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Jan 10 2012

It’s about time Jesus & Mo got their just reward

Week after week, Jesus & Mo keeps plugging along with its sacrilegious portrayal of Jesus Christ and Mohammed as a pair of oblivious lunkheads, and there have been no fatwahs, no beheadings, no riots. It doesn’t seem right.

Now at last there has been a little protest: University College London is having a censorship fight over the use of Jesus & Mo by the Atheist, Secularist, and Humanist Society. It’s much more polite than a riot, at least, but just as stupid.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Association is protesting. Apparently, once you’ve been informed that a group of deluded idjits finds your signage offensive, you’re supposed to immediately take it down and apologize.

Once a particular act is deemed to be offensive to another, it is only good manners to refrain from, at the very least, repeating that act. In this particular case, when at first the cartoon was uploaded, it could have been mistaken as unintentional offense. When certain Muslims voiced their offense over the issue, for any civil, well-mannered individual or group of individuals, it should then be a question as to the feelings of others and the cartoons should then have been removed

Gosh, who knew? I find the inanity of Christian announcements deeply offensive, and all I have to do is go down to the local churches and ask them politely to stop expressing their views in public, and the church bells will stop ringing, the electronic chimes will cease blaring, they’ll stop putting up advertisements for Kent Hovind video showings at the university, and they’ll stop airing insipid church services on the local public television station. I look forward to our new era of tolerance, civility, and public respect for the views of atheists.

62 comments

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  1. 1
    georgewiman

    I’ve been rebuilding my comics-link page and had forgotten to link to Jesus & Mo. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. 2
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Once a particular act is deemed to be offensive to another, it is only good manners to refrain from, at the very least, repeating that act.

    Really? I deem it offensive to me for you to indoctrinate children into your religion.

    [crickets]

  3. 3
    jontennant

    Just to note, this entire protest was caused by the cartoon image appearing on a Facebook event for the Atheist Society. Someone clearly went out of their way to find this and take offense.

    In the same way as you don’t go on a website about dead dogs if you don’t want to read about dead dogs.

  4. 4
    holytape

    To those that say that the freedom to insult is not covered by the freedom of speech, I respond, “Anything you say is an insult to my intelligence, so kindly shut the fuck up.”

    Blasphemy is good

  5. 5
    Matt Penfold

    What if secularists find the demands of Muslim Students Association offensive ? If the MSA are to be consistent they would need to take down their demand Jesus and Mo be taken down.

  6. 6
    evilDoug

    If J&M were on a giant electronic billboard on campus, I might be able to muster a teeny weeny little bit of sympathy for the mulims’ position. But on a Facebook page?! Is Satan poking the muslims with a pitchfork, forcing them to navigate to said page? If everything on Facebook that even a majority of people would find offensive were removed, I suspect Facebook would crumble to dust overnight.

    I do like the fact that the voice of reason at J&M is a woman!

  7. 7
    Gregory Greenwood

    Once a particular act is deemed to be offensive to another, it is only good manners to refrain from, at the very least, repeating that act.

    And yet it is apparently perfectly acceptable to loudly and repeatedly proclaim that people who don’t believe in your sky fairy are going to be tortured for all time after they die, and that they will deserve it? It is completely civil to use your religion as an excuse to demonise homosexuals and attempt to deny them equal status? It is just dandy to deny women their bodily autonomy because your religion leads you to believe that fetuses are imbued with a magic soul gas that means that a tiny ball of cells should be afforded greater rights than an adult woman?

    But of course, how could I forget? What is a little theistic bigotry and discrimination when set against the horror of hurt religious feelings? How can we godless abominations be so unutterably cruel as to publicly admit that we exist? However will the faithful survive the trauma of being confronted with reality dissenting opinions?

  8. 8
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    I am a firm supporter of recycling old trash:

    You are a pitiful joke. Trembling over the mere mention cartoon of God Mohammed. Running like babies to court because of your brittle feelings. “Oh, but judge, but judge, I saw a cross drawing and I just can’t stand it.” “I heard someone say ‘Merry Christmas’ religion is irrational and it hurt my feelings.” “I just can’t sleep knowing there is a manger scene at the courthouse sign with a cartoon of Mohammed on it.” “The sight of the Ten Commandments picture makes me wet my pants.”

