Sunday, January 14, 2007

Hypocrisy

Some time ago I had an experience where a group of Moroccans threatened me when they overheard me say that there is no god in a conversation at a terrace bar. I think I posted about it. What impressed me was their willingness to threaten violence in defence of their religion whilst they were drinking beers. Pure hypocrisy.

Last night it happened again!

I was in a bar having a conversation with somebody I know and a Moroccan gentleman who was in the bar by himself made a great effort to join in the conversation. The conversation was not about religion. He seemed like a nice enough person and he was welcome to join in. Everything was light hearted and friendly. A little way into the conversation my friend mentioned that his father was Moroccan and due to the turn the conversation took at that point my friend also revealed that he is not a Muslim and that in fact, in his opinion, religion is bullshit. I agreed with his assertion.

Our new friend did not.

He immediately told us, absolutely seriously, that we can talk about anything but not about religion. So I asked him why and he told me again that I can talk about anything I like but not about religion.

That just doesn’t work for me.

“Why not?” I asked. And he told me that it’s not acceptable for us to insult religion. So I asked why not and the conversation began to get a little tense. My friend leapt in to make everything nice again by saying that all religions are about peace and being nice to other people and so essentially religion is a “nice” thing. A complete turn around from his “religion is bullshit statement” I thought, and an obviously false statement. I asked my friend about the Old Testament’s pure and vicious nastiness apparent throughout and various features of the New Testament such as Luke 19:27. He didn’t know any of the verses I mentioned but our new friend was at this point perfectly willing to step in and mention that Christianity is bullshit.

Ok, my suspicion was confirmed. It was not talking about religion, or mentioning that religion is bullshit, that he wanted to prohibit. He specifically refused to allow any disagreement with Islam. I decided to push the point. I told him “You’re telling us we can’t even mention religion but you can say that Christianity is bullshit! So you are defending Islam whilst clearly a little drunk and with a beer in your hand. You’re a hypocrite and your religion is nonsense”. This didn’t go down very well, although to his credit he remained calm. Another Moroccan sitting just behind me was not taking things so well (he was also drinking).

How can people take themselves seriously when they are prepared to fight to defend a religion that they are defecating on before it is even challenged? It is utterly ridiculous and people, such as my friend, bending over backwards with clearly false statement (Islam is peace) to appease when threatened is every bit as bad as the “religion demands violent defence” attitude of the ignorant and hypocritical fanatics.

To cut a long story short, the night ended without violence. I am almost certain it ended that way because I was brutally open, unconcerned and absolutely unapologetic in expressing my distaste and disagreement for the hypocrisy of someone being aggressive in defence of a religion they are themselves in the act of defiling. My stance made it obvious that if he was prepared to fight over his hypocrisy then I was prepared to fight over my right to speak freely. I suspect there is a lesson there to be applied on a larger scale.

Sure, there are some fanatics, the jihadis, who are prepared to kill and die for their small minded belief. There are less prepared to stand up with such conviction when their aggression is given the respect it deserves – absolutely none – and it is made clear that we are also prepared to do whatever is necessary to protect our freedoms.

It is these little battles that will change the minds of Muslims, especially in Europe. As individuals we have to be prepared to take our opinions beyond the blog and into daily life and be ready to stand firmly behind our convictions and in the front line in facing down the religious aggression that attempts to limit our freedom.

I’ve had numerous occasions in which I have been threatened by Muslims. Some of these have been during conversations in which I have asked them about their beliefs. Some have been occasions in which I have been overheard. Some of the Muslims have been drinking (most) and some have not. Every time I have maintained the same attitude of refusing to accept their demand to censor what I am allowed to say or think. Every time, even though events have become very aggressive and hot, I have remained calm but refused to budge even an inch to accommodate their ridiculous and aggressive demands and every time I am certain that it has been that conviction that has kept violence at bay.

I am prepared to fight, in a huge war or a tiny personal battle in bar, to maintain my right to think and express. I am unashamed of my opinions and no threat will ever make me feel that I should be silent because of the sensibilities of those who cannot accept debate.

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4 comments:

Bacon Eating Atheist Jew said...

Are true Muslims even allowed to drink?
I didn't think they were.
I think the secular community is becoming bolder. The truth is that if it wasn't for Islam, there would probably be peace on the planet, not to say that I wouldn't want to get rid of all religion, but if I had to choose one, it would be Islam.
I don't know how brazen I would be in public with a Muslim. I still value my life, but admire your courage.

chooseDoubt said...

Hi BEAJ,

Drinking is a no-no, which just adds to my resolve when they push towards violence whilst openly disgracing their beliefs.

