Why it is important to insult Muhammad to defend freedom

There was no need to repeat the nasty things that Aasia Bibi supposedly said about Hazrat Khadija and Hazrat Ayesha. Your point could have been made without those remarks.

Kabir makes a very valid point; why did I repeat Aasia’s alleged statements on the podcast?

I am generally respectful towards all religions and philosophies. In fact I’ve been accused of being very partial towards Islam & a Paknationalist.

However what I think Pakistani Muslims do not understand is the rage they feel about their religion being insulted is the rage I feel about Aasia in prison for doing nothing.

For me Freedom is about the right to use holy texts as toilet paper. I wouldn’t indulge in such gratuitously and offensive gestures but if I feel my freedom and liberty is at threat I will.

What I increasingly feel post-Aasia is that the hijabi feminists and liberal Muslims in the West demanding “respect” and claiming Islamophobia (the values of the enlightenment and tolerance) are in fact promoting an age-old Muslim agenda; Muhammad must never be disrespected or abused and always have PBUH tacked on.

The rage over Gaza descends into a whimper over Aasia and that is simply unacceptable; Munafiqeen of the highest order..

In the West there are no real exceptions on freedom and I don’t see why we should make any exception for Islam after seeing the case of Aasia Bibi and the price of liberty..

48 thoughts on “Why it is important to insult Muhammad to defend freedom”

  1. I, for one, welcome our new EVR leading us, all south Asians from the shackles of religion, if you will do Hinduism and its false prophets also, as my knowledge of Islam is kind of weak. As a follower, I will lead Tamilians in resurrecting a caste-free and minimal-religion TN.

      1. I did not ask you to do Bahaais. What can Bahaais do any way? If a Bahaai told anything to Aasia Bibi, she would have gone wild on him/her.

        As a somewhat (very weakly) practicing Hindu(??????????) you can do Hinduism in BP and be the EVR that we need today. Insulting the prophet is weak sauce; say Vedas are completely useless today.

        At the minimum, it will drive out all the internet Hindus out of BP.

        1. Vijay can you share a Vedic passage you disagree with and explain why?

          Hindus encourage this. Hindus do this “ALL” the time. At least they use to for many thousands of years before Christ. Now most Hindus are too lazy , uninformed and mentally dull to bother.

          Blindly relying on Shastra Pramana (spiritual texts) without Pratyaksha (direct observation) is frowned upon.

          Many of Hinduism’s greatest thought leaders today dis the Vedas. It is a non issue.

        2. So let me get this straight, you think saying Vedas are completely useless today would like trigger the Hindu right? LOL. And then people wonder why i call Hinduism a N-Indian religion.

          The hindu right has long moved away from all this mumbo jumbo of vedas etc, and are totally into material aspects like Political power, Economic power and issues like demographics. Its only the Periyarist/Left liberal/Ambedkarite who think they are stuck in a time wrap. And then you folks fight with born again cultural hindus like Tharoor and think you are winning because you have bested them in “spiritual” and “textual” wordplay. I understand the conundrum lot of S-Indian/Bengali folks have (since there is hardly a hindu right there), be rest assured the folks who you are fighting( cultural hindus, agnostic, etc) are already on your side.

          1. When did I say they are agnostic? I said the ones the left is fighting is not even hindu right and they are the agnostic/liberal ones. On ground the hindu right sees hindu-dom as sort of a ethno-religious marker. There is no conservative/cultural right in India apart from Hindutva. Everyone outside that is largely insignificant. And they know that, thats why they ride on the coat tails of RSS/BJP and propagate their cultural/spritual BS (Ramdev,Sri-Sri, Jaggi). But they know without political power they are nothing. So its a you scratch mine and i scratch your type of deal.

          2. Quite agree with this.
            Hindus have punted the job of spiritual inquiry to later generations, if at all.
            Makes sense as well after a 1000 years of subservience.

