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May 31 2015

surveyork
00:15

▶ Sarah Haider: Islam and the Necessity of Liberal Critique (AHA Conference 2015) - YouTube

Presented at the American Humanist Association 74th Annual Conference, May 7-10, 2015, in Denver, Colorado. #ahacon15

Reformists in Muslim countries are routinely silenced, through persecution or violence, which has been increasing over the last few decades as Islamism gains traction. Liberals are in a unique position to make a nuanced and compassionate critique of harmful conceptions of religion- a position which we are ceding. As a result, the only visible voices are those of hate-mongers from the far-right, Islamists and outright apologists. It is of the highest priority that liberals exert pressure on both groups towards positive change.

Sarah Haider is a co-founder of Ex-Muslims of North America, a community building organization for Ex-Muslims across the non-theist spectrum, for which she currently works to reduce discrimination of those who left Islam.

May 06 2015

surveyork
20:10

The main argument being squeezed to pulp is that CH was, and is, an inherently racist magazine. That it is staffed by "privileged white men", who either deliberately or like "wanton boys", continuously defecate on a beleaguered minority (French Muslims, whether from the Maghreb or other parts of Africa) while making their jejune barbs. That they've been doing this while ignoring France's history of colonial oppression, and while trying to impose a shallow Enlightenment universalism that blindly feeds into the West's project of re-colonizing Muslim countries.

This is untrue on almost every count. CH has always been run by a kind of fringe leftist-anarchist bunch who are anything but privileged; over the years the team has been a mix of men and women, white and not, straight and gay. And as to constantly attacking an already oppressed minority, Le Monde recently did an infographic of the 523 Charlie Hebdo covers between 2005 and 2015, and the subject breakdown is this: politics - 336 covers, economic and social - 85, sport and others - 42, other subjects - 22, and, finally, religion - 38. Of the 38 covers lampooning religion, Christianity catches it in the neck 21 times, other religions 10 times and Islam a total of 7 times. Leaving that aside for a moment, CH's main targets by far have been the racist, white supremacist Front National led by Jean-Marie Le Pen and his daughter, and after them a certain Nicolas Sarkozy (remember those 336 political covers). Besides this, CH has made it a point to lampoon the military, oligarchs of every nationality, and capitalism in general. Here's a link that explains in some detail what some of the more startling covers and cartoons mean: http://www.understandingcharliehebdo.com/#theorie-du-genre

All the critics of CH I know, Facebook contacts claiming to be anarchist, artist friends taking on big business, academic friends who so love to drop names of hefty lefty intellectuals, journalists who are assiduous in defending minorities, none of them addresses the major part of CH's output. None of them, not once. Instead, they prefer to put a magnifying glass on about 1.5 per cent of what the magazine has produced in the last decade. They then take this and claim they have a fair fix on CH and its staff. Ten years, 523 issues, but, like some pungent spicing, those 7 covers obviously go a long way.

April 30 2015

surveyork
02:06

January 20 2015

surveyork
13:42

There are no women’s rights in Islam; there are no women rights in most Muslim countries. And as there is no freedom of expression in these countries, people have become virtually voiceless.

Child bride in Pakistan.

Yet many people, especially the so-called progressives, seem to find limitless excuses for fundamentalist Islamic atrocities against women. