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Sep 15 2012

God’s soldiers!

Unfortunately, the films critical of Islam are by the people who do not know how to make films, and they are often extreme-right-wing-anti-Islam or just anti-Islam-Christian-fanatics. Submission by Theo Van Gogh, Fitna by Geert Wilders and Innocence of Muslims by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. All these films are bad-taste-low-standard-films. Some film-makers dance with all-religions-are-good-only-Islam-is-bad song. Good films but very critical of Islam could have been made by creative, visionary, talented film-makers who have rational logical mind and scientific outlook. Unfortunately not a single good film based on authentic Islamic history has ever been made. I have been waiting for decades to watch an Islamic version of ‘Life of Brian.’ Where are our Pythons?

Islamists are bad, film makers are also bad. Islamists say they do not want freedom, they want Islam. But they want freedom to destroy and burn down everything. They believe they are allowed to commit barbaric acts in the name of their imaginary god.

Bad film-makers have the right to make bad films. But no one has the right to take away the life or property of another. God’s law forgives god’s soldiers, but our law must not.

52 comments

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  1. 1
    Who Knows?

    I wonder what the reaction would be if a film was made along the lines of The Life of Brian featuring Islamic history?

    To be honest, I don’t think the reaction would be much better than what we are seeing now.

    1. 1.1
      Kevin K

      Well, the book was called “The Satanic Verses”. Hasn’t been made into a movie, yet. You probably know why.

      1. Smaugg

        I read that book. It was *terrible!* About as turgid as the Cuyahoga river when it caught fire…

    2. 1.2
      mithrandir

      I figure an Islam-focused version of The Life of Brian released in an Islamic nation would fare about as well as The Life of Brian itself would have fared, had it been released by William Shakespeare as a stage play.

  2. 2
    yaqub

    “Unfortunately, the films critical of Islam are made by hateful anti-Islam Christians or anti-Islam extreme right wing Christian fanatics. Submission by Theo Van Gogh, Fitna by Geert Wilders and Innocence of Muslims by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.”

    Nonsense – submission was a collaboration between Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an ex-Muslim atheist and Van Gogh, an irreverent, irreligious humanist. Geert Wilders is hardly an “extreme right wing Christian fanatic”. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is indeed a crook, an awful filmmaker, and a religious ideologue, however the murder and oppression of the Coptic community (and of non Muslims everywhere else in the “House of Islam”) are the real issues of concern here, not a shitty movie made by an embittered Egyptian exile. It is disappointing that you seem to be imbibing the moronic and immoral doctrinaire politically correct moral and cultural relativism embodied by the privileged white western bien pensant “liberals” who make up the majority of bloggers on this dilettantesque network. You’re still somebody I admire though, and I will continue to read your entries from time to time.

    1. 2.1
      mnb0

      Oh yes, Wilders is hardcore right wing, including the leader principle. He is the only member of his party – no others allowed. His program explicitly refers to the Judeo-christian tradtion of The Netherlands.
      Van Gogh is a different matter though. See underneath.

    2. 2.2
      Geir Sjurseth

      This isn’t how I took this post at all. Python’s “The Life of Brian” is an enjoyable movie. I happen to particularly like, because of the obvious religions-mocking overtone, but there is a plot and actors and humor. None of these other moves are at the same level: not even close. When are we going to see someone in the Muslim world create a movie that makes muslims laugh about topics endemic to their culture… And I wonder what this will look like? “The Life of Brian” show us a wandering guy lacking direction … Funny scenes with his mother and that scene when opens up the window and is naked… Funny stuff. There is loads of potential comedy around sending Muhammed off to the bedouins and running around in the desert, living the life of a merchant and the first time Gabriel appears to him…

      And to be safe it could all be done like the “Life of Brian.” It’s not called the life of Jesus… Someone please make this movie. I think it would cure a lot of ill will.

      1. Geir Sjurseth

        Or even better the black stone… c’mon, that’s begging for a comic version.

  3. 3
    Atheist Watch

    Theo Van Gogh was a great man, and Hirsi Ali has shown this.

    Who are you to criticize her?

    1. 3.1
      Taslima Nasreen

      Theo Van Gogh was known as an anti-Islam. He wrote a book titled, Allah weet het beter (Allah Knows Better). Ayaan Hirsi Ali works for conservative right-wing think tank. She supports Christian mission and missionary work. Instead of advising Muslims to become atheists, she advises Muslims to convert to Christianity.

