September 30, 2022

Talking with Faisal about my previous blog post

Weighing on how progressive liberals treat Islam.

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6 thoughts on “Talking with Faisal about my previous blog post

  1. @Faisal

    I want to be clear that you were very honest throughout the video. I just saw one moment where you were slightly … disingenuous for want a better term. At one point, you said a majority of Muslims are not extremist, but a majority of Muslims are not liberal either. What you mean by that is that most Muslims are not flying to Syria and Iraq to fight for I.S., but if you survey their opinion, a majority of Muslims are in favor of death for apostasy, death for homosexuality, etc. They are extremist in word, but not deed.

    You constantly refer to moderate and liberal Muslims. You constantly say they’re real. I agree. I know of plenty of loners and dissidents. I want to know if there is a non-trivial sect of Islam with religious scholars and clergy who have a consensus position that Islam does not demand the killing of apostates, blasphemers, and idolaters, and who have a consensus position that such acts should be legally protected speech. Is there such a thing? Can I have a name? How popular is it? Where is it located? Where are its members located? It’s my understanding that there is no such thing. In other words, are all moderate and liberal Muslims loners?

    Aronra said that he’s uncomfortable generalizing a group as large as Islam. I do that all the time with Catholicism. I hold that all Catholics personally support child rape and are personally responsible for child rape. Merely identifying as Catholic provides support for the Catholic church which has an official policy in word and action to protect its child raping priests from police. Ignorance is only the barest of excuses. For those Catholics who actually know about the practices of their church, they have nothing but my contempt.

    Note that I hold every Catholic individually responsible in a moral sense, but not a legal sense. I do not want it to be a legal crime. The most important value and principle of western morality and legality is this paraphrase of Voltaire: I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it. It’s the values of free speech, which many people do not get. People should be able to support child rape with mere speech, but I should also be able to criticize them for it. (Of course, if individual Catholics give money to the Catholic church, such as tithing, that’s a whole other matter. I would love for that to be criminally prosecutable in the same way that giving money to so-called Islamic terrorist organizations is illegal.)

    I hold every individual Muslim responsible in the exact same way as I hold every individual Catholic responsible. I do not want it to be a crime to identify as Muslim or Catholic. I want a properly measured social response to people who identify as Catholic and Muslim. Perhaps a social response that someone would get now if they identify as Nazi or NAMBLA. (Of course, I would be completely against harassing a self-identified Nazi by following him, issuing threats, bombing his home, harassing his employer to get him fired (in most circumstances), etc.) That’s my ideal world. Getting there is hard. PS: Of course, this can go too far. Social pressure itself can become censorship more effective than government censorship. For a fuller discussion of this topic, please see On Liberty by John Stuart Mill.

    There is a convenient catch-22 with Islam. I want to exert social pressure to make people leave Islam, but there’s these other people who want to kill people who leave Islam. These extenuating circumstances are duress. When present, that can remove all personal responsibility. But then how I do I fix the problem? Catch-22.

    Now, if I am wrong and there is a large identifiable movement or group in Islam whose scholars and clergy are against the any legal punishment for apostates, blasphemers, and idolaters, then in the interests of honesty and accuracy, in my screeds, I’ll have to replace “Islam” with “Sunni Islam and Shia Islam” or some such. This is exactly how I don’t use the word “Christian” when I verbally accuse and attack Catholics for the child rape crimes of their church.

    PS: Aronra, if you want an example of this kind of cultural relativist, I have a probable one here:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/reasonadvocates/2013/12/14/both-parts-of-my-time-on-the-blind-faith-virus-vaccine-show/#comment-106139

    1. I can give you a few such schools of Islam (this is the term the Muslims themselves use, the concept is closer to denominations within Christianity) off the top of my head. The Alevi of Turkey represent 20% of the Turkish population, some 16 million people, and represent probably the most progressive school of Islam in the world. The similarly named, but differently derived ‘Alawis of Northeastern Syria Just over 1 million strong, also do not murder apostates. The Bektashi group, the largest school of Islam in Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia is also similarly progressive in that sense.

  2. “I want to know if there is a non-trivial sect of Islam with religious scholars and clergy who have a consensus position that Islam does not demand the killing of apostates, blasphemers, and idolaters, and who have a consensus position that such acts should be legally protected speech. Is there such a thing? Can I have a name? How popular is it? Where is it located? Where are its members located?”

    EnlightenmentLiberal: I’m no Islamic scholar, so I could certainly stand to be corrected. But it’s my general understanding that the kind of religious scholars and clergy you speak of were actually fairly common before, say, 1980. What happened to them is a bit fuzzy to me, but they seem to have been systematically eliminated or bought out by a combination of poorly-thought-out policies of the West, the constant irritant of Israel vs. Palestine, political exigencies inside Iran on the Shiite side, and the evil machinations of members of the house of Saud on the Sunni side.

    And incidentally, I could easily see the same thing happening here if certain individuals were able to gain the political power they desire by electing, say, a Huckabee or a Palin.

  3. And incidentally, I could easily see the same thing happening here if certain individuals were able to gain the political power they desire by electing, say, a Huckabee or a Palin.

    Yep.

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