Go Home, Arab


One of my favourite standup comedians is a guy called Hari Kondabolu. He talks about race from a non black/white standpoint, and does so in a way that is consistently hilarious. Yesterday, he Tweeted this:

I'm a brown dude in New York City & I'm nervous to walk around alone today. This is how racism works.

“I’m a brown dude in New York City & I’m nervous to walk around alone today. This is how racism works.”

I thought this was a particularly sad commentary on reality for many Asian Americans, forced to pay the price for the ignorance of the violent reactionaries among their countrymen. Hari, born in New York, has Indian ancestry, which would (in an even slightly less-insane world) preclude him from being suspected for a crime – a crime whose author we don’t know. However, because those who would reflexively blame “Muslims” for pretty much everything aren’t going to spend a whole lot of time studying the history of India, or devote too many brain cells to the parsing of the likelihood of a random person with brown skin being actually connected to anything unsavoury, Hari’s caution is warranted.

Especially in the wake of how even people who are supposed to be responsible adults are behaving:

With security anxieties heightened following the deadly bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, two flights at Logan International Airport were disrupted Tuesday morning, one due to concerns about two passengers onboard and another due to a suspicious bag.

A United Airlines flight that was about to take off for Chicago was brought back to the gate after passengers expressed concern over two people speaking a foreign language, according to aviation authorities. Passengers and bags were taken off the plane and rescreened, and two people were rebooked on a later flight. The aircraft was then “swept and cleared for takeoff,” according to United Airlines spokeswoman Christen David.

Breathe deep and say it with me, folks: English is a foreign language in America.

Confederated Tribes of North America: What? Your country is the exact same shape? Get out of here! No. Really.

Other outlets are reporting that the passengers specifically feared that the two men, who weren’t even sitting next to each other, were speaking Arabic. Unless they were linguists or Arab speakers themselves, my cup of confidence in their ability to correctly distinguish Arabic from Urdu, Farsi, Tagalog, Bengali, or Sḵwx̱wú7mes for that matter, is far from overflowing. And even if it was Arabic, the correct response was for the flight crew to say “this is America, and speaking a language isn’t a crime”. Instead, they subjected the two passengers to the humiliation and stigma of having the entire flight re-screened (re-screened! For speaking!). Let’s hope they didn’t have to catch a connecting flight somewhere.

Hari’s tweet put me in mind of this film I saw a while back:

It depicts a (fictionalized?) story of a young man of Afghan descent whose car is vandalized by anonymous racist bullies who spraypaint ‘Go Home Arab’ on it (omitting, I suppose, the fact that Afghans aren’t Arabs). He and his friend joke about the myriad ways they could turn it into an interesting film project, but interspersed between their humorous reactions are shots of the real pain associated with being attacked for a crime based on nothing more than the land of your ancestor’s birth. That pain is real, and even if my own experiences with it are (thankfully) few, it is one that I can understand viscerally.

Finally, Glenn Greenwald says everything I said this morning, but more, and better:

One continually encountered yesterday expressions of dread and fear from Arabs and Muslims around the world that the attacker would be either or both. That’s because they know that all members of their religious or ethnic group will be blamed, or worse, if that turns out to be the case. That’s true even though leading Muslim-American groups such as CAIR harshly condemned the attack (as they always do) and urged support for the victims, including blood donations. One tweeter, referencing the earthquake that hit Iran this morning, satirized this collective mindset by writing: “Please don’t be a Muslim plate tectonic activity.”

As understandable as it is, that’s just sad to witness. No other group reacts with that level of fear to these kinds of incidents, because no other group has similar cause to fear that they will all be hated or targeted for the acts of isolated, unrepresentative individuals. A similar dynamic has long prevailed in the domestic crime context: when the perpetrators of notorious crimes turned out to be African-American, the entire community usually paid a collective price. But the unique and well-grounded dread that hundreds of millions of law-abiding, peaceful Muslims and Arabs around the world have about the prospect that this attack in Boston was perpetrated by a Muslim highlights the climate of fear that has been created for and imposed on them over the last decade.

This is a good point to keep in mind as we have our own internal conversations about Islamophobia within the atheist community. Although it is often derisively framed as such (by both critics and the criticized) as being about “the feelings of Muslims”, Islamophobia has real, and sometimes violent, consequences for people – many of whom are not even Muslim. People invoking the bromides of “you don’t have the right to not be offended” seem to omit these consequences from their self-defence, or at least pay them mere lip service.

Our collective failure to come to terms with our contemporary racism, built as it is on the strong foundation of our racist history, means that we will be collectively incapable of reacting appropriately to situations like this. Sadly, the brunt of our failure will be borne by those who, paradoxically, know the most about the issue by dint of the fact that they’re being forcibly educated by the ignorance of those around them.

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Comments

  1. smrnda says

    I knew an Indian guy who lived for a while in Dubai, and he was very shocked to be mistaken for an Arab since that didn’t happen in an actual Arab country. Though I don’t think racism is necessarily only driven by ignorance, its always shocked me how people can be intensely prejudiced against a group of people they know almost nothing about. Worst is that I’m sure lots of these people believe they are incredibly well-informed.

  2. fastlane says

    Yep, after 9/11 I told the Pakistani engineer who worked for me to be very careful about going anywhere he wasn’t familiar and relatively known. He pooh-poohed my concerns, but the next day, a Sikh was killed…murdered by thugs, and after explaining to him that the type of morons who would do that don’t know the difference between a Sikh, Pakistani, or other middle eastern types and they won’t really care.

    Sad that even in this day of such global communication and awareness, we USians are still so mentally isolationists.

  3. Dupes says

    I was on a 4th year university field trip to Italy back in September 2001, and we were supposed to fly back from Rome on September 12th. Due to the chaos that happened afterwards, that did not happen, and we ended up being stuck in Rome for and extra 5 to 6 days (there are worst places to be stuck). After hanging around for an extra week, we decided to try for a standby flight and went to the airport.

    During the trip to the airport, one of my friends who of Indian origin was telling me “Shit, I forgot to shave this morning. Damn – it makes me look a bit Arabic”. I remember that we sort of chuckled about that, but didn’t really think much of it at the time. When we got to the airport, he was actually slightly ahead of the group, and he was immediately approached by two Carabinieri (basically police officers with machine guns)….that was, until the rest of us (all white) caught up with him – at which point they diverted themselves somewhere else.

    I didn’t actually notice this at the time (I remember seeing the police, but wasn’t aware they were approaching my friend), but he was pretty freaked out about that – especially since we were in a foreign country (I think that must be a racism effect multiplier). We all sort of made sure that he was always within our group at all times until we got on the flight.

  4. sosw says

    Hari, born in New York, has Indian ancestry, which would (in an even slightly less-insane world) preclude him from being suspected for a crime

    The word preclude sounds a bit absolute, as if nobody of Indian ancestry could ever commit a crime…and I assume you don’t mean to imply that if he were of a different ancestry, it would be justified to suspect him. Plus as someone already noted, the bigots don’t even care, he’s still “the other”.

    But on the general topic, I remember when on one of my visits to the US, I saw that a cab driver had posted a note in his car explaining that he wasn’t a Muslim, but a Sikh, and that was why he wore a turban (as if turbans were indicative of Muslims, whereas they actually are of Sikhs). It was disheartening that he would not only feel the need to do so, but to phrase it as explicitly stating that he was not a Muslim.

  5. says

    This is my favorite XKCD. There’s an underpass on I-80 at the Vedauwoo exit if I remember correctly, in Wyoming that for years and years sported the graffiti of ignorant racists. It said, “Allahah Sucks.”

    Here’s hoping for an even slightly less-insane world.

  6. great1american1satan says

    Maryam has many fiery denouncements of “Islamophobia” as a term. Almost as many as she has speeches where she takes brutal pains to distinguish her rhetoric from that of British Nationalists and the like. I see her point. It is used to silence valid criticism in Europe a lot.

    But it seems a pretty accurate term to the situation, doesn’t it? Which puts me in a bind because “Allalah Sucks” is my sentiments exactly, if not spelled correctly. My fave awful racist graffiti from an underpass by a train station in Everett, Washington is “All faraners must go home or be hunnt.” Favorite awful homophobic vandalism: On a closet shelf in an apartment I moved into, looking like it had been written in lipstick, “Faget Faget.”

    But yeah, I still haven’t seen a satisfactory answer to my dilemma. Islam is terrible. But moslems are clearly an oppressed minority. But Islam is horrible bullshit. But moslems are indeed an oppressed minority. But Islam is a giant flaming sack of fuck ruining and ending lives around the world every second that I compose this screed. But moslems, well, they get enough crap just being here and don’t deserve a face full of that. But their religion is basically Xtianity Gone Wild. How do I fight against Islam without being unfair to its misguided adherents? I’m not the kind of guy who will ever commit a hate crime or encourage or excuse one, but listening to even a second of moslems talking about their faith makes me wanna tell ‘em to get the fuck bent.

    Favorite description of what Islam means from a moslem I worked with: “It’s about doing what you are told to do. God created you so you have to do what he tells you to do.” I find that as offensive as anything. The literal translation of the name of the faith is the thing I hate most about all religions in one word.

    The mullahs really like talking about offense, but they are offending me every inch as much. As Privilege McGee, I’m used to having my feelings count. Grr!

    Of course, my money’s still on domestic terrorism. With all the evil words bandied about by that side of the political divide since Obama started his first campaign, how can we not get an increase in right wing violence? And Al Qaeda would have said something by now, amirite?

    But this, for me, just brings light back to that dilemma. How should I feel about this?

  7. great1american1satan says

    PS – Not just JAQing off. I’ve asked variations of this question around the internet for a while and still haven’t found an answer I can unreservedly go for. I want to come correct and make the world a better place, always. What do you do with this sort of thing?

  8. jesse says

    @great1american1satan–

    the problem is the framing, in one sense. Your framing is taking the position that Islam is somehow uniquely terrible. It isn’t, any more than any other religion is.

    The problem isn’t “Islam” any more than Stalin was a product of “secularism.” I think if I were discussing the horrible things that the government of the USSR did, or that our government has done, I wouldn’t chalk it up to “Christianity” in the US, or secularism in the USSR, or even socialism in and of itself, or capitalism necessarily, at least as isolated factors.

    So, try applying that analysis to other parts of the world. For example, in Saudi Arabia there is what amounts to a corrupt, puritanical monarchy (though interestingly, it’s not explicitly religious) running the show. Why? How did they come to power?

    Or in Iran. Why did the religious parties dominate after the revolution?

    It wasn’t because the people in those countries are ignorant primitive fools. But that’s the underlying sentiment with the very framing you adopt. Even Maryam Namazie falls into that trap occasionally.

    There’s also a huge difference between “silencing” critics of Islam, which is really sort of laughable given the platform that the right wing critics have, and saying “that’s racist shit.”

    I don’t see why it is so difficult to get your head around the idea that context matters. Christians are an oppressed minority in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. They are an oppressive majority in the US. Yet we can (and should) criticize the harmful effects of Christian nationalism in the US. It’s not hard.

    Or: socialists and labor people were oppressed in the US, which has one of the more violent labor histories in the western world, as it happens. In the USSR the situation was very, very different. But does that mean that ca. 1984 it was wrong to call for greater workers control of their place of employment? Or for universal health care?

  9. says

    Is it really a phobia? Or is it the reality of a different culture. We teach our kids the stove is hot…so they are respectful and careful around it……Islamophobia is not even real…for the most part their culture is vastly different than the US. The general population here does not condone the beating or murder of people because they MIGHT have done something against the popular religion.

    Compare it all you like to any other group, christians or whoever and you wont find any other group who accepts the violence done to the populace as you do in an Islamic culture…so is that a phobia or just common sense to keep your distance……and be on guard. You stupid not to…like the child who touches the hot stove any way.

  10. great1american1satan says

    I don’t see the “ignorant primitive fools” underlying my sentiment, but I do see the framing (“xtianity gone wild”). The jewish conspiracy moslem and the ufos are piloted by demons xtian I worked with were equally ignorant and foolish.

