Medicine for Islamophobia


I’m getting better about not immediately sliding creepy and rightward in the wake of terrorist acts committed by muslims (in this case, apparently, not even a very devout one). But it’s still good to be reminded of why islamophobia is real and bad (even while islam is as metaphysically wrong and ethically retrograde as any abrahamic faith), and to see who we’re shitting on if we cave into it. I’m not sure about the proper attribution of these images but if someone wants to track that down, they can start where I found them. Here you go, below the fold, LGBTQIA muslims:







Comments

  1. Chancellor of the Exchequer says

    I loved the constant pushback by Muslims against the bigoted crap those that kill people for being who they are project as though they speak for them all.

  2. Saurs says

    You have to be “reminded” that queer and trans and non-binary Muslims exist, and their that existence is the reason Islamophobia is bad? Why were you in danger of forgetting?

  3. Great American Satan says

    I don’t think you’ll give a shit about my answer, but I think it’s worth adding to the comments here.

    Because this is the atheist community, or part of it, and it has an islamophobia problem. I freely confess to having been a part of the problem, which is something I regret and aim to rectify. Freethought blogs is one of the most visible platforms for atheism that is trying to be more progressive than modern atheism’s white Western figureheads – Dawkins, Harris, Maher, Shermer, and so on. But we’re starting from a fucked up place.

    Specifically that of white Western cishetmale able-bodied culturally christian privilege. We do not all fit all of those descriptors, but many of those that do formed and dominated the earliest versions of internet-based atheist activism. As a result, the entire movement is predisposed to be blinded and messed up by the limitations of that perspective.

    Dealing with islam*, there’s a perfect storm of privilege & prejudice, which has made it the number one problem area of the movement. I recognize it in myself. Islam, like xtianity judaism buddhism etc, is fucking wrong and morally misguided. That’s a fact. Many terrorists and theocratic police state scum, muslim and otherwise, express religious motivation.

    We see these two facts and they meld with the unfamiliarity bred by privilege to produce thoughts like those that motivate Sam Harris. We see the less familiar face of terrorism promoted by racist news outlets and think of islam as evil in ways that are above and beyond xtianity and judaism.

    In actuality, it’s an accident of history that xtians ended up being the colonial oppressor while muslims were more often the oppressed, it’s a coin toss of geopolitical circumstance that landed Saudi Arabia as the state sponsor of holy terrorism around the world instead of Italy. Islam is as bad as judaism and xtianity, not worse, because it’s derived from the same brew of patriarchy and violent dogmatism. That most individual muslims and xtians are not fucking bastards is a measure of their human quality of compassion, and hella cognitive dissonance. Capital F Faith is a bad thing, people are good in spite of it, from New York to Myanmar.

    And there is no question, for those of us who get past the prejudices, look at the facts, muslims are a persecuted minority in our lands. They are worthy of protection and defense. Hence this awkward tightrope of opposing islam while defending people’s right to hold that, or any faith.

    And hence the need to remind internet atheists – and myself – of the humanity we share with muslims, and most importantly of the fact they are not a monolith. That progressive and queer muslims exist, don’t deserve to get shit on by our society. Unfortunately in trying to fight islamophobia, we are not a monolith either. You can find people on this site even less kind to the faith and its adherents than I am. If you got beef, express it and leave. You won’t like it here.

    *I don’t capitalize religions because I oppose them intellectually and wherever they are imposed on legal systems, even as I also oppose the persecution of those who choose to believe in them.

  4. Great American Satan says

    That progressive and queer muslims exist, don’t deserve to get shit on by our society.

    For that matter, as much as I despise conservative / regressive muslims and xtians, they don’t deserve to be viewed as terrorists automatically, just because they support many of the same beliefs and create the societies that make terrorism possible.

  5. Great American Satan says

    …they support many of the same beliefs and create the societies that make terrorism possible.

    Things get footnotey. Right wing conservative beliefs and authoritarianism are the real source of terrorism. Atheist terrorists have proven as much. It’s just that the abrahamic holy texts are so full of justification for violence, it’s hard not to see them as inherently worse than atheism, which is a metaphysical truth of the world independent of dogma.

  6. Great American Satan says

    Right wing conservative beliefs and authoritarianism are the real source of terrorism.

