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September 15, 2014

Atheists Sam Harris, Bill Maher: Part of the Problem With Islamic Jihad is the "Islamic" Part

The progressive media consensus on Islam is stultifying, and deliberately so. It's a series of simplistic claims intended to drown out any adult discussion on the issue in favor of childish happy-talk which serves no purpose except to preserve the fragile progressive voting coalition.

The progressive media consensus frequently finds the truth to be "divisive" -- by which they mean "contrary to the solidarity of the Democrat/Socialist alliance" -- and this is yet another case of that.

But there are dissident voices.

Bill Maher not only trashes Charlie Rose's Progressive Happy Shut-Up Talk on Islam as false and "naive" -- but he goes on to also trash Rose's insistence that "extremist Christians" are just as bad as Islamic Jihadists.

Bill Maher plainly despises conservative Christians, which makes his refutation of Rose's false claim all the more potent.

Maher is contemptuous of believing Christians -- But he will not accept the palpably false claims by Rose and other Happy Talk Warriors that believing Christians are engaging in female genital mutilation and murder of "apostates."

Sam Harris, another atheist, has every political reason to claim that "all religions are just exactly alike and just as bad about encouraging violence."

But he doesn't claim that, because it's not true, and he is one of the few progressives who think that a claim's patent falsity ought to count against it a bit.

After quoting Obama's various "the Islamic State is not Islamic" assurances, Harris writes:

Pondering when this scrim of pretense and delusion will be finally burned away--either by the clear light of reason or by a surfeit of horror meted out to innocents by the parties of God. Which will come first, flying cars and vacations to Mars, or a simple acknowledgment that beliefs guide behavior and that certain religious ideas--jihad, martyrdom, blasphemy, apostasy--reliably lead to oppression and murder? It may be true that no faith teaches people to massacre innocents exactly--but innocence, as the President surely knows, is in the eye of the beholder. Are apostates "innocent"? Blasphemers? Polytheists? Islam has the answer, and the answer is "no."

More British Muslims have joined the ranks of ISIS than have volunteered to serve in the British armed forces. In fact, this group has managed to attract thousands of recruits from free societies throughout the world to help build a paradise of repression and sectarian slaughter in Syria and Iraq. This is an astonishing phenomenon, and it reveals some very uncomfortable truths about the failures of multiculturalism, the inherent vulnerability of open societies, and the terrifying power of bad ideas.

[A] belief in martyrdom, a hatred of infidels, and a commitment to violent jihad are not fringe phenomena in the Muslim world. These preoccupations are supported by the Koran and numerous hadith. That is why the popular Saudi cleric Mohammad Al-Areefi sounds like the ISIS army chaplain. The man has 9.5 million followers on Twitter (twice as many as Pope Francis has). If you can find an important distinction between the faith he preaches and that which motivates the savagery of ISIS, you should probably consult a neurologist.

Understanding and criticizing the doctrine of Islam--and finding some way to inspire Muslims to reform it--is one of the most important challenges the civilized world now faces....

But there is now a large industry of obfuscation designed to protect Muslims from having to grapple with these truths.

I wrote about this basic idea myself on Friday: There is no avoiding the fact that if Islam is to live peacefully in the world, it needs a substantial reformation.

And I do not see how the West falling over itself to reassure Islam that nothing at all about it is in need of reform (or even reconsideration) is likely to spur action on that front.


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posted by Ace at 01:22 PM

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