Friday The 13th and Islamophobia

Friday The 13th and Islamophobia

I’ll be honest, I’m not even sure how to start this article…and I guess that’s about as good a way to begin as any.

The attacks on the people of Paris were a horrific act that left over 140 people dead, and many more injured. It was only one of the many terrible things that happened on November 13, 2015.

To highlight them all, so we can pay them all proper condolence, here they are:

Earthquake in Mexico yields no deaths as of yet, but the results may still be updated. In any case, I’m sure the people of Mexico were not exactly relaxed upon hearing the news. I cannot find any official source on the hurricane people keep talking about, but if someone can point me out to that information, I’d appreciate it.

Bombings in Baghdad, both roadside and suicide, killed 26 people, and injured 61. These attacks were carried out by the Islamic State.

Earthquake in Japan lead to no casualties, but I imagine the Japanese people were not exactly relaxed when they first heard the news.

Paris attacks: 140 + killed, and 350 + injured, with updates to be announced. These attacks were carried out by the Islamic State.

And let’s not forget about the day before, Thursday, November 12, when 44 innocent people were killed and over 200 were injured, because of a double suicide bombing in Beirut, Lebanon. These were carried out by the Islamic State.

And don’t forget just last month, when a Russian plane was bombed out of the air, killing over 240 people. This was also carried out by the Islamic State.

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Those are the facts, and we lost a lot of people on the days of November 12, to November 13. In total, humanity lost over 200 people in just those two days, and many more were injured. The above meme, and ones like it, want to skew that an equal number were lost in all the tragedies (because it gets a lot of clicks, and fits into Friday the 13th superstition), even though the actual data on the subject shows that the only casualties came from one place that day. They came from the same place in the Russian plane bombing a month before.

First, there is an issue with climate change. If you read my blog, you’ll know that I’m presently discussing that subject in a series.

But on November 13, climate change didn’t kill any of the people listed in the meme. The Islamic State, however, did.

Now people are outraged, as we damn well should be. Innocent people were killed in the name of barbaric ideals, both religious and sinister. Sometimes just sinister, sometimes just religious, but it’s often both in the case of the Islamic State.

But while everyone is outraged about innocent people being murdered, a shocking number of those people seem to be more outraged at something else.

That something else has been coined as Islamaphobia.

Let’s get something straight, and I’m going to make this brief as I’ve touched on this subject in the past. You can read that article here.

I agree that there is some bigotry towards Muslims in the Western World, which extends to immigration and race issues, much more than religion itself; especially during a time when many of our citizens are unhappy with how they’re being treated by their own government.

Not many of the Western Muslims commend the literal beliefs of Islam, despite what ring-wing sources want you to believe. Some people are extreme to them on the subject, using religion as an excuse to attack them and tell them to go back to their own country, or tell them that they should be nuked or other ridiculous and bigoted arguments of the like. Those kinds of people are angry at much more than just the religion, but those are complex social issues their Neanderthal brains can’t wrap around, much less verbally discuss.

But just because there is some bigotry towards Western Muslims, it doesn’t mean that everything that is said – even by those really dumb bigots – is invalid or wrong. Every argument should be analyzed for its truth. It doesn’t matter where it comes from.

I say this not as a bigot, but as someone who has been labeled as such for simply speaking out against the Islamic State, and the doctrine of Islam. Here is the Facebook post that I shared on all of my social media accounts, leading to some controversy among my audience:

“To the peaceful Muslims who feel you are being attacked unfairly because of the Paris attacks…

We are not attacking YOU, we are attacking the doctrine that comes from the text your religion believes. Just because you come from a different sect of Islam, doesn’t mean what they did wasn’t a part of Islamic ideals. It’s accurate to say that Islamic faith is responsible, because some who believe in it are responsible, and have done these things in the name of said faith.

Instead of feeling offended because people under the label of your faith have done something wrong, and are being accurately judged for it, maybe you should speak out against the atrocities, and try to reform Islam fundamentals where they begin.

Not all Muslims should be blamed. Those are people.

