I have realized this long ago and said this often in private but I feel this needs to be said more and more in public. Muslims care more about Islam than Muslims and that’s why they are inseperably attached to the term Islamophobia and cannot adopt a more appropriate term. This is also a primary reason why both Islamophobia and Muslimophobia are rising inexorably.
The Christchurch killer and his inspiration Brevik, both showed in their manifestos that how interconnected the global medium is and how America sits at the very commanding center of this globalized interconnected minds. Reading and watching some of the most famous Muslim discourse-makers in the aftermath of the shooting, it seems clear to me that beneath all the outrage about Trump, White Nationalism, far-right etc etc, what they really want to do is ban criticism of Islam. They may spew tons of words about Trump, White Nationalism, far-right but what they really hate with every core of their being are New Atheists and Ex-Muslims. I have no doubt that Mehdi Hasan eats, sleeps and breathes thinking worst things about Sam Harris. In Britain probably Majjid Nawaz would be a close rival of Sam Harris in terms of being object of hatred by media Muslims.
The saddest thing is that their efforts are all going down the drain at all corners except amng the wokes. Even after a great tragedy like Christchurch, very few joined their bandwagon to stop criticism of Islam. People like Majjid Nawaz and ex-Muslims will keep getting more and more attention. The right, not just far right, are unashamable through cudgel of atrocities. They will hurl back their grievances, big and small. A tragedy like Christchurch barely gives a short pause now in attacking both Islam and Muslims.
The center is confused, it may invite Mehdi Hasan time to time, but it understands uncomfortably that there is something very askew in this guy. Nodding along boilerplate rants doesn’t mean that very mixed thoughts about Islam and Muslims are not going on in the heads of people at the center. Even in this age of wokeness, the center knows how central is freedom of criticism of ideas to liberalism. Nobody in the center believes that Islam is in any way better than Christianity. After the buldozing Christianity faced in modernity, few would want Islam to be treated any differently. That is not just fair.
The term Islamophobia is exacerbating Muslimophobia. Protection of ideas at this day and age is very very costly. Muslims are paying the cost of protecting Islam. All decent people want to protect people, most decent people do not want to protect ideas. Just wait till the next San Bernadino or Nice attack happen. Neither ideas nor people will be spared.
76 thoughts on “Muslims and Islamophobia”
Shafiq, some of the agnostic muslim, atheist muslim and ex muslim crew are murshids who speak about various different Islamic mystics and theologians with great nuance in detail.
Would a Brown Cast Podcast on this be useful? An example would be this excellent discussion:
Almost all public discussions are pre school level in sophistication and detail. Do we need very high resolution discussions?
1/3 or more Indian muslims might be considered Takfiri by the theologies of Ibn Taymiyyah and Al-Ghazali.
Al-Ghazali tried to integrate Sufis and traditional Sunnis together. In practice it appears to me from the outside (as a non murshid) to have defined “Sufism” in a way that could be interpreted as excluding a majority of Indian Sunni Sufis and Indian Shiite Irfan Sufi.
Specifically there is deep dispute over the doctrine of Muraqabah and the theological underpinnings for it from the holy Koran and Hadits (6 Sunni plus Shia).
There seems to be one doctrine taught in private and another shared with the global Ummah to avoid charges of blasphemy and apostasy; and to avoid threats of violence.
There are other important theological issues other than Muraqabah.
I would write a long form essay on this (have many Sufi books, mostly Chistie), but honestly . . . I am afraid to.
Most of the muslim global talking heads promoted by the global intelligentsia have rigid views on these subjects.
Isn’t this one of the fundamental problem?
An even bigger issue is freedom of art and thought. When talking to the vast majority of the world’s people it is better to focus on this issue alone since this is easier to understand.
If not for freedom of art and thought and freedom (and blasphemy, apostasy, restrictions of Muraqabah, LBGTQ, femnist interpretations of Shariah, exclusivity etc.), I doubt there would be a large ex muslim movement.
There would still be many agnostic muslims, just like there are many agnostics in every other faiths. But the tension and rage would partly ameliorate.
We would also have a large movement of muslim Buddhists, muslim Hindus, muslim Zorastrians, muslim Bahai, muslim Bon, muslim Jain, muslim Sikh, muslim Taoists, muslim Shinto etc.
Very similar to how it is with Jews. [The current global head of Hare Krishna is a Jew Vaishnav. He is both Jewish and Vaishnav as I understand it. This is the eastern way.]
Shafiq, how do we get from where we are to something akin to what I described?
I would love to hear a podcast facilitated by you.
Excellent article by Shafique.
Muslimophobia is wrong
Islamophobia is necessary
It’s been barely two days since a vicious anti-Muslim terrorist attack and you can say “Islamophobia is necessary”? Do you even realize how tone deaf you sound? Contrast this with the response of people in New Zealand who are showing great solidarity with the Muslim community.
Islamophobia is necessary just as much as anti-semitism is necessary–not at all. Respectful debate about ideas is one thing but demonization of an entire community is something else entirely. It’s amazing that otherwise intelligent people sometimes can’t tell the difference.
You are an extremely thick individual but since this is so important, it must be drummed again and again.
Islamophobia is not demonization of an entire community. Ideas vs people. very big difference.
Communistphobia is not demonization of all communists. Ideas vs people. Big difference.
Disliking liberalism is not hating all liberals. ideas vs people. Big difference.
Anti-semitism is not hating Judaism, it is hating of Jewish people. Do you see anti-semitic guys generally talking about what is in Talmud, Torah, Pentateuch? No its all bout Jews and Jews. Almost never Judaism. Even Hollywood Jews make films making fun of Moses, Abraham, Sodom, Gomorah etc etc. Does your tiny brain think they are being anti-semitic? Even morons like you must see the difference between crticism of Islam (or Islamophobia) and anti-semitism.
It is people like you who are the BIGGEST driver of Muslimophobia in the world. You are so anachronistically irrational and thick that even more genial people start thinking that there must be something wrong with Muslims when almost all of them think like this. If you are a typical Muslim, then all Muslims become suspect.
You are a Muslimophobia multiplier. You have been doing that very adroitly in this blog for a long time.
