Why we need blasphemy

Pat Condell, in one of his wonderfully cranky YouTube rants, opined that the Danes (I think it was the Danes) were probably wondering what the hell had happened to their free country since Islam showed up. The idea that freedom should surrender without a fight to religious fundamentalism of any kind, but especially that which has only fear and violence to support itself, is disgusting. And craven laws like that passed in Ireland, which naively strip away basic rights out of the fear of even a little bit of violence, merely give the fundamentalists what they want: a culture of oppression which is the only kind of culture where fundamentalism can thrive.

Now from Denmark comes word that a Somali terrorist has been shot (to which I say “Good,” and the PC crowd can flame away all they like) and wounded attempting to break into the home of cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who was responsible for some of the controversial Mohammed cartoons that caused such a stink some years ago. The man’s goal was, of course, not to sit down over coffee with Westergaard to offer constructive critiques and rebuttals to his work, but to murder him, which is of course a perfectly rational response to a cartoon.

Once more with feeling: if your religion cannot stand up to a fucking cartoon, it ain’t the cartoon that has the problem.

I have spoken to a number of atheists who, with the very best of intentions, have naively asserted that the best thing to do when faced with the violence of radical religious extremists is to sit down, shut up, and not get them riled, because really, we don’t want anyone to get hurt, do we? That they cannot see how this cowardice and capitulation gives religious lunatics the power over us they wanted all along never ceases to amaze me. And does anyone actually think that, by appeasing them once in this way, they’ll be satisfied and decide they can stop shooting and bombing and whatever else it is sky-daddy has told them to do this week, “peace” be upon him? Let’s do that as a multiple choice question: A) No; B) No; C) Hell no!; D) What, are you stupid? Once they know that a tiny bit of fear is all it takes to control you, then they’ll just keep demanding and threatening more and more, until you’re afraid to wipe your tender bottom without their divine mandate.

People, what we need is more blasphemy, more anger and more outrage in the face of this lunacy. Religious extremists are the cockroaches in the kitchen, and only the light of reason will send them scurrying to hide. Belief systems propped up by violence are ones that have already failed. No respect should be given them. So pick up your pens, cartoonists, and blaspheme your butts off! And if they turn up at your door, well…shoot first. If they really think they’re the only ones out there to be feared, they obviously haven’t heard Matt Groening’s dictum: “It is unwise to annoy a cartoonist!”

Allah Flummoxed by Swine Flu

I wanted to share with you the very first news item I saw on television this morning. It was a story about swine flu concerns surrounding hajj. Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca that is required of all Muslims who are able to make the trek. Google “hajj+’swine flu’” to find related articles.

Apparently, if adherents are required to destroy skyscrapers and execute unbelievers for jihad, the god will ensure their success. But protecting adherents from a flu bug, while they make the required hajj, is a bit too much to ask from the all-powerful creator of everything.

Last Muslim email, I’m done. Your turn.

All right, seriously, we’re going around in circles. I’m bored. You can talk to Muhammad if you want.

Parts 1 , 2, 3.

Why do you think your god just existed without anything happening that caused the god?

Because it makes sense to say that god led to the creation of something then to say things JUST HAPPENED by itself. The same way you guys are saying that the burden is on me to prove the existence of god, the burden is also on you guys to prove that whatever is out there actually led to the creation of the universe and you guys still havent found out.

Why don’t you give me a good reason why I SHOULD go around killing strangers?

The fact that you kill all sorts of animals etc via pollution what makes it different then your own species? They are all bunch of interacting atoms so why does it make it right to kill insects birds fish or even dangerous lethal species but not your own species? Im sure if you ever see a bee hive on top of your doorway the first thing you would do is kill it you wouldnt think about “HEY ITS NOT BENEFITING ME IN THE FIRST PLACE SO WHY NOT JUST LEAVE IT THERE”

Many apologies, but I don’t believe you. If you make up a story using conversational Arabic, you can even write it in English. All you need is a translator who understands both English and conversational Arabic. It sounds like you’re asking me to believe that Muhammad didn’t know any people who could translate between conversational and written Arabic. You want me to accept your claim that Muhammad had no believable earthly means for committing his thoughts to paper, but as an alternative you want me to believe that it was accomplished by magic.

I see where it is going. You can’t find a valid response so you have to say “I DONT BELIEVE YOU” Well its the truth and thats how arabic works. You can translate conversational to english and write it down sure. YOu can also translate written arabic to english even though its going to sometimes distort the meaning but if you were to translate conversational arabic to written arabic it would also disort meaning and looking at the perfection of the quran in its meaning etc there is no way it was translated it like that.