    Probably a big reason I haven’t gotten a satisfactory answer to my question is that it is fundamentally incoherent. Which makes sense, as it’s fueled by raw emotion. Calming down some, walking back from the edge, it’s easier to see islam as no different from xtianity in the same contexts. Beaten and decapitated atheists in Asia make it hard to see, but at my chillest, I can get there. OK. And I guess I have to admit, I have a badly islamophobic streak that needs checking.

    So the somewhat calmed down, reduced islamophobia version of my question:

    With all the evil that all religions do in the world, and as much as they are all twisted ideologies that undermine basic human decency in anyone that takes them at their word, how does an atheist accept that they’re “OK” at all? How do I get along with people that think they’ll live forever and everyone born before their fairy tales were written is being tortured eternally for having the wrong birthday? As someone in a country dangerously ruled by religious fundamentalists, how do I get to where I can believe that any religion should be protected at all?

    It’s the ACLU problem. Is it worth defending free expression when that expression is hate speech? I can see the inverse of these things. Without protection of religious expression, you don’t have the legal ability to protect atheists either. Without defense of racist speech, there’s no protection of progressive speech.

    But it burns me pretty badly. I want to get to where I can feel emotionally sure in my rational convictions about progress and freedom. My emotions are still in a tumble.

  11. John Horstman says

    @9: Aww, but dude, considering context is hard. Absolutes are much easier to process.

  12. says

    Islamophobia is not even real…for the most part their culture is vastly different than the US

    I’m going to just go ahead and conclude from this statement that you don’t know much about either Islamic or US culture, and are just shooting stereotypes from the hip.

  13. great1american1satan says

    @12 – I know it. Quoting myself above: “With all the evil that all religions do in the world, and as much as they are all twisted ideologies that undermine basic human decency in anyone that takes them at their word…”

    I do love me some absolutes. :-P

    -

  14. smrnda says

    On Muslims or Islam being *especially bad* – it’s the type of thing that’s easy to believe if you don’t take a long view of history. Plenty of nearly identical barbarism can be found in the books of the Bible, and Christians weren’t really averse to killing people over what seem today like very silly and petty religious disputes throughout much of that religion’s history. On the treatment of other religions, at many points in history Jews found it preferable to live under Muslims than under Christians.

    They may not be as numerous or as powerful, but there are Christians who have lived in the States who advocate for theocracy and a kind of Christian sharia.

    I also think it’s a bit silly to talk about “Muslim culture.” There are what, a billion Muslims, all spread out over the entire world? Do all these billion Muslims really share a common culture?

  15. mythbri says

    @great1american1satan

    With all the evil that all religions do in the world, and as much as they are all twisted ideologies that undermine basic human decency in anyone that takes them at their word, how does an atheist accept that they’re “OK” at all?

    It depends on what you mean by “OK”, really. If by “OK” you mean tolerating their existence, as long as said existence is relatively benign, then it’s the same as tolerating any other group of people you don’t really understand – like people who have pet spiders, and so on. ;)

    How do I get along with people that think they’ll live forever and everyone born before their fairy tales were written is being tortured eternally for having the wrong birthday?

    This is something that not only atheists struggle with. On the flip side, religious people struggle with it, too. “How do I get along with people who think that this life is all there is and that no one will ever see their family ever again, and who has no fear of eternal consequences for their actions?”

    It’s ridiculous, but it’s a related struggle. The way I deal with it is that I don’t generally discuss religion with people who aren’t willing to treat it philosophically. If they’re treating their religious beliefs as unassailable truths, then I simply don’t discuss it with them unless those beliefs are harming them or other people.

    As someone in a country dangerously ruled by religious fundamentalists, how do I get to where I can believe that any religion should be protected at all?

    Again, it depends on what you mean by protection. I don’t think churches should be protected from taxes, for instance, but I do think they should be protected from being banned by the government. Along with this (in theory) comes protection from religion, which is what the separation of church and state is all about. This is obviously not being perfectly applied in the U.S., but it’s a principle upon which we, as secularists/atheists, can stand to make our arguments that will allow the most freedom for the most people.

  16. great1american1satan says

    Thanks, Mythbri. That makes me feel a bit better. It’s weird because I rationally know these things, but I want them emotionally affirmed. Hearing other people’s perspectives helps that.

  17. says

    Sherry Mitchell:

    Compare it all you like to any other group, christians or whoever and you wont find any other group who accepts the violence done to the populace as you do in an Islamic culture

    No, it’s certainly not like a large proportion of (predominantly Christian or secular) Americans supported the invasion of Iraq at the time, or continue to support ongoing drone strikes in Pakistan.

    Oh, wait.

  18. says

    smrnda mentions the small, but real, proportion of would-be Christian theocrats in the US.

    Apart from other examples that Ed Brayton, who blogs on FreeThoughtBlogsDispatches from the Culture Wars, provides, here is a compelling case in point.

  19. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Unless they were linguists or Arab speakers themselves, my cup of confidence in their ability to correctly distinguish Arabic from Urdu, Farsi, Tagalog, Bengali, or Sḵwx̱wú7mes for that matter, is far from overflowing.

    Arabic and Bengali sound pretty different, even for one who doesn’t have any experience with them (I understand a few words of Bengali, most of them related to food). Urdu is a bit closer to Arabic, but can it still sounds more like Hindi, and can be understood by Hindi speakers.

    If Arabic and Bengali sound similar to someone, I’d be surprised of them being able to tell German from Italian.

  20. says

    If Arabic and Bengali sound similar to someone, I’d be surprised of them being able to tell German from Italian.

    Which was more or less my point. I think they saw brown people speaking a language and said “AYRABS! GIT ‘EM!”

  21. jesse says

    great1american1satan —

    One other thing. If you want a recent, modern example of Christians killing each other (and others) over tiny religious differences, please read a bit about the country that used to be called Yugoslavia.

    And look, let’s get off this teenager-who-thinks-he’s-edgy version of atheism, the very kind that people like Rachel Watson and Crom and others have been railing against. Reading your posts I feel like you have never had to share a long bus ride with anyone different from you.

    You ask how you can get along with someone who has a different philosophy. Ask yourself how you are supposed to get along with someone of a different race or culture and you’ll see how shallow that question sounds. Ask yourself how most people define themselves. Hint: a really big chunk will NOT answer their religion first and foremost.

    I don’t know if you like sports, but jut think about how many people cram into Yankee Stadium on game day, and are all Yankees fans. You think that their religion comes up when they cheer Mariano Rivera for closing out a game? This being New York, there are easily a half-dozen religions in the stadium.

    Religion in and of itself isn’t good or evil, any more than any other intellectual tool is. Not every religious person is a slavering fanatic. Do you walk around quoting Hitchens or Nietzsche to every person you meet? God I hope not, that would be tiresome if we were just sitting around with a few beers watching a Sox game.

    Most people whether they practice a religion or not have lives to lead, kids to feed, jobs to go to. And it really doesn’t matter much in their daily lives. I wasn’t thinking about the existence of God when I got my coffee from the deli truck today. I was thinking about writing a couple of pieces I have to get done because I have rent to pay and having a guy come in to unclog my bathroom drain.

    I don’t mean to denigrate a real query you seem to have. But the point is that a lot of the time our big philosophical questions just don’t matter a damn. So I can’t get that uptight about people’s religious beliefs.

    There are also many, many instances where religion was very important to people maintaining their dignity and sense of self, and even their ability to fight for their rights. I suggest you have a conversation with a Native person / Aboriginal about it.

    You can find common ground with people on just about anything if you try. I have acquaintances who differ from me politically by a lot, but I don’t get upset about it because we interact in a context where that matters less, and find grounds for mutual respect. Everyone has something to teach you, whether they know it or not.

    Are there times when that wouldn’t work? Sure. If I knew someone who was a dedicated Nazi party member I wouldn’t be friends with that person. But leaving the real outliers aside, I find that a lot of things that are important to us, at least philosophically or politically, don’t come up much when it comes to actually speaking with humans. 90 percent of the time we’re doing pretty mundane things, you know?

  22. cotton says

    Hey Jesse, I agree with a lot of what you said, especially the dead-on identifying of “teenager-who-thinks-he’s-edgy” syndrome. I can’t judge too harshly, though, I had that phase myself. One thing that stood out to me was how, in your world (NYC?), religion hardly ever comes up and doesn’t matter. I’m from Mississippi and this is not my experience. In my world, church is often very public, discussed at work, and attended 2-3 times a week. Whether it’s the next service, how good the preacher is, prayer circle at work, or church league softball, it permeates everything. When I was a teacher, I was “encouraged” not to assign homework on Wednesday because many students had church services that evening. I’ve found people like me, raised in more religiously dominated areas, tend to have bigger chips on their shoulders when they finally stop seeing the light. This can lead to a few years of “quoting Nietzsche and Hitchens” at everyone.

  23. great1american1satan says

    I think I’m less capable of finding common ground than you are. Have you ever had to be on an hour long bus ride where someone was talking loudly about the time they spent in prison, or bitches ain’t shit, or jesus is the light? I’m 36 years old and I’ve never made more than $30,000 a year. I’ve never owned a car. I’m not exactly a teenager.

    And yes, when bored people don’t watch the same TV shows (I don’t watch TV), you will be amazed how quickly the topic turns to the big issues. As a security guard, most of your time is spent waiting for something to happen. Time enough we always ended up with someone saying something offensive about gender, sexuality, religion, fat-shaming, or so on. And fair’s fair, my beliefs would range from mildly to horrifically offensive to heteronormative religious moderates of all stripes. But I’m not finding much common ground with them.

    Typical non-offensive conversation for me:
    Person X: You go clubbin’?
    Me: “Nope. Kind of a homebody.”
    Person X: “You should go clubbin’.”
    Me: “Uh huh.”

    Anything people might want to talk about – relationships, marriage, kids, drugs, alcohol, religion, culture – I was an outlier of some kind, and other people didn’t have to go far to start spouting offensive shit.. And I’m the white guy.

    Sports is a funny example, because once again, I don’t follow them and have nothing to say when that subject comes up. Shootin’ the shit with tha dudes, I end up feeling like I just came in from Mars. A lot of awkward silence. And amusingly, sports games somehow aren’t complete in America without wasting a few minutes yarfing about god.

    I did learn a lot on my last job before the libertarian CEO had all of us laid off, about the big issues to avoid if you want to get along with people. Politics is number one at the moment, religion is number two, race and feminism and gender somewhere after that stuff. If you can keep the topic on pop music or get Jaray to tell a long-winded story about the drunken brawl he got in last night, much nicer.

  24. says

    Arabic and Bengali sound pretty different, even for one who doesn’t have any experience with them

    The kind of person who calls security because a brown person is speaking on a plane doesn’t know what Arabic or Bengali sounds like. They have a vague idea that Arabic sounds like someone hacking or clearing their throat, and they haven’t even heard of Bengali. So it wouldn’t surprise me that any language other than English would frighten them.

    Urdu is a bit closer to Arabic, but can it still sounds more like Hindi, and can be understood by Hindi speakers.

    Fancy literate Urdu has a lot of Arabic and Persian words in it (but the pronunciation of most words is quite different, e.g. love sounds like “ishk” in Urdu but “‘eshq” in Arabic) but the average Urdu speaker conversing casually with friends or family is going to sound like they’re speaking Hindi, because they basically are (although many Hindi and Urdu speakers will hotly deny that their languages are the same/similar.)

  25. says

    Brown people speaking a foreign language? Could have been Brazilians for all anyone knows.

    People are idiots. Almost all of them. Except you and me. And I’m not so sure about you.

  26. freemage says

    Kevin: Hell, I agree–sometimes, I ain’t so sure about me, either.