  9. 9
    jontennant

    Just for all the yanks out there, this is actually the typical state of ‘political correctness’ nowadays in England. The slightest thing gets jumped on by people who can’t distinguish between something harmless and something that is genuinely offensive/racist. It just happens to be that the state of ‘racial fear’ in the country means that people like this have their voices amplified and their irrational words absorbed by the masses of illogical thinkers. This is another classic example, with an irrational response from the Union of a pretty damn good University.

  10. 10
    Matt Penfold

    I just send the Muslim Association a message:

    With regards your demands that ASHS taken down the cartoon “Jesus and Mo” on the grounds you find it offensive, I find your demand it be taken down to be offensive. I am not alone in this view.

    In order that you remain consistent will you please provide an assurance that you will taking down your demand with immediate effect, or in the event you are not willing to do that, will you accept that not doing so makes you hypocritical ?

  11. 11
    Konradius

    Zinc, I have a problem with that.
    I would agree that a jesus and mo cartoon would not be appropriate in a courtroom or other public space as decoration. At least not unless multiple citizens could express their faith positions there.

    Otherwise, I agree with the sentiment :)

  12. 12
    Marcus Ranum

    Once a particular act is deemed to be offensive to another, it is only good manners to refrain from, at the very least, repeating that act.

    Religion offends me. Can I haz “game over” plz?

  13. 13
    Moggie

    Ah, UCL student union. Good to see that UCL student politics hasn’t got any less silly than when I was there, lo these many years ago. (Well, maybe a little: I seem to remember we elected a bicycle to a union post, in which it performed better than many human incumbents).

  14. 14
    frankb

    The Muslim Student Association’s statement ended with this: To purposefully equate that noble expression and that noble requirement of humanity, with the base action of purposefully hurting others religious sentiments is, like the cartoons themselves, an ugly caricature that bears no resemblance to the reality.

    This statement begs so many questions. Assuming that noble expression refers to poetic prose from the Koran, what does that have to do with reality? What noble things do non-muslims find in the Koran or in Muslim religious practices? Since having one’s religious sentiments hurt is a choice, how can one blame another? How can one honor free speech and ask others to shut up in the same breathe?

    I have only asked a few, there are many more.

  15. 15
    Matt Penfold

    Ah, UCL student union. Good to see that UCL student politics hasn’t got any less silly than when I was there, lo these many years ago. (Well, maybe a little: I seem to remember we elected a bicycle to a union post, in which it performed better than many human incumbents).

    When I was at Plymouth University we tried to get Gus Honeybun elected as President of the Student’s Union. Unfortunately some killjoy had ensured that the Union’s constitution requires all those standing for office be humans enrolled at the University. Mind, that requirement was of no use when two elected officials of the Union publicly stated they supported the IRA.

  16. 16
    Rey Fox

    I do like the fact that the voice of reason at J&M is a woman!

    And keeps her off-panel to deflect attention from how hot she is (or…isn’t?).

  17. 17
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    I like the response of the ASHS:

    All people are free to be offended by any image they view. This does not give them the right to impose their beliefs on others by censoring such images.

    Zing!

  18. 18
    jimmauch

    I find that believers protest that athiest protests are offensive — offensive. With them telling us that atheism is just another belief don’t they understang that we are beyond criticism. They are rude and insulent cretins.

  19. 19
    Kevin Anthoney

    Don’t forget to sign the petition.

  20. 20
    richarddawkins

    Please note that there is a petition you can sign at
    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/defend-freedom-of-expression-at-university-college/
    Sorry, I don’t know how to do hyperlinks

  21. 21
    Kevin Anthoney

    Sorry, I don’t know how to do hyperlinks

    Well, you did it quite well!

  22. 22
    markr1957

    The mere act of praying is offensive to me – does that mean that in future no-one is allowed to practice religion in any form?

