Is The Discussion Of The Shitty Parts Of Islam Bigotry?

Rambo

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I finally got around to watching this week's Real Time and, apparently, this argument got a TON of media attention this week:


I know Ben Affleck isn't exactly an intellectual superstar, but his side in the conversation got WAY more play this week than I thought it would. What are your thoughts on this?
 

OfficePants

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Affleck is completely wrong. Trafficking in these ideas that somehow the problems with Islam are just a few bad people wanting to blow shit up is super stupid. The reason Islam is what it is today is because of the people involved in it. If the religion wanted to change, it would.

Liberal ideas too often fall into apologies for cultures/races misbehavior. There isn't enough judging going on. Muslim world problems are way beyond wanting to blow shit up: it's a backwards state of mind for the majority of people that practice it. Call a duck a duck.

We're just a shitty lowest common denominator PC culture and Affleck is the poster child for it in that video.
 

Russell Street

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I generally have no issues with followers of Islam beyond their weird avoidance of alcohol. Their enemies tend to be shitheads that I hate, so I'm biased. Most Islamophobes tend to be mouth-breathing imbeciles, xenophobic paranoids and suckers that parrot stuff they don't understand. Or shills cherry picking lines from sacred texts, as if that can't be done to vilify any religion.

Maher totally wrong when he states that it's the only religion that acts like the mafia. Has he heard of Scientology? They will kill you too. It was good to see that the fact that liberals are complete and utterly inconsistent hypocrites was quickly agreed upon.

People are free to mention that Islam treats women different than men, as does orthodox Judaism and pretty much all religions that have stayed the course and not been watered down. So what?

Linking the tiny handful of actual terrorists, who are more likely tools of international intelligence agencies than religious zealots, to the standard Islamic is a hysterical perversion of truth. It's the modern day equivalent of saying that all the darkies are instinctively prone to rape our white women. It's idiocy.
 

Rambo

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Maher totally wrong when he states that it's the only religion that acts like the mafia. Has he heard of Scientology? They will kill you too. It was good to see that the fact that liberals are complete and utterly inconsistent hypocrites was quickly agreed upon.

People are free to mention that Islam treats women different than men, as does orthodox Judaism and pretty much all religions that have stayed the course and not been watered down. So what?

Linking the tiny handful of actual terrorists, who are more likely tools of international intelligence agencies than religious zealots, to the standard Islamic is a hysterical perversion of truth. It's the modern day equivalent of saying that all the darkies are instinctively prone to rape our white women. It's idiocy.
Come on. You can't possibly be trying to equate the size and cultural impact of islam vs. scientology. That's ridiculous.

Well, if you would have listed to the discussion fully instead of doing one of your usual "I'll pay attention to this for 4 seconds and then discuss it like I watched it completely" you would have known that the issue wasn't that he was mentioning it but that he was being called a racist and a bigot for saying so.

When was he linking ISIS or terrorists to regular Islam?
 

Russell Street

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Come on. You can't possibly be trying to equate the size and cultural impact of islam vs. scientology. That's ridiculous.

Well, if you would have listed to the discussion fully instead of doing one of your usual "I'll pay attention to this for 4 seconds and then discuss it like I watched it completely" you would have known that the issue wasn't that he was mentioning it but that he was being called a racist and a bigot for saying so.

When was he linking ISIS or terrorists to regular Islam?
I just said that Scientology will harass and threaten the lives of critics and those leaving the religion. This is fact, and there have been deaths. So Maher is wrong.
I listened to this thing, and to be blunt, all sensible arguments came from the left side and nothing of substance from Maher and the other dodo.

The subtext of the dumb argument, made by both sides here IIRC, is that mainstream Islam needs to vocally and publicly distance itself from the rare acts of terror. Why? That's like asking African Americans to march in the streets to condemn OJ Simpson and Ray Rice. Only insanely wrong-headed people connect the two, and their minds will not be changed. It is asking when you stopped beating your wife, it is an unwinnable proposition.

Can I ask exactly what the ooga-booga bad parts of Islam are?
 

Zé Ferreira

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I'm persuaded by the fact that any centralized, Muslim, religious hierarchy doesn't decry violent acts, bombings, and beheadings in the way you'd suspect any civilized organization would of similar atrocities. Basic silence=consent argument.
 

Russell Street

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I see it in the same light as how Jewish groups refuse to debate historical facts regarding "the" Holocaust. They feel that any discussion lends legitimacy. Why should the mainstream address the issues of detached and unassociated extremists? It's the same trick as when gun grabbers ask for discussion and concession from responsible firearm owners because one deranged lunatic went on a spree.
 

Rambo

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I see it in the same light as how Jewish groups refuse to debate historical facts regarding "the" Holocaust. They feel that any discussion lends legitimacy.
What are "the" facts they refuse to discuss? Just out of curiosity.
 

Russell Street

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What are "the" facts they refuse to discuss? Just out of curiosity.
Revisionism debate would presumably be about claimed death numbers, use of poison gas, ovens etc.
What would mainstream Islam stand to gain or lose by risking any association with crazy extremists. Better to pretend not to even know they exist.
 

