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r/atheism, Bigotry and the EDL

“There is no bigotry in r/atheism”.

Apparently the lovely folk in r/atheism forget that bigotry doesn’t exist until it’s pointed out. So r/atheism’s mods tried to put up some rules. No bigotted statements. AKA no racist, sexist and homophobic comments. To which r/atheism responded with typical verve by claiming it was impinging on free speech…

My response? Really? What about this thread where you linked to a far right/neo-nazi blog that supports the EDL (the organisation that’s been attacking muslims and damaging mosques in the wake of the Woolwich murder – English Defence League).

Responses? – We see Muslims (what? All of them?) do x, y and z and my personal favourite.

While we like to think that all Muslims are the enemies we must realise how we look to them, How many Muslims who weren’t involved in 9/11 did we kill? What about the Muslims who we fucked over in Palestine by punishing them for the crimes of white Europeans? They don’t see Jews getting a homeland, they see a bunch of white imperialists either “conveniently creating a holocaust to garner sympathy for people who are screwing them over” or are seeing a colonial power that has taken their best land and ruined generations of youth leaving them with no future. Lest we forget, fundamentalist Islam exists because we played a part in it’s spread when it was politically convenient or because we created conditions that encouraged it’s spread. We in the west have some responsibility.

Islam is no different from any other religion.

Lest we forget. Bush utilised “god” as an excuse for Iraq. How many thousands of our young men and women lost their lives in a pointless war for his imaginary friend? Either he is a smart man who kowtowed to a principle that many people believed to make them support his pointless war or he genuinely thinks he was getting messages from an imaginary being that resulted in the deaths of thousands of your and indeed “my” young men and women and hundreds of thousands of “enemy” deaths.

How many hundreds of thousands of Muslims did we kill directly and indirectly? At what number do we get to feel like heroes?

In order to criticise Islam and the behaviour of fundies we are going to have to stop blindly chanting the idiot screed of racists.

Islam is no different from any other religion. Are you kidding me? We have killed thousands of Muslims. Muslims who didn’t have anything to fucking do with 9/11 or 7/7. No. We created this twisted version of Islam to fight our proxy wars. Or when we stabbed them in the back by punishing them for the actions of white people. Or when white people used religion as a method of colonial subjugation.

What you are seeing is the price we are paying for our short-term manipulation of people over the past 100 years. Let’s look at the facts here.

The Taliban and Al-Qaeda exist due to our support in the Afghan War. Al-Qaeda’s beef with the west exists due to our dickery in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran. The formation of Israel was “fucking idiotic” and we created a conflict because while we didn’t give a flying fuck about treating the Jews properly we gave even less fucks about Arabs at that point and created an unsolvable mess.

Nearly every single conflict with Islam has a real aetiology and it’s in response to us dicking them over in some very big ways.

Islam is a religion but the majority of its adherents are not white. They are South and South East Asian followed by Black and Arab with a handful of ethnically East Asian and classically Caucasian people.

The people from the EDL assume all Muslims follow the Koran to the letter and precisely. That there is no variations of belief. And that all Muslims are brown. To post a blog from their supporters doesn’t make them right, it’s tacit approval of neo-nazis who routinely target people solely for the colour of their skin.

Suggesting that all Muslims are like Osama Bin Laden is like suggesting that all Christians are like Timothy McVeigh. It’s blatantly not true. The majority of Muslims are peaceful and law-abiding. Hell’s bells! Just this year a policeman was shot and killed by the PIRA in Ireland. Are we going to claim that all Catholics are destined for terrorism and violence just because a bunch of wankers in Ireland haven’t grasped the benefits of peace?

It’s religious intolerance being used to satiate the acts of racists and to garner support based on public opinion.

And we must not accept such blanket statements. We should not associate ourselves with groups such as these that flog bigotry wrapped up in concern.

The article quotes a long standing right wing “lie” about Islam called Taqqiyah.

Taqqiyah is a legal disposition in Islam which allows Muslims to break the rules of Islam in case the person’s life is at stake or if someone else’s life is at stake.

If someone held a gun to your head and told a Muslim that they would have to eat a pork chop or they would kill you, the Muslim can eat it and not be considered unclean because he did so to save a life….

And it’s a principle mainly utilised in Shia Islam, in the same way that confession is pretty much a Catholic thing. Except Shia are the minority and the principle is invoked during times of Sunni “inquisitions” where Shia followers were persecuted.

