it is not racism or "islamophobic" to point out cruelty and injustice...

it is not racism or "islamophobic" to point out cruelty and injustice...

the world seems to be afraid of "offending" the "immigrant" and while words like islamophobic are becoming more and more common.. we allow cruelity and injustice to go on in the name of "multiculturalism"

Comment by Unseen on November 6, 2012 at 12:47am

@k0rsan

I think it was Pat Condell who said that islamophobia is not a valid word. Since phobia denotes an irrational fear, and there is absolutely nothing irrational about fearing Islam.

The dictionary I consulted defined it as an "extreme or irrational fear," which means that the extreme fear need not be irrational.

Comment by Kir Komrik on November 6, 2012 at 2:17am

@Pope Paul - no worries, I think it is frustrating to see this kind of stuff without some kind of solution or proposal attached, so I can understand how you might have reacted at first. Had a solution involving mulitculturalism been offered you might not have reacted that way.

- kk

Comment by Unseen on November 6, 2012 at 8:51am

Multiculturalism is okay as far as it goes, but some cultures are simply oil and water and no amount of attempts at respect can be expected to be successful. For example, if we don't want to allow a religion in our country that insists on marrying prepubescent girls to adult men or that insists on being exempted from local law so that they can institute Sharia law...that is unacceptable and anathema.

Comment by Marvel on November 6, 2012 at 11:19am

Though not universal, there is at least a plurality of understanding in the community that Muslim fundamentalists are in practice more dangerous than Christian fundamentalists, but for most western atheists, the latter are more of a problem. Jupiter is far more massive than the moon, but the moon is much closer and thus creates the tides. While Muslim fundamentalists are clearly dangerous, the average American or European atheist will be far more affected by laws and attitudes stemming from the much tamer but much closer Christian fundamentalists. Please understand that people relate more strongly to those things that affect them personally.

This is a comment written on a blog post trying to explain why atheists in western countries are more concerned with Christianity rather than Islam .. the post itself was trying to encourage atheists all over the world to criticize Islam and take more action.

The term Islamophobia is being used widely whenever anyone starts to criticize anything in the religion .. it was even used here in Egypt against those criticizing the politics of muslim brotherhood and islamists.

it's not racism when we say that "the unjust sharia laws" are unjust and cruel .. it's not racism and not even islamophobic .. what it seems to me is that people simply don't care enough about Islam and sharia laws as long as it doesn't happen in front of their door steps.

Comment by Pope Beanie on November 6, 2012 at 12:30pm

There are soooooo many problems worse than Islamic terrorism we can actually work on.

It's a good thing to point out what's wrong with other human cultures, but the implication here was that liberal multiculturalism gets in the way. Ironically, part of the solution is to *not* ignore the other culture. (Forgive me for getting pedantic or picky here, but I'm taking a few multicultural courses right now.)

The perspective of multiculturalism is not to ignore what's happening or turn your back on it (as the picture implies).  The purpose of multiculturalism is to understand why people do what they do, and if it's deemed to be a problem, deal with it from the inside out, not by outside force. In the case of immigration, to worry about sharia law somehow taking over America is just xenophobic paranoia. Ground Zero Mosque in point. A peaceful, American Muslim wanted to provide a place for peaceful Muslims (and any other religion, by the way) to worship. But instead of America stepping forward and saying Yes, make peace here, the culture of fear steps in to cut off any peaceful alternatives for Muslims. We lost confidence, and are now ruled by fear. Bin Laden WON that battle! That's what he wanted! American culture (in New York) cowered in fear, instead of nurturing an atmosphere of peace in their own country. I see that cowering as a loss of control.

Did Amnesty International actually say that multiculturalism is a problem, or was the TA caption an addon by someone else?

Comment by Strega on November 6, 2012 at 12:31pm

Do you know why the term for cutting off a woman's sexual organs in their entirety, leaving only the ability to receive the male penis, but eliminating anything that might give pleasure to a woman sexually, is called "female circumcision"?  I believe it is to make it sound rational, you know, it's just a little snip, a bit of spare skin...

Do you imagine that if there was a way to remove pleasure from the male's participation in sexual activity, Islam would be embracing it wholeheartedly?   No?  Thought not.

Comment by Pope Beanie on November 6, 2012 at 1:25pm

Sorry, I've clearly not communicated properly. I'll delete my previous post... I made it too personal.

I'm not saying it's wrong to criticize other cultures. I'm just saying it's wrong to blame "liberal multiculturalism", because multiculturalism is the only way to reach those other cultures and hope to affect them positively. I'll try to keep quiet on this, now.

Comment by Strega on November 6, 2012 at 1:49pm

@Pope Paul 

Sorry, I absolutely wasn't address in my 'you' to your post, I hope you didn't think I was.  I like the practical way you address contentious topics.  I also agree that multiculturalism is a good concept.  Extremists can take any concept and turn it to their advantage. 

FGM is an atrocity that is carried out on women who have no say in the matter - let's face it, given the choice, how many would volunteer?  According to the World Health Organisation, some 100 to 140 million woman live with FGM.  (citation).  Stoning or executing people under Sharia law is also grotesque. 

Atrocities are often a subjective matter.  What one person or group thinks is unacceptable, others are totally fine with.  I believe multiculturalism is the vessel by which wider knowledge is brought to us on these issues.  Are we to blame multiculturalism itself?  Or should we be using whatever opportunity is within our power to put pressure on other cultures to change? 

Maybe we have things we need to change too.  Will we be as open as we would like others to be, when we are criticised for practices other cultures deem wrong?  I would love to say yes, but reality won't let me.

Comment by Pope Beanie on November 6, 2012 at 2:15pm

My bad, Strega! My wish would be for us (in U.S.) to keep working on our own problems, get better at it, then say to the world "if you like what you see here (or if you're just curious), come on over and join the party". And we (U.S.) need to get out more, too.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on November 6, 2012 at 4:04pm

Hitchens has a great speech here. It is worth watching it all and he gets to the Islam part towards the end. 16:40 onwards.

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