      1. TomS

        Hirshi Ali is condoning christianity? This is new for me. Do you have any interviews or clips, or other links that I can look into? The clips I’ve seen are all against every religion, she speaks at atheist conventions, it would be very weird to me that she encourages people to convert to another religion.

        I agree with a lot of your points; especially the last paragraph hits the nail on the head of course. You can debate if Theo van Gogh is a bad filmmaker, but at least his work is not the amateurish pulp that Fitna was (Wilders just compiled some existing clips with Windows Movie Makers and called this few minutes-long crap a ‘movie’) or that the current controversial ‘film’ is. He was a legitimate filmmaker, of course not up to par with guys like with Stanley Kubrick (;)), but not some amateur either. Granted, he was mostly a low budget-guy.

        Also I don’t completely agree that he didn’t criticize other religions. Van Gogh was just extremely blunt with all bullshit he saw. His anti-islam criticisms are best known, of course of his death and in the time that his death happened, when the islam-debate was very heavily going on in the Netherlands. In 1984 however, he was accused of antisemitism when he wrote a pamflet with some very harsh jewish jokes. If I did my best I’m pretty positive I can find some anti-christendom quotes as well.

        Lastly I’ve sort of lost sight what Hirshi Ali has been doing since she has moved out of The Netherlands, I know she does some speaking here and there, but what does it exactly mean that she works for ‘extreme right-wing’? In the Netherlands she was with the VVD, a party who is conservative right wing, but nowhere in the neighborhood of being ‘extreme right wing’. If anything, this party is more liberal and less right wing compared with Obama’s politics, let alone the Republican party.

        Any comment or clarification would be appreciated.

        1. Taslima Nasreen

          1. TomS

            Thank you. Now I see it in this context, I can understand why she would say this. She realizes that converting muslims to atheists is a bridge too far in current time, so converting them to another religion which is more peaceful (compared to (radical) islam anyway) is the more realistic alternative.

            Not that I necessarily agree with that, but I can see her point. In that way I see a parallel in Stephen J Goulds line of reasoning when he said that religion and science are not incompatible. The acceptance of evolution alone under religious people is hard to accomplish on its own, so if you can take a first step and tell people that evolution is a real theory, a real fact, without immediately rejecting your faith, that’s a first step in the right direction.

          2. ...

            TomS, amen. Thank you for getting this.

            In the Netherlands she was with the VVD, a party who is conservative right wing, but nowhere in the neighborhood of being ‘extreme right wing’. If anything, this party is more liberal and less right wing compared with Obama’s politics, let alone the Republican party.

            Certainly if one considers its stand on, say, healthcare.

      2. jon

        Calling jesus ‘the rotten fish of nazareth’ is not critical?

        1. TomS

          He also said in a Dutch show called ‘Black sheep’ that he didn’t respect any believer, not muslims, not christians, not any religion. He also was sued for calling christians ‘christian dogs’.

          1. Kilian Hekhuis

            In that respect, he wasn’t much worse than, say, PZ.

      3. ...

        And there we have it. Typically bloody lefty: someone can be as courageous and principled as you like, but wander off the reservation ever so slightly and…

        TEMPER TANTRUM! DON’T WANT ANYTHING TO DO WITH THEM! NONONONONO!

        For chrissakes, do you really think this sort of an attitude is either just or productive?

      4. Univerbuddy

        Dear Taslima,

        //Theo Van Gogh was known as an anti-Islam//

        I thought you too were anti-Islam. Am i wrong? Could you explain the word ‘anti-islam’, please?

  4. 4
    tony goddard

    LIFE OF SAMIR
    LIFE OF SAMIR. A SYNOPSIS

    1. 4.1
      Winterwind

      Ahahaha. Did you write that? I think you should expand it into a longer script.

  5. 5
    Prairie Bob

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piss_Christ

    When someone blasphemes at that level in the US, we have a large over whether or not they should also continue to receive money from the government. We actually call elected officials fascist pigs because they want to not fund people who submerge the central figure of Christianity in urine in effigy.