Another thing that doesn’t seem to add up about your story: If Muhammad was illiterate, how was he able to know what it was that he wrote?

I think you’re a bit confused. Muhammad did not write the story. Allah reveals it to Muhammad, Muhammad memorizes the revelations. Muhammad recites it to a group of people the group of people write it on a book. The fact that the writting of the quran into a book happened shortly after the Prophet’s death makes it impossible for any deviation.

Oh, I see how it works now. All I have to do is make some kind of claim, and then it becomes “history,” and then it is undeniably true. There is no need to verify anything at all.

Well, in that case, I’ve got a claim for you. I am illiterate. I have no means of writing this email to you right now. But I’ll tell you how I do it: I have magical supernatural powers, thanks to the angel that I am channeling right now. And you know what the angel just told me? He says Muhammad — both of you — are full of shit.

No but the claim needs to be logical and based on true observation. I obviously know you are literate because I’ve read your background and you’ve read on TV so thats a fail on your part. Muhammad was a loner back the and it was confirmed via counts in poems etc. There couldnt have been another person comming up with a story and then reciting it to Muhammad. THink of the logic here. If there was a person who came up with a story and gave it to Muhammad, why would he come up with something that would disprove his religion? It just doesnt make sense. People back then did not believe in god and now all of a sudden youre telling me that there could have been a person who did not believe in god help someone deny his religin?

Have at it. I’ll let Muhammad know you’re discussing his masterful arguments.

We get Muslim email (part 3)

Yep, I went another round with Muhammad. He sent two emails and here’s the resulting response.

This was part 1 and part 2.

Muhammad’s first reply:

What additional information do you get from calling it “God?” Even assuming that “dimensions interacting with each other” made sense as something other than a bunch of words strung together, why wouldn’t you just keep calling them dimensions? Do the units of measurement become conscious when you apply this label? I don’t get it.

Because if it were JUST dimensions and nothing else, what made it shit out the universe?You cant say it just happened because for all I care it could have just sat there and just existed without anything happening but the fact is something did happen and it was the fact that it shat out the universe. IT cannot do something by itself without another thing acting upon it.

You’re making a bunch of statements that are not supported by any observation. We don’t know whether it’s in some way more likely for energy to “sit on its ass” than “shit,” because we have nothing outside of this universe to compare it to. Science doesn’t currently have any definite position on whether there is some kind of metaverse, containing more energy which either sits or shits. We don’t have any statistical data. For all you know, free floating energy has no alternative but to shit universes. Or whatever you’re trying to say.

What im trying to say is sciences says that energy just existed and has always existed. If that was true all it could have done is just exist without anything happening but some how some way it didnt just exist without anything happening it led to universe what caused it to lead to the universe?

There are two uninhabited patches of land. On one of them, it rains. On the other, it does not rain. Does this require somebody to “intelligently” choose to make it rain in one place and not another? Must everything be uniform, all the time, unless there is divine intervention picking between two places? If so, what is your justification for this claim?

It rains as a result of evaporation and this evaporation happens because there is water and water is there because of the interaction of atoms and the atoms came from energy and energy like I said is from god. Without god you wouldnt be arguing about these two uninhabited patches of land. What Im trying to say is there is something behind everything that is happening. And if that first happening was something by itself without existence then nothing would have happened.

You can’t measure god and say he exists or not using natural physical laws. God is super natural therefore no physical laws or nature or quantum mechanics apply to him. This is where the quran revelation comes in handy and explains the only proof of his existence.

Why would I want to do that exactly? Austin has an excellent police force which solves murder cases with a fairly high rate of success. It may not be a guarantee that I would be caught, but I think it’s pretty likely that I would wind up sent to jail or executed myself. And even if I did wind up getting away with it, many of my friends would probably have awkward questions for me, probably even fear me. As a result, I would certainly lose contact with many people whose love and friendship I value highly.

So are you saying you’re not going to kill random people because of the fact that you would be jailed? So if there was enforcement order you would kill people at will?

So instead I’d like to ask: what is your god’s purpose for existing? Why does the god do the things that it does? What drives it? Why does it do whatever you think it is doing?

He exists because he created everything therefore he must exist. He has a reward of heaven and hell in which the believers will go heaven and the non believers will go to hell. He deserves every respect and worship to him because without him you wouldnt exist so the least we can do is respect him and bare witness his existence.

Second email:

That makes very little sense to me (are you saying that you can’t make up a story and then dictate it?) but okay, we’ll move on.

If you make up a story using the arabic language in which you would use when engaging in a conversation then no you cant write it down. But if you make up a story using the language in which can be written then yes you can write it down. For you to be able to that though you must learn how to read arabic first.

Imagine yourself in my shoes for a minute. You are merely a poor benighted atheist, without any belief in God or supernatural magical powers whatsoever. I come to you and say “Look here, I know for a certainty that there is a magical being who lives in the sky and listens to every one of the seven billion people on this planet, every minute of every day. And the reason why I know this is that 1,500 years ago, an illiterate man wrote a book about him.”

So you’re saying that you would much rather believe it if you were actually alive during that moment? Too bad thats when it happened and it is history that doesnt mean you can deny it. Do you think 3000 years from now people are going to deny all the science discovered now just because its too old?

1. This being you’ve described really exists, despite a complete absence of other corroborating evidence.
2. I am somehow mistaken, and the author of this book either wasn’t illiterate or somehow found SOMEBODY who was willing to listen to this story and write it down.

Again you cannot come up with a story that is in readable form unless you know how to read arabic. Thats just the way it is. So the prophet could not have made up that story unless he knew how to read which he didnt. There are many arabic poems in the past the confirm Prophet Muhammad‘s illiteracy.

Before you answer, stop and ask yourself if your answer would be the same if the book was not the Koran but say, the book of Mormon, or a book about Scientology or something.

Bible book and others have been proven to be edited through out the year.The old and new testament is from god himself but they have been changed and edited through out the years the Koran was never changed….

And now, my reply to both. Sorry, but editing is becoming a pain so I’m not going to even try snipping for clarity this time.

Because if it were JUST dimensions and nothing else, what made it shit out the universe?You cant say it just happened because for all I care it could have just sat there and just existed without anything happening but the fact is something did happen and it was the fact that it shat out the universe. IT cannot do something by itself without another thing acting upon it.

This rule that you’ve made up seemingly doesn’t get applied to your god. After all, you believe that the god just sat on its ass before shitting out the universe. All you’ve done is answer a question you don’t understand, by making up additional stuff which you still don’t understand. Again I’m asking what reason you have for believing this addition god-thing exists.

What im trying to say is sciences says that energy just existed and has always existed. If that was true all it could have done is just exist without anything happening but some how some way it didnt just exist without anything happening it led to universe what caused it to lead to the universe?

Why do you think your god just existed without anything happening that caused the god?
It rains as a result of evaporation and this evaporation happens because there is water and water is there because of the interaction of atoms and the atoms came from energy and energy like I said is from god. Without god you wouldnt be arguing about these two uninhabited patches of land. What Im trying to say is there is something behind everything that is happening. And if that first happening was something by itself without existence then nothing would have happened.

And around we go in a circular argument. You want me to accept your assertion that god exists, and your argument for this is that “Things don’t just happen without intelligence.” Then when I suggest an example of something that doesn’t have an intelligent cause behind it, and you say “God did that.” But God is the thing that you are trying to prove to me, so all you are doing is repeating your assertion, not making an argument. When are you going to justify the belief that your god exists?

So are you saying you’re not going to kill random people because of the fact that you would be jailed? So if there was enforcement order you would kill people at will?

Incarceration is one of many reasons. Maintaining relationships with other people is another. Yet another is that I have no motivation to kill strangers; it wouldn’t get me anything useful. And if there were no formal law enforcement, that stranger quite likely would still have friends and relatives who would wish vengeance.

You asked me why I don’t kill strangers, and I gave you several reasons why I would not do it. You focused on one reason and then asked if that was the only one. I get the feeling that you’re not really looking for a serious discussion, but you just like to hear yourself talk. Why don’t you give me a good reason why I SHOULD go around killing strangers?

Moving on to your second letter:

If you make up a story using the arabic language in which you would use when engaging in a conversation then no you cant write it down. But if you make up a story using the language in which can be written then yes you can write it down. For you to be able to that though you must learn how to read arabic first.

Many apologies, but I don’t believe you. If you make up a story using conversational Arabic, you can even write it in English. All you need is a translator who understands both English and conversational Arabic. It sounds like you’re asking me to believe that Muhammad didn’t know any people who could translate between conversational and written Arabic. You want me to accept your claim that Muhammad had no believable earthly means for committing his thoughts to paper, but as an alternative you want me to believe that it was accomplished by magic.

Sorry, but I just don’t believe you. I still find all the other alternatives much more plausible.

Another thing that doesn’t seem to add up about your story: If Muhammad was illiterate, how was he able to know what it was that he wrote?