Rambo

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Revisionism debate would presumably be about claimed death numbers, use of poison gas, ovens etc.
I wasn't aware many of these were points of contention. Plus, is this really something that's commonly debated? "I don't know, Bob, were they really burnt up in those ovens over there or just set on fire?" "Well Phil, don't ask a Jew because they'll never tell you the truth..."
 

Russell Street

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I wasn't aware many of these were points of contention. Plus, is this really something that's commonly debated? "I don't know, Bob, were they really burnt up in those ovens over there or just set on fire?" "Well Phil, don't ask a Jew because they'll never tell you the truth..."
Thank you for demonstrating how effective nondiscussion is in making unpleasant topics fade from public consciousness. This is exactly why Islam should not say anything.
Despite the whole holocaust museum movement, there are definitely inaccuracies and inconsistencies. But one can do a web search on their own if so interested. Interestingly, the notion that scarce fuel was used for cremation is indeed a start...
 
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Rambo

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Thank you for demonstrating how effective nondiscussion is in making unpleasant topics fade from public consciousness. This is exactly why Islam should not say anything.
Despite the whole holocaust museum movement, there are definitely inaccuracies and inconsistencies. But one can do a web search on their own if so interested.
2 things - 1) I think you can clearly make a distinction between discussing historical facts and present day facts. Things that have been documented and discussed over and over again are not quite the same as present day atrocities/injustices. 2) What is a "holocaust museum movement"?
 

Russell Street

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2) What is a "holocaust museum movement"?
Sorry to veer off topic. Trend? The development and proliferation of the things is fairly recent.
Again, your average Islam follower stands to gain what by offering some denouncement of extremism? All this does is acknowledge some connection that is not there. The risk in doing so is to further suspicion. Not worth it.
 

Russell Street

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The direct example of why Islam should not bother appeasing wrongheaded types about who and what they are is embodied in the #notallmen fiasco*.
People seeking approval and acceptance are immediately recognized as weak and unpopular and targeted for separation, berating, and marginalizing. One is better off being misconstrued as a threat than as pathetic and despicable.

*If unfamiliar, I recommend this synopsis.
 

Zé Ferreira

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I only disagree with this lack of acknowledgement argument because I know that in my own personal, religious history, the Mormon church has needed to actually distance itself from those groups still practicing polygamy and other practices. You hear everywhere about Warren Jeffs being a Mormon, but he's not (for example)
 

Thruth

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Discussing those things of any religion or culture that seems to go against the grain of what is perceived to be "correct" by good Christian souls is not bigotry but you certainly run the risk of being labelled as such.

I found Affleck's argument to be inarticulate and stretching for credibility. But Maher's insertion of what a good liberal should do was misplaced as well.

Islam does not tolerate criticism of the faith whereas Christians and Jews don't take the same literal offence that Islam would in declaring a fatwah.

If the Pope started all of a sudden to issue fatwahs, how many Catholics would take up arms to destroy who the fatwah was against?

What is the difference? Could it be the the vast majority of islam's followers also live in places where the rule of law is religious and not secular like in the developed world? Does that have an impact on belief systems and levels of dogmatic beliefs?

Maher's haircut alone made me want to disagree with him.
 

Russell Street

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My understanding is that a fatwa is merely a denunciation, a censure, and is not a call for Muslims everywhere to kill on sight.
I think the Catholic variation would be excommunication, which is sadly not used enough. A religion, like a nation, has to be able to formally exclude members and identify enemies. I don't pretend to be a theology expert though.

Islam suffers from having a rather non-centralized structure. There is no Pope to issue a statement. Every local mosque can write a letter to the local paper, but that's not front page stuff.
Anyway, I think real reason for the liberal hypocrisy is that they are pussies. They never face their adversaries head on. They find a vulnerable sub-sect and get a foot in the door and whittle away. Liberals are total racists, in the most patronizing way.
 

Thruth

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My understanding is that a fatwa is merely a denunciation, a censure, and is not a call for Muslims everywhere to kill on sight.
I think the Catholic variation would be excommunication, which is sadly not used enough. A religion, like a nation, has to be able to formally exclude members and identify enemies. I don't pretend to be a theology expert though.

Islam suffers from having a rather non-centralized structure. There is no Pope to issue a statement. Every local mosque can write a letter to the local paper, but that's not front page stuff.
Anyway, I think real reason for the liberal hypocrisy is that they are pussies. They never face their adversaries head on. They find a vulnerable sub-sect and get a foot in the door and whittle away. Liberals are total racists, in the most patronizing way.
A Fatwa is, so to speak, a legal ruling by an Islamic cleric or lawmaker that breaks new ground. It is not binding and you are correct in that there is no central edict issued as with the Pope. But, how often do christian clergy call for the death of others?

http://www.islamicsupremecouncil.org/understanding-islam/legal-rulings/44-what-is-a-fatwa.html

