Addressing misinformation on Islam and Islamophobia

A comment by ‘theSailor’ deserves some attention.

According to Dr. Tony Costa, professor of world religions at the University of Toronto, the concept of “Islamophobia” was created by the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1990s specifically as “a way to stifle any criticism of Islam.”

This is wrong. Wikipedia on Islamophobia:

The term was first used in the early 20th century and it emerged as a neologism in the 1970s, then it became increasingly salient during the 1980s and 1990s, and it reached public policy prominence with the report by the Runnymede Trust‘s Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia (CBMI) entitled Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All (1997). The introduction of the term was justified by the report’s assessment that “anti-Muslim prejudice has grown so considerably and so rapidly in recent years that a new item in the vocabulary is needed”.

Dr Tony Costa: Tony Costa Christian Apologetics – “This website is dedicated to the defense of the Christian faith and providing answers to the hard questions regarding biblical Christianity. Its purpose also serves to encourage Christians by properly equipping them with the tools to defend their faith in a coherent and intelligent manner. In so doing, they fulfill the great commandment to love the Lord their God with all their mind. (Mark 12:29-30) Finally, our hope is to minister to the absence of spiritual discernment so prevalent among Christians in the present day.”

“Tony believes his mission to the Christian church as a whole is to call attention to a very serious threat. This includes the proliferation of various cults, the occult, the New Age Movement and World Religions. Most of these groups seek to camouflage themselves as “Christian”, while at the same time denying the historic orthodox teachings of Christianity. It is imperative that all Christians, in both the clergy and laity recognize this threat to prepare and equip themselves to defend the Gospel of Jesus Christ while at the same time boldly proclaiming it. (Jude 3; 1 Peter 3:15)

theSailor:

A recent, very disturbing judgement by the European Court of Human Rights shows just how effective it has been. The UN also has been pushing hard for many years to have criticism of Islam banned throughout the world. We should ask ourselves why.

We should ask ourselves why these claims have been made, because they seem to be quite inaccurate.

Defamation of religion is an issue that was repeatedly addressed by some member states of the United Nations (UN) from 1999 until 2010. Several non-binding resolutions were voted on and accepted by the UN condemning “defamation of religion”. The motions, sponsored on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), now known as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation,[1] sought to prohibit expression that would “fuel discrimination, extremism and misperception leading to polarization and fragmentation with dangerous unintended and unforeseen consequences”.

From 2001 to 2010 there was a split of opinions, with the Islamic bloc and much of the developing world supporting the defamation of religion resolutions, and mostly Western democracies opposing them. Support waned toward the end of the period due to increased opposition from the West along with lobbying by religious, free-speech, and human rights advocacy groups.

The UN Human Rights Committee followed this in July 2011 with the adoption of General Comment 34 on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) 1976 that binds signatory countries. Concerning freedoms of opinion and expression, General Comment 34 made it clear that “Prohibitions of displays of lack of respect for a religion or other belief system, including blasphemy laws, are incompatible with the Covenant”.

General Comment 34 makes it clear that countries with blasphemy laws in any form that have signed the ICCPR are in breach of their obligations under the ICCPR.

theSailor:

There are some worryingly naive views expressed on here. When Islam starts extending its iron fist into your community, commencing very quietly and ‘peacefully’ under the guise of “tolerating other faiths”, it is time to be very concerned indeed.

That’s absurd scaremongering.

A “phobia” by definition is an “irrational” fear, and a fear of Islam is not irrational to anyone who has researched it, and read of distant lands that have made the fatal mistake of tolerating it, such as Europe and Britain.

Phobia by definition is “An extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.”  (Oxford).

It is irrational to fear one thing like ‘Islam’ when it is not a single thing, it is a religion that has billions of followers and many different flavours and aims.

It as irrational to fear ‘Islam’ as it is to fear ‘man’.

Islam is not a spiritual belief system; it is an earthly overlord – like its instigator – whose driving compulsion is to cover the world with itself, killing or converting any human standing in its way.

That sounds like an irrational fear being expressed.

Welcoming such an intolerant, violent, brainwashing collective organism into your society will inevitably end in tears, as history has shown.

Spreading fear and loathing of a different religion seems to be mostly done by intolerant people who have been brainwashed by a collective organism.

Millions of Muslims are undoubtedly passive (as distinct from peaceful), but the cult that rigidly controls them is not.

‘Passive but not peaceful’ is an insidious form of mass blaming and fear mongering. There is no singular ‘cult’ that controls all branches and followers of Islam, just as there is no cult that controls all of Christianity or any other large religion.

No more than is a man-eating tiger, for all its millions of strands of soft, passive, fluffy fur; not one of which, for all its passivity, will ever condemn the teeth.

A man-eating tiger representative of all cats.

There are radicals and cults within Islam, just as there are within Christianity.

Both try to demonise many because of the actions of a small few.

