Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

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free thoughtpolice
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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#61

Post by free thoughtpolice » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:15 am

I was inspired by the fundamentalist Star Trek reference a few comments up.


I'm not a catholic or lutheran or whatever my grandparents/ancestors were either.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#62

Post by jimhabegger » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:56 am

free thoughtpolice wrote:He's a muslim Jim, but not as you know it.
Thank you. I suspected that he grew up in a Muslim family or community, but I wasn't sure.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#63

Post by jimhabegger » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:59 pm

Kirbmarc, as I said, maybe you're already doing what I was suggesting, but just because you grew up in one kind of Islamic culture, doesn't mean you know them all.

I thought I saw you saying once that you don't think of Islam in monolithic terms, but sometimes in your posts in this thread you do seem to be thinking that way.

I see different kinds of Islam, that diverge as widely from each other as they do from any other kind of religion, or system of beliefs and practices. I don't equate embracing liberal democracy and enlightenment values with not liking Islam, or with Islam losing its strength. It might be that way for some, but for others it could more easily be turning away from one kind of Islam, to embrace another, possibly even more strongly. You might do more to help it grow and spread among Muslims if you learn to look at it that way. If you equate embracing liberal democracy and enlightenment values with turning away from Islam, exclusively, then you're validating part of the warmongering propaganda among Muslims.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#64

Post by Steersman » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:34 pm

Kirbmarc wrote:Discussing islam with Jim reminds me of when you criticize someone's child:

"Your son needs to find ways to control his temper, he's been in ten fights his year"

<snip>

"It's the world that is cruel to my son! He's just lashing out! You all hate us, you hate us so much!"

Fifteen minutes later the son punches his parents who made excuses for him...
Yea. :-) Biased to the point of incoherence; hardly what you call an "honest interlocutor"; why I have very little if any patience for his "arguments".

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#65

Post by Steersman » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:53 pm

jimhabegger wrote: <snip>

While I was thinking about this, it struck me as curious that people spreading anti-Muslim propaganda are themselves promoting the same interpretations of the Quran that are being used to excuse the worst kinds of violence, and insisting that Muslims who interpret it any other way are wrong. Doesn't that seem like curious behavior to you, for people who allegedly want to stop violence in the name of Islam?
What horse crap. Like saying that people who object to the murder, mayhem, and thuggery of criminals are "promoting" those criminal actions. As that Pew Forum graphic indicated, rather large percentages of Muslims are apparently in favour of all sorts of egregious brutality and savagery; pointing that out is not "promoting" it. You might reflect on this tweet of an "atheist Muslim" (oxymoron that that is), though I doubt you're capable of it: https://twitter.com/aliamjadrizvi/statu ... 7809604608
jimhabegger wrote:One possible explanation I see for some of it is people having conservative religious backgrounds themselves, and still being attached to their old ways of interpreting scriptures, even though they've renounced and denounced them.
More horse crap. Painfully obvious, at least to all who aren't totally deluded by religious dogma, that a disturbingly large percentage of Muslims engage in, endorse, or support, no end of barbarism, ignorance, and savagery.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#66

Post by jimhabegger » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:50 pm

Kirbmarc wrote:This isn't all about you, or about me, it's about what's going on in society at large. You and I are two internet nobodies arguing on a small forum.
I disagree. For me, it is all about me, and you, and about what's going on in society at large. It's about what you and I can do to help improve society, and what each of us can do to help reduce the rampaging and counteract its effects.

As I understand it, you see a need for more Muslims to embrace liberal democracies and enlightenment values*. I don't think that can happen without a lot of help from a lot of nobodies. Do you? I want to be one of those nobodies, helping it to happen. Don't you? It seems possible to me that this conversation between us could help one or both of us do more to help it happen. That's the whole point of it for me. I think that the better we communicate, the better those possibilities will be. Don't you? I think that if either one of us sees anything getting in the way of that communication, we need to try to clear it up.

There are Muslims who are promoting the kinds of Islam that embrace liberal democracy and enlightenment values, and contexts for understanding the Quran that reinforce that. I see some possibilities there for more Muslims to embrace liberal democracies and enlightenment values, that I want to encourage and support. Do you?

The same applies to violence in the name of Islam. There are Muslims who are denouncing violence in the name of Islam, and promoting contexts for understanding the Quran in which it condemns that violence. I see some possibilities there for more Muslims to condemn that violence, that I want to encourage and support. Do you?

* I'm using "liberal democracy" and "enlightenment values" to refer to your view of the best kind of society, without thinking that I know everything there is to know about it. There might be some disagreements between us about the best kind of society, but at this point I don't see any need to bring those into the discussion.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#67

Post by jimhabegger » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:08 pm

jimhabegger wrote:Kirbmarc, do you think that anyone who objects in any way, to any kind of criticism of Islam, is wrong, and has wrongful motives and intentions?
Kirbmarc wrote:It depends on what they're talking about, what they define as "criticism of islam". If the "criticism of islam" they're talking about is a justification of illiberal acts (forcible expulsion, deprivation of human rights, torture of suspects, etc.) or of wars in the name of "building democracy" (which never work) then no, they don't have wrongful motives and intentions, but the focus is the protection of civil and human rights of muslims as people, just like you protect the civil and human rights of all people, and on the prevention of unnecessary and even counterproductive wars.

If the "criticism of islam" they're talking about is exposing messages of hate and intolerance in Salafi propaganda, or recognizing the "problematic" part of the Qu'ran and the ahadith, or opposing the implementation of religious laws/illiberal laws, or smearing critics of islam as bigots, they yes, I tend to assume that their motives aren't very good, or at least that they're seriously deluded about the goodness of their motives.
I have no objection to denouncing messages of hate and intolerance in Salafi propaganda, or recognizing the "problematic" part of the Qu'ran and the ahadith, or opposing the implementation of religious laws/illiberal laws. The people I see doing that the best are Muslims who are promoting contexts for understanding Muslim scriptures, that expose the wrongfulness of that hate, intolerance and oppression, and of using Muslim scriptures to excuse it.

When that criticism is continually intertwined with incriminating, fear-mongering, unqualified allegations and insinuations about Muslims in general; and promoting the exact same understanding of the Quran that is being used to excuse hate, intolerance, and oppression, as the only true or honest way of understanding it; and helping to discredit and marginalize the Muslims who are doing the most to help improve the attitudes and behavior of other Muslims; then I think that does more to help perpetuate the problems than to help remedy them, and yes, I'm tempted to look for possible explanations for people persisting in that, other than trying to help solve the problems. The most plausible explanation I can think of is that defaming Muslims sometimes helps advance people's writing, blogging, and speaking careers, just like defaming white people and men.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#68

Post by jimhabegger » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:37 pm

Steersman, I'm posting this to update you on what I think of your theories about Islam and Muslims.

As I understand it, you're saying that the beliefs and attitudes of most or all Muslims, including those who live in liberal democracies, are helping to perpetuate the worst kinds of violence, and that those beliefs and attitudes are inevitable consequences of believing in the Quran.

I think that the beliefs and attitudes of most or all people everywhere, Muslims included, are helping to perpetuate the worst kinds of violence. I don't claim to know if that applies more to Muslims than to other people, or not.

If you think that those beliefs and attitudes are inevitable consequences of believing in the Quran, I disagree. I think that the Quran, or any religious scriptures, can be used to prevent violence, just as much as to excuse and camouflage it. How much people use them one way or another depends on their training, experience, and social environment.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#69

Post by jimhabegger » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:20 pm

I'll admit that I was hasty, and wrong, in reducing Sam Harris's criticism of Islam to advancing his career by defaming Muslims. He's looking a lot better to me now.