The way that most people use the word “Islamophobia” is equivalent to anti-semitism. Take the definition from Wikipedia:
“Islamophobia is the fear, hatred of, or prejudice against, the Islamic religion or Muslims generally, especially when seen as a geopolitical force or the source of terrorism.”
Scholarly debate about Islam is fine. Fomenting hatred is not. Over 50 people are dead because hatred against Muslims has unfortunately become mainstream among right-wing groups.
By the way, there is no need to resort to personal attacks. It’s frankly pathetic.
Are you categorically saying that Quillim, Maajid Nawaz, Hassan Radwan, ex muslims, atheist muslims, sufis, twelvers, sixers, Ahmedis, muslims who believe in depicting or worshiping the physical form of the prophet Mohammed pbuh, muslims who do not use “pbuh”, lesser muslims, fake muslims, uncle tom muslims, treasonous muslims, viper muslims, muslims who question certain aspects of the holy Koran, muslims who question certain aspects of the prophet Mohammed pbuh, muslims who question certain aspects of Allah, muslims who have odd ideas about muraqabah, muslims who believe in freedom of art and thought, Mansur Al-Hallaj, are not Islamaphobes?
In practice the charge “Islamaphobia” is mostly used against moderate muslims (I know you don’t like this phrasing), agnostic muslims, atheist muslims, ex muslims, minority muslims.
Do you in the strongest possible language unambiguously denounce this?
If so, salut!
Moron Kabir, if you just read further in the wiki article about Islamophobia you would have found how much controvercial the usage of the term is and how big the dabate about usage. The definition was given by a UK Muslim body that very much wanted to protect Islam. But perhaps you read just like a classic Muslim you decided to pick and choose, just as you pick and choose from Quran and Hadith to satisfy our modern life. Funniest thing is that the Quran explicitly fobade pick and choose emphatically. But that part about pick about pick and choose, general Muslims love to not pick or choose.
This post is about conflating criticism of Islam and Muslims and thus exacerbating phobia about both. Morons like you will never comprehend the distinction but others should understand that terrible handicap of your types.
50 people are dead because a white terrorist went into two houses of worship during congregational prayers and shot them down. Bigotry against Muslims and Islam even if expressed against “ideas” has real world life and death consequences. Now is not the time to engage in debates about who is a real or a “fake” Muslim. Those who attack mosques don’t care.
Some ideas should be completely beyond the pale. Anti-semitism and Islamophobia are in that category.
This article by Nesrine Malik in “The Guardian” expresses my point of view exactly
There seems to be a lot of victim blaming going on in the original post and comments. The argument is that it is because Muslims are trying to shut down criticism of Islam that white people feel justified in gunning them down. I think this is a highly inappropriate line of argument especially at this sensitive time.
Very good article. While killing, and oppression of humans beings is bad, the ideas which give rise to institutional killing/oppression/repression is even worse
This article is the alt-right personified. Very poor spelling and grammar. With the author easily triggered and resorting to name-calling when faced with disagreement.
Apparently the spread of far-right ideology, which as the killer’s manifesto states, seeks to remove all non-white peoples from “white-lands”, is not to blame for the exacerbation of violence against Muslims. According to Shafiq, its the term Islamaphobia that is to blame, and Muslims caring about Islam.
Also, enough about Islamaphobia vs Muslimphobia, and ideas vs people. Sam Harris, Ben Shapiro, and other alt-right figures have never engaged in one without the other. This is a conceptual distinction, which even if granted, doesn’t actually exist in real-life.
Dear Islamist INDITHINGS, I have a poor grasp of English, hence the atrocious spelling and grammar. Please overook. However, even your brilliant reading skill overlooked that I said ‘a primary reason’ not ‘the primary’.
My limited understanding is that people like you cannot defend the indefensible, Islam, so everything is altright or something like that. Silence by stigmatizing. Could work, as nothing else is there.
Sam Harris is not my idol and I have many criticism about him. However when you lump people like Sam Harris, Ben Shapiro all as altright, your Islamist slip is not just showing, it is being laid totally bare. Again, what else you can do except to clutch at straws.
Seperating ideas and people is difficult as none have independence of existence. However, only sophistry would deny that on a broad strokes it is possible to criticize mostly one without the other. If you think otherwise, can you name a contemporary popular thinker in real life who successfully criticize Quran, Hadith, Prophet without criticizing Muslims? Surely there must be some because surely this is not a impossible thing to do.
Hope this poor screed won’t tax your fine mind. Considering the amount of cognitive dissonance you have suffer every day in service of Islam, this will be a small convenience.
this comment is pure emotional tripe [INDTHINGS’ comment].
Sam Harris is a liberal, and Ben Shapiro a conventional conservative. Neither is remotely a member of the alt-right, and both have in fact vocally made their disliking of that faction known, in addition to their loathing of Trump.
I agree with you about the perniciousness of the alt-right, and their ultimate goals. But if you check out international jihadists’ rantings on the web (including the ISIS propagandists), they are no less loathsome than the alt-right. And they are far higher in number and influence.
1.) You spent most of your response saying I’m wrong simply because I’m an Islamist. I’m not Muslim, so I’m awaiting your next stalwart rebuttal. Perhaps now I’ll be wrong because I’m leftist, or something.
2.) I never made any mention of “the primary” or “a primary”, so again, I am calling attention to your ability to read plain English.
3.) Sam Harris and Ben Shapiro are regarded as alt-right, by the alt-right. I didn’t place them there. Forums and videos that call themselves alt-right, support these people. Shapiro himself was allegedly the most followed twitter user by the New Zealand shooter.
4.) I never said it was impossible to criticize ideas and not people, so again, I am calling attention to your inability to read English. I said the alt-right simply never does it, they always criticize both.
5.) Your ultimatum for me to name someone who criticizes Islam without criticizing Muslims doesn’t make sense, as I’m the one claiming such a thing virtually never happens. Again, reading comprehension is key here.
I wrote ‘a primary reason’ not ‘the primary’ because you wrote
“Apparently the spread of far-right ideology, which as the killer’s manifesto states, seeks to remove all non-white peoples from “white-lands”, is not to blame for the exacerbation of violence against Muslims. According to Shafiq, its the term Islamaphobia that is to blame, and Muslims caring about Islam.”
I thought even a high school kid would understand why I wrote that. Surely you must!!