Ideas, however, are completely to blame. And they are the fundamental ideas of Islam / Muslim belief. You need to differentiate the two. Attacking the idea, is not always attacking the person, especially if it’s obvious that there are those who do not engage in the same acts. It shouldn’t always have to be said in advance as a trigger warning.

If you are not one of the fundamentalist Muslims committing these atrocities, then it’s obvious that this hatred or criticism isn’t directed at you (at least, most of the time). Sure, there may be some bigoted stereotypes toward Muslim ideology, but it’s certainly not racist. Why?

Because Islam is a religion, not a race. It is an idea, not a person. You can’t be racist towards an idea, and you should be able to criticize it as such. That’s why we have free speech.

When people that are being racist against immigrants, or those of a different race, that are of Muslim belief, that’s a different story. That is bigotry, but they still have the right to speak their mind if they so wish.

But don’t get offended because people are calling out what others in your religion are doing. Instead, get angry that others in your religion are doing it, and speak out against just that. Don’t try to make the valid criticisms seem bigoted or wrong, simply because you’re too sensitive to admit that this comes from Muslim doctrine.

Maybe if you actually read the Qu’ran, rather than cherry-pick the polite parts, you would know that.

Like I said, there is bigotry against those stereotyped as Muslim (even when they’re not). I don’t refute that. But when everything becomes racist or bigoted simply because it doesn’t conform to what’s considered ‘PC’, then all valid criticisms are silenced, and we get nowhere.

Stop being afraid to criticize Islam. The practices of the doctrine are wrong, and deserve criticism.

And my last point : Yes. Many Religions have similar doctrine that is almost, and sometimes equal, in their barbaric attitudes. But those religions have grown. Christians no longer perform crusades, and if they were still doing so, I’d be speaking out just as heavily against them for those atrocities.

It’s the fact that the Islamic religion is causing so much pain in the past few years, which makes it more important to talk about now. If the attacks weren’t happening, Islam wouldn’t be as criticized as it is.

…And once again, as I’ve said in previous posts, the west has its own parts to mend. That doesn’t exclude Islam from mending its side of the fight.”

For saying that, I was labeled an Islamophobe. What I find a bit ridiculous is that Christianity was brought into argument. As if it was supposed to make me feel guilty, when I’m an Atheist and despise the fundamentals of all religions equally. That’s also why I’m not an Islamaphobe. A religophobe, maybe?

No…I’d rather just still with Atheist, or Anti-theist, if we really have to have these labels at all. The point is, when it boils down to labels being the only source of any kind of refute, you’re not going to win the intellectual debate. That’s why people use the word Islamaphobe in the first place…to shut down the conversation as if everything that person is saying is now invalid. People do it to stop others from listening, and to tune out the argument that rattles them.

Let’s analyze it further, though. Why should it be up to the peaceful Muslims to call it out? They didn’t carry out the attacks.

So what? They should be a part of the fight, and willing to take in all suggestions and ideas, no matter how far and extreme, and analyze them for their validity. Furthermore, they should help reform Islam to actually become the peaceful religion they propagate it to be. Personally, I don’t know if the words ‘peaceful’ and ‘religion’ even go together, but that’s a matter of opinion.

Moderate Muslims can help in the fight by creating a real dialogue. By acknowledging and speaking out against certain practices of the Qu’ran. Things like female genital mutilation, arranged marriage, slavery, rape, and so on, which still rule the social norms in third-world countries that adopt large portions of Sharia Law.

If you are uneducated on the subject, you may need a reminder of what the definition of Sharia Law really is. So here you go:

Sharia law Arabic: شريعة) is the body of Islamic law. The term means “way” or “path”; it is the legalframework within which the public and some private aspects of life are regulated for those living in a legalsystem based on Islam.

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia_law

There we go. Sharia Law is based on the tenants of Islam. Not all ideas are implemented in every situation, but there is a disturbing amount which is implemented among third-world Muslim countries. And please, spare me your drivel. That “Those are not Muslim countries,” argument, simply doesn’t hold.