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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#70

Post by Kirbmarc » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:43 pm

jimhabegger wrote:When that criticism is continually intertwined with incriminating, fear-mongering, unqualified allegations and insinuations about Muslims in general; and promoting the exact same understanding of the Quran that is being used to excuse hate, intolerance, and oppression, as the only true or honest way of understanding it; and helping to discredit and marginalize the Muslims who are doing the most to help improve the attitudes and behavior of other Muslims; then I think that does more to help perpetuate the problems than to help remedy them, and yes, I'm tempted to look for possible explanations for people persisting in that, other than trying to help solve the problems. The most plausible explanation I can think of is that defaming Muslims sometimes helps advance people's writing, blogging, and speaking careers, just like defaming white people and men.
I'm not promoting the "problematic" understandings (there is more than one, and not all of them agree with each other, for example Shia-Sunni conflicts are full of "problems" on both sides) of the Qu'ran and the ahadith. I'm simply acknowledging that those "problematic" understandings are rather common, because they're based on elements which ARE in the Qu'ran and the ahadith, and thus closing our eyes and hoping for the best isn't going to help, just like saying "not all muslims".

I don't want to discredit or marginalize those who are improving things, I actually want them to be the ones who are promoted by the authorities instead of giving undue recognition to people who spread hateful ideas (people who don't deserve to be treated as serious authority figures). I've routinely promoted figures like Maajid Nawaz, or Seyran Ates, the German female imam who opened a liberal mosque in Germany, or Yahya Cholil Staquf, the head of a big muslim organization in Indonesia, who is denouncing the link between orthodox islam and violence.

I'm sometimes skeptical of their effectiveness to improve things since they fight against the much better funded and with better political support Salafi preachers, but this doesn't mean I'm not spreading evidence of their existence and good work. All of them are pretty no-nonsense when it comes to facing the issues of islam without mincing words or offering excuses.

However it's all too easy for people who are NOT interested in improving things to manipulate the good will of people who want to improve things by instead preaching support for the Saudi regime, for implement religious laws and for some sort of "Salafi-lite" message and excuses for issues within islam, by appealing to "moderation". Case in point: Linda Sarsour, who is connected to shady figures, supports preachers of hate like Louis Farrakhan, minimizes the issues of islamic theocracies and openly praises Saudi Arabia as more progressive than the US, but is supported by large parts of the American left as a "moderate" because she's against ISIS (although one of her mentors was a man who was indicted for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing).

I don't have a writing, blogging or speaking career.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#71

Post by Kirbmarc » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:45 pm

jimhabegger wrote:I'll admit that I was hasty, and wrong, in reducing Sam Harris's criticism of Islam to advancing his career by defaming Muslims. He's looking a lot better to me now.
Good. Harris is naive and a bit simplistic at times but he's not a Steersman.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#72

Post by jimhabegger » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:18 pm

Kirbmarc, in case I haven't made it clear enough, I've never seen what you do as defaming Muslims. I did see part of it as unintentionally validating some of the propaganda among Muslims that tries to discredit and marginalize the Muslims we would want to support, but I'm over that now.

I've just now come to a more charitable view of writing/speaking/blogging careers that I think are popular with one faction or another, for the wrong reasons. I don't see that now as a reason for me to be as critical of them as I have been.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#73

Post by Steersman » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:36 am

Kirbmarc wrote:
jimhabegger wrote:I'll admit that I was hasty, and wrong, in reducing Sam Harris's criticism of Islam to advancing his career by defaming Muslims. He's looking a lot better to me now.
Good. Harris is naive and a bit simplistic at times but he's not a Steersman.
Unfortunately; even a "reasonable facsimile" would have been nice ... ;-)

However, you're quite right about being a bit naive & simplistic, and a view that Pandavar would apparently agree with you on. Something from a post of hers last year:
Pandavar wrote:Sleepwalking
This post started out as a piece juxtaposing two YouTube videos that were published last month within a week of each other:

Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz interviewed on Australian television:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcY5xnk1tF8

and Mimi Geerges interviewing Wafa Sultan on radio [podcast in link].

I wanted to show how the slickness of Nawaz and the naïveté of Harris are key obstacles in the way of our developing a realistic perspective on and appropriate response to Islam, while we are sleepwalking into a nightmare. I could not have expressed my frustration better than Wafa Sultan has. ....
Somewhat parenthetically, not 100% certain that the YouTube video above is the one in Pandavar's original post as the link wasn't archived. But she, somewhat recently, just before she was "dismissed", offered an apology of sorts - didn't really get a chance to read it due to PZ being a dickhead - to Nawaz so I'm not sure how that would have tempered that "slickness" accusation. But I think she was quite right about the "sleepwalking into a nightmare". However, reader Ariel provided a bit of a transcript of a comment by Nawaz that seems relevant and consistent with Harris' opening comment:
Nawaz wrote: The second point I’d like to make is that actually, for my atheist friends out there who often say that its incredibly unrealistic to believe that Islam can be reformed in this day and age, what I’d say is actually it’s even more unrealistic to believe that, as Sam said, that 1.6 billion Muslims are going to magically somehow overnight apostatize. So the only realistic, pragmatic and intellectually sound way forward is for all of us to unite around secular, liberal, human rights, democratic values.
To which Pandavar made this cogent response [comment 2016-04-16 at 02:03] underlining the "sleepwalking":
Pandavar wrote:.... The only way forward that I see (and I’m ready to be persuaded otherwise) is to expose the Qur’an for what it is: (i) it is directly antithetical to civilisation; and (ii) it cannot be reformed. To do this is to equip those who doubt and are looking for a way forward to know what they’re dealing with and to take their decisions from there. In the end, I think, it comes down to both a numbers game and a game of credibility. As things stand, with the Qur’an sacrosanct, it doesn’t matter if 99.9% of 1.7 billion Muslims are peaceful. 0.1% of 1.7 billion still amounts to a lot of planes flown into a lot of skyscrapers. ....

I am hostile towards reformers because by peddling the illusion of Islamic reform, they perpetuate the moral superiority of that 0.1% given that their morality is that of the Qur’an, the book clung to not by 0.1%, but by 100% of 1.7 billion Muslim. From a theological standpoint, that 0.1% is unassailable, and they will remain unassailable for as long as the same text that inspires them also inspires the 99.9%. ....
Indeed. Undergirding or buttressing my own objections to "reformers" who give every indication of being more "useful idiots" than not. All fine and dandy for Nawaz to talk about "unit[ing] around secular, liberal, human rights, democratic values", but if those are fundamentally rejected by virtually the whole lot of Islam then y'all are just pissing against the wind, fiddling while Rome burns. Being charitable.

And to underline all of that you might want to check out a recent Gatestone Institute post - Europe: What do Islamic Parties Want?; maybe tell me that that too is just starting at shadows ...

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#74

Post by jimhabegger » Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:00 am

Steersman, I'm not pinning any hopes on reforming Islam, and I can easily sympathize with feelings of resentment and suspicion towards people encouraging such hopes, especially if they make a career out of it.