    From what I gather, the man behind all this might have been a Egyptian Copt. If that’s true, then I wonder what might have got that guy so anti-Islamic…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copts#Persecution_and_discrimination_in_Egypt

    1. 5.1
      DaveL

      Unsorted,

      I don’t think you understand the ‘Piss Christ’. It was created by a Christian and is not an attack on Christianity. Further, the artist did not submerge the central figure of Christianity in urine; he submerged a crucifix in urine and took a picture of it. The distinction is significant.

  6. 6
    mnb0

    My female counterpart being a muslima I’m glad you object to christian and right-wing islamophobia. But I think you don’t do Theo van Gogh justice. He was neither a christian nor right-wing. He just liked to criticize everyone.
    Submission was broadcasted by VPRO, a left-wing broadcasting company.

  7. 7
    sumdum

    On the news I saw angry muslim mobs burning an Israeli flag. I thought, if they were actually consistent, they should’ve been burning an egyptian flag since the maker was an Egyptian copt. Right ?

    1. 7.1
      StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

      Yes so it now seems from what I gather mostly via the blogs and TV news.

      But there was an awful lot of confusion over the “film” maker’s identity early on and it was claimed to be the invention of an imaginary Jewish / Israeli American character “Sam Bacile” at one stage.

      Terrible film. (Or was it just a trailer?) One giant troll.

      But even worse reaction to it – the Muslim world (largely)fell for it.

      Extremely nasty and also extremely pathetic and incompetent people on both sides of the provoking and provoked divide here.

  8. 8
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    To paraphrase from the least popular Star Trek movie (V) featuring the original series crew :

    “What does God Allah want with a starship rioting mobs of thugs anyway?”

    Seriously, if Allah is so powerful, can he not defend himself? If Mohammad in some imagined paradise crammed with raisins is so seriously offended at this mockery then can’t he send down lightning in person striking the people responsible accurately and not rely on all these angry hate-filled idiots who go around killing and attacking people who had nothing to do with the making, displaying or promoting of this seriously unimpressive video?

  9. 9
    ...

    Unfortunately, the films critical of Islam are by the people who do not know how to make films, and they are often extreme-right-wing-anti-Islam or just anti-Islam-Christian-fanatics. Submission by Theo Van Gogh, Fitna by Geert Wilders and Innocence of Muslims by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. All these films are bad-taste-low-standard-films.

    Okay then, where’s your big, anti-Islam movie? Oh wait, I forgot. All the FTB’s are too damn cowardly to make it. The big bad, we defy-all-religion atheists lack the guts.

    Submission is a damn fine piece of work, and it caused people to actually think about the plight of women under Islam. And its maker paid for it with his life. That’s called courage. That’s called principle. That’s called standing by your convictions.

    But I suppose just blogging away is about your level…

    yaqub, save your breath. This lot are only interest in being against Islam and political Islam in the abstract, let’s-agree-it’s-nasty kind of way. Actually fighting it, for real, the way Wilders does? Don’t make me laugh.

    1. 9.1
      ...

      Addendum: What I am having trouble understanding is someone who has seen the sharp end of Islam, the way Taslima has, can come up with this sort of irresponsible drivel.

    2. 9.2
      mnb0

      Maybe TN doesn’t want to trade the islamic dictatorship of Bangladesh for the judeo-christian dictatorship of Geert Wilders. Remember: I have been following my compatriot since 2004.

      1. ...

        I do sometimes wish people like you would see what real Christian tyranny is like, and what real Christian fascism is like.. Wilders is by no stretch of the imagination one of those. How about instead boycotting Maryam Namazie who openly calls for a Communist tyranny?

        For the record, I’d be ashamed if I did that. But that’s not what this is about. This is about feeling superior to people who do try to do something while never trying to do anything.

      2. mnb0

        “real Christian tyranny”
        Ah, the no real tyranny fallacy. Fyi: The Netherlands also have a Bible Belt. I am familiar with it, thank you.

        “Wilders is by no stretch of the imagination one of those. ”
        Somebody who has proposed the deportation of millions of people out of Europe is. I told you I have followed my compatriot for years.
        http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/wilders-calls-mass-deportation-muslims

        He has proposed to shoot Maroccan (not others) football rioters through the knees.
        He has had (perhaps still has) an anti-gay as advisor. Shall I continue?

        “while never trying to do anything.”
        Judgmental as a good christian from Dutch Bible Belt. You don’t know what I and others do.
        Btw someone calling himself … and calling others cowardly is a hypocrite.

        1. ...