A list of fatwas that called for the death of individuals who have in the opinion of the particular mufti or cleric have blasphemed Islam:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ting_violence_against_a_particular_individual

Shahin Najafi[edit]
An Iranian rapper who raps in Persian language has been forced into hiding after hardline clerics offered a $100,000 reward for his murder, incensed by his song (Naghi) which is satirising the Tehran regime and making allegedly irreverent remarks about the tenth Islamic imam (Naghi).[9]

Muammar al-Gaddafi[edit]
An Egyptian Muslim cleric, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, issued a fatwa that urged soldiers to kill Muammar al-Gaddafi, the leader of Libya, if they were able to do so.[9]

Geert Wilders[edit]
An Australian imam named Feiz Mohammad has issued a fatwa calling for the beheading of the Dutch politician Geert Wilders, as of 2010.[10]

Jerry Falwell[edit]
In an interview given on September 30, 2002, for the October 6 edition of 60 Minutes, American Christian minister Jerry Falwell said: "I think Muhammad was a terrorist. I read enough by both Muslims and non-Muslims, [to decide] that he was a violent man, a man of war."

The following Friday, Mohsen Mojtahed Shabestari, an Iranian cleric, issued a fatwa calling for Falwell's death, saying Falwell was a "mercenary and must be killed." He added, "The death of that man is a religious duty, but his case should not be tied to the Christian community."[11]

Salman Rushdie[edit]
Main article: The Satanic Verses controversy
One of the first well-known fatwas was proclaimed in 1989 by the Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, against Salman Rushdie over his novel The Satanic Verses. The reason was an allegedly blasphemous statement taken from an early biography of the Prophet Muhammad, regarding the incorporation of pagan goddesses into Islam’s strongly monotheistic structure. Khomeini died shortly after issuing the fatwa. In 1998 Iran stated it is no longer pursuing Rushdie’s death; however, that decree was again reversed in early 2005 by the present theocrat, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In 1991, Rushdie's Japanese translator, Hitoshi Igarashi, was stabbed to death in Tokyo, and his Italian translator was beaten and stabbed in Milan. In 1993, Rushdie's Norwegian publisher William Nygaard was shot and severely injured in an attack outside his house in Oslo. Thirty-seven guests died when their hotel in Sivas, Turkey was torched by locals protesting against Aziz Nesin, Rushdie's Turkish translator.

Taslima Nasreen[edit]
Fundamentalists in Bangladesh proclaimed a similar fatwa against Taslima Nasreen in 1993, against a series of newspaper columns in which she was critical of the treatment of women under Islam. The next year she wrote Lajja (Shame) which described the abuse of women and minorities. Again there were calls for her death, and her passport was confiscated. Within the legal system, she felt that she might have faced a jail term of up to two years, where she was likely to be murdered. She managed to escape the country via Calcutta, was granted asylum in Sweden, and then lived in Paris, and finally came to India. Even in India, she had to flee the city of Kolkata and move to Delhi under Indian government's strict orders following riots in Kolkata.

Isioma Daniel[edit]
Mamuda Aliyu Shinkafi, the deputy governor of Zamfara state in Nigeria, issued a fatwa in November 2002 calling for the death of journalist Isioma Daniel for comments suggesting that Muhammad may have chosen a wife from one of the Miss World contest.[12] Other Muslim authorities have questioned the validity of the fatwa.[13]

Raheel Raza[edit]
Raheel Raza, a Muslim human rights activist who has advocated for gender equality, especially for Muslim women, became the first woman to lead mixed-gender Muslim prayers in Canada, in 2005, and said: "I already have a fatwa against me".[14][15][16][17][18][19]

Mariwan Halabjaee[edit]
Main article: Mariwan Halabjaee
In an audio file published on the Kurdish website Renesans.nu during September 2008, Mullah Krekar allegedly threatened to kill Mariwan Halabjaee, the Iraqi Kurdish author of Sex, Sharia and Women in the History of Islam, who also resided in Norway. "I swear that we will not live if you live. Either you go before us, or we go before you," said Krekar.[20] Krekar compared Halabjaee with Salman Rushdie and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.[21]

In February 2012, Krekar confirmed in the Oslo District Court that he had issued a twenty page fatwa against Halabjaee.[22] The fatwa was sent to several hundred Islamic scholars around the world. While Krekar said he thought he might be able to "guarantee the safety" of Halabjaee, Krekar confirmed that his fatwa "implies" that it is "permissible" to kill Halabjaee in Oslo or anywhere else.[23] Krekar compared Halabjaee to Theo van Gogh, the film director who was killed by an Islamist in the Netherlands in 2004.[24]

Ulil Abshar Abdalla[edit]
Main article: Ulil Abshar Abdalla
In 2003, a group of Indonesian Islamic cleric from Forum Ulama Umat Islam issued a death fatwa against Ulil[25] for an article that Ulil wrote in Kompas in 2002, "Menyegarkan Kembali Pemahaman Islam" (Rejuvenating the Islamic Understanding) [26][27] that is considered heretical by the clerics. In March 2011, a letter bomb addressed to Ulil at Komunitas Utan Kayu exploded, injuring a police officer.