I think there may be more dangers to new Zealand from intolerant Islamophobes trying to stir up fear and division than there is of radical Muslim actions.

Inaccurate, divisive and inflammatory posts are not acceptable here, they will be deleted or dissected, and those who persist in posting them will lose their freedom to comment unmoderated.

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79 Comments

  1. To the person posting identical comments under ‘wally nigel marvin’ and ‘waldo1969’ – you may not have read as far as the last paragraph of the post, I suggest that you do.

    Reply
    • Mother

       /  12th April 2019

      Do you mean the wee story about the tiger? I wondered about that. Please explain Pete what you think is wrong/inappropriate about it.

      Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  12th April 2019

    I’m not really all that comfortable with saying this now. But, this is all Jaweh’s fault. Which if pressed, I could explain in detail.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  12th April 2019

      Away you go.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  12th April 2019

        I hope you don’t mean, as in: “Satan be gone!”

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  12th April 2019

          ”When He had come to the other side, to the country of the 1 Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. 29 And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” 30 Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding. 31 So the demons begged Him, saying, “If You cast us out, 2 permit us to go away into the herd of swine.” 32 And He said to them, “Go.” So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water.”

          This second death seems a scary thing, Gezza. If demons would rather be cast into pigs, and dying patients, in between bouts of consciousness, beg to be kept alive because they had been in hell…well the mind boggles.

          I rooting for you. I don’t want this to be true. Make me feel safe.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  12th April 2019

            Make me feel safe.
            Go to a quiet bedroom or your sofa. Turn off any sources of noisy distraction, and lie down, & close your eyes.

            Breathe, slowly, in and out, in through your nose, ever more slowly, holding breathing in for a count of four or five, holding, and then exhaling it for a countbof four or five, whatever you feel comfortable with.

            Wait until you are now breathing in this manner automatically, without cins ious effort, & you are completely relaxed. Starting at the very top of your head, tense, & then relax your scalp muscles, until you can feel they are completely relaxed. Continue working your way down your face & head, neck & body extremeties, tensing & relaxing ALL your muscles one at a time.

            When you all your muscles are now completely relaxed – as you think about them, & mentally work your way up or down again to quietly, without concentration being needed – to gently check that this so, contact me for further instructions.

            Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  12th April 2019

            Swine are unclean animals in Judaism.

            I can’t think which version of the Bible that was. The country was that of the Gadarenes, not the Gergesenes. The rest isn’t worth wasting time on, it’s so inaccurate.

            Reply
            • Kimbo

               /  12th April 2019

              Gadarenes, not the Gergesenes

              Each could be right as they are textual variants. Unlike Islam, Christianity (and Judaism), while encouraging as accurate a transmission copying process as possible during the pre-printing age, does not require a 100% accurate record. Hence variations in letters, words and some passages have occurred.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  12th April 2019

              I did realise that; I have read a great deal about the history of English as well as English literature. My house looks like a bookshop specialising in Eng Lit, History and Biographies. The idea of 100% accuracy is a modern one; Chaucer et al would have taken it for granted that errors crept in. Even Shakespeare would have, I imagine,

              The lack of standard spelling has caused scholars many headaches. I only realised recently that he who sang like ‘wood man’ andwhose loud voice made him yclept ye most myrie in Wyclif’ diatribe against the way that Christmas was kept in his day was a madman, not what I thought. If he meant a wod or wud man, why didn’t he say so ???

              One criticism of the Bible is the variants in the stories; like who was the Mary who poured the ointment on Jesus’s feet ? That’s an obvious one, but Genesis also contradicts itself.

            • Kimbo

               /  12th April 2019

              …so the Geek New Testament textual tradition on which the KJV is based (known as Textus Receptus) had Gadarenes. Since 1611 archaeology has turned up older texts suggesting Gergesenes was in the original.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  12th April 2019

              I assumed that it was a Corkism.

              But the rest of it’s a bit peculiar.

    • Tomorrow may be a better time, in a dedicated post, if you have the time.

      Reply
    • Zedd

       /  12th April 2019

      ‘Jaweh’s fault’ sez Gezza

      OR Yahweh/Jehovah ? :/

      Reply
      • Kimbo

         /  12th April 2019

        YHWH. Probably pronounced “Yahweh” but we are not sure (Hebrew is written without consonants so unless you continually speak the word, knowledge of the vowels can be lost.

        Jahweh is a latinisation.

        Not Jehovah. Is an ersatz nonsense that takes the Hebrew vowels from their word for “Lord” and transplants them onto the latinised Yahweh. So, no, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have not got the name of God right.

        You’re welcome.

        Reply
        • Zedd

           /  12th April 2019

          cheers Kimbo..

          Yes I was aware of the ‘tetragrammaton’ (YHWH); reportedly ‘Yod-He-Vav-He’ in hebrew ?

          I also understand that the ‘name of God’ is actually unpronouncable ?
          So I tend to stick with Yahweh OR Jehovah.. depending on whom, it is Im discussing it with ! 🙂 😀

          Reply
          • Kimbo

             /  12th April 2019

            It became unpronounceable in Hebrew when a vowel system was later added (in about 800AD by a group of scholar/scribes called the Masoretes) in the sense that they wrote it with the vowels from “Adonai: (Hebrew: Lord/master), and they are grammatically unprounceable with the tetragrammaton. Hence the reader of the Hebrew text would know not to pronounce it, and substitute “Lord” of “ha Shem/the name”. Hence the tetragrammaton is usually translated LORD (with capitals) in English bibles.

            But most likely it was originally Yahweh, meaning “He is/will be” as per Exodus 3:14 and 6:3. But it could have been different vowels depending on the original Hebrew tense of the verb “to be”. As it was unpronounced for centuries we just don’t know for sure.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  12th April 2019

              Kimbo, my ancestors nvntd txt-spk lng bfr mbl phns wr vn thght f.

    • Kimbo

       /  12th April 2019

      Yes, I had noticed that you seem to have that proclivity on hair-trigger, Gezza! 😂

      I know I’m going to regret asking, but a bit like Christopher Hitchens’ overreach, “religion spoils everything, is there problem to which you don’t assign the blame to religion?

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  12th April 2019

        Well, it’s somewhat tongue in cheek, Kimbo, as you obviously realise, judging from the tears of laughter emoji.

        But no, I don’t blame religion – nor all religions – for all the problems in the world & throughout history. Most of them come from our being a great ape, with the ability to create imaginary realities & fight for dominance in them, as well as externally.

        But if there were no Bible & scriptures used to engender belief in susceptible people in a fictional, awful, creator god, there would have been no such creature to graft Jesus & the Holy Spirit & their fictional claim to godhead onto, & purport to have some new rules from Jaweh to apply as well as the old, & without those two there would have been no inspiration for Muhammad & his followers to appropriate & amend Jaweh & correct his (claimed) misrepresented & misinterpreted rules for humanity in the Quran & Sunnah.

        And all the associated misery & death that has accompanied these well out-of-date beliefs. It’s a pity the followers of Jesus felt it necessary to link him so intimately to Jaweh to create a power & dinity he doesn’t possess to market his teachings to ignorant, manipulable, Jewish, & later gentile, followers at a time when everybody beieved in gods to explain the many, many things about the universe, the planets, science, evolution, plants, animals, weather, natural cataclysms, astronomical phenomena, etc.

        Otherwise he might have just ended up known & even almost revered as a man, a teacher, a sometimes-wise philosopher, maybe a figure like Confucius.

        Reply
        • Kimbo

           /  12th April 2019

          Otherwise he might have just ended up known & even almost revered as a man, a teacher, a sometimes-wise philosopher, maybe a figure like Confucius.

          Gandhi, looking from the outside through the lens of a very different Hindu cosmology and epistemology said the same thing. The problem is that, as per Albert Schweitzer and the first quest for the historical Jesus, you can’t divorce Jesus from his world.

          In the liberal Protestant tradition in which Schweitzer was inculcated, Jesus was a 19th Century proponent of the fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man and the upward march of human progress (this was before the disaster of the Great War disavowed cultured Europeans things were that simple.

          Yet the more Schweitzer studied Jesus of Nazareth he realised, irrespective of claims to divinity and the performing of miracles, he (Jesus) was a first Century Palestinian Jew whose message and ethics stemmed inexorably from the apocalyptic expectation of the dramatic inbreaking of the cosmic kingdom of God into human affairs as foretold in the Old Testament.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  12th April 2019

            Religious philosophers are a strange, often tortured & tortuous, lot. Did Schweitzer correctly conclude in the end that the Abrahamic God is a myth & doesn’t exist.

            Reply
            • Kimbo

               /  12th April 2019

              Are you implying that if a religious philosopher – or historian, archaeologist or philiologist for that matter – retains religious faith in the transcendent Abrahamic God, their conclusions are to be dismissed? 😐 We all have bias, the issue is how those biases are accounted for and/or disclosed.

              Schweitzer. from memory, concluded that despite Jesus’ expectation that the apocalyptic Kingdom of God would be manifested in his life and ministry, he died disappointed. As to Schweitzer himself, he retained a modified faith, I believe. Hence his famous mission work in Africa, and his on-going participation in biblical scholarship.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Schweitzer

            • Gezza

               /  12th April 2019

              Are you implying that if a religious philosopher – or historian, archaeologist or philiologist for that matter – retains religious faith in the transcendent Abrahamic God, their conclusions are to be dismissed? 😐

              Good heavens, Kimbo. No. Not at all.

              I’m asserting it.

              I’m tossing up whether I should bother looking up philologist. Labels & categories & subcategories of protagonists in this kind of debate don’t usually add anything of relevance or value to me. Although it appears from our previous – enjoyable, for me anyway – discussions on the topic of this god’s absence, as a believer in this mythical entity you would, I think, be a dispensationalist.

