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Category Archive: religion

May 31 2013

Another brief thought on identity shifts

Mohamed Salim is a number of things. He’s a man, he’s an American, he’s a war veteran, he’s a cab driver, he’s a son, possibly a brother or a father or a husband. Presumably he has other identities that are grounded in his personal interests: maybe gamer or Trekkie or brony or lacrosse team captain …

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May 31 2013

‘Muslimed’ out of being white

When two bombs went off at the Boston Marathon finish line, the simmering xenophobia and racism that lies just beneath America’s veneer of tolerance and enlightenment roared to the surface. The New York Post, a rag long known for its total abdication of journalistic ethics, posted an innuendo-laced front page inviting the dangerous speculation of …

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May 30 2013

Qasim Rashid on Muslims condemning violence

One of the more popular criticisms of Muslims that can be found within the atheist community takes the following form: Sure, not all Muslims commit acts of violence; however, they do not speak out against it, because they know that the violent actors are adhering to the true nature of the religion. The latter half is …

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May 30 2013

Ali A. Rizvi on ‘the politics of Islamophobia’

I am acutely aware, as I look over the post from the past couple of days, that I am breaking one of my own general ‘rules’: I am speaking about a community more than I am listening to its members. Indeed, short of a high school World Religions course and whatever I have gleaned from …

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May 29 2013

Religious Islam vs. Political Islam

There’s one final point I need to explore before I launch into a longer discussion of the events of last month, and that’s a debate I had in the comments about the difference between Islam as a religion and Islam as a political force. The former refers explicitly to Islam as I have described it …

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May 29 2013

Is criticism of Islam racist?

No. Now let me explain why it’s not that simple. In any dispute among atheists (or non-atheists) about Islam, the chances are pretty good that someone will make some kind of off-side claim about what “Muslims” do or do not believe, or that we need to curb the civil liberties and human rights of Muslims …

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May 28 2013

Islamic criticism vs. Islamophobia

The freethinking community periodically finds itself in the paroxysms of indecision and self-recrimination for its inability to consistently address a simple question: what is the difference between “criticism of Islam” and “Islamophobia”? Whenever we seek to draw attention to atrocities committed in the name of Islam, we are caught in a firestorm of criticism on …

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May 28 2013

Lessons to be learned from the Boston tragedy

I have just returned from a trip to Boston. These posts have been waiting for a while to publish, and this is as good a time as any. Over the past month*, I have repeatedly found myself in the odd position of defending Islam and Muslims from fellow atheists. As an atheist, I am certainly …

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May 13 2013

Islamophobia, a discussion

More Harris Crap

Depending on who you read or listen to, either Islamophobia simply isn’t real, or it’s not as pervasive as people think it is, or sometimes it’s a legitimate criticism, but it’s often used incorrectly to shut down someone legitimately criticising Islam, or else it’s just some word (without any legitimate meaning) that people use to shut …

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Apr 23 2013

MP Scott Reid goes after atheists in the House of Commons #DefendDissent

Our beleaguered and religion-soaked cousins south of the border may, from time to time, look northward with envy at Canada’s largely non-religious civil society. Our politics are not replete with the same invocations to the intercession of the supernatural that plague the American landscape; indeed, it is considered somewhat gauche in most circles to make large …

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