    The latest news from Boston is going to be almost impossible to get people to react to sanely. We’ve got a couple of very distinctly Caucasian Muslims as the villains, here. These guys don’t even have decent tans, so so all the blather about “a dark-skinned man” that was on the media the last two days? Blatantly racist horseshit. However, most of the outlets that indulged in it will now shift over to the Islamophobic bullshit instead, and it’ll be harder to call them on it.

  27. Jamie Green says

    I don’t understand why that’s racist, when the Boston bombing happened, I was all YUP THAT’S GOT ISLAMIC TERRORISM ALL OVER IT. I was also quick to say Sandy Hook had crazy white dude written all over it. In both cases I was right, but let’s get real, WE ALL KNEW BOSTON WAS MUSLIMS. And it turns out that it was. So are we WRONG to be concerned about being victimized by this religion?

  28. says

    What about it made it “Islamic”? And speak for yourself – I didn’t “know” it was “Muslims”. I still don’t know that it was “Muslims” as opposed to brain damage or Chechnyan separatists or a whole host of other possibilities – nobody does. Neither do you.

    And before you pat yourself on the back TOO hard, they knew who the Sandy Hook guy was pretty much the INSTANT it hit the news. The guy was still at the scene.

  29. Jamie Green says

    VIA Rail terrorist plot. MUSLIMS were planning that. Boston Bombers were MUSLIM men. Why are there no buddhist monk terrorist plots to murder us? I like train travel. I’m sorry, but I have very little tolerance for that muslim religion. They want us to live in fear. They should be the ones living in fear, not freedom loving Canadians who want to go on a train.

  30. says

    Why are there no buddhist monk terrorist plots to murder us?

    There would be if we lived in Thailand or Myanmar.

    They should be the ones living in fear, not freedom loving Canadians who want to go on a train.

    Are you just reading from a Michael Coren article right now? I have never heard anyone who isn’t a mindless partisan use the term “freedom-loving” for any real person, especially not in Canada.

    Also, were you planning on responding to my points, or are you just going to keep spouting your anti-Islamic propaganda?

  31. Jamie Green says

    What about it made it “Islamic”? And speak for yourself – I didn’t “know” it was “Muslims”. I still don’t know that it was “Muslims” as opposed to brain damage or Chechnyan separatists or a whole host of other possibilities – nobody does. Neither do you.

    Forget the Boston bombing then… this plot in Canada was ISLAMIC because it was done by muslims, it was supported by an islamic terrorist organization. As for brain damage, that’s possible, and that’s what Islam (and all religions) loves to pray on is people who are weak minded, or in a tough position. As for you saying you didn’t know it was muslims, I think you are being dishonest then if you did not think “islamic terrorism” at some point during the investigation of the Boston scenario. This is sad that your brown friend is scared to walk around in new york. Welcome to the life of every gay man who goes out with his boyfriend.

    Muslims should apostatize. Bottom line. Follow Pakistani Atheists on Twitter if you don’t already. Those are some brave people, and they are brown to, but they are NOT MUSLIMS. As for the buddhists fighting in other parts of the world, well they are not doing it here. Hindus are not plotting terror attacks. The Toronto 16 were not atheists or christians. Neither were the Boston bombers or the the Via Rail terrorist plotters. They were MUSLIM and they were DEVOUT and they were VERY religious. That is where it leads. It is in their doctrine. These terrorists are just the ones who are not HYPOCRITES, because they are following the true word of Allah. All the other “moderates” are fakers, they are enablers. Same with the christians. Westboro baptists are pretty much the only TRUE followers of Christianity. The rest are FAKERS and enablers.

  32. says

    As for you saying you didn’t know it was muslims, I think you are being dishonest then if you did not think “islamic terrorism” at some point during the investigation of the Boston scenario

    So what you’re saying is that because stereotypes exist, they are therefore evidence? If someone gets robbed and I think “it might have been a black guy”, then I’m justified in saying “I KNOW it was a black guy”?

    The Toronto 16 were not atheists or christians. Neither were the Boston bombers or the the Via Rail terrorist plotters. They were MUSLIM and they were DEVOUT and they were VERY religious. That is where it leads

    The number of devout Muslims who don’t commit acts of violence completely dwarfs the number who don’t. Anecdotes are not data, especially when they’re based on nothing more than stereotyping. Either produce the particular Surah that commands Muslims to commit acts of terrorism (hint: you won’t find it, at least not in any way that isn’t equally present in other scriptures), or consider the fact that you might just be wrong.

    There are, by the way, a number of terrorist acts that are committed by Christians. I don’t know of any that are committed by atheists, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. You have fixated your analysis on a single variable, which is really lousy skepticism. I am no friend of Islam, but neither am I a friend of lazy stereotyping in the place of real analysis.

  33. Jamie Green says

    I see what you’re saying, it’s not fair to judge all muslims. Most of the ones I know wouldn’t hurt a fly. But what kind of lazy stereotyping are you going for when I say freedom loving? I’d prefer to have the freedom to get on a via train without fear of terrorism. Doesn’t mean I am a gun totin’ NRA Neo Con. Yes, christians sure have their history of terrorism too, but it seems like Islam has a way to catch up. Anyway, thought I’d pay you a visit after they gave you a shot out on the atheist experience “after show calls”, for episode 810. Keep up the good work. And as a side note, I never even saw a real live black person until I was like 10 years old, and I was awestruck. This is what I thought of after watching part of one of your lectures.

  34. mythbri says

    @Jamie Green

    I was all YUP THAT’S GOT ISLAMIC TERRORISM ALL OVER IT.

    Really? Because I was thinking “April 15 = Tax Day + Boston = Tea Party = Homegrown Militia Tax Protest Terrorist”.

    And as a side note, I never even saw a real live black person until I was like 10 years old, and I was awestruck. This is what I thought of after watching part of one of your lectures.

    Wait, Crommunist is black?!

    I’d prefer to have the freedom to get on a via train without fear of terrorism.

    And I’d prefer to have the freedom to jog in my neighborhood without assholes honking their car horns at me or rolling down their windows and catcalling or slowing down and following me for a block.

    I’m sure that people of the Muslim faith would like to have the freedom to be Muslim without people screaming “Terrorist!” in their faces.

  35. says

    Jamie:

    I’d prefer to have the freedom to get on a via train without fear of terrorism.

    This page handily summarizes a variety of seemingly unremarkable risks which are far more dangerous to people living in contemporary USA or Canada than terrorism inspired by a particular practice of Islam.

    Most people appear to have the freedom to buy candy from a vending machine without living in fear of it tipping on them. I fail to see why you would consider a lesser risk as impinging upon your feeling of freedom with respect to boarding a train.

    I would also like to know on what basis you consider the claim:

    These terrorists are just the ones who are not HYPOCRITES, because they are following the true word of Allah. All the other “moderates” are fakers, they are enablers. Same with the christians. Westboro baptists are pretty much the only TRUE followers of Christianity. The rest are FAKERS and enablers.

    to be correct both with respect to Muslims & Christians, or at least more correct than the millions of Muslims & Christians who would surely disagree with you.

  36. Jamie Green says

    Really? Because I was thinking “April 15 = Tax Day + Boston = Tea Party = Homegrown Militia Tax Protest Terrorist”.

    Really? looks like you were wrong and I was right.

    And I’d prefer to have the freedom to jog in my neighborhood without assholes honking their car horns at me or rolling down their windows and catcalling or slowing down and following me for a block.

    Really? Drop the tight yoga pants and/or hot shorts, and jogging tank top and go for the sweat pants and tshirt if you don’t like it. Or are you actually looking for the attention and when you get it you get in a huff about it?

    I’m sure that people of the Muslim faith would like to have the freedom to be Muslim without people screaming “Terrorist!” in their faces.

    Really? Well, they can always apostatize. Oh no wait, there is the death penalty for that one according to Islam. Well, they can also Stop plotting terrorist attacks. Oh no wait, it says in the koran to “strike terror into the hearts of disbelievers.” Well, I guess they could lose the burkas and face masks when they go to the shopping malls? Oh no wait, they will catch a severe beating from hubby for that one. Well, they could always keep their faith to THEMSELVES, and then no one would have much to say would they? It’s hard to spot a muslim just by looking isn’t it?

  37. Jamie Green says

    This page handily summarizes a variety of seemingly unremarkable risks which are far more dangerous to people living in contemporary USA or Canada than terrorism inspired by a particular practice of Islam.

    Yes, the chances are small of being physically by it. I still don’t see why not a single person on here can make the connection between islam and islamic terrorism and why not a single person on here has the guts to say anything about it. They wanted to derail a train, in an act of terrorism. And we’re just supposed to ignore that? You guys are just okay with that? You’re not concerned about that? You’re just gonna hope that the RCMP can keep getting lucky? You don’t worry hat there could be islamic terror cells in every city in Canada?

  38. mythbri says

    @Jamie Green

    Learn to blockquote. It will make them easier to read when you’re quoting other people.

    Really? Drop the tight yoga pants and/or hot shorts, and jogging tank top and go for the sweat pants and tshirt if you don’t like it. Or are you actually looking for the attention and when you get it you get in a huff about it?

    Wow. What a charmer you are. It’s hilarious you think that what I wear has anything to do with the fact that assholes think that they have the right to harass me.

    Really? looks like you were wrong and I was right.

    I was wrong, and it looks like (so far) you were right about the bombing being motivated by religion.

    So tell me – if I had been right about a terrorist protest against Tax Day, would I be justified in claiming that all conservatives everywhere should abandon their political beliefs, and that even non-violent conservatives are hypocrites because they’re not adhering to the violent rhetoric that some of them espouse?

    Well, I guess they could lose the burkas and face masks when they go to the shopping malls? Oh no wait, they will catch a severe beating from hubby for that one.

    This is also hilarious, especially considering your comment about what I wear when I’m out jogging. Misogyny is only wrong when Muslims do it, right? But being harassed on the street is something I bring on myself.

    You don’t worry hat there could be islamic terror cells in every city in Canada?

    No, I don’t. Because I’m not paranoid. I realize that the odds of being a victim of a terrorist attack pale in comparison to the odds that I’ll be in a car accident tomorrow.

    I’d prefer to have the freedom to get on a via train without fear of terrorism. Doesn’t mean I am a gun totin’ NRA Neo Con.

    You’re certainly doing a fantastic impression of one.

  39. says

    I still don’t see why not a single person on here can make the connection between islam and islamic terrorism and why not a single person on here has the guts to say anything about it.

    Because everyone here is smarter than you, I’d wager. We don’t rush half-cocked into connecting dots before we have the information to justify doing so. You are seemingly unbothered by the need for evidence before making your conclusions, which is an incredibly dangerous thing to do. This is the mindset of the religious person who says “I prayed, and the rains came, therefore my prayer caused the rains”. That doesn’t take “guts”; it takes mental laziness.

  40. says

    Jamie Green:

    You crow about having been correct in guessing that the Boston bombers would be Muslim. However, if you are correct by virtue of a lucky guess – which is what seems to be the case – it’s not very useful, because you have no reliable process to continue to make correct conclusions about the world.

    Your comment

    Yes, the chances are small of being physically by it. I still don’t see why not a single person on here can make the connection between islam and islamic terrorism and why not a single person on here has the guts to say anything about it. They wanted to derail a train, in an act of terrorism. And we’re just supposed to ignore that? You guys are just okay with that? You’re not concerned about that? You’re just gonna hope that the RCMP can keep getting lucky? You don’t worry hat there could be islamic terror cells in every city in Canada?

    is remarkably telling.

    The object of noting how unlikely being subject to a terror attack is – in comparison to the risk of injury or death from otherwise mundane activities/phenomena which we consider to be anodyne – is to make it clear that, in fact, we aren’t supposed to be concerned about terrorism – or at least, so that our concerns about terrorism are proportional to its actual risk to contemporary North Americans, compared to the risks of driving, or getting hit by lightning, or getting crushed by a vending machine.

    That is to say, we should be making individual decisions and making policy based on actual, quantified metrics of risk and not on unfounded, paranoid fear-mongering about “Islamic terror cells in every city in Canada”.

