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I was not even tempted

Aron Ra brings up a minor incident from the past, in reference to the iERA’s recent denunciation of the Woolwich murder.

However I must remind anyone reading this that the iERA is headed by one Hamza Tzortzis who PZ and I met when he crashed the World Atheist Convention in Dublin Ireland. Hamza tried to convince PZ to get into an iERA car where they intended to take him to an undisclosed location for a private discussion. Sensing the insanity of that invitation, I altered the challenge to invite Hamza onto the Magic Sandwich Show instead.

While on our show, DPR Jones asked Hamza what would be the appropriate and reasonable response to apostates, and Hamza Tsortzis, head of the iERA said non-believers should be decapitated. He said it was the only humane thing to do, as he belives sawing someone’s head off to be a merciful and painless way to correct opposing opinions.

Aron did not have to try very hard. When a group of indignant Muslims who have just spent 20 minutes telling me that every word of their holy book is literally true ask me to take a ride with them, I am not at all tempted. The same would be true if they were a gang of clean-shaven Christian fanatics.

Can you imagine anything more boring and infuriating than being trapped in the company of loquacious Abrahamic zealots? Even without considering the neck-chopping thing, it would be an awful experience.

Factor in the predilection for decapitating their perceived enemies by some of them, and others’ refusal to so much as condemn violent murder, and is it any wonder that most people give them a wide berth?

Comments

  1. says

    Why would you get into a stranger’s car if he didn’t even bother to offer you candy? It makes no sense!

  2. kevinalexander says

    If I had to choose between being trapped in a room with loquacious religious proselytizers and having my head sawn off……
    How much time in the room are we talking here?

  3. No One says

    PZ I’d be careful in the future. Your engagement with Hamza was too “close for comfort”. Even though Aron was covering the vector, these guys “combat train”. A warning to all, be very cautious when engaging these fanatics, even in conversation.

  4. says

    I recall reading a while back that Ireland is accumulating a large Muslim community, but doesn’t have the same “immigration problem” that the rest of Europe has. I bet this is where they start realizing they also have the problem.

  5. funkyderek says

    If anyone hasn’t seen PZ’s discussion with Hamza and co., it’s well worth watching. Oddly, the IERA think they came off well in this video.

  6. gillyc says

    PZ, you have the patience of a saint; I gave up at 06:46. They really have bullshitting down to a fine art, don’t they?

  7. spike13 says

    That had to have brought the thought in the back of your mind “Is this going to be a one way trip?”
    Good thinking on giving it a pass.

  8. spike13 says

    godrick #6
    It could also be that the folks who were slaughtering each other for the last 80 years are still around and armed. The IRA and the UDF don’t play nice.

  9. crocodoc says

    I’ve never seen Hamza’s explicit approval of beheading apostates before. After reading Aron’s post I searched for it on Youtube and here it is:

  10. doubtthat says

    Whoa. I’ve always found Hamza tedious and annoying, but the car ride to an undisclosed location…that’s dark.

  11. grumpypathdoc says

    Let me say that as a human, a primate and a carnivorous mammalian, possessing a mesolimbic system that is usually suppressed (at least now, but that’s another story) by avoiding certain legal, non-narcotic substances that screw with dopamine and serotonin levels and by trying to increase the mediating effect of my frontal lobes, I can easily avoid carrying through with the urge to behead my fellow humans. Even if they are manifesting certain pontificating tendencies as illustrated above by Hamza Tsortzis in the video posted by Crocodoc @ #12.

    However I still get the urge to slap such persons silly for saying such fucking stupid and inane things.

    Of course we have enough ass hats here in the good ole Christian US of A who say nearly the same things, minus the beheading part. I’d like to slap them silly as well.

  12. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    While on our show, DPR Jones asked Hamza what would be the appropriate and reasonable response to apostates, and Hamza Tsortzis, head of the iERA said non-believers should be decapitated.

    Is that quite right?
    I think the usual doctrine is that open apostates should be decapitated (for obvious reasons, secret apostates can’t be), people of the book should be tolerated, with humiliation in an inferior position, if they pay protection money and non-believers should be offered the chance to recognise the truth of islam and only be decapitated if they fail to do so.