“Sam Harris and Ben Shapiro are regarded as alt-right, by the alt-right. I didn’t place them there. Forums and videos that call themselves alt-right, support these people. Shapiro himself was allegedly the most followed twitter user by the New Zealand shooter.”
I was dumbstruck with this response and could find how to respond to these amazing words. Surely you do not think that a very disreputable group claiming significantly more reputable people as their own, mean that the more reputable assuredly belong to the less reputable ranks? Surely you are joking! However, I am naively assuming you are not. You must have read that Nazis claimed Nietzsche was their philosophical guru. You surely have read that Chomsky was Osama bin Laden’s favorite writer. Wait wait wait wait! I just thought the biggest example one can think of. The ISIS, Al Qaeda and their ilk directly claims all their justifications from Muhammad. ISIS does everything by sunnah! Surely surely you do not think Muhammad was ISIS?
“someone who criticizes Islam without criticizing Muslims doesn’t make sense, as I’m the one claiming such a thing virtually never happens. ” again your words left me very puzzled! Surely there were many many critics of Christianity who were not anti-Christian. That thing never happened for Islam? Is that a facet of Islamic Exceptionlism that everyone talks about
I accused you of an Islamist because I quickly looked into your comment history and I found the consistent recurrent theme of defending, apologizing Muslims and Islam. Now, you could be a great savior Knight coming to save hapless Muslims who cannot defend themsleves. However, since your identity is the summation of your comments here, I stand by my quick labelling.
Please do not shitpost, gaslight and all those things. Our time is not so valuable as Jeff Bezos’, but it is still not totally valueless.
One more thing, all those altrighters, far right guys keep saying that it is PC culture of the liberals and progressives about not criticizing Islam but having free range about Christians and Christianity, that drives them towards Islamophobia. Since you trust the claims to altrighter, surely you also agree with that claim then?
) Sam Harris and Ben Shapiro are regarded as alt-right, by the alt-right. I didn’t place them there.
a lie stated does not become truth. especially in light of the fact that shapiro in particular was the target of frog-nazi ire.
how does it feel to lie so baldy and nakedly without shame? have you been watching the shaggy video “say it wasn’t you”.
Settle down. You would think I was talking about your mother or something. You’ve had comments on this blog explicitly advocating for genocide against Muslims, and yet I’ve never seen a reaction from you as explosive at this.
Ben Shapiro is alt-right. In studies that analyze who avowed alt-right twitter users follow, and how often alt-right youtube videos are related to other right-wing videos, Ben Shapiro is always on that list. He was THE most followed Twitter user by the Quebec Mosque shooter, ahead of a variety of other alt-right personalities.
Sam Harris also was listed on the youtube study, thought I’m not sure about the twitter study. Regardless, he’s a regularly cited in alt-right forum and video compilations, and his arguments visa-vis Muslims are entirely in that vein.
i’m going to pay attn to your comments as much as those ppl now.
—brilliant, nuanced, perceptive [medha and buddhi]
—cerebral [not easily triggered]
—an excellent english writer, reader and communicator
This is one of the best articles ever posted on Brown Pundits:
Since someone is “NOT” a muslim, I am assuming said person is a total Manu Smriti fan girl 🙂 :
सत्यं ब्रूयात् प्रियं ब्रूयान्न ब्रूयात् सत्यमप्रियम् ।
प्रियं च नानृतं ब्रूयादेष धर्मः सनातनः ॥ १३८ ॥
satyaṃ bruuyaat priyaṃ bruuyaat na bruuyaat satyamapriyam |
Truthfully (satyam) speak (bruuyaat); Sweetly (priyam) speak (bruuyaat); Don’t (na) speak (bruuyaat) truth in a way that is not sweet (satyam a priyam)
priyaṃ cha naanṛtaṃ bruuyaat esha dharmaḥ sanaatanaḥ ||
Sweet (priyam) untruth do not (cha naanrtam) speak (bruuyaat);
this (esha) is Dharmah Sanaatanah (Sanathana Dharma or eternal Dharma)
I get it . . . girl has a total crush on Shafiq. :LOL:
Love the way you personify the ancient wisdom of there never being any edge to bad manners. That you can’t always agree; but that you can disagree agreeably.
Right. Calling people “morons” shows that someone is not easily triggered. Interesting.
there are two specters haunting this comment thread.
the specter of ignorance.
the specter of mendacious misrepresentation.
you know who is who 🙂
Well it did blew up over the weekend, didn; it?
BTW do folks really like Shapiro? I understand Sam Harris, but Shapiro? Isn’t his voice a bit like how a male Alexa (Amazon) would sound like.
The thing I hate the most is how Muslims love being victims so much. In spite of this terrorist attack in NZ, Muslims are overwhelmingly the aggressors. Most of these western Muslim commentators couldn’t care less about the plight of Yazidis, Ahmadis or Copts, but the NZ attack is their licence to pretend they’re all being persecuted. I remember a few years ago, some British-Pakistanis were on TV talking about how Muslims in the UK are almost reaching a position similar to Jews in 1930s Germany. Delusional and dangerous.
The NZ shooting is absolutely tragic, the victims being (I’m assuming) peaceful hard working immigrants who got there legally. And the fact that there were some Indians in there is doubly saddening. I’m ignorant here, does NZ have some Anjem Choudhury type loonies who might have pissed off some WN losers?
In all this talk of white nationalists and alt-right, I’m amazed that no one anywhere is taking about the west’s rule in creating radical Islam. Right from the British empire’s mistakes (using backward tribal Arabs to dismember the Cosmopolitan ottoman empire, the israel-palestine situation) to American perfidy (creation of the Taliban, giving rise to Islamic Iran, empowering daesh in Syria, decades of support to the Pakistani military-theological complex), the fingerprints of the Anglos is all over this current problem. But instead of questioning them, the world is falling into the good Muslim-bad Muslim trap that the neocons would like us to go down
Similar or much worse things were done in other parts of the world (Viet Nam comes to mind). People move on.
Also similar or worse things are done by “Muslims” (I put quotes around the word because this notion of all Muslims being part of a single identity, simultaneously victimised by any injustice on any one of them is one of the problems of this formulation) and we should not use the same logic of terrorist vengeance against them either.
An eye for an eye really doesn’t make sense in such matters.