So you’re saying that you would much rather believe it if you were actually alive during that moment? Too bad thats when it happened and it is history that doesnt mean you can deny it. Do you think 3000 years from now people are going to deny all the science discovered now just because its too old?

Oh, I see how it works now. All I have to do is make some kind of claim, and then it becomes “history,” and then it is undeniably true. There is no need to verify anything at all.

Well, in that case, I’ve got a claim for you. I am illiterate. I have no means of writing this email to you right now. But I’ll tell you how I do it: I have magical supernatural powers, thanks to the angel that I am channeling right now. And you know what the angel just told me? He says Muhammad — both of you — are full of shit.

I guess you’ll be abandoning Islam now. I wrote it down, after all, so it’s history now.

That’s all for now! If I get another reply, I’ll mention it in comments until there’s another full round to post.

We get Muslim email (part 2)

Here’s part 1 in case you missed it.

Muhammad’s second message to me:

Hey thanks for reply I forgot to mention one more proof of why god exists and it has to do with Prophet Muhammad. Please look at this and then I will go back and make a comment on all the comments you made previously

Before I start I need to mention one thing. Arabic is not like English. You can come up with a story in english and write it down simply. The language you see in a textbook you can use in normal conversations. In arabic you cant. Meaning there is a way to talk arabic in normal conversations and there is a way to read arabic. You cant write down what you normally talk in arabic because it wouldnt make sense. In other words for something in arabic to be written, it must be in the language of readable material. If you cannot read arabic, you will not be able to make up readable material. You may be able to talk arabic normal in conversation but you wont be able to make up stories that can be written down UNLESS you know how to read arabic. Now that I cleard this up we move to my argument.

The fact that Prophet Muhammad did not know how to read or write and was illiterate means he couldn’t have possibly come up with the Koran (which is in readable material) It was revealed to him by God and the prophet Muhammad memorized it and which he then recited to many people. Notice how I said it was recited to many people. There couldn’t have possibly been a change or edit because any deviation in writting it would be easily detected by the people who memorized it at the time. The quran was written in book form within a few years after the prophet’s death. Now back to the original argument, there was no way that the prophet himself could have come up with the quran when he was illiterate. You may say, well someone who knew how to read came up with the story and told Muhammad. Saying that wouldnt make sense in 2 ways. First the people back then did not believe in a god so why would a non believer help someone come up with a story to disprove his religion? Another thing, if there was someone capable of comming up with something so great like the Quran, what would he be doing hanging out with an uneducated illiterate Prophet Muhammad? He would be in much higher rankings.

My reply (again with some repeated text truncated):

Muhammad,


…Please look at this and then I will go back and make a comment on all the comments you made previously

Okay, but it feels to me suspiciously like you are trying to change the subject. If you thought that all this quasi-scientific talk about energy and universe shitting was supposed to be persuasive proof of God in the first place, then why would you break off a half-finished conversation in order to bring up a wholly unrelated point about a supposedly illiterate person in the seventh century? It’s a bit of a roundabout way to make a point, don’t you think? If your entire belief in God is based on the literacy status of one guy, why didn’t you just say so in the first place?

…You may be able to talk arabic normal in conversation but you wont be able to make up stories that can be written down UNLESS you know how to read arabic. Now that I cleard this up we move to my argument.

That makes very little sense to me (are you saying that you can’t make up a story and then dictate it?) but okay, we’ll move on.

[Argues that Muhammad, being illiterate, could not have written the Koran without a miracle.]

It all strikes me as an incredibly flimsy foundation on which to base believe in an infinitely powerful supernatural being living outside the universe. And I bet if you give it some thought, you can understand why.

Imagine yourself in my shoes for a minute. You are merely a poor benighted atheist, without any belief in God or supernatural magical powers whatsoever. I come to you and say “Look here, I know for a certainty that there is a magical being who lives in the sky and listens to every one of the seven billion people on this planet, every minute of every day. And the reason why I know this is that 1,500 years ago, an illiterate man wrote a book about him.”

Thinking outside your religion for a moment, which do you honestly find easier to believe?

1. This being you’ve described really exists, despite a complete absence of other corroborating evidence.
2. I am somehow mistaken, and the author of this book either wasn’t illiterate or somehow found SOMEBODY who was willing to listen to this story and write it down.

Before you answer, stop and ask yourself if your answer would be the same if the book was not the Koran but say, the book of Mormon, or a book about Scientology or something.

I think you know what my answer is.