            • Kimbo

               /  12th April 2019

              No, I wanted to clarify that even though I am a Christian, I am not a dispensationalist! No divinely foretold and prophesied plan for the modern state of Israel that requires American foreign policy to “obey God’s fore-ordained plan” in my schema (which doesn’t mean you don’t respect their right to exist…along with a yet-to-be-born Palestinian state. I digress… 😀).

              And I think google search will reveal “philologist” is a recognised field of scholarship, and religiously neutral.

              So, just out of interest, who polices your ideological assumptions? I know you say you don’t want to be put into a box. Hmm, in most cases that means the assumptions and prejudices of the one saying it are both assumed…and unexamined.

            • Gezza

               /  12th April 2019

              We may have a different understanding of the term dispensationalist which I heard described as someone who argues, as I thought you did, for progressive revelation, in the belief that more divine revelation was provided over time to allow for the ignorant ancients to mull over, analyse, grapple with & finally understand & now be in a postion to cope with new information – a chunk at a time, essentially.

              So, just out of interest, who polices your ideological assumptions?
              Anybody who wants to. I don’t have an ideology. I just have a non-belief in your Mythical God that I’d like more people to share. I have come across some people over the years who share that non-belief. Sometimes they articulate what I have concluded better than me. But we may not agree on everything, or they have given me more information & arguments for & against to consider. It’s why I don’t take any interest in labels.

              I’ve got to go soon. I’ve been having some chats lately with PG about the possibilities for an area of the blog to be dedicated to religion. There are obviously various issues about this for him to mull over carefully.

            • Kimbo

               /  12th April 2019

              Just to clarify, no, while all Christians (and Muslims for that matter too)believe in progressive revelation, not all are Dispensationalists – who take the doctrine of progressive revelation and codify it like a jig-saw puzzle so they can supposedly predict…the next piece of the jig-saw puzzle to be revealed.

              Catch you later…

            • Gezza

               /  12th April 2019

              What do you think of my suggestion to PG?

            • Kimbo

               /  12th April 2019

              Yes, agree. This thread is now off topic. Speaking of which (and I know you have to go)…

              do you agree with my assertion below, in response to Alan Wilkinson, that Islam, as formulated is a potential threat to Western freedoms? Doesn’t mean Muslims can’t live peaceably as good citizens – indeed the vast majority do.,,because, like all people of faith they tend to pick and choose what they follow in their sacred text(s).

              And if so…is that Islamophobia?

            • Gezza

               /  12th April 2019

              Do you agree with my assertion below, in response to Alan Wilkinson, that Islam, as formulated is a potential threat to Western freedoms? Doesn’t mean Muslims can’t live peaceably as good citizens – indeed the vast majority do.,,because, like all people of faith they tend to pick and choose what they follow in their sacred text(s).

              If I was looking at the right one it went off into Communism as well. But I certainly agree with both those sentences above.

              And if so…is that Islamophobia?

              No. It is a rational analysis based on sound reasoning & sufficient evidence to justfy that conclusion, imo. And you should be allowed to say it. And Muslims should be allowed to say what their arguments are in rebuttal.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  12th April 2019

              Kimbo, you and my late (Eastern Orthodox, theologian) husband would have had some fascinating conversations.

            • Kimbo

               /  12th April 2019

              @ Kitty Catkin

              Sounds like it – especially as I am a staunch believer in the filioque clause! 😃

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  12th April 2019

              (faints with surprise)

              I can’t remember when I last heard anyone say that.

              Do you know the works of Timothy Ware aka Metropolitan Anthony ? He wrote a great book on Orthodoxy. (upper case, of course)

              Our wedding had three real priests and one fake one (he wanted to be ordained but no one would do it, so he bought himself some clerical robes. He came in when the ceremony had begun and wandered around with a service book, leaving before the end) One of the priests was later outed as a Transylvanian spy.

            • Kimbo

               /  12th April 2019

              Do you know the works of Timothy Ware aka Metropolitan Anthony ?

              aka Kallistos Ware? Yep. Was the primary Orthodox source to whom I referred when researching filioque.

  3. Corky

     /  12th April 2019

    Some fair points there. And yes, we all tend to generalise in some cases. However, I have proven during the last couple of years most of what has been written above in defence of Islam is only partially correct..or completely incorrect. ( barring UN ineptitude)

    Before you can state the above, you must be able to explain the problems Europe is having with Islam. Then you have to quantify and explain the problems regarding population densities of Muslims and the changing face of Islam that goes with those changing demographics.

    ”I think there may be more dangers to new Zealand from intolerant Islamophobes trying to stir up fear and division than there is of radical Muslim actions.”

    At the moment that is correct. And I have stated the reason for that. But as the curtailed ANZAC celebrations show, police definitely have learn’t something from overseas experience.

    Reply
    • “However, I have proven during the last couple of years most of what has been written above in defence of Islam is only partially correct..or completely incorrect.”

