the irony that he condones criminalizing speech he doesn’t agree with as a means of protecting his own views and reinforces stereotypes of an intolerant Islam. One of the hallmarks of authoritarian religious programming is the belief that those who challenge them must be silenced.

    And please don’t confuse criticism of Islam or any other religion with hate speech. It is not. Hate speech is a term for speech intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action against a person or group of people based on their race, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language ability, moral or political views, socioeconomic class, occupation or appearance (such as height, weight, and hair color), mental capacity and any other distinction-liability. Criticism of religious myths and indoctrination implies nothing of the kind.

  118. #118 JoJo
    August 16, 2008

    JoJo – You might like “Wag The Dog” which, though based loosely on the Clinton administration, is more of a pre-documentary of the Bush years.

    I’ve seen it. Good movie. You did notice that within 20 minutes you have completely forgotten about the Girl Scout.

  119. #119 razib
    August 16, 2008

    Hate speech is a term for speech intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action against a person or group of people based on their race, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language ability, moral or political views, socioeconomic class, occupation or appearance (such as height, weight, and hair color), mental capacity and any other distinction-liability.

    so you concede that speech which intends to degrade religion is hate speech? if you concede this then you accept that in most of the western world much of the speech found on these boards would be grounds for prosecution. you can’t pretend as if things were as they were, and this is the 19th century and you’re dealing with an oppressive christian church. this is the 21st century, and using the same disestablishmentarian critiques against the religions of those of color is not appropriate. you have to watch what you say and who you say it to.

  120. #120 mayhempix
    August 16, 2008

    Posted by: razib | August 16, 2008 8:45 P
    “…your kind do not breed, so you will become what you once were, marginals who are silent because the majority expect you to be.”

    I’m afraid Poe’s Law is at it again.

  121. #121 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 16, 2008

    speech is not the proper response to blasphemy, because by the very act of response one condones the act of blasphemy as within the reasonable domains of human behavior.

    What is the proper response?

  122. #122 JoJo
    August 16, 2008

    razib #115

    i do find it amusing that your kind are open minded toward us, because we are under no illusions as to your Error and the just desserts that you will receive in the hereafter.

    Oh good, we’re condemned to Hell or the Muslim facsimile because we’re open minded.

  123. #123 negentropyeater
    August 16, 2008

    Razib,

    that’s not an opinion, it’s a prophecy based on demographic projects. your kind do not breed, so you will become what you once were, marginals who are silent because the majority expect you to be.

    Just stop please parroting idiocies that you learned somewhere. Unless you show evidence to this nonsense with facts and figures, you can avoid repeating it.
    And when you’ll look for the evidence, you’ll discover it’s not true.

  124. #124 razib
    August 16, 2008

    What is the proper response?

    silence, acceptance. at the end of course Submission to the Message; but dawa is not my brief so i won’t elaborate on that….

  125. #125 Sven DiMilo
    August 16, 2008

    we are under no illusions as to your Error and the just desserts that you will receive in the hereafter

    Beg to differ: your religious beliefs are illusions from top to bottom.

    This is precisely the attitude that makes me worry for my daughter and the future of the things in life that I value. I don’t care if it’s coming from a “privileged” Baptist or a “person of color” or a goofy Wiccan; the cocksure certainty with which the true-believing (yet wholly deuded, as far as I can tell) religious condescend to people with other beliefs enrages me to no end. Follow whatever medieval customs you want to, handle rattlesnakes or oppress your women as much as you have to to achieve your illusory goal of eternal life, but do NOT expect me to facilitate or condone it. “Sweden must change”? Fuck you and your cat too.

  126. #126 negentropyeater
    August 16, 2008

    How does one get the killfile thing again, I think I’m going to need it soon. It seems there’s a a muslim parrot troll around !

  127. #127 razib
    August 16, 2008

    “Sweden must change”? Fuck you and your cat too.

    *shrug* look. sweden will change. it has changed. there are parts of malmo and oslo where kuffars do not go because they know that it is not safe for them. you’re spitting into the wind. the future is ours.

  128. #128 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 16, 2008

    Is this the actual razib from Gene Expression?

    Ahhhhh yes it is.

    Razib I believe you fail to understand that as white men of power we have an obligation to enforce our scientific truths on the poorer more pigmented and praying 5 times a day members of the planet. With out doing so we would be squandering our place and give rise to the unwashed masses.

  129. #129 mayhempix
    August 16, 2008

    - razib | August 16, 2008 9:07 PM
    - “… so you concede that speech which intends to degrade religion is hate speech?

    You clearly are brainwashed and have no idea what you are talking about.

    “criticism” does not = “degradation”

    Pointing out that Mohammed had sex with a 9 year old is not degradation any more than criticizing priests who had sex with children is.

    Expecting us to submit and be silent is hypocrisy in the extreme. And good luck conquering us “heathens”. That will be about as effective as the invasion of Iraq has been.

  130. #130 JoJo
    August 16, 2008

    razib #119

    you can’t pretend as if things were as they were, and this is the 19th century and you’re dealing with an oppressive christian church. this is the 21st century, and using the same disestablishmentarian critiques against the religions of those of color is not appropriate. you have to watch what you say and who you say it to.

    We can say what we like about Islam because it’s as oppressive as any other religion and worse than most. It is not hate speech to comment on how homosexuality is a capital offense in the Iranian theocracy. Nor is it hate speech to talk about how women aren’t allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia or how rape victims are murdered in “honor killings.”

  131. #131 negentropyeater
    August 16, 2008

    razib,

    you’re spitting into the wind. the future is ours.

    Unless you can substantiate properly your predictions with proper analysis, facts and figures, please keep your platitudes and delusions for yourself.
    Nobody here is interested, you are the one who is pissing in a violin.

  132. #132 razib
    August 16, 2008

    Expecting us to submit and be silent is hypocrisy in the extreme. And good luck conquering us “heathens”. That will be about as effective as the invasion of Iraq has been.

    LOL. yes, kuffars have great tech and discipline. but you don’t breed much, and are certainly clever enough to grasp the logic of compounding growth, no? democracy is a bitch so to speak. history will show that the liberal moment was a simple correction. step-by-step you concede your debased freedoms out of appropriate sensitivity. sam harris has diagnosed it well, even if i disagree with his norms.

  133. #133 razib
    August 16, 2008

    It is not hate speech to comment on how homosexuality is a capital offense in the Iranian theocracy. Nor is it hate speech to talk about how women aren’t allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia or how rape victims are murdered in “honor killings.”

    you are living under the misimpression that speech should be judged purely by its factual content and your intent. no, it must be judged by how it affects other people. you can’t always predict that, so you need to take into account the fact that there is an error deviation around your expected outcome. just like engineers have to play it safe and build in some margin, so should you. don’t think just about yourself when you speak, thing about how others take what you say. what might not be offensive to you might be offensive to others. this isn’t rocket science.

  134. #134 protocol4
    August 16, 2008

    People, Razib is pulling your collective legs. Check out his blog on Scienceblogs….

  135. #135 razib
    August 16, 2008

    Unless you can substantiate properly your predictions with proper analysis, facts and figures, please keep your platitudes and delusions for yourself.

    the netherlands is 5% muslim now. mean TFR is 1.72 for the dutch. what is it for the morroccans and turks? propbably on the order of 3. not only are muslims waxing, but the non-muslim natives are waning. the model is pretty clear, i just need to live long enough to see your kind silenced. discussion will be a moot point when democracy settles the dispute.

  136. #136 protocol
    August 16, 2008

    I wanted to add that Razib is probably more conservative (about these issues) than 90% of the people positing here.

  137. #137 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 16, 2008

    People, Razib is pulling your collective legs. Check out his blog on Scienceblogs….

    and cracking my ass up.

  138. #138 Sven DiMilo
    August 16, 2008

    WHo can tell if razib is serious? I suspect he’s largely wasting my time with trollish provocation.

  139. #139 razib
    August 16, 2008

    I suspect he’s largely wasting my time with trollish provocation.

    who are you to deny the value of provocation? you who defend blasphemy against the sincere ground of being of billions. you prosecute your own assertion by evidence of your action.

  140. #140 Sven DiMilo
    August 16, 2008

    …and I don’t need any help wasting time.
    What do you find funny about this shit, Rev?

  141. #141 JoJo
    August 16, 2008

    What do you find funny about this shit, Rev?

    My question as well.

  142. #142 Big Cat
    August 16, 2008

    I begin to suspect that what every Muslim family needs is a Jewish (or Christian) son-in-law. Anti-semitism in this country waned when a lot of Italian and Irish catholic women married Jewish men and their families came to realize this was a Good Thing. When the Other is part of your family they cease to be the Other. Intermarriage might tend to reduce the bigotry on both sides and help to mellow out Muslims until they are more like mainline Protestants or catholics and less like extreme fundamentalists. The one problem is that for a western woman, marrying a Muslim man can be a risky – or downright dangerous – proposition. And it might be necessary for the non Muslim family to protect their new daughter-in-law from the threat of honor killing by force or restraining order until cooler heads prevail.

  143. #143 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 16, 2008

    What do you find funny about this shit, Rev?

    Just find it funny. Razib is good at this.

  144. #144 razib
    August 16, 2008

    I begin to suspect that what every Muslim family needs is a Jewish (or Christian) son-in-law.

    a non-muslim man who wishes to marry a muslim woman must submit to islam. that is the law.

    The one problem is that for a western woman, marrying a Muslim man can be a risky – or downright dangerous – proposition. And it might be necessary for the non Muslim family to protect their new daughter-in-law from the threat of honor killing by force or restraining order until cooler heads prevail.

    you’re peddling in stereotypes.

  145. #145 mayhempix
    August 16, 2008

    Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT | August 16, 2008 9:18 PM
    Is this the actual razib from Gene Expression?
    Ahhhhh yes it is.

    Ok razib… busted. I started getting suspicious when you alluded to “breeding”.

    Like I stated earlier… Poe’s Law at work.

  146. #146 Sven DiMilo
    August 16, 2008

    Razib is good at this.

    Had me going, and I seldom bite.
    Razib, yer cat killed any wildlife recently?

  147. #147 razib
    August 16, 2008

    Razib, yer cat killed any wildlife recently?

    my kat’s a herbivore.

  148. #148 Katkinkate
    August 16, 2008

    Posted by: Big Cat no. 76
    “Actually I’d REALLY like to see a movie about the life of the prophet Mohammed starring Mel Brooks :)”

    Oh Yeah! I’d see that.

  149. #149 razib
    August 16, 2008

    ok, yeah, i was parodying. it’s not hard to pretend to be a savage, right? at the end of the day i find that most of you spend an inordinate amount of time on xtians when muslims are on average way more extreme. the typical “moderate” muslim is equivalent to a conservative xtian. so it’s funny to see public opinion polls (check pew) that show that atheists in the USA are most accepting of muslims when muslims generally find us ontologically offensive and a blot upon the earth. i’m a little more invested than most of you because i’m technically an apostate so i should be killed (technically cuz i never believed that crap). as someone who “looks muslim” i’ve heard some pretty offensive crap about non-muslims and women. certainly racism is bad, but i can attest to the fact that muslim men often view non-muslim women as nothing but walking vaginas, temporary houses for their sexual organs.

    sam harris is right, there’s a lot of white liberal guilt out there preventing people from calling a spade a spade. i’m moderately optimistic that people will wake up, and that muslims themselves will become civilized in the natural order of things. but the purpose of my baiting was to smoke people out and be a bit less PC. liberal society is a precious thing, and multiculturalism and internationalism are really attempting to tear down what was built up through long hard work over the past few centuries. the last man executing for atheism in the british isles died in 1700. that’s not that far back….

  150. #150 vespera
    August 16, 2008

    Does anyone else find it disturbing that Razib is an evolutionary biologist (he has a scienceblog)? I would have hoped that anyone so educated, regardless of his religion, wouldn’t react to speech he doesn’t like by ardently wishing he had the power to make people shut up.
    And I have nothing against immigrants, but I hope whoever is part of the supposed “immigration patterns” that could mysteriously nullify the first amendment would stay wherever the hell they are now.
    MUHAMMAD WAS A HYPOCRITICAL EPILEPTIC LECHER. There, I feel better now.

  151. #151 razib
    August 16, 2008

    And I have nothing against immigrants, but I hope whoever is part of the supposed “immigration patterns” that could mysteriously nullify the first amendment would stay wherever the hell they are now.

    take a look at the pew global survey data. immigrant enclaves in western europe are generally much more conservative re: women and homosexuality than the surrounding population (though not as conservative as the origination countries). diversity is great! more barbarism makes the neighborhood more vibrant!

  152. #152 razib
    August 16, 2008

    wouldn’t react to speech he doesn’t like by ardently wishing he had the power to make people shut up.

    i’ve talked to people who think that pro-life marchers should be locked up for hate speech, because opposing abortion is violence against women. free speech absolutists are thin on the ground today….

    (most of my parody just adapted stupid stuff i heard aro

  153. #153 Sven DiMilo
    August 16, 2008

    Some of my best friends are immigrants.

  154. #154 razib
    August 16, 2008

    campus directed against conservatives in terms of how they should be censored cuz they hurt the feelings of other people)

  155. #155 Grammar RWA
    August 16, 2008

    There’s a glaring lack of angry Muslims in this thread, so razib decides we need a fake Muslim to smack around, preferably one filled with candy.

    Razib, if you don’t think we’re getting enough exposure to fresh, live Muslims, how do you suggest we attract some? I’m interested in arguing with beer-drinking hypocrites, that is, real people. Your canned stereotypical strawmuslim is not particularly appetizing as my after-dinner sacrifice.

  156. #156 Jonathan Kraus
    August 16, 2008

    Why isn’t anyone talking about the forum thing where Obama and McCain are being interviewed by Rick Warren? I mean this is scarry shit.

  157. #157 razib
    August 16, 2008

    Razib, if you don’t think we’re getting enough exposure to fresh, live Muslims, how do you suggest we attract some?

    the wackjobs don’t even visit liberal muslim websites. they have no interest in dialogue with your kind. if you post some blasphemous stuff perhaps they’ll come around, but even my posting of korans in pig-mouths don’t seem to draw them out.

  158. #158 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    August 16, 2008

    Well I was just looking at some coprolites. They could be used to make scars. More recent stuff, not so much.

  159. #159 razib
    August 16, 2008

    though to be fair, some of my stuff was drawn from arguments i’ve had online with educated muslims (since i have a muslim name but am a pretty obvious atheist they often want to argue with me). e.g., all that crap about perlocutionary speech and stuff. they’re good and trotting out crap like that to protect their religion, most kuffars are gullible enough to take them seriously it seems….

  160. #160 clinteas
    August 16, 2008

    *Reads razib’s comments*

    *Ponders*

    *Wishes he knew the code for the nukes*

  161. #161 mayhempix
    August 16, 2008

    “…sam harris is right, there’s a lot of white liberal guilt out there preventing people from calling a spade a spade.”

    Yep.

  162. #162 Grammar RWA
    August 16, 2008

    i’ve talked to people who think that pro-life marchers should be locked up for hate speech, because opposing abortion is violence against women. free speech absolutists are thin on the ground today….

    What a useless, bullshit anecdote. Go to Pandagon or Feministe or any major pro-choice blog and see how much support you can rustle up for gutting the First Amendment.

    Some dumbass once said something stupid in your presence, and you parade it as evidence that defenders of free speech are rare these days? Do us better than that, plz.

  163. #163 razib
    August 16, 2008

    What a useless, bullshit anecdote. Go to Pandagon or Feministe or any major pro-choice blog and see how much support you can rustle up for gutting the First Amendment.

    LOL. right, feminists are free speech absolutists. sorry about the bullshit anecdote.

  164. #164 clinteas
    August 16, 2008

    What people seem to forget is that this is the 21 century,and there are ways to call a spade a spade without risking being murdered by some deluded fool who is looking forward to meeting 72 virgins.

    Cowardly acts like that of Random House dont help at all,unfortunately.
    Why not use the Internet to call a spade a spade,people do it with Scientology,why not with Islam?

    Why is it considered a taboo to confront a Muslim with the fact that his deity is a childfucker(I do it at work occasionally,its not received well lol)?Youd certainly do it to a white liberal childfucker,why not a Muslim?Because he might cut your head off?

    I reckon there is ways of exposing and critizising Islam without risking your life,use the net,use pseudonym,dont be afraid of publishing cartoons or books that the deluded might consider blasphemy.
    Just stop being polite to them ! Do offend,why not.

  165. #165 razib
    August 16, 2008

    Why not use the Internet to call a spade a spade,people do it with Scientology,why not with Islam?

    numbers. there are 1.3 billion muslims.

  166. #166 razib
    August 16, 2008

    i’m actually checking the GSS re: speech that insults religious and ethnic groups. will post on my blog and post the link here. my interest is piqued….

  167. #167 Grammar RWA
    August 16, 2008

    LOL. right, feminists are free speech absolutists. sorry about the bullshit anecdote.

    Bring it, razib. You’re flying by the seat of your assumptions now. I know these people better than you do.

    Go pick a high-traffic feminist blog and try your trolling. See how much support you can get for limiting Constitutionally-protected speech.

    Your caricatures are dishonest, and I’m not surprised you’re not eager to be shown otherwise.

  168. #168 razib
    August 16, 2008

    You’re flying by the seat of your assumptions now. I know these people better than you do.

    look, i don’t give a crap about feminists blogs. i went to college and was exposed to various “liberal” groups. many of them weren’t free speech absolutists, and that included many feminist and ethnic minority groups. that doesn’t mean they’re all like that, but nadine strossen style ACLU speech absolutism is viewed in some quarters as giving comfort to the white male patriarchy.

  169. #169 W. H. Heydt
    August 16, 2008

    Haven’t read all the comments, but here are a couple of points I haven’t seen being even approached….

    My wife writes fiction and I know quite a few published fiction authors. Because of this, I’ve seen publishing contracts.