    Right now, you have all the freedom in the world to board a train without fear of being subject to a terrorist attack. Any constraint on that freedom is either self-imposed or is the result of misguided policy-making (e.g. stereotypical “security theatre”). The actual risk of a terror attack is just that low.

    Sure, people who are actually subject to a terror attack will, quite reasonably, feel differently. But policy should be made on the basis of evidence and inference, and not of feelings.

  41. Jamie Green says

    I just think it’s funny that you guys think terror plots are “all good” and that it’s wrong to associate that with islam. For me it’s the principle of the matter. I don’t care if there is more of a chance of a car accident. You’re right islam and terrorism are not related, and that’s why the RCMP and CSIS are not spying on radical islamic centers in Canada. If you blind fools were involved in national security you would absolutely be looking at islamic centers. So that means profiling. And for the young lady if you don’t like cat calls take measures to prevent yourself from it that’s all you can do. Or you can keep doing what your doing and keep getting cat calls, or you can call the police or slap someone. Figure it out.

  42. mythbri says

    @Jamie Green

    And for the young lady if you don’t like cat calls take measures to prevent yourself from it that’s all you can do. Or you can keep doing what your doing and keep getting cat calls, or you can call the police or slap someone. Figure it out.

    I had no idea that men are such simple creatures that they are unable to make conscious choices to modify their behavior in ways that make them not assholes.

    Maybe you should figure out what you’re doing that causes radical Islamists to attack you, and take measures to prevent yourself from doing it. Figure it out.

  43. says

    Jamie Green:

    You assert that the RCMP & CSIS are monitoring “radical Islamic centres” in Canada. What of it? There are plenty of other groups that either or both organizations could also be – and probably are – monitoring: criminal gangs, Tamil Tigers supporters, agents of foreign powers undertaking espionage in Canada, and so on and so forth. You have brought no evidence to the table to support your contention that there is anything especially worrisome about political violence committed by practicing Muslims in North America.

    I do not believe I can state this any more plainly, but I will try: if you have no evidence supporting your position, which thus far appears to be the case, then others have little to no reason to take it seriously.

  44. Jamie Green says

    All very bad groups you describe. They should be ridiculed and stigmatized and, they should not be accepted in society. IMO the Muslims are the worst though, there is something about their ideology, their practices that strikes a chord with me. FGM for example, in most muslim countries. Female illiteracy, stoning rape victims, and homosexuals. They claim this is “cultural”, not part of Islam, but the only cultural similarity between these countries, where this is accepted, from sierra leone to indonesia is Islam. I don’t like islam. I don’t like where it can lead. I don’t like that you can’t criticize it, and I don’t like muslims coming to canada and trying to blow up a bridge to kill a train full of people. I also don’t like the suicide bombings they do, and the london train bombings they did. I also don’t like the bombay train bombings they did. I don’t like that they plotted to assassinate and behead the prime minister, blow up the tsx and whatever else they had planned I’m also still pretty mad about 9-11, now that I’ve had time to think about it. The list goes on and on of evil things people do in the name of islam. I just don’t like it. I hate islam, I want it to go away. It is a belief system that should be met with criticism and ridicule, same with christianity, and all the others. I don’t think there are any christians or hell’s angels who are planning on putting a bomb on a bus, though. Whereas there are clearly allot of muslims in this country who are out to destroy our civilization and make us live in fear. That’s my evidence.

  45. jesse says

    Jaime Green, it’s been amusing reading your stuff here, but maybe you aren’t old enough to remember who the record-breaking terrorist was prior to 9/11. Hint: he was not a Muslim. He killed more people than any terrorist in the US before. His name was Timothy McVeigh. Ring a bell?

    So, on that bases — an the many attacks that were perpetrated in the name of fundamentalist Christianity — working at an abortion clinic is a risky business in the US — it seems to me that by your logic, we ought to be worried about apostasizing Christians. Of course, what that would mean is a bit tricky, since most of us are Christians in a cultural sense (that is, we take many premises of the religion as a philosophical starting point without thinking about it, we take off for Christmas and Easter, and stop work on Sunday).

    Criticizing the way Islamic governments operate is one thing. People here do it all the time. But saying as a blanket statement that Islam per se is the problem is as stupid as saying Christianity is the problem. I’m old enough to remember when people worried about terrorists being atheist Communists. Is atheism a problem? It produced Stalin, right? You see how your thinking is at best sloppy?

    Is it possible — try this out, I know the thinking is hard — that the various countries the US and the West has interfered in might be producing terrorists even if they were all Buddhists? Zoroastrians? Rastafarians? For instance, let’s say someone came to Canada, and said, “You know what, we don’t like this democracy thing you have. So we’re going to send troops / spooks to make sure that you don’t have it anymore. We’re going to install a king for you, who will now proceed to set up oil drilling in the Canadian West. Oh yeah, you won’t see any of the profits. That’s for us. Toodles!” Let’s further posit that the government installed engages in widespread corruption and gets fantastically rich, with officials driving Bentleys. The rest of you? Heck with ya. To keep people in line we’ll outlaw every political party except the fundamentalist Christian Dominionists.

    What would you do? How long would it be before you thought that maybe violence was the right answer? And does your religion or lack thereof have anything to do with it? The Churches are now the only game in town for political organizing. What happens then? And whose fault is it?

    You say you “hate Islam.” I submit that your reaction is born of a deep ignorance of the people who practice it. It’s born of a simple fear reaction that makes you unable to cope with the idea that Islam might be a rubric under which many groups operate, but that all have goals that have less to do with religion and more to do with self-determination. You are aware that in Chechnya, for instance, the history is rather different than Saudi Arabia? That traditionally the Muslims of that part of the world were the Islamic hippies, essentially? That it took twenty years of unending war to get the fundamentalists any traction whatsoever?

    have you ever in your life spoken to a Muslim? Asked them anything? Something tells me the answer is no.

    In the US, fundamentalist Christians and militia groups plotted to assassinate the president — more than once. Another militia group decided that murdering a child was a fine idea because she was Mexican. (Look up “Brisenia Flores.”)

    None of them were Muslims. But we don’t make the same kind of statements that you take for “evidence.” Nobody said that blond white dudes from Michigan should be profiled after Oklahoma City. Nobody suggested occupying the Upper Peninsula of Michigan or Idaho with troops to stop the terrorists. i don’t recall anyone talking about the problems with Christianity.

    Speaking of which. You are aware of the Lord’s Resistance Army, yes? And a little country called Yugoslavia. Oh, right, Yugoslavia doesn’t exist anymore. Hmmm. Why is that? What happened to the Muslim population of Croatia? Serbia? Northern Bosnia? You think that might have something to do with how many people of the Muslim faith feel about Western nations? (Again, I am old enough to remember when there was a lot of chatter among discussion groups — this was mostly pre-Internet — and parallels with the Spanish Civil War).

    You have a view of Islam that is at best cartoonish, the kind of thing bad comic books are made of. That’s why people take you to task.

    I’m of Jewish and Japanese descent, Jaime. So our family has a bit of experience with stupid stereotypes like the ones you are throwing out there. I could cross out “Islam” and put “Japanese” and it would sound just like the shit my grandma had to deal with. I’m almost happy she never lived to see 9/11 and the aftermath, but I know that she would have fought like hell to make sure people didn’t do to Muslims what was done to her people. And if you can’t understand any of this, then I have to doubt your basic capacity for empathy and humanity, something I am loath to do because I like to think that people are OK if you give them a shot.

  46. says

    Jamie:

    You have failed to show that planned or actualized violence undertaken by Muslims is worse, either in degree or in kind, than planned or actualized violence carried out by non-Muslins. In order to show that, you need some robust statistical analysis.

    That is the kind of evidence you need to provide to make your case. Your gut feelings just aren’t going to cut it.

  47. mythbri says

    @Jamie Green

    Whereas there are clearly allot of muslims in this country who are out to destroy our civilization and make us live in fear

    They’ve already succeeded with you, then.

  48. Jamie Green says

    Religionofpeace.com has some nice statistics about islam and it’s followers if it’s cold hard data you’re after.

  49. Jamie Green says

    Good point… I’ll try not to let my fear make me paranoid, or get the best of me, though I do think I have a legitimate concern.

  50. Jamie Green says

    Let’s start with the Nazis, the worst terrorists of all time, who were part of a CHRISTIAN movement. Even if Hitler himself (and I totally disagree with that assessment, which is why I keep a close eye on that wikipedia article), was only PRETENDING to be christian, that does not bode well for Christianity that he had to “pretend” to be a christian in order to gain support for the genocide he did. As for your European examples.

    “Criticizing the way Islamic governments operate is one thing. People here do it all the time. But saying as a blanket statement that Islam per se is the problem is as stupid as saying Christianity is the problem. I’m old enough to remember when people worried about terrorists being atheist Communists. Is atheism a problem? It produced Stalin, right? You see how your thinking is at best sloppy.”

    They are clearly both problems. As for Stalin he also clearly used religion, even making himself the head of the church.

    As for your analogy of people interfering with western politics… The christians did that to the indians, who were my ancestors. They stole our land, committed genocide. So perhaps we should get our own state again, like isreal got… we’d certainly have a legitimate claim.

    “What would you do? How long would it be before you thought that maybe violence was the right answer? And does your religion or lack thereof have anything to do with it? The Churches are now the only game in town for political organizing. What happens then? And whose fault is it?”

    You’re only strengthening my case that islam has taken advantage of these people in rough situations, and now we are dealing with the consequences.

    Speaking of which. You are aware of the Lord’s Resistance Army, yes? And a little country called Yugoslavia. Oh, right, Yugoslavia doesn’t exist anymore. Hmmm. Why is that? What happened to the Muslim population of Croatia? Serbia? Northern Bosnia? You think that might have something to do with how many people of the Muslim faith feel about Western nations?

    You’re only strengthening my case that people of Muslim faith DO hate us. So why even let them in here?

    Islam is not above criticism. They should ban the burka in public like they have in France. You can’t hide your identity like that in a bank or a shopping mall. They should stop letting muslims into Canada. Obviously, even according to you, they “rightfully have it out for us”.

  51. says

    Well, when Jamie Green tries to pretend that evidence disproving his claims regarding some sort of inherent moral inferiority of Islam or Muslims is actually strengthening his claims, then I think I can say we’re done here.

  52. says

    Seriously, Jamie. If you can’t figure out what you’re doing to rile up those Muslim terrorists, and take steps to prevent them from terrorizing you, then you have no one but yourself to blame. Maybe try wearing something less tight-fitting. I hear Muslims hate that.

  53. Jamie Green says

    I already know! We’re raping and pillaging their countries and not to mention all that we “western” countries put the Taliban in power and gave them the guns. So yes, as I stated above, they absolutely have a right to be mad at us. This is what makes them dangerous. Unfortunately there is not much I can do to prevent this. I voted NDP, not for Stephen Harper. Your analogy is flawed, though because unlike islamic terrorism, unwanted cat calls can be avoided by changing your style of dress. Not full burka, but find a happy medium! Of course if your THAT good looking as you two girls obviously are, then some unwanted cat calls are simply unavoidable even in your full burkas. As some danger of being blown up by islamic terrorists is also unavoidable if I go out and use public transit or to a big event, where they tend to target.

  54. mythbri says

    Your analogy is flawed, though because unlike islamic terrorism, unwanted cat calls can be avoided by changing your style of dress. Not full burka, but find a happy medium! Of course if your THAT good looking as you two girls obviously are, then some unwanted cat calls are simply unavoidable even in your full burkas.

    Wow! Harassment is an unchangeable force of nature, independent of human thought and decision-making! I had no idea that a magical amount of cloth can ward off asshole behavior.

    Women in burqas are harassed. Women in burqas are raped.

    Would you advise them to put on more clothing in order to prevent that?

    Heeeeeeeeyyyyyyy, I just had a thought:

    What if misogyny is not dependent on what women wear, but is actually culturally-ingrained prejudice against women that is universal and not specific to one culture, religion or country?