For decades since 2002, the US, UK, NZ, Aus and other European countries (The Coalition of the Willing) have been bombing the lving daylights out Muslim Civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Now that one of their own has done the same in their own back yard (NZ), these countries are shedding crocodile tears.
Whether its done by an assault rifle, bombs from a drone or aircraft the result is the same death and injury.
The coalition of the willing as you call it has actively toppled secular (but not ‘liberal’ in their eyes) regimes that clamped down on the radicals, and at the same time supported the radicals in Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc and gave a free rein to the Saudis to spread salafism around the globe. All this talk of the alt-right, WN’s and new atheists is just denying that the west is solely responsible for this mess, and the genie is not going back into the bottle so easily. And the victims will, as always be poor brown folk – whether in the middle east getting bombed by the Freedom brigade or suffering at the hands of the radicals, whether in south asia getting caught in the Af-Pak-Kashmir nexus or poor brown muslims in the west who will be gunned down by loony WN’s.
A bit simplistic I know, but gets to the point IMO
I think the best gesture that NZ (and Aus) can do is pull out their military troops from Iraq and Afganistan. If they really want to be part of peacekeeping missions, join a UN mission.
New Zealand will extend its military presence in Iraq until June 2019, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced.
sbarrkum, you are intelligent. There is value to closely studying issues before expressing strong views regarding them.
The Afghanistan mission has been a UN force since 2001. Many unanimous UN resolutions have been passed since 2001.
Some on the left reflexively hate the United Nations and on principle support violent attacks against all UN agencies all over the world. But surely this is not your position.
The multinational forces in Iraq were also unanimously created by the United Nations on October 16, 2003:
On August 14, 2003, the UN unanimously endorsed the legitimacy of the Iraqi Governing Council. The UN Later unanimously enforced the full soverignty and legitimacy of the interim Iraqi Government in 2004.
The Iraqi international mission had as much international legitimacy as international institutions and international law provides. It also served at the pleasure and request of the fully soverign Iraqi Government.
In the 2010 Iraqi election the Turkish backed Allawi came within 1 seat of forming the Iraqi government in parliament. Maliki retained his Prime Minister position by one seat in parliament. The Turks were perceived to be trying to bribe one more member of Iraq’s parliament to put their friend Allawi in power. Almost succeeded too.
This is why the Iraqis kicked out the United Nations and NATO. Any UN or NATO force would have a significant Turkish contribution–giving Turkey great influence inside Iraq.
Rather Iraq requested bilateral help from many individual countries, including Russia, India, America, China, New Zealand, Australia, Europe. Turkey was not asked to help Iraq.
Until Iraqi Turkish relations improve no UN or NATO force can operate inside Iraq. However the international forces inside Iraq operate with great international legitimacy and de facto unanimous (to my knowledge) international legitimacy.
If New Zealand betrays their Iraqi friends and allies, Iraqis will be furious with them. If New Zealand betrays and stabs their Afghan allies in the back, Afghans would be furious with them too.
As a Sri Lankan, don’t you support Afghanistan? Don’t you support Iraq. I get that a Pakistani or Saudi might not; since he or she might see Iraq and Afghanistan as enemies of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. But from your prior comments you don’t appear to be a fan of either Saudi Arabia or the Pakistani Army.
You might not like Afghans or Iraqis. But if they were not fighting the global Islamist Jihadi threat . . . there would almost certainly be a lot more Islamist terrorism against Sri Lanka. The goal of Jihadi Islamist extremists is to conquer the world and make it perfect. They are idealists who want to do good. To make sure that the will God is enforced and implemented on earth.
Islamists dislike “fake muslims” the most. This is why the vast majority of people they kill are muslims. Why is it wrong for “fake muslims” or “lesser muslims” to protect themselves?
Agree, Sereno is intelligent!
Milan, I have long been struck by how much Iraqis like Serbs. Serbia and Iraq, I think, should form a formal alliance which includes:
—Serbian instructors teaching at Iraqi academies
—Iraqi instructors teaching at Serbian academies
—many large joint training exercises
—ISR (intel surv recon) collaboration
—joint R&D into technology to upgrade/refurbish weapons and manufacture weapons
The Europeans, Americans are unreliable sellers of weapons, ammunition, spares, technology. Russia also has her own issues. For this reason Iraq and Serbia should strike their own independent course. They can collaborate with countries such as South Korea, Japan, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Thailand, Malaysia.
Collaborating with China is a “maybe.” Chinese military capacity is inexpensive on a life cycle basis relative to quality.
Sadly Iraqis do not want to collaborate with Turkey or KSA or Pakistan 🙁
To get back to Serbia and Iraq. Serbia had good relations with Saddam’s Iraq 1968-2003 and the new Iraqi establishment which has ruled since 2003. Serbia is the only mid size or large sized country to pull this off. It is a testimony to the greatness of Serbia.
I would not under-estimate the extent of Iraqi fascination with ancient Babylon, Akkadia and Sumeria. This too ties Iraq with Serbia.
Serbia (Yugoslavia) and Iraq have a long history of good relations from before Sadam. YU built the most of Iraqi military infrastructure, civilian infrastructure, freeways, trained the most of their military pilots, sold so much weapons (e.g. tanks, resistant on sand which were superior to US tanks in the first US aggression), educated thousands of students. They had the same destiny experiencing illegal US aggression where many civilians were killed and soil was polluted with uranium bombs. Serbia had excellent relations with many other Muslim countries: Egypt (since Tito-Nehru-Nasser), Syria, Palestinians (they always had embassy in Belgrade), Kuwait (water towers built by Serbs), Indonesia (since Sukarno), Senegal (since Senghor), Guinea (since Sékou Touré), Algiers (since Boumediene), Libya (Gadhafi finished military school in YU, he was first recognised by Serbia, spoke Serbian and all his environment – security, maids, cooks, technical services, until his death were Serbs) and many other.
I expect in the future period strong research in common ancient history with Iraq (so as in India, too). Just before US intervention in Iraq was discovered a grave of the Serbian ruler, founder of Babylon, the first Aryan leader and the founder of the first world empire (from British Isles till India, I will write about this). He was mentioned in the Bible (‘first before the God’), Baghdad got the name after him so as ancient city of Nineveh (dedicated to him by the second Aryan leader). I put the link before where you can see the first world crown, advanced weapons and a symbol of the first Aryan leader (bull = bak >>>Baghdad). Heard of ‘Bacchism’, Dionysius?
After Iraq occupation, Americans found the content of this ancient grave, recorded everything, made photos and started researching the ancient period. Many of these things are still unknown to the general public but the truth slowly comes out. Photos from the first Aryan leader Sarcophagus:
The whole Iraqi invasion was based on a falsehood.
The claim that Colin Powell made that Iraq had WMD.
Any resolutions taken on the basis of falsehoods should be illegal and null and void.
sbarrkum, the Iraqi invasion has nothing to do with the Iraqi establishment that has ruled Iraq since 2003. This Iraqi establishment has won every election since then and has substantial legitimacy among Iraqis and the international community.
Why not support and ally with the new Iraqi state and new Iraqi institutions? Specifically Iraqi MoD, Iraqi MoI, Iraqi Counter Terrorism Bureau (which includes the Iraqi special forces) and the Iraqi National Security Council (to which Iraq’s intelligence agency reports).
These would be valuable friends and allies of Sri Lanka over the long term. Doesn’t Sri Lanka benefit from the growing merit, capacity, competence and success of moderate muslims?
The UN has unanimously passed numerous resolutions regarding Iraq since 2003. Do you endorse the legitimacy of these UN resolutions?
sbarrkum, the Iraqi invasion has nothing to do with the Iraqi establishment that has ruled Iraq since 2003.
Impressive logic to justify the US (and Coalition of the Willing) to continue occupying Iraq.
Thought good points were being made on both sides, including the original post- sorry to see this descend into name calling.
Agree with point about many moderate / liberal-ish Muslims being sensitive to any criticism of Islam and Islamic practices, to a degree that appears unreasonable to others. And especially when they justify or “explain” anti-minority practices in Kashmir, Saudi, Pakistan, etc, and/or minimize anti-Muslim violence by Muslim states and dictators. Or act ultra-woke as in the folks who blamed Chelsea Clinton as somehow contributing to the NZ attack!
OTOH it is true that the general Islamophobic sentiment, many based on half-truths, exaggerations or irrelevant info (Quran citations, etc- just check out Old Bible text or ManuSmriti), is intimidating thousands and actually killing few tens to hundreds. Then there is also the issue of timeliness- may not have been the best time to pile onto Muslims (though the original post managed to be quite “academic” about the topic.)
“…just check out Old Bible text or ManuSmriti”
The difference is not in the scriptures which are uniformly horrible (and occasionally noble).
The difference is that much larger percentages of modern day Muslims will defend the absolute truth of the Koran as against either Hindus, Christians or Jews.
i don’t think this is a solid argument personally, but most muslims will say that the koran is different because it is the uncreated word of god (standard majority position).
I have a feeling that throughout any religion’s history there has to be some criticism of the religion even if its camouflaged in generalities like”making the religion better/egalitarian” (protestantism/Bhakti movement/Mutazila ) or even if its just lip service. This sort of sometimes creates a bit of space for the oncoming “radical” criticism / change. Like a pressure cooker. For Hinduism it would be Gandhi tried to “chide” folks into reform while Ambedkar would be of the second variety
With Islam i feel that perhaps having come face to face with Modern realities having not got “enough” change (of the first order)has led to this two camps. Folks who are Muslims(Indthings/Kabir) who knows there are problems and trying to “chide” (couldn;t find a better word, sorry) folks into reform, and really want better/Normal Islam , but when something like NZ thing happens , they are grouped together with Islamist and they gave to defend muslims/Islam, because that;s the most important thing of the hour
While the second folks (ex muslim atheist) like Shafiq are more like Ambedkar in that sense, who have opted out of the whole project but see that their ideas are being used not just to attack “ideas” but people. To be fair, it was always a difficult walk to start with, and now its’ increasingly becoming difficult with lot of their arguments(against Islam) finding its way on to “Nationalists” of every hue and color. So there are some real life consequences of attacking “Islam” on “muslims”.
This leads to frustration on both sides.
There is a time and place for criticism of Islam and Muslims. Barely three days after a horrible massacre is not it. This is a time in which people should be standing in solidarity with the Muslim community. Victim blaming is not on. Those who attack us don’t care how religious or how liberal we are. For them, the identity that we were (in most cases) born with is enough reason to hate us.
That is my simple point.
My point was that even after this terrible tragedy, guys like Mehdi hasan, Wajahat ali immediately went to efforts to silence people like Sam Haris, Majid Nawaj. It is them who immediately used a tragedy to score points agianst ideological enemies. And Mehdi Hasan is the face of media Muslim today. So, spare some condemnation for the ilk of Mehdi Hasan. Or, do you think as a persecuted and oppressed, simple, natural, quaint people of the past, Muslims should be held with a softer standard?
wajahat ali and mehdi hasan seem very different though. mehdi is far more leftwing and also has a more regressive religious background.
Yes, Mehdi has that typical British born Pakistani Muslim core and Wajahat is the American born Muslim type. However, even Mehdi Hasan is intelligent enough not to push ‘how Shariah is misunderstood, its sugar, spice and everything nice’ line. Mehdi doesn’t push how Islam is great line, he just want that nobody can criticize Islam. Wajahat on the other hand constant pushes Islam is great once you get to know it thing.
this is a reasonable comment.
but please note you are talking to someone who grew up into adulthood in a muslim majority country as a muslim identified person.
in the progressive stack-rank, an immigrant with an accent is above your DC-raised privileged ass.
/ identity that we were (in most cases) born with /
Is Islam something you are born with, like parts of the body or ethnic background? That’s a strange take on an ideology which is pushed down the throat by the parents and which can be accepted or rejected or modified later in life.
People are born into Muslim households just as they are born into other religious communities. Most people don’t convert from the religion that they happen to be raised in. Even if someone doesn’t necessarily believe in all the doctrine, they still identify with that culture in some ways. Anyway, an Islamophobe isn’t going to care if you believe in the doctrine. For them, a Muslim name is enough.
Converting out of Islam has its own issues. No one wants to be wajib-ul-qatal.