In reality, when you look at the text of the Qu’ran, ISIS and countries that implement Shari Law, practice deeper in their Islamic faith than moderate Muslims do. The Muslims of the West are Muslim-Seculars, and perhaps that is the differentiation we need to begin to adopt…If we really have to differentiate it at all. So when someone like Reza Aslan tells reporters that they cannot say Muslim countries are barbaric, he’s completely wrong. Islamic or Muslim countries are barbaric. Secular countries, with Muslims living in them, are not. Put your emotions aside for just one moment, and look at things from an objective view point, and you’ll see this for yourself.

I wanted to keep this article short, so I’m going to try and break down some parts of the Qu’ran for you as quickly as possible. I know that moderate Muslims don’t like to admit these parts are there, but they are there, and they skew other parts that moderate Muslims like to cherry-pick.  These are the practices the Muslim-Seculars need to acknowledge and speak out against if we really want to get anywhere in the battle of Islamic ideas, which fuel groups like ISIS.

When you cherry-pick the good parts, you miss the big picture of what the text as a whole really means, and then you fail to understand what happens when it is literally interpreted and acted upon.

These are gathered from Religion of Peace.com, and The Skeptics Annoted Qu’ran. They can also be found in other various places online and in some literature, as well as in any copy of the Qu’ran.

Don’t bother warning the disbelievers. Allah has made it impossible for them to believe so that he can torture them forever after they die. 2:6-7

We have prepared for disbelievers Fire. Its tent encloseth them. If they ask for showers, they will be showered with water like to molten lead which burneth the faces.–18:29

Quran (2:244) – “Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things.”


Quran (5:33)
 – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”

Quran (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”

Bukhari (52:65) – The Prophet said, ‘He who fights that Allah’s Word, Islam, should be superior, fights in Allah’s Cause.

Bukhari (8:387) – Allah’s Apostle said, “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah’.  And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally.”

Muslim (1:30) – “The Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah.”

Those are just a few of the many. When those kinds of things are inside of your doctrine, and people in your country hold those values highly, it becomes a huge part of the problem, as those values are embedded in your perception of the world.

Discussing and exposing them will keep others from being sucked into the extremist views, or put in situations they can’t get out of; simply because they were foolish enough to believe in fundamental Islam. That is why we have to talk about it. It’s not to attack all Muslims. It’s to help solve the underlying issues.

And, I just want to say one thing, and this is going to come from emotion. To those Muslim – seculars who decided it was important to make a point that they are not to blame; to the ones who played the victim card right after November 13, stating that ‘We are being attacked for our beliefs, and it’s not right.’ , I have one to tell you something.

 I’m offended that you’re offended. Why am I offended?

Because Muslims, as an isolated group, were not the ones attacked and killed in large numbers across the world. I’m actually offended, and this doesn’t happen that often – I usually brush off little things fairly easily, unless they have some philosophical merit that I want to think about objectively.

I’m offended because instead of contributing to the fight, and putting aside small arguments that have already been made time and time again, you’re playing the victim card. YOU are NOT the victims. The people killed in Beirut, Paris, Bagdad, in the Russian plane crash, and countless of others incidents where Islamic fundamentalism has led to murder – those people were the victims. They were the victims of Islamic faith, taken in its most literal form.

To those who say that ISIS is not doing it for religion. I urge you to look at the text released from the Islamic state after the attacks. You’ll be surprised how much the faith of Islam is mentioned.

Some Muslims spoke out about the tragedies, but very, very few actually bothered to acknowledge or try to educate people on where these ideas come from, or what we can do to stop them. The people who come from these areas, and are now adapting and surviving in Western Democracy, need to speak out more about the real truth of what happens when Islamic Fundamentalism takes a strong hold on public perception.

It’s time to stop being offended over the little things, and stop these stupid arguments that hinder the real debates. Enough is enough. Humanity cannot afford this passive-aggressive PC bullshit anymore.  We need to discuss these issues openly, and that includes the moderate Muslims who feel they are being attacked. We all have a stake in the conversation.

