Not all religions are the same

The Bill Maher clip has to be watched to be believed. Not the guest’s attempt to obfuscate.

The fundamental issue is simple: most non-Muslims don’t care about Islam or Muslims so long as Islam and Muslims don’t impinge upon their lives. We don’t care about the heterogeneity of Islam or history when faced to real and present fear about the violence currently associated with the religion. By analogy, non-Buddhists who live in Sri Lanka or Myanmar could care less that Buddhism is really fundamentally a religion of peace. To non-believers the ideals of a religion don’t matter, the realized actions of the religionists do.

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6 Responses to Not all religions are the same

  1. yoshi says:

    “most non-Muslims don’t care about Islam or Muslims so long as Islam and Muslims don’t impinge upon their lives”

    Tell that to your average evangelical christian.

    And I didn’t watch the whole episode but did Maher once again opine on his anti-vaccination positions? Or talk about his support of the extremist organizations like PETA?

  2. David Hume says:

    first comment kind of retarded.

    most != all

    and am i supposed to agree with all the positions of someone with whom i agree on in regards to one position?


  3. Clark says:

    Out of curiosity Razib, what did you think of Juan Cole’s rejoinder to Maher? I usually think Maher’s a bit of an idiot, but I thought he asked some pretty perceptive questions. Pointing to some distant future when Islam has tempered itself the way the excesses of Christianity has the past few centuries isn’t much of an argument about Islam now. Likewise pointing to other bad groups today, such as rioting Hindus trying to kill Muslims or Christians isn’t saying anything about Muslims. I do think a lot of Americans assume American Muslims are the same as people in the middle east or Pakistan. And that is unfair. Most appear to have adopted liberal values. But once again isn’t that arguing beside the point which is Islam in general – especially outside the US.

  4. desidawg says:

    (1) It is true that Muslims are not unique in killing people of other religions these days. Though the scale of Muslim killings is not comparable to other religions. Leaving that side, we also need to separate sectarian violence from violence with a strong religiously ideological component. For example,
    Buddhists are engaging in violence against people of other religions in Myanmar and Hindus routinely do it in India. However, the Buddhist killers and the Hindu killers don’t have a coherent religious ideology popular with millions which specifically advocates and provides support for these kinds of killings. The Hindu killers and the Buddhist killers are doing it as part of a cycle of sectarian violence. Likewise, when Muslims kill Hindus in India or Christians in Nigeria it is usually a part of the cycle of sectarian violence and separate from the jihadi terror which is now becoming popular. The Muslim violence against random Westerners has a strong component of religious sanction even if the motives are revenge for geo-political maneuvering by America.

    (2) Some liberals also fail to understand that we are obviously most engaged with and concerned about shit that is happening where we live, in this case, America. People of other faiths are not violently attacking fellow citizens in America on the basis of religious fervor. Of course, I am not going to go to a displaced Muslims camp in Gujarat/Myanmar and lecture them about why no Hindus/Buddhists are blowing themselves up in America/Western Europe. But the liberals here are not talking to the frightened Muslim population of Myanmar. They are talking to Americans. If they keep this in mind, they will be more careful when speaking to Americans in America.

  5. Florida resident says:

    David Hume (a.k.a. Razib Khan) has posted deep considerations
    “Against the seriousness of theology”:
    Respectfully, F.r.

  6. David Hume says:

    Out of curiosity Razib, what did you think of Juan Cole’s rejoinder to Maher?

    the only fact i’d dispute is the idea that muslim fixation on muhammad blasphey is post-colonial influenced. it isn’t. muslims reacted the same way toward christian mozarab blasphemers in spain. actually, they were sometimes quite indulgent and tried to convince xtians to stop engaging in actions which would require their execution. but if they blasphemed, they’d be killed. same would happen in xtian domains as well. that’s changed.

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