    I thought no-one since Al Capone had offered to take someone for a ride.

  13. Gregory Greenwood says

    However I must remind anyone reading this that the iERA is headed by one Hamza Tzortzis who PZ and I met when he crashed the World Atheist Convention in Dublin Ireland. Hamza tried to convince PZ to get into an iERA car where they intended to take him to an undisclosed location for a private discussion.

    Wow – it may have been an innocent statement made without thought to how it sounds, but given Hamza Tzortzis’ attitude toward those who don’t share his beliefs, it really is pretty difficult to give him the benefit of the doubt here.

    While on our show, DPR Jones asked Hamza what would be the appropriate and reasonable response to apostates, and Hamza Tsortzis, head of the iERA said non-believers should be decapitated. He said it was the only humane thing to do, as he belives sawing someone’s head off to be a merciful and painless way to correct opposing opinions.

    “We are not violent; now believe what we tell you to or we will behead/hang/burn/condemn to eternal torment or otherwise kill and/or torture you” – the ‘logic’ of the fanatic (whether muslim, xian or otherwise) in a nutshell. One cannot help but wonder why, if their faith is supposedly so strong, they are willing to use violence to stifle dissent? Surely, if they believe they are right about their sky fairy, that should be all that matters, and the opinions of other people are irrelevant? It is almost as if this isn’t really about their god per se at all, and more about a desire for very temporal power and dominion dressed up as a ‘holy war’…

  14. Viktor Brown says

    Did he drive a white unmarked van? Because I’ve heard that’s the mark of true legitimacy.

  15. DLC says

    This Tzortzis guy needs to step back from religion and see a therapist. Quite seriously, he needs help before he or his followers do something truly horrible. There’s no law against being a raging asshat, but he’s really on the edge of scary-land.

  16. Rob Grigjanis says

    Godric @6: Yeah, Muslims make up 1% of the Irish population. Scary, huh? But, statistically, shouldn’t we be more worried about Norwegians, or people whose name means “power of God”?

  17. vaiyt says

    Tzortzis denounced the murder for the same reason Republicans use murder-related rhetoric all the time and then rebuke people when they take it to the logical conclusion. He wants to please the sane and the insane at the same time.

  18. kreativekaos says

    Recently watched a debate between Lawrence Krauss and Tzortzis on You Tube– what an ass (Tzortzis),… as well as a skewed, diversionary and disingenuous debater he is. Krauss got righteously incensed at various points, debating him into the ground.
    But ‘al-LAH-as’, Tzortzis stood his ground– defending the stupidity and barbarism of Islam to the end.

  19. Kimpatsu says

    This is the same Hamza who insisited on segregated seating for a debate with Laurence Krauss in London recently.

  20. kreativekaos says

    Kimpatsu @ 24: Yep,..here’s the short video clip of Krauss getting pissed and almost walking out of the debate over the seating issue.

  21. Ichthyic says

    This is the same Hamza who insisited on segregated seating for a debate with Laurence Krauss in London recently.

    to be sure, as ridiculous as that was, that is the very LEAST of Hamza’s foibles.

  22. Ichthyic says

    Is that quite right?
    I think the usual doctrine is that open apostates should be decapitated

    which, by effect, means that anyone who says they are a non-believer publicly and continues to live in such a culture should indeed be beheaded.

    so, it’s a short circuit, but it is technically correct.

  23. Ichthyic says

    these guys “combat train”

    could you explain what you mean there?

    you mean they pose an extra threat because they get professional military style combat training, or something else?

    and if the former, DO they get combat training? What source are you relying on for this?

  24. Jonathan, der Ewige Noobe says

    Well, al Qaeda has well known sleeper camps… operating in… Dublin oh for crying out loud. That’s so stupid it’s not even funny.

  25. randay says

    Richard Dawkins had difficulty in getting a direct response from a Muslim clergyman about the penalty for apostasy in Islam. You have to wait till the end of this clip.