Just curious, does anyone know what he talking about regarding the supposed impossibility of writing down spoken Arabic? Because Muhammad is really trying to hammer on this point in his latest message, and it doesn’t make any sense to me at all. I mean, you could presumably speak conversational Arabic to a translator who spoke English, and then you could write down an English version of what he said. Why wouldn’t you be able to write an Arabic version?

We get Muslim email (part 1)

Yes, it’s true. Christians often accuse us of picking on them and ignoring what they consider the more dangerous religions like Islam. (PZ Myers’ readers coined the term “Fatwa envy” to describe such complaints.)

The mundane truth, however, is that we don’t often talk about Islam simply because we rarely get feedback from Muslims.

With a few exceptions. Naturally, in the interest of being equal opportunity offenders (sorry — moral equivalence fallacy anyone?) I must showcase this letter… which, in fairness, makes about the same bad fallacies as any Christian apologist.

Subject: I want a feedback on these possible suggestions that creationism exists.

Hello my name is Muhammad *****-*****

I would like a feedback on these suggestions.

1. Energy exists as a result of different dimensions interacting with each other and among those dimensions is time itself. These dimensions interacting with each other = God. Without these dimensions interacting with each other, energy never would have existed. Now I know in your mind you are asking how do you know that these dimensions = God. Well its the fact that things must come out of things. The only way for something to happen if there is another thing acting on it to make it happen. The fact that energy always existed and never was created or destroyed is confusing because this so called energy that always existed could have just sat its ass up there without cause (being sarcastic) the fact that it didnt just sit its ass out there and that it eventually shat out the universe means there was a particular point in its existence some specific point in its existence that shat out the universe. The fact that it shat out the universe in point A and not in point B means there was some sort of intelligence involved. The only possibility is god therefore by deduction god exists. You cant give me another explanation to explain why point A is where it shat out the universe and not point B without including something intelligent. You cant say well it randomly occured at point A because the fact that it was random means means I would have to go back to my original statement that it could have just sat its ass out there and nothing happened but it didnt, something happened, meaning there has to be something that caused it to happen.

You can say the same and tell me well how did god exist in the first place who created god. No matter how many blocks you build you will still have blocks. No matter how many times you say supernatural created supernatural created supernatural created supernatural, THERE IS A SUPER NATURAL involved

2- My second statement has to do with cause. Its not really an explanation but its something you should look at. Why dont you go ahead and kill a random person on the street. What causes you to say no thats just wrong? I mean if you look at it youre just made up of a bunch of interacting atoms just as a carboard box is made of a bunch of interacting atoms. You can break the cardboard box without even thinking but cant do the same for a human being. What makes you think you can kill cows freely when cows are just as interactive of atoms as you are. Is it because they are below you in the food chain? You can canabalize humans cant you. What is your ultimate cause? Why are you doing what you are doing today?

Here’s my reply. For brevity, I will truncate some of the quoted passages that I already posted, which you will see marked with leading ellipses.

Hi Muhammad,

1. Energy exists as a result of different dimensions interacting with each other and among those dimensions is time itself.

Speaking as someone who has been through numerous physics classes, this appears to be pure gibberish which superficially sounds like science. Dimensions don’t “interact with each other.” They are units of measurement.

These dimensions interacting with each other = God.

What additional information do you get from calling it “God?” Even assuming that “dimensions interacting with each other” made sense as something other than a bunch of words strung together, why wouldn’t you just keep calling them dimensions? Do the units of measurement become conscious when you apply this label? I don’t get it.

…that it eventually shat out the universe means there was a particular point in its existence some specific point in its existence that shat out the universe.

You’re making a bunch of statements that are not supported by any observation. We don’t know whether it’s in some way more likely for energy to “sit on its ass” than “shit,” because we have nothing outside of this universe to compare it to. Science doesn’t currently have any definite position on whether there is some kind of metaverse, containing more energy which either sits or shits. We don’t have any statistical data. For all you know, free floating energy has no alternative but to shit universes. Or whatever you’re trying to say.

The fact that it shat out the universe in point A and not in point B means there was some sort of intelligence involved.

1. To what are you referring when you say “point B”?
2. Where the heck did intelligence enter the conversation? As far as we’ve observed, intelligence only comes as the end product of a universe which exists, generates life, evolves brains, and executes consciousness as a behavior of those brains. Until you demonstrate that there is some kind of stuff that behaves like a brain outside of the universe, you’re just making stuff up.

…I would have to go back to my original statement that it could have just sat its ass out there and nothing happened but it didnt, something happened, meaning there has to be something that caused it to happen.