If you managed to make it this far (experience tells me that your attention span stopped around 1500 words, or less), then I thank you for reading. I hope you share this article if you agree with what I’m saying, and spread the word. And feel free to comment below and share your thoughts on the subject. There is likely something I missed.

If you have any refute to me, please comment below. I’d love to hear from you as well.

 

Have a good day,

Adam Gainer

~~~

News sources:

http://abc7.com/news/magnitude-43-earthquake-hits-baja-california-mexico/1083201/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/14/world/middleeast/iraq-suicide-bomb-and-road-blast-kill-26-in-baghdad.html

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/magnitude-7-0-earthquake-hits-off-the-coast-of-japan-tsunami-warnings-issued-for-its-southwest-coast

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/12002350/Paris-attacks-Mastermind-Abdelhamid-Abaaoud-killed-in-police-raid-on-Saint-Denis-apartment-live.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/13/us-mideast-crisis-lebanon-idUSKCN0T20HT20151113

http://www.bustle.com/articles/123885-french-authorities-release-official-death-toll-updates-on-the-paris-attackers

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/lebanese-red-cross-official-raises-the-death-toll-in-twin-suicide-attack-south-of-beirut-to-16/2015/11/12/4f60978a-895e-11e5-bd91-d385b244482f_story.html

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/africa/74182540/islamic-state-releases-picture-of-bomb-it-says-downed-russian-passenger-plane

 

Violence and Cruelty in the Qu’ran:

http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/quran/023-violence.htm

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/cruelty/long.html

More dialogue in the conversation of PC, and Islam:

Dave Rubin and Ayaan Hirsi Ali discuss her story, Islam, and the Regressive Left:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rw12EEamFBc

Gad Saad’s discussion with Sarah Haider on the reformation of Islam:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rw12EEamFBc

TJ’s (The Amazing Atheist) opinion on the conversation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czL4V-oKEqs

Gad Saad and his opinion on homophobic broccoli:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NijG1T_Y8zk

Thunderfoot’s break down of how the acts of terrorism are evolving:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiQuCdv3A98

~~~

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6 thoughts on “Friday The 13th and Islamophobia

  1. I was going to comment on this last week but decided not to. Although I don’t agree with every thing you’ve said I respect you’ve taken the time to actually research and think it through applying the principles of what you believe in. Having read many many comments on social media over the last few weeks I came to the conclusion one of the biggest risks to our western way of life is people who simply don’t think for themselves and latch onto whatever seems a popular view point. A quick scroll down many people’s news feeds would show they completely contradicted themselves and their “position” clearly wasn’t something they’d actually thought through and aligned with their own personal beliefs. Somebody rather famous said, “If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate you saying so, as religion is something I’ve spent quite a lot of time researching, and I’m glad the article reflects that. You’re right. People don’t think critically enough about these issues, and it often takes them to extremes on either side. I write articles like this one, and my past one on Islam, to try and bring things to a middle ground.

      I would like to know what you disagree with me on, however. It’s good to be critiqued in order to learn more. If, as Sean mentioned, it has to do with the Qu’ran being quoted, I do still stand by that analysis in terms of the third world countries where the policies are heavily taken from that text. That said, I also fully condemn any unjust attacks against innocent Muslims in the western world, as I understand the bigotry and ignorance, as you mentioned, is a huge issue. I wrote about that in my Combating Ignorance post.

      That said, I still feel the need to criticize the ideas of Islam, as they are a factor in those particular countries, and for people on the fence in our own. The only reason I ask Muslims to reform their doctrine or help to discuss these particular issues within it (with the hashtag : I’m ex-Muslim Because, and other social media movements since I posted this, they have), is because every time a non-Muslim says something, it is automatically labeled as bigotry, no matter what the context or how valid the claim.

      I just wanted to make it clear, that I’m not against Muslims. I am against the fundamentals of Islam, which play a factor in encouraging extremist groups like Boko Haram, the Taliban, and ISIS.

      If you have a disagreement I did not go over in this comment, let me know. I appreciate you reading, and commenting, and hope to hear your thoughts again soon.

