I thought I'd explain why I'm being so offensive about Islam. Here are my reasons:
1) I've read the Qur'an and many of the ahadith.
And what I see is a viciously oppressive ideology that stifles progress and individual freedoms. It enables those that would abuse power to abuse absolutely and those that follow to follow without a shred of thought. The result is the horrific trampling of individual rights and liberties. The result is unthinking brutality.
Now, the two main arguments people make against my understanding of Islamare these. First, because I have read a translation I have not read the Qur'an. I think that's bullshit. I've read quite a lot of books in multiple languages. I would absolutely agree that whilst the poetry of Shakespeare does not translate completely between English and Spanish that the meaning does. Similarly whilst some of the poetry of the Qur'an may not translate I'm damn sure that the meaning does. Arabic is not some secret code of hidden meanings absent from all other human thought. Perhaps the poetry of it makes it sound more beautiful and thus more effective as a brainwashing tool upon Arabic speakers, but the meaning of it shines through in English and those parts which come from later in Muhammad’s life are barbaric. I've shared a number of conversations with some friends of mine who have Arabic as their first language and they tend to agree that my understanding is pretty good. The meaning is not lost in translation.
The second argument apologists use to attempt to undermine criticism is that I am not an Islamic scholar. This argument is also pure bullshit and to suggest it isn't is actually blasphemy on their part because the Qur'an describes itself as a clear and complete book. By its own definition it needs no explanation and no scholars. To say otherwise is to speak against the Qur'an.
So having familiarised myself with Islamic ideology I can say that I am being offensive to it because I am offended by it. It's primitive, barbaric, stupid and unpleasant and the world would be a better place if people were better people by not drowning out the clarity of their own thoughts with this vile nonsense.
2) Muslims need to face criticism and insult to their faith.
In the not so distant past saying something against the Church or Jesus could quite easily get you killed. Just saying "I don't believe" was enough to face torture and execution. Christians like to pretend that this was a dark error in the past but the fact is that all of the nastiness of Christian history wasn't an accident; it was actually based on the Bible itself and excerpts such as this:
New Testament, Luke 19:27, Jesus says "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me."
Freedom to insult a religion goes hand in hand with freedom of religion and freedom to disagree and question. You can't just draw a line and say "You can't insult religion" because there is no line that determines when disagreeing with the scripture is insult or valid questioning of existing interpretation. If you remove the right to insult by trying to draw that line the line will tend to gravitate closer and closer to the line of the scripture. That means bloodshed and oppression, even in Christianity, because fundamentalist views come from far more barberous times than ours. If Islam is going to learn to modernise then it needs to be insulted and the faithful need to learn that they can't draw lines any more. This is a key principle of human freedom.
3) Why shouldn't I insult those that kill based on nothing at all?
As far as I'm concerned anybody that believes that a bunch of ignorant peasants from many centuries ago have provided the ultimate truth of life, the universe and everything is certainly lacking critical facilities in their thinking. This ancient wisdom comes from people that didn't even know why there was night and day. They thought illnesses were caused by demonic possessions and that teh sun was dragged across the sky. There is something very wrong with modern people that believe these ignorant ancients knew the ultimate truth. They are simply mad.
Maybe they are not mad in many other aspects of their life. Maybe they are quite capable in a number of skills, have average or high IQ's and could whip my arse in a number of intellectual challenges, but there is certainly something very wrong with their thinking if they accept faith as a justification to ignore fact. If they are prepared to elevate that faith as a reason to commit violence or oppress people then they are not just stupid they are criminally insane. And they are dangerous.
To bow down to their oppression is unacceptable to me. Years ago, when I was at school we had some bullies and it was always my policy to never submit. I got punched quite a few times for that policy, but in the end that policy worked for me. The bullies learned that I'd never submit to them so they would have to fight and that even if they hit me then they were absolutely certainly going to get hit back, evenif I had to go and find them to return the punch the next day. Violence or the threat of violence will never equate to justification to change my thinking. My thinking is based on fact and understanding, not threats.
So when a bunch of hot blooded jihadis start foaming at the mouth, killing and threatening to kill if we don't respect their madness and submit to it, my answer is clear, concise and immediate - fuck you! Bring it on. Even with the knife to my throat I will not respect them or their beliefs. And the stronger they get with their threats the stronger my resolve will be to stand against them.
4) Islamists have no sense of perspective.
With them it's "our way or we'll cover the highway with your blood by cutting off your head". They are not reasonable. Their beliefs prevent reason. A good example of this is the Hamas covenant which states that dialogue cannot be accepted as a means to reach its objectives and that only violent Jihad is acceptable.
So if constructive dialogue is useless and the inevitability even of trying to make peace with them is war then I don't see any reason to pretend to respect them - I don't. I don't respect their beliefs, I don't respect their methods and I don't respect their goals.
5) Islamists are deeply offensive
Deadly so, in fact.
But what about offending the moderate Muslims?
Tough shit I'm afraid. That's what freedom means - people that don't share your beliefs don’t have to respect them so long as they obey the rest of the laws that govern their interactions with you.
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