    One of the salient features of a decently written contracts is that the publisher has rights to the work only so long as it is kept in print. If the publisher has indeed pulped all the copies of this book, then it is not in print, and under a reasonable contract, the rights revert to the author.

    If the publisher lets the author out of the contract, then there is a high probability that the author will have to pay back the advance.

    Therefore, the most effective stance for the author to take (assuming she had competent help getting her contract) is to decline to be let out of the contract, unless the publisher wants to buy their way out. As the book is not in print (the publishers obligation), she should notify them that they no longer have any rights to it (it has reverted) and keep the advance.

  170. #170 Pierce R. Butler
    August 16, 2008

    Inkadu @ # 88: … whether muslims are an oppressed minority is kind of a matter of degree, isn’t it?

    Oppression is always a matter of degree. My point is that the majority (in the US) of moderate Muslims are indeed intimidated, and that railing against “extremist Muslims” (without even mentioning the existence of any other kind) contributes to their perceptions of a hostile surrounding society. In the present context, aiming verbal barbs at Muslims is qualitatively different from categorical whacks at the Abrahamic religions, or even at Islam as an intellectual construct.

    mayhempix @ # 92: Please re-read my criticism @ # 83 of one line you wrote and tell me how that equates “to promot[ing] the false perception that criticsm of Islamic fundamentalism supports and buys into right wing paranoia and fuels discrimination…” Those in the best position (in the US) to criticize Islamic fundamentalism are blocked from doing so by three factors: fear of “Christian”/”patriotic” bullies (a major factor); fear of those they would criticize (unknown – to me, but probably varying by location); and stone-cold indifference from the gatekeepers of public awareness (overwhelming). I agree with just about everything else you’ve said here, but that one line is counterfactual, and undermines the very point you make in your penultimate paragraph.

    Consider the continuing abuse in federal hands of Dr. Sami Al-Arian, for an example of how much justice an outspoken Muslim can expect in Bush’s America.

  171. #171 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 16, 2008

    Why isn’t anyone talking about the forum thing where Obama and McCain are being interviewed by Rick Warren? I mean this is scarry shit.

    I avoided that panderfest like the plague.

  172. #172 Grammar RWA
    August 16, 2008

    look, i don’t give a crap about feminists blogs. i went to college and was exposed to various “liberal” groups.

    “look, i don’t give a crap about substantiating my claims with verifiable data that others could check. i went to college and was exposed to plenty of cherry trees, ripe for the picking.”

  173. #173 clinteas
    August 16, 2008

    //numbers. there are 1.3 billion muslims.//

    Your point being?

  174. #174 Grammar RWA
    August 16, 2008

    but nadine strossen style ACLU speech absolutism is viewed in some quarters as giving comfort to the white male patriarchy.

    False dilemma.

    I donate yearly to the ACLU.

    I agree they give comfort to the white male patriarchy (Nazis in Skokie, etc).

    The laws don’t protect me unless they protect the assholes too. It’s my anecdotal experience (if we’re giving such bullshit the weight you’ve asked for) that 9 out of 10 lefties agree with my approach.

  175. #175 raz
    August 16, 2008

    speaking of data….
    http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/2008/08/insulting_religions_and_races.php

    (and no, 9 out of 10 lefties do not agree with you obviously, look at the results)

  176. #176 Escuerd
    August 16, 2008

    Razib, you’re a brilliant satirist. Thanks for the laughs.

    It was kind of painful to watch, though. Reading through the comments, I was thinking that if I came to the end, and you hadn’t owned up, I’d have to say something. I’m surprised that it went on so long, given that you had the link to Gene Expression in your signature.

    This is the reason I always feel the need to explicitly identify any sarcasm and satire in my posts.

    By the way, if people want to talk with some crazy Muslims, there are quite a few on the message boards of orkut.com. I don’t know if the site still requires an invite, as I haven’t logged on there much in a couple of years, but I recall seeing daily hate messages, and many death threats to someone who owned a group called “Qur’an is not from God”.

    The reaction over the cartoons in some of those groups was an eye opener.

  177. #177 vespera
    August 16, 2008

    Oops, I was fooled too, and my comment showed up after Razib’s confession. Never mind.

  178. #178 PeteK
    August 16, 2008

    Why was the biscuit crying? Its mother had been a wafer a long time..

  179. #179 razib
    August 17, 2008

    I’d have to say something. I’m surprised that it went on so long, given that you had the link to Gene Expression in your signature.

    right, i did that purposely. it’s interesting. when i accused richard dawkins of being an islamophobe people didn’t “get it” either though laid the identitarian talk as thickly as i thought possible without seeming mentally unbalanced.

  180. #180 Grammar RWA
    August 17, 2008

    speaking of data….
    http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/2008/08/insulting_religions_and_races.php

    (and no, 9 out of 10 lefties do not agree with you obviously, look at the results)

    That’s funny; when I was pulling numbers out of my ass like your loaded anecdotes, I was originally going to go with 4 out of 5, which is how the self-described liberals came out. Remember kids, when making shit up, go with your gut.

    The statement is poorly phrased. It should just say “even if they are offensive”, not “even if they are harmful or offensive”. By counting “harmful”, it’s counting people who are opposed to death threats and other forms of speech that are not Constitutionally protected. I don’t know that this would skew the numbers for any particular political persuasion, but it would raise the “agrees” across the board.

    And what of the results, regardless of my complaint? In every political group, over 50% of those polled agreed with the First Amendment as it stands. That’s a reality rather removed from your claim that “free speech absolutists are thin on the ground today.” Zomg! Another sign of the non-crisis!

  181. #181 Patricia
    August 17, 2008

    I just don’t give a flying fuck.
    Muslims aren’t any crazier than those that believe in the Protoevangelion, the Gospel of Nicodemus or the Apocalypse of Peter…
    blah, blah, blah.
    It’s all bullshit. Sorry, it’s 107 degrees here & my kindness is cooked…

  182. #182 mayhempix
    August 17, 2008

    Posted by: Pierce R. Butler | August 16, 2008 10:35 PM #138
    mayhempix @ # 92: Please re-read my criticism @ # 83 of one line you wrote and tell me how that equates…”

    OK.

    Now please read my comment #33 mayhempix | August 16, 2008 2:30 PM

    That is the original comment that shows the context in which I responded to you after you inferred I said something I had not.

  183. #183 Bacopa
    August 17, 2008

    Back whe there was the fatwa against Rshdie I thought an appropriate response would be to destroy something sacred to those who attack free publishing in the west. You kill an author, we destroy a holy srine, up to and including that box of holy rocks in Mecca.

    Ind this threat should not be directed solely against Muslims. If a Catholic utjob kills PZ, there goes St Peter’s. Who goves a shit about the art we destroy?.

    If a fundie who is upset it didn’t rain in Denver shoots folks at the convention,; Bomb the crap out of Colorado Springs and send Dobson to Gitmo. Fundies have proven their immunity to reason. The only we seculaists can be free fo promote the things we love is to gain so much influence that we can impose our will by force. Appealing to their reason and compassion will always fail as they have none.

  184. #184 gdlchmst
    August 17, 2008

    It is the 21 century and it is high time to offend the Muslims with our free speech. If anybody cared about me enough to pay me any attention, I would offend the living crap out of the Muslims.

  185. #185 gdlchmst
    August 17, 2008

    @Bacopa #183

    I would prefer to make them cower in front of our mind-blowing rationality. But I suppose your method would be more effective (i.e. scary). To each his own.

  186. #186 tsig
    August 17, 2008

    we should offend muslims whenever.

  187. #187 tsig
    August 17, 2008

    “so pz himself understand that those of color are not the same as those who have white skin privilege. so keep attacking christian fundamentalists for being savages; when you do the same to people of color there are very different implications and historical baggage which you’re running into. in the USA you can currently keep doing this, but not in most of the world. and i suspect you’ll see a change in your lifetime in the USA too.”

    Love the baby-raper do you.

  188. #188 SCOOTER
    August 17, 2008

    Thanks Razib for the entertainment. Trolling gets a bad name , but actually it can be an art form.

    Trolling refers to a type of fishing, not a guy under a bridge, so when you are trolling, you are trying to get bites.

    I’ve enjoyed Razib, and as an old troll myself, from the days of the Usenet internets, when the web was mosaic, and Anarchy was a search engine, I salute Razib, that was old school trolling, and yall should have been tipped off by the lack of of grammatical errors.

    In answer to Razib’s inquiries, as to the final solution to the Muslim problem.

    a. We should continue to fund more fundamentalist groups and offshoots of the Muslim brotherhood in concert with Israel, who created Hamas to fuck with Arafat, and Bin Laden to fuck with the Soviets and prolong the Cold War but the Russian bastards refused to cooperate and caved..

    b. Whenever a democratic institution rears it’s head in the Middle East we should crush it faster than you can say Mohammed Mosaddeq.

    c. We should continue financial dealings with the worst elements of fundamentalist Islam, like the wasabi saudi kooks, while bitching about evil dictators such as the sinister commie Chavez and rebuke his oil, because he doesn’t buy jet fighters or return the petro dollars into the US economy.

    d. Modern secular Muslim nations such as Iraq before Sadam, Libya under Khaddafy, or Afghanistan in the seventies will not be tolerated.

    e. Keep talking up Israel, bombing the shit out of Muslims, threatening non Arab shiites in Iran, and try to provoke them into to a continuously escalating land grabbing oil soaked religion fueled nuclear war and cleanse the Middle East of these sub-human Jews and Muslims to make way for the glorious second coming of Christ, and when that doesn’t work, send Mexican workers into the radio active wastelands to pump out the oil, and live to tell your three headed mutant children what daddy did in world war three.

  189. #189 scooter
    August 17, 2008

    BTW, Razib, I just upped you one holocaust, try to deny that one.

  190. #190 Strakh
    August 17, 2008

    Razib has been entertaining, hasn’t it? But it is very correct on one very important point:
    Because these filthy, ignorant, superstitious, violent atavisms do breed like the rats they are, they will soon outnumber rational humans and they will over-run the planet in a very few generations…
    Something to think about in this war on the disgusting shit of all religions: time is running out and the idiots are breeding…
    No religion, nor any believer, deserves anything but disgust, mocking, derision, and ostracizing at all times in every place, now, and until they outbreed rational humans.
    That isn’t intolerance, you disgusting piece of vomit razib, it’s just human common sense.

  191. #191 ermine
    August 17, 2008

    I don’t think the ‘They’re going to outbreed us!’ excuse really holds much water. How many people of ANY religion, Muslim included, abandon the more fundamentalist parts of their faith(s) when they move out of their oppressive countries? Not all, but quite a few do!

    I don’t think you can say ‘They’re going to outbreed us!’ unless you have actually looked at the statistics for how many muslims remain in their faith all their lives, how many raise their children in the same repressive cloisters, or how many drop the worst aspects of their faith as they assimilate – and they DO assimilate.

    No, as the world becomes increasingly secular, ALL religious groups are hemorrhaging members constantly. How many religions are actually growing in any way besides births, and how many of those are actually losing more members than they gain, but continue to list everyone who has ever been a member to keep the numbers looking good?

    Just as I became convinced that C.M. Kornbluth’s ‘The Marching Morons’ wasn’t really something I had to worry about, thanks to that sort of behavior not breeding true in most places, I don’t think that I need to worry about the Muslims outbreeding the other minorities in their areas and taking over their countries. This same worry was voiced about the Irish, Amerinds, Italians, Asians, Blacks, Mexicans.. Just about every unwanted minority at one time or another. People assimiliate. They intermarry, they take on the religions of their new families, they mix their cultures – They don’t outbreed all the other minorities and take over the country.

    It’s never happened yet. Why should we panic and assume that this time it’ll be different, without some real honest study on the subject?

    Get back to me when you’ve got something a little more concrete than a badly-worded poll.

  192. #192 Rey Fox
    August 17, 2008

    It’s quite possible that pop culture will eventually erode religion away, or at least keep it in check. Who wants Wahabiism when you got Mariah Carey?

    Or was that Zohan movie just entirely too rosy?

  193. #193 negentropyeater
    August 17, 2008

    So I’ll come back to my question, before this fake troll thing spoilt any possible constructive discussion. (see post #116)

    As Inkadu rightfully noted, we need to encourage a much more moderate, liberal view of Islam and give it a place to incubate and grow, in order to destabilize fundamentalist regimes.

    The question is how do we do it ?

    There is little doubt that if today, European and even worse American intellectuals are openly criticizing Islam in the European or American press and blogs, this will have very little effect unless this is taken over by public intellectuals from the east. Problem, the 8 years of war on terror of Mr Bush have basically blocked this kind of exchange, not only during that period, but for some time after this. In the current context, if a public intellectual from the east were to take over and interpret “God is not great” from Christopher Hitchens and make it more relevant for muslim populations, this would be unfortunately received as an instrument of American imperialism and not an open criticism of Islam.
    Mr Bush has basically succeeded in winding the clock quasi a generation backwards in time in those countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, Morrocco, where there was already a begining or at least a semblant of liberalisation already taking place prior to 9/11.

    So, how do we do it ? Keep in mind that if liberalisation is to take place in these countries, it needs to be seen by the local populations as an effort from within, and not a reaction to external western pressures.

    It would be exactly the same, if the New Atheist efforts had been interpreted in America as those nasty unfaithful Europeans trying to infiltrate American thought and culture.

  194. #194 scooter
    August 17, 2008

    Strakh @190

    Because these filthy, ignorant, superstitious, violent atavisms do breed like the rats they are, they will soon outnumber rational humans

    Rational humans like you?
    BWAHAHAHAHAHA

    good one

  195. #195 Strakh
    August 17, 2008

    Ah, the lovely, “if we just ignore it, it’ll go away” syndrome. After all, they’re reasonable adults, right?
    One need only look at what has been done in the name of religion so far to realize that’s a load of shit thinking.
    How nice you read fiction. While Kornbulth was the not first to realize this problem, he did say it quite well. Meanwhile, the most popular show on TV is American Idol, America is in the toilet education wise, and the fascists are quietly taking the country over.
    But hey, snark each other, think that if you treat rabid idiots like rational people things will be a-okay, and just generally feel good about your intellectual masturbation, and it will all go away…

  196. #196 scooter
    August 17, 2008

    negentropyeater #193

    You seem to believe that somehow we can ‘reason’ our way out of a geo political game that is based on energy policy, mistaking it as a religious disaster.

    I can’t understand why anybody would think that.

    The Muslim brotherhood crazies, who are the foundation of the Islamist revolution, got their traction from the West, real dollars, arm shipments, then refused to go away.

    They increase their traction by demonizing the west when convenient, and playing ball when there are upstart modern Arabs to be wiped out.

    it’s the old Cold War game.

    You need a bogey-man, an enemy to rally the masses to commit violence, and shoot people from a helicopter, or strap a on a dynamite belt and run into a cafe.

    It’s all about stoopifying the sheep with razzle dazzle American Flags or Muhammed, piss be upon him, the sheep will walk into gunfire, eat flies, and breathe dust from depleted Uranium shells because they are sheep, they serve their master, and the masters have common interests.

    The sheep do not have common interests with the masters, and that’s why they are sheep.

    The shit is about resources, land grabbing, greed, and dying for Allah or America, it’s all the same. Who gives a shit about what these idiots believe, it’s not about that.

    Why would you think that enlightening Muslims would cool things out, when everything the US has done for the last fifty years is to incite them, finance the kooks , piss them off at every juncture, and crush democracy and moderates at every turn in the middle east.

    I don’t get it, I can’t understand why you think this is a battle to enlighten the Muslim World when all the evidence is to the contrary.

  197. #197 negentropyeater
    August 17, 2008

    Scooter,

    nothing I dsagree with what you wrote. I think you are just misinterpreting my question.

  198. #198 Arren
    August 17, 2008
    @ Strakh

    America is in the toilet education wise, and the fascists are quietly taking the country over.

    You know, “Strakh,” great strides have been made in recent times insofar as the treatment of paranoid delusions. Perhaps you might consider seeing a psychiatrist?

    RE: Razib

    Having just read this entire thread, Razib’s quasi-trolling seems far from worthless to me. The responses it has engendered here are fascinating in their own right.

    After mulling it over, especially in light of people not getting his Dawkins-as-Islamaphobe satire, I can’t help but wonder if his Muslim name is given undue importance by some within the secular community – quite ironic, if so, given that Muslims apparently react to his name in a similarly reductive fashion.

  199. #199 negentropyeater
    August 17, 2008

    Scooter,

    if critcizing Islam in the European or American newspapers and blogs were only to convince the over 95% non muslim population of those countries that Islam is crazy nonsense, well, that’s nice, but not really that difficult.

  200. #200 scooter
    August 17, 2008

    Strakh @195

    I have a different point of view from most americans.

    I don’t believe that the muslims and arabs are a real threat to America. 2200 New Yorkers is just the cost of being a Player, and I couldn’t smell it from my house.

    On the other hand, you seem to believe that these muslims are a threat to America, yet you have not enlisted in the military to protect our nation from that threat.

    If I thought they were a threat, I’d be in the Middle East killing the shit out of them.

    You will predictably reply that you are too old, stupid, or too busy to protect the United States from an imminent threat, and the Army won’t take you because you have extreme flatulence, or similar neo conservative draft dodging excuses..

    However, I live in Houston, and have connections to people at Halliburton and can get you a job driving truck in Iraq, in a moments notice.

    The troops need your support, and the jobs are wide open, if you are willing to protect the United States from an imminent threat from the muslim hordes.

    The difference between me and you, is that I would put my ass on the line if I believed our country was threatened, I do not believe that.

    You do believe that, yet you choose not to take up arms against the enemy.

    You are a coward.

    The problem with cowards is that if the shit gets real, and the US really comes under threat, and we are invaded, fucks like you will simply roll over like the Vichy French, because your cowardice is an established fact, and you will turn over people like myself, the resistance, to your new overlords.

    That’s why during the American Revolution, most of the Americans killed were cowards and British sympathizers like yourself, slaughtered by fellow Americans.

    The first thing one does in a revolution, is kill off all the paper patriots, who refuse to take a stand, by putting their life on the line, then you go after the enemy.