I see a big part of the problem is that people like Mehdi Hasan, Nesrine Malik are maintream representative of liberal, progressive Muslims in the west but in terms of their religion, they are further to right of Pat Robertson, Jerry Fallwell. The most liberal believing Muslim is significantly more religious conservative than the the most liberal believing Hindu and miles and miles more conservative religiously than the most liberal believing Christian. This very stark differences in distributions cannot be unnoticed even to the blind. Differences in population is a (not the) big driver of prejudices.
Kabir posted Nesrine Malik above. She is a henchwoman of Mehdi in Britain and she has been ery very consistent for many years in trying to ban criticism of Islam. her whining is that Muslims are such a prosecuted group in the west that criticism of Islam is just further bludgeoing upon the weakest group of society. I really want to ask people like her that, if criticising Islam in the West is cruel, and criticising Islam in the Muslim contries of the East is risky (you either lose your head or get thrown into jail), where do Nesrine wants critics of Islam to make their base? Possibly a Lunar base? Nesrine, Mehdi wants ban of criticism of Islam, full stop. In any other major religious group, they would be lumped with the religious conservatives.
I believe you are being unduly harsh on Muslims. The average white supremacist is intellectually ill-equipped to discern between Islamophobia and Muslimophobia. For him it is one and the same thing, and therefore he is highly likely to lash out violently at Muslims, irrespective of the fact whether his hate emanates from Islamophobia or Muslimophobia.
Sometimes I think that the problem lies in the western/American fixation with the principle of freedom of speech. It has become such a unquestionable dogma that all sorts of hate speech can pass under the garb of freedom of speech, and the result is sporadic outburst of gratuitous violence we see in incidents like Christchurch.
It is important to note that Indian concept of secularism is very different from western concept of secularism. In western political thought secularism retains its original meaning, which is basically a strict separation of church and state. As long as church does not interfere in the business of state, the ideal of secularism is deemed to be met. Beyond that people are free to bullshit any religion and nobody can touch them legally.
In India secularism goes beyond the facetious notions of separation of church are state. It also encompasses a strict commitment to the ideals of religious harmony. What this means is that free-for-all hate speech is NOT protected by the Indian constitution, and can quickly cause legal troubles for rabblerousers.
This of course is true more on the paper than on the ground, and Indian secular fabric has come under considerable strain in recent years. However, by and large an adherence to the principle of religious harmony has served India well. I can genuinely assert that even the most ardent of Hindu nationalists will be completely disgusted if any one from the their ranks were to mow down 50 people so brutally.
Agree with the distinction between Indian and Western secularisms. But my concern is the opposite.
There is more anti-Muslim violence in India than in any place in the West, despite this (possibly) nominally better Indian version of secularism. I know many of these appear to happen as spontaneous “riots”, but this is one time I actually prefer a lone shooter than a large anonymous mob of neighbors coming to kill you, with police looking the other way or joining in.
“We have no orders to save you”, detailed Human Rights Watch ground report on the 2002 Gujarat pogrom: https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/india/
What appears as “spontaneous” anti-Muslim riots is a well-oiled RSS machinery studied and described by many academics, the best known among them being Paul Brass of U of Washington, who has studied this from the ’60s onwards and termed it IRS- the Institutionalized Riot Systems:
“Among the myths associated with Hindu-Muslim inter-religious and inter-ethnic riots is that they are ignited by a spark at one site after which the flame then spreads to other sites, or it is said that they occur like viral infections that also spread from place to place….”
“…there exist what I have called “institutionalized riot systems,” in which the organizations of militant Hindu nationalism are deeply implicated (with)…. persons….who play specific roles in the preparation, enactment, and explanation of riots after the fact…”
How much of the difference in inter-communal violence between India and west can be explained away by:
1. %age of Muslims as part of the population
2. General low-level of crime
This is not to say that there might not be systemic involvement by certain groups. But it might not be the biggest factor in explaining the violence and attacking it might also not be the best way to reduce said violence.
I often get the feeling that liberal Indians have a tendency to breast beat about RSS or Hindutva because of some sort of combination of guilt, availability bias and ‘just so’ explanations.
(We’ve had this back-and-forth before I believe)
As for the West, we’ve seen what has happened in Balkans. The rest of them will have their reckoning and then we will judge them. I hope it’s nothing as violent.
Agree with initial part of your comment that policing issues and efficiency will partly explain the difference. But that is reason one has to be more vigilant in India (and south Asia in general) about anti-minority vocabulary and the supposed distinction between ideas and people, because policing is weak and subject to majoritarian prejudice.
Not to sound dramatic but my understanding of secular democratic India changed when I witnessed firsthand-ish police killing of 10-12 *non-violent* Muslim protesters- not in UP or Gujarat or Bihar- but in Communist West Bengal, in outskirts of Calcutta following the post-Babri demolition violence (can’t give more details). This was when BJP practically did not exist in WB (nor TMC) and INC was opposition. The prejudice, complete lack of remorse by officials involved in the immediate aftermath and the they-deserved-it attitude I was in a position to witness was my redpill moment.
Do not get part about % of Muslims. There are a lot of high Muslim percentage districts in WB, Karnataka, Kerala, and even in the north & west, where there is none to little prevalence of endemic riots. I agree one must look at the data but the one factor that will survive a multivariate analysis will be presence of these RSS institutionalized riot systems. Absolutely nothing else will come close.
This has little to do with Hinduism itself or the superior high philosophy of its canon. It is a stronger correlate of the general south Asian tribalism and lack of respect for life. In India this manifests as severe anti-Muslim violence, similarly anti-Hindu / anti-atheist violence in Bangladesh (for some reason haven’t heard of such targeted anti-Hindu or anti-Sikh violence in Pakistan, though I know there are pockets of non-trivial Sindhi Hindu and urban Dalit communities. Maybe the majoritarian instinct there manifests as extremist groups executing anti-Ahmedi violence, Hindu conversion-abductions and targeting poor Christians for blasphemy?)
Fascinating Parallel Universe. Thanks for sharing. I would like to learn more.
In general India has almost no police per capita and extremely low levels of murder, rape, violent assault, armed assault all considered. However India has 1.37 billion people and some pockets can very much contradict the norm.
What you noticed about West Bengal communists is very troubling. [Note communists and Islamists have been enemies . . . the past few years have been a weird interlude.]
