Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Sep/10

24

“Wisdom” from Facebook

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Here’s something I saw on a Facebook discussion which caught my attention:

… The idiots who threatened violence over South Park are no more representative of Islam than the idiot threatening to burn Qur’ans is representative of Christianity.

Let’s grant validity of the assertion of statistical unrepresentativeness. It still seems informative that the two actions, threatening violence against those who offend, and offending in a very blasphemous manner, are juxtaposed as if they exhibit some equivalence. They do, once you implicitly agree that there is a qualitative difference between Islam and Christianity.

Second, those American and Canadian Muslims who are defending Molly Norris, Matt Stone, Trey Parker’s rights to free speech are to be commended. The unfortunate problem is that this does not change the dynamic between Molly Norris and the crazy Muslims who have threatened her.

5 comments

  • Steel Phoenix · September 24, 2010 at 3:08 am

    An important distinction. I’ve been thinking lately about how much more important things like critical thinking and personal finance are than many of the classes we are currently requiring in public school. Statements like the one you highlighted are extremely dangerous to an unwary electorate, in that they can be completely true, and yet can easily end up setting the tone of the whole debate in a very skewed fashion.

  • Bob Smith · September 24, 2010 at 5:51 am

    The problem with Muslims apparently defending free speech is twofold:

    1) A devout Muslim doesn’t actually believe in free speech, he believes in the primacy of divine (Sharia) law, which denies the validity of the entire concept of “free speech”.

    2) You can’t be certain they aren’t just covering for their coreligionists by engaging in damage control. Even Muslims we are told are “moderate” conspicuously fail to condemn “radicals”, or when they do said condemnations are so riddled with weasel words as to be meaningless.

    Since even Muslims who claim they have a moral objection to the rape, torture, and murder of infidels can be recruited into the eternal war against the infidel by forces claiming to be authentic exemplars of Islam, there can be no reliable test to distinguish between Muslims who *permanently* repudiate Islam’s mandate to subjugate the infidel and those who do or will work to see its final completion (even if they don’t pull the trigger themselves). Any appearance of reasonableness must thus be suspect.

  • Danny · September 24, 2010 at 7:24 am

    God, I hate political opinion blurbs on Facebook. They are generally so glib and superficial, and you can’t point that out to them, since it makes you an asshole.

  • Ibn Sina · September 24, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    a few points:

    1. why are you nutpicking? A comment on facebook tells you nothing about comparative religion analysis. Agreed with Danny above, well said sir.

    2. Disagree that “[threats of violence and quran burnings are equivalent], once you implicitly agree that there is a qualitative difference between Islam and Christianity.” You need not agree that theres any difference between “Islam” and “Christianity” at all to agree that there might be some equivalence. You only need to agree that theres a qualitative difference between the crazies in each camp.

    3. I think that statements of the sort you rightly commend (*ahem* :) do serve a prophylactic purpose in maintaining a civil bias against behavior we, as a american muslim community, have repudiated. Values are not defended by default, but rather by active vigilance. The breadth of response and signatories may not be particularly meaningful to an outsider but from an inside perspective it is quite striking. This is basically classical newtonian mechanics in action (I trust the analogy I am making is sufficiently obvious that I dont need to break out in math again).

    4. and lastly, what is it about Islam that brings out the Stupid in blog commentary? I love being dictated to by random retards about what I do and what i don’t believe. You’d think at a blog devoted to “reason” and “enlightenment values” there’d be less of this, but the fact that there isn’t just proves my ongoing contention that there’s no such thing as super-rationality.

  • Author comment by David Hume · September 24, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    why are you nutpicking? A comment on facebook tells you nothing about comparative religion analysis.

    the person’s not a nut. they’re a Right Think Person, and expressing CW. at least in public. like with race people are now pretty comfortable with switching between public and private faces. i’ve seen this a few times with people who meet me, assume i’m muslim, and find out i’m VERY not muslim.

    You only need to agree that theres a qualitative difference between the crazies in each camp.

    i agree there is a qualitative difference. but, i do think that the CW which analogizes abortion clinic bombers and islamist terrorists is also useful: you can quantitatively compare numbers. stalkers and crazies are kind of inevitable for anything unfortunately. but if you get swamped by numbers it isn’t manageable. if you talk about islam online the consequences do cross your mind, because there’s only so much that well meaning people can do to protect you from consequences (or ataturk).

    and lastly, what is it about Islam that brings out the Stupid in blog commentary

    it’s the fact that this is a blog about politics i think. same happens with talkislam when you shift from philosophy to politics. i could be more vigilant in moderation, but generally 4-5 stupid comments from one of the offenders of reason goes through before i notice.

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