    That’s why I support the second amendment, because if the shit goes down, we need to kill you first, and then get on with defending the country.

  201. #201 scooter
    August 17, 2008

    Scooter,

    nothing I dsagree with what you wrote. I think you are just misinterpreting my question.

    apologies

    pretty good rant though, huh?

  202. #202 negentropyeater
    August 17, 2008

    Strakh 190,

    Because these filthy, ignorant, superstitious, violent atavisms do breed like the rats they are, they will soon outnumber rational humans and they will over-run the planet in a very few generations…

    Oh yes ? Within Europe and the USA, the population that is growing the fastest are non religious folks.
    What hypothesis are you making to warrant your conclusion that those nations from Asia and Africa where there are predominantely muslim population, and who indeed have much higher population growth rates, will “over-run the planet in a very few generations” ? What does it mean exactly, to over-run the planet ? Can you be specific ?

  203. #203 negentropyeater
    August 17, 2008

    Scooter,

    ranting has always been one of my favourite hobbies ;-)

  204. #204 Strakh
    August 17, 2008

    Spoken like a true basement dweller scooter-I am indeed a vet from the Iran Hostage Crisis on to today, and my daughter is one of the current stupid shit.
    Having lived in the “hot” countries, as the media and those who dwell in their parents’ basements like yourself have not, I have seen first hand that while we all back here in the comfy ‘god-blessed US of A’ think if we all just try and get along, it’ll all turn out peaches and cream in the end…it won’t. The sheep breed, and they hate us for whatever reason you think you can ascribe to them, or whatever your beloved sociology prof tells you…
    As you say, the sheep are not the ones doing this shit, however, they are so easily manipulated, they will be used as seen fit by those whose pocket-books stand to prosper..
    And Scooter-as one who has stood in foriegn countries under the US flag, the ignorant, flippant shit you snark is indeed free and protected, but it is not appreciated…

  205. #205 Paul Hands
    August 17, 2008

    http://www.atheists.org/nogodblog/index.php/2008/08/16/god_on_money

    Hey, folks, sorry to try to rudely interrupt a thread, but PZ’s away, and there isn’t an open thread running. Anyway : Another poll to hijack. It’s about whether having the old “In god we trust” should be allowed on currency. Right now it’s at 50:50.

    Paul

  206. #206 scooter
    August 17, 2008

    Strakh,

    like the doctor says open your mouth and say Baaaaaa

    -I am indeed a vet from the Iran Hostage Crisis

    And I am the bastard love child of Robert Oppenheimer and Helen Caldicott.

    my daughter is one of the current stupid shit.

    I salute you, as a fellow parent for throwing your daughter into a meatgrinder, and you are not a loser as a parent for what reason Dr Poe?

    If not, just open up, and say Baaaaa baaaa

    -

  207. #207 Brian Macker
    August 17, 2008

    Zar,

    “A major distinction, I think, is that critics of Islam (at least in the west) are often outsiders, basing a lot on cluelessness and stereotypes, whereas critics of Christianity (again, in the west) are insiders, often coming from a Christian background or just coming from a society where Christianity is everywhere.”

    You are aware that the critics of Islam from the inside are thrown in jail, murdered on the streets, executed, etc. You really need to refrain from using the term clueless to describe your intellectual opponents.

    You really need to pick up a biography of one of those internal critics of Islam. Just go on amazon and pick up a few books. See how any questioning is treated. See how attempts by Muslims to follow their conscience and to mind their own business results in assasination attempts by ones own family members, prison, death sentences, and the like. I say attempts because these are after all the ones who survive to write a book. The ones who end up dead tell no tales and that’s how Islam wants it.

    Anyone who thinks that Islam and Christianity are in modern times are of equal danger to non-believers is living in a fantasy world. There was no golden age of Islamic tolerance either. They have an extremely embarrassing history of intolerance and it rivals Christianities in every particular.

    What they don’t have is a pacifist founder and any sort of reformation, nor is it likely to come. The beliefs are completely different so what “worked” for Christianity isn’t going to work for Islam.

    It is in fact your ignorance that speaks here.

  208. #208 scooter
    August 17, 2008

    Brian, since you’re a scholar of history, tell us about Islam around the 11th and 12th centuries.

  209. #209 Brian Macker
    August 17, 2008

    “If I thought they were a threat, I’d be in the Middle East killing the shit out of them.”

    That shows how simplistic your thinking is. You are one violent dude, really.

    Your simplistic thinking shows in that and your criticism of others for not joining the army to support their opinions.

    Let’s turn your ridiculous argument in on itself. It is you who is the coward. Why? Because you aren’t over in Iraq/Palestein protecting all those innocents you seem to think we are just randomly “killing the shit out of”. Do the right thing and even if you are too old for the military you should be over there transporting bombs under your clothes to locations with evil Israeli babies and female college students.

    So using your ridiculous reasoning it is you who should shut his trap.

    “Why would you think that enlightening Muslims would cool things out, when everything the US has done for the last fifty years is to incite them, finance the kooks , piss them off at every juncture, and crush democracy and moderates at every turn in the middle east.”

    Because that is your fantasy land twisting of events and not the reality.

    “That’s why I support the second amendment, because if the shit goes down, we need to kill you first, and then get on with defending the country.”

    The simple knee-jerk wiring of your nervous system is a miracle to behold. I betcha if you were dissected they wouldn’t even find any intervening ganglia.

  210. #210 negentropyeater
    August 17, 2008

    Brian,

    What they don’t have is a pacifist founder and any sort of reformation, nor is it likely to come. The beliefs are completely different so what “worked” for Christianity isn’t going to work for Islam.

    I’d just like to test a little bit more your conclusion that it’s not likely to come, and ask, what, if any, could be the factors that could encourage it vs those that will defintely block it ?

  211. #211 scooter
    August 17, 2008

    Brian @ 209

    That shows how simplistic your thinking is. You are one violent dude, really.

    I didn’t say I wasn’t violent, I consider violence a secret lover, we have been quite passionate, but it is something to be treasured, not flaunted, nor strewn about mindlessly.

    Your simplistic thinking shows in that and your criticism of others for not joining the army to support their opinions.

    I would refer to them as pussies, but that’s somewhat misogynist, and an insult to pussy.

    It is you who is the coward. Why? Because you aren’t over in Iraq/Palestein protecting all those innocents you seem to think we are just randomly “killing the shit out of”.

    Where in your little bo peep emotions did you think I would put my ass on the line for Palestinians, New Yorkers or Iraquis?

    I am perfectly willing to take at least 100,000 American casualties a year by terrorists before I get upset, as long as I can’t smell it from my house.

    So using your ridiculous reasoning it is you who should shut his trap.

    English not first language, I’ll forgive that.

    Because that is your fantasy land twisting of events and not the reality.

    What reality are you referring to?

    My reality is that they emptied my high school for viet nam fodder, most of them came home alive, but more kids were murdered by police in my neighborhood than died in Viet Nam, and as of this year, more viet nam Vets have committed suicide than died in than shitty little war, that’s my reality. how about yours?

    Way over two million people in jail in the United States, by far the outstanding per capita incarceration on the planet, but I’d still defend it, unlike most of the wimpy gutless right wing asswipes I suffer daily.

  212. #212 negentropyeater
    August 17, 2008

    I’ve lived 6 years of my life in two predominantely muslim countries, Malaysia and Morrocco, and I’m not that willing to take for granted that some sort of reformation, or some kind of, dare I say, islamic enlightenment, cannot take place there.

    As populations become better educated and more wealthy, as more cross-cultural exchanges take place, pressure for reformation grows. This is something which was already taking place to various degrees depending on the countries, prior to 9/11.

    It is however true that a particular type of Western intervention has made it awfully less likely that any kind of reformation be succesful within the near future.

  213. #213 Brian Macker
    August 17, 2008

    “Brian, since you’re a scholar of history, tell us about Islam around the 11th and 12th centuries.”

    Is that the time period you wish to choose? You want to cherry pick the coutries also? Anybody can play that game. Do you think that the periods of purges, genocides, religious riots, progroms, slavery, etc. all have to align historically between two different cultures? Are you really that naive?

    My contention is that Islam is on the same historically on the same footing with regards to intolerance as Christianity at it’s very worst. Look up the genocide of the Armenians, the Martyrs of Cordoba, the genocide of Indian pagans, etc.

    You of course are trying to refer here to the myth of the golden age of tolerance in medieval muslim spain. Failing to recognize that it was about as tolerant of non-muslims as the Southern US was of blacks during it’s period of slavery, and Jim-Crow.

    All during the period that you cherry picked Jews were being persecuted. Early 11th century Jews fled the anti-Jewish riots that occured un Almohades, and Almoravids in Granada and the muslim areas of Spain and those Jew fled north. Dwindling Jewish populations are not a mark of tolerance.

    Even during the most repressive eras of Christian violence against Jews that followed the overthrow of the Muslim oppresion in Spain more Jews fled to Christian countries than Muslim ones. As is often the case in slave revolts and other rebellions against oppression there was a backlash not only against the Muslims but the Jewish collaborators. Thus the violence of that Christian era had more roots in Muslim the period of intolerance than Christian doctrine.

    I could go on but I have a life other than educating the ignorant. You should also look up the history of slavery practiced by Muslims. Not only were they deeply involved with the western slave trade but had been practicing it for centuries before. More slaves poured into Muslim countries than ever did to western ones, both black and white. Worse yet, their treatment was so bad that there are few survivors. Eunichs and sex slaves who’s babies are exterminated don’t leave decendants.

  214. #214 scooter
    August 17, 2008

    Brian @213

    You are an historical moron

    The 11th and 12th centuries were the age of the Mongels.

    They completely destroyed Islamic civilization, for good reason.

    After Kahn took China and Russia, he tried to establish trade routes. But the asshats and sedentary sultans and Immans kept sending his emissaries back with their heads on pikes.

    This pissed of Genghis Kahn in a big way, so he swept through Iran, Iraq, and slaughtered the ruling classes and burned their shitty little mosques.

    Then he figured, ‘what the fuck, let’s keep going’ and eventually they got all the way to the Danube, and the Eastern European shitheads.

    This was about the time of the templar Knights and all the Crusading jew killing, anti muslim idiots, and after occupying the Polish shithole, the Catholic Knights and their cannon fodder arrived to save the day.

    The Mongels were outnumbered 4 to 1, but dispatched and slaughtered the entire european army in one week.

    This ended the Crusades, but the Mongels were more interested in cultures that had something to offer, and Eastern Europe was a peasant shithole so they pulled out and the polish to this day celebrate their victory over the Mongels, and eat crackers and produce low grade steel and boil sausage.

    A result of the Mongel enlightenment was the destruction of the Caliphate, and Islam retreated into Egypt, all but destroyed.

    Unfortunately, the opening of the silk road spread the Black Plague, and the Mongel secularist movement died, and the ignorant death cult desert religions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism were able to grow and suck the life from humanity like the hideous malignant pustules we know today.

  215. #215 fatherdaddy
    August 17, 2008

    Do you think it is OK to attack the religion of peace that is Islam? I would like to see you attack Christianity like this. You are too afraid of the Christians to attack their religion. Praise Allah!

  216. #216 Escuerd
    August 17, 2008

    Bacopa @ #183:

    Don’t you think that St. Peter’s Basilica or the Kaaba have any historical value? I care about the art that would be destroyed.

    And there’s something more than a little horrific about imposing real punishments (like imprisonment) on people who are merely ideologically identified with something we find detestable (like Dobson). It’s totally opposed to the intent of free speech.

  217. #217 negentropyeater
    August 17, 2008

    Brian,

    My contention is that Islam is on the same historically on the same footing with regards to intolerance as Christianity at it’s very worst. Look up the genocide of the Armenians, the Martyrs of Cordoba, the genocide of Indian pagans, etc.

    -armenian genocide : 1915-1918
    -martyrs of Cordoba : 851-859
    -indian pagan genocide : Are you refering to the genocide of bengalis and hindus by non-bengali muslims in Bangla Desh in 1971 ?

    I think that if one looks at recent history, namely the 50 year period 1951-2001, there is clear evidence that a process of liberalisation was starting to take place, with different degrees of success and failure, depending on the economic development of the countries, their relationships with the West, and the type of regime in place.

    All was not completely that obscure as during the worst periods of Christianity.

  218. #218 scooter
    August 17, 2008

    @ 215

    I would respond to this by asking if I could fuck your nine year old daughter, but fucking young girls before puberty was apparently pioneered by Mohammed, piss be upon him.

    I’m not aware of ancient civilizations as far back as 5000 years fucking women before puberty, that’s a taboo that predates the written word.

    Thanks for bringing pedophilia into the mainstream, the Catholics are loving you guys.

  219. #219 Strakh
    August 17, 2008

    The point, you tit sucking mama’s boy scooter, is that in my family, it is recognized that freedom is not free and we owe our country service, even if we most vehemently disagree with the stupid shits running it.
    This is not the path of tit-sucking mama’s boys like you scooter, it is the path of those who are thankful for where they were born and wish to stand up for the privilege of being free.
    That way, when we disagree with what’s going on, we know what we’re talking about, unlike tit-sucking mama’s boys like you who prefer to spit and sputter your mommy’s milk from the safety of her basement.

  220. #220 scooter
    August 17, 2008

    You were not kidnapped by Iranians, you lied about that.

    You don’t know shit about history, and I doubt you ever got laid or had a daughter.

    The difference between you and I is that I post my emale, and home phone number behind my posts, go to my website. I am easily accessible.

    You just take potshots from the peanut gallery, do not have the courage to identify yourself, and remind me of the pathetic anti-semetic Christian lunatic, VenomFangX.

    If you would like to spout your nonsense on the airwaves, I’d like to invite you onto my weekly radio program.

    Contact me through my website.

    Fair enough? Or do you need your mommies tit for the courage to face me in public?

  221. #221 JoJo
    August 17, 2008

    I haven’t seen such chest beating since I saw a Jane Goodall film a couple of years ago.

    Children, I think it’s time for you to go to your rooms and don’t come out until you can play nice together.

  222. #222 Strakh
    August 17, 2008

    Hear, hear, JoJo!
    But then, I’ve noticed it’s always the ones who never went who thump the loudest, like that other blowhard scooter is like: that popular pill-popping purveyer of gutless saber-rattling, Limbaugh.
    But then, gosh, they have radio shows and all, so they must be, like, you know, really tough and all…

  223. #223 SteveM
    August 17, 2008

    Trolling refers to a type of fishing, not a guy under a bridge, so when you are trolling, you are trying to get bites.

    That is trawling. Internet trolls are just like the “under the bridge” creatures, popping up out of nowhere to harass innocent travelers. And like the trolls in Dungeons and Dragons cannot be killed, they just keep regenerating and coming back for more. Oddly, unlike D&D trolls, they cannot be killed by flames and instead seem to revel in them.

  224. #224 negentropyeater
    August 17, 2008

    Cmon Strakh, Scooter just invited you onto his weekly radio show, he seems like a nice guy, how can you resist ?

  225. #225 clinteas
    August 17, 2008

    Goes to show that discussing Islam brings out lively emotional responses in people !

    Mine range from wanting to nuke the whole middle east to plain frustration.

    The one thing we should never do,IMO,is to cave in to Islamists’ threats and intimidation,fuck them,they might get away with killing the odd filmmaker,but they keep doing this shit,people will eventually take notice and get upset.
    And as I said further upthread,this is the 21st century,and there are other ways to speak your mind,and publish islam-critical stuff,use the net,be creative,and if you are a publisher,dont be a pussy like Random House.

    Not going into this whole “who is the better american and defending his country more effectively” shit,it seems a bit puerile to me as non-american,to be honest.

    And Strakh, “titsucking mama boys” is not the level on which people have discussions here,you might want to try a bit harder.Just sayin’

  226. #226 Strakh
    August 17, 2008

    I have found, over the years, that rational discussion with the likes of scooter et. al. is a fruitless endeavor so I treat them with the respect they deserve, which is to say, none.
    As far as level of discourse here, you might wish to read a bit more of this blog…dialog ranges from erudite to downright silly, all in good fun.
    It has been a salvation to me to read that not all of the up and coming youngsters are self-absorbed twits but are indeed some intelligent, widely-read, involved people with some wicked senses of humor.
    When dipshits stroll over and make naive arguments here, they get their pinheads handed back to them, including any white, or brown, or black pinheads who believe in any manifestation of the filth of religion from the big stupid three to the most obscure crystal-rubbing muffin-lovers…
    And before any real muffin-lovers object, we’re talking cosmic muffins here, not the wonderful concoctions from your local bakery..

  227. #227 negentropyeater
    August 17, 2008

    Mine range from wanting to nuke the whole middle east to plain frustration.

    You mean like this guy :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJuNgBkloFE
    at 1’37

    “we make a big blast crater out of the fucking middle-east, for all I care”

    The guy, the intonation, it made me laugh so much when I first saw it…

  228. #228 Nick Gotts
    August 17, 2008

    scooter,
    He [Pat Condell] seems like a Michael Savage styled bigot from a US perspective, but the situation is different.
    I’ve only seen a few of his videos, but my judgement from those is that he is indeed a bigot – I’m not surprised he includes Michael Savage videos among his favourites.

    I see the problem in GB a result of a state religion, which makes it difficult to argue from a legal secular position.
    No, it doesn’t.

    London has had problems with neo fascist groups and skinheads targeting ethnic minorities so they instituted an anti-blasphemy law protecting Jews and Sikhs, prohibiting criticism of their fairy tales.
    There was never any such law. I think what you are confusedly referring to is the Racial and Religious Hatred Act (2006),

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racial_and_Religious_Hatred_Act_2006 which Rowan Atkinson among many others rightly criticised in the form the government introduced it to Parliament. It was never an anti-blasphemy measure, but was badly drafted. The House of Lords amended it to remove the possibility it could be used in attempts to criminalise criticism of religion, even in “offensive” terms, so long as it did not have the intention of inciting hatred against an individual or group, and the government failed to overturn these amendments. What the 2006 Act did was extend to all religious and non-religious groups the protection previously available only to Jews and Sikhs, who were classified as racial/ethnic groups under previous legislation.