Harris might not actually be fooled by it. It could possibly be a good way for him, and for Nawaz, to sell more books, and get more speaking and talk show invitations. Pardon my cynicism. They might both sincerely think that's a good way for them to help improve the world. I will even go so far as to say that could possibly be true. That might be as good a way as any other, for them, to help improve the world.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#75

Post by jimhabegger » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:13 am

I'm not pinning any hopes on reforming Islamic institutions. I do see some possibilities of improvements in the attitudes and behavior of Muslims and Muslim communities, at the grass roots level, that I would like to help encourage and support, if I had any opportunities to do so. I don't think those possibilities are limited to Muslims who renounce and denounce Muslim scriptures. In fact, I see better, more far-reaching possibilities for improving the attitudes and behavior of Muslims and Muslim communities, in promoting, among Muslims, an understanding of Muslim scriptures which condemns violence in the name of Islam, and embraces liberal democracies and enlightenment values.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#76

Post by jimhabegger » Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:55 am

I think that the opinion polls that I've seen people referring to, in media stories and online feuding, are worse than useless, as sources of knowledge about the ideas and interest of people in the populations that they allegedly represent, but now I'm starting to see some possible value in considering the sample data itself, in spite of the corruption in the design of the questionnaires, in the data, and in how the data is analyzed and reported.

For example, if the answers to some questions, in some survey of Muslims, display a favorable view of the Qu'ran, and a favorable view of liberal democracies and enlightenment values, in some of the same questionnaires, even accounting liberally for all the possibilities of data corruption, that might help some people see that it's possible for Muslims to embrace liberal democracies, without renouncing and denouncing the Qu'ran.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#77

Post by jimhabegger » Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:43 pm

I think that all the opinion polls, including the Pew polls, that people are citing in public discussions, are worse than useless as sources of knowledge about the ideas and interests of people in the populations that they allegedly represent, outside of the samples. I do see some possible value though, in considering the samples themselves.

I gave a hypothetical example above. Here's an example from an actual Pew survey.

2017 Survey of American Muslims

Page 15:

Code: Select all

                                               Essential part   
                                               of what BEING   Important
                                                MUSLIM means    but NOT
                                                   to you      essential      
                                                   ------      ---------

a. Believing in God                                  85           10
b. Loving the Prophet Muhammad                       72           20
c. Following the Quran and Sunnah                    59           31
d. Dressing modestly                                 44           35
e. Working for justice and equality in society       69           23
f. Eating halal foods                                48           32
g. Getting married                                   41           40
h. Working to protect the environment                62           32
That's 90% (59% + 31%) saying that following the Quran and the Sunnah is an essential or important part of what being Muslim means to the person.

The result for "killing civilians ... in order to further a political, social or religious cause ... Can never be justified" (see page 27) was 76% (59% for the general public).

That's a *minimum* of 66% in a sample of 1001 (~660 Muslims) saying that following the Qu'ran and the Sunnah is an essential or important part of what being Muslim means to them, *and* that killing civilians can *never* be justified in order to further a political, social or religious cause ..."

Even accounting liberally for possible data corruption, that looks to me like evidence that it's possible for Muslims to be opposed to violence in the name of Islam, without repudiating the Qu'ran.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#78

Post by jimhabegger » Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:19 pm

Steersman, here's some possible "inconvenient truth" that I can see in your theory. Inconvenient that is, for some kinds of Muslim apologetics.

It seems plausible to me that, to most Muslims, following the Qu'ran and the Sunnah is part of what it means to be a Muslim. It also seems plausible to me that using the Qu'ran to excuse the worst kinds of violence, is helping some people promote that violence. If all of that is true, then all of it is an inseparable part of Islam in the world today, and whatever credibility those excuses have among Muslims, might be reinforced by all the people who call themselves Muslims, regardless of their own personal views about it.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#79

Post by jimhabegger » Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:50 pm

Kirbmarc, I wrote:
I do see some possibilities of improvements in the attitudes and behavior of Muslims and Muslim communities, at the grass roots level, that I would like to help encourage and support, if I had any opportunities to do so. I don't think those possibilities are limited to Muslims who renounce and denounce Muslim scriptures. In fact, I see better, more far-reaching possibilities for improving the attitudes and behavior of Muslims and Muslim communities, in promoting, among Muslims, an understanding of Muslim scriptures which condemns violence in the name of Islam, and embraces liberal democracies and enlightenment values.
I'll revise that to:
I see some possibilities for improvements in the attitudes and behavior of Muslims and Muslim communities, at the grass roots level, that I would like to help encourage and support. I don't think those possibilities are limited to Muslims who repudiate Muslim scriptures. In fact, I see better, more far-reaching possibilities for improving the attitudes and behavior of Muslims and Muslim communities, in helping to promote understandings of Muslim scriptures which condemn violence in the name of any religion including Islam, and encourage more friendly attitudes towards liberal democracies and enlightenment values.
After I wrote the original version of that, I realized that I've been doing exactly that for more than 50 years, helping to promote understandings of Muslim scriptures which condemn violence in the name of any religion including Islam, and encourage more friendly attitudes towards liberal democracies and enlightenment values. I've been doing that along with more than 60,000 other people widely distributed all over the US, and millions of others widely distributed all over the world, including all Muslim-majority countries.

I'm also part of a movement that is systematically, and verifiably for anyone who investigates for himself, helping to improve the attitudes and behavior of people in general, including Muslims, in every corner of the world, and in every corner of society.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#80

Post by jimhabegger » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:58 pm

Kirbmarc, what I meant by saying that the improvement in attitudes and behavior is verifiable, is that anyone who wants to can observe it directly, in person, without having to pass through any pay walls, membership walls, or externally imposed belief walls.

There is a time wall, in the amount of time a person might want to spend on it, which of course might be zero. There might also be internally imposed belief walls, from thinking that it can't possibly be working because of its association with a religion, without examining it directly to see whether or not it actually is working.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#81

Post by Steersman » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:46 pm

jimhabegger wrote:Steersman, I'm not pinning any hopes on reforming Islam, and I can easily sympathize with feelings of resentment and suspicion towards people encouraging such hopes, especially if they make a career out of it.
Neither am. Why I favour Waters' perspective: https://twitter.com/AMDWaters/status/779307155715489792
jimhabegger wrote:Harris might not actually be fooled by it. It could possibly be a good way for him, and for Nawaz, to sell more books, and get more speaking and talk show invitations. Pardon my cynicism. They might both sincerely think that's a good way for them to help improve the world. I will even go so far as to say that could possibly be true. That might be as good a way as any other, for them, to help improve the world.
Fooling themselves then. Don't think either of them have ever heard of the lever, and the related principle of how and where you apply a force is frequently more important than how much.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#82

Post by Steersman » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:02 pm

jimhabegger wrote:I'm not pinning any hopes on reforming Islamic institutions. I do see some possibilities of improvements in the attitudes and behavior of Muslims and Muslim communities, at the grass roots level, that I would like to help encourage and support, if I had any opportunities to do so. I don't think those possibilities are limited to Muslims who renounce and denounce Muslim scriptures. In fact, I see better, more far-reaching possibilities for improving the attitudes and behavior of Muslims and Muslim communities, in promoting, among Muslims, an understanding of Muslim scriptures which condemns violence in the name of Islam, and embraces liberal democracies and enlightenment values.
Pissing against the wind, fiddling while Rome burns as long as y'all think that "the words of the Koran are the words of God Himself". It's that literalism and its categorical nature that largely precludes a condemnation of "violence in the name of Islam".

