A three legged dog

Oh lordy. An exchange on Facebook. (SIWOTI. I know. I know.)

I shared a link via Tarek Fatah, Muslim mob targets Christian locality in Gujranwala ‘for disrespecting Islam’.

Mr X: Do these people walk on their knuckles?

(Another friend posts a link to Buddhists target Sri Lanka’s Muslims.)

Mr X: The Buddhists are right to be concerned. Muslim men are savages.

(And he gives a link to Wikipedia.)

Ophelia Benson Oi! That’s WAY too general! And Buddhists in Sri Lanka have done their share of terrorizing and violence.

Mr X: Two wrongs don’t make a right.  If that list is too general for you how would you like me to make it more specific?
Are you aware of what Muslims are doing in Europe?

Ophelia Benson Yes, “Muslim men are savages” is way too general for me, thank you. See the “via” at the top? I found the link via a Muslim man. Tarek Fatah is no savage.

Mr X: I agree that Tarek Fatah is no savage but read the Koran regarding women’s rights and apostasy.
There’s the savagery.

Ophelia Benson I’m aware of the Koran. I posted the above link, after all! It doesn’t follow that your sweeping generalization is either true or a valuable thing to say.

I loathe Islam. That doesn’t mean I generalize about “Muslim men” and especially not in such a loaded way.

Mr X: I think it is possible you don’t understand the gravity of the situation. Do you think we should revere the Koran and allow Sharia Law in the US and Canada? You have not addressed the Muslim situation in Europe. Here in Canada our politicians are becoming concerned about our home grown Muslim terrorists in Iraq.

I told him to go look me up on Google before saying that.

Mr X: So why are you defending Muslims? Even Tarek Fatah doesn’t do that.

Ophelia Benson Oh really? Try telling him “Muslim men are savages” and see how well that goes.

You seem not to understand. Have you never heard of the concept of a too-broad generalization before? I’m saying “Muslim men are savages” is much too broad a statement. Do you really not see why? You concede that Tarek Fatah is not a savage. Well that means your statement is not true.

Mr X: You do not seem to understand. Should I say that dogs are four legged animals I am correct.
It does not matter a jot that you have three legged dog.





  1. Pteryxx says

    So… ‘Muslim men are savages. Oh, but I didn’t mean you! You’re a special case.


  2. Anthony K says

    Well, how do you explain the fact that the majority of shitheads I deal with in my daily interactions (at least, offline), are Canadian?

    Other than as a function of geography, of course?

    (For the record, I’m being facetious. Though this apparently just happened in my town *trigger warning for white supremacist graffiti.)

  3. Sercee says

    Ahh, we’re neighbors. I was just growling about that incident a few minutes ago. I didn’t know people like that still lived here, but sadly I was wrong.

    In that case, forgiven (as, technically, the majority of shitheads in my offline dealings are also Canadians).

  4. Brian E says

    For the record, the majority of shitheads I deal with are Australian. An overwhelming majority. I could even be one of those shitheads. (Gets mirror, confirms poo-headed-ness) Yep.

  5. says

    He supports the statement “Muslim men are savages” by saying “The Quran is savage”? Wut? But.. no one disagreed that the Quran is savage! It’s a non-sequitur answer.

    The disagreement was over the claim “Muslim men are savages”, which is as much of a false generalization as saying “Christians are stupid” or “cops are pigs”.

  6. says

    read the Koran regarding women’s rights and apostasy.

    Read the bible regarding women’s rights, etc.

    Is he concerned about “the Christian situation in Europe?”

  7. says

    Helmi – I know! It was maddening. He did more of it, too. It was like “who’s on first” or something – that non-responsive and absurd.

  8. PatrickG says

    Also much less amusing than the “who’s on first” sketch.

    I’m also startled that, for Mr. X, apparently a decent Muslim man is comparable to a crippled animal. That’s…. something. I’m not quite sure what.

  9. says

    @Tony Sidaway in #10: that’s what I was wondering too. Most Muslims here seem to be secularizing quite fast, just like the Christians, with mosque attendance dropping along with church attendance. Of course there are issues with radicalization of some groups, and issues with youth criminality among kids from poor immigrant backgrounds (which happen to be mostly Muslim nowadays), but to say there’s a “situation” here that shows Muslim men are savages? I don’t see it.

  10. Cyranothe2nd, ladyporn afficianado says

    OT: Ophelia–I f-requested you. My initials are J R (I don’t want to post my full name here…)

    Seriously, did that dude just compare Muslim men to dogs???

  11. Acolyte of Sagan says

    Anthony K
    April 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm (UTC -7) […….](For the record, I’m being facetious. Though this apparently just happened in my town *trigger warning for white supremacist graffiti.)

    Sickening stuff, but I couldn’t help but notice that the graffiti-spraying moron is doubly ignorant; not only a racist, but a racist who cannot draw a swastika. I count at least six attempts and not one of them is correct.
    I don’t have a twitter account so can’t comment there, but if anybody who can wants to pass this info on to Nicky (the woman hosting the picture), she might at least get a little pleasure out of highlighting the double-dose of stupidity.

    As for the ‘all Muslim men are savages’ stupidity; until very recently my eldest daughter lived right next-door to a mosque – actually a pair of semi-detached houses knocked through. You wouldn’t know it was anything but a house just by looking, there were no signs up or anything to identify it as a mosque, but even so my daughter received a discount on her annual Council Tax bill because her property was directly adjacent to a place of religious worship; religion does have its uses after all!.
    In all the time she lived there she had not the slightest bit of trouble. Many of the mosque-goers, men and women, would stop for a brief chat if my daughter or her partner were in the garden, and they always made a fuss of my grandsons. The Imam and his family lived in part of the house and were lovely to have as neighbours, their daughters would come round and play in the garden with my grandsons, and from the time my daughter was first pregnant to the day she moved they even made sure that none of their worshippers parked their cars outside her house so she didn’t have to park further down the street and maybe struggle with shopping or – later – with the babies.
    Islam itself is a backward, barbaric religion at heart – but then aren’t all the Abrahamic religions? – but the vast majority of its followers that I have encountered are honest, decent, good people, more-so, in my opinion, than most of the bigots who criticise them simply because they are Muslim (and, I suspect, also – or even mainly – because they’re…well….brown).

  12. Johnny J says

    Horses are quadrupeds, and the fact that an individual horse may lose a leg in an accident or have three legs because of a genetic defect doesn’t invalidate that claim about the nature of the species — kind of like the claim that islam is a misogynistic religion, notwithstanding the fact that some followers of islam (e.g. some of its female adherents) are not misogynistic.

  13. says

    You’re absolutely right about one problem.

    Another, perhaps more fundamental, is with the use and acceptance of the notion of “savage” itself. It’s an imperialistic/racist (and also sexist and speciesist) term and idea which should have been done away with long ago. The discussion should be about ideas, behaviors, and movements that either promote or are contrary to well-being, freedom, fulfillment, and joy. The categories of “savage,” “civilized,” and so on (as well as of course the self-serving, teleological visions of history they fit into*) in fact work against these goals, and need to be discarded with great prejudice.

    *(and there are no uses of the terms that are completely without these connotations)

  14. says


    Actually I’ll see your over-generalization and raise it a gender and a bunch of religions.


    Of course, just as as the original claim depends on how you define Muslim, this depends on how you define religious. To many “true believers” the Tarek Fatahs and Gary Guttings of the world are at least as crippled and unrepresentative of faith as a three legged dog.

    (And as for the Buddhists, perhaps the true ones aren’t truly religious, but once they become truly religious they revert to savagery)


    “Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel …”

    JUDGE YE NOT OF GOOD AND EVIL BUT FOLLOW MY COMMANDMENT AND COMMIT TO SAVAGERY AT THE COMMAND OF MY DESIGNATE (who will always be happy to tell you who he or she is of course!)

  15. alqpr says

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist that (posted as GOD above if it ever gets approved).

    Of course you were right to challenge MrX as you did, and his identification of the generic Muslim with a literal believer in the Qr’n is as egregious as that of a generic Christian with a literal believer in every verse of Leviticus.
    And his failure to understand your concern makes me worry about the state of his own knuckles!

    But with all of these religions (including Buddhism) I tend to think that the truly religious aspect always involves a delegation of moral authority to a source which becomes unquestionable but is not incorruptible and so is capable of reducing any believer to savagery.(Don’t know if we should really blame religion though. Maybe it’s just an excuse for acting out the savagery within us that’s inevitably going to come out somehow.)

  16. pyrobryan says

    That’s hilarious. Defending against over-reaching, sweeping generalizations is the same as advocating that sharia law be instituted US and Canada. Hyperbole much?

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