  23. 23
    jimharrison

    During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the Christian authorities ransacked synagogues to find uncensored copies of the Talmud, which were deemed offensive because they included criticism (or libel, your choice) of Jesus as a fraud and Mary as a slut. Jews have more political power now so that sort of thing doesn’t happen in the U.K. anymore, but the current case shows that European legal thinking hasn’t changed all that much. Rights of free speech do not belong to individuals but to approved institutions. Atheists just don’t have enough political mojo.

  24. 24
    sc_ed0334995b83493a704eb3cbe44fc0ac

    http://blog.newhumanist.org.uk/2012/01/student-atheist-society-in-censorship.html#comment-407237753 – There’s a response from a muslim from UCL at the bottom now. Absolute nonsense..

  25. 25
    Glen Davidson

    Once a particular act is deemed to be offensive to another, it is only good manners to refrain from, at the very least, repeating that act

    Generally, if you’re sharing a booth with that person, and the “offense” is at least on the scale of reasonable. Indeed, were I a seatmate with a Muslim, had expressed anti-Islamic sentiment, and was informed that what I said was offensive to said Muslim, it would be the right thing to do to shut up about Islam.

    It’s the old false analogy, of course, sort of like saying that life has some similarities to designed machines (notably in having functional coordinated parts), therefore life was designed. No, that only shows that life and our designs are functional, rather a given, while the differences are, to say the least, considerable (and evolutionary on the part of life).

    Similarly, of course I shut up rather than offend my Muslim seatmate, while I don’t in the slightest consider shutting up about Islam in the public realm. That’s censorship, an inhibition of my right to speak where and when appropriate–which includes criticism of theology and of ideology.

    Confuse the individual with the society, and it suggests that we must be quiet when people rudely try to censor us.

    Glen Davidson

  26. 26
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    jimharrison:

    …the current case shows that European legal thinking hasn’t changed all that much.

    Humm, the UK is not the whole of Europe. AFAIK, when it comes to giving special accommodations for religious beliefs, they are worse off than some continental European countries.

  27. 27
    ambassadorfromverdammt

    Rey@16. She is. It doesn’t matter what she looks like.

  28. 28
    stevenkukula

    There is no humor without a victim. Whether it’s a blond joke or “a pig fell in the mud”, there is always a person or thing that has to take it in the shorts for a joke to be funny. So it’s particularly funny that Muslims or Chrispies take offense at being the butt of a joke – that’s what humor is.

  29. 29
    michaelthor

    I feel the need to respond to the blog of P Z Myers and accusations by other individuals.

    Whilst the society and I are great admirers of P Z Myers, I must correct his reference to AMSA. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Students association of UCL are not THE “Muslim Student Association” of University College London. They do not represent all Muslims at our University.

    AMSA has never been anything other than reasoned and courteous towards us. They may not agree with the posting of the image in the first place, but numerous individuals of the Ahmadiyya community have made it perfectly clear that they support our inalienable right to freedom of expression. I consider those at AMSA to be our friends and, though many may disagree with the contents of their article, I do not feel it appropriate to insinuate that any of this began with them.

    Thank you

    Regards

    Robbie Yellon
    UCLU-ASHS President

  30. 30
    robro

    I would love to figure out how to get churches to stop playing annoying, canned chimes over loud speakers. There’s a Cat’lick one up the street that blares the most unmusical crap imaginable all over the neighborhood routinely, particularly on Sundays…so much for a “day of rest” for christ’s sake. Not only is the “music” awful, but the sound system sucks so bad that the result is something similar to tortured pigs. If I plugged my guitar into a Marshall stack and started playing “Oh, holy night” so that it could be heard eight blocks away, I’d have cops on my doorstep instantly. But, of course, the CHURCH gets a free pass. Stupid, arrogant bastards.