    Also, I’m sorry to have to appear to side with Brian Macker on anything, but the Mongol (not Mongel) invasions were 13th century, not 11th-12th – that was the period of the Seljuk ascendancy for Islam east of Egypt. The Almoravid and Almohad dynasties in Spain that he refers to were unusually intolerant for Muslims of that era.

  229. #229 clinteas
    August 17, 2008

    @ Strakh,no 226:

    //As far as level of discourse here, you might wish to read a bit more of this blog//

    Read plenty of it mate,and for years,I think I have a very good idea about the level of discourse,thanks for your concern.
    And what I have read from you so far,your level of discourse to me seems well below par,and up there with the fundies way of arguing,no offense.

    Neg,
    that was funny,ty for the link !

  230. #230 Strakh
    August 17, 2008

    Yup, stroke that ego, clinteas, it’ll do ya good!
    (Another weanie from the stands, ever ready with a quip, never ready with a hand…)

  231. #231 negentropyeater
    August 17, 2008

    hi Nick, long time no see, glad you’re here…

  232. #232 Nick Gotts
    August 17, 2008

    On another point from this thread, I’m not clear what razib’s point was. Not being familiar with him, and not bothering to click on his link (because trolls’ links often lead nowhere relevant), I identified him as a fascist pretending to be an islamist extremist – I’ve never come across any of the latter who produce the particular variety of crap he was emitting. So some people were fooled? So what? If he isn’t already, razib should be aware that many of the prominent “anti-Islamic” politicians and commentators in Europe wouldn’t give a stuff that he’s an atheist – this rhetoric is very often just a convenient cover for racism. That’s a major reason European liberals are wary of joining in criticism of Islam or Muslims, even when it’s thoroughly justified, as it often is – we don’t want to find ourselves marching alongside racists and fascists.

    On two more points:
    1) Nothing in this thread has done anything to diminish my impression that anyone using the term “politically correct” of a view they disagree with, is at best an ignoramus.
    2) For those who haven’t read Satanic Verses, I recommend it. Actually, the only Rushdie I’ve yet managed to finish, although the stage version of Midnight’s Children was very good, and I would expect the book to be as well.

  233. #233 clinteas
    August 17, 2008

    NG,

    agree very much re: the razib thing,I didnt get it,I didnt see the point,I didnt think it was funny.

  234. #234 Nick Gotts
    August 17, 2008

    Hi neg,
    Thanks for the welcome back, I’ve been away on holiday and out of internet contact for a week. I thought everywhere with more than 3 inhabitants had an internet cafe these days, but I was wrong! Good for me I’m sure.

  235. #235 negentropyeater
    August 17, 2008

    Just wanted to say to various people here, as an anecdote, that when I lived and worked in Malaysia and Morrocco for six years (1995-2000), as an openly gay man, I enountered less prejudices and more open and tolerant people, all of them muslims, than when I was in was living in the US (2000-2002) and travelled to such remote places as Texas or Georgia…

  236. #236 Pierce R. Butler
    August 17, 2008

    mayhempix @ # 182: There oughta be a somebody’s law describing the diminishing returns of an online disagreement in which participants end up citing specific lines from their own previous posts…

    … certain uninformed fundamentalist members of the left (and I am an unapologetic leftist) equate criticism of Islam as support of the “Islamofascism” fear-mongering tactics used by Bush and the right…

    Let’s face it: at certain points such criticisms and such fear-mongering do overlap. While I appreciate your clarification, it still seems to me that such overlap occurs when the broader brushes are used, and that it is the painter’s obligation to apply an immediately adjacent clarification as an offset when that effect is not intended.

    Otherwise, as has just happened, you and your readers find themselves distracted into debate over verbal collateral damage.

  237. #237 Pablo
    August 17, 2008

    UT actually has pretty stellar cultural, political, history, and foreign policy departments. It may be a state school, but its high up there quality wise (too bad it has so many stupid frat rats :/).

    Sorry I didn’t go through all the comments, but has this “University of Texas teacher” been identified? More to the point, do we know that it is necessarily UTA? There are a lot of schools in the UT system, and all of them qualify as “University of Texas teachers.” I’m not suggesting that any of the faculty are necessarily bad, but when you consider UT-Dallas, UT-Tyler, UT-San Antonio, UT-Arlington, and UT-El Paso (there could be others), in addition to UT-Austin, there is a good range of faculty.

  238. #238 Patricia
    August 17, 2008

    Glad you’re back Nick, your elegant backhanded cuffs are sorely needed. ;)

    Please gents, stop using the word ‘pussy’ when you want to call another man a coward.

  239. #239 Pablo
    August 17, 2008

    Can we call them “pusillanimous” instead?

    Although, I suspect that could get tiring after a while, such that it gets shortened – oh wait, that’s what’s already happened!

  240. #240 Brian Macker
    August 17, 2008

    “You are an historical moron. The 11th and 12th centuries were the age of the Mongels.”

    … or maybe you are so befuddled you can’t follow a line of reasoning. It’s rare to see someone who is all over the place in his writings the way you are. You hop from subject to subject like a kangaroo on crack. With crazy interpretations of events in all cases.

    That’s your response to my claim:

    “There was no golden age of Islamic tolerance either. They have an extremely embarrassing history of intolerance and it rivals Christianities in every particular.”

    You think that the expansion of the Mongols proves that Islam was tolerant? LOL.

    What is especially funny is that for someone so tough talking and brave you hide behind the pseudonym of Scooter.

  241. #241 negentropyeater
    August 17, 2008

    …still trying to understand how relevant the Mongol expansion is to this discussion…

  242. #242 llewelly
    August 17, 2008

    The blog SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.com has three entries about this book. at one, http://tinyurl.com/63djpk, you can read a .pdf of the prolog. There’s further discussion of why the book was killed at http://tinyurl.com/25nw2s.

    Those links should be:
    http://tinyurl.com/25nw2s
    http://tinyurl.com/63djpk
    People, please, for the sake of your readers, ensure that a space follows the end of url. When a non-space follows a url, the sb software which transforms the url into a link will assume the non-space is included in the url. Thus, when clicking the first of the links in becca’s comment, one is directed to the non-existent resource ‘http://tinyurl.com/63djpk,’ . Note the trailing comma.
    Further, if the reader attempts to select the text to be copied and paste, they will find it’s very easy to accidentally include the comma (or the period) in the selection.

  243. #243 Pierce R. Butler
    August 17, 2008

    scooter @ # 214: Without getting into the pissing match between you & Brian Macker, please allow me to suggest that you patch up your (partially correct) historical knowledge with a little more reading.

    Having recently finished Jack Weatherford’s Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, I can recommend it as a good overview and very readable introduction to the (14th-century) Pax Mongolica, though hardly definitive and probably needing correction in some details.

  244. #244 Pierce R. Butler
    August 17, 2008

    Oh, and to Brian Macker: There were at least two golden ages of Islamic tolerance – look up the caliphates of Harun al-Rashid and Cordova.

    Three if you count the easy-going Sufi imams of Afghanistan and adjoining areas before the US chose to fire up the fundies as a ploy against the Soviets.

  245. #245 Brian Macker
    August 17, 2008

    Negentropyeater,

    “I’d just like to test a little bit more your conclusion that it’s not likely to come, and ask, what, if any, could be the factors that could encourage it vs those that will defintely block it?”

    Did I say “definately block”? I don’t think so. You are putting words in my mouth. I just said they are not going to have a reformation. Which is based on the fact that they are not identical ideologies. Why should such differing ideologies react the same way to events? There are vast differences between the two.

  246. #246 negentropyeater
    August 17, 2008

    Brian,

    I just said they are not going to have a reformation.

    And why then ? An Islamic Reformation would obviously be different from a Protestant Reformation or a Catholic Reformation, or an effort to interpret texts in a far less litteral sense and more metaphorically, or an Islamic Enlightenment, the texts are different but why are you saying that none of this will happen ?

    Just a recent example:

    http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/2008/02/turkey-in-radical-revision-of-islamic.html

    “Turkey is preparing to publish a document that represents a revolutionary reinterpretation of Islam – and a controversial and radical modernisation of the religion.”

  247. #247 negentropyeater
    August 17, 2008

    and btw, it’s not ideologies who react to events, but people. And people revise ideologies all the time.

  248. #248 Jon Rowe
    August 17, 2008

    If ya’ll do want to discuss the wafer issue (regardless of what side you are on, you are welcomed to reply to this post from a Harvard PhD in history that analyzes the historical claim that PZ violated the religious rights of the Catholics, with some quotes from John Adams, who himself had “issues” with the Roman Catholic Church. As John Adams put it:

    In the Countries of slavery, and Romish superstition, the Laity must not learn to read, least they should detect the gross Impostures of the Priesthood, and shake off the Yoke of Bondage. But in Protestant Countries and especially in England and its Colonies, Freedom of Enquiry is allowed to be not only [illegible] the Priviledge but the Duty of every Individual. We know it to be our Duty, to read, examine and judge for ourselves, even of ourselves what is right. No Priest nor Pope has any Right to say what I shall believe, and I will not believe one Word they say, if I think it is not founded in Reason and in Revelation. Now how can I judge what My Bible justifies unless I can read my Bible.

  249. #250 BMcP
    August 17, 2008

    @54 inkadu wrote:

    . A few years ago, some “conservative” cold-country (Norway? Sweden?) politician was killed by mulsims because he was anti-muslim. I thought, well, that’s terrible, but understandable.

    That is like saying it is understandable if some angry Catholic gunned down PZ Myers because he was “anti-Catholic” for nailing a communion wafer and tossing it in the trash. You really think murdering him would be “understandable”?

    I mean, I’d understand if black people gunned down the grand wizard of the KKK.

    Except religion is a choice and a set of behaviors, versus race which is immutable and by default, doesn’t affect one’s behavior.

  250. #251 maxi
    August 17, 2008

    Nick @232

    I would also recommend Haroun and the Sea of Stories. I know it’s technically a children’s book but it has to be one of my op 5 favourite books of all time.

  251. #252 Tony Sidaway
    August 17, 2008

    It’s good to see this kind of discussion happening. We’ll see more by-and-by, I’m sure. The dam has been breached.

  252. #253 mayhempix
    August 17, 2008

    - Posted by: Pierce R. Butler | August 17, 2008 12:24 PM
    - “Let’s face it: at certain points such criticisms and such fear-mongering do overlap. While I appreciate your clarification, it still seems to me that such overlap occurs when the broader brushes are used, and that it is the painter’s obligation to apply an immediately adjacent clarification as an offset when that effect is not intended.
    Otherwise, as has just happened, you and your readers find themselves distracted into debate over verbal collateral damage.” -

    Let’s face it: I’m not responsible you were “distracted” because you reacted emotionally and attacked my post without all the facts. Below I include the complete section of that post. I was very specific by way of example of what I believe cannot be dismissed for PC reasons. You may not agree, but referring back to the first line of my post: If the shoe fits…

    - Posted by: mayhempix | August 16, 2008 2:30 PM #33
    - “A big problem is that certain uninformed fundamentalist members of the left (and I am an unapologetic leftist) equate criticism of Islam as support of the “Islamofascism” fear-mongering tactics used by Bush and the right to promote the war in Iraq and the possible invasion of Iran. I have even heard some claim that Iran is a virtual paradise compared to the US. One leftist “brother” told me it was none of our business when I pointed out that Iran had executed by crane hanging with metal cables, two minors for engaging in homosexual acts. My response was that human rights is everyone’s business be it clitoral castration in Africa or beating gays to death in the US.” -

    It is possible to criticize fundamentalist extremism and at the same time vehemently oppose preemptive military action, colonialism and racial bigotry.

    The idea that we must censor the truth based on the unfounded projection that it causes those to take action who would otherwise not be compelled to verbally and physically attack, in this case, innocent Muslims is pure PC bullshit. In case you missed it “zarib’s” whole satire on this thread was based exactly on the premise that part of the left is too willing to dismiss radical Islam out of sincere but ultimately misplaced emotions. The fact that you included a link to Sami Al-Arian shows the stretch you made to somehow make a link between speaking out against Islamic extremism and his status as a politcal prisoner. They are not related. There is no cause and effect. What needs to be done to help Al-Arian achieve public support and sympathy is to make clear that he and al-Zawahiri are not the same instead of letting it blur to assuage misplaced PC liberal guilt.

    This reminds me of those who get upset when it is pointed out that Castro imprisons and turns a blind eye to the torture homosexuals. The embargo of Cuba is insane but the left should not let Castro off the hook for human rights violations even though the revolution was completely justified. Otherwise the left only repeats and perpetuates the lethal mistake it made by refusing to accept the facts and acknowledge that Stalin was not the great liberator of the people he claimed to be. This enabled the right to paint the left with a “broad brush” to middle America as hapless commie dupes, killed the term “socialism” in US discourse for generations and has done immense harm to this country relative to society’s responsibilites about healthcare, education, etc.

    Pretending that truth must be hidden only serves to strengthen the lies our foes (read: xenophobic paranoid rightwingnuts) use against us and their victims.

  253. #254 Irene Delse
    August 17, 2008

    @ negentropyeater:

    “Serbian publisher withdraws Jones book after protests by Muslims”

    Well, this is ex-Yugoslavia, remember? Where there were in the past 15 years 2 bloody wars between the Serbs and muslim communities in Kosovo and Bosnia…

    So it’s possible that Muslims living in Serbia now are wary of anything a Serb company could publish about Islam, fearing it might be some new islamophobic propaganda. Overreaction, sure, but not without cause.

  254. #255 Nick Gotts
    August 17, 2008

    This reminds me of those who get upset when it is pointed out that Castro imprisons and turns a blind eye to the torture homosexuals. The embargo of Cuba is insane but the left should not let Castro off the hook for human rights violations even though the revolution was completely justified. Otherwise the left only repeats and perpetuates the lethal mistake it made by refusing to accept the facts and acknowledge that Stalin was not the great liberator of the people he claimed to be. This enabled the right to paint the left with a “broad brush” to middle America as hapless commie dupes, killed the term “socialism” in US discourse for generations and has done immense harm to this country relative to society’s responsibilites about healthcare, education, etc. – mayhempix

    There is certainly still a long way to go on LGBT issues, and serious human rights violations in Cuba in other areas, but your information is outdated. Which Castro are you talking about? Fidel is no longer in power due to his health, since Raul became President a law has been passed entitling Cubans to free gender-reassignment surgery, nad Mariela Castro, who heads the National Centre for Sex Education, is quoted thus by Wikipedia:
    “[Homosexuals] still sometimes face arrest by bigoted police” says Castro, adding that she has sometimes clashed with the authorities in her efforts to release gay men and women from prison.”Now, society is more relaxed. There is no official repression of gays and lesbians,”
    Compared to most of Latin America and the Caribbean, Cuba is relatively gay-tolerant, although equality is still a long way off. As to the stuff about Stalin and the right, you need to think about why “socialism” was so much more easily deleted from discourse in the USA than in western Europe. I’m afraid your blithering about “PC” fails to conceal the depths of your ignorance.

  255. #256 Pierce R. Butler
    August 17, 2008

    mayhempix @ # 252: Pretending that truth must be hidden only serves to strengthen the lies …

    Pretending that “truth” is in any bumper-sticker sized statement without qualification rarely strengthens actual understanding, and usually impedes it.

    Your objection to my mention of the vicious multi-year persecution of Dr. Sami Al-Arian indicates you missed my point. The outrageous treatment of a Palestinian activist – against whom the feds have never managed a single conviction despite a decade of wiretaps and millions of dollars in prosecution efforts – has at least succeeded in showing others who might otherwise speak out that they can face a witchhunt unrestrained by the Constitution, expense, honesty or even sanity. This has a powerful silencing effect, especially in a community where even those who hold citizenship often have relatives and friends vulnerable to ICE & other Orwellian agencies.

    Still think US Muslims feel they “have every opportunity to speak out and present their point of view”?

  256. #257 David Marjanovi?, OM
    August 17, 2008

    The demography argument does not work. Immigrants to Western countries drop both their birth rates and their political attitudes to Western levels after 2 or 3 generations. And birth rates are falling worldwide, except in Saudi Arabia and two or three other such countries, not to mention France which has brought its average birth rate back up to 2.1 children per woman by means of… wait for it… rampant socialism.

  257. #258 mayhempix
    August 17, 2008

    To: Nick Gotts | August 17, 2008 5:21 PM

    I hate to break it to you dickhead but I live much of the year in Buenos Aires where homosexual rights are now written in law and where my wife and her friends were victims of the right wing military regime supported by the US. I have been involved in speaking and acting out against US hegenomy in Latin America for almost 3 decades. You picked the wrong guy to challenge on this subject.

    If I was not specifically clear on the difference between the immediate now and recent past in Cuba, I was remiss in using “imprisons” instead of “imprisoned”. I’m sorry if you were incapable of understanding that my comments on Castro and Stalin were meant to highlight the ongoing errors by certain members of the left to ignore truths out of their foolish need to believe they are somehow annointed to protect the greater agenda.

    If you can’t understand how the denial by the fundie left of Stalin’s crimes severely crippled the progressive socialist movement in the US, I don’t know what to tell you. It gave ammunition to the fundie rightwingnuts and amoral capitalists to pin his atrocities on the left in general paving the way for McCarthy, Nixon, Reagan and George W.

    The same foolishness is being committed by those who feel compelled to deny the crimes committed by fundamentalist Islamic governments and extremists as a pretense to protecting innocent Muslims in the US and abroad.