Farag Foda[edit]
In June 1992, Egyptian writer Farag Foda was assassinated following a fatwa issued by ulamas from Al-Azhar who had adopted a previous fatwa by Sheikh al-Azhar, Jadd al-Haqq, accusing Foda and other secularist writers of being "enemies of Islam".[28] The jihadist group Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya claimed responsibility for the murder.[29]
 

Rambo

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The fatwa is a call to arms, so to speak, by the clerics. It's what they're being called to do that's important. The list on fatwa's to hug is rather limited I believe.
 

Thruth

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True. But they do have benign ones like Muslims should not be involved with genetic counselling and such.

But then again, I should check if all geneticists have been condemned first
 

Zé Ferreira

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A religion, like a nation, has to be able to formally exclude members and identify enemies. I don't pretend to be a theology expert though.

Islam suffers from having a rather non-centralized structure. There is no Pope to issue a statement. Every local mosque can write a letter to the local paper, but that's not front page stuff.
Anyway, I think real reason for the liberal hypocrisy is that they are pussies. They never face their adversaries head on. They find a vulnerable sub-sect and get a foot in the door and whittle away. Liberals are total racists, in the most patronizing way.
True - once you lose the ability to kick someone out of a group, the purpose of the group is compromised. What is a group except excluding someone else? I'm trying to translate this idea into an article I'm writing for my law journal on national borders.

I agree too that Islam suffers in this regard b/c there is no "head."
 

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http://www.vox.com/2014/10/8/6918485/the-overt-islamophobia-on-american-tv-news-is-out-of-control

It's not just Bill Maher: Islamophobia on cable news is out of control
Updated by Max Fisher on October 8, 2014, 1:50 p.m. ET @Max_Fisher max@vox.com

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On September 17, 2001, President George W. Bush gave his "Islam is peace" speech from the Islamic Center of Washington DC, tucked into a leafy stretch of embassy row. He urged the country to embrace "fellow Americans" who are Muslim as well as Islam itself "with respect," explaining to a country full of "anger and emotion" that the jihadists who'd struck a few days earlier were insane outliers and not representative of the religion.

Since then, there has been a tension in how Islam is discussed in American media, and especially in its most populist and popular form, television. Americans typically follow Bush's advice, but sometimes they struggle, particularly when violent extremist groups are in the news. In recent weeks, that strain of Islamophobia in the US has risen along with media attention to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), reaching crisis levels —particularly on American TV news.

Because 38 percent of Americans say they personally know someone who is Muslim, most of us rely on the media to shape our opinions of Muslims and of Islam. And the media is badly failing in its responsibilities to portray Muslims carefully and accurately. It has forgotten Bush's entreaty, leaving Americans more ignorant about and more hostile toward the 2.6 million Muslim-Americans living in the United States, to the vast and diverse world of 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, and to the Muslim populations of the Middle East and South Asia with whom our foreign policy, and often our military, is so heavily engaged.

The leading voice of American bigotry against Muslims


At the center of this has been Bill Maher, a comedian and HBO talk show host who is well-known for his Islamophobic views. Maher said last week that "vast numbers of Muslims want humans to die for holding a different idea" and share "too much in common with ISIS." This is all part of his ongoing argument conflating the tiny number of violent extremists with the 1.6 billion worldwide Muslims who largely abhor those extremists.

Over the weekend, when Maher called Islam "the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will fucking kill you if you say the wrong thing" (another guest on the panel, author Sam Harris, called Islam "the motherload of bad ideas"), it was left to guest Ben Affleck to call these opinion "gross" and "racist." There were, of course, no Muslims on the panel who might have the chance to speak up.

While Maher might be the loudest and most candid in his bigotry toward Muslims, there is a subtler, more pervasive, and far more dangerous Islamophobia that has crept into mainstream news coverage. This is the Islamophobia that presents itself as a critical and candid study of Islamist extremism, but in the process does just what Maher does: conflates extremists with the vast, un-extreme majority, perpetuating the assumption that extremism is the default, that Muslims share inherent traits that make them worse than the rest of us, and that they are guilty of extremism until proven innocent.

How CNN helps set Islamophobia as the default

You saw this crystallize on September 29, when CNN invited on Reza Aslan, a scholar of religions, to respond to Maher's earlier comments. To start, the segment was based on the premise that Maher's bigoted (and factually incorrect) claims versus Aslan's scholarship presented a balanced debate, akin to an "experts disagree on global warming" Fox News segment pitting one loony skeptic against thousands of scientists.

CNN's segment went off the rails after only 20 seconds. Aslan was explaining that Maher had been incorrect to blame female genital mutilation on Islam, since it both predates Islam and is common across large Christian and Animist parts of Africa. Those facts are widely established and easily confirmed with a Google search, and yet CNN co-host Alisyn Camerota interrupted to repeat Maher's argument as fact, challenging Aslan to respond.