          Well, reading the first source, here is what Wilders actually says:

          “If you commit a crime, if you start thinking about jihad or sharia, then it’s very clear, we will send you away, we will send you packing, we will strip you of the Dutch or Danish nationality. Abide by the rules, you are welcome to stay, and if you don’t we will send you away the same day.”

          To me that looks like a call for an expulsion of fascists and criminals. You can agree or disagree, but it’s indicative that you don’t bother to try to state the full facts of what he says.

          As regard your other claims, I have not been able to find any sources for those, and given that you don’t list them either, and that you are already very tendentious in your treatment of the source you did list, I will conclude that you’re not telling the truth.

          I am sick to death of little twerps who never do anything just pissing and moaning about people who actually do do something. Have a problem with Wilders? Fine; I don’t agree with everything he says myself. Now get off your ass, take up the fight against gay-bashing, against the oppression of women’s rights, get yourself elected to parlament, live the rest of your life under 24 hour protection, and try to ram some reforms through.

          Sorry, what’s that? You don’t want to do that? No, you don’t want to do anything that involves real effort or risk? Thanks, I knew that.

          1. Crissa

            Thinking is a crime now?

    3. 9.3
      Winterwind

      Ms Nasrin’s books and writings have all been critical of Islam and other religions. They managed to do this while being poetical, eloquent, and not hateful fearmongering that plays on fears of immigrants and brown people.

      1. ...

        They managed to do this while being poetical, eloquent, and not hateful fearmongering that plays on fears of immigrants and brown people.

        Actually, sunshine, I’ll be the judge of that, thanks all the same. I guess in your mind Infidel and Nomad and Why I’m Not A Muslim are all playing “on fears of immigrants and brown people”.

        It’s quite fascinating how all these chaps who are just “playing on fears of immigrants and brown people” seem to have no problem with, say, Sikhs and Hindus from the subcontinent (not to mention atheists) or Christians, atheists and animists from Africa, and have just as much of a problem with pale-skinned converts to Islamic fanaticism as with the imported variety.

        1. mynameischeese

          Um, obviously loads of people who play on the fear of immigrants and brown people also have problems with sikhs and hindus, thus why that sikh temple in wisconsin got shot up over the summer.

          I’ve read Ali’s Infidel and think she was certainly entitled to write it, but her actions recently play into the hands of people who would spread the fear of brown people and immigrants rather than make a coherant argument against religion/islam. She works for a neo-con think tank and encourages muslims to convert to christianity.

          1. ...

            …And? The right, and above all the secular right, is the only force that is fighting these battles. Whereas people like you do nothing but sit on your fat backsides while congratulating yourself about doing nothing and sliming those who actually take up the fight.

            No, the people who have a problem with Islamic nuttery tend not to have a problem with Hindus and Sikhs, and members of both these groups have considerably fewer illusions about the realities of Islam than, say, fat pointless first world types who’ve never experiences religious fascism on the sharp end.

          2. mynameischeese

            “Whereas people like you do nothing but sit on your fat backsides”

            1. My arse is actually quite thin.
            2. I’ve argued with the bishop of my country on national radio. wtf have you ever done besides comment on people’s blogs?

            “No, the people who have a problem with Islamic nuttery tend not to have a problem with Hindus and Sikhs”

            Nope. In the USA, sikhs and hindus have dealt with a lot of racism/islamaphobia themselves, especially after 9/11. And that means that there are quite a few people who claim to have a problem with islamic nuttery but really have a problem with brown people and/or non-christians.

            “members of both these groups have considerably fewer illusions about the realities of Islam”

            I find that many hindus and sikhs are able to coherantly criticise islam without lapsing into racism. However, I’ve also seen many hindus and sikhs who cross the line from criticism of islam into classism or nationalist shit, especially in India.

            “than, say, fat pointless first world types who’ve never experiences religious fascism on the sharp end.”

            1. I’m actually quite thin.
            2. Some of the people you’re arguing with aren’t from “first world countries” (problematic term) and a few of them, including Taslima, have probably dealt with more shit from religious fanatics than you have.

            But it’s interesting that you’re implying that a person in a “first world” country can’t experience religious fascism. So whatever prejudice an atheist is experiencing in the bible belt of the USA or in countries like mine can’t as bad as religious fascism, which (according to you) is restricted to developing countries (another problematic term, but let’s just go with it). So underpinning your ranting there is this implicit idea that religion alone cannot cause damage but that certain economic/political factors heighten/lessen the effects religious nuttery.