      Like

  2. Adam, there are some things I agree with in your post, and some things I don’t agree with. It’s beyond question (at least among reasonable people) that the actions and beliefs of ISIS/Daesh are barbaric and have no place in a civilized world. I think virtually everyone who’s not a member of this awful organization would agree. I also think the vast majority of people agree that no religious group should be singled out for blanket blame for the actions of a fringe minority. Where I think your argument breaks down is the implicit assumption that the Q’uran or the tenets of Islam are, by their nature, sort of a “source code” of violent ethics or violent behavior, and that what separates reasonable people from extremists is how literally they apply the “source code.” I think that view is untenable, not merely for Islam, but for any religion.

    Religion is a human construct. It is created by humans, not by God, for the purpose of improving human relations and giving people a framework for an ethical and fulfilling way of living and relating to others. What separates most religious people from extremists of any faith is their understanding of this principle. Most religious people, be they Muslims, Christians, Jews etc. (I am Jewish, myself), understand that religion is a creation of human beings and doesn’t have a monolithic status. A synagogue, a church, a mosque is a human institution, no different than any other human institutions. Religion is a tool that works to the extent a person or a community of faith employs it to positive ends in their own lives. The vast majority of Muslims understand this, just as the vast majority of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Zoroastrians etc. do. Literalism is no less unworkable a doctrine in practice in Islam than it is in any other faith. This is, fortunately, why so few people practice it; those that do, like ISIS/Daesh, cause a lot of bad stuff, no doubt. But the members of a religion have it in their power, and indeed have the responsibility, to make their faith work for them in a positive way. Those who fail to do so can be rightfully criticized, but I do not accept that some faiths are fundamentally more incompatible with a positive humanistic practice than others. In my view that’s not our judgment to make.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree with almost everything that you said, but am not sure how you could interpret me saying that Islam is any more or less incompatible with society than other religions. All doctrines have their bad points and good points, and it is all a matter of perception. I’m not disputing that, and believe I highlighted that a few times throughout the post. If it wasn’t highlighted here, it was definitely highlighted in my last post about Islam. No fundamentals of religion are actually implemented in the western world, and we live by secular values here. Religious and non-religious alike.

      I broke down the Qu’ran, to show just some of the tenants that make up Sharia Law. Not to say that it is all taken literally – and once again, I highlight that after saying so, by stating that ‘Some, but not all of these, are implemented’. The link I provide that further goes into the definition also says that. It depends on the individual country, and as you said, the perception of those people. But pretending that text doesn’t matter or influence people is ludicrous. People can, and do take it seriously, and right now, it’s leading to a lot of deaths.

      And when those tenants take hold as laws and permanent perceptions, they grow people that believe in those literal interpretations, simply because they know nothing else. So those ideas need to exposed, and they need to criticized, so the root causes can be mended in order to fix the issue of Islamic Terrorism. Islamic Terrorism is encouraged in the Qu’ran, and the religion/doctrine of Islam can be used as a tool to help bring more people onto their side, as it fits tightly into their regime.

      Muslim-seculars should realize this, and there is a small portion (Ayaan Hirsi ali, for one) who have begun to speak out about it recently, stating the exact same things that I am.

      All Religions have their issues, and they all lie within the literal interpretations of all their holy books. Perhaps a change in the official texts itself is the ultimate answer to fix these issues, because then it can’t be interpreted literally and then used as a tool for evil.

      Of course, though Religion is man-made, and not God made, the pious simply won’t go with that (I dare you to ask them). Because it’s not how their God intended it to be written. You see how hard it is to mix reality and God?

      I agree with you, Sean, but I do think there is a lot that can be done in Muslim religion. That doesn’t mean The West can’t fix it’s own issues (the coalition in Syria was a horrible idea, for example), and it doesn’t mean that other Religions (Fundamental Christians on Gay Marriage, for another example) can’t do their part in fixing their issues either. But right now, the official ideology of Islam is encouraging a lot of death, and we can expect it to get worse as the years go.

      Like

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