That a CNN anchor would uncritically repeat a widely debunked Islamophobic trope and would put the respected Muslim scholar on the defensive while implicitly backing the anti-Muslim bigot, is one of many recent signs that Islamophobia is not only tolerated on American TV news, but it is often the default position.

At one point, Aslan, to make the case that Muslims are not defined only by their extremists, noted that Muslim-majority countries had elected female heads seven times. Co-host Don Lemon interrupted him again. "Reza, be honest though. For the most part it is not a free and open society for women in those states," he said.

Imagine a CNN anchor pointing to Russia and Venezuela and Congo to ask why Christian countries are so backwards. Imagine that anchor telling an expert on Christianity, "Be honest, for the most part Christian countries are not free and open societies for women." His argument would seem ridiculous, his thinking clearly bigoted.

Camerota chimed in to agree that Saudi Arabia, population 29 million, somehow defines all 1.6 billion Muslims. "In Saudi Arabia, when women can't vote and they can't drive ,and they need permission from their husbands, that's not extremists," she said. "That's not extremists. That's commonplace." But only Saudi Arabia has such laws, which are widely reviled in the Muslim world.

Aslan went through the paces of denouncing Saudi Arabia's gender restrictions. But he had had enough: "You know, this is the problem, is that these kinds of conversations we're having aren't really being had in a legitimate way. We're not talking about women in the Muslim world. We're using two or three examples to justify a generalization. That's actually the definition of bigotry."

But the CNN hosts were undeterred. After cutting to a video, Lemon asked, with a straight face, "Does Islam promote violence?"

Imagine if Lemon had demanded a prominent American Rabbi answer "Does Judaism promote greed" or asked a member of the Congressional Black Caucus to acknowledge the merits of the KKK's arguments. Then you can start to understand how Lemon's question looks to the 2.6 million Muslim-Americans who have to listen to this every day.

Praise of Muslims is often couched in destructive stereotypes
Even when attempting to portray some Muslims in a positive light, the message often ends up reinforcing Islamophobia. Take, for example, the recent praise of United Arab Emirates air force Major Maryam al-Mansouri, a female fighter pilot who flew in the US-led missions against ISIS.

American media coverage has portrayed Mansouri as a representative of UAE's progressiveness on gender equality, when in fact the country is objectively quite bad on women's rights. The fact that we allow them such a lowered bar represents a soft bigotry of lowered expectations and bizarrely ignores more progressive Muslim countries, which for some reason do not seem to count.

When MSNBC's Morning Joe held a panel on Mansouri, which the UAE ambassador attended, the hosts repeatedly contrasted the UAE with Saudi Arabia in a way that explicitly framed Saudi gender restrictions as the default and the norm for Arab and Muslim societies. What these misconceptions have in common is to endorse the idea, which originates with ultra-conservative Islamists and Islamophobic racists, that Muslim and Arab countries will naturally set a lower standard for women's rights.

There is also an uncomfortable degree of chest-thumping that typically comes with American praise of Mansouri. It's common to see TV hosts, for example, speak directly into the camera and ask some variation of, "You got bombed by a woman, how do you like that, ISIS?" A large number of Internet memes make this same point.

This treats women's progress in the Middle East as primarily something that matters when it can be used to humiliate Muslim men. It co-opts Mansouri and Muslim women generally into a sort of practical joke that we Americans get to play on our enemies. This may help explain why commentators praising Mansouri are so often ignorant of the actual facts about the status of women in the Middle East: they care about what she represents for jingoistic insults of America's enemies, not for what she represents for female advancement.

The Islamophobia feedback loop

The implicit racism on CNN and MSNBC and elsewhere does more than just normalize Islamophobic stereotypes and assumptions: it helps pave the way for far more explicit racism.

You saw this effect in real time on CNN, just a few days after the Reza Aslan segment. Lemon and Camerota appeared on CNN host Chris Cuomo's show to discuss the fallout. With the set now absent of any actual Muslims, they were free to dismiss Aslan and his concerns and to argue, misleadingly, that they were just following their journalistic responsibility to "ask the question."

Cuomo backed them up and then went much, much further. Cuomo argued that Aslan had proven why Americans should be afraid of Muslims, that the "Muslim world" bore collective responsibility for the rise of extremism, and that Muslims are inherently more violent. His quotes are below:

Also, his tone was angry. He wound up kind of demonstrating what people are fearful about when they think of the faith in the first place, which is the hostility of it. Look, here's what you guys were exposing yourself to. This is the state of play in journalism today. The Muslim world is responsible for a really big part of religious extremism right now. And they are unusually violent. They're unusually barbaric in the places where it is happening. And it's happening there more there than it is in other places. Do you therefore want to generalize? Of course not. But you do want to call a situation what it is. It's not a coincidence that ISIS begins with an I. I mean, that's what's going on in that part of the world. Doesn't mean other faiths can't be violent and other cultures can't be violent, but you shouldn't be afraid of the question.

If Cuomo had said this about any other major religious or ethnic group in the world, he would be immediately fired and run out of journalism. But when it comes to Muslims, hate is tolerated.

