Monday, 23 June 2008

All they have to do...

Anyone saying:
All they have to do is respond with facts, not bombs, Molotov cocktails, burned embassies, burned flags, death fatwas, or even lawsuits.
... would no doubt be guilty of Islamophobia - in Canada anyway.

In fact, the quote is from AltMuslim, and reads:
All we have to do is respond with facts, not bombs, Molotov cocktails, burned embassies, burned flags, death fatwas, or even lawsuits.
Would that stop Islamophobic articles? No. It would stop them from being believed though. Or treated seriously. Or being seen as anything other than raving lunacy.

But each death fatwa, call for the extermination of Jews, even attempts to suppress all criticism of Islam whatsoever, that will give these articles about fear of dangerous muslim fanaticism credence. Because to some extent they will be true, won't they? "Behead those who say Islam is violent" really doesn't go down well.


I know we're talking about a tiny minority of extremists. But we're also talking about a much larger proportion of Muslims who feel compelled to defend those fanatics in the name of Muslim Solidarity. While they do, they will be seen as a threat too.

It's not a battle of Muslim vs Christian, or Muslim vs Jew, or $religion1 vs $religion2. It's a battle between the sane and the loony. I've had enough of that recently, in other contexts.

5 comments:

Hazumu Osaragi said...

Hi, Zoe;

Nice thought. But there's one thing I see here.

The islamophobic articles may try to tie a normal devotional of the Muslim religion to the potential for extremist acts. Thus, women wearing devotional headscarves and men who wear beards and perform traditional prayers at the appointed times get tied to kidnappings and beheadings and suicide bombings. So the headscarves and prayer rugs become the weapons of de-humanized irrational foes.

Of course, this can be paralleled in the LGBT community. Here is a bit of the actual letter that was censured by the Canadian government;

Our children are being victimized by repugnant and premeditated strategies, aimed at desensitizing and eventually recruiting our young into their camps. Think about it, children as young as five and six years of age are being subjected to psychologically and physiologically damaging pro-homosexual literature and guidance in the public school system; all under the fraudulent guise of equal rights.

Your children are being warped into believing that same-sex families are acceptable; that men kissing men is appropriate.

Your teenagers are being instructed on how to perform so-called safe same gender oral and anal sex and at the same time being told that it is normal, natural and even productive. Will your child be the next victim that tests homosexuality positive?


More here:
http://canadianpastor.blogspot.com/2005/09/letter-that-started-it-all.html

Thus the very act of trying to advance rights for the LGBT community becomes the act of tearing down the very foundations of society from within.

It's difficult to not fight back in some way, even if you know you could be potentially handing your enemy the hammer they've been hoping for to beat you back into the closet of shame, fear and self-loathing.

And you wonder if handing out a few bloody noses might not speed their process of acceptance...

It's late, and I don't feel very sarcastic right now...

Battybattybats said...

So many people want rights for themselves but seem to think allowing those same rights for others is perilous.

Those who demand the right to be muslim must in return respect the right of non-muslims to be non-muslims. Thats why the banning of headscarves in Turkey is a human rights abuse just as oppression of the Yezidee in Iraq or the Zoarastrians in Iran is.

Being certain i'm right only gives me a reason to impose my views on others if I accept that they being certain they are right gives them a reason to impose their view over me. These views simply cancel each other out resulting in the need for equality and freedom anyway.

This is the logical error of those who are certain they are right, even if they are correct in their opinion their desire not to be robbed of the right to their correct opinion is the foundation for why they must not do so to others.

Alas those in the Islamic world who express such views are oppressed and/or labelled as 'western' despite the great respect for the greek philosophers throughout much of Islamic history.

Critical thinking, rational logic, these things have the power to reshape the islamic world. But that threatens the power of theocrats and so will be as fiercely opposed by islamic theocrats as they are by those in the west who try and impose their own theocracy.

Those folk need push-button reactionary emotional thinking to prevail wherever they are. Some day someone will 'frame' the enlightenment and logic in a push-button reactionary emotional thinking way that will resonate through the Islamic world and my how the world will change then.

Laserlight said...

Being certain i'm right only gives me a reason to impose my views on others if I accept that they being certain they are right gives them a reason to impose their view over me

That turns out not to be the case. I may be the sort of person who's certain it's okay to drive drunk, or scam people out of their life savings, or beat a girl to death because she walked with a boy from the wrong tribe. You may be just as certain I'm wrong. Shall we compromise, or would you rather just impose your views on me?

Zoe Brain said...

I might add that I know too many genuine Christians, even some Evangelicals, even some Fundamentalists, who are genuinely good people to ever see their beliefs as more than incorrect. They extend the same tolerance to me. I hope to match their kindness too.

Battybattybats said...

"That turns out not to be the case. I may be the sort of person who's certain it's okay to drive drunk, or scam people out of their life savings, or beat a girl to death because she walked with a boy from the wrong tribe. You may be just as certain I'm wrong. Shall we compromise, or would you rather just impose your views on me?"

Hold a mo. You missed a point i think. Mere opposing views cancel each other out they meet a point of equality where neither can reign. Let me use an example. If you have the view that its ok to beat a girl to death and she has the view that she shouldn't be beaten to death neither need compromise or duel it out with violence to determine the outcome.

If each has equal rights to their views do they not have to respect the rights of others to their own views. Each wants to make their own choices so they must respect that in others. That way each recognises the other as free and equal. So then does the girl die or not?

The persons right to murder extends only as far as the victims right to choose not to be murdered. The equality + freedom part of the equation requires the notion of consent. Consent solves the paradox leaving each side equal, and each free to the point of the others freedom. Then one can only murder those who freely and without coercion consent to be murdered (by which point its not murder anyway but a form of suicide).

So to religion, to justify ones own freedom and right to believe what one holds is right they must recognise allow and respect another to do likewise with a view the other holds is right even though one holds it is wrong!

It's 'don't do unto others from their perspective what you wouldn't want done to you from yours'.

Perspective is key. The Muslim could say 'If I were believing a falshood I'd want to be shown the light of Allah, by force if neccessary' but that is not shifting the perspective to the other view. Doing that would be 'if I hold Allah to be true and wouldn't want someone to use force to prevent me from worship then I should not do the same to another with what they hold to be true'.

So that principle means murderers can only murder the suicidal with their free informed consent (and we could then discuss if a person can possibly give such consent truly freely), it means that the justification for ones religious freedom requires respecting the religious freedom of others.

Without absolute objective never shifting and completely understood proof, a notion antithetical to faith and unknown to science, what justification is there for not respecting equal freedom?

Ah well not everyone is capable of informed consent, young children, the mentally infirm etc. No moral or ethical argument is without grey areas. Yet those have, in theory at least, a future possibility of gaining the capacity to give informed consent in which case their is a responsibility to make decisions not to what those with power over them would chooose in their place but to what would maximise their freedom of choice when/if gained.

Now while not perfect you'll find that simple notion allows all manner of moral and political dilemmas to be solved including the co-existence of very disperate or opposite viewpoints, maximises the chances of both individual and group happiness and works well in the vast majority of situations.

It's tough for those who want others to make their choices for them, though this can arguably be arranged consentually so long as it is informed and subject to the capacity for changing minds resulting in anything from democratic government to BDSM relationships, and for those who do not accept others being capable to make their own choices themselves and yet what justification is sufficient for those people to choose for others and not have others choose for them?

It's a simple(simplistic) logical formula sure but it's a powerful one too.