What would you say about the many muslim affiliates of the RSS and the many RSS cadre who are muslim? Do you see the RSS as involving themselves in an Islamic civil war?
With respect to Bengal I have been told that Sufis/Shia in Bengal do not ally with Hindus the way they generally do elsewhere in India. Is this true? If so, why do you think this is?
“But that is reason one has to be more vigilant in India (and south Asia in general) about anti-minority vocabulary”
This is the wrong conclusion. One has to be vigilant that the government is *even-handed* in framing and applying laws. A government that is seen to be more vigilant in one direction or another will always be (correctly) suspected of vote-bank politics. The law itself loses respect when it is not evenly legislated or applied.
Peace – flawed, though it is – exists among communities in India, not because of an enlightened government but because of a public consensus that has evolved over centuries. Government activism over the last seventy years has only eroded it. The same can be said of Pakistan where heightened religious fervour is due mainly to government (and army) interference in matters that don’t concern them.
“One has to be vigilant that the government is *even-handed* in framing and applying laws. ”
Too many things to say about this, primarily that I am completely for this. Being vigilant about vocabulary does not mean one speak inaccurately, only more accurately. That one must not overstate the case and be careful of degree and nuance.
And one must be cognizant of contexts where accuracy and debate are important, and where they are less so. For example it is of little help to the Hindu family in Taslima Nasreen’s novel -based on real events- to be lectured (accurately) by a collecting Muslim mob that many Hindus in India hold anti-Muslim prejudice and that many were complicit in illegally pull down Babri masjid, etc.
It is, however, also true that the apparent non-even handedness in Indian politics popular online as “minority appeasement” is vastly exaggerated. Politicians have always done politics but the nominal and performative pro-Muslim symbolism some politicians may have undertaken are not a fraction of similar pro-Hindu appeasement that has always existed. Problem is these are not slotted as “Hindu appeasement” as it does not, for obvious reasons of scale, not resolve as Hindu appeasement to pan-India observers. Instead it resolves as pro-Jat, pro-Maratha, pro-Kurmi, pro-Nadar, pro-Ezhava and numerous such “appeasements” depending upon the geography.
I am always flabbergasted how otherwise smart people fall for this minority-appeasement line! There are tons of undisputed data that show the status of Muslims at the bottom of the pile and going down further every year, even in comparison to other more historically disadvantaged groups.
If you are curious and open-minded, this paper has an abundance of ground-level, visibly non-biased data:
I was witness to the immediate aftermath of a single incident and it shook me. Although the police in Bengal at the time was aligned with the Communist governing party, I doubt what I witnessed was related to any ideological affinity with them. As I understood it, it was a spontaneous reaction of several armed policemen. It was nominally Hindu policemen shooting to kill unarmed Muslim protesters, but more deeper it was just because they could. Not sure now if it even made to the newspapers, and even if they did, it wouldn’t register among the many hundreds who were being killed across India at the time. The communists of course were ruthless in other domains, influencing all public servants, police and deeply penetrating into rural areas, but there was only a tiny sliver of folks that were in it for the ideology. Most were just following power. Seems that has transferred wholesale now to the TMC.
Not 100% sure of this but I highly doubt there is any organic support for RSS among Muslims….and pro-Hindutva folk will tell you that better than I. I suspect RMM exists only because they can be part of press releases.
Also not very aware of internal Muslim dynamics in Bengal- only one that was very obvious tome is the difference between fish-loving Bengali-speakers (occasionally with Bengali surnames) versus Urdu/Hindi speaking folk.
“Do not get part about % of Muslims. There are a lot of high Muslim percentage districts in WB, Karnataka, Kerala, and even in the north & west, where there is none to little prevalence of endemic riots. ”
The history is of Islam /muslims in these regions are very different than from the history of the North. That’s why a state with relative low muslim pops like Gujrat/Rajastan sees more violence than East/South with higher pops. In South/East muslims had acquired “native” characteristics which they didn’t in the North(not a value judgement).
They were always looked as separate people.People who hindus have to co-exist(because they are the ruling class/ or they are too low down to even matter) but still separate people. Add to that partition solidified those “native vs foreigner” outlook.
“Data” is just one aspect of understanding something, not everything.
This isn’t about “minority appeasement”. Indian governments have breached rules of fair governance to favour different communities numerous times for short term gains. Each time they do this, the social consensus I spoke of frays a little.
The essence is an anachronistic, anti-civilisation’s movement which suppresses any freedom (art, speech, thinking), where you do not have two guys who can think differently, women not allowed to think at all and they were made scarecrows, where the term intellectual is a grotesque oxymoron, which has a mafia rule that you cannot leave the family and eventually move to any other movement, where you have morons who believe that if they die for the movement, 77 virgins will wait them on the heaven, where western educated and bred woman, a leader of world organisation, says that it is the most feminine movement, where the movement is so anti-economic oriented and associated with poverty, where members behave as chest beating screaming hordes, which cannot coexist with other movements, where there is no any respect for individual members who are considered disposable, where non-members are considered as enemies which should be killed, which tries to impose cruel laws to all members and non-members based on primitivity and without any opposition…
This, ladies and gentlemen, is Exhibit A in Islamophobia: “Chest beating screaming hordes” “primitivity”– this kind of language is dehumanizing and otherizing and should not be acceptable to any decent human being.
77 virgins ? That is overoptimistic; only 72.
First time I see someone with a Muslim name that makes individual statement, thinks with own head and shows intellectual integrity. I know that it is needed a great personal bravery to do this here and now, just want to express my admiration for such courage.
I guess, apart from two objections, the rest of the movement description is accurate.
“Chest beating screaming hordes” – What we regularly see on TV, not only from western media, is a large crowd, thousands of people, who are screaming and masochistically beating their chests. This probably has some (religious?) meaning for them but for outsider looks exactly as I said.
“primitivity” – what is the common name for all items from the description list? Jihad, sharia law, isis, heads cutting, scarecrow women (we could see a black KKK-like group screaming in front of Aya Sophia; on the stolen land in front of the stolen church). Are these women humans? “The most feminine movement”? 77 shaheed waiting virgins? The key movement’s incentive? To deflower them all? How many per day? What after that with them? Are they actually someone’s children, sisters? Primitivity or high sensibility? Who is dehumanising whom? I could not see that anyone objected couple previous items!