It's not difficult, unfortunately, to find similar examples on Fox News. It's worth revisiting a few recent examples, if only as a refresher on how Islam is discussed on the network:

Andrea Tantaros, August 20:

They've been doing this for hundreds and hundreds of years. If you study the history of Islam, our ship captains were getting murdered. The French had to tip us off. I mean these were the days of Thomas Jefferson. They've been doing the same thing. This isn't a surprise. You can't solve it with a dialogue. You can't solve it with a summit. You solve it with a bullet to the head. It's the only thing these people understand.

Jonathan Hoenig, September 21:

We should have been profiling on September 12, 2001. Let's take a trip down memory lane here: The last war this country won, we put Japanese-Americans in internment camps, we dropped nuclear bombs on residential city centers. So, yes, profiling would be at least a good start. It's not on skin color, however, it's on ideology: Muslim, Islamists, jihadist. That's a good start but it's only a start. We need to stop giving Korans to Gitmo prisoners, we need to stop having Ramadan and Iftar celebrations in the White House. We need to stop saying the enemy is not Islamic. They are.

Bill O'Reilly, October 6, in a segment titled "Is Islam a destructive force?":


The truth is many Muslim nations have not confronted Islamic terrorism, have not attacked violence in the name of Allah and have not even condemned the jihad. There are exceptions to the rule but they are few. ... The truth is that the Islamic jihad could not exist if not for Muslim nations turning away.

While it's tempting to dismiss Fox News as different, to treat its more overt Islamophobia as contained to that network, there is a symbiotic relationship between the Islamophobia on Fox News and that of more mainstream outlets such as CNN and MSNBC.

The mainstream outlets create an atmosphere in which a certain baseline of implicit racism is considered normal. That makes the out-in-open racism you might see on Fox News or Bill Maher seem as if they are merely saying out loud the hard truths that no one else is brave enough to express. And those Fox News bits, in turn, allow for more implicitly Islamophobic TV hosts to position themselves as merely mediating the debate.

'They stood up at the end — they cheered'


Demonstrators protest police civil rights abuses in New York. (TIMOTHY CLARY/AFP/Getty)

The ultimate result of this is that it will further normalize bigotry against Muslims in America, making it the default. This has a real effect on how American voters perceive US foreign policy toward Muslim-majority countries, which you may have noticed involves an awful lot of bombing. It also influences how non-Muslim Americans see the 2.6 million Muslim-Americans living in the United States.

Popular attitudes toward Muslims are becoming more hostile in the US: Americans are more skeptical about Muslims and Islam, express lower favorability toward Muslims, are more likely to support racial profiling of Muslims, and increasingly say that Muslim-Americans cannot be trusted in positions of government authority.

Sometimes the media is so effective at engendering Islamophobia that you can see attitudes hardening right before your eyes. Maher, in defending his comments about Muslims in an interview with Salon, bragged about as much. Here is he describing how, over time, as he has pounded away at Islamophobia, his once-skeptical audiences have grown to accept and even embrace his ideas:

What I think is interesting is that the audience, my studio audience, has really come around on this issue. When I used to talk about it, it was just either stony silence or outright booing and now I notice quite a shift. ...

When I talked about it at the end of last week's show, they stood up at the end - they cheered during it and they stood up at the end. And when I introduced the topic last night, I'd say about half the audience gave a cheer when I said we need to stand up for liberal principles.

That bears repeating: the audiences used to sit quietly or boo when Maher espoused his hateful and factually incorrect views on Islam. Now they stand up and cheer. That is the power of the American media, and it's a power that is increasingly directed toward prejudice, hate, and fear.
 

Zé Ferreira

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Anyone who's afraid of a lawless organization that condones killing opponents/bystanders simply because they don't agree with your ideals isn't a phobia, it's common sense.

GTFOWTS
 

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...fe6-11e4-aa5e-7153e466a02d_story.html?hpid=z2

Fareed Zakaria: Let’s be honest, Islam has a problem right now




When television host Bill Maher declares on his weekly show that “the Muslim world . . . has too much in common with ISIS ” and guest Sam Harris says that Islam is “the mother lode of bad ideas,” I understand why people are upset. Maher and Harris, an author, made crude simplifications and exaggerations. And yet, they were also talking about something real.

I know the arguments against speaking of Islam as violent and reactionary. It has a following of 1.6 billion people. Places such as Indonesia and India have hundreds of millions of Muslims who don’t fit these caricatures. That’s why Maher and Harris are guilty of gross generalizations. But let’s be honest. Islam has a problem today. The places that have trouble accommodating themselves to the modern world are disproportionately Muslim.

In 2013, of the top 10 groups that perpetrated terrorist attacks, seven were Muslim. Of the top 10 countries where terrorist attacks took place, seven were Muslim-majority. The Pew Research Center rates countries on the level of restrictions that governments impose on the free exercise of religion. Of the 24 most restrictive countries, 19 are Muslim-majority. Of the 21 countries that have laws against apostasy, all have Muslim majorities.