    Do you know why Muslim women are required to wear burqas, niqabs and hijabs, Jamie Green? It’s to show their modesty, which as noted above, does not prevent them from being harassed and raped.

    What is the difference between Muslim men telling Muslim women to cover up their bodies and faces, and you telling me that I can somehow control other people’s behavior through a magical type of clothing?

  55. says

    Of course if your THAT good looking as you two girls obviously are, then some unwanted cat calls are simply unavoidable even in your full burkas.

    Simply unavoidable.

    So, in Jamie’s world, especially good-looking women simply do not have the right to exist in public without being harassed.

    Kids, what do we call it when a person asserts that women are not allowed to use public spaces without being harassed, but men are? And that there should be no consequences for the men harassing the women in public spaces?

    That’s right–misogyny!

    You’re a misogynist shitlord, Jamie.

  56. smrnda says

    @Jamie

    On being harassed and cat-called. I wear long sleeve shirts, I never wear anything tight, I usually wear a coat over my shirt, and I typically wear a long skirt or dress with leggings underneath. I also frequently wear my hair up and wear hats a lot, so I’m just showing just a little bit more in terms of hair than many Muslim women. I also always wear large sunglasses since I have vision problems, meaning that I’m probably not showing any more of my face than Batman. I don’t even wear makeup.

    Guess what? I still get cat called and harassed. I think some guys get off on harassing women who are clearly trying hard *NOT* to draw attention to themselves, because I’ve SEEN women in BURKAS get some pretty lewd remarks. This has nothing to do with how women look or dress – it’s just men who have a strange compulsion to be assholes and make women uncomfortable.

    Is some degree of harassment unavoidable? Probably, but only the way that murder is unavoidable. It’s not like we say crime victims should just shut up and take it since *somebody* is bound to be killed eventually – no, we think there’s no excuse for murder. Why not expect men *not* to harass women? It isn’t like a huge imposition.

  57. Jamie Green says

    All I’m saying is that you’ll probably get more cat calls if you’re dressed in certain ways than others. I’m not saying sexual harassment is a great thing. Lose the skirt or dress and wear loose baggy sweat pants. Also try a hoodie, and maybe cut your hair real short. I bet you’ll get less cat calls. Or deal with it on a case by case basis… then I bet you’ll never get cat calls from the same guy twice! Or men could just stop acting like animals, but I really don’t see that happening. Society should change so that you can walk naked down the street and no one would harass you. Is that the ideal you are after?

  58. says

    All I’m saying is that you’ll probably get more cat calls if you’re dressed in certain ways than others

    And all everyone else is saying is that you’re wrong, and you don’t have a fucking clue what you’re talking about. Do you think there’s less harassment of women in places where they have to remain covered up at all times?

    Or men could just stop acting like animals, but I really don’t see that happening

    First of all, on behalf of men, fuck you. Second, the evidence doesn’t support your claim – anti-harassment interventions work, and they work pretty well. Third of all, it is not the responsibility of victims of crime to look less ‘victim-y’, and it turns out that the types of things you’re recommending do not work to reduce crime. Fourthly, if you think that women are somehow unaware of the ‘advice’ you’re dispensing here, then you have an even lower estimation of them than you do of men.

  59. Jamie Green says

    And all everyone else is saying is that you’re wrong, and you don’t have a fucking clue what you’re talking about. Do you think there’s less harassment of women in places where they have to remain covered up at all times?

    That fact that fat ugly women don’t get cat calls disproves what you are saying. Women with bags over their heads in other countries probably get abused and raped because they don’t even look like people.

    First of all, on behalf of men, fuck you. Second, the evidence doesn’t support your claim – anti-harassment interventions work, and they work pretty well. Third of all, it is not the responsibility of victims of crime to look less ‘victim-y’, and it turns out that the types of things you’re recommending do not work to reduce crime. Fourthly, if you think that women are somehow unaware of the ‘advice’ you’re dispensing here, then you have an even lower estimation of them than you do of men.

    You just finished saying that men are going around raping women EVERYWHERE IN EVERY CULTURE, so for being a hypocritical retard, FUCK YOU TOO. How many men have had anti harassment “interventions” where is this fucking utopia where that is provided for people, when people can’t even get decent mental healthcare let alone “anti-harassment intervention”. Again, you are being stupid here when you say that not dressing like a slut doesn’t reduce “cat calls”. How many fat girls get “cat calls”. As for dispensing advice, they are asking me for my opinion or they wouldn’t be citing me. So “hero” and champion of women’s rights that you are i’m sure you’ve never oogled at a sexy woman or approached her with any intent based on her attractiveness other than to have an intellectual discussion with her right? You’ve never given an unwanted approach to a woman, or ever offended a woman, hey ROMEO? I can tell by the way you react when you disagree with what someone is saying, that you’re an overtly aggressive homosapien, with absolutely no right to be on your high horse buddy.

    Oh and here’s another link for you:
    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/douglas-murray/2013/04/america-like-europe-is-dishonest-about-islamic-extremism/

    Sounds like some people I know.

  60. says

    How many fat girls get “cat calls”

    More than zero. A lot more than zero. And this is what you don’t understand, because you have spent ZERO time researching this issue before deciding that you’re an expert on it: harassment isn’t just about sex (although a lot of men are attracted to fat women, even if they won’t admit it); it’s about power. It’s about objectification.

    Women with bags over their heads in other countries probably get abused and raped because they don’t even look like people.

    Zero time researching the issue. None. You have no idea what you’re talking about, and yet you KEEP TALKING as though you have anything besides lazy stereotypes to contribute to the discussion.

    As for dispensing advice, they are asking me for my opinion or they wouldn’t be citing me.

    Who is citing you?

    How many men have had anti harassment “interventions” where is this fucking utopia where that is provided for people

    Here is one specific example of a public health campaign about sexual assault. This kind of stuff, aimed at increasing awareness, is happening all over. Most workplaces have harassment policies and training for men about how to stop doing it, as well as policies in place to provide consequences for those who violate the policies. They’re not perfect, but harassment rates have gone down.

    i’m sure you’ve never oogled at a sexy woman or approached her with any intent based on her attractiveness other than to have an intellectual discussion with her right?

    Well I’ve never sexually harassed a stranger, if that’s what you’re talking about. I’ve certainly talked to women I don’t know, and yes I’ve approached women with the possible goal of sex, but I’ve also learned to a) do it in a way that isn’t pervy, and b) listen to women when they tell me what harassment is and isn’t about. I’ve had high and low moments, but at my worst I was never espousing the kind of bullshit that you’ve repeatedly put on proud display here.

    I can tell by the way you react when you disagree with what someone is saying, that you’re an overtly aggressive homosapien

    Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

    [NOTE: This post isn’t even about sexual harassment, and this is quickly turning into another Edward Gemmer situation. My finger is hovering over the ban button. This would be a good time for certain trolls to re-evaluate how badly they need the gratification of yelling at strangers on the internet today.]

  61. mythbri says

    @Jamie Green

    Crommunist is right. This is wildly off-topic, and so this is going to be my last response to you on this thread – assuming Crom even wants this thread to be derailed even further. If not, he’s free to delete my response.

    As for dispensing advice, they are asking me for my opinion or they wouldn’t be citing me.

    You think I fucking want your advice? I have been quoting you in a vain attempt to show you how ridiculous your words are. To demonstrate that you have not given a single bit of critical thought to this issue, and you lack the empathy to make the attempt.

    I made an off-hand comment about how I am sometimes harassed on the streets.

    You are the one who inferred what kind of clothing I wear when I exercise. And then you presumed to tell me, a stranger on the internet that you neither know or have seen, what to do in order to correct a problem I’ve been dealing with for almost half my life.

    I haven’t said a single word about my work-out clothes. And I will not, because they are absolutely irrelevant to the discussion of harassment/

    I’m going to repeat this question but I expect no answer, since that will contribute to the derail:

    What is the difference between Muslim men telling Muslim women to cover up their bodies and faces, and you telling me that I can somehow control other people’s behavior through a magical combination of clothing?

    Think about it.

    That fact that fat ugly women don’t get cat calls disproves what you are saying.

    You don’t know what I look like. You don’t know what I wear. You built up an image that fits your preconceptions because your mind is so small and closed that it can’t handle any answers that are not laughably easy – and incorrect.

    And just so you know: Jamie Green’s idea of what is attractive is not the objective standard by which all people everywhere are judged.

    Women with bags over their heads in other countries probably get abused and raped because they don’t even look like people.

    Why do you believe that women’s clothing has some magical, mystical influence over the behavior of men?

    It’s really easy to blame women for the bad behavior of men.

  62. smrnda says

    @Jamie

    Just to turn things back to the Islamophobia, with your supposed *concern* for the treatment of women in Muslim countries, given your attitudes towards women and street harassment I think you’re just using Muslim women as props in your ability to justify your own racism and xenophobia. Your attitude – that how I dress is causing men to harass me – is exactly the same mentality of extremist Muslim clerics. You have a slightly different standard for ‘acceptable attire’ and a few just-so-story reasons for why burkas aren’t preventing rape but why your baggy sweatpants and hoodie (which I have been harassed in by the way, with no hair visible) is somehow going to fix things.

    You seem to be suggesting that it’s ALL THE MUSLIMS FAULT – meaning Muslim leaders and men – for the shitty status of women in those countries. Yet when women get treated badly *elsewhere* now, suddenly, the women are all to blame for it because they didn’t wear baggy pants and get buzz cuts. So, in one culture, the low status of women is blamed entirely on something *aside from women* and then women are to blame? Why are we holding these different cultures to different standards? Why are Muslim men villains for how they treat women, but when non-Muslim non-Arab men treat women badly, somehow it’s ‘well, it’s gotta be the woman’s fault?’

  63. Jamie Green says

    Okay. I’ve done a little more research, and I see what Crommunist meant by “anti harassment intervention”. It’s good that people are raising awareness and encouraging people to intervene. But to say that women should have to be “rescued”, and cannot modify their behaviour to protect themselves is ludicrous. Let’s put it this way. I don’t like getting harassed. But I do like dressing in certain ways. I like wearing skirts. It makes me feel like I look nice. But I don’t wear a skirt in public, because I WILL GET HARASSED. Does this mean I CANNOT wear a skirt in public? No it is absolutely my right. Is it MY FAULT I get harassed when I wear my skirt in public? No it’s the fault of the people who are doing the harassment. Can I reduce my chances of getting harassed by not wearing a skirt in public? ABSOLUTELY. That’s ALL i’m saying. You are interpreting that as me “blaming the victim”, while at the same time, you are also saying that the “victim” has no option but to be victimized or to rely on other people to “rescue” them. That is wrong, since you can’t instantly modify everyone else’s behavour you can only modify your own. If I wanna wear a skirt I’ll do it in a group. Or at pride. Sad for me. I’m the victim here. But I’ve modified my behaviour to prevent unwanted harassment.

    You seem to be suggesting that it’s ALL THE MUSLIMS FAULT – meaning Muslim leaders and men – for the shitty status of women in those countries. Yet when women get treated badly *elsewhere* now, suddenly, the women are all to blame for it because they didn’t wear baggy pants and get buzz cuts. So, in one culture, the low status of women is blamed entirely on something *aside from women* and then women are to blame? Why are we holding these different cultures to different standards? Why are Muslim men villains for how they treat women, but when non-Muslim non-Arab men treat women badly, somehow it’s ‘well, it’s gotta be the woman’s fault?’

    First of all, it is not EXTREMIST muslims who treat women like shizz. The muslims at universities, which are about as mainstream as you can get, are forcing men and women to sit separately. Same with in many mosques, correct me if i’m wrong on that. And is it the FRONT or the BACK where the women sit? I’ll ask you that again. Is it the FRONT with the men, or at the BACK with the dogs? And this is MAIN STREAM ISLAM. http://www.richarddawkins.net/foundation_articles/2013/3/10/sexual-apartheid-in-university-college-london

    According to you guys, I should probably join Islam, since I obviously hate women so much right? And let me say this one more time: If I want to wear my skirt in public, I can. But I don’t because I don’t want to get harassed. Am I “blaming the victim” here, because I am being practical in admitting that my behaviour can effect how much I get harassed? NO! It’s still the fault of the people who do the harassing. But I am just protecting myself!