Wonder if you've ever given any thought to Pandavar's post on the fact that Islam, on the one hand, and "liberal democracies and enlightenment values" are like oil and water - ain't ever going to mix or even coexist:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DGH80O_U0AAOjlk.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DGH80O_U0AAOjlk.jpg

If you're so hot to trot "for improving the attitudes and behavior of Muslims and Muslim communities" then you and your fellow Baha'i Brethren should petition the 57 member states in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation who are responsible for that abomination known as the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI). Get them to repudiate their reliance on Sharia; 'rots of 'ruck - see Waters' above.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#83

Post by Steersman » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:24 pm

jimhabegger wrote:I think that all the opinion polls, including the Pew polls, that people are citing in public discussions, are worse than useless as sources of knowledge about the ideas and interests of people in the populations that they allegedly represent, outside of the samples. I do see some possible value though, in considering the samples themselves.
You only think them "worse than useless" because it paints an "unflattering" but quite accurate picture of Islam and Muslims.
jimhabegger wrote:I gave a hypothetical example above. Here's an example from an actual Pew survey.

2017 Survey of American Muslims

Page 15:

Code: Select all

                                               Essential part   
                                               of what BEING   Important
                                                MUSLIM means    but NOT
                                                   to you      essential      
                                                   ------      ---------

a. Believing in God                                  85           10
b. Loving the Prophet Muhammad                       72           20
c. Following the Quran and Sunnah                    59           31
d. Dressing modestly                                 44           35
e. Working for justice and equality in society       69           23
f. Eating halal foods                                48           32
g. Getting married                                   41           40
h. Working to protect the environment                62           32
That's 90% (59% + 31%) saying that following the Quran and the Sunnah is an essential or important part of what being Muslim means to the person.

The result for "killing civilians ... in order to further a political, social or religious cause ... Can never be justified" (see page 27) was 76% (59% for the general public).

That's a *minimum* of 66% in a sample of 1001 (~660 Muslims) saying that following the Qu'ran and the Sunnah is an essential or important part of what being Muslim means to them, *and* that killing civilians can *never* be justified in order to further a political, social or religious cause ..."
And you agreed earlier with Kirbmarc about the odious nature of much of what is in the Quran. And 24% of 1.7 billion agreeing with the "killing civilians" is still over 400 million. War is war and civilian deaths kind of goes with the territory. But the question remains whether the war is just - and that of Islam against civilization, modernity, civil rights, and humanity itself looks anything but:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DLAdf2TUMAANy2h.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DLAdf2TUMAANy2h.jpg
jimhabegger wrote:Even accounting liberally for possible data corruption, that looks to me like evidence that it's possible for Muslims to be opposed to violence in the name of Islam, without repudiating the Qu'ran.
Yea, and it's possible that pigs will fly - just very unlikely. They're fucken joined at the hip. You might wish to read some of Anjuli Pandavar's many posts on the topic for elaborations on the theme.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#84

Post by Steersman » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:36 pm

jimhabegger wrote:Steersman, here's some possible "inconvenient truth" that I can see in your theory. Inconvenient that is, for some kinds of Muslim apologetics.

It seems plausible to me that, to most Muslims, following the Qu'ran and the Sunnah is part of what it means to be a Muslim. It also seems plausible to me that using the Qu'ran to excuse the worst kinds of violence, is helping some people promote that violence. If all of that is true, then all of it is an inseparable part of Islam in the world today, and whatever credibility those excuses have among Muslims, might be reinforced by all the people who call themselves Muslims, regardless of their own personal views about it.
Yea. Something that I and many others have been saying for ages, even if for some people leading them to a syllogism isn't enough to get them to think - so to speak: https://twitter.com/aliamjadrizvi/statu ... 7809604608

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DE45IibUwAEpuzZ.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DE45IibUwAEpuzZ.jpg

Until Muslims and their fellow travelers, the Baha'i, repudiate the claim that "the words of the Koran are the words of God Himself" they will be "helping to promote that violence", they will be part and parcel of Islam's egregious terrorism - stochastic and literal.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#85

Post by jimhabegger » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:50 pm

Steersman, you quoted Pandavar saying:
.... The only way forward that I see (and I’m ready to be persuaded otherwise) is to expose the Qur’an for what it is: (i) it is directly antithetical to civilisation; and (ii) it cannot be reformed. To do this is to equip those who doubt and are looking for a way forward to know what they’re dealing with and to take their decisions from there. In the end, I think, it comes down to both a numbers game and a game of credibility. As things stand, with the Qur’an sacrosanct, it doesn’t matter if 99.9% of 1.7 billion Muslims are peaceful. 0.1% of 1.7 billion still amounts to a lot of planes flown into a lot of skyscrapers. ....

I am hostile towards reformers because by peddling the illusion of Islamic reform, they perpetuate the moral superiority of that 0.1% given that their morality is that of the Qur’an, the book clung to not by 0.1%, but by 100% of 1.7 billion Muslim. From a theological standpoint, that 0.1% is unassailable, and they will remain unassailable for as long as the same text that inspires them also inspires the 99.9%. ....
One flaw I see in that theory is that the Qu'ran that tells Muslims to fly planes into skyscrapers is not the book clung to by 100% of Muslims. The Qu'ran that Muslims cling to is the one in their own heads. Whether or not that Qu'ran is the "true" or "real" Qu'ran is irrelevant. True or false, real or imaginary, the Qu'ran in their heads is the one that they cling to, and that Qu'ran, the one in their heads, can be reformed.

The Qur'ran that tells Muslims to fly planes into skyscrapers is not the Qu'ran of 100% of Muslims. It's the Qu'ran of ... however many Muslims have a Qu'ran in their heads that tells Muslims to fly planes into skyscrapers.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#86

Post by Steersman » Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:43 pm

jimhabegger wrote:Steersman, you quoted Pandavar saying:
.... The only way forward that I see (and I’m ready to be persuaded otherwise) is to expose the Qur’an for what it is: (i) it is directly antithetical to civilisation; and (ii) it cannot be reformed. To do this is to equip those who doubt and are looking for a way forward to know what they’re dealing with and to take their decisions from there. In the end, I think, it comes down to both a numbers game and a game of credibility. As things stand, with the Qur’an sacrosanct, it doesn’t matter if 99.9% of 1.7 billion Muslims are peaceful. 0.1% of 1.7 billion still amounts to a lot of planes flown into a lot of skyscrapers. ....

I am hostile towards reformers because by peddling the illusion of Islamic reform, they perpetuate the moral superiority of that 0.1% given that their morality is that of the Qur’an, the book clung to not by 0.1%, but by 100% of 1.7 billion Muslim. From a theological standpoint, that 0.1% is unassailable, and they will remain unassailable for as long as the same text that inspires them also inspires the 99.9%. ....
One flaw I see in that theory is that the Qu'ran that tells Muslims to fly planes into skyscrapers is not the book clung to by 100% of Muslims. The Qu'ran that Muslims cling to is the one in their own heads. Whether or not that Qu'ran is the "true" or "real" Qu'ran is irrelevant. True or false, real or imaginary, the Qu'ran in their heads is the one that they cling to, and that Qu'ran, the one in their heads, can be reformed.

The Qur'ran that tells Muslims to fly planes into skyscrapers is not the Qu'ran of 100% of Muslims. It's the Qu'ran of ... however many Muslims have a Qu'ran in their heads that tells Muslims to fly planes into skyscrapers.
You're a fucking idiot grabbing at straws; no more evidence or justification for Allah than there is for any of the literally thousands of gawds that humanity has pandered to and been deluded by over the millennia: https://twitter.com/SteersMann/status/9 ... 8837807104

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#87

Post by jimhabegger » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:21 am

? What does Allah have to do with anything that I said in that post?