            And yet you criticise Taslima and others for prefering nuanced criticisms of islam over islamaphobia. The cognitive dissonance in your brain must be raging.

          3. ...

            What have I done? Been one of the first signatories of the AHA security fund, marched against Shariah, reported on fascist parties… that sort of thing. That’s all still small potatoes compared with those actually taking on the threats at knife edge which is why I get angry when I see those people denigrated.

            Underpining my view is considerable experience that those in the first world, who live on the fruits of those who fought religious reaction, are the ones who allow themselves to be complacent and irresponsible and self-pitying. Which you neatly prove:

            But it’s interesting that you’re implying that a person in a “first world” country can’t experience religious fascism. So whatever prejudice an atheist is experiencing in the bible belt of the USA or in countries like mine can’t as bad as religious fascism

            Sorry, but that’s crap. Windbags and frauds like Robertson and Graham are not Christian fascism. No, Christian fascism consists of movements with names like the Iron Guard and the Falange. That’s the real thing, the real menace. You’d have to go back to the point where the KKK ran twenty states and was the paramilitary branch of the US democratic party to see something similar in the US.

            I find that many hindus and sikhs are able to coherantly criticise islam without lapsing into racism.

            Easy to do, since Islam is not a race.

            However, I’ve also seen many hindus and sikhs who cross the line from criticism of islam into classism or nationalist shit, especially in India

            You can thank yourself for that. Many people, seeing the abject failure of secularists and atheists to develop a fierce and unyielding response to the Jihad, turn elsewhere. This is what people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Sam Harris have been warning about for a long time, and people like you keep ignoring them. Well, here we are.

          4. mynameischeese

            Perhaps you should take a minute and try again.

          5. mynameischeese

            Ok, there is a lot of fail in your rantings, but I’m going to try and chip away at a few things.

            I can’t “thank” myself for the attitudes of sikhs and hindus in India because the attitude was there before I was born and has more to do with the British Empire than it does with “living off the fruits of those who fought religious reaction” (whatever the fuck that means).

            Acknowledging that there are political/economic factors in certain situations instead of simply laying the blame soley on religion does NOT equal “ignoring them.”

            I guess in your bizarre narrative of history, certain people (like yourself) fought religious fascism in the third world and kept it contained, thus sparing first world citizens who now ignore your bravery and shit all over your heroism by refusing to like a badly-made, xenophobic films?

            But back here in the real world, there are these schools of thought in history/philosophy that you should look into. They’re called postcolonialism and neocolonialism. (Seriously, wikipedia that shit. You’ll thank me.)

            Also, you really missed the point when I tried to highlight the contradiction between your belief that religious fascism can’t happen in “first world” countries and your simultaneuous belief that religious extremism is not driven by economic/political factors.

          6. ...

            As the Hitch neatly put it, these people are not the result of poverty and despair, they are the cause of poverty and despair. The breaking of the terrible power of religion has always been a precondition for human progress.

            But to people like you, making apologies for fascism and making it always someone else’s fault is an easier option.

            The Enlightenment philosophes understood that, and made a world worth living in, one where you can ignore just what it took to discipline and contain religion the first time round, and spend all your time whining about people trying to continue that revolution.

          7. ...

            But since we’re discussing world views, I can say categorically what yours is. The Jihad has killed several orders of magnitude more ‘brown people’ than pale people, if we have to consider skin colour relevant for the sake of talking to pea-brains like you. But in your Universe, these dead brown people do not count. And anyone who objects to this and is in favour of opposing this is simply inciting racial hatred. Much better to have a nice, nuanced, blink-and-you-missed-it approach that does fuck all good, and allows the killing to go on and on and on.

            I’ve met plenty of people like you before and you’re all very boring. You have no idea what kind of a walking cliche you are.

        2. Crissa

          You marched against what? Where? When was it posited to a bill or legislation?

  10. 10
    Babar

    Please read the article by Bina Shah, who wrote sometime ago for your blog.

    http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/13917/innocence-of-muslims-no-i-will-not-get-over-it/#comment-151739

    Shows how hypocritical some of these muslim fake liberal and feminists are. She just couldn’t let go a chance to improve her credentials with the countrymen.