  64. says

    Jamie Green:

    You didn’t notice, but neither mythbri nor smrnda made any distinction between degrees of extremism among Muslim men engaged in the oppression of Muslim women.

    Largely, I suspect, because it doesn’t make any difference to their arguments, which were meant to highlight your apparent inconsistency.

    Your anecdote about your own behaviour viz. skirt-wearing is not going to map onto the experiences of women.

    If the type of men who would harass you for wearing a skirt would perceive you as conforming to their notions of heteronormativity when you aren’t, of course they won’t harass you. Nevertheless, they might harass a man they perceive to be effeminate, without regard for what he is wearing.

    But such men will harass women, whatever they are wearing – again, you didn’t notice but mythbri & smrnda both made that exact point. There is no protection to be had in changing outfits.

  65. Jamie Green says

    There is some. I’ve seen it first hand, a girl who wears a pair of short shorts and a midriff bearing tank top will get more “cat calls” than one with a buzz cut, baggy sweats, and a hoodie. You can’t see this?

  66. says

    Jamie Green:

    As a (more on-topic) follow-up, I might add that you appear to be labouring under the impression that the original post and the comments are meant to defend indefensible actions by Muslims, based on claims such as

    I just think it’s funny that you guys think terror plots are “all good” and that it’s wrong to associate that with islam.

    or

    According to you guys, I should probably join Islam,

    These are specious misrepresentations.

    None of the people who have engaged with you on this thread are going to defend, say, throwing acid into the faces of schoolgirls, or, say, plotting to bomb a train. (*)

    What the OP is saying, and what the people engaging with you are saying, is:

    (a) that bad things happen when legitimate criticism of indefensible actions by Muslims is mixed up with bigotry against Muslims, and the bigotry is left unchallenged.
    (b) that the actual risk posed by Muslims engaging in violence for political/religious reasons does not justify bigotry-soaked rhetoric employed against such violence or the enormous national security apparatus instituted to “protect” people from it
    (c) that criticisms of actions undertaken by Muslims which rely on racially-charged or historically-charged language can – and do – enable bigotry, and as such that such language is best avoided
    (d) that in any case there is, for all intents and purposes, no charge that can be laid at the feet of “Islam” or aggregates of Muslims that cannot also be levelled against similar aggregates of secularists or Christians – which negates any sense of inherent superiority of the latter groups against the former (such as what you appear to express)

    With regards to misogyny, I should like to remind you of recent events such as the Steubenville rape case (or a similar one Ed Brayton over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars recently highlighted in Michigan), or the suicide of Rehteah Parsons in Nova Scotia resulting from a similar rape case. These are not the results of fringe Christians/secularists misbehaving. So it seems to me that feeling superior to Muslims because of what happens in mosques is unwarranted, even if – quite rightly – one feels that the segregation by gender within mosques is unjust.

    —–
    (*) The latter action could be defensible in certain circumstances – e.g. destroying shipments of munitions, raw materials, or even of soldiers belonging to a state with whom one is at war or who is militarily occupying one’s own state/region – but obviously is not defensible in the circumstances under discussion.

  67. Jamie Green says

    Why not? My argument has everything to do with style of dress affecting how people react when they see you.

    Logic fail. What are you saying here. On one hand they are attacking TVs because they are going against perceived “heteronomativity”, but on the other hand, they AREN’T attacking effeminate homos because of the same reason? It’s a contributing factor in both cases, I don’t see the difference.

    An ex gf of mine used to get cat calls all the time when wearing short shorts and midriff bearing tops. And much less IF ANY when wearing a t shirt and jeans. How is style of dress NOT a factor here?

  68. says

    No, Jamie. You are flatly wrong. My choice of attire has little to no affect on the amount of street harassment I receive, and even if it did, that is not an argument for me to change my attire, but rather, for men to stop being harassing misogynist assholes. You’re a horrible person for defending the misogynist harassers and telling us that we should allow misogynist assholes to dictate our behavior. Perhaps someday you will understand that, but for now I guess your comments are going to have to stand as an example of how misogyny functions in our culture to limit women’s freedom.

  69. says

    Jamie Green:

    There’s no reason why your anecdotes can’t simultaneously be (a) true and (b) utterly unreflective of the general situation. Certainly there’s no reason to take your word over mythbri & smrnda’s, or the aggregates of stories of harassment made at, say the Stop Street Harassment advocacy group or elsewhere – to say nothing of published surveys & studies.

    You stated that you don’t wear a skirt, in spite of your preferences, to avoid being harassed. Thus, the men who would harass you have a specific view of what is ‘normal’ (therefore acceptable) dress for men – and if you appear ‘normal’ to these men they won’t harass you.

    But, if it were the case that such men found your appearance to be effeminate, or deviating from ‘normal’ in any respect, you would be subject to harassment, whether you were wearing a skirt or not.

    What the stories of mythbri, smrnda, and the stories and studies posted elsewhere show, is that, on account of sexist formulations of what is ‘normal’, women are going to fall foul of men who will harass them. Your anecdotes appear to ignore that men do harass women they consider to be ugly, or unremarkable, and not just the women they consider to be sexually appealing.

    I have nothing further to say on this particular digression. Indeed, were it not for the lure of duty calling, I probably should have desisted from participating in the off-topic tangent to begin with.

  70. smrnda says

    I live in a college town with a large Muslim population. Though these have happened elsewhere, so far no Muslims in my area have had any gender-segregated events as far as I am aware, I know of some gender segregated Christian events though. I just think that if Christians held a gender-segregated event, it would probably not be seized on by as many people as if Muslims did it, or it would be made to sound innocuous.

    So, you believe I’m a helpless victim because I admit the 100% true fact that I GET SEXUALLY HARASSED IN PUBLIC NO MATTER WHAT I WEAR. No, this behavior should not go on and women should have absolutely ZERO ZERO ZERO responsibility to modify their attire in any way to avoid harassment. It looks like you’ve internalized a lot of patriarchy – you seem to think that men are actually entitled to harass women if they dress a certain way. Given what you’ve said about yourself, I probably dress significantly more (modest? prudish?) than you do, and this is happening to me. You seem to be a nice little lap-dog for misogyny and patriarchy, happy to decide that men just can’t help harassing women and that it must be women who are refusing to take responsibility to avoid harassment. This responsibility should fall 100% on men not to harass, with zero expectations from women.

    This is the stupidest thing I read though:

    “That is wrong, since you can’t instantly modify everyone else’s behavour you can only modify your own.”

    So.. it’s wrong that people get shot, but they should be taking responsibility and refusing to ‘be the victim’ and admit they should just walk around wearing bullet proof vests and body armor and they should ditch the car and get a tank. If people are being attacked violently, well, they should have spent a few years at a Shaolin temple and become martial arts experts who can handle 10 attackers at once. Got robbed? Well, you shouldn’t have had anything worth stealing, you just can’t expect to bust out an iPod in public and not have someone take it.Terrorist attack? Well, it’s your fault for living in a big city and not living in the wilderness somewhere, take RESPONSIBILITY to avoid making yourself a target. These aren’t ‘empowerment’ at all – it’s straight blaming the victim since people shouldn’t have to take ANY action to be exempt from certain behaviors. Women are ENTITLED to dress however they want in public and they are entitled to a harassment free public existence. I refuse to take any responsibility for men harassing me, since it shouldn’t be my job. Men SHOULD modify their behavior.

    When I mentioned women in burka/hijab getting harassed, these instances were in the US, and the men harassing the women were white American male college students. Obviously they went out of their way to harass women who were dressed on the extreme end of ‘modest’ likely just since it proves to women that there’s nothing they can do to avoid being harassed. I’m not wallowing in victimhood to admit it, I’m just admitting that men get off on harassing women regardless of what they wear. The only stats I could compile on my own experiences is that I didn’t get harassed as much in urban areas than in less urban ones, with clothing having about zero effect. I don’t want to generalize from my own experiences, but it seems to me that local culture might have more of an influence than what women wear.

    Your anecdotal reports about what you or your friends wear and the results just don’t impress me, since too many people have documented too many instances of harassment that contradict your thesis that what you wear affects whether or not you get harassed. There’s a mountain of stories of ‘harassed no matter what I wear’ and a tiny little lump of stories of ‘it happens more when I wear X.’

    I feel like you are projecting the exact same attitude of many Muslims that women should *expect* certain behaviors from men and that it’s their job to dress in a way to avoid harassment, or even rape. You’re perhaps not pushing it to the same extreme, but your basic sentiment is really identical.

  71. Jamie Green says

    Pretty much sums up what I’m saying. Don’t flaunt your jewelery if you don’t want it to get stolen. Any sane person knows this. Example: When travelling to Brazil, you are advised “Carry only small amounts of money and avoid showing signs of affluence”. By your logic, that’s victim blaming.

    Also worth noting is that people have a right to free speech, much more than you have a right to “not be offended”.

    How quick and underhanded of you to turncoat and criticize my style of dress, when according to you it is a non issue. HYPOCRITE

  72. Jamie Green says

    “(a) that bad things happen when legitimate criticism of indefensible actions by Muslims is mixed up with bigotry against Muslims, and the bigotry is left unchallenged.”

    You are right.

    “(b) that the actual risk posed by Muslims engaging in violence for political/religious reasons does not justify bigotry-soaked rhetoric employed against such violence or the enormous national security apparatus instituted to “protect” people from it”

    You wouldn’t be saying this if they had gotten away with it. You should be thanking the “national security apparatus” for catching the Toronto 16 and the Via rail plotters, as well as many others.

    “(c) that criticisms of actions undertaken by Muslims which rely on racially-charged or historically-charged language can – and do – enable bigotry, and as such that such language is best avoided”

    Like what? What language is it that you don’t like? What “race” are muslims. It’s a religion. You might as well be one of those biggots telling them to go back to Islam.

    “(d) that in any case there is, for all intents and purposes, no charge that can be laid at the feet of “Islam” or aggregates of Muslims that cannot also be levelled against similar aggregates of secularists or Christians – which negates any sense of inherent superiority of the latter groups against the former (such as what you appear to express)”

    I disagree. It’s the moderates who tolerate and enable the extremists. As for which group is the worst, right now in Canada it’s the muslims who are worse than the christians. We’re not all equal, though equality is something I value, it’s unfortunately not the case. Christians in Canada are simply not involved in religiously motivated terrorism. Whereas islamic Al-Quaeda has it’s filthy hands all over many muslims, and are supporting Islamic terrorism.

    “With regards to misogyny, I should like to remind you of recent events such as the Steubenville rape case (or a similar one Ed Brayton over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars recently highlighted in Michigan), or the suicide of Rehteah Parsons in Nova Scotia resulting from a similar rape case. These are not the results of fringe Christians/secularists misbehaving. So it seems to me that feeling superior to Muslims because of what happens in mosques is unwarranted, even if – quite rightly – one feels that the segregation by gender within mosques is unjust.”

    There are several cased documented where a woman cries for help while being raped and no one helps. Steubenville is such a case where there were many witnesses and they did nothing. On one hand the rapists should be persecuted under the law, on the other hand, knowing that this stuff happens, people should try to protect themselves. It’s a matter of how much civil liberty you want to sacrifice in order to be safe. You want to be perfectly safe, don’t leave your house. When you go out, you take all kinds of calculated risks. There are many factors that could have stopped the rape in Ohio. The girl did nothing to “deserve it”. Perhaps she could have done things differently that would have prevented it. Let’s not confuse that for one second with the fact that it is the rapists who are culpable.

  73. says

    You’re the only one confused about who’s at fault for rape and sexual assault. Your continued insistence that the victims should be the ones to change the situation does nothing to help the victims, and assures the perpetrators that they can continue to harass, rape, and otherwise oppress women with impunity. Harassers, rapists, and woman-haters everywhere thank you for your support.