Why?

There are two uninhabited patches of land. On one of them, it rains. On the other, it does not rain. Does this require somebody to “intelligently” choose to make it rain in one place and not another? Must everything be uniform, all the time, unless there is divine intervention picking between two places? If so, what is your justification for this claim?

…THERE IS A SUPER NATURAL involved

I think you skipped a step that explained what “A SUPER NATURAL” is and how you know it exists.

2- My second statement has to do with cause. Its not really an explanation but its something you should look at. Why dont you go ahead and kill a random person on the street.

Why would I want to do that exactly? Austin has an excellent police force which solves murder cases with a fairly high rate of success. It may not be a guarantee that I would be caught, but I think it’s pretty likely that I would wind up sent to jail or executed myself. And even if I did wind up getting away with it, many of my friends would probably have awkward questions for me, probably even fear me. As a result, I would certainly lose contact with many people whose love and friendship I value highly.

I don’t know what reality you think you’re living in, but here in this world, usually actions have consequences. When I look at all the consequences of killing random people on the street, I can’t see how the benefits even come close to outweighing the drawbacks.

…What is your ultimate cause? Why are you doing what you are doing today?

I enjoy living free, I enjoy
friendship, and I find it fulfilling to be able to support myself and get things that I want. None of those goals are furthered by killing strangers. So I’m going to have to ask you to explain what kind of stupidity would cause me to entertain such an action.

Let me turn around and ask you the same question. I would ask you what your ultimate cause is, but I’m presuming the answer will be something like “to serve my god.”

So instead I’d like to ask: what is your god’s purpose for existing? Why does the god do the things that it does? What drives it? Why does it do whatever you think it is doing?

There has been one followup exchange, which I will post later if there’s enough interest. Needless to say, though, “Muhammad” did not respond to anything in my reply, but instead went on to talk about how miraculous it was that his namesake was capable of writing a book.

Have we mentioned lately that Islamic culture is evil?

Well then, let’s take up the slack, shall we? From Saudi Arabia, that oasis of egalitarian, progressive civilization at its apex [/snark], comes word that a court has ruled that the 8-year-old child bride of a 47-year old man, married off to him by her father as a way of paying off the father’s debts to the man, will not be able to have the marriage annulled. But hey, at least the court is doing its best to let everyone know how fair they’re being about all this. After all, they’ve gotten the groom to agree not to consummate the marriage until the girl reaches puberty, which means, lucky thing, that she’s got until about age 11 or 12 before she gets raped. And once she hits puberty, she’ll be allowed to file for divorce with the court. I’m sure they’ll just as fair to her then as they’re being now!

There are human rights organizations, apparently, even within Saudi Arabia, who are vehemently opposed to these arranged child marriages. How these organizations manage to exist without being regularly raided and their members dragged into the street and shot (oh, I forgot, “beheaded” is more Saudi style) is a question for another time. All we need to remember now is how this is just another indicator of how sick a society can get when fundamentalist religion — especially one as barbaric and misogynist as Islam — runs the show, and how, even a full decade into the 21st century, there are still victims of pre-medieval injustices living and suffering around the world today.

It would be nice if the US were willing to take a principled stand on this sort of thing. But you see, a little bit of oil is enough to lubricate a conscience rusty with such built-up gunk as “integrity” and “principle”. And Saudi Arabia has much more than a little bit of oil to go around. Let’s see, they force pre-pubescent kids into marriage, their radicalized young men crash planes into our buildings…but they’ll always be our “allies”. As long as the pumps are going.

Oh well, so much for cranky Islamic Ph.D bloggers

As an update on this situation, I just went back to check for Sona’s blog, and the new upgraded version, “Atheism the incoherence of the Illogic.” Results:


Sorry, the blog at sonasblog.blogspot.com has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs.

and

The authors have deleted this blog. The content is no longer available.

The internet can be a very ephemeral place. I do, however, find it interesting that the four “Ph.D’s” who were supposedly unconnected to Sona reacted to adversity in exactly the same fashion as Sona did: by pulling the whole thing down in a huff.

Human Race to Islam: Please F.O. and die

Much as I find right-wing jargon to be mindlessly jingoistic and childishly reactionary, they were onto something when they coined the term “Islamofascism.” Here are two reports of the oppressive, totalitarian practices of this depraved religion in action.