  11. 11
    Russ Ingram

    The level of intolerance in the world of Islam is such that any movie, regardless of its quality and scholarly worth, if it criticizes Islam in any way would receive the same reception. Indeed, if such a movie was favorably recieved in the United States and well publicized because of its intellectual merit, that would be perceived as even more of a threat and justification for more insanity.

  12. 12
    Winterwind

    As the Hitch neatly put it, these people are not the result of poverty and despair, they are the cause of poverty and despair.

    Anyone who thinks poverty and despair are not causes of fundamentalism is misinformed. Mr Hitchens could turn a phrase but he said quite a few stupid things.

    The Jihad has killed several orders of magnitude more ‘brown people’ than pale people, if we have to consider skin colour relevant for the sake of talking to pea-brains like you.

    Racism exists and race is relevant to the discussion. Most people are aware that Islamic fundamentalism has killed plenty of Muslims and non Muslims in the Middle East and Africa. The fight against fundamentalist Islam is obviously not what we object to. You are arguing against a strawman. What I object to is criticism of Islam based on Christian prejudice, conflating fundamentalist Islam with the entire Muslim community and using criticism of Islam as a proxy for bashing immigrants or people of minority backgrounds.

    As for jihads, you must be aware that the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq alone caused over 100 000 civilian casualties, so presumably this would be high on the priorities of someone who claims to care about unnecessary killing, yet you have said nothing about fighting American imperialism and restricting US immigration to your country, perhaps because it doesn’t fit into the narrative of “all evil is caused by religion in general and Islam in particular.” We can only presume that as you put it, “But in your Universe, these dead brown people do not count.” Because they weren’t killed by The Jihad ™ and therefore can’t be used as ammunition against the Great Satan (Islam).

    I’ve met plenty of people like you before and you’re all very boring. You have no idea what kind of a walking cliche you are.

    Cut the crap. If you truly find us boring, just stop talking. Go and carry on with your vitally important work fighting Islam, without which all our hard-won freedoms would disappear. Since you’ve sat on your fat first world arse typing all these comments and even deigned to visit our pea-brained blogs to find personal information to insult some of us with, it’s obvious that you find something about this exchange rewarding.

    1. 12.1
      ...

      Two things:

      1. I have consistently written and spoken against the US record abroad. I have not mentioned it here, because we were not discussing that,

      2. I find this indicative:

      As for jihads, you must be aware that the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq alone caused over 100 000 civilian casualties,

      As anyone who pays the slightest bit of attention is aware that those casualties are heavily due to the attempt by religious fascists to push the nation into civil war, something cheered on by the cretinized European and American “left” I might add. So you exculpate the killers right there.

      And speaking of the cretinized:

      But then if you look at the science, it’s more like the breaking of poverty is a prerequisite for the dissolution of religion.

      How do you think you get rid of poverty? By industrial development, which requires technological progress, which requires scientific progress, which requires the scientific method, which always conflicts with religious backwardness. You are at best putting the cart before the horse.

      You still haven’t resolved the paradox presented in your rantings, i.e. your belief that religious fascism can’t be experienced by people in the first world

      Except that I’ve never said that, do not believe it, and it is another case of you not lying because you lack the ability to distinguish a truth from a lie.

      The problem with your analysis is that support for the Jihad actually goes up when you correlate it with wealth and standard of living, and the most fanatical of its leaders have enjoyed the highest levels of wealth and pomp. The 9/11 hijackers are a case in point; they were educated and had much access to opportunity.

      As I said, you have no idea what sort of a walking cliche you are. The fact that 11 years after 9/11 you haven’t bothered to learn the first thing about the Jihad is disgraceful.

      1. Winterwind

        1. I have consistently written and spoken against the US record abroad. I have not mentioned it here, because we were not discussing that,

        I’m glad to hear it. A lot of right wing activists who claim they are opposed to Islamic fundamentalism turn a blind eye to other causes of mass murder such as nationalism and imperialism, and in doing so betray their prejudice. Obviously you’re not one of them.

        As anyone who pays the slightest bit of attention is aware that those casualties are heavily due to the attempt by religious fascists to push the nation into civil war, something cheered on by the cretinized European and American “left” I might add. So you exculpate the killers right there.