  31. 31
    anbheal

    I’d be much more comfortable if the issue at hand was Free Speech rather than the demarcations of “offensive”. From ElevatorGate through a great many other issues discussed on FTB, there is virtual unaninimity of opinion that offensiveness is better judged by the offended than by the “you have no sense of humor, that wasn’t offensive” apologists. And yes, I know, there is a general consensus here that Islam and Christianity aren’t identities in the same way that race, gender, gender orientation, etc., are. But try telling that to a scared teenage Dominionist or Sunni who’s grappling with same-sex attraction or doubts as to the literal “truths” they’ve been deluged with since birth.

    And yes, I understand the distinction between telling assholes that they’re assholes versus telling satirists to never satirize this or that particular socio-cultural icon. But I’m not sure if FTB should fancy itself the sole arbiter of what’s offensive to whom. Especially inlight of FTB’s pretty consistent admonitions to others not to do so.

    As for what constitutes identity, well, that’s a pretty tricky quagmire as well. Scorn is probably not the most useful form of consciousness-raising. One person’s choice is another person’s not-so-much-choice-allowed.

  32. 32
    DLC

    Oh dear. the religious fanatics have been offended. . .
    Sorry. trying hard to give a shit, and can’t.
    Somebody call them a Waaaambulance.

    FWIW, petition (re#20) signed.

  33. 33
    unclefrogy

    while the comic in question does make fun of the religious figures it is mild both in the drawings themselves and the depiction. it is almost polite. neither bombastic nor racist just completely irreverent.

    uncle frogy

  34. 34
    anbheal

    Yeah, I get it, DLC — but replace your “religious fanatics” with any group you like better, and see how it sounds.

  35. 35
    chigau (違う)

    anbheal

    But I’m not sure if FTB should fancy itself the sole arbiter of what’s offensive to whom.

    This is somewhat metaphysical since FtB doesn’t actually exist as a thinking entity.
    And in order to interact with FtB one must actually comment on FtB.
    FtB does not, cannot go somewhere else and insult someone.

  36. 36
    anbheal

    Are cartoons or online dismissals of other humans’ sensibilities metaphysical? Then I’m all for a metaphysical debate. Hey man, I bloody well despise the intrusion of this dominant religion or that into the spheres of public policy and private assholism, but how is a public statement by a student Muslim organization any less metaphysical?

    I just inquire as to the consistency in defining offense and identity. And I am happy to be convinced that “They” deserve the smackdown while “We” do not. It just seems a tad facile, us being the we, them being the they.

  37. 37
    platyhelminthe

    Glen Davison wrote:

    Indeed, were I a seatmate with a Muslim, had expressed anti-Islamic sentiment, and was informed that what I said was offensive to said Muslim, it would be the right thing to do to shut up about Islam.

    Funnily enough, I was at UCL, and shared digs with a Muslim, who was my best friend at the time. Believe me, I had no problem expressing anti-Islamic sentiment to him! We would argue endlessly about it. (But really, my main problem with HIS religiosity was always that he was clearly too intelligent and civilised to be defending such a barbarous pile of crap; he was and is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. I think if he GENUINELY believed Islamic tenets were true, we couldn’t have been friends – I always felt he professed belief for cultural reasons.)

    I actually had quite a few Muslim friends at UCL, but none of them took the metaphysics all that seriously, and would never have written anything as inane as the letter PZ quotes above. I can’t say there WEREN’T people as crazy as that when I was there, but it does seem unlikely, and as such disturbing that they are there now.

  38. 38
    Aratina Cage

    From ElevatorGate through a great many other issues discussed on FTB, there is virtual unaninimity of opinion that offensiveness is better judged by the offended than by the “you have no sense of humor, that wasn’t offensive” apologists.

    Because it is soooo funny to call women derogatory, misogynistic names! Hahahahahaha! Love it, anbheal. Love it.

  39. 39
    anbheal

    Aratina –

    Exactly. You don’t like it at all. Nor do I.

    Hard to believe that some disenfranchised Muslims in a belligerently Coalition Of The Willing Christian country don’t like the constant pooh-poohing either.

    Where is the line drawn, among oppressed communities?

    Classism is as corrosive as sexism, if you’re not of the correct class.