      I think that that claim is incorrect.

      I have written in defence of Muslims who have been mass shamed and blamed for the actions of a few, but that’s quite different.

      I haven’t seen much if anything written here ‘in defence of Islam’. I don’t try to defend and religion, but I will defend the right of anyone to practice whatever faith they choose as long as it doesn’t adversely affect anyone else.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  12th April 2019

        In my own opinion, I think the wisest approach is to engage Jaweh/Trinity/Allah believers, as often as possible, in discussion & argument to demonstrate the falsity of the existence of their sole, mythical god whose fictional diktats & ignorant, contradictory & clearly incorrect teachings about the world, the universe & humans obviously did not come from this god, but from educationally & scientifically ignorant men with a basic understanding of psychology (although they didn’t know it, as such) and a political & social agenda.

        The belief in this – same – mythical supernatural being has driven, & still drives, completely unnecessary conflict, war, hatred, divisiveness, & beliefs in superiority of one over another for millennia. Believers need to wake up, think, & get real. And drop them. Rely on their innate goodness, driven by their own inbuilt humanity, empathy, and common sense that tells humans everywhere they don’t want to be hurt, so they shouldn’t hurt others, & that they have to live with & get on with others.

        Free speech – the criticising of religion – must never be banned or restricted. And in some circumstances the actions or inactions of their believers must be damned. And must be allowed. That’s a completely different issue from demonising good, honest, peaceful, loving human followers who simply can’t, won’t or are not allowed to accept their god isn’t there.

        And I’m also reminded of a line in Dire Straits’s song Industrial Disease:
        “Two men say they’re Jesus. One of them must be wrong.”

        Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  12th April 2019

        Corky’s proved it in his own mind, and to him that’s the last word on the subject. His arrogant use of ‘I’ gives the impression that (in his own mind) if he says it, it must be true.

        The biassed, inaccurate websites like Voice of Europe pander to such people with their distorted figures, lies and scaremongering, of course.

        Reply
  4. Missy

     /  12th April 2019

    Pete, to a degree I agree with the Sailor, the use of the word Islamophobia is incorrect. This is a view held by some in the Muslim community as well as the Christian community. The slur of Islamophobe, or Islamophobia, is used by Conservative Muslims (not even extremists) to silence not just those that have anti-Muslim bigotry, but also those that are critiquing the religion. To conflate the religion with the people is wrong, and it can lead to blasphemy laws by stealth, essentially as soon as Islamophobia becomes a hate crime then it becomes a crime to criticise Islam – which is blasphemy in Islam.

    Maajid Nawaz is an expert on these matters, he is a Muslim, he has studied Arabic and Law as well as Political Theory, he has also studied and understands and knows the Koran, (he quotes it regularly to make points to callers on LBC). He is involved in counter extremist activism, and he works with extremists of all types – both Muslim and Far Right, and everything in between. This is a guy that knows what he is talking about on these matters.

    https://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/maajid-nawaz/maajid-nawaz-wants-the-word-islamophobia-scrapped/

    https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/opinion-the-word-islamophobia-and-its-definition-are-not-fit-for-purpose/

    Reply
    • “the use of the word Islamophobia is incorrect”

      It is used in a variety of ways. That doesn’t necessarily make some of those ways ‘incorrect’. Meanings evolve and often widen.

      Reply
      • Missy

         /  12th April 2019

        No Pete, it is not used in a variety of ways, the word is used to shut down any debates or criticism of the religion of Islam, it is not very often used to accuse someone of anti Muslim bigotry. You yourself have used the word when disputing criticisms of the religion.

        This is something that Muslims in the UK are wanting to have put into law as hate speech, this would effectively mean blasphemy laws disguised as hate speech laws to ostensibly protect Muslims against bigotry, the reality is that it would be protecting the religion of Islam from criticism.

        I think you need to read Maajid Nawaz’s views again and think about the impact if the misinformation that Islamophobia is some kind of racism is allowed to continue to spread.

        Reply
        • “No Pete, it is not used in a variety of ways, the word is used to shut down any debates or criticism of the religion of Islam, it is not very often used to accuse someone of anti Muslim bigotry.”

          Pointing out anti Muslim bigotry is exactly what the term has been used for a lot in New Zealand lately.

          Reply
  5. Gezza

     /  12th April 2019

    In regard to my comment above:

    https://yournz.org/2019/04/12/addressing-misinformation-on-islam-and-islamophobia/#comment-361806

    there absolutely HAS to be the freedom of speech to blaspheme.

    Different people have different ways of communicating, thinking & understanding beliefs, including, for some, by looking at them from a humourous angle, that demonstrate the absurdities of what their religion teaches.