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#88

Post by Steersman » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:40 pm

jimhabegger wrote:? What does Allah have to do with anything that I said in that post?
How many times do you think that Allah is referenced or quoted in the Quran? The same odious book that you - and most Muslims - insist "are the words of God Himself" - i.e., Allah, supposedly, in your demented "theology".

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#89

Post by jimhabegger » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:56 pm

jimhabegger wrote:? What does Allah have to do with anything that I said in that post?
Steersman wrote:How many times do you think that Allah is referenced or quoted in the Quran? The same odious book that you - and most Muslims - insist "are the words of God Himself" - i.e., Allah, supposedly, in your demented "theology".
I still don't see what that has to do with what I said in that post of mine that you quoted, when you said "no more evidence or justification for Allah than there is for any of the literally thousands of gawds that humanity has pandered to and been deluded by over the millennia." I don't see anything in that post of mine about any evidence or justification for Allah, and I certainly didn't have anything like that in mind.

What I was saying in that post was that it's false to say that the Quran that tells Muslims to fly planes into skyscrapers, is the same Qu'ran that 100% of Muslims cling to. Besides the fact that some Muslims don't cling to any Qu'ran at all, even the ones who do are not all clinging to a Qu'ran that tells Muslims to fly planes into skyscrapers, They are all clinging to the Qu'ran in their own heads, and those Qu'rans do not all tell Muslims to fly planes into skyscrapers. In fact, some of those Qu'rans in the heads of Muslims condemn that.

You agreed earlier that false news does not help anyone. Whether it's 80%, or 90%, or even 99.9% of Muslims who have a Qu'ran in their heads telling Muslims to fly planes into skyscrapers, is an open question for me at this point, but it is certainly not 100%.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#90

Post by Steersman » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:33 pm

jimhabegger wrote:
jimhabegger wrote:? What does Allah have to do with anything that I said in that post?
Steersman wrote:How many times do you think that Allah is referenced or quoted in the Quran? The same odious book that you - and most Muslims - insist "are the words of God Himself" - i.e., Allah, supposedly, in your demented "theology".
I still don't see what that has to do with what I said in that post of mine that you quoted, when you said "no more evidence or justification for Allah than there is for any of the literally thousands of gawds that humanity has pandered to and been deluded by over the millennia." I don't see anything in that post of mine about any evidence or justification for Allah, and I certainly didn't have anything like that in mind.
Is English a second language for you, or are you just naturally this obtuse or disingenuous?

It's not necessary for there to be specific calls in the "Qu'ran that tells Muslims to fly planes into skyscrapers" when general ones to commit murder and mayhem are obviously more than sufficient: Intolerance in the Quran; The Religion of Peace: Is the Quran Hate Propaganda?
jimhabegger wrote:What I was saying in that post was that it's false to say that the Quran that tells Muslims to fly planes into skyscrapers, is the same Qu'ran that 100% of Muslims cling to. Besides the fact that some Muslims don't cling to any Qu'ran at all, even the ones who do are not all clinging to a Qu'ran that tells Muslims to fly planes into skyscrapers, They are all clinging to the Qu'ran in their own heads, and those Qu'rans do not all tell Muslims to fly planes into skyscrapers. In fact, some of those Qu'rans in the heads of Muslims condemn that.

You agreed earlier that false news does not help anyone. Whether it's 80%, or 90%, or even 99.9% of Muslims who have a Qu'ran in their heads telling Muslims to fly planes into skyscrapers, is an open question for me at this point, but it is certainly not 100%.
Maybe the Quran - and Allah who seems to be making any number commandments and calls for action in any number of cases therein - wasn't telling "Muslims to fly planes into skyscrapers" because they hadn't been invented 1400 years ago? Though, given that Allah is or was supposedly omniscient, one might suggest that he should have known that then and said something to cover that eventuality. That he didn't could probably be construed as evidence that he was a figment of the imagination of Muhammed [piss be upon his name and ilk], and of you and his later devotees.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#91

Post by jimhabegger » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:03 am

Steersman wrote:It's not necessary for there to be specific calls in the "Qu'ran that tells Muslims to fly planes into skyscrapers" when general ones to commit murder and mayhem are obviously more than sufficient ...
It looks to me like you're still missing my point.

"Commit murder and mayhem" is what you think the Qu'ran is telling them to do. They aren't trying to do what you think the Qu'ran is telling them to do. The ones who are trying to follow the Qu'ran are trying to do what they think the Qu'ran is telling them to do. Some of them might think that the Qu'ran is telling them to commit murder and mayhem, but some of them think it's telling them not to do that.
Though, given that Allah is or was supposedly omniscient, one might suggest that he should have known that then and said something to cover that eventuality. That he didn't could probably be construed as evidence that he was a figment of the imagination of Muhammed ... and of you and his later devotees
Allah again. Can we agree that Allah is pure fiction, and get that out of the way?

In responding to Muslim violence, I think that what needs to be considered is what Muslims think the Qu'ran is telling them to do, not what we think it's telling them to do. It's what they think the Qu'ran is telling them to do, that might make a difference in their actions.

Anything we say or do can help push or pull that in one direction or another, for example in the direction of thinking that the Qu'ran is telling Muslims to commit murder and mayhem, or in the direction of thinking that it's telling them not to. Whatever the current percentages might be, of Muslims who think one way or another, I think that the more we help push and pull them in the direction of thinking that the Qu'ran is telling them not to commit murder and mayhem, the better it will be for all of us.

Apart from that, some people who call themselves Muslims aren't trying to follow any Qu'ran at all, and ignoring those Muslims, or hoping for them to stop calling themselves Muslims, are not be the only possibilities I would want to consider, in responding to Muslim violence.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#92

Post by Steersman » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:21 pm

jimhabegger wrote:
Steersman wrote:It's not necessary for there to be specific calls in the "Qu'ran that tells Muslims to fly planes into skyscrapers" when general ones to commit murder and mayhem are obviously more than sufficient ...
It looks to me like you're still missing my point.
Don't think you have one, or at least one that is at all consistent and honest.
jimhabegger wrote:"Commit murder and mayhem" is what you think the Qu'ran is telling them to do. They aren't trying to do what you think the Qu'ran is telling them to do. The ones who are trying to follow the Qu'ran are trying to do what they think the Qu'ran is telling them to do. Some of them might think that the Qu'ran is telling them to commit murder and mayhem, but some of them think it's telling them not to do that.
The Quran was written by a schizophrenic, by a bipolar psychotic; is it any wonder then that some portions call for murder and mayhem, and some don't? See:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DJbsK2OVYAA2Uav.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DJbsK2OVYAA2Uav.jpg
jimhabegger wrote:
Steersman wrote:Though, given that Allah is or was supposedly omniscient, one might suggest that he should have known that then and said something to cover that eventuality. That he didn't could probably be construed as evidence that he was a figment of the imagination of Muhammed ... and of you and his later devotees
Allah again. Can we agree that Allah is pure fiction, and get that out of the way?
Sure - if we can agree that your claim that "the words of the Koran are the words of God Himself" is likewise a fiction - if not evidence of being crazier than a shit-house rat, being charitable.

Know it's rather difficult for you to wrap your pointed head around the concept, but it is generally conceded or accepted that "Allah" is a common term for "God Himself", and that he is "purported" to be largely if not entirely the author of the Quran:
Allah (/ˈælə, ˈɑːlə, əlˈlɑː/;[1][2] Arabic: الله‎, translit. Allāh‎, pronounced [ɑɫ'ɫɑːh] (About this sound listen)) is the Arabic word for God in Abrahamic religions. In the English language, the word generally refers to God in Islam. ....

