Preface by Razib: My friend Aziz Poonawalla responded to my previous post with a long missive, which you can read below. To the left is a photo of the both of us in late 2004 when I visited him in Houston. I’ve lost some weight since that time. In general despite our different religious outlooks there are core basic liberal democratic values we both adhere to. In general I’ve had a difficult time over the past few years talking about the subject of religion and Islam because my own views have become very “gnarly.” Hopefully this exchange with Aziz will clarify some issues for both us.
I’m going to preface this with the observation that Razib is a dear friend, someone I genuinely trust. So anyone with an agenda who looks at this debate as an avenue to try and foment fitnat between him and myself is quite simply wasting their time. And mine. The truth is that friendship is a heavy responsibility and in a sense I abused it by leaving an intemperate (for me) comment, because (dispensing with false modesty) I am one of the few people that can trigger Razib to spend 1.5 hours writing a post in response to something I jotted out of irritation in 30 seconds. So I am suitably contrite.