    This is an excellent example of this very point. It is not meant to insult, but to inform & make a believer break the bonds of indoctrination & the clever reframings of religious philosophers & preachers – & think for themselves:

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  12th April 2019

      In that video, Matt is God. He did that address in a secular country full of Christians, more Christians than Jews or Muslims, with no fear of being physically attacked, imprisoned, or murdered. And he’s talking about the same God that the Jews, the Christians, & the Muslims believe in.

      One has to ask, could he safely do this, focussing instead on what is in the Quran, & Hadith, in a country full of Muslims, or more Muslims than Christians & Jews.

      No.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  12th April 2019

        Verses this.

        You only need to watch less than 30 seconds to get the point…yep, about 30 seconds and there’s a problem. Admittedly, the content in this clip is a little more confronting. Although we don’t fully know because violence broke out and the we didn’t see the film.

        My guess is Christians in the same situation would stand up and walk out. Maybe give a few
        unholy expletives to boot.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  12th April 2019

          Contrast that with the reaction of Christians to Virgin In A Condom @ Te Papa. I don’t recall seeing such a frantic physically outraged reaction from them (not to say there wasn’t any – I just remember peaceful, not even very vociferous protest at the venue).

          But yes, & we have all seen the deadly consequences of the publication of cartoons of Muhummad, the imprisonment of the Mayor of Jakarta, falsely accused of insulting Islam or the prophet, & I have watched the hundreds of thousands of Muslims screaming in the street for the execution of a Christian woman also falsely accused of insulting Islam.

          Poor preparation for YouTube, having some of the subtitle translations obscured by More at Heavy.com.

          What country is this happening in?

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  12th April 2019

            *screaming in the street in Pakistan, late last year

            Reply
          • Corky

             /  12th April 2019

            Sweden, I believe. What worries me is given the security on hand, organisers were prepared for trouble. That probably means protesters had a choice not to attend and be offended. When mayhem breaks out the crowd are obviously in two camps – those who want to see the film..and those who don’t want anybody seeing the film.

            To be fair, there are some great Muslim intellectuals and clerics coming through who see the problems with their religion in the West. It’s getting grassroot Islam to accept more diversity that’s the problem.

            It’s interesting to note…the film has a line ”take me to a gay bar” in reference to Muhammad I think(?).

            I doubt Jesus would have had a problem being in a gay bar. He mingled with
            some strange people. His followers, later writing the bible, seem to have had problems with gays though.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  12th April 2019

              Well, you have to remember, nowhere does Jesus cancel any of the old laws of from Jaweh & his representatives.

              And even when he sensed a trap by the elders when he persuaded the crowd not to stone to death the woman caught in adultery, he told her to go and sin no more. All we know is that he let her off that time with a warning.

              Reminds me of a joke my tuakana, still a believer – or at least a Sunday church attender – once told me.

              Jesus: Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone!
              Woman caught in adultery: BONK! Ow!
              Jesus: MUM !!!

            • Corky

               /  12th April 2019

              Oh, I forgot to ask: Do you believe Jesus was an actual historical figure?

            • Gezza

               /  12th April 2019

              I don’t know. The evidence is not irrefutably conclusive. But as Kimbo recently pointed out to me, the ongoing accumulation of research, including by some atheist or agnostic researchers, seems to be pointing to that probability.

            • Kimbo

               /  12th April 2019

              Cheers, Gezza, but I think “the overwhelming scholarly consensus points to the near-certainty of the existence of the historical Jesus of Nazareth” would be a more exact position. 😃

            • Gezza

               /  12th April 2019

              Yes, Kimbo, but you would. 🙂

              For me, whether he actually existed or not doesn’t actually matter, & my personal view is that he probably was a real bloke, a bit of a bludger, but probably a nice enuf chap, & no dummy.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  12th April 2019

              I was under the impression that the events in Sweden were grossly exaggerated by Trump.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  12th April 2019

            Not all the Muslims in that video were reacting in that way, and some of the people reacting may well not have been Muslim by their appearance.

            The film looked rather badly made; crude in more than one way and obviously made for shock value and to cause a stir.

            Does anyone remember the Destiny rallies that were likened to the Nuremberg ones ?

            Does anyone remember the riots in France that are still going, or were a week ago?

            I can’t remember why the last riots in the UK happened, but they were very violent.

            Reply
  6. Gezza

     /  12th April 2019

    But that’s the whole point. There ARE comparisons. Both are false,y claimed to be the right version of the Jaweh God, new & improved versions, & both of them have contradictory scriptures that give wise, foolish, good, and bad advice to people. And their adherents pick out only the bits that suit them. And claim by various devices that the bad advice is misunderstood, & fail to clarify what other parts are supposed to still apply or have been cancelled by the revised version of god – because they’re still in their scriptures & the new god doesn’t say they’re cancelled.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  12th April 2019

      That’s odd. I posted that as a reply to Mother. Did I end up on the wrong thread, or was something deleted?

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  12th April 2019

        Deleted, I imagine….Mother is becoming somewhat irrational.

        Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  12th April 2019

    The crunch question is whether Islam is a threat to the secular state or not. We must have freedom to debate that. Simply, the answer in most if not all of the Muslim world is yes. In my view that justifies and entitles supporters of the secular state to hold Islamophobic views. It doesn’t justify or entitle them to persecute Muslims.

    Reply
    • Kimbo

       /  12th April 2019

      Yep. Probably the same tightrope of opposing a totalitarian religion/ideology yet protecting the legitimate civil rights of the adherents and rejecting bigotry that also needs to be adopted with another potential threat to liberal democracy, Communism. And as per McCarthyism, that was not always done during the height of the Class led War.

      Reply
    • harryk

       /  12th April 2019

      ‘Simply, the answer in most if not all of the Muslim world is yes’

      Not so. Indonesia has the largest population of Muslims in the world. It is a secular, not a Muslim State. All Indonesians would agree that a Caliphate is an explicit threat to the secular State – it’s meant to be. But only a small percentage of Muslims want a Caliphate. Pairing Caliphate/Secular is a false dichotomy or logical fallacy and forcing people to choose is a propaganda technique. PDIP, Widodo’s party, are doing just that in a grubby, deniable, social media campaign as I write. Most Indonesian Muslims don’t buy it and don’t fear Islam as a threat to the secular State. Caliphate and Islam are not identical. There are no ‘simples.’

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  12th April 2019

        It’s not a secular state, merely a religious one that tolerates six official religions.

        Reply
        • harryk

           /  13th April 2019

          Alan. Indonesia is a constitutional secular State that inherited and kept Dutch law. It will remain so until/unless the constitution is changed. Sukarno’s secular state was challenged by those supporting the Jakarta Charter who wanted an Islamic Sharia law State. Civil wars were fought to contain it and political Islam was repressed, sometimes persecuted, during Suharto’s New Order regime. Repressed for so long, political Islam is experiencing a renewal but isn’t strong enough to replace the status quo. Should the founding constitution be replaced the eastern archipelago would again reject it and civil wars resume.

          Indonesia doesn’t ‘tolerate’ six religions, it explicitly supports them. Others are tolerated so long as they don’t aggressively promote themselves eg Bahai, Judaeism, animism. Judaeism is experiencing a renewal in North Sulawesi. Indonesian Islam is syncretic and in Java, where most Muslims live, the faiths are united by the umbrella of ‘Kejawen,’ a mystical faith that embraces Javanese animism, Hindu and Buddhist beliefs and the newer monotheism. The challenge is to accomodate all the elements, some long repressed and reasserting themselves, into a functioning Democracy. Work in progress.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  13th April 2019

            The constitution asserts God. It is a religious state as I said, not secular. Some provinces are Muslim sub-states.

            Reply
  8. Kimbo

     /  12th April 2019

    Tony Costa Christian Apologetics

    I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter what they are defending/propagating, most apologists are in effect used car salesmen selling to the already-converted, rather than truly engaging with alternative viewpoints.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  12th April 2019

      That’s certainly the case in any of the debates with intelligent atheists, about whether this god creature exists & did, does, what they claim, that I’ve watched or listened to. The apologists rapidly divert into philosophical irrelevancies, straw men, & pointless arguments with themselves about the nature of morality & the need for a being to set an absolute standard of morality in scripture because otherwise everyone (including them, clearly) would be running around stealing raping & killing. They just ignore the arguments of their opponents, or misrepresent them to create their straw men to demolish.

      Most of these debates are held at rekigious venues with religious audiences & the theists (or their fellow believers) afterwards often present themselves as the clear winners. Whereas anybody with an open mind & an intelligence sufficient to comprehend the issues and arguments can see that the theist was dishonest & their arguments circular, irrelevant, obfuscatory, diversionary & frequently just plainly childlike & absurd.

      Reply
      • Kimbo

         /  12th April 2019

        No, I said apologists of all kinds. And while I don’t dispute more than a few Christians match your description, I also meant…atheists, especially the so-called “new atheists”.

        Reply
      • Kimbo

         /  12th April 2019

        The apologists rapidly divert into philosophical irrelevancies, straw men, & pointless arguments with themselves about the nature of morality & the need for a being to set an absolute standard of morality

        Yeah. Irrespective of my theistic faith, I came to the conclusion a long time ago that nearly all of that (including the Creation Science/Intelligent Design” pseudo-sciences) are just variations of Aquinas’ “Five Proofs”. And if you don’t first buy-in to Aquinas’ assumptions…they aren’t compelling. Especially this side of the Enlightenment.