  74. Jamie Green says

    You’re the only one confused about who’s at fault for rape and sexual assault. Your continued insistence that the victims should be the ones to change the situation does nothing to help the victims, and assures the perpetrators that they can continue to harass, rape, and otherwise oppress women with impunity. Harassers, rapists, and woman-haters everywhere thank you for your support.

    I’ve said repeatedly it’s the thieves who are culpable for thievery, and the rapists who are culpable for rape. What you don’t seem to understand (or what you are not willing to admit for some reason) is that there are measures we can take to protect ourselves from thieves and rapists.

  75. says

    I’ve said repeatedly it’s the thieves who are culpable for thievery, and the rapists who are culpable for rape. What you don’t seem to understand (or what you are not willing to admit for some reason) is that there are measures we can take to protect ourselves from thieves and rapists.

    And yet, the “advice” you offer for the prevention of rape and harassment has been shown over and over again to not work. Since you continue to offer it, in spite of being informed of its lack of efficacy, one can only conclude that rapists and harassers would be correct to thank you for your help and support.

  76. Jamie Green says

    And yet, the “advice” you offer for the prevention of rape and harassment has been shown over and over again to not work. Since you continue to offer it, in spite of being informed of its lack of efficacy, one can only conclude that rapists and harassers would be correct to thank you for your help and support

    With a few exceptions on the extreme end of the dress spectrum, I have to admit that you are right that dress has little impact on harassment, at least not as much as I originally thought. One question I’ve been trying to raise is “what are people willing to sacrifice in order to protect themselves”, and I think several of us agreed that the safest thing to do would be just to stay home. This would protect you from most terror attacks and most harassment, but that is an extreme defensive position.

  77. says

    Jamie Green:

    “(b) that the actual risk posed by Muslims engaging in violence for political/religious reasons does not justify bigotry-soaked rhetoric employed against such violence or the enormous national security apparatus instituted to “protect” people from it”

    You wouldn’t be saying this if they had gotten away with it. You should be thanking the “national security apparatus” for catching the Toronto 16 and the Via rail plotters, as well as many others.

    In point of fact, the pre-9/11 security set up in North America & Europe was perfectly capable of dealing with politically-motivated violence. So as far as I can see you are entirely wrong here. In addition: yes, I would still say the same if “they had gotten away with it” – because no preventative law enforcement is perfect, and expecting perfection is simply unrealistic.

    “(c) that criticisms of actions undertaken by Muslims which rely on racially-charged or historically-charged language can – and do – enable bigotry, and as such that such language is best avoided”

    Like what? What language is it that you don’t like? What “race” are muslims. It’s a religion. You might as well be one of those biggots telling them to go back to Islam.

    Given the fact that the vast majority of Muslims living in North America and north-western Europe belong to ethnic minorities, and that, say, atheists such as Sam Harris have recommended increasing the extent of racial profiling against Muslims (because terrorists!1!), suffice to say that to speak of one is to speak of the other. Certainly bigots do not appear to make any such distinction between race and religion. How else does one explain such exemplars of polite language as ‘towel-head’ or ‘sand-nigger’?

    I disagree. It’s the moderates who tolerate and enable the extremists. […] islamic Al-Quaeda has it’s filthy hands all over many muslims, and are supporting Islamic terrorism.

    cough cough

    The examples of rape culture enabling rape that I brought up (Steubenville et al) were not meant to further the off-topic digression regarding misogyny – but rather to illustrate point (d) of mine – that claims of inherent moral superiority among secularists and Christians over and against Muslims rings hollow.

  78. Jamie Green says

    @82
    You asked for a citation

    How “moderates” are enabling extremists
    http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/02/16/canadian-teens-being-exposed-to-islamic-extremism-in-high-schools-csis/

    “I would say its influence now is as great or greater than it’s ever been, though more in an indirect sense,” says Lorne Dawson, co-director of the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society.
    (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/04/23/f-al-qaeda-canada.html)

    The head of CSIS, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, warned Monday that Canadians are involved in every al-Qaeda affiliate group and that these groups have mentioned Canada as a possible target.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/02/11/parry-fadden-senate.html

    Once you can provide this type of data as well as similar statistics provided at religionofpeace.com for the christian, atheist, buddhist, hindu, sikh or any other muslim counterparts, you will begin to have a case for yourself as well!

  79. smrnda says

    Jamie – yes, Muslims are not all the same race. However, it’s pretty clear that Americans have a clear association with ‘brown skinned person’ and Muslim, and at times when anti-Muslim sentiment runs high, Hindu Indians and Sikhs and a whole mess of other people get targeted for violence, so I’m pretty sure that when people are thinking “Muslim” however ignorant that impression is, I know what they are thinking.

    On the issue of moderate Muslims distancing themselves from terrorism, note the huge double standard at work when white people use violent imagery. Sarah Palin put crosshairs on a map where people disagreed with her on health care. Imagine if a Muslim cleric had put crosshairs on a map and someone had been shot – the Muslim cleric would be universally implicated as the cause of the violence. White people get breaks because white shooters are always explained away as deviant, and white people seem to get away with using violent rhetoric a lot more often than any other group.

    Or look at this – white guys in movies tend to be heroes who shoot a bunch of nameless extras. When white guys shoot up places, we don’t see the ‘white action hero’ trope blamed because it teaches white guys to think of themselves as heroic loners battling it out with a gun, but rappers (many of whom talk about violence but do not promote it) are *of course* blamed for Black males being violent. (The merits of white action heroes or rap music is fodder for another debate.)

  80. Jamie Green says

    You are right.

    Look at a mass school shooting. I’m always going to immediately think “white dude”. That Sikh temple that got shot up in the by the (insert stereotype) white dude. Probably literally did not know what a Sikh is. He may have thought they were Muslims, but they were brown, and fit the stereotype. An act of terrorism, really.

    I think everybody uses stereotypes. It is a very sensitive and powerful issue that affects so many people, and can really hurt innocent people in many ways. Look at Hari Kondablu’s Tweet. Is he a victim of stereotyping? Perhaps. It’s so easy to become a victim of stereotyping.

    BTW, IMO you are the awesomest poster on here. You seem willing to talk objectively, while most others are so easily consumed by their overly peer validated opinions. I’ve never really seen such a group of people who sit around and tell each other how right their awesome opinions are. Besides in a church or a mosque, or a creationist website.

  81. mythbri says

    @smrnda

    When white guys shoot up places, we don’t see the ‘white action hero’ trope blamed because it teaches white guys to think of themselves as heroic loners battling it out with a gun, but rappers (many of whom talk about violence but do not promote it) are *of course* blamed for Black males being violent. (The merits of white action heroes or rap music is fodder for another debate.)

    You know, you’re totally right. But you know what bothers me? That when we have yet another mass shooting, I never hear white guys apologizing or repudiating the violence as white guys. Sure, there are lots and lots of white guys who would never do such a thing, but shouldn’t we still hold them all accountable for actions that are disproportionately committed by their demographic?

    I don’t think it’s enough that they display regular human disgust and horror at the murder of 20 first graders – they need to acknowledge that their white dudeliness is statistically responsible for these heinous acts. Maybe they could apostatize their whiteness and dudeliness, and convert to some other race and gender identity, so that we can be really sure that they’re not one of “them.”

  82. mythbri says

    O.O

    OMG, I just realized – there are white dudes in every town and city in the United States! How do we know which ones are just moderate enablers of white dude violence, and which ones are actively perpetuating it?!

  83. says

    You seem willing to talk objectively, while most others are so easily consumed by their overly peer validated opinions. I’ve never really seen such a group of people who sit around and tell each other how right their awesome opinions are. Besides in a church or a mosque, or a creationist website.

    Just raising an eyebrow at the passive aggressiveness in this phrase. Smarting a bit from being told you’re wrong by a bunch of different people, eh? And since they all agree that you’re wrong, that’s not evidence that you’re wrong, no! It’s evidence that their opinions are “overly peer validated,” whatever the hell that means.

    Like I said, you’re an asshat. What does that mean? It means you’re not as bright as you think you are and your moral sense is underdeveloped and you’re arrogant, without displaying any characteristics that would warrant such arrogance.

  84. says

    Jamie Green:

    Your first “citation”, a National Post news article, does not provide any evidence showing moderate Muslims are enabling extremists. It summarizes reporting to the effect that young Muslim men (one presumes) are being radicalized as teenagers. But no source for such radicalization is mentioned, nor is any indulgence in radicalization by moderate Muslims.

    Likewise, your second “citation”, a CBC News news article, does not provide any evidence showing moderate Muslims are enabling extremists. It describes how al-Qaeda might have a lingering influence in promoting radicalism in Canada… but no indulgence of radicalism on the part of moderates is mentioned.

    And – I’m starting to detect a pattern – finally, your third “citation”, another CBC News news article, makes… wait for it… no mention of radicalized Muslims being enabled by moderates, or of moderates indulging their behaviours.

    Finally, I’m not interested in showing that Christian, Sikh, Jewish, etc., moderates enable extremists. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. Maybe some do and others don’t. I don’t really know, and I don’t really care

    What I’m interested in is whether you can support your claim that Muslim moderates enable Muslim extremists. It’s your claim, therefore it’s your responsibility to support it with some kind of evidence.

    The news articles you link to do not do the job.

  85. smrnda says

    Wanted to second that is that not only do white guys not have to distance themselves from the actions of any particular white guys when they shoot or blow something up, but that even white guys of similar ideological persuasion express great offense when they’re expected to offer a condemnation of violence done by an ideologically similar white guy. It’s clear that white guys get the privilege of being counted as *individuals* first, a luxury members of other groups don’t get. It’s “First Name Second Name Third Name Suffix” shot up a bunch of people, not “A Muslim radical committed act of violence, name to appear on third or fourth page of article.”

    I have occasionally read perspectives from white guys who make the connection between a sense of entitlement, privileged distress and violence, though these perspectives don’t get much airtime or attention. Part of this is that there’s a reluctance to frame white male violence as a phenomenon in and of itself – each violent white guy is explained by individual rather than demographic features, even though I think the ‘individual’ factors clearly point to demographic ones.

    And yeah, stereotypes influence all of us, and they even influence us when we disbelieve them; there’s a lot of psychology research on the topic. Why do people say Muslims are violent? I’d say confirmation bias a lot of the time. We’ve been taught Islam is a danger, and so we scan the papers, looking for signs of Muslim violence. Editors do the same. Has anyone looked into kids who are being killed and run out of town in parts of Africa where Christians accuse them of witchcraft? (Note – Muslims have done the same thing, but I strongly sus that few people realize this is being done in the name of Christianity anywhere.)

    Or we can look at framing. If a white guy kills his girlfriend, we don’t say “white patriarchal American culture claims another victim.” But if a Muslim does it, it’s *clearly* the culture to blame. I think individual versus social culpability is tough to work out all the time, but it’s clear that social culpability in the States has only been brought up over some particularly bad crimes, like the Steubenville Rape Case which says a lot about USian rape culture and idolization of sports, but people are far less likely to look at cultural factors that affect rape in the States than they are when it comes to the treatment of women in other countries.

  86. Jamie Green says

    The first article by the CBC, is evidence that extremism is being tolerated by moderates. I’m not going to do all of your research for you. Go ahead and explore the topic a little more, if you’re interested. You keep ignoring the statistics at thereligionofpeace.com which has kept track of all Muslim terror attacks since 9/11, and has on record 21,000 deadly incidents, from news sources all over the world, including the Boston Islamic terror attacks, which were “coincidentally” done by “extremist” Muslims.

    I’m going to go ahead and put a little more faith the CSIS interpretation of the evidence, than your unfortunately unrealistic (though idealist) interpretation of the evidence, that all religions are an equal threat to Canada. I hope they will continue to do their job in profiling Muslims and Islamic institutions for extremism and deadly terror activity. If this makes a few brown people feel uncomfortable walking around town, this is unfortunate, but they, like you repeatedly say have more to fear from a car accident or a vending machine than becoming a victim of a hate crime.