    I am currently in post production on a documentary about Abe Osheroff, an American activist and former member of the Communist Party who fought with the Lincoln Brigade against Franco in the Spanish Civil War. In one chapter he is virtually expelled from the Party for showing proof that Jewish friends in Russia were executed for speaking out about the mass murders taking place at the orders of Stalin. He found himself underground being pursued by the McCarthyites while dodging the arrows of his former comrades. I had the good fortune of seeing Abe in April at the inauguration of the Lincoln Brigade National Monument in San Francisco. He died the following week an unrepentant leftist and activist who called bullshit wherever he saw it, PC be damned.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abe_Osheroff

    I’m afraid what you call “the depths of (my) ignorance” only serves to reveal the oceans of yours. So please go spill your uneducated fantasy apologetics somewhere else where they don’t know the difference.

  258. #259 Nick Gotts
    August 17, 2008

    mayhempix,

    You made a stupid error about Cuba, and now try to cover it up by blustering. You are clearly unaware, or don’t care, that “political correctness” is just an all-purpose right-wing sneer, deliberately and very successfully employed since at least 1990 to discredit opposition to racism, sexism, etc. I am well aware of Stalin’s crimes, and regard anyone who was in the Communist Party in 1936 as at best a dolt, so I’m not much impressed by your dead friend. My point was that apologias for Stalinism are most certainly not an adequate explanation for the success of the right in deleting “socialism” from US discourse, since they did not have this effect in western Europe.

  259. #260 SC
    August 17, 2008

    Macker the Dull Knife:

    You are aware that the critics of Islam from the inside are thrown in jail, murdered on the streets, executed, etc. You really need to refrain from using the term clueless to describe your intellectual opponents.

    You really need to pick up a biography of one of those internal critics of Islam. Just go on amazon and pick up a few books. See how any questioning is treated. See how attempts by Muslims to follow their conscience and to mind their own business results in assasination attempts by ones own family members, prison, death sentences, and the like. I say attempts because these are after all the ones who survive to write a book. The ones who end up dead tell no tales and that’s how Islam wants it.

    And, of course, it’s completely unreasonable to join forces with those struggling against oppression in these countries. Much easier and more sensible to characterize Islam as a monolithic force with a mind and intent of its own. You really need to take a look at the links I provided @ #64, read some of what people involved in internal resistance are saying, recognize that others are showing solidarity with and supporting their efforts, and try a more constructive approach. That’s assuming you genuinely care about their struggles, which you probably don’t.

    Nick Gotts:

    For those who haven’t read Satanic Verses, I recommend it.

    (Hey! Welcome back, Nick!)

    I tried, a few months ago. Only made it through the first few pages. The writing was just too dense for my taste. Made me long for the clear, crisp prose of ?i?ek. ;)

  260. #261 mayhempix
    August 17, 2008

    - Posted by: Pierce R. Butler | August 17, 2008 5:46 PM
    - “Your objection to my mention of the vicious multi-year persecution of Dr. Sami Al-Arian indicates you missed my point… has at least succeeded in showing others who might otherwise speak out that they can face a witchhunt unrestrained by the Constitution, expense, honesty or even sanity. This has a powerful silencing effect, especially in a community where even those who hold citizenship often have relatives and friends vulnerable to ICE & other Orwellian agencies.
    Still think US Muslims feel they “have every opportunity to speak out and present their point of view”? -

    We are speaking at cross purposes at this point. My premise is that speaking out against fundie Islamic idiocy does not cause or perpetuate bigoted actions against Muslims or in any way impact Al-Arian’s horrific predicament. But I would be interested in hearing from or about others who feel too intimidated to speak out about the persecution and bigotry against Muslims in the US specifically because of Al-Arian’s unconstitutional incarceration.

  261. #262 negentropyeater
    August 17, 2008

    The same foolishness is being committed by those who feel compelled to deny the crimes committed by fundamentalist Islamic governments and extremists as a pretense to protecting innocent Muslims in the US and abroad.

    But are there people who are really advocating this in the US and Europe ?

  262. #263 Nick Gotts
    August 17, 2008

    Hi SC,
    I know what you mean about Satanic Verses: it took me at least two tries before I got going – I was determined to read it just to spite those trying to suppress it – so it might be worth another go. Coincidentally, ?i?ek was interviewed for the Guardian‘s weekend colour supplement last week – what a pseud! And, to borrow Bertie Wooster’s description of Schopenhauer, “a grouch of the most pronounced description”!

  263. #264 SC
    August 17, 2008

    Coincidentally, ?i?ek was interviewed for the Guardian’s weekend colour supplement last week – what a pseud! And, to borrow Bertie Wooster’s description of Schopenhauer, “a grouch of the most pronounced description”!

    Yeah, I saw him interviewed on Democracy Now! a few months ago. He did not impress.

  264. #265 Pierce R. Butler
    August 17, 2008

    mayhempix @ # 261: …I would be interested in hearing from or about others who feel too intimidated to speak out about the persecution and bigotry against Muslims in the US specifically because of Al-Arian’s unconstitutional incarceration.

    So would I – but just about all the Muslims I know don’t want to talk about it – for reasons they won’t even discuss…

  265. #266 Nick Gotts
    August 17, 2008

    negentropyeater@262,
    I’m sure there must be some, but I must say I can’t think of any offhand. I’m sure mayhempix will provide us with copious and fully-documented examples. Of course, what mayhempix hears and what those he accuses of being “PC” actually say may not bear much relation to each other.

  266. #267 mayhempix
    August 17, 2008

    Posted by: Nick Gotts | August 17, 2008 7:10 PM
    mayhempix,
    “You made a stupid error about Cuba, and now try to cover it up by blustering.”

    No fatal error or blustering, just facts… but at least I can admit to a grammatical error of verb tense. But if you think that somehow negates the facts of my point, all I can say is good luck on that one.

    - “You are clearly unaware, or don’t care, that “political correctness” is just an all-purpose right-wing sneer, deliberately and very successfully employed since at least 1990 to discredit opposition to racism, sexism, etc.”-

    And I’m sure you must know how Bill Maher feels and George Carlin felt about a term that was initially coined and institutionalized by the left before it was maligned in typical Orwellian fashion by the right.

    - “I am well aware of Stalin’s crimes, and regard anyone who was in the Communist Party in 1936 as at best a dolt, so I’m not much impressed by your dead friend.”-

    You only serve to reinforce your own prejudicial ignorance about that time in US history with the above comment. At least “my dead friend” (who I only met that one time) has influenced many young people through his courses at UCLA, etc., and his film about the SCW, on the importance of speaking out against oppression and bullshit no matter the costs or sacred cows skewered. He was not a perfect man but he mattered and put his life where his mouth was when it mattered most be it fascism in Spain, US hegemony in Nicaragua or the poor on the canals of Venice, CA. I would be most impressed if you could profess anything approaching the same…

    - “My point was that apologias for Stalinism are most certainly not an adequate explanation for the success of the right in deleting “socialism” from US discourse, since they did not have this effect in western Europe.” -

    I never claimed denials of Stalinism were the only cause for the success of the right in deleting “socialism” from US discourse and you fail to include that I mentioned the forces of amoral capitalism. But to dismiss the immense impact it had as a propaganda tool during that time, and even still to some extent today, is just another form of denial that always seems to be the Achilles Heel of the left in the US.

    The acceptance of socialism in Europe parallels the rejection and collapse of religious indoctrination, the nature of mostly small homogeneous cultures, a respect for intellectualism vs materialism, etc. but that is another discussion entirely and does nothing to refute my point.

    I have found it interesting that this thread hit a nerve in regards to the subject of discussing historical and present day fundie Islamic practices vs the need of commercial and self-imposed censorship as a requirement to protect the civil rights of Muslims. My congrats to Danio in broaching such a divisive and emotional issue.

    Time to enjoy my Sunday evening in Los Angeles.
    Chau 4 now.

  267. #268 Brian Macker
    August 17, 2008

    negentropyeater,

    From your article:
    “They have also taken an even bolder step – rejecting a long-established rule of Muslim scholars that later (and often more conservative) texts override earlier ones.”

    This would be a significant step. I’ve never even heard it suggested before for all Muslims. In fact, every Muslim I have ever spoken to, seen anything written by, or discussed online had always lied about this subject. That was one reason I had little hope. If they couldn’t even openly admit to the vile practice then how could they ever correct it.

    So one tiny step in the right direction, and actually the very first step I have seen anywhere in the past seven years. Now you might think that a “significant” and a “tiny” step are contradictory. They aren’t.

    Muslims aren’t particularly accepting of blasphemy of this kind for one thing. There is already a group of Muslims that hold to this kind of belief, the Ahmadiyya. Unfortunately, it is counterfactual, and this group is violently persecuted. Counterfactual in that if they do override the earlier texts then Muhammed violated the rules, and we can’t have that.

    This is a historical problem because Mohammed invented the newer rules (the bad ones) in order to allow himself the elbow room to pillage, rape, and slaughter. If pillaging, raping, and robbing of non-muslims are no longer the overriding rules then Mohammed is exposed for the bastard that he was. Most muslims realize this and aren’t particularly happy with this plan.

    Besides, I’ve communicated with a Ahmadiyya named Shoaib Mehmood Nagi from Pakistan and he wasn’t particularly tolerant. In fact he accused me of insulting the prophet. He was also in perfect denial about the reality of many things stating falsehoods like, “JIhad means to give the answer of hate with love”.

    “See Holy Prophet (SAWW) said that his Community will be divided into 73 sects out of which only one will be following the true teachings while others will have ammended the religion. I belong to that community which is the AHMADIYYA MUSLIM COMMUNITY. We believe in the true Islamic teachings and it prohibits violence in any form. Quran says “There is no compulsion in religion” this means that everyone has the freedom to believe what he want to believe but it is better for him to realise the truth. The present mainstream muslims (except Ahmadiyya Community) have led into a wrong path, they believe that violence is necessary, but thats not true, they are the ones destroying our religion. ISLAM TOTALLY CONDEMS VIOLENCE IN ANY FORM, and the things you read about the Holy Prophet (SAWW) is totally wrong, it is just like people also put blames and false allegations on Jesus Christ (AS), but you will never accept it because you are a christian, see to realise the truth you do not need anything accept a strong belief in God, ask God sincerely What is the truth? and surely he will show you the correct path. All Mainstream muslims (all 72 sects) are against us, Why?, because we are spreading the true teachings of Islam & Holy Prophet (SAWW). I was born a Ahmadi Muslim, but when I was around 13, I questioning myself that whether Im folloying the true path, I interogated everything and every evidence and at the end I realised that I am in a straight path.

    Extremist Muslims have killed/massacred/murdered thousands of Ahmadi Muslims because the believe in the true teachings of Holy Prophet (SAWW). But we are not allowed to fight back, becase Islam condemnd any form of violence, it tells to forgive those who disturb you and love those who hate you. So my friend I dont know that you hate me but Im telling you that I will always love you even if you come and kill me because of my faith.”

    Interesting how he assumed I wanted to kill him, isn’t it. Methinks he is projecting. After all I have “insulted” the prophet. He was in fact lying to me about even his own sects beliefs about Jihad. The actually believe in Jihad warfare but restrict it to “self defense”. I haven’t explored their definition of self defense but it’s likely to include “insulting the prophet”. As I talked with him further about things he got more and more agitated and finally stopped replying. He couldn’t even handle an ethical argument without becoming enraged that I thought such things could be reasoned out. Worse the factual claims about Mohammed.

    His problem is that he has taken a flawed individual as his touchstone for every aspect of his life. That flawed individual did in fact espouse violence. Shoaib has in fact sanctioned his own murder by accepting Mohammed as his prophet. Because Mohammed is quite clear in the Qur’an about what to do about Muslims who fail to take up the sword against non-believers.

    As I said, Jesus doesn’t have this problem. So been there and done that. This group is one hundred years old. In fact Islam had it’s “reformation” several times in the past and it always and forever backslides specifically because of the nature of Mohammed. Any such changes are based on a falsehood and will ultimately fail. It’s just too easy for radicals to point out the the man behind the curtain.

    Muslims have been killing each other over Ali vs. NOT for almost their entire history. Any such changes just give them more reasons for killing each other, not less. More reasons for seeing what Mohammed had predicted, the hipocrites who falsely professed belief but were not true believers and refused to take up the sword.

    The reformation of Christianity was a fluke and in reality wasn’t a source for pacification of the religion in the first place. In fact, early protestants were as bad as the taliban. I only use the phrase as a touchstone for the idea that Islam is going to follow some natural path to tolerance.

    In fact, the path Christianity took had to do with increasing literacy for one thing, and that would be a bad thing in the case of Islam and has proven to be since the absolute evil of Islam pours directly out of the text of the Quran.

  268. #269 Brian Macker
    August 17, 2008

    BTW, Nick Gotts. The hockey stick is still a fraud and compounded by a coverup.

    “That the statistical foundations on which they had built this paleoclimate castle were a swamp of misrepresentation, deceit and malfeasance was, to Wahl and Amman, an irrelevance. For political and public consumption, the hockey stick still lived, ready to guide political decision-making for years to come.

    The hockey stick is still garbage statistics and always will be. Mann screwed up the math and Wahl and Amman’s attempt at a cover-up have failed. This gives climatology and the IPCC a big black eye. They are not scientists. They’re politicians.

    Talk about ruining science.

  269. #270 Brian Macker
    August 17, 2008

    About Al-Arian,

    “On April 14, 2006 Al-Arian pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to provide services to Palestinian Islamic Jihad (count 4 of the original indictment.) He also agreed that the government would deport him at the conclusion of his sentence. In return, federal prosecutors agreed to drop the remaining eight charges against him. Al-Arian was sentenced to 57 months in prison and given credit for time served. He was to serve the balance of 19 months and then be deported.

    However, Al-Arian served a 14-month sentence for civil contempt of court after refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating former associates in Herndon, Virginia. The 14-month sentence was in addition to the criminal sentence. In December of 2007, a federal judge lifted the civil contempt charge. However, in March of 2008, The Justice Department subpoenaed Al-Arian to testify before another grand jury. He has refused to testify; prosecutors charged him with criminal contempt in June of 2008.[

    He is a convicted criminal. In addition he’s refusing to testify about criminal activities of his associates that was part of his plea deal.

    Nice spin though. But basically it’s B.S. and the rest of the spin about how horrible he has been treated is B.S. also. The man associates with terrorists and advocates terrorism. He did so publicly before he was ever charged and frankly I didn’t understand why he wasn’t locked up long before that. We can’t have people going around supporting murder and murderers.

  270. #271 Pierce R. Butler
    August 17, 2008

    Brian Macker @ # 270 – No, Al-Arian was never convicted of any crime. With great and prejudicial publicity, he was tried in a Tampa federal court with two others. Both of them were acquitted on all charges: Al-Arian was acquitted on the major ones and almost (10-2) cleared of the lesser ones. Pretty weak case against a “terrorist ringleader” after 10+ years of wiretaps & other intensive surveillance, in the first indictment brought after the so-called Patriot Act allowed so much questionably-obtained evidence.

    Al-Arian entered a guilty plea to a minor charge with the understanding that this would end the prosecution and he would be deported – but the feds reneged on the deal and have held him for years since, trying to force him to accuse others (not part of the “deal”). He’s diabetic, and has had medications withheld, been held in isolation for long periods, and been given harsh, degrading treatment in many ways. Hell, even Bill O’Reilly, who was part of the initial media attack pack, says he’s suffered excessive abuse.

    Rush Limbaugh & Bush/Cheney talking points really won’t get you very far around here.

  271. #272 negentropyeater
    August 18, 2008

    Brian,

    So one tiny step in the right direction, and actually the very first step I have seen anywhere in the past seven years. Now you might think that a “significant” and a “tiny” step are contradictory. They aren’t.

    Muslims aren’t particularly accepting of blasphemy of this kind for one thing.

    “the past seven years”

    When I say, 9/11 and “the war on terror” changed everything, do you believe me ?

    Have you lived in predominantely sunni countries in the 90s, prior to 9/11 ? Have you met and discussed with many intellectuals, university professors and students, business executives, politicians, highly educated people, from these countries during that period ?
    I have, up til the highest level of government. I used to have dinner at least once every three months with Mahatir, the Malaysian PM. I was responsble for launching the first drect-to-home Satellite broadcasting system in his country, so obviously I met and dscussed with many people, they all knew I was Gay and that I was french, but they trusted me, I wasn’t a soldier trying to invade ther country !.
    Just as a simple example, how do you think Khomeini’s fatwa against Rushdie was received by these people during that period ? I can tell you, not a great deal of support, actually quite the contrary, a great deal of condemnation.
    What I saw with my own eyes, wether in Morrocco or Malaysia, is a very clear consensus by a growing class of very well educated practicing muslims who were very conscient about the fact that coercive responses to blasphemy, type Khomeini’s fatwa, was the worst that could happen to Islam and their cultures in the long run.

    But it all has changed, of course, these people don’t talk about that anymore, the only thing these same moderate enlightened muslims talk about nowadays, is the fact that the USA and Britain have invaded afghanistan, Iraq, seem to be the major blocking point for the creation of the nation of Palestine, and seem to want to repeat the same thing with Iran and Syria. Anybody over there, and again I’m talking of the same highly educated and tolerant muslims who would have had no problem whatsoever to openly discuss and condemn Khomeini’s fatwa or would have admitted that they want and claearly see the need to focus on a far more metaphorical interpretation of their sacred scriptures, who would do that nowadays, would be seen as an enemy of ther own folk, a parriah, a traitor.
    All has changed fundamentally because someone of the name of Mr Bush, who is very clearly seen over there as a fundamentalist Christian, became presdent of the USA and was reelected.
    And it will take a huge effort to get back to where these countries were in the 90s. A huge effort.

  272. #273 Brian Macker
    August 18, 2008

    I was talking with Muslims at the time of 9/11 here in the US and they were even denying that it was done by Muslims. These were educated Muslims and were of the opinion that this was some kind of “set-up” by our government.

    WTF, does Bush have to do with it. Nothing really. What really pisses Muslims off is the idea that a non-Muslim will stick up for themselves. It’s against Allah. The ones I’ve met aren’t particularly upset when Muslims are invading Muslims, or Muslims are colonizing Muslim or non-Muslim lands. What bothers them is if it goes the other way. That’s the double standard.