        “14,847 (13%) of all documented civilian deaths were reported as being directly caused by the US-led coalition.” We could argue about whether the US should be responsible for destroying law and order and creating a climate in which sectarian violence could flourish, as well as looking at other examples of their violence overseas, but we seem to be in agreement that US violence and imperialism should be criticised.

        I’m not sure which members of the left you are referring to who cheered on sectarian violence, but it wouldn’t surprise me. There are stupid people of every political persuasion.

        How do you think you get rid of poverty? By industrial development, which requires technological progress, which requires scientific progress, which requires the scientific method, which always conflicts with religious backwardness. You are at best putting the cart before the horse.

        Historically the relationship between poverty, scientific progress and religion is quite complex. Clearly, scientific progress can occur (with varying degrees of difficulty) within the framework of a religious society, and as science progresses it challenges religious ideas and sometimes transforms them. Newton, Darwin and Galileo carried out their work within religious societies. Galileo was famously persecuted, but scientific knowledge advanced despite clerical opposition. Darwin’s theories were rejected by much of the religious establishment, but by putting human beings in the context of nature, he sparked a rethinking of humankind’s place in Victorian Christian society. We can go back further in time to the development of maths, medicine, and astronomy during the scientific age of Islam. Not coincidentally, many of the prominent Arab and Persian freethinkers and atheists date from around that period.

        If you’re suggesting that we have to fight Islam before scientific progress and development can occur in Islamic societies, it may be you putting the cart before the horse. If Western Christian society is anything to go by, it may be that scientific progress will creep inch by inch, fighting religious fundamentalism at every step of the way, and as scientific knowledge diffuses into traditionally Islamic societies, it will challenge and transform religious ideas. Obviously this is just one possible outcome. It could easily go in the other direction (I believe this is happening in Texas at the moment).

        The problem with your analysis is that support for the Jihad actually goes up when you correlate it with wealth and standard of living, and the most fanatical of its leaders have enjoyed the highest levels of wealth and pomp. The 9/11 hijackers are a case in point; they were educated and had much access to opportunity.

        That may be true for the leaders of Islamic fundamentalism, the people at the top, but is it generally true for their recruits, i.e. the broader population? I know for a fact that in terrorist attacks on India, the majority of the Pakistani recruits were poor children whose parents could not afford to feed them and so sent them off to a madrassa where they were indoctrinated and turned into soldiers. It seems intuitive that a richer, happier, better educated populace will be less likely to be swayed by fundamentalist preachers and drafted into battle. Indeed, the Pakistanis I know who are well educated tend to be very secular in outlook. They disdain fundamentalist preachers and the women generally never wear hijab, for example. Rather than looking at the few extremists who carry out attacks, (there are extremists in every population) if we look at support for fundamentalism and terrorism among a whole Islamic population as education, health, wealth and happiness go up, would we get a downwards trend? Does anyone have statistics on this?

        Regardless of circumstances, there will be some in the Islamic world who hate the West. Partly due to legitimate grievances such as Western interference and attacks on their countries, and partly to prejudice stirred up by religious demagogues. Let’s not forget Western soft power, though, in the form of media and culture. Young Muslims all over the world tend to dress in trendy Western fashions, listen to rap and pop and watch US TV shows (or they react in the opposite way and reject everything they perceive as foreign). As well as resentment, there’s a lot of goodwill towards the West that can be tapped. I have many Muslim friends, I have family in many countries, and I get along with most people I meet. Call me a naive idealist, but I believe that people can connect with each other and learn to respect one another and live together in peace.

  13. 13
    mynameischeese

    “The breaking of the terrible power of religion has always been a precondition for human progress.”

    But then if you look at the science, it’s more like the breaking of poverty is a prerequisite for the dissolution of religion.

    You still haven’t resolved the paradox presented in your rantings, i.e. your belief that religious fascism can’t be experienced by people in the first world and yet religious fascism is entirely seperate from economic/political factors. Let us know when you work that one out. Try a bit of logic and reason when you’re bored of the ad hominem stuff.

    How are you getting on with that strawman about how I’m apologising for fascism because I don’t agree with your weird-ass narrative of history where colonialism didn’t happen at all? Are you ready to move on address my real points yet?

  14. 14
    mutt50

    Mr. Says was undoubtedly in the first wave of soldiers into Iraq to fight the jihadist hordes.
    Corporate wars are so much better than religious wars, don’t you think?

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