  40. 40
    Aratina Cage

    We’ll stop “oppressing” whiny theists when they stop oppressing others.

  41. 41
    scorpy1

    Where is the line drawn, among oppressed communities?

    Well, first you’d need something fine enough to draw that line.

    In your slapdash attempt to draw false equivalency between cases by using such broad strokes (“oppression!”), you lose any sense of relevancy.

    Which, I suspect, was the point.

  42. 42
    anbheal

    Not that simple. I approve of telling white cis wealthy Christian males in America to stop whining. I approve of telling imams and press organs in Saudi Arabia or Bahrain to stop their oppression of women and other sects. But Muslims in Great Britain and France and Germany and the U.S. are NOT in positions of power. If Toby Keith or Eminem makes jokes at the expense of women or blacks or gays, they are to be condemned. If Wanda Sykes makes fun of the cis white male power structure here, fair enough.

    It’s triflingly easy to issue blanket condemnations of all who believe in the irrational, but a great many of those were your ethnic immigrant grandparents. For the dominant hierarchy to constantly denigrate the diesnfranchised minority is not simply a matter of questioning their irrational beliefs, but a way of dehumanizing them for public policy reasons. Once they are painted into a corner of CRAZY MOOSLIMS, then why bother with any civil rights for them at all. Cockroaches, Muslims, same diff, right?

    I refer you to the Murdoch Media Empire. First they came for the Jews, and I was silent…..it works both ways.

  43. 43
    LykeX

    Once a particular act is deemed to be offensive to another, it is only good manners to refrain from, at the very least, repeating that act.

    I find it personally offensive that any person holding this opinion is breathing.

    Problem solved.

  44. 44
    Aratina Cage

    anbheal, so you’re saying that since Muslims in the West face rampant discrimination that they are above criticism? That the whiners among them are above mocking when they play the offended card toward atheists? If so, I’m don’t agree with you.

    And you’re stretching reality past its breaking point with your Nazi comparisons; we have not dehumanized anyone. You really ought to apologize for so blatantly misrepresenting our views here.

  45. 45
    Aratina Cage

    >I don’t agree with you.<

  46. 46
    Aratina Cage

    @anbheal

    For the dominant hierarchy to constantly denigrate the diesnfranchised minority is not simply a matter of questioning their irrational beliefs, but a way of dehumanizing them for public policy reasons.

    No, we are not dehumanizing them. But breaking the taboo on speaking out against religious silliness is part of what it means to be a Gnu Atheist. You know what, I think you are on the wrong blog. You are apparently looking for an accommodationist blog that will agree with you. Might I suggest the Intersocktion?

  47. 47
    anbheal

    Tee hee — so you are offended?

    And no, no dehumanizing evident here, though, um, the commenter before you suggests we’d be better off if they didn’t breathe. Which strikes me as one common thread of humanity, its requirement for breathing.

    And okay, Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib are not Auschwitz, so I was out of line.

    But I’m just as content that the majority of commenters aren’t at Langley or Foggy Bottom or in John Yoo’s office.

  48. 48
    scorpy1

    And okay, Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib are not Auschwitz, so I was out of line.

    Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib are also not a depiction of Mohammed (which isn’t even a depiction of Mohammed) or criticism of an offended group because of the banality of their offense, so yeah.

  49. 49
    Aratina Cage

    @anbheal

    Tee hee — so you are offended?

    By your attempt to lay Nazi-esque intentions on our shoulders? OK… I guess it’s time I disengage the troll.

    the commenter before you suggests we’d be better off if they didn’t breathe.

    Reading comprehension needed! Reread what Lykex wrote very carefully, please. Then apologize to Lykex, too.

    And to us again for thinking that we don’t consider John Yoo and W and the rest of his gang war criminals.

  50. 50
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    @ anbheal:

    Psst, didn’t you know that even the UN stopped (at least for now) to conflate “defamation of religion” with incitation to hatred?

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2011/12/26/un-rejects-defamation-of-religion-language/

    So much for trying to teach us that it’s oh so racist to make fun of religious dogma.