        Reply
      • harryk

         /  12th April 2019

        ‘an open mind & an intelligence’

        Gezza. Mu’tazila was open minded, intelligent, theist and Muslim. The Mu’tazili pioneered a school of Kalam known as speculative theology, influenced by Hellenic rationalism as opposed to supernatural revelation, and contended that every sentence of the Quran could and should be subject to rational proof. They flourished during the early Caliphates but lost politically to the Asharites, who stressed the importance of revelation. That intellectual battle determined the future course of Islam and arguably Christianity as well. Aquinas borrowed many of his arguments from the Asharites to show what they both insisted was the importance of revelation. The defeat of Hellenist reason was a disaster from which the world took centuries to recover. When did Islam (and Christianity) go wrong? Here’s one possible turning point.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu'tazila

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  12th April 2019

          Thanks, harry. Might have a squiz at that.

          Reply
        • New info for me, thanks. It sounds like the effect al-Ghazali had on Avicenna. In “Deliverance from Error”, al-Ghazali noted that the Greek philosophers must be taxed with unbelief, and much of Greek philosophy was logically incoherent and an affront to Islam. Also, “in the great debate over the place of philosophy in Islam, it was Ghazālī and not Averroës who won.” The lesson here is that Islam is intensely conservative (and this should be a challenge to the progressive Left) and purely essentialist whenever it faces a moral or philosophical challenge.

          https://www.neh.gov/humanities/2011/novemberdecember/feature/the-islamic-scholar-who-gave-us-modern-philosophy
          Averroës, Avicenna and al-Ghazali have their own Wikipedia entries.

          Reply
          • harryk

             /  13th April 2019

            ‘Islam is intensely conservative’

            Islam also has socialist models. One of the most interesting is Sheikh Bedreddin who led a 15th century revolt against the Ottomans. Turkey’s socialists draw inspiration from him.

            ‘Leaving Anastos in Bedreddin’s camp in the mad forest, my guide and I went down to Gallipoli. Someone long before us swam this strait – for love, I guess.’

            from ‘The Epic of Sheik Bedreddin’ – Nazim Hikmet, Turkish poet and Socialist.

            http://library.globalchalet.net/Authors/Poetry%20Books%20Collection/Poems%20of%20Nazim%20Hikmet.pdf

            Reply
            • I’m sure it has, after all, Islam is strongly communitarian and its socialism will derive from this. Its compatibility with Western socialism of today is worthy of a long essay, but succinctly put in Wikipedia’s entry on Islamo-Leftism. Socialism isn’t contrary to conservatism, nor Islam providing it doesn’t conflict with fiqh. Bear in mind Nazism was socialist and shares with Islam a terminal contempt for its out-group, whether it be non-Aryans or the kuffar.

            • harryk

               /  14th April 2019

              ‘Islam is strongly communitarian’

              Rubbish. Islam recognises the private property rights of the individual, the basis of Capitalism. Bedreddin and Gadaffi’s Jamahiriyah are outliers. Ibn Khladun the great 14th century historian and economist [whose ‘curve’ was stolen by Laffer, Reagan’s favourite supply side economist] who chronicled and analysed the market economies of the early Caliphates attributed decline to an excess of taxation and individualism, rather than his preferred altruism. Nevertheless he recognised individualism as an inherent part of human nature. Khaldun called his theory on the rise and decline of Empires ‘Asabiyyah’ usually translated as ‘social cohesion,’ a concept revived more recently by UK sociologists. Long before Ricardo and Smith –

              ‘He [khladun] describes the economy as being composed of value-adding processes; that is, labour and skill is added to techniques and crafts and the product is sold at a higher value. He also made the distinction between “profit” and “sustenance”, in modern political economy terms, surplus and that required for the reproduction of classes respectively.’ [wiki]

              Prior to oil the pearl fisheries of the Gulf had been the most important source of wealth for centuries. Regulated by Islam, the division of labour is similar to 19th century capitalism. Rent seeking heirachies, middle class merchants, skippers and crew on a percentage of the catch depending on productivity. No trade unions. Plenty of info in the archives, online and in good campus libraries.

              https://www.qdl.qa/en/archive/81055/vdc_100000000282.0x000054

              ‘Bear in mind…’

              Now you’re just disseminating silly, extreme right and racist conspiracy theories.

            • harryk – Communitarian doesn’t mean ‘communist’ nor does it conflict with property ownership. Oxford describes it thus: ‘emphasizing the responsibility of the individual to the community and the social importance of the family unit.’ Oxford adds an ‘-ism’ and ‘ideology’; I removed both since the word encapsulates the modus vivendi of Islam. Another correction – Laffer didn’t steal Khaldun’s curve because it didn’t exist, but he cited the contribution that Khaldun’s observation made to his famous curve. Citing is crediting, not stealing. Wikipedia makes this clear. Correction number three – describing Nazism as “socialist and shares with Islam a terminal contempt for its out-group, whether it be non-Aryans or the kuffar” is factually correct and is not influenced by any theory. “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions.” Adolf Hitler, 1 May 1927. Wikipedia also defines Nazism’s socialist attributes. As for ‘terminal contempt’, that’s incontrovertible history.

              I’m still soundly on the Left, but I do find that the far Left has gone so extremely sinister that I appear to be on the Right. Odd how others’ obsessions obscure this shift.

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