  87. Jamie Green says

    @Smrnda Though I agree with you that people should be judged individually (in fact most Muslims I know -my banker, my doctor seem like guys who would not hurt a fly), where we disagree is that people who have f’d up ideologies are should give that up. I say the Christian witch burners are more evidence that Christianity is stupid, and all Christians should give up the ideology that supports it,not just turn a blind eye to it. Islamic terrorism is evidence that Islam is stupid, and they should give up the ideology which supports it, not just turn a blind eye to it. Gun totin’ NRA members need to give up that ideology which enables people to easily get a hand gun when they are upset at their neighborhood, and they should give up that ideology which supports it. Notice that race is not an ideology, race cannot be changed, and race has little to do with your ideology or belief system. I do not have to pussy foot around people’s ideologies when they are harmful, just because they believe they have an entitlement to not have their ideologies criticized.

  88. Jamie Green says

    We can play games with statistics all day long, but I don’t think the Crommunist will allow it. So here is the last statistic I’ll provide: 0.6 % of your population down there are Muslim, while 0.7% is Buddhist. Remind me how many terror plots down there were done by the Buddhists? And it’s interesting to note that you cite foiled terror plots, while not being realistic about the methods that were used to foil the plots. And funny you should be so quick to stereotype, yourself, while being so dead set against stereotyping.

    All of the rest of the mass killings were performed by non-Muslim white dudes.

    Quite the blanket statement.

  89. mythbri says

    As usual, Jamie, the point goes flying past you without you making any attempt to grasp it.

    Please show me how I’m not “being realistic about the methods that were used to foil the plots.”

    How did the FBI foil those plots, Jamie? Was it by accosting Muslim women on the streets and screaming “Terrorist!” into their faces? Was it by shooting up a temple of brown turban-wearing people, because they were too stupid to understand who Sikhs are? Was it by questioning the loyalty of the single member of Congress who is Muslim, simply because of his religion? Was it by creating a massive conspiracy theory about the birthplace and secret religion of our President, because he’s brown and has a funny-sounding last name?

    What’s pissing me off about you, Jamie, is that fomenting hatred toward Muslim people regardless of their involvement in terrorist activity is what led to the Iraq war, in which hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died. The Bush Administration was able to snow the American people into it because of fear like yours.

    No WMDs? No connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda? Who cares?! They’re all brown Muslims – they must have had something to do with something.

    What also disturbs me is your apparent acceptance of the possibility of hate crimes and the way that “Muslim-looking” people might be living their lives in fear – that’s all cool with you, apparently, because whatever makes you feel safer is A-Okay. Even if it doesn’t actually make you safer.

  90. says

    Jamie Green:

    Nowhere in either CBC article do CSIS personnel or academics who study Muslim radicalization quoted describe any enablement or indulgence in or of radical Muslims by moderate Muslims.

    Why do you continue to assert the opposite? It strikes me as quite disingenuous.

    I’m going to go ahead and put a little more faith the CSIS interpretation of the evidence, than your unfortunately unrealistic (though idealist) interpretation of the evidence, that all religions are an equal threat to Canada

    Except you haven’t provided CSIS’ interpretation of the evidence, or indeed any evidence, that Muslim radicals represent an especial danger to Canadians as compared to, say, gang members, serial killers, or drunk drivers.

    I hope they will continue to do their job in profiling Muslims and Islamic institutions for extremism and deadly terror activity.

    Please present evidence that CSIS and other institutions are profiling Muslims. (Monitoring a person or group after receiving a tip from the public, or after uncovering other evidence, does not constitute profiling.)

    If this makes a few brown people feel uncomfortable walking around town, this is unfortunate, but they, like you repeatedly say have more to fear from a car accident or a vending machine than becoming a victim of a hate crime.

    At this point I have to question either your ability to read for comprehension or your ability to argue honestly. I have said nothing about the prevalence of hate crimes, and, except for Crommunist mentioning hate crimes resulting from anti-Muslim prejudice, from searching the comment thread I see no one else has until mythbri pointed out the difference in absolute numbers of hate crimes committed in the US in 2012 (over six thousand) to the absolute numbers of crimes committed in the US by Muslim terrorists in 2012 (zero – with all of two attempts foiled).

    And, really? It’s “unfortunate” that “a few brown people feel uncomfortable walking around town”? Really?

    As far as I can see, Jamie, the only person playing any kind of games – rhetorical or statistical – is you.

  91. Jamie Green says

    They’re all brown Muslims – they must have had something to do with something.

    Interesting interpretation of the events leading up to the Iraq war. What? No mention of the 182,000 civilian Kurds that Saddam’s regime killed. Just little brown people, so why worry, though right? You should be thanking the thousands of brave men who sacrificed their lives to bring a legitimate democracy to the Iraqi people, something you just take for granted. Simply put, Saddam was an “international gangster” who’s time was long over due.

  92. says

    You should be thanking the thousands of brave men who sacrificed their lives to bring a legitimate democracy to the Iraqi people

    I don’t usually put this blunt a point on things, but you’re a fucking moron, Jamie. Seriously. In what has been a series of extremely stupid comments from you, this one is perhaps the pinnacle of clueless idiocy. You are scraping the bottom of an extremely deep barrel of foreign/domestic policy ideas that are completely untouched by facts. I’d congratulate you for finding new depths to sink to, but I’m not sure you understand the function of sarcasm or irony.

    I should also note that you have an extremely consistent pattern of demanding that people refute your assertions, and then moving the goalposts whenever your positions are specifically refuted without ever acknowledging that you’ve been demonstrated to be wrong. This is an incredibly dishonest tactic that makes me question what you hope to achieve aside from aggravating people.

  93. Jamie Green says

    Except you haven’t provided CSIS’ interpretation of the evidence, or indeed any evidence, that Muslim radicals represent an especial danger to Canadians as compared to, say, gang members, serial killers, or drunk drivers.

    Please start doing your own research before you try and make me do it for you. According to CSIS, “the Service has identified Islamist extremism as the most pressing threat to national security”. Not drunk drivers, sorry.

    Please present evidence that CSIS and other institutions are profiling Muslims.

    Again, start doing your own research, but here is some anecdotal evidence that support my claims that 1) CSIS is profiling Muslims and 2) Moderate muslims are enabling extremism (in this case by advising muslims not to cooperate with CSIS) http://www.muslimcouncil.org/en/2003/06/muslim_council_of_montreal_adv.html

  94. says

    Jamie Green:

    Let’s make this unambiguously clear.

    It is your responsibility to support your own claims. No one else is required to do any research to support your claims.

    Don’t like that? Too fucking bad. I don’t put up with anti-vaxxers trying to tell me to “do my own research” to accept their bullshit, and I’m not putting up with it from you.

  95. says

    By the way, Jamie:

    Members of an ethnic or religious minority historically singled out by law enforcement & security agencies reminding other members of their rights when faced with searches or questioning by said agencies is not in any way enabling extremists.

    If it was the “African-American Council of New York” advising black New Yorkers of their rights in the face of NYPD searches, would that be “enabling extremism”? But somehow it is when Muslims do it? And you think that’s not bigotry?

  96. says

    Further to the link to the Muslim Council of Montreal, what it establishes is that the Council felt that practicing Muslims in Montreal were being unfairly targeted by CSIS investigations which were exceeding the scope of what CSIS could legitimately ask of (Muslim) Canadians.

    It does not establish that CSIS was engaging in profiling, only that the Muslim Council believed CSIS was doing so.

    Your quote from CSIS, if genuine, (a) does not establish that CSIS is correct (IMO global warming is a much bigger national security problem than radicalized Muslims), and (b) even if it is it does not change the apparent lifetime risk to Canadians of being subject to terrorist attacks – which suggests that Canadians don’t have much to worry about in terms of national security.

  97. Jamie Green says

    If it was the “African-American Council of New York” advising black New Yorkers of their rights in the face of NYPD searches, would that be “enabling extremism”? But somehow it is when Muslims do it? And you think that’s not bigotry?

    First of all, what would constitute “black extremism”? Is there a doctrine common to all blacks that commands its followers to strike terror into the hearts of unbelievers, that could be taken at face value? No there is not. Second of all, there is nothing wrong with advising people of their rights. But that’s not what the Muslim Council did. What they did was advise all Muslims in Canada not to cooperate with the authorities. That is significantly different than advising them of their rights.

    even if it is it does not change the apparent lifetime risk to Canadians of being subject to terrorist attacks – which suggests that Canadians don’t have much to worry about in terms of national security.

    I’ll go ahead and answer your own quote here with a quote by yourself, thereby allowing you to demonstrate your own hypocrisy.

    Let’s make this unambiguously clear.
    It is your responsibility to support your own claims. No one else is required to do any research to support your claims.
    Don’t like that? Too fucking bad. I don’t put up with anti-vaxxers trying to tell me to “do my own research” to accept their bullshit, and I’m not putting up with it from you.

    Your quote from CSIS, if genuine (edit- IT IS) (a) does not establish that CSIS is correct (IMO global warming is a much bigger national security problem than radicalized Muslims)

    Again that I’ll take the CSIS interpretation of the evidence for determining what is a bigger threat to our national security over your interpretation, since you are are a philosophy dudebro on the internet they are the CSIS. But if you have some evidence to back up what you’re saying here, I’ll refer you again to your own quote regarding providing support you claims. But honestly, don’t bother, bro I can do my own research.

  98. Jamie Green says

    which suggests that Canadians don’t have much to worry about in terms of national security. Thanks to the great work by the men and women at CSIS, the RCMP, The Canadian Armed Forces, and her allies.

    FIXED

  99. says

    Jamie Green:

    You have had one or more links provided to you directing you to statistics showing that the lifetime risk of being subject to a terrorist attack by radicalized Muslims is lower than many common causes of death & injury in North America.

    You yourself have acknowledged this fact, although you have attempted to minimize the devastation it wreaks to your arguments on this thread.

    So for you to turn around and pretend otherwise, in order to attempt to score a rhetorical point, is the height of dishonesty – and, by the way, is another common rhetorical game played by cranks, conspiracy theorists, and fundamentalists.

    I will leave you with this link which I suspect deals yet another body blow to your disingenuous, and, as far as I am concerned, bigoted arguments.

  100. says

    First of all, what would constitute “black extremism”?

    Awwww, did somebody fall asleep in history class?

    How are we supposed to take your arguments seriously when your ignorance is so… so vast?

  101. says

    How are we supposed to take your arguments seriously when your ignorance is so… so vast?

    This has been a growing question in my mind as this conversation drags on.

  102. says

    I should also note that you have an extremely consistent pattern of demanding that people refute your assertions, and then moving the goalposts whenever your positions are specifically refuted without ever acknowledging that you’ve been demonstrated to be wrong. This is an incredibly dishonest tactic that makes me question what you hope to achieve aside from aggravating people.

    Aside from trolling, you mean?

  103. smrnda says

    The last thing we need in the States is more knee-jerk anti-Muslim sentiment. Are there dangerous Muslim extremists? Yes. Is there a lot wrong with Islam? Yes. However, all whipping up anti-Muslim sentiment will get accomplished is that roving bands of thugs will beat up people who ‘look Muslim’ and that the police will be inundated with countless, useless reports of “suspicious Muslims” every time some brown person shows up anywhere, and lots of Muslims who are causing no trouble will clog up the criminal justice system, and many will get imprisoned and hassled by the cops for no reason. That’s just going to make life hard for a whole lot of people, including quite a few people like some of my Indian friends who can’t figure out why people think they’re Muslims, and Muslims who are minding their own business and not up to any harm. It also denies basic due process rights to a chunk of the population. I’m not willing to put any group of people under that kind of surveillance.

    We already have massive awareness of the threat of Islam, while people are often ignorant of the extent of hate crimes both in terms of what groups are targeted and who commits these crimes.

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