  51. 51
    anbheal

    Sorry. Didn’t comprehend the meaning of troll. I think I get it now.

    Also, of course you cannot be anything but correct — I didn’t quite appreciate reading comprehension until this very moment.

    This is the third time I’ve been asked on FTB to shut up and go elsewhere, each and every one when I questioned classist/racist/nationalist assumptions implicit in the atheist/right-to-satirize-the-poorest-most-oppressed-frustratingly-irrational-citizens ones.

    I work with autonomous EZLN communities in Chiapas and Tabasco. You’d be appalled at their Animist-cum-Catholic presumptions. They’d be offended at lots of stuff that gets said here without second thought. But I’m more concerned with their getting shafted by NAFTA, and a decent amount of protein in the diet.

    This is apostasy??? Fair enough. But across the whole wide world around, almost everywhere outside the Christian Industrialized Bankers’ Paradise, devout believers are all the more likely to get the short end of the socioeconomic and political and judicial stick. It’s not a matter of Dear Muslima, it’s a matter of picking on the weak.

    If I really must go elsewhere to find sympathy (if evidently not a drop of empathy) for those existing on a half Campbell’s Soup can of rice per day — yea, even if they believe silly things and take offense if people ridicule those silly things –then I accept that banishment.

    I retract the Nazi parallels as polemical laziness, but I know from trolling. I was genuinely in earnest. And on the side of the bombed and starved and pillaged. They may be stubbornly theistic, but they’re the bully’s choice of enemy.

  52. 52
    scorpy1

    classist/racist/nationalist assumptions implicit in the atheist/right-to-satirize-the-poorest-most-oppressed-frustratingly-irrational-citizens ones.

    Funnily enough, you’re the only one trying your darndest to personify muslims as belonging to a specific Class, Race or Nation and therefore are just as oppressed as oppressed members of whatever specific group you sloppily appropriate.

    I didn’t quite appreciate reading comprehension until this very moment…..I accept that banishment.

    Since noone’s actually banished you (again with the projection!) you clearly haven’t.

  53. 53
    georgewiman

    @anbheal, you want sympathy for people who are shafted by powerful banking interests, who don’t have enough to eat, you’ve got it. If in the bargain they also want religion to be above criticism, that’s a different story.

  54. 54
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    anbheal ,

    You should really get off that cross, your arms will cramp.

  55. 55
    Aratina Cage

    I retract the Nazi parallels as polemical laziness, but I know from trolling. –anbheal

    Alright. Thank you for that.

    This is the third time I’ve been asked on FTB to shut up and go elsewhere, each and every one when I questioned classist/racist/nationalist assumptions implicit in the atheist/right-to-satirize-the-poorest-most-oppressed-frustratingly-irrational-citizens ones.

    Mental slavery (which is what theism is) does not get a pass here no matter where it exists. You are really just assuming too much about people who read and comment here, I think.

    They’d be offended at lots of stuff that gets said here without second thought.

    And would you support their mental slavery? Would you reinforce their beliefs that they are the playthings of a celestial dictator? Get off your highhorse, anbheal!

    If I really must go elsewhere to find sympathy (if evidently not a drop of empathy) for those existing on a half Campbell’s Soup can of rice per day — yea, even if they believe silly things and take offense if people ridicule those silly things –then I accept that banishment.

    Well, accommodationists will most likely nurse your ego. They would probably agree with you that it is better to not agitate those shackled by the delusion of theism/supernaturalism on that particular matter at almost any cost, including the cost of those people’s education. Better to let them wallow in their miserable subjugation to an imaginary sky tyrant than to poke at that false belief and set them free of it, an accommodationist might say.

  56. 56
    tulse

    If I really must go elsewhere to find sympathy (if evidently not a drop of empathy) for those existing on a half Campbell’s Soup can of rice per day

    Wait, the UCL Muslim Students Association is starving?!

  57. 57
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    @ anbheal:

    I was genuinely in earnest. And on the side of the bombed and starved and pillaged. They may be stubbornly theistic, but they’re the bully’s choice of enemy.