The Quran (/kɔːrˈɑːn/[a]kor-AHN; Arabic: القرآن‎‎ al-Qurʾān, literally meaning "the recitation"; also romanized Qur'an or Koran[c]) is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a revelation from God (Allah). ....

jimhabegger wrote:In responding to Muslim violence, I think that what needs to be considered is what Muslims think the Qu'ran is telling them to do, not what we think it's telling them to do. It's what they think the Qu'ran is telling them to do, that might make a difference in their actions.

Anything we say or do can help push or pull that in one direction or another, for example in the direction of thinking that the Qu'ran is telling Muslims to commit murder and mayhem, or in the direction of thinking that it's telling them not to. Whatever the current percentages might be, of Muslims who think one way or another, I think that the more we help push and pull them in the direction of thinking that the Qu'ran is telling them not to commit murder and mayhem, the better it will be for all of us.

Apart from that, some people who call themselves Muslims aren't trying to follow any Qu'ran at all, and ignoring those Muslims, or hoping for them to stop calling themselves Muslims, are not be the only possibilities I would want to consider, in responding to Muslim violence.

Best solution for "help[ing] push or pull that in one direction or another" is that suggested by Anne Marie Waters:

[tweet]https://twitter.com/AMDWaters/status/779307155715489792[/tweet]
https://twitter.com/AMDWaters/status/779307155715489792

When you've succeeded in that, or even when you're prepared to address the question, then let me know; until then you can fuck right off.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#93

Post by free thoughtpolice » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:37 pm

Allah again. Can we agree that Allah is pure fiction, and get that out of the way?
So bahai don't believe in allah? Jim, trying to figure out what you believe is like trying to nail jello that is constantly moving to the wall.
Kind of makes it frustrating to have a dialog with you.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#94

Post by jimhabegger » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:11 pm

Steersman, it looks to me like you're starting to get my point now. In responding to Muslim violence, what matters is not what we think the Qu'ran says. In responding to Muslim violence, what matters is what Muslims think the Qu'ran says. The more we can push and pull that in the direction of Muslims thinking that their Qu'ran is telling them not to commit murder and mayhem, the better.
Best solution for "help[ing] push or pull that in one direction or another" is that suggested by Anne Marie Waters:
https://twitter.com/AMDWaters/status/779307155715489792
I think that's more likely to help push Muslims in the direction of thinking that the Quran is telling them to commit murder and mayhem, rather than in the other direction.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#95

Post by jimhabegger » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:26 pm

Steersman, yes, I understand that "Allah" is simply another name for the same fictional god as the god who is called "God" in the Bible.

I thought I had already made this clear before: In my view, God/Allah, and all the other invisible gods that people imagine, exist only in people's imaginations. They're pure fiction.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#96

Post by Steersman » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:23 pm

jimhabegger wrote:Steersman, it looks to me like you're starting to get my point now. In responding to Muslim violence, what matters is not what we think the Qu'ran says. In responding to Muslim violence, what matters is what Muslims think the Qu'ran says. The more we can push and pull that in the direction of Muslims thinking that their Qu'ran is telling them not to commit murder and mayhem, the better.
Best solution for "help[ing] push or pull that in one direction or another" is that suggested by Anne Marie Waters:

[.tweet]https://twitter.com/AMDWaters/status/779307155715489792[/tweet]
https://twitter.com/AMDWaters/status/779307155715489792
I think that's more likely to help push Muslims in the direction of thinking that the Quran is telling them to commit murder and mayhem, rather than in the other direction.
Tough shit. Worked out fairly well in Greece (1923) and India (1947). Time to repeat the process. Ounce of prevention and all that.

You never did address the argument, which Kirbmarc more or less accepted, that Islam is incompatible with democracy and the concept of human rights that the West supposedly holds near and dear. Until Muslims repudiate their "religion", I figure they should be declared personae non gratae.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#97

Post by Steersman » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:01 pm

jimhabegger wrote:Steersman, yes, I understand that "Allah" is simply another name for the same fictional god as the god who is called "God" in the Bible.

I thought I had already made this clear before: In my view, God/Allah, and all the other invisible gods that people imagine, exist only in people's imaginations. They're pure fiction.
Looks like you're talking out of both sides of your mouth; somehow, I'm not at all surprised.

Your original "claim" was that "the words of the Koran are the words of God Himself" yet you now, supposedly, accept that "God Himself" is entirely fictional, that those words came from the largely demented imagination of a psychotic, i.e., Muhammed (piss be upon him). Don't think you can have your cake and eat it too - giving any credence or support to the idea - which most Muslims apparently accept - that there was or is an actual entity called Allah while accepting that "God/Allah and all other gods ... exist only in people's imaginations" is beyond hypocritical.

If you were really honest about "reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices" - something I think you're incapable of being - then you would try convincing your co-religionists - and some 1.6 billion Muslims - that Allah and "God Himself" is a fiction, a delusion, created by Muhammed (piss be upon him), and perpetrated by his equally psychotic devotees; 'rots of 'ruck - let me know how that works out, if you survive.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#98

Post by jimhabegger » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:13 am

Steersman, maybe you aren't getting my point after all.

For the purpose of reducing Muslim violence, what matters is not what you or I mean by "Islam," or what you or I think the Quran is telling Muslims to do. For the purpose of reducing Muslim violence, what matters is what Muslims mean by "Islam," and what they think the Quran is telling them to do. I think that the more we help push and pull the minds of Muslims towards a meaning for "Islam" that embraces democracy and human rights, and towards thinking that the Quran condemns murder and mayhem, the better.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#99

Post by Steersman » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:10 pm

jimhabegger wrote:Steersman, maybe you aren't getting my point after all.
As mentioned before, I don't think you have one. Except maybe to peddle your delusions about "God Himself".
jimhabegger wrote:For the purpose of reducing Muslim violence, what matters is not what you or I mean by "Islam," or what you or I think the Quran is telling Muslims to do. For the purpose of reducing Muslim violence, what matters is what Muslims mean by "Islam," and what they think the Quran is telling them to do. I think that the more we help push and pull the minds of Muslims towards a meaning for "Islam" that embraces democracy and human rights, and towards thinking that the Quran condemns murder and mayhem, the better.
My point is that as long as you and some large percentage of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims insist on Sharia, on the argument, in your own words, that "the laws prescribed by my God should some day be, and will some day be, the law of the land" then y'all are trying to peddle theocracy.

Which is fundamentally antithetical to "democracy and human rights". Seems rather clear that most Muslims and most if not all Baha'i by the look of it are congenitally incapable of accepting that the Quran largely endorses and "murder and mayhem". And are likewise incapable of or unwilling to accept the premises that undergird the West's promotion of "democracy and human rights". All good reasons to #BanIslam, to close the borders to Muslim immigration.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#100

Post by jimhabegger » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:09 am

Steersman, whatever good it might do for some countries to ban Islam and deport Muslims, even so, as long as there are people anywhere in the world who think that murder and mayhem are part of their religion, then none of us can be safe, anywhere in the world.