    What does Bush have to do with it. More a convenient excuse. Sounds like a liberal talking point, and I’m no Bush fan.

    Wait a second. Back to the 90′s? All the sabre rattling by Iran, Iraq, Syria. Nuclear proliferation. Hell even Lybia was in that game. Terrorism was generally accepted (and still is).

    If Muslim leaders are so easily swayed to do the WRONG thing, and are now back behind terrorism because Bush attacked Afganistan, whose Taliban was harboring Bin Laden, and if Bush toppling a dictator and rebuilding a nation disturbs them so much then I trust them less.

    You see, there are plenty of reasons to be against the Iraq war but none of the reasons that are valid have much to do with valid ethics. From an ethical point of view all arguments fall flat.

    Unfortunately we have a lot of people here in the US who put politics before truth, like that bastard Wilson who lied about seeing documents that didn’t exist at the time he claimed they did. Which made what was honest mistakes seem like lies.

    There was many, many incidents like this over the past seven years. Many of which attempted to smear not only the president but the Military.

    I do think that the presidents administration is involved in violating some domestic laws regarding torture. These laws prevent any american from being involved in torture anywhere in the world. They are NOT the Geneva conventions, which do not apply to terrorists. That’s because I think waterboarding is torture. In other words I think Bush was involved in torturing suspected terrorists and in violation of US domestic law.

    That however has little moral bearing on the invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq. Furthermore it doesn’t even begin to be a valid reason for any of these Muslim countries to complain. Those are our standards and are way beyond what most Muslim countries practice, or have enshrined in law. Maylaysia and Indonesia are black kettles in this regard. So any whining is crocodile tears.

    Hell, Mexico allows the torture of prisoners and the use of evidence collected by such torture in the court of law. I know because I have a relative who was tortured by having a plastic bag placed over his head to gain a confession over an mere accusation of shoplifting some jewelery.

    “I was responsble for launching the first drect-to-home Satellite broadcasting system in his country, so obviously I met and dscussed with many people, they all knew I was Gay and that I was french, but they trusted me, I wasn’t a soldier trying to invade ther country !.”

    “Rush Limbaugh & Bush/Cheney talking points really won’t get you very far around here.”

    That sentence made me lose much of my assumed respect for you. It’s obvious you jump to unwarranted conclusions. I don’t even listen to Rush Limbaugh, I have never even heard Cheney speak nor have I read an article by him. Bush I trust about as much as I trust any politician, next to zero.

    Since you’re French what do you think about the scandal of your France 2 network where they have been feeding you lies about the Al-Dura affair all these years? Do you listen to France 2. Do you listen to other French media. What do you think of the fact that many of your highest politicians were in bed with Saddam Hussein. Basically trading the lives of Iraqis for money.

    As stupid as Bush is about Iraq. The worse moral thing about the invasion (and I hope you understand that intent and ability to control matters in morals) is that he is wasting the American dime to help Iraqis. Something that perhaps they don’t deserve.

  273. #274 negentropyeater
    August 18, 2008

    Brian,

    I was talking with Muslims at the time of 9/11 here in the US and they were even denying that it was done by Muslims. These were educated Muslims and were of the opinion that this was some kind of “set-up” by our government.

    Well we must know different educated muslims then, because I don’t know any who were of that opinion, right after the attack. This has changed, of course, but heck, with the number of conspiracy theories floatting around in the USA and believed by so many non muslims, do you find it surprising that nowadays, knowing that ObL has still not been captured, and knowing that Bush decided to go after SH and not hunting ObL in Afghanistan, the majority of muslims don’t believe anymore that ObL did it and that actually Bush or Cheney did it ?
    Do you really find that so surprising ?

    What does Bush have to do with it. More a convenient excuse. Sounds like a liberal talking point, and I’m no Bush fan.

    If within his own country, so few trust and respect him, what do you expect the situation is like in predominantely muslim countries ?

  274. #275 negentropyeater
    August 18, 2008

    and btw, I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, but I do understand what effect those may have in muslim countries.

  275. #276 D
    August 18, 2008

    As stupid as Bush is about Iraq. The worse moral thing about the invasion (and I hope you understand that intent and ability to control matters in morals) is that he is wasting the American dime to help Iraqis. Something that perhaps they don’t deserve.

    I don’t think much more could be done to completely undermine yourself in historical, factual or moral consideration.

  276. #277 negentropyeater
    August 18, 2008

    Will need to remember that one indeed :

    The worse moral thing about the Iraq invasion is that Bush is wasting the American dime to help Iraqis.

  277. #278 windy
    August 18, 2008

    Refresh my memory, please. Where were the Swedish colonies?

    On the Gold Coast in Africa, along the Delaware river in N America, and the slave island of Saint-Barthélemy in the Caribbean.

  278. #279 Pierce R. Butler
    August 18, 2008

    D @ # 276 (to Brian Macker): I don’t think much more could be done to completely undermine yourself …

    How ’bout trying to rebut negentropyeater by attributing to him a line from somebody else only two comments above?

  279. #280 Ally McBeelzebub
    August 18, 2008

    Hari’s piece may be “great” if you believe that Brits are too cowed and terrified to criticise Islam (with of course, the single, honourable exception of Johann Hari).

    The problem is that this is a crock of shit. The British press is chock-full of stories sticking it to Muslims in the most unflattering of terms. You could try googling “Melanie Phillips” for starters.

    It’s self-defeating vanity on Hari’s part to pretend that he’s heroically standing up to some imaginary, all-powerful censors. He’s doing nothing of the kind, but he is building up the perception of “a new blasphemy law preventing criticism of Islam”, when nothing of the kind exists, and nor is it likely to. And what’s the point of that?

    “We need to stop pretending that we can’t criticise Islam when it’s obviously a lie” would be a more appropriate title for him.

    (That’s not to say that Random House’s decision was the right one, not at all. But you can’t extrapolate from one commercial publisher’s decision to avoid a controversy, to the whole of the rest of society.)

  280. #281 negentropyeater
    August 18, 2008

    Pierce,

    D’s comment wasn’t addressed to me.

  281. #282 SC
    August 18, 2008

    neg,

    I believe Pierce R. Butler’s referring to Brian “The Douche” Macker’s quoting of him (“”Rush Limbaugh & Bush/Cheney talking points…”) and then addressing his response to you (“Since you’re French what do you think about…”), implying that those had been your words.

  282. #283 negentropyeater
    August 18, 2008

    SC,

    thx, hadn’t seen that one (didn’t read the rest of his comment after the Rush Limbaugh line, as I thought he wasn’t addressing this to me).

    Gee, that’s quite unfortunate, this Brian Macker does appear to be some sort of a douchebag, now that I think of it, makes the rest of his seemingly extremely biased perception of reality more understandable…

  283. #284 SC
    August 18, 2008

    In other words, when he asked D “How ’bout trying to rebut negentropyeater by attributing to him a line from somebody else only two comments above?” he was responding that in fact Macker, with this misattribution, had done even more to completely undermine himself.

    I, for one, like to see Macker keep posting. With every comment he shows more of his true colors, and they are ugly indeed.

  284. #285 SC
    August 18, 2008

    negentropyeater,

    Sorry for the cross-post. I should’ve realized that you would understand without further explanation. :)

  285. #286 negentropyeater
    August 18, 2008

    and now I understand Pierce’s comment #279.

    Sorry Pierce, for misunderstanding it.

  286. #287 negentropyeater
    August 18, 2008

    Sorry for the cross-post also, I wrote #286 wthout seeing your #285 and #284, anyway, this is funny…

    Hadn’t really met Mr Brian “The Douche” Macker before.

  287. #288 negentropyeater
    August 18, 2008

    But I’ll definitely remember this one, it kind of sums it up nicely:

    The worse moral thing about the Iraq invasion is that Bush is wasting the American dime to help Iraqis.

    Brian “The Douche” Macker, August 18, 2008

  288. #289 Irene Delse
    August 18, 2008

    Brian Macker :

    “Since you’re French what do you think about the scandal of your France 2 network where they have been feeding you lies about the Al-Dura affair all these years? Do you listen to France 2. Do you listen to other French media. What do you think of the fact that many of your highest politicians were in bed with Saddam Hussein. Basically trading the lives of Iraqis for money.”

    Gee, the French bashers are still at it? How cute!

    Hey, maybe you’ve been living in a cave for 30 years and all that… Still, it doesn’t excuse you for laying at the feet of the sole French government what the USA did under Reagan and Bush I. Remember the time when Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was your best ally against Iran? Remember that time, just after GWI, the Iraqi aviation was *allowed* by the American occupying force, to take off and go commit a little genocide in Kurdistan?

    Yeah, those times. Please think about the tree trunk in your eye before pointing to other people’s straw…

  289. #290 Irene Delse
    August 18, 2008

    Oh, BTW, while we’re talking about Islam, Western publishers and self-censure…

    Here’s a link to an article (in French) about a historical novel about the life of Aisha, published in France in October 2007 under the title Aicha, la Bien-aimee du Prophete (Aisha, Best-beloved of the Prophet):
    http://passouline.blog.lemonde.fr/2008/08/18/le-barometre-aicha/

    Of course, the publisher, Stephane Watelet (Telemaque editions), is quite smug: not only the book didn’t cause scandal or violence, but one of the head theologians at the Great Mosque in Paris wrote a glowing preface! Even though it is a fictional retelling of the life of Aisha, with some “intimate” scenes not very different from those in Sherry Jones’s book…

    The author, Geneviève Chauvel, a scholar of Muslim culture, was invited to give a lecture at the IMA (an Arabic culture institute) in Paris and at a university in Abu Dhabi. The book sold well in the “old Europe” and spawned debate about the role of women in Islam, both in Muslim communities in Europe and in some Muslim countries like Morocco, Algeria and the Emirates.

    The author’s web page:
    http://www.genevievechauvel.fr/aicha.htm

    So there are publishers in Europe not too confused or timid to avoid the subject of Islam…

    BTW, the blogger in the 1st link, Pierre Assoulline, is a journalist and writer, with one of France’s main literary blogs. He’s very critical of radical islam but was born in Morocco and is not allergic to Muslim culture per se, so his perspective is not that of the average Western commenter.

    He often writes about free speech, anti-racism and conflicts between modernity and tradition. He supported the likes of Orhan Pamuk, Salman Rushdie, Taslima Nasreen and the editor of the Danish paper who published the infamous cartoons.

  290. #291 dubiquiabs
    August 18, 2008

    “There is a central core of universal values that any truly modern society must possess, and these are very much the values that science promotes: rationality, creativity, the search for truth, adherence to codes of behavior, and a certain constructive subversiveness… We must be able to question convention and arbitrate our disputes by the rules of evidence.” Guess who wrote this – before you peek.

  291. #292 Pierce R. Butler
    August 18, 2008

    SC @ # 284: I, for one, like to see Macker keep posting. With every comment he shows more of his true colors, and they are ugly indeed.

    Even though I disagree with your aesthetic preferences, thanks for clarifying my little snarkback @ # 279…

  292. #293 Nick Gotts
    August 18, 2008

    RE Brian Macker@269.
    There’s no point arguing with the likes of Macker, who is completely impervious to evidence, but for any lurkers interested in the truth, look at http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/myths-vs-fact-regarding-the-hockey-stick/.
    In fact, even denialists have now largely abandoned the attempt to pretend that global warming is not real, falling back instead on the pretences that it’s nothing to do with us, has stopped, will be beneficial, etc. etc.

  293. #294 Nick Gotts
    August 18, 2008

    at least I can admit to a grammatical error of verb tense. – mayhempix

    How very disingenuous of you.

    And I’m sure you must know how Bill Maher feels and George Carlin felt about a term that was initially coined and institutionalized by the left before it was maligned in typical Orwellian fashion by the right. – mayhempix

    I’d be interested in any clear use of the term by the left to attack those they perceived as being “politically incorrect” – I had an argument with various rightists about this in the mid-90s, and they could not produce a single one: the only uses by the left any of us found were in fact aimed at fellow-leftists seen as being “politically correct”, i.e. too dogmatic or rigid. Specific reference(s) please. In any case, for nearly two decades now, the term has been overwhelmingly a weapon used by the right against the left – which makes me wonder why you use it. Simply in order to feel superior, I guess.

    You only serve to reinforce your own prejudicial ignorance about that time in US history with the above comment. – mayhempix

    Not really. Anyone who had not by 1936 realised Stalin was a loathsome tyrant, was indeed a fool at best. And the “International Brigade” played a patsy’s part in sabotaging the Spanish revolution at Stalin’s behest, and so paving the way for Franco’s victory and the horrors of WW2.

  294. #295 Brian Macker
    August 18, 2008

    “If within his own country, so few trust and respect him, what do you expect the situation is like in predominantely muslim countries ?”

    Again. What has that got to do with anything. What does Muslim respect for Bush have to do with them doing the right thing or reforming their intolerance and the intolerance of their religion? Do you think that it would be a valid argument for Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist church to claim that he isn’t going to change his position on gays because he doesn’t like what Putin did in Georgia?

    BTW, what exact Bush/Cheney talking points did you think I was parroting with regards to Muslims? You are aware that Bush has been promoting Islam as “The Religion of Peace” and terrorists as perverters of the religion. Which is exactly the opposite of my position on this. Terrorists have pretty much got the religion spot on.

  295. #296 Brian Macker
    August 18, 2008

    “As stupid as Bush is about Iraq. The worse moral thing about the invasion (and I hope you understand that intent and ability to control matters in morals) is that he is wasting the American dime to help Iraqis. Something that perhaps they don’t deserve.”

    I don’t think much more could be done to completely undermine yourself in historical, factual or moral consideration.

    Guess that all depends on what stories you’ve swallowed and how much mind reading you can do.

    For example, I don’t swallow the “Bush lied” meme. Mainly because his statement was technically correct given the actual information we know he had. Information available to top Democrats at the same time. The only liar turned out to be Wilson. I looked into it in detail.

    The decision to invade was not the moral catastrophe that some have made it out to be. Saddam had violated the conditions of a cease-fire, so it wasn’t a “preemptive war”. Invading Iraq for this reason (and because of fears of WMD) was advocated by many a top level Democrat prior to 9/11.

    I believe that Bush actually believes he invaded Iraq for the “right” reasons. I don’t believe conspiracy theorists who believe he did so to “steal oil” or “drive up the price of oil” and all those other crazy things.

    This is probably one of the big differences between me and a lot of the knee jerk atheists around this blog. I go out of my way to take a charitable interpretation within reason.

    For example, Abu Girab. My understanding is that the Army had found out about this and was investigating the obviously improper conduct. During this process the pictures were leaked by one of the criminals who perpetrated the crime in an attempt to disrupt the process.

    In any case, the decision to invade Iraq cannot be morally contengent on an incident that happened after the fact and was specifically unforseeable. One can generally forsee that bad things will happen during war because one cannot have full control over individuals, accidents, etc.

    My judgement would be that the incident was a matter of poor training and supervision at that particular army base. These things do happen with large organizations and need to be corrected. Such mistakes are not intentional and therefore cannot be counted as moral lapses in deciding to go to war. Same with logisitical issues, etc.

    That people will die in war is a forseeable consequence but that alone cannot be used solely as a moral metric, if so then only pacifism would be acceptable. Which is ridiculous. Besides not being the sole moral choice pacifism is often not even a moral choice. Sometimes moral action requires you to intervene. That is too deep a subject for a comment.

    Sorry that you “D”, and negentropyeater are very shallow thinkers when it comes to morality. I guess it’s easy to see things in black and white when your rules are simple.

    Perhaps you can expand on what factually establish moral crime Bush made in his decision to invade Iraq and depose a dictator.

    If you are intelligent you would understand that I’m not talking here about his decisions regarding the torturing of terrorists. It should be obvious from the context of my comment that I was not referring to this but merely the decision to invade Iraq.

    Why should Bushes decision to invade Iraq cause Muslim moderates to move to a position more harsh with regards to gays (or whatever) than they were back in the ’90s?

    Furthermore you can expand on why Bushes torturing of muslim terrorists via waterboarding in order to get information should cause Muslim liberals to change their tune on say gay rights, muslim intolerance, etc?

  296. #297 Brian Macker
    August 18, 2008

    “But I’ll definitely remember this one, it kind of sums it up nicely”

    I’m starting to think this is part of your problem in understanding the world. You take statements out of context and presume the worse possible interpretation of them, while at the same time totally underestimating that others have more complex though processes.

  297. #298 Brian Macker
    August 18, 2008

    Pierce R. Butler,

    “How ’bout trying to rebut negentropyeater by attributing to him a line from somebody else only two comments above.”

    How about trying ot rebut someone by presuming malice to them when in fact it was a simple mistake. I apparently accidentally scrolled up, looked at the wrong window, or something and thought that was the last sentence of his comment. I do sometimes open multiple windows so I can see the comment at the same time I reply. In fact I did not become aware of my mistake till RIGHT NOW.

    So instead of taking the charitable interpretation of my comment you infer the worst possible motives onto me and then make charges.

    This is a maturity issue for many of the commenters here on this blog. That and your nasty potty mouths, and quite rude commenting habits. I guess that is to be expected from anonymous commenters.

    I understand you guys are livid with hate for Bush but really, no need to take it out on me just because I don’t tend to your extremes.

    I actually had to run out the door for work this morning when I was commenting, and also failed to complete a response to the part where I bolded his claim to be french and gay. I was going to talk about the fact that I wasn’t really impressed because I’m fairly certain that this was not a surprising incident in Muslim history. There are plenty of historical muslim gays that have been tolerated, and his being accepted in that circle doesn’t mark some turning point in history. I was also going to make some other points but I can’t remember now.

  298. #299 Ichthyic
    August 18, 2008

    That sentence made me lose much of my assumed respect for you.

    ROTFLMAO

    thanks, Brian, such delicious irony really made my day.

    I, for one, like to see Macker keep posting. With every comment he shows more of his true colors, and they are ugly indeed.