    You forget that they are often bombed, pillaged and oppressed by their own co-religionists. Pick any Third World War you want, you’ll find poor Christians in Chiapas oppressed by rich Christians from the US or Mexico City, or poor Muslims in Somalia victimised by other Muslims, with the backing of rich Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia.

    You’ll also find this kind of intra-community oppression among immigrants in Western countries.

    If you find Pharyngula harsh toward the intolerance displayed by the “stubbornly theistic” against any examination of their dogma, what will you say about Maryam Namazie‘s blog? To give you a hint: she’s a spokesperson for the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain).

    Raising consciousness about class oppression and imperialism doesn’t mean that we should close an eye on what non-Christian or non-First World religions do.

    Or isn’t it OK to support non-believers as long as the religion they want to get free of has been granted the label “oppressed”? Yours is a very black-and-white world. No pun intended.

  58. 58
    LykeX

    the commenter before you suggests we’d be better off if they didn’t breathe

    No, I didn’t, you nitwit. I was trying to make the point that there are obviously some claims of offense that are so ridiculous that they can and should be ignored; that offense alone cannot be the standard by which we decide whether or not to take a given action.

    Sometimes we should ignore whether our words and actions cause offense. We can discuss exactly where the line is drawn, but anyone who is still breathing has implicitly admitted that there is such a line.

  59. 59
    elisabetht.

    Once a particular act is deemed to be offensive to another, it is only good manners to refrain from, at the very least, repeating that act.

    The speaker here is a true believer and I more or less expect religious entitlement from conservatives. What truly frightens me are when certain atheists and liberal-left thinkers express the exact same mentality. That is a betrayal of the Enlightenment.

  60. 60
    elisabetht.

    And yes, I know, there is a general consensus here that Islam and Christianity aren’t identities in the same way that race, gender, gender orientation, etc.,

    It must be very upsetting to see how we apply basic reason to distinguish between innate characteristics and ideological ones.

    But Muslims in Great Britain and France and Germany and the U.S. are NOT in positions of power.

    Yes and no.

    1. Given the globalist dimensions of Islamic identity and ambitions, they are part of the second most accepted belief system in the world.

    2. Muslims certainly have the eye of the media and politicians, both for and against in total disproportion to their size. Contrast the positions of the UK newspapers, the Guardian and the Telegraph.

    More importantly the politics of claims of victimhood by Muslims as Muslims are richly accepted and engrained among the Western left. I write “as Muslims” because it puts religion ahead of genuine areas of concern like racism that actually better explain social and economic disparity. Do white Muslims like Bosnians do as poorly as North Africans in European society? I think not.

    3. On top of this you have the phenomenon of self-enforced isolation from mainstream society due to religious and cultural orthodoxy. That is within their power to change.

    4. Many Muslims and their allies then do themselves no favour by constantly claiming “racism” in response to acts that are obviously targeting the religion as religious criticism. Again is a white Bosnian Muslim any less the target of the bomb-in-turban Danish Mohammed cartoons than a Pakistani Muslim?

    5. Islam critics of Muslim origin such as S. Rushdie or A. Hirsi Ali, who are obviously not racist against themselves (although I have seen claims to try and argue that preposterous point), are met with the same derision and hostility by Muslims and their allies. They wish for complete exclusion of criticism, even from the most clearly legitimate sources.

    On points 4 and 5, the power is demonstrated by notable success in suppressing offensive acts by abuse of hate speech laws and, as anglophones seems to prefer, self-censorship by the media.

  61. 61
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    There’s an incredibly insipid apologist for Islam trying to argue with me over at The New Humanist (linked in the OP).

    The trolls that come here are so much more fun to play with than genuine believers trying to convince people that mere offence is a good reason to censor something. Some crap about civility.

    Any takers for the guy a The New Humanist? I’m bored!

  62. 62
    phrankeaufyl

    Once a particular act is deemed to be offensive to another, it is only good manners to refrain from, at the very least, repeating that act.

    I find that statement offensive.

    It seems we’re at an impasse.

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