Some Muslims think that murder and mayhem are part of their religion, and some don't. I think that the more we can do to help increase the number who don't, the better.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#101

Post by jimhabegger » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:01 am

I imagine what Jesus, Muhammad, Moses, and some other central figures in religious lore said and did, as coming from a source outside of them. That imaginary source of their words and actions, is what I mean, when I say "God." The words of Jesus, and the words of the Quran, are the words of my God, by definition, because that's what I mean when I say "God": an imaginary person who, in my imagination, was the source of what Jesus and Mo said and did.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#102

Post by Steersman » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:39 pm

jimhabegger wrote:I imagine what Jesus, Muhammad, Moses, and some other central figures in religious lore said and did, as coming from a source outside of them. That imaginary source of their words and actions, is what I mean, when I say "God." The words of Jesus, and the words of the Quran, are the words of my God, by definition, because that's what I mean when I say "God": an imaginary person who, in my imagination, was the source of what Jesus and Mo said and did.
Just because you call an "imaginary source" "God" doesn't mean that source is "speaking" the truth or anything that might reasonably be construed as beneficial for humanity or even large portions of it. One might just as reasonably argue that you, Bahá'u'lláh, Jesus, Muhammad, Moses, etc., etc., are all simply deluded, that - with no little justification - that "imaginary source" is Satan, Baal, Beelzebub, or even Shayṭān ....

But that's one of the many and main reasons - in a surfeit of them - why Islam is "flatly incompatible with the establishment and maintenance of the equal individual rights and liberties of a liberal, democratic, secular state": it elevates the "imagination" of a single man - Muhammed (piss be upon him and his ilk) - into an apotheosis of his bigotry, hatred, delusions, and outright psychoses. And that is what you - and far too many Muslims - consider as an exemplar?

Democracy has its warts and flaws and limitations. But it at least holds open the possibility that the "imaginations" of some individuals can correct the delusions of other ones. You might give some serious thought to Huxley's viewpoint; it more or less explicitly refers to Christianity and Judaism but it can quite easily be extended to Islam:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DG2HTptVYAEQou-.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DG2HTptVYAEQou-.jpg

"Delenda est", indeed: "hominem unius libri timeo"

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#103

Post by jimhabegger » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:23 pm

Steersman wrote:Just because you call an "imaginary source" "God" doesn't mean that source is "speaking" the truth or anything that might reasonably be construed as beneficial for humanity or even large portions of it. One might just as reasonably argue that you, Bahá'u'lláh, Jesus, Muhammad, Moses, etc., etc., are all simply deluded, that - with no little justification - that "imaginary source" is Satan, Baal, Beelzebub, or even Shayṭān ....
Agreed.
Democracy has its warts and flaws and limitations. But it at least holds open the possibility that the "imaginations" of some individuals can correct the delusions of other ones.
Agreed.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#104

Post by jimhabegger » Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:24 am

Steersman, here are my personal, purely subjective, 95% confidence intervals, for the questions in that graph:

Code: Select all

- A wife must obey her husband
Southern-Eastern Europe  23% - 63%
Southeast Asia           73% - 99%
Central Asia             50% - 90%
South Asia               68% - 99%
Middle East-North Africa 67% - 99%
Sub-Saharan Africa

- Apply Sharia to non-Muslims
Albania (min)             1% - 23%
Afghanistan (max)        40% - 80%

- Stoning for adultery
Bosnia-Herzegovina (min)  1% - 41%
Pakistan (max)           69% - 99%

- Death for leaving Islam
Kazakhstan (min)          1% - 24%
Egypt (max)              66% - 99%
Note: That survey did not include any countries in North or South America.
or in Europe other than Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Russia

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#105

Post by Steersman » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:20 pm

jimhabegger wrote:Steersman, here are my personal, purely subjective, 95% confidence intervals, for the questions in that graph:

Code: Select all

- A wife must obey her husband
Southern-Eastern Europe  23% - 63%
Southeast Asia           73% - 99%
Central Asia             50% - 90%
South Asia               68% - 99%
Middle East-North Africa 67% - 99%
Sub-Saharan Africa

- Apply Sharia to non-Muslims
Albania (min)             1% - 23%
Afghanistan (max)        40% - 80%

- Stoning for adultery
Bosnia-Herzegovina (min)  1% - 41%
Pakistan (max)           69% - 99%

- Death for leaving Islam
Kazakhstan (min)          1% - 24%
Egypt (max)              66% - 99%
Note: That survey did not include any countries in North or South America.
or in Europe other than Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Russia
Not sure why you would apparently think that your "personal, purely subjective, 95% confidence intervals" should mean more than diddly-squat. Why wouldn't you just say "The Quran tells me so"? But that is generally why we rely on science as it generally provides a useful basis for comparison.

But, again, your use of "confidence intervals" suggests you know dick-all about sampling and statistics. I'll address that, and your recent PM, in a bit more detail in the other thread.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#106

Post by jimhabegger » Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:29 pm

Steersman, the point was that it seems plausible to me that the number of Muslims in those countries who would answer those questions in those ways, would be somewhere in those ranges.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#107

Post by Steersman » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:29 pm

jimhabegger wrote:Steersman, the point was that it seems plausible to me that the number of Muslims in those countries who would answer those questions in those ways, would be somewhere in those ranges.
Ok. Then in that case, one might wonder how they compare with the survey values. And whether or not you think that
- Stoning for adultery
Bosnia-Herzegovina (min) 1% - 41%
Pakistan (max) 69% - 99%

- Death for leaving Islam
Kazakhstan (min) 1% - 24%
Egypt (max) 66% - 99%
doesn't suggest that allowing immigration for Egypt and Pakistan in particular wouldn't be somewhat "problematic".

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#108

Post by jimhabegger » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:37 am

jimhabegger wrote:Steersman, the point was that it seems plausible to me that the number of Muslims in those countries who would answer those questions in those ways, would be somewhere in those ranges.
Steersman wrote:Ok. Then in that case, one might wonder how they compare with the survey values.
Those ranges are from 20% below the survey values to 20% above, except when that comes out negative or over 100%, then I put 1% or 99%, accordingly.
And whether or not you think that
- Stoning for adultery
Bosnia-Herzegovina (min) 1% - 41%
Pakistan (max) 69% - 99%

- Death for leaving Islam
Kazakhstan (min) 1% - 24%
Egypt (max) 66% - 99%
doesn't suggest that allowing immigration for Egypt and Pakistan in particular wouldn't be somewhat "problematic".
It might be. I would need more information to say so with confidence. I have no objection to anyone trying to convince decision makers and policy makers that it is problematic. I would say at the very least that it needs to be investigated.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#109

Post by jimhabegger » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:03 am

Steersman, do you disagree with any of this?
- Some Muslims are practicing and promoting, among Muslims, a view of their scriptures that tells them that any kind of aggression against civilians is always wrong, that if they live in a western democracy they should embrace it and wholeheartedly observe its laws, and that Muslim laws should never be imposed on non-Muslims, not even in Muslim-majority and Muslim-ruled countries.
- The more that Muslims think that way, the better.
- There are ways that the number of Muslims who think that way can be increased.

Do you have any objection to some people trying to help promote that way of thinking among Muslims?