    I agree entirely with the conclusion, if not wishing to have to wade through the muck to confirm it for the umpteenth time.

    oh, wait, there’s that killfile thingy…

  299. #300 Brian Macker
    August 18, 2008

    Pierce R. Butler,

    “Brian Macker @ # 270 – No, Al-Arian was never convicted of any crime.”

    You know that little stub you mail in to pay your fine for speeding. In some states that has a place where you can sign guilty and just pay the fine. Well if you sign it guilty and turn it in you are in fact convicted of the crime.

    Same goes for when you take a plea bargain and plead guilty. The court takes your admission of guilt and convicts you of the crime in question. No need for a jury for in fact you have admitted that you are a criminal.

    So in fact you are wrong.

    The guy made no secret of his support for terrorism so I don’t see why you have such a problem with his being convicted by the court.

  300. #301 Brian Macker
    August 18, 2008

    There’s no point arguing with the likes of Macker, who is completely impervious to evidence, but for any lurkers interested in the truth, look at http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/myths-vs-fact-regarding-the-hockey-stick/.

    Unfortunately the link does not, in fact, address any of the issues in my link. It is in fact subterfuge as it does not address the actual concerns that specific people have and not people refered to derogatorily as denialists in general.

    In fact, Nick Gotts, must believe in time travel if he thinks a post from 2004 addresses events that have occurred over the past three years. Issues of scientific integrity, plus the issue of bad mathematics. In this case misuse of statistics.

    None of the Myths listed in his post deal with those issues. In fact, there is a Myth that those Myths are the concern.

    “In fact, even denialists have now largely abandoned the attempt to pretend that global warming is not real, falling back instead on the pretences that it’s nothing to do with us, has stopped, will be beneficial, etc. etc.”

    Oh, please. Can’t address a serious issue so you misdirect to some other contention about some other people.

    Next, you’ll start calling names, as per usual. You’ve already done the “Macker never changes his mind” performance. I in fact change my mind all the time.

  301. #302 mayhempix
    August 18, 2008

    -Posted by: Nick Gotts | August 18, 2008 5:18 PM
    - “I’d be interested in any clear use of the term by the left to attack those they perceived as being “politically incorrect” -

    Me too… please let me know if you find it.

    Of course I never said anything of the kind nor implied any such thing existed. Nice try though. I was using the term “PC” derisively towards those on the left who are afraid to criticize Islamic fundamentalism because as in your case “… European liberals are wary of joining in criticism of Islam or Muslims, even when it’s thoroughly justified, as it often is – we don’t want to find ourselves marching alongside racists and fascists.” Posted by: Nick Gotts | August 17, 2008 11:56 AM

    Well at least you are honest about your gutlessness and fear of peer pressure. But now I understand. Your fear of the use of the term PC by anyone on the left is motivated by the fear that someone might use a “broad brush” and associate you with the right.

    How… hmmm… how should I put it? Ahhh… I’ve got it… how pathetically PC.

    Many people liberals I know still commonly use the term as a putdown. I guess they just didn’t get the memo that it is now owned exclusively by the right and don’t share your insecurity about the perceptions of others.

    Below are some excerpts from Wikipedia. It is clear that PC originated with the left as a literal phrase and then became a form of ironic self-derision. The right in the 90′s appropriated it and now it appears certain doltish fools need to believe that the right owns the title to it.

    That’s it from me.

    Have fun.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness
    Political correctness (adjectivally, politically correct; both forms commonly abbreviated to PC) is a term used to describe language, ideas, policies, or behavior seen as seeking to minimize offense to gender, racial, cultural, disabled, aged or other identity groups. Conversely, the term “politically incorrect” is used to refer to language or ideas that may cause offense or that are unconstrained by orthodoxy.

    Ruth Perry traces the term back to Mao’s Little Red Book. According to Perry, the term was later adopted by the radical left in the 1960s, initially seriously and later ironically, as a self-criticism of dogmatic attitudes. In the 1990s, because of the term’s association with radical politics and communist censorship, it was used by the political right in the United States to discredit the Old and New Left.

    Some U.S. New Left proponents adopted the usage of the phrase “political correctness”. One 1970 example is in Toni Cade Bambara’s essay The Black Woman: “a man cannot be politically correct and a [male] chauvinist too”, illustrating its usage in gender and identity politics, rather than solely about general political orthodoxy.

    Yet, soon afterwards, the New Left re-appropriated the term political correctness as satirical self-criticism; per Debra Shultz: “Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the New Left, feminists, and progressives … used their term politically correct ironically, as a guard against their own orthodoxy in social change efforts”. Hence the phrase’s popular usage in English and Bobby London’s usage in the underground comic book Merton of the Movement…

    Some commentators have argued that the term “political correctness” is a straw man invented by conservatives in the 1990s in order to challenge progressive social change, especially with respect to issues of race, religion and gender.

    Also… Joel Bleifuss offers a similar take. (If you don’t know who Bleifus is, I’ll give you a hint… he’s not from the right.)

    A Politically Correct Lexicon
    Your ‘how-to’ guide to avoid offending anyone

    “In the late ’70s, “politically correct,” “PC” for short, entered the public lexicon. Folks on the left used the term to dismiss views that were seen as too rigid and, also, to poke fun at themselves for the immense care they took to neither say nor do anything that might offend the political sensibilities of others. “You are so PC,” one would say with a smile. In the ’80s, the right, taking the words at face value, latched on to the term and used it to deride leftish voices. Beleaguered progressives, ever earnest, then defended political correctness as a worthy concept, thus validating conservatives’ derision. Today, on both the left and the right, being PC is no laughing matter; three decades of culture wars have generated a bewildering thicket of terminology.”

  302. #303 Brian Macker
    August 18, 2008

    Irene,

    “Remember the time when Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was your best ally against Iran?”

    Yes, I even remember when Stalin was our best ally against Hitler. Do you even have a point?

    Negentropyeater was trying to get some point across about how Islam was on the cusp of a reformation in the 1990 when Bush ruined everything by invading Afghanistan and Iraq. Not sure why that should sway supposedly intellectual Muslims to regress in such a fashion. Invading a country that was harboring a terrorist that just did 9/11 isn’t exactly something that should trigger an intellectual into supporting terrorist bombings.

    I mistakenly thought he had written something he hadn’t and was honestly puzzled as to why he thinks Bush is a source of radicalization amoung these intellectuals. It’s not like their own government or even the French government isn’t above shinanigans.

    Nor do I see how it’s “French bashing” to point out that France 2 was literally acting as the propaganda arm of Fatah and Hamas. I’m sure Bridgette Bardot has no involvement in this.

    I just think it’s a little hypocritical for a French guy to get all worked up about American politics when his plate is full with his own government. Congo anyone?

    What’s most mysterious is this whole idea that these sensible intellectuals were headed in the right direction till Mr. Bush just steered them wrong. What is he their spritual leader?

    I also never understood why guys like him, and perhaps you don’t think the other direction. Perhaps it’s running the other way. After all some of the worst imperialists of Europe were invaded by imperialists coming from the east, north, and south. Mongols, Moors, Vandals, Romans, Norse, etc. How come all this is swept under the rug.

    Hell, Muslims were landing in England and taking white slaves up into the 1800s and were actually attacking American ships for slaves and goods. That’s why we have the phrase “shores of Tripoli” in our athem.

    The Ottoman’s sided with the Germans in WWII. The Palestinians “Grand Mufti” sided with Hitler. Muslim troops participated in genocides against various ethnic groups the the northern Mediterranean.

    Then various Muslim political groups had the bright idea of siding with the the Communists in the cold war. I mean, good idea to join sides with an ideology that has slaughtered well over 100 million.

    In case you haven’t figured it out. Resources spell power and if you let an evil power like the Soviets gain control of too much then it only makes them more of a danger. So of course lots of countries on the other side of the iron curtain are going to “meddle” in the affairs of oil rich countries like say, Iran. Especially if the Soviets are already there supporting groups that are assasinating presidential candidates, and egging on political parties to nationalize other peoples property on the theory that property ownership is about theft.

    “Oh, BTW, while we’re talking about Islam, Western publishers and self-censure…

    Here’s a link to an article (in French) about a historical novel about the life of Aisha, published in France in October 2007 under the title Aicha, la Bien-aimee du Prophete (Aisha, Best-beloved of the Prophet):”

    “Aisha, Best-beloved of the Prophet”, wow that sounds like a real dangerous title. Perhaps the contents were racier. I think I can find books published in the US that are probably harsher than this on Mohammed. It’s not US vs. France. It’s more about the publisher. Big publishers with lots of brick and mortar locations tend to be more afraid of attacks on their buildings. We have had quite a few best sellers here in the US that have been pretty insulting to Islam and the Prophet.

  303. #304 Brian Macker
    August 19, 2008

    Nick,

    In case you didn’t understand. You were just owned by mayhempix. In fact PC is a lefty thing.

    Yes, PC is a lefty thing and has it’s roots in Marxist theory. There is a whole boat load of crazy stuff coming from that direction. Everything from whiteness studies, Leonard Jefferies, and social racism to the idea of hate crimes and speech codes. Wacky all.

    I betcha you’d enjoy a book like “Liberal Facism”. It might open your eyes to a lot of the seedy side of the left.

    What’s especially humorous is watching the left try to smear the right with some of it’s worst crimes. Invent eugenics then blame a guy like Herbert Spencer of being a eugenist when in fact he was the exact opposite.

    Spawn Hitler and Mussolini and frame them as “on the right” while at the same time cozying up to a guy like Stalin who was even a worse mass murderer that happened to be spawned by, you guessed it, the left.

    Democrats, the party of slavery and Republicans the party of Lincoln yet somehow Republicans are all racists. Democrats drop the H-bomb and well Republicans are somehow not trustworty with nukes because they might just use them.

    Run a guy for office, Kerry, who lied before congress about what he had witnessed and then expect he can run on his military record. How stupid is that. He wasn’t even under oath.

    Democrats (Clintons) grabbing suspects in foreign lands then shipping them off to be tortured by client states and well “no problem”. Invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and then all of a sudden these preexisting policies are somehow tied to the invasions and somehow have radicalized Muslims via some time warp.

    My view on things is that there is very little to be desired from either political party here. Democrats and Republicans generally suck. Obama thinks there are 60 states (57 he visited, 1 he was about to visit, and 2 HI and AK his advisors said he couldn’t afford too visit) and hell he’s getting lots of cash from Exxon too. Dumb and corrupt. McCain, well McCain-Feingold and his wacky religious friends, not to mention his bad economic policy. Obama hasn’t met a black racist he doesn’t like. At least McCain isn’t a racist, ever see his adopted daughter? The libertarian party candidate, Bob Barr is a joke.

    I didn’t appreciate the burning of the Branch Davidian compound to the ground, nor Abu Girab. I don’t however believe it was the intent of Janet Reno to cause this chain of events. Likewise I don’t think Bush intended to have some dike looking woman posing with prisoners on a leash.

    I really wish both sides would grow some brains but I’m not holding my breath.

    … and I wish people like you Nick Gotts would grow some integrity and understand that there are quite reasonable grounds for believing the climatologists are on damn weak footing. Their climate models are ridiculous, they use faulty statistics in construction of temperature graphs, they are corrupting the peer review process, they are advocating criminalizaton of disagreement with them, etc. Not science, but politics.

    … and by “they” I of course mean some of them. Use your brain to figure out what I mean by other terms. Fit it to reality and not some straw man argument.

    … and no I don’t think that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas for Christ sakes.

    I do think that “hoax” is a term needed in the political arena to counter the falsely overconfident proclamations of climate scientists and their hyper chicken little predictions. Especially when it is obvious that they are knowingly falsifying information now, breaking scientific conventions, etc. It’s often the cover-up that turns a mistake into a crime.

  304. #305 negentropyeater
    August 19, 2008

    Brian Macker,

    Negentropyeater was trying to get some point across about how Islam was on the cusp of a reformation in the 1990 when Bush ruined everything by invading Afghanistan and Iraq. Not sure why that should sway supposedly intellectual Muslims to regress in such a fashion. Invading a country that was harboring a terrorist that just did 9/11 isn’t exactly something that should trigger an intellectual into supporting terrorist bombings.

    Compare this above with my post #272. You seem to be an adept in strawman aren’t you ?

    Am I suggesting that the invasion of Afghanistan has swayed once liberal educated muslim intellectuals into now supporting terrorist bombings ?

    I’m starting to think this is part of your problem in understanding the world. You take statements out of context and presume the worse possible interpretation of them

    Oh, because putting that completely and utterly ridiculous statement of yours, “The worse moral thing about the Iraq invasion is that Bush is wasting the American dime to help Iraqis” into context is going to change its interpretation ?

    So please, let me know what it means then, once it is put back in context ?

  305. #306 Brian Macker
    August 19, 2008

    Negentropyeater,

    I’m not sure what you are saying, actually. I don’t think that my summary discredits you or anything. You might in fact be trying to communicate something other than what you are communicating. Happens all the time. You don’t see me calling you a douchebag however, or giving a high five to those who might.

    People do things like say H-Bomb when they mean A-Bomb, or use the word dime as a metaphor for lost time, blood, respect, and money. Especially when others are calling them evil. Also especially when others are chiming in how they don’t mind 100,000 dead americans as long as the smell doesn’t drift their way.

    I think it was pretty clear what you were doing.
    We were talking about the likelihood of a Muslim reformation. You then blamed their lack of reform, tolerance, or whatever, on Bush. Yep, I didn’t get the details right because I didn’t bother to scroll back up an read it.

    On re-reading I’ve got your point as. Muslims are being attacked by the evil Bush. They of course rally the wagons and now anyone trying to steer them towards more a more liberal position can’t speak out.

    Unfortunately you interjected this little tidbit in a thread where some guy poo-pooing the slaughter of 100,000 Americans. You also wrote that post from the general to the specific and I can tell you right now that I was trying to fill in what exactly your point was long before that last sentence that might be a hint as to what you were on about.

    Try starting with a specific sentence about what you are claiming first. Perhaps you can reword your comment to better reflect your argument because on rereading the comment it’s still offensive in context.

    What I saw at the time was a diversion. What I see now is a diversion. There being an inherent double standard in the position I saw from you. A double standard in many ways. It seems quite understandable to you that Muslims should radicalize because Bush is fighting terrorism. Somehow it is Bushes fault that we can’t get back to before 9/11. It’s so twisted I can’t get my mind around it. It’s not that I am trying to mischaracterize you. I’m just not able to fathom what you are doing here.

    You made many unsupported claims all packed together and pointing at Bush as a major obstacle to Islamic reform instead of the actual cause of Muslim intolerance, Islam. At the same time you were ignoring the big differences between the West and Islam that point to the weakness of your argument. There is absolutely no fear here by intellectuals that they will be murdered for doing the right thing.

    This tendency of Islam to radical “Us vs. Them” thinking is precisely one of the unlisted obstacles I was thinking of. That and the historical and founding use of claims of persecution to divert from people defending themselves from Islamic attacks. All during the time Mohammed was raiding caravans, swooping down on helpless villages, and taking sex slaves he was doing so on the pretense that it was the Muslims that were being persecuted.

    This whole situation is the result of the standard MO of Islam. Blame the victim as you slaughter him. If he defends himself take that as an attack on all of Islam. View the behavior of non-believers and moderates through the lens of conspiracy against Allah’s law.

    Bush didn’t set this all up. It isn’t Bushes fault that believers in Islam are so easy to radicalize. Your comment was a more disturbing indictment of Islamic society than a help to your argument.

    Now I will observe that you are probably not writing in your native tongue and I am. I’m not known for my skills at directly getting my point across via writing. I will also concede that your lack of tact in this matter is not making me see whatever point you are trying to make. You might as well discuss black IQ testing levels in a discussion about slavery as do what you did. That in a thread where somebody suggested that he wouldn’t mind the smell of a couple of dead Americans (where he was using Americans in the same way someone would use the n-word).

    I understand you aren’t American so you are not going to understand how we view things but now you know. Well how normal Americans view things. We aren’t going to take bullshit arguments trying to blame Islamic violence on its victims. So Bush has made some mistakes in trying to deal with this. Guess what, any of the candidates would have. Guess what had the left attacked the presidency of Clinton with regard to his participation in torture well that would have radicalized them also.

    Why not blame the actual source of the conflict, Bin Laden? Try that for a change. Or better yet, Mohammed and his ridiculous religion. A religion that is responsible for conflicts all over the world. Responsible for the Jew hatred of the palesteinians that predated WWII. A hatred so deep that when Jews, fleeing European persecution, was buying land in the area, the Muslim Palestinians started killing other Palestinians who were selling to Jews. Not only that but they fomented for and passed laws to FORBID Jews from buying land in the area even though they lived there for two thousand years before Muslims and had maintained a continuous presence in the area. Jews in the area were not living under some tolerant society either. They were living as second class citizens, subject to random persecution, and degraded daily as “apes and pigs”.

    That’s just a minor part of the history of the middle east that the left ignores. The idea that somehow Islam has been provoked into becoming radical by the West (or one guy Bush) is a-historical nonsense.

    I don’t know what the hell you believe but I think your priorities are way out of wack if you want to bring Bush into this.

    BTW, I’ve been playing your game by assuming you are correct. As a matter of fact your circle the wagons beliefs are actually in contradiction to all sorts of actual evidence. As one specific example, Islamic radicals are losing credibility in Iraq. Credibility that polls right after 9/11 showed they had throughout the world of Islam. Yes, radicals are threatening intellectuals, but it’s not the way you are painting things. Hell your own link about some Turks trying to liberalize contradicts what you’re claiming. Especially since things were running the opposite direction before Bush. Radicals were spreading long before Bush was in office. Hell they murder the president of Egypt then came over here under Clinton and bombed the World Trade Center.

    I’ve watched their hatred of Jews over the last 50 years morph from “socialists” invading Israel with armies, to plane hijackings, to bombings, to suicide bombings, to flying planes into buildings. This isn’t something Bush, or anyone can have control over via respect for the source of the hatred, Islam.