          3. Well they do consider the Sultanate/Moghuls as the invaders of their land. I think every part of India looks at their rulers in a different way. For a UP wala Mughals/Sultanates are invaders , for a Punjabi Pakistani they are their forbearers. Nothing essentially wrong with this. The Bengalis and the MP wala look at the Marathas in complete different way. In MP as liberators and in Bengal as invaders. We recently had Tipu Sultan Jayanti, where within the state itself he is looked differently in different regions.

          4. That the Dravidan party and Periyar were a bit muddled on socialism and economics is well known, but there is no evidence they are left. Just read the discussion on Kilvenmani massacre in Wikipedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilvenmani_massacre) and it ends with “Periyar,a month later speaks about the event,“wage is not something you can demand, a wage is that which is fixed by market conditions”,and he blamed the Communists for the massacre”.

            Tamilians are the most conservative people on the earth, and even a 1000 periyars can get them away from Hinduism. However, there is nothing in Hindu, Hindi and Hindustan for Tamilnadu (or Bengal), and Congress and BJP are the same thing as far as economic liberalizations is concerned. I have no belief that the present version of the ruling party stands for anything more than crony capitalism. If not, they should be ready for federalism and more economic freedom for the states, and not central control of policies.

          5. Thats what you dont get the hindu right at all, for them Dravidians/Communists/Congress/Socialist are the same. Just like all shades of Saffron ,is for the other side.

            I agree that there is nothing in Hindu/Hindi/Hindustan for South/Bengal. I disagree that you need 1000 Periyars. Probably you feel that even that latent Hinduism in Tamil folks is a bit too much. Thats a subjective thing. Considering caste i feel that its has become a tribal thing now, and you can very much have a Hinduism-free Tamil Nadu, but not a caste free Tamil Nadu.

      1. My address:
        No 6 Vivekanandar theru,
        Dubai Kurukku sandhu,
        Dubai Main Road,
        Dubai Bus stand (near)

  2. http://www.brownpundits.com/2018/08/15/why-do-nonmuslims-treat-muslims-so-badly-c/

    Zach, can you emphasize that many of Islam’s greatest spiritual leaders and murshid scholars have made a strong Islamic case for free art and free thought?

    The Islamist interpretation of Islam is one of many. And Islamists do not have the right to force their interpretation of Islam onto other muslims.

    You are fighting for muslim rights, muslim freedom.

    In any case Asia Bibi is “NOT” alleged to have insulted the prophet. She is alleged to have asked:
    —Why did the prophet pbuh marry Khadija and Aisha? (fair question)
    —Jesus sacrificed on the cross, what has Mohammed pbuh done? (fair question)
    Muslims and nonmuslims can answer these questions and move on. There is no insult in asking questions.

    There is no faith in most of eastern philosophy. Only questions. And questions about questions. Gods are questioned. Everyone and everything is questioned. This is my understanding of religion, spirituality, secularism and atheism. This is why religion, spirituality, secularism and atheism are in many ways extensions of each other.

  3. religionists demanding respect in some ways is the new ‘streisand effect.’ we care cuz you would kill us. if you wouldn’t kill us, do as thou wilt.

  4. The use of bold and large letters is offensive and comes out as “screeching” and is aesthetically bad. As a somewhat, whatever ,do I even belong to this ,Hindu, the idea of using books as toilet paper is doubly offensive. one for tearing papers and other for using it as you recommend. I also believe in civility. Hence I instead advocate “golden rule fundamentalism”. Force reciprocity unto people, treat them as they treat others and also offer them carrots with them promising and actually modifying their behavior. The great error falls on those who refuse to use stick on those who use sticks, refuse to insult those who insult and refuse to reach out to those who reach out to them. This is what creates the likes of chingez khans ,tamerlanes,trumps and others. Their belief that they can get away with hypocrisy , of treating others differently and expecting others to treat them with velvet gloves. This is an unbalanced equation. And it will collapse with either left loonies/islamists winning over or fascists/rightwing winning over. Unless we take it on ourself to say, “reciprocate good with good or else we shall reciprocate bad with bad” . I think all of good in a civilization rests on being able to do this. The fact that zac, an otherwise islamophile and positive paknationalist can come this far means there might yet be hope , but only if the pursuit for truth is there.