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#110

Post by jimhabegger » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:28 pm

I said that some Muslims are practicing and promoting, among Muslims, a view of their scriptures that tells them that any kind of aggression against civilians is always wrong. Here is one example:

Muslim Academics/Scholars/Imams/Professionals uphold the Freedom of Faith and the Freedom to Change one's Faith
We the undersigned Muslims from diverse backgrounds affirm:
The freedom of faith and the freedom of changing one's faith.
In light of the Qur'anic guidance and the Prophetic legacy,
the principle of freedom of faith does not lend itself
to impose in this world any punishment or retribution solely for apostasy;
thus there ought not to be any punishment
in the name of Islam or fatwa calling for the same.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#111

Post by jimhabegger » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:22 pm

Some examples of Muslims who signed the statement above, saying that there should not be any punishment for apostasy:

Mohammad Hashim Kamali
Dr. Mohammad H. Kamali is a former Professor of Law at the International Islamic University of Malaysia, where he taught Islamic law from 1985-2004 and served as Dean of the Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC) from 2004-2006. Dr. Kamali is also the founding CEO and Chairman of the International Institute for Advanced Islamic studies (IAIS). Dr. Kamali holds degrees from both Kabul University and the University of London. He has published 20 books and over 140 academic articles including, but not limited to: Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence; The Dignity of Man: And Islamic Perspective; Freedom, Equality and Justice in Islam; Fairness in Islam; and Shari’ah Law: An Introduction.
Jean-Mathieu Potvin
PhD candidate, McGill University, Institute of Islamic Studies
Research Topic: Islamic legal thought and practice in the contemporary world

Sumbul Ali-Karamali
SUMBUL ALI-KARAMALI grew up in Southern California, answering questions about Islam. She holds a B.A. from Stanford University, a J. D. from the University of California at Davis, and a graduate degree in Islamic Law from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies. She has served as a teaching assistant in Islamic Law at SOAS and a research associate at the Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law in London. Her highly praised adult book is The Muslim Next Door: The Qur'an, the Media, and that Veil Thing, an academically reliable introduction to what Muslims believe and practice, but one written in the personal, anecdotal, everyday context of growing up Muslim in America.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#112

Post by Steersman » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:17 pm

jimhabegger wrote:Steersman, do you disagree with any of this?
- Some Muslims are practicing and promoting, among Muslims, a view of their scriptures that tells them that any kind of aggression against civilians is always wrong, that if they live in a western democracy they should embrace it and wholeheartedly observe its laws, and that Muslim laws should never be imposed on non-Muslims, not even in Muslim-majority and Muslim-ruled countries.
- The more that Muslims think that way, the better.
- There are ways that the number of Muslims who think that way can be increased.

Do you have any objection to some people trying to help promote that way of thinking among Muslims?
No, I don't have any great objections - offhand - to that shopping list of yours. And I don't have much objection to people attempting to "promote that way of thinking among Muslims". But what I've been arguing more or less from square one - and something you seem remarkably unwilling to face; wonder why that is ... - is that you're largely pissing against the wind, if not engaged in a disingenuous or egregiously fraudulent attempt at whitewashing Islam, or being "useful idiots".

Quite likely a lost cause, though some might derive some benefit from the information, but you might take a look at this discussion of an interview in The Federalist of a Dr. Zuhdi Jasser - he of the Muslim Reform Movement - that should be addressed, not that you're likely to be able to do so:
Muslim Reform Group Reached Out to 3,000 US Mosques, Got Only 40 Responses

Getting a bunch of ivory-tower academics to concede that, yea, maybe Islam is still stuck in the 6th century, is child's play, but that means more or less dick-all; who you need to convince is some billion or so Muslims of that. You might check out this amusingly sardonic commentary - even if it partakes somewhat of gallows-humour - on that issue from a post of Anjuli Pandavar's:
“Civilisation and Islam are two different things”

In 1991 or ’92 I attended a talk by a Muslim academic at the University of Edinburgh on a topic related to Islam, the specifics of which escape me. Relevant is that the talk took place in Ramadan. He started by explaining to his audience, with more than a little pride of distinction, that he had sought and received special dispensation from a local cleric to be exempted from fasting that day on account of the talk he’d have to give that evening. I remember being struck by the idea of an academic at one of the most esteemed universities in 20th century Britain having to beg some mediaeval ignoramus for permission to eat. I wondered whether the one possessed of such power over the one possessed of such learning could even read.

I was reminded of this proudly-declared indignity again recently, when I came across What happened in Najaf? an account of Abdulaziz Sachedina’s inadvertent submission to an inquisition by Ayatollah Ali Sistani. On 20 August 1998, with staggering naivety, Sachedina sought out the Ayatollah to clear up a small misunderstanding concerning the former’s lectures at the University of Toronto. If Sachedina were familiar with Galileo’s little run-in with the Pope, he might have thought better of going to any such trouble at all. Galileo, at least, did not kowtow to the Holy See. In a series of deepening humiliations over the course of a “total time of three hours and ten minutes” stretched out over two days, during which Sachedina tried to explain his job as an academic to the Ayatollah and the latter tried, with increasing irritation and rudeness, to prohibit Sachedina from ever saying anything about Islam again. Sachedina, growing increasingly exasperated, recalls:
I informed the Ayatollah that I was among the seven American professors who were invited …to participate in a workshop in Tehran …on Civil Society and Civilizational Dialogue… He [Ayatollah Sistani] interrupted me saying that I could speak on civilization because that “is not Islam.” “Civilization and Islam are two different things,”
Muslim apologists take note. I have it on fatwa-wielding authority! Civilisation and Islam are two different things. ....

It stands to this brave man’s eternal credit that he stood up to faith in defence of humanity. He managed to get out of Najaf and return to the world in which freedom of conscience and expression actually mean something. Sachedina, despite his inability to tell the mediaeval freak exactly where to stick his precious Islam, nevertheless came away from the encounter a very angry man, and one somewhat shaken by his disillusionment. Perhaps the experience had set off sleepless nights of soul-searching for the septuagenarian. Who knows, perhaps he even went so far as to think the unthinkable. At least he wasn’t beaming with pride at how he, a man of such high learning, had stooped to begging a mediaeval ignoramus for a favour. ....
"Civilisation and Islam are two different things" - indeed. When you and those academics get around to admitting that, and promoting it from "pulpit" and press then you might have a bit more luck with those billion or so Muslims who are most in need of that understanding. Not to mention in "reducing and counter-acting anti-Muslim prejudices".

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#113

Post by jimhabegger » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:02 pm

Steersman, I'm not putting much hope in changing the way Muslims view their scriptures, or in trying to turn them against Islam, either one, as ways of protecting any of us from violence and oppression. I have no objection to people trying to convince decision makers and policy makers to ban Islam, and send and keep Muslims out of the country, but I don't have much hope in that either, as a way of protecting any of us from violence and oppression.

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Re: Reducing and counteracting anti-Muslim prejudices

#114

Post by jimhabegger » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:39 pm

Steersman, I'll make this personal. Some day some Muslims in my city, or anywhere in the world for that matter, might decide that blowing me up, along with some other people, will earn them a place in Muslim heaven, with its rivers of wine and harems of 70 or 72 virgins. No matter where they are in the world, or what my government does to prevent it, they might still find someone and some way to do it. Besides that, some day some Muslims might get some laws passed that will be used as reasons to execute me or cut off my hands.

Here are some ways we've discussed of trying to reduce my risks:
1. Try to get the government to ban Islam and Muslims.
2. Try to turn Muslims away from Islam.
3. Try to help change the way Muslims view their scriptures, to see prohibitions in them from doing those things to me.

Maybe you don't think #3 will do much to help reduce my risks. Neither do I. I don't think any of them will do much to help reduce my risks. but any or all of them might be better than nothing. Why not try all three?

Do you have some other ideas, better than any of those?

Apart from that, I see better possibilities in #3, which is why I would concentrate my efforts on that, but if you and others see better possibilities in the other two, that's fine with me. If you would find ways of doing those, without undermining what people are doing for #3, that would be even better.

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