  1. Dog walking banned in Riyadh on the grounds it leads to flirting and, possibly, cooties. Here’s something boggling to contemplate about Islamist states. Most totalitarian regimes are run by angry, lonely little pricks who spend their working days in offices thinking up ways to keep people from being happy, ever. But bring Islam into the picture, and your list of “harmless fun activities magically morphed into arrestable offenses” suddenly includes having a pet and meeting girls. And I suppose I would find the concept of an actual division of law enforcement named The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice more laughable — let alone the idea that walking your dog could possibly be something anyone would be demented enough to consider a vice of any kind — if it weren’t for the very eerie likelihood that there are Dominionist Christians in this country who are smacking their foreheads and saying, “D’oh! Why didn’t we think of that?”
  2. White Europeans continue to prove themselves complete pussies when confronted with the spectre of pissed-off guys with beards. (And allow me to forestall enraged replies from white Europeans who aren’t afraid to stand up to Islamist incursions upon your rights, and are embarrassed by those in your cultures, official or unofficial, who let fear conquer them: by all means, feel welcome to sound off in the comments.)

    The thing that radical, Great-Satan-hating Islamofascists have learned all too effectively is that nothing scares citizens of (what said citizens like to think are) free Western democracies than the idea that a Muslim is primed to go batshit bombthrowing crazy at the drop of a hat. Confession time: when I was a younger and callow chap, I was in a psychologically abusive relationship with a woman whose tool of control was her temper. I never knew what I might say to cause her to go off like a fragmentation grenade, and so I said very little, even on days which seemed perfectly normal and on which no argument had yet ensued. Everything could be perfectly pleasant, then I could make some innocuous statement about nothing in particular, and within seconds I’d find myself being screamed at, at window rattling volumes. It was, shall we say, an unpleasant period of my life.

    Islamists like to use a similar tool of control to stifle freedom — free speech, criticism of their beliefs or their politics, artistic expression — in countries that, remarkably, aren’t Islamist theocracies and in which they’re even minorities in the population. Ever since 9/11, the new normal has been that anything could drive a Muslim into a homicidal rage at any moment, and you don’t have any clue what it is, so it’s better not to take chances. Okay, so that may be a stereotype that the vast majority of non-batshit-bombthrowing-crazy Muslims resent, but it’s certainly proven useful to the real agitators among them.

    The latest victim is a novel, The Jewel of the Medina, by debut writer Sherry Jones, which was slated for publication in the UK weeks from now, only to be pulled at the eleventh hour due to fears that the subject matter — the protagonist is one of Mohammed’s child brides — would lead to a Satanic Verses fatwa redux. Isn’t it convenient for Islamists that they no longer even have to fight the “War on Terror” any more? The West just hands it to them.

    Remarkably, the person who sounded the klaxon of fear regarding Jones’s book was not only a Westerner, but a college professor from UT-Austin, Denise Spellberg. Professor, you’re a disgrace to our town. Just like that, all that was needed was the teeniest, tiniest fear that the book might “incite acts of violence by a small radical segment,” and presto, bye bye freedom of expression and speech!

    Okay, so Jones’s novel does sound like lurid crap, in the few excerpts that have appeared online. But if it’s going to be denied publication, at least do so for the right reasons.

I’m with Pat Condell on this one. I see no reason to be respectful or tolerant towards a religion that condones “honor killings” and thinks walking your fuckmothering dog is some kind of threat to civilization itself. This kind of barbarism earns no respect, none, not even a smidgen. And I also stand with old Ben Franklin, whose famous line about how folks who are willing to surrender a little freedom in exchange for a little security don’t deserve either resonates today more than it ever has in history. So, in the spirit of fair play, and as a sop to all those whiny Christians who like to throw the “you only attack us because you’re too scared to go after Muslims” line at us, allow me proudly to strike this blow for freedom!

Now if you’ll pardon me, my dogs want their walkies.

oh noez teh muslims r in r base critsizin teh athiesm

I always have misgivings about giving attention to blog stalkers, but this is just too amusing to pass up.

As you’ve read before, I’ve become a fan of Kafir Girl, a new ex-Muslim atheist blogger who is guiding us heathen Westerners through the Quran, chapter by chapter. A couple of weeks ago, a Muslim student in Pakistan, named Sona, started posting on his own blog about the mean, stupid Kafir Girl and her ridiculous accusations about the Quran.

(The first post I saw about her said: “I have noticed many, blogs by ex Muslim women. What is up with these chicks?” My observation was: “It’s like a bad Jari al-Seinfeld routine.”)

After what seemed to me like a very, very slight amount of good natured ridicule, suddenly Sona threw a big temper tantrum, wrote a post saying that he wished humanity would be wiped out by a comet, and deleted his blog forever.