    Or are they? If it’s dehumanization first and foremost. You can dehumanize from any point of view. It helps to have a point of view founded in hatred like the homophobia that motivated this latest assface with a gun, but here I am, wanting only the best things for my fellow humans, and in frustration prone to dehumanize my ideological nemeses. Hence atheist islamophobia, which I am trying to do something about. Hence the OP, and my parade has come full circle.

  7. Siobhan says

    You have to be “reminded” that queer and trans and non-binary Muslims exist,

    Given that GAS authored the article, no, I don’t think he specifically needed that reminder. Rather, look to those who comment on the Pulse shooting as though religious terrorism and homophobia are somehow uniquely Islamic issues, as if adherents to Islam can’t possibly be moderate, and how the authors of these articles will twist their logic into circles in order to justify how Queer or moderate or progressive Muslims aren’t “true” Muslims. Or how, hey, atheism officially has had terrorist acts done in its name, yet that does not make us individually terrorists, but that same standard is forgotten cuz browndudedidit.

  8. johnhodges says

    I’m sure that there have been “atheist terrorists”, at least because there have been Marxists who committed acts that today would be called “terrorist”, and Marxists were usually (not always) atheist. But when, and whom, have there been such acts “in the name of” atheism?

  9. Great American Satan says

    Siobhan – Twas a fair question. When I first put the article up it was titled “reminder to myself,” but I thought it was too long and changed it.

    John Hodges – I consider Craig Hicks & Anders Breivik terrorists in the same sense as Omar Mateen. No one of them was necessarily thinking about their metaphysics when they did what they did, but the choice of targets was informed by their total world view.

    I personally favor owning those scumbags as atheist terrorists, as a way to show that you don’t have to No True Scotsman your way through every horror that comes down the pipes. And I am fairly positive Hicks in particular was inspired by the heated islamophobia in our online communities. I would never want anyone to do something like that, but there are people akin to me who are willing. It’s shameful, but that’s being human for you.

  10. johnhodges says

    Looking at the Wikipedia entries, I’ll grant that both Hicks and Breivik had strong hatred of Islam, and their murders were almost certainly motivated by that. Hicks looks like a genuine atheist (and gun nut, and mentally disturbed), but Breivik describes himself as an Odinist.

  11. Great American Satan says

    I wasn’t sure about Breivik so I goog’d him and he was all over the place with what he said and what others said about him, but I got the general impression re: metaphysics he was a materialist / atheist, and on cultural stance more like ? ? ? But that was extremely cursory, I’ll take ur word for it.

  12. dianne says

    I’ve been saying this several different places, but it’s worth noting that the shooter was professing loyalty to several different Islamic terrorist and semi-terrorist groups, including some that were in direct conflict with each other.

    Imagine if a man who identified as a Christian radical walked into a nightclub and opened fire screaming, “In the name of Martin Luther and the Pope! For the IRA and the Queen!” Would you conclude that he was a radicalized member of a Christian terrorist movement or a rather confused wannabe Christian radical?

  13. cubist says

    sez dianne: “Imagine if a man who identified as a Christian radical walked into a nightclub and opened fire screaming, ‘In the name of Martin Luther and the Pope! For the IRA and the Queen!’ Would you conclude that he was a radicalized member of a Christian terrorist movement or a rather confused wannabe Christian radical?”
    I would not conclude he’s any sort of Xtian. While Xtianity as a whole is pretty friggin’ confused and contradictory, any one individual Xtian has a pretty good chance of being reasonably coherent about which branches of Xtianity they do or don’t subscribe to.

    Such a person as you describe could be deeply confused, or a devotee of some sort of arcane conspiracy theory. They might be an avowed enemy of some or all of the groups they claim allegiance to, attempting some sort of false-flag operation to bring trouble down upon those groups.

  14. Great American Satan says

    Dianne – interesting information. I had a strong suspicion his “swearing fealty to ISIS” had been overplayed. Dude was an American security guard, like I have been in the past. I’ve met people with attitudes and interests like him, most of them xtian. As for the confused ideology, assuming (generously) the reports are halfway right, it reminds me of rappers who variously support / shout out to the 5% Nation of Gods & Earths, Nation of Islam, Rastafarianism, and the PLO – mostly not compatible religions & organizations at all, but possible for a very ignorant lay person to identify with superficial elements of at the same time.

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