I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt since English is clearly not your first language but referring to human beings as “primitive” has clear colonialist implications.
Regarding the “chest beating”, perhaps you are referring to mourning rituals during Muharram? They make look strange to you, but people are entitled to mourn for the grandson of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) however they like. Their rituals are not hurting you.
Your comments reveal nothing so much as your own anti-Islamic bigotry.
Milan is not an anti-Islamic bigot.
Don’t think he was referring to Muharram by chest beating.
“primitive” does not have clear colonialist implications. Many woke over indulged self absorbed American teenagers who go to elite universities are primitive.
I can only decide whether someone is bigoted or not based on the evidence in their comments. This particular individual repeatedly uses disgusting and dehumanizing language about Muslims and Islam. In my book, that is bigotry. If someone doesn’t want to be called a bigot, they should be careful about what they say.
“Primitive” does have colonialist implications. This was the language used by White Europeans about the usually brown people they were ruling over.
Yep, a fake atheist above (a Razib’s disappointment) also found that Shafiq cannot write or spell English properly. FA was personally offended when I told that Turks were primitive colonizers who haven’t built one building or one road during almost 400 years and lived all the time on robberies, killings and raping. You found yourself in my above description that the term ‘intellectual’ in your movement is an oxymoron. You are too green to patronize anyone. Long time ago I passed a point of being anti or pro anything. The facts are only relevant. You could prove that my descriptions were wrong and after you could make some qualification. It would be too much to ask you to make your statement re sharia, jihad, 77 virgins, black KKK, marrying a 9 years old child. I feel sorry for you and similar to you, whom I can see in my environment because to their ancestors were removed a half of brain during the conversion and it became inheritable.
Erdogan addressed the gathered citizens in the north-western Turkish city of Kochieli:
“Those who threaten Turkey, it would be best to take books and read the history. Those who threatened us in a way that ‘we should not cross west of Bosphorus’ should first go and learn the history of this country”.
Erdogan has also fiercely criticised Kemal Kilicdaroglu, a leader of the Turkish opposition Republican People’s Party, who recently spoke of a scandalous sentence about the terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand, killing at least 50 people that “Muslims should also re-examine themselves.”
Erdogan is a populist soft Islamist. While he has been adroit in strengthening his power within Turkey by sidelining the army establishment , crushing with an iron hand Gulenists , and dispatching his real and imagined critics wholesale to prisons or exile , he is a failure in foreign policy. Clever guy in many respects.
He has made Turkey less and less suitable material for EU entry and probably he does not care. It is only a matter of time Turkey formally withdraws from EU entry.
VijayVan, I suspect the wise Milan will disagree with me on this.
I like Erdogan more than most and think some of the rap he gets in undeserved. [I think Erdogan’s policy on Serbia is excessively harsh and wrong.]
Erdogan is not an Islamist in my opinion. But rather a hyper nationalist Ottoman empire exceptionalist. The Ottoman Turkish empire treated Jews and nonmuslims a lot better than the vast majority of muslim countries today do (including most of the Arab League, Iran, Pakistan.)
My hope is that Turkey does eventually join the EU. Serbia too. Unlikely as that may seem now.
Erdogan plays NZ Mosque killing video in his meetings cheerfully while the rest of the world prohibits the video. That is to play up Muslim self-pity which in his view will convert to votes for himself.
In fact , for the last 30 years Jihadi websites continuously used to play massacres in Bosnia to garner support for their cause around and they were quite successful in recruiting many young Muslim men and women. Erdogan has taken a leaf out of their tactics
I didn’t write about Erdogan, the point was a very rare statement from a leader of (Republican) opposition that ‘Muslims also must re-examine themselves’. Erdogan is unpredictive, initially strongly supported isis i provided logistics for them which US, S.Arabia and Qatar financed until Putin saved his life in last minute by providing intelligence regarding US sponsored military coup.
Btw, long time ago, I met a Republican Bulent Ecevit who spent some time in Belgrade after Tito’s death. He didn’t have a position at that time. I met him couple times while he was purchasing as an ordinary citizen in a supermarket next to my uni.
Actually , the aftermath of the 1st world war was the opportunity for Greeks , Serbs, Bulgars and other Balkan people to capture Constantinople and make it Byzantium. This is what the Greeks used to call Great Idea for a century i.e. some revival of Greek Orthodox fortunes after the fall of Byzantium empire to the Turks . They missed their opportunity in infighting. It won’t come again.
I doubt it was because of infighting. I think Constantinople is a very defendable city, strategically speaking. The Ottomans themselves had conquered much of the Balkans before they were able to breach the city’s defenses in 1453. This after Anatolia had been Turkish for 3-4 centuries. After WW1, the Greeks did try to conquer part of Turkey, but I think they knew they would have to conquer NW Anatolia (after shoring up their position in the Greek part, around Izmir/Smyrna) before they could take a crack at the capital. But, as you know, they failed. I doubt a coalition of Yugoslavs and Bulgars assisting them would have helped either. For all their degeneration, the Turks had assabiyah, knew how to fight, and had top-notch leadership in people like Ataturk.
One good news from Muslim community…
In Great Britain a rebellion against LGBT propaganda begins in state primary schools. Parents are organised and stand up against the lessons of the “No Outsider” program, which implies “sexual enlightenment of students”.
The Guardian daily said that introducing the children who just started school with “forms of sexual intercourse among people” and “rights of sexual minorities”, as well as the need to eradicate preconceptions and homophobia, is finding resistance among parents. And they said that some schools stopped suspending this training “until they reach an agreement with their parents”.
List Mail Online, found that parents of children-Muslims were standing up against LGBT-classes. He said that Muslims in Britain account for five percent of the population, but in Birmingham – 21 percent. Muslims in Birmingham and Manchester want to defend their right to educate their children in the framework of Islam, their own traditions and identity.
The British Muslims point out that the goal of LGBT activists is not just tolerance towards sexual minorities, but also everybody’s reference to the idea that homosexual experience is “natural and necessary in order to search for one’s own identity”.
That is the reason for – “No Outsider”. Because the attack on the classical family accused of repeatedly creating barriers and disregarding “total and endless sexual liberation of personality.”
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