There is a cancer of extremism within Islam today. A small minority of Muslims celebrates violence and intolerance and harbors deeply reactionary attitudes toward women and minorities. While some confront these extremists, not enough do so, and the protests are not loud enough. How many mass rallies have been held against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) in the Arab world today?

The caveat, “Islam today,” is important. The central problem with Maher’s and Harris’s analyses are that they take a reality — extremism in Islam — and describe it in ways that suggest it is inherent in Islam. Maher says Islam is “the only religion that acts like the Mafia, that will [expletive] kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book.” He’s right about the viciousness but wrong to link it to “Islam” — instead of “some Muslims.”

Harris prides himself on being highly analytical — with a PhD, no less. I learned in graduate school that you can never explain a variable phenomenon with a fixed cause. So, if you are asserting that Islam is inherently violent and intolerant — “the mother lode of bad ideas” — then, since Islam has been around for 14 centuries, we should have seen 14 centuries of this behavior.

Harris should read Zachary Karabell’s book “Peace Be Upon You: Fourteen Centuries of Muslim, Christian and Jewish Conflict and Cooperation.” What he would discover is that there have been wars but also many centuries of peace. Islam has at times been at the cutting edge of modernity, but like today, it has also been the great laggard. As Karabell explained to me, “If you exclude the last 70 years or so, in general the Islamic world was more tolerant of minorities than the Christian world. That’s why there were more than a million Jews living in the Arab world until the early 1950s — nearly 200,000 in Iraq alone.”

If there were periods when the Islamic world was open, modern, tolerant and peaceful, this suggests that the problem is not in the religion’s essence and that things can change once more. So why is Maher making these comments? I understand that as a public intellectual he feels the need to speak what he sees as the unvarnished truth (though his “truth” is simplified and exaggerated). But surely there is another task for public intellectuals as well — to try to change the world for good.

Does he really think that comparing Islam to the Mafia will do this? Harris says that he wants to encourage “nominal Muslims who don’t take the faith seriously” to reform the religion. So, the strategy to reform Islam is to tell 1.6 billion Muslims, most of whom are pious and devout, that their religion is evil and they should stop taking it seriously?

That is not how Christianity moved from its centuries-long embrace of violence, crusades, inquisitions, witch-burning and intolerance to its modern state. On the contrary, intellectuals and theologians celebrated the elements of the religion that were tolerant, liberal and modern, and emphasized them, while giving devout Christians reasons to take pride in their faith. A similar approach — reform coupled with respect — will work with Islam over time.

The stakes are high in this debate. You can try to make news or you can make a difference. I hope Maher starts doing the latter.
 

OfficePants

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Stakes? What stakes? A bunch of well to do whiteys arguing with each other on TV? I struggle to see where this has any impact beyond what opinion columnists write in the NYT the day after.

The problem with Muslim culture has shit to do with a few extremists. It comes down to everyone's daily exposure to their cultural attitudes such as watching a Muslim family in a mall where the woman has to walk behind the husband. Backwards shit like that has more impact on my daily life than some talk of ISIS or ISIL or whatever they're calling it next.
 

Russell Street

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The problem with Muslim culture has shit to do with a few extremists. It comes down to everyone's daily exposure to their cultural attitudes such as watching a Muslim family in a mall where the woman has to walk behind the husband. Backwards shit like that has more impact on my daily life than some talk of ISIS or ISIL or whatever they're calling it next.
1. Do you walk behind a woman? Crazies always assume it's oppression and never think about whom the first to step in the dog shit, holes, land mines, or run across marauding hooligans will be. They are protective of women, because they are seen as vulnerable and valuable.
2 This is hokum. Until I hear the same detractors lambasting orthodox Judaism, the Amish, and certainly a ton of other religions around the globe, this is a rationalization of prejudice, and one created by the media and government. They burn brides and have arranged marriages in India. But that has nothing to do with oil and Israel, so never mind.
 

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1. Do you walk behind a woman? Crazies always assume it's oppression and never think about whom the first to step in the dog shit, holes, land mines, or run across marauding hooligans will be. They are protective of women, because they are seen as vulnerable and valuable.
2 This is hokum. Until I hear the same detractors lambasting orthodox Judaism, the Amish, and certainly a ton of other religions around the globe, this is a rationalization of prejudice, and one created by the media and government. They burn brides and have arranged marriages in India. But that has nothing to do with oil and Israel, so never mind.
I have to disagree. The man is not walking point as a protective measure. Hang out in a Walmart and observe this interaction. It is all about the woman knowing her place. Everything is about subservience and control. He, the devout Muslim gets to wear a sweet track suit while the Missus gets the potato sack with eyes cut out so she can maintain her interval.

Other religious sects - as you mention - may do similar things and occasionally it makes the headlines such as how rapes in India have become endemic or the Lev Tahor Orthodox Jew sect in Canada has been fleeing to the Carribean ahead of social services because of allegations of child abuse.

These instances are not always raised in the media or are given only glancing attention simply because there is no other story to bring it to the media forefront unlike how frequently Islam and some of its followers are seemingly butting up against Western sensibilities.
 