Well, “forever” in a fairly subjective sense, since he was back a short time later with a new blog, same address, this time called “Kafir Girl Sucks.” I got a chance to read it yesterday. There were about ten posts, nearly all of which were whining about Kafir Girl.

In the meantime, on Wednesday we at the Non-Prophets received the following sneering, mustache-twirling letter from one Zain ibn Bakari, who wrote:

I am a Muslim. I listened to some of you podcasts – I think they should be offed as alternative to unconscious inducing medication to operating theaters around the world. You openly admit you’ve not read the Koran and allow this riddiclious women named Kafirgirl spoon-feed you. The term “idiot savant” comes to mind when thinking of her. Admittedly, that term applies only halfway to her, which is why I allege that whenever there’s an argument about her devotion to principles and to freedom, all one has to do is point out that there is much more of this to come. That should settle the argument pretty quickly.

Turns out that Zain is Sona’s little brother, and now he’s listening to our podcast. Yay, expanding international audience!

Matt replied:

Thanks for writing.

Do you have any evidence to support your position — or is it just opinion and faith?

Apparently there have been a few more emails from that exchange which I haven’t seen yet. However, Zain’s first reply is up on Sona’s blog now:

As for your dopey retort of: “do you have evidence” the evidence is in the public domain. Try seeing the 3rd link on google after typing “kafirgirl” am sure with your “lofty” intellect you will eventually find it. Don’t confuse us Muslims for the ridiculous little carnival freaks the Christians we openly admit our god is malevolent. Perfection has to be both good and evil.

So I did. I looked up “kafirgirl” on Google, and received the following information at the third link:

“Sorry, the page you were looking for in the blog Sona: Kafir Girl Sucks. does not exist.”

Wow! Now that’s what I call “evidence”! Surely Allah does exist, for in his infinite wisdom he has struck down the foolish blog “Sona: Kafir Girl Sucks” and… well… replaced it with another blog.

Atheism for the Illogic
We reduce atheism to absurdism. With simple LOGIC!

I must advise you that if you would like to see the posts on this blog, you should look fast, because Sona’s record now mandates that he delete his blog and start fresh at the rate of once per week. The introductory post claims that he took down all the old posts about Kafir Girl because:

To leave kafirgirl alone as we feel she is beneath us and we also feel sorry for her, unlike atheists, we don’t go after weak targets, we believe its against our principles and morality to attack someone who is not equally intelligent as us or more so. It is our opinion, intellectually kafirgirl is a weak target for us. Therefore, we have rather decided to directly challenge atheism.

This is your typical “Wah, we got humiliated by a GIRL, now we’re going somewhere for new sport against somebody who has barely even noticed that we exist yet” post.

My main misgivings about this post regard explicitly acknowledging that they do exist. As we’ve seen lately, in cases such as Patrick and Yomin, paying attention to somebody who is about to become obsessive about you can backfire. Nevertheless… as often as we are criticized for focusing on Christianity rather than Islam, this could be enjoyable for a while.

I confess that I have not read the Quran. But as PZ Myers pointed out when he came up with The Courtier’s Reply, it’s fairly ridiculous to assert that you cannot refute obvious nonsense unless you have written all the abstruse scholarship that tries to make excuses for the nonsense.

And by the way, a few tips on blogging for the clueless. First: You don’t HAVE TO delete your blog every time somebody criticizes it. Not that I don’t appreciate having the power to destroy your blogs with a word, but I’d prefer to see people stand up for what they wrote and not back off from it. If you are saying something silly that you don’t want people to read, here’s some better advice: don’t post it in the first place. Think harder about it and decide what kind of words you will be proud of for the rest of your life.

Second: You don’t HAVE TO replace your old blog to start a new blog. You can have multiple blogs. It’s okay. They don’t run out of space at Google. Next time, instead of deleting and reregistering “sonasblog.blogspot.com”, try keeping it around, and go ahead and register “kafirgirlsucks.blogspot.com” and “illogicatheism.blogspot.com” instead. It’s okay. Nobody will stop you. You can even post links from the old blog to the new blog, and you’ll still get the same amount of traffic. It’s just annoying for me when I want to link to something that was said, and then it’s going to be gone next week.

Third: IT’S OKAY to have a blog that is about more than one topic. Really. If you want a blog that’s all about building up Islam, and only occasionally (or frequently) focuses on your manufactured enemies, knock yourself out. Frankly, if you have a blog that’s all about somebody else’s blog, it strikes me as a little pathetic… but I’m not going to tell you your business.