    1. Sorry I messed up the font – I’ve fixed the post up now.

      Aasia Bibi is my moment of truth – the sort of wake up call that it’s become a bit of an existential issue and if Muslims can’t agree to the fundamental contract of liberty then we have a problem..

      I don’t think it’s that serious but this is why I’m progressively pushing the envelop (unwittingly)

      1. My moment for truth was when I read harijan, an article published by Gandhi in which people tried to justify caste system etc, I was about 18 -19 I think, felt horrible, eyes filled with tears, was disowning of myself, my heritage, everything. You have to see evil, unvarnished, no sophistry or perhaps sophistry makes it even worse,it did for me,sophistry pains me even more than straight up owning it for some reason. Because it means these are smart people to some degree and they still do this, no excuses either . Its just horrible. I wasnt an atheist yet, but was getting there.

  5. Disrespect is not going to win you friends or influence people. Even someone as liberal as me finds this kind of language about the Prophet of God (pbuh) or his wives very troubling.

    If you want Pakistani Muslims to not read and engage with your blogs, that’s your right and you’re doing a good job at it. Otherwise some respect for our sensitivities would be appreciated.

      1. Barki is not a liberal. He is a garden variety crypto-islamist. the westernized sort who enable the actual murdering, pillaging islamist rabble in desert cultoo holes like pakistan.

        1. To be fair, standards of liberalism in this part of world is poor. But they get good coverage/support from their western journos/humanities type etc, provided they fit the slot of the dish they are selling.

          1. Dont tell me to be fair, borat, i am alwayz fair (and lovely LOL)

            I respect Zioni bros but borat u shd have chosen another country to make fun of. Kazakhstan is where my ex-in-laws r from. Anyway, if i were of the desrt cult u’d be a marked man now but I am of the Dhamma now. So I invite u to Dhamma bro borat. Middle Path awaits u.

            What is sweeter than Sunny Leone?
            Honey Zioni.

  6. If you want Pakistani Muslims to not read and engage with your blogs, that’s your right and you’re doing a good job at it. Otherwise some respect for our sensitivities would be appreciated.


  7. for goodness sake, do the reciprocity thing, now read caste literature and trigger us, clearly Some part of me would feel awkward and tingly. But good is not done without that, so next episode,all the horrors of caste please. Because its not about some ideological structures, its not about some new social pyramid or inversion of present one that you are trying to root for. Its just talking facts. presenting facts while holding out promise for better future I think can be the theme that might make awkward conversations palatable and actually useful

    1. I have neither the time nor the energy to “trigger” anyone just for the hell of it. Sorry.

      Didn’t realize asking for basic respect was so controversial.

      1. I wasnt meaning it for you, however, respect for life takes priority over respect for beliefs. awkwardness comes over us, we feel tingly, angry, frustrated, part of being religious and others calling it out can make us feel terrible and the additional focus on “us” makes us feel like some kid using magnifying glass to roast us like ants. Its ok. Breathe and watch this.


  8. “fundamental contract of liberty then we have a problem”

    Beautifully and coherently put words. This is brilliant.

  9. Once you say “There is no god but my god and my prophet is the final prophet” you signal disrespect for everyone else except the ones already agreeing with you.

    This reminds me of Zakir Naik who, when asked why it was OK for Islam to disrespect other religions but not the other way around, replied this was because Islam was correct and everyone else was wrong.

    Good luck with that.

    1. It is possible to believe something and not be interested in imposing it on others.

      Followers of most religions believe that they are following the correct path.

      1. I think it’s because I love Islam that I abuse it.

        It’s interesting V uses the expression “to defy God when necessary.”

        At first I thought it was blasphemous, since after all I am a believer, but I realise that our Abrahamic minds automatically submits to a deity.

        It may be so that as Man grows he must challenge his Creator. It’s not really groundbreaking theology since the OT is full of this..