I also value my life, but ultimately I value the lives of my children more. I'm not entirely sure how to phrase it, but I very strongly suspect that if/when the big one comes we will all have to take individual responsibility and be individually involved anyway and that the "if/when" could still be avoided if a significant number of us accept that individual responsibility now.

Don't get me wrong - I'm no hard nut and I have no death wish. But fear doesn't make someone right and it won't make me pretend they are. Additionally, the way to defuse Islam is not to appease it or to stand behind an army (although armis certainly do have valid uses in this regard). The way to defuse it is, on an individual basis, to introduce Muslims (who are very often recent immigrants to Europe - or elsewhere) to the fact that we are not the weak, unprincipled, indecent scum they have been educated to believe we are and that we take our freedom seriously, especially when they threaten us for exercising it.

I've had a number of high tension moments in the past and sticking to my guns has paid off. In a way, I think sometimes I've left them with the impression that I'm actually quite a decent guy simply because I was prepared to stand by what I said and not back down.

As bloggers who tend to give some focus to the evils of Islam it's easy for us, especially since we read so much about the worst, to group all Muslims in the same pot. Sure, Islam is without question a ridiculous and utterly nasty pile of violent, oppressive, retarded pig shit, but whilst most Muslims might agree with at least some of the violence, most are individually not prepared to do it themselves - certainly not separated from a group of like "minded" people. At that point they are quite accessible, so long as you stand your ground and insist on your right not to respect their beliefs then they learn a valuable lesson. Westerners are principled. Sam Harris is totally right about that point. It is respecting their beliefs that allows the twisted to grow truly warped and dangerous - that respect includes fear.

All of this started for me the first time I had a drink with a Muslim I knew very slightly and under questioning he finally admitted that he really thought it was right that me and my children should be beheaded for not being Muslims. That sort of motivation made it easy for me to push the point without succumbing to fear. I was quite offended and whilst not aggressive with him I wasn’t particularly worried if aggression resulted. Someone telling me that it's right to execute my children tends to remove fear from me and replace it with resolve. The end result, after some very high tension, was that he changed his mind. The same guy has since been to my house for dinner and conversation and I regularly see him and exchange a few words and smiles in the street. He's a decent enough guy. He's far more decent now that he realises that it doesn't sound so wise to kill people (children) because they don't believe in the same fantasy as him. He wouldn't have changed his mind if he hadn't had the experience of a future victim of his ideal facing down his intimidation and telling him what was wrong with his ideal and how committed to resisting that ideal people will be once they realise what's at stake.

So my advice would be to be as you are when talking with angry Muslims, even when it might escalate to violence. Debate. Question. The fact that you are open either means that they will have something to think about or that you will get a knife in the back on your way home. So far, no knives and I’m not convinced that it's even likely at this time. But if it is, then it is. It still doesn't make them right and I'm not going to pretend it does.

Maybe one day I’ll be unlucky and it will cost me my head. That’s not a price I am prepared to pay so much as it is a price they must be prepared to pay to shut me up. If it happens I know this much – I will not be on my knees apologising to my murderers and begging for my life. I’ll be there with nothing but contempt for the idiots that would do such a thing for something as utterly ridiculous as a religious belief. In the meantime I’m not prepared to pay the price of holding back my freedom to think and express just to give their idiot beliefs right of way. If they want my silence then they’ll have to me fight for it because they certainly won’t intimidate me into surrender. I am not a dhimmi and I never will be.

A. Rational Human said...

Yes!

I have had a similar but less direct experience of the same thing. I stated in a comment to a blog that god does not exist and that religion (all of them) is noise. A person representing himself as a Muslim stated "come the revolution, you will lose your head". I thanked him for letting me know that he was a thug and that I would be watching for him. I also informed him of my non-existent regard for his psychotic and violent religion as well as his perverted thug of a prophet. I received no further comment.

Thank you.

chooseDoubt said...

Keep up the good work. Isn't it all reminiscent of the cartoon Jihad? Muslims get pissed off, instantly aggressive and violent and the world does itself no favours by going softly, softly into the darkness of appeasement!

Every single one of us that blogs on the topic from an anti-jihad angle was ashamed of the way our governments reacted and our "free" press retracted. Only a few editors with resolve stood out and sent the right message. Freedom is not negotiable - we regard it as an inalienable right, whether angry mobs like it or not. It's exactly the same with our own lives and the angry individuals we meet.

Someone's readiness to declare war against me is no indication of my readiness to declare my surrender. It's time angry Muslims learned that this is true of most of the non-Muslims they threaten. The only difference is that I'm already at the point where I realise that this is an issue important enough to fight for. Most non-Muslims still think it is an issue that doesn't really concern them. That's changing.