    I’m sure there are actually hundreds of differences in our beliefs that will not allow me to fathom your position. The weight you place on things seems ridiculous to me. Perhaps it’s because you are not aware of some of the history of all this. Perhaps you are a fan of socialism, communism, or some other such -ism. I can understand being pissed at Bush, I certainly am, but I think you put a little too much blame on him. Well, way too much.

  306. #307 mayhempix
    August 19, 2008

    - Posted by: Brian Macker | August 19, 2008 12:25 AM
    Nick,
    - “In case you didn’t understand. You were just owned by mayhempix. In fact PC is a lefty thing. Yes, PC is a lefty thing… I betcha you’d enjoy a book like “Liberal Facism”. It might open your eyes to a lot of the seedy side of the left.” -

    Brian… “Liberal Fascism” is the biggest load of Orwellian sophomoric crap and I’m sure that is why you are attracted to it.

    It appears you are clueless to the fact that everyone is responding to you sarcastically and that no one is taking you even the least bit seriously. Anyone who would parrot the phrase “seedy side of the left” is hopeless indeed.

    Don’t use me to support your idiotic wingnut fantasies. Unlike Gotts I have no problem speaking out that Islamic fundamentalism is indefensible, just like Christian fundamentalism. Gott’s position is that he doesn’t speak out because he is afraid of being associated with fools like you. I have no such insecurities because no one who reads my positions would ever make that mistake.

    Also please note that while PC started with the left, we quickly subverted the term to poke fun at ourselves. Irony is a concept the far right will never understand because to do so would cause an implosion of their whole manufactured reality.

    Gott bless you.

  307. #308 Nick Gotts
    August 19, 2008

    Unlike Gotts I have no problem speaking out that Islamic fundamentalism is indefensible, just like Christian fundamentalism. – mayhempix.

    That’s a bare-faced lie. Of course Islamic fundamentalism is indefensible, and I have no hesitation whatever in saying so.

  308. #309 Nick Gotts
    August 19, 2008

    Your fear of the use of the term PC by anyone on the left – mayhempix

    It’s not fear – it’s anger that they are doing the right’s work for them. If you can’t see this, you can’t see it. I’m not surprised. However, if the term appears in Mao’s Little Red Book, and/or Toni Cade Bambara’s use was non-ironic, you have in fact disproved my contention that it was never used literally by the left.

  309. #310 Nick Gotts
    August 19, 2008

    Brian Macker,
    You really are a total moron. If Hitler and Mussolini were leftists, why did they get so much support from big business, the armed forces and the Catholic Church?

  310. #311 Brian Macker
    August 20, 2008

    Nick,

    Because that is the way the world actually works. “Big Business” (or little for that matter) isn’t about protecting the underlying principles of capitalism. Why do you think Exxon is contributing big to Obama? Mostly business is about making a living and living with political realities.

    There are lots of idiots who’d agree with me on this stuff like Hayek, Friedman, Popper, etc. Hitler ran on a socialist platform, he invoked socialist principles in justifying government control over industry for the good of the people, and he implemented that control. He was every inch a collectivist and one of his collectivist projects was cleaning up the gene pool. Many other promenent socialists were eugenists.

    The period and the area was marked by various hot-headed socialist groups fighting for control the same way it happened in Russia. The left argues that Hitler was not a socialist because he was fighting the communists. Unfortunately this argument fails because communists were fighting communists. The same dynamics that happened within other socialist groups occurred also within Hitlers. Purging of political rivals, badmouthing other socialists as not having the right formula for socialism.

    You’d think the name of his party “National Socialists” would give you a hint.

    The Catholic Church has always had an anti-capitalist streak. Apparently you’ve never read any of their stuff. I’ll chalk that up to ignorance. Not only have they been anti-capitalist but also pro-socialist. Now being a big organization there have been many factions there too.

    Why on earth would you think support by the armed forces is any way to measure whether a political party is socialist? So many socialists have come to power in military coups that I’ve lost count. The military, spies, KGB, community watchers, etc. are all very compatibile with socialism.

    Socialism is about collective action and what could be more indicative of collective action than the army. Socialists were constantly invoking military analogies, nationalism, etc. when talking about how society should be run.

    Hell, our Pledge of Allegence was the product of a socialist. Francis Bellamy was a Christian socialist.

    There is absolutely nothing about Christianity that is incompatible with socialism. Christianity used to be all about hating “interest” and money lending which is certainly more anti-capitalist than pro. Who do you think liked to spread the notion that money is the root of all evil, and the being a merchant is a bad thing? Both are part of the reason Jews were reviled.

    As an aside the game Monopoly was developed by socialists as a way to smear captialism. They were chrisitian socialists (can’t remember if Amish or Quaker). They wanted to show how under capitalism one guy would end up with everything and how unfair it is. Quite hilarious as a “simulation” of capitalism. Unfortunately their simulation was not very accurate in capturing any of the reality but it makes a good board game.

    Some of the earliest communists were christian groups like the Hutterites. I mostly don’t have a problem with this kind of communist because they didn’t believe in forcing others to live as they do.

    BTW, some of the very first socialists thought that socialism was more efficient, like an army, than capitalism. There was a flurry of various socialist experiment communities around the world (and it had been tried before and failed with the pilgrims). Of course they failed. Socialism is not more efficient. The failures were not blamed on socialism (ideologies are that way) and instead blamed on outsiders. So the idea the the entire society needed to be forced into socialism became more popular (most always had that notion).

    If you go back and look at what Mussolini and Hitler were actually saying, who they were inspired by, what ideologs joined their groups, etc. then it becomes obvious what their ancestry is. Nazism, and Fascism both evolved from socialism, and socialist traditions. To blame them on “the right” is like classifying a whale as a mammal. They certainly didn’t evolve from free market roots.

    Note too that “left” and “right” mean different things here and abroad. That’s an entirely different subject.

    All this stuff was well known long ago, except in leftist circles. Kinda hard for members of an ideology to keep abreast of facts like this when they purge people who are skeptical denialists of the consensus.

  311. #312 Nick Gotts
    August 20, 2008

    As I said, Macker, you’re a moron. So Hitler called his party “National Socialist”. Lenin called himself a “social democrat”. You believe him? It was the parties of the right who supported Hitler and put him in power, not those of the left. He smashed the trades unions. Krupps, I.G. Farben, Volkswagen, etc. etc. profited greatly from this, and flourished under his rule. Hitler also drew support from the aristocracy. They, the Catholic Church, big business, the aristocracy, the army, all hated the unions and the parties of the left, and supported Hitler because they knew he would crush them.

    To blame them on “the right” is like classifying a whale as a mammal.
    Exactly: it’s 100% correct. However, I don’t have your degree of stupidity: I don’t suppose that because Hitler was of the right, that proves the right as a whole is wrong, while you evidently think that because Stalin was on the left, the left as a whole is wrong. That sort of stupidity is why you, and many other rightists, have to pretend, in the teeth of the evidence, that fascism is a left-wing phenomenon.

    Your problem is living in a one-dimensional universe. Adherence to the mythical “free market” is not the only mark of the right. Another is support for economic and social inequality. “Libertarians” go for increased inequality via markets – or at least, they fool themselves that they do; fascists prefer to use the state.

  312. #313 Brian Macker
    August 20, 2008

    “Also please note that while PC started with the left, we quickly subverted the term to poke fun at ourselves.”

    Cough, cough, bullshit. Some tried to subvert others went all PC. That’s why we have speech codes on campus. Just a natural by-product of the evolution of ideologies. Socialism has a very strong streak of ill-liberalism.

    The whole point of the book Liberal Fascism is to counter a strategy that the left has been using for a very long time, and at the same time providing a more historically accurate picture. Classifying Nazism and Facism as on “the right” allows them not only to distance themselves from their cousins, but to brand “the right” as a bad thing in and of itself.

    I like to use Herbert Spencer as an example of the kind of deceptive relabling that socialists are prone to. There has been a very strong tendency among socialists to push the entire eugenics thing off on their political opponents and to recast those opponents as advocating other that what they do.

    In the case of Herbert Spencer the revisionism is so complete and so accepted that people are absolutely shocked to learn the truth. Not surprisingly this revisionism came out of Columbia University and was done by a “historian”, Richard Hofstadter. He was richly rewarded for his masterpiece of propaganda, “Social Darwinism in American Thought”.

    Problem is Herbert Spencer was NOT a social darwinist, and not about eugenics.

    “Gott’s position is that he doesn’t speak out because he is afraid of being associated with fools like you.”

    Another mindreader. He’s afraid of being associated with me? I doubt it. BTW, I wasn’t trying to associate myself with you either. Apparently you are the one with “association” issues.

    “Brian… “Liberal Fascism” is the biggest load of Orwellian sophomoric crap and I’m sure that is why you are attracted to it.”

    So you’ve read the book. I doubt it. You’ve probably read a list of cherry-picked mistakes out of the book and “by association” decided the rest is crap. You also probably believed the mischaracterizations of his actual arguments.

    One of the first thread sI participated here was about Sam Harris, and the same exact strategy was used against his book. Don’t read it. Lie about his arguments. Etc.

    Look I’m not surprise that I rile all you ideologs. I get the same response from some Christians, Communists, Libertarians, Anarchists, Objectivists, Socialists, etc. True believers always get riled and start calling the me names.

  313. #314 Nick Gotts
    August 20, 2008

    Macker,
    If you annoy everyone, perhaps there’s something wrong with you? Like the inanity of your “arguments” and your unpleasantly obvious prejudices. Just a thought.

  314. #315 Brian Macker
    August 21, 2008

    “As I said, Macker, you’re a moron. So Hitler called his party “National Socialist”. Lenin called himself a “social democrat”. You believe him? “

    Is your question an attempt at a double pinscher maneuver?

    You could have asked me, “Stalin called himself a communist, do you believe him?” If I answered yes, which is obviously correct, you could then sneer at me for being such a sucker in believing him too. After all he’s obviously a lier. That’s the left side of your pinscher. The right side of you pinscher being that you think, falsely, that Lenin was lying.

    The problem you have is that at the time Lenin called himself a Social Democrat he was in fact a Social Democrat. So he wasn’t in fact lying. The Social Democrats split on several issues, one of which was whether to work with capitalists. The revolutionary branch of the Social Democrats started to call themselves communists to distinguish themselves from the reformists.

    The social democrats have split again after that but I’m not going to give you a history lesson.

    ” It was the parties of the right who supported Hitler and put him in power, not those of the left.”

    I guess if you use right and left as relative terms. If you think everything to the right of the communists are “of the right” then you are right. But by that measure the modern social democrats are “of the right”.

    There were several leftist parties in Germany at the time and they tended to vote with the Nazi’s on many issues.

    ” He smashed the trades unions. Krupps, I.G. Farben, Volkswagen, etc. etc. profited greatly from this, and flourished under his rule.”

    The communists also smashed trade unions and they were even further to the left than Hitler. Are you going to argue they are on “the right”. They are obviously on “the left” so your metric doesn’t work. It doesn’t distinguish between socialist and non-socialist, communism being a brand of socialism that branched out of the Social Democrat movement. Actually it was the modern social democrats that abandoned much of the philosophy of the period.

    Hitler was quite open about the fact that he was going to do away with the trade unions for the same reasons that communists abolished them. They are no longer needed under a socialist order where the socialist government is in control of the economy, doing the right thing for the common man, the volk.

    “For the National Socialist Trades Union, therefore, the strike is a means that may, and indeed must, be resorted to as long as there is not a National Socialist State yet. But when that State is established it will, as a matter of course, abolish the mass struggle between the two great groups made up of employers and employees respectively, a struggle which has always resulted in lessening the national production and injuring the national community. In place of this struggle, the National Socialist State will take over the task of caring for and defending the rights of all parties concerned. It will be the duty of the Economic Chamber itself to keep the national economic system in smooth working order and to remove whatever defects or errors it may suffer from. Questions that are now fought over through a quarrel that involves millions of people will then be settled in the Representative Chambers of Trades and Professions and in the Central Economic Parliament. Thus employers and employees will no longer find themselves drawn into a mutual conflict over wages and hours of work, always to the detriment of their mutual interests. … It would be senseless to have a National Socialist Trades Union side by side with other trades unions.” -Mein Kampf

    Hitler, in fact replaced the labor unions with a central labor board as he claimed he would. He didn’t lie about what he was about. He also had plenty of plans on how he was going to socialize businesses, via state control. He followed through on those promises also. These are not policies “of the right”. If you read Herbert Spencer, for instance, he was pro-labor union. If you read Lenin however he talks about centralizing control over labor unions. He’s on the left.

    At the outset of WWII the Nazi “economists” set a “wartime tax of 50 percent on all wages” that only applied to the top 4% wealthiest Germans. He set exorbitant corporate taxes and harsh capital gains taxes. Businessmen became slaves of their enterprises, not allowed to sell, not allowed to pursue other than what the socialist state required of them. Sure they made enormous “profits” but so too did the state run enterprises of Stalin. All during the war the largess of the military conquests were spread among the masses, one of the reasons he was so popular.

    So who was he lying to?

    Stalin during his first five year plan gave workers pay-cuts and production speed-ups. That was 11 year before WWII and not out of necessity of war or anything. Is it at all surprising that another socialist would do something similar?

    Meanwhile the Social Democrats have allowed capitalists to keep control of their corporations and no one would argue that they are of “the right”. In fact, businessmen today have far greater control over their businesses than Hitler So the fact that Hitler let businessmen keep control in name only does not mean he was “of the right”.

    “Hitler also drew support from the aristocracy.”

    Duh, they just watched the Bolsheviks in action who had slaughtered the entire royal family. They were just supporting another leftist movement that they thought would be more in their interests. The country was already a democracy. It’s not like Hitler was a monarchist or anything.

    FDR was quite socialist in his policies and he had widespread support from businessmen in the US and also voluntary cooperation from them.

    Like I said before, support from businessmen is not a metric you can use. It means nothing. Politics makes strange bedfellows. In the case of Germany the businessmen were supporting their best odds of not going communist, as were the Aristocrats.

    Hitler also drew enormous support from the common working man. Hitler was just plain popular in Germany. Especially after he gained control and started spreading the wealth.

    “They, the Catholic Church, big business, the aristocracy, the army, all hated the unions and the parties of the left, and supported Hitler because they knew he would crush them.”

    They all hated the communists for various reasons, and yes Hitler would and did crush them. Doesn’t make Hitler a classical liberal. I already covered these issues in the last post. Socialists of various stripes have again and again been supported by the Church, big business, armies, etc. Socialists of various stripes have dismantled unions. Socialists have crushed socialists mercilessly.

    ” I don’t suppose that because Hitler was of the right, that proves the right as a whole is wrong, while you evidently think that because Stalin was on the left, the left as a whole is wrong.”

    Never said any such thing. In fact, I brought this whole issue up as an example of the left branding the right with certain things. Like claiming that the right invented the idea of PC to defame the left when in fact it was the left that invented the concept and applied it. I’ve actually talked with not just leftist but centrists who seem to think that the right can be PC when in fact the concept of PC has to do with conforming to leftist ideals.

    In fact one of the main points of the book Liberal Fascism is that the left has been doing this. First claim Hitler is of the right and then damn the right. Which in fact has happened. Meanwhile he was actually spawned by the left. You read his Mein Kampf and it’s littered with Marxist terminology and concepts, bourgeois, class concerns, etc.

    “That sort of stupidity is why you, and many other rightists, have to pretend, in the teeth of the evidence, that fascism is a left-wing phenomenon.”

    Fascism was in fact founded by Mussolini, a socialist. Fascism being a form of syndicalism and corporativism (worker corporations) both which are socialist ideologies. He was loved and praised worldwide by the left.

    The left praised Stalin, and his successors. Castro. Etc. Why? Because they are on the left or against “evil capitalism”. Hitler too attracted anti-capitalists of various stripes. Not surprisingly anti-semites of all stripes.

    ” Your problem is living in a one-dimensional universe. Adherence to the mythical “free market” is not the only mark of the right. Another is support for economic and social inequality.”

    Mythical free market? Active support for social inequality? Who is living in a one-dimensional universe?

    “Libertarians” go for increased inequality via markets – or at least, they fool themselves that they do;”

    Is that why they go for free markets, they want increased inequality, and here, fool that I am, I thought that they were generally deontologists who were mainly about natural rights. Perhaps you can provide some libertarian literature where they advocate “increased inequality” as the goal and markets as the means.

    Yeah, my one-dimensional universe includes views that make some (not all) libertarians call me a collectivist.

    Meanwhile your ignorant statments make it clear you haven’t a clue what libertarians think.

    You are about as lame as that mayhempix calling me a “wingnut”. Yep, all wingnuts are atheist, pro-choice, pro-separation of church and state, pro-evolution, etc. They also think Bush is guilty of breaking domestic laws on torture. Talk about one dimensional. It’s like I’m reading right out of Rush Limbaughs playbook or something.

    I just don’t like the lefts anti-liberal tendencies, as much as I don’t like the rights.

    “If you annoy everyone, perhaps there’s something wrong with you?”
    I said I annoy some ideologs. If that represents your reading skills no wonder you think Hitler was on the right. His writings they are and have always been socialist.

    ” Like the inanity of your “arguments” and your unpleasantly obvious prejudices.”

    Yeah, like my unpleasant prejudice against ideologies that advocate for my extermination and subjegation. I’ve read the Quran, have you? Ideologies that have in fact had followers that have acted on such and then proudly proclaimed that they acted in the name of the ideology.

    I also wouldn’t throw around the word inanity if I were you, Mr. “Lenin wasn’t a social democrat”. Yeah, I guess, and the Pope isn’t a true christian, if you ask a Baptist.

    In fact your entire argument is based on a no true Scotsman fallacy.

  315. #316 Brian Macker
    August 21, 2008

    Nick Gotts says:

    “Adherence to the mythical “free market” is not the only mark of the right. Another is support for economic and social inequality. “Libertarians” go for increased inequality via markets – or at least, they fool themselves that they do;”

    Yeah, talk about “unpleasantly obvious prejudices”.

The site is undergoing maintenance presently. Commenting has been disabled. Please check back later!