        1. demanding and requesting are normal. where muslims go further is defending the legal imprisonment of people (or temporizing about mob violence against those who blaspheme religion).

      2. “It is possible to believe something and not be interested in imposing it on others.”
        Total Eastern philosophy. We completely agree.

        “Followers of most religions believe that they are following the correct path.”
        Eastern philosophy is that all paths and all religions either are true or may be true (depending on the specific eastern strand). But even then, the path is true. But our understanding and implementation of the path might be incomplete.

        Arjun wrote “There is no god but my god and my prophet is the final prophet”
        We can interpret this the eastern way to mean whatever the heck we want it to mean. 🙂

        “There is no god but my god” = Tao/Brahman/Nirvana/Satori/Shunya/truth/one million other synonyms. We agree. We be same same!!!!

        “my prophet is the final prophet” We agree. We be same same!!!! We just call every other prophet a name other than “prophet.” Sufis do it, Irfan Sufi twelvers do it, twelvers do it, sixers do it, Ahmedis do it, Bahai do it, everybody can do it. 🙂
        Very simple solution.

  10. In defense of Kabir.

    “Why it is important to insult Muhammad to defend freedom”

    I 100% support free speech and the right of anyone to discuss and think about Mohammed pbuh and Islam any way they choose.

    But Zach, you admire, love and respect Mohammed pbuh (as do I and most people of faith around the world). You don’t have to insult Mohammed pbuh to support free speech or make a point about free speech. We don’t have to insult someone who we don’t want to insult out of solidarity.

    Most of the insults of the holy prophet pbuh on BP appear designed to trigger Kabir. How is that honorable?

    Why do we HAVE to insult Mohammed pbuh? We can respectfully express how our perspectives differ from his. We can say whatever we want. We should speak the truth. But there is no edge to not speaking sweetly. [Although we have every right to not speak sweetly.]

    Sathyam Bruyaath (speak the truth)
    Priyam Bruyaath (speak sweetly)
    Apriyam na Bruyaath (do not speak the truth in a way that is not sweet)

    This said, no one should ever be punished for art, speech and thought.

    Asia Bibi was found innocent. Her “alleged” crime was asking questions about Mohammed pbuh (Jesus sacrificed on the cross, what is Mohammed’s sacrifice? . . . why did Mohammed pbuh marry Khadija and Aisha?) Every woman has that right. Woman (or males) asking questions are not an insult against Mohammed pbuh.

    Part of the confusion for nonmuslim Asians is that their own traditions harshly criticize saints, sages, prophets, avatars, divine beings, gods, God all the time. And no one cares. Its normal. As a result we don’t understand the muslim perspective.

    The reason to back Asia Bibi is:
    —to support moderate muslims against Islamists by supporting the freedom of art and thought of moderate muslims.
    —supporting the principle of free art and thought
    “I think it’s because I love Islam that I abuse it.” 100% agreed bro.

    “It’s interesting V uses the expression “to defy God when necessary.”” typically Eastern (Zoroastrian + Bon + Tao + Sanathana Dharma) thing to say and think. 200% agreed with Vidhi. [She is better than you bro 🙂 ]

    “At first I thought it was blasphemous, since after all I am a believer, but I realise that our Abrahamic minds automatically submits to a deity.”
    Are you referring to devotion, love or Bhakti? When someone insults someone we love we get sad maybe. But not angry and we certainly don’t want to hurt the person to insults the one we love.

    “It may be so that as Man grows he must challenge his Creator. It’s not really groundbreaking theology since the OT is full of this..”

    This is typically eastern thinking. 100% agreed. What is “OT”?

  11. In order to defend freedom, we must also appreciate the unparalleled contributions of Herr Hitler, peace be upon him, and comrade Stalin, ṣallā llāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam, towards the fight against global warming.

    1. Snake Charmer do you support restoring complete freedom of speech in India, including by nullifying the 1st amendment to the Indian constitution (which restricts free speech . . . de facto to avoid offending Islam)?

      I do.

      Zach and Razib, can we run a poll on this at Brown Pundits?

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