Age of Kali – If We Do Not Criticise Islam

(An FIR is a First Information Report. It’s a little catch all for “told the police and wrote a case up about someone with the idea of pressing legal charges against them”.)

If we do not criticise Islam, then the people who require criticism will keep having free reign and will drag Islam down the dark path it already is in. Where they will silence their moderates and liberals and where they will rule with the fear of the Fatwa. Where they have hordes of “true” Muslims at their beck and call who will happily persecute and even execute the Muslims and anyone else who aren’t “true”. 

We see this in Iraq. Where the majority of violence is aimed at harming other Muslims often because they are  the wrong sort.

Too Liberal, Too Smart, Too Educated, Too Female, Too Outspoken, Too Peaceful.

I may have joked the last time about Islamic fundamentalism and the “silly” fatwas but that itself is indicative of the problem.

The people who are claiming to be in charge of “Islam” are a problem. There may be moderate fatwas out there but we have a situation where any man who is a Mullah can make a Fatwa up at whim. You may have moderates but the conservatives have a serious amount of clout and they are more willing to turn to violence.

The Islamic fundamentalist believes the zenith of human civilisation was around 300 AD when Mohammed created Islam and tribal society ruled the Middle East. If it’s good enough for the Prophet it’s good enough for us.

The lyrics of Kabir or Rahman mean nothing. The elegance of Rumi is just dirt. The art of the Moors, the skill of the Ottomans and the works of Ibn Sina, Khaled, Hossini and Khayyam mean nothing. Because they see it as a horrific divergence from Islam’s “truth”. That the ideal society is one of stupid warfare and strife and tribalism.

And this is clearly terrifying to moderate Muslims. How can a Muslim Lawyer from Manchester who has a nice house, kids and regularly  watches the football understand a man who thinks that playing with a kite is sinful and breaks that hands of children who do so? How can a Pakistani painted green and shouting the the name of Inzamam ul-Haq understand that the man who gives him orders may think that Inzamam is not only an excellent cricketer but is leading good Muslim boys into a life of bat and ball based sin and should be stopped at all costs.

The only thing me and this mythical Imam can agree on is  the fact that Reverse Swing is witchcraft. But we have seen Imams like this enthrall the minds of many Muslims.

No. The moderate Muslims are screwed. We have created a dialogue where we do not listen to moderate Muslims but to the lunatic fringe. It’s not the lawyer or the cricket fan we speak to but to the man screaming about the Great Satan and burning an American Flag. Possibly because he clearly has much more interesting things to say than the lawyer who will bore you with torts or the cricket fan who will bore you with an explanation of what reverse swing is. But more probably because the idiot with the flag makes for good TV in the same way that Joe the Plumber made good TV.

If we as atheists do not critcise Islam’s lunatic fringe and create genuine dialogue with moderate Muslims we will watch as Islam continues the trend to fundamentalism. We are alienating Muslims and alienation is how fundamentalism grows. We have ignored the sensible people so we have to deal with the people who think the sea rapes women. Now it’s kind of too late to criticise these people because any man who is willing to go on record with something on par with the “Sea Rapes Women” is clearly not a man who cares what we think. This is clearly a man who is so certain in his convictions that he may make such statements.

This is news in India. So much so that it has even filtered into my daily life.

Taslima Nasrin’s in trouble. She’s been a very naughty lady.



A little background. See Taslima’s been railing against this but hasn’t explained what the problem is.

In India there is a MAJOR and I mean MAJOR problem with corruption. Political Integrity has so far been an oxymoron. Too fight that there is a party in Delhi called Aam Admi. The Everyman. They want to clean up Delhi’s dirty  politics. Good for them! Good Luck! Don’t fall into the trap of politics!

But Arvind Kejriwal (The Party Chief)  did something rather foolish. See in India despite being a secular nation, one has to deal with communal politics. Arvind spoke and petitioned Muslims for their support through a man called Tauqeer Raza Khan.

Now Tauqeer Raza Khan  lives in Lucknow and to point out how far the city has fallen… Lucknow was once the home of a Golden Age of Islam. Architecture, Poetry, Art, Music and culture. Everything from food to clothes. Lucknow  was the cutting edge of Muslim Culture for a while.

But now it’s home to people like Taqueer.

“Taslima has put Muslims to shame in her writing. She should be killed and beheaded and anyone who does this will get a reward from the council of Rs. 500,000″

Because she wrote a book about the very real killings of Hindus in places like Bangladesh and Pakistan and about the problems with the Islamic Orthodox. There is very little self awareness here to be fair.

Oh it’s not all bad news. He’s also placed a Rs. 10,000,000 bounty on George W. Bush. He was also arrested a few years ago for taking part in communal riots where Muslims attacked Hindus (and vice versa).

Basically? Taqueer is part of a problem of rising radicalism and tit for tat nonsense in India and is part of a greater evil in Islam.

Arvind has done something foolish. Instead of meeting the everyman he has met the fundies and validated their actions.

This is seen in the FIR being lodged against Taslima. By the son of the man who offered the bounty to the person who kills her. The law that he claims she has broken is promoting religious hatred and bigotry against Islam. To which my response is “And who will place an FIR against the man who is starting fights, promoting violence and offering bounties to killers?”

And surely Tauqeer is has done more to promote religious hatred and bigotry? Surely he has done more harm to Islam simply by opening his mouth and leading young men and women astray from a sensible and secular path to one filled with violence and hate.

That’s the real “Lajja” (Shame) here. The real reason Muslims would hang their heads. Not because Taslima has written about real events that have happened but because men like Taqueer and his son are treated as representatives of the community.

We must cut these fundies out of public life. Let us speak to the moderates and the liberals. Let these fundies howl their stupid fatwas at the wind. Let them burn flags and let them hate.



  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    Ftr: Mohammed (assuming such a person actually lived) did his thing for about 30 years on each side of the year 600 on the western calendar.

    I hope Tauqueer Raza Khan’s “council” is some Muslim group and not the official leadership of the city of Lucknow.

    As with Hezbollah and Hamas (and, in the early days, the Taliban), some of the strictest Islamic groups do enjoy a well-earned reputation for (fiscal) integrity: Arvind Kejriwal may have had no choice but to reach out to the only other organization in the area with that agenda. In politics as in housework, cleaning up often requires the cleaner to get dirty. (I know nothing of Lucknow politics, so this entire paragraph should be taken as pure speculation!)

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