You cannot actually invoke Taqqiyah should it lead to the death of another person. It’s solely to PROTECT Muslims and indeed others.

Examples? During the reconquista many Muslims ditched their faith “on paper” (Remember, many Spanish people still have Muslim names like Joachim) and pretended to be Christians to avoid persecution.

The argument of Taqqiyah has been utilised to denigrate my statements before. I am well researched enough to know that you cannot use it to “lie” for monetary gain or in order to cause death.

Which is why alarm bells rang when I read the article.

It’s like saying that Catholics can commit cannibalism because of the Eucharist. It really is that stupid an argument to make and it is indicative of the argument’s origin.

And this is why it hurts. Because I have been accused by other atheists of being this “Muslim” before. Why? Brown? Understand Arabic? Knowledge about Koran? Must be a Muslim or you know… educated.

To lots of people in atheism? This means Muslims can lie about anything and so we cannot trust ALL Muslims. Because Christians, Jews, Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and other religious views don’t lie at all just because their books say so. Muslims need a fancy special rule to lie…

It’s just sad. That argument is often used against me to call me “A Secret Muslim” to denigrate what I say usually when I criticise right wing atheists or conspiracy groups. As if being a Muslim somehow means my answer stops being legit. It’s happened more than once and it really hurts to see such bigotry.

It’s really sad to see this. The best part is /r/atheism has genuine content on the front page now. But it is also demonstrating how much of an arsehole problem /r/atheism and indeed the community has.

Complaining about bigotry gets you the response “We aren’t bigots. Take it back you paki fag”. And then people wonder why so few atheists of colour want to associate with the majority. Because we all have stories like this. And surprise surprise. We don’t like it. I do not enjoy being targeted by the arguments of right wing fuckwits. Even by people who I consider to be kindred spirits.

And Mr. Tumnus can fuck right off too!

We can do better than associating with arguments made by people who can barely speak English but seek to defend it from those who can.

Comments

  1. CaitieCat says

    Right with you, Avi. I don’t envy the shitstorm you’re probably going to receive, though. Good luck.

  2. ibbica says

    Not having anything substantial to add, I just wanted to mention that two of your paragraphs appear in smaller font than the rest (“While we like to think that all Muslims…” and “The argument of Taqqiyah has been utilised…”). Not sure if it’s just me (Firefox 21.0, Mac OS10.7.5, Adblock, Flashblock, and NoScript), or some weird formatting code on your end? It’s just that I keep wanting to read those as blockquotes…

    Otherwise, carry on!

  3. CaitieCat says

    It does for me too – both sections. Also Firefox, but Win7 and no interfering add-ons. It’s happened on a couple of other posts recently too, I can go back and figure out which if it’ll help. It’s not unreadable, even without my glasses, and I could always crank the font size if I wanted to anyway, so if you aren’t arsed to do anything, I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    I suspect “Ernie” @ # 5 has left that exact same message on a variety of blogs covering a variety of topics.

    And I wouldn’t want to submit to a fictitious Jesus-lion either!

  5. tehnitpicker says

    Remember, many Spanish people still have Muslim names like Joachim

    I feel a bit silly nitpicking but why do you think “Joaquin” owes its popularity in Spain (and the rest of the spanish-speaking world) due to Islam and not Christianity, considering the common source and its existence throughout Europe?

  6. says

    Yeah I’ve seen the text problem on many a post as well. That particular block is in a with its own style for some reason -> span style=”font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;” While we like to think that all Muslims…. /span

    As for the EDL I found this video someone tweeted to be very interesting -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONVhpoM4V0c

    BTW if you look at the video make sure you watch the last minute or so…

  7. says

    Hey there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could
    find a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  8. says

    The EDL and the Islamists couldn’t possibly survive without each other. Each needs the other to scare and outrage their own supporters into not thinking it through.

  9. Alyssa Manhave says

    If you look at the source for the page, those paragraphs have a are tagged with <span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 18px;"> while none of the other paragraphs are. I can only assume that the browsers of people who can’t see that as different is showing all paragraphs like that by default.

  10. rasungod says

    The mods already use the anti-bigotry rule very sparingly. It needs to be blatant bigotry often a repeat offender reported to the mods to warrant action. Its also a controversial rule which is under debate and may be changed in the future.

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