Russell Street

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Is that why they can't drive cars too?
Obama ain't driving his own car and it possibly for the same reason. Yeoman's work is not for women. One dictate that I do take some abjection to is the ban on women riding bitch on motorcycles because, you know, the position is undignified. They have a point, but to force women to only enjoy motorcycles by sidecar seems cruel.

Women have modesty to be maintained, as that has value in Islam. If feminists were really against being valued for beauty and all, would embrace the wearing of uniform shape-disguising garments. But they are wearing make up and pimping themselves out instead.

Any claimed subjugation is both rooted in esteem and protection and has accompanying privilege.

Also, I love how women act like working and driving are such great things, and not chores that they would love to be relieved from doing.
 

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All cultures/religions have their share of dogshit. This thread is about Islam, so we're being topical about it. Juxtaposing the shortcomings of others just lends justification to Islam's backward nature. Muslim women don't walk behind men to avoid poop, they do it because they're owned like property and know their place.
 

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I did a few minutes of web searches and the consensus is that this three steps behind stuff has nothing to do with Islam and is purely cultural.
I could do a diatribe on how sexist the Western model of women being nothing but whores is.
 

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I did a few minutes of web searches and the consensus is that this three steps behind stuff has nothing to do with Islam and is purely cultural.
I could do a diatribe on how sexist the Western model of women being nothing but whores is.
You could but that might be another thread. I think one issue is the intersection of culture and religion with respect to Islam. Unless we study it, we are apt to err.

But that said, oppressive culture - by our standards + a religion that is often misinterpreted by its followers in said oppressive culture = the shitty state of affairs today.
 

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Indeed. You can't really separate culture and religion. The women walking behind thing, how do you determine how that evolved (or devolved)?
 

Russell Street

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This surely is why the liberal mind is blown on the topic. They must embrace multiculturalism and not offend any indigenous peoples no matter how backward, but they should also be ranting about the slightest perception of gender inequality or patriarchalism and lunge at religion as an evil whenever possible...
 

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Whatever happened to your American melting pot where people came to America and became Americans even if they begrudged the fact that fact and kept their religion and cultural beliefs alive at home?

When did the transition occur to multiculturalism?

This concept is bullshit because it eventually trickles into laws and norms as people take advantage of good intentions by finding loop holes.

Just look North and see the bullshit in play here. We embraced the cultural mosaic instead of the melting pot. There is no becoming a Canadian citizen for many; that is becoming a proud citizen that upholds the tenets upon which the country was founded, albeit very WASPY & Christiany.

No, being Canadian for many these days is holding a Canadian passport to travel unfettered across the world while thinking up ways to use human right tribunals stacked with what you all call Liberals who have to think for a moment before saying genital mutilation and honour killings AE wrong.

Soldiers can wear turbans instead of helmets, so too can Sikh RCMP officers.

The best one has to be the human rights ruling that a Sikh did not have to wear a hard hat in a mine. He then was gorked by falling rock and was back wondering why there was no compensation.

Whatever the cultural/religion intersection is, some groups are slowly chipping away at our institutions because their interpretation of how to use human rights was never envisioned by the pale white WASP founding fathers and their spawn.

Canada is a great place to be if you want to try and argue that Sharia law should be a parallel system here.

No other cultural/religious combination has tried so hard to insinuate itself into the rule of the country and won't stop trying until it happens.

Public swimming pools closing in certain cities to allow Muslim women to swim, not feminists who want a man-free splash about from time to time.

The Ontario government paying welfare to multiple wive, tacitly sanctioning Sharia law. No "Bountiful Mormans" on the welfare train.

It's back enough that they guy with a dick who thinks he's a chick can go to human rights and be able to change in the women's change room
 

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You're right. It's part of what makes the racists in liberal countries inflamed. People watch this bullshit play out and they see their social systems being abused by the "Somali's that don't get big enough free apartments protest".
 

Rambo

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I love Hitchens. The world suffered a serious loss of intellect when he died.
 

OfficePants

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Look, Islam isn't all bad. We can't let a few hundred million bad apples spoil the bunch.
It's time to start judging. Reminds me of this:

“As I’ve often said, this is the biggest problem we have in our society—unwanted kids. If we solve this problem we solve all the other problems. So we have to start judging. As I said before, we judge smokers more harshly than we judge deadbeat dads in our current society. Seriously, how many antismoking PSAs have you seen this week vs. ones saying raise your kids, or don’t have kids if you can’t afford them? And what’s hurting our society more? People need to see that asshole and call him an asshole so maybe other people thinking about being assholes wouldn’t become assholes. We stopped judging people a long time ago because the idiots on the left told us everyone is the same and that we couldn’t do that. We need to bring back judging.”
Adam Carolla, President Me: The America That's in My Head
 

Thruth

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I love Hitchens. The world suffered a serious loss of intellect when he died.
A polarizing intellect to be sure. I did enjoy him from the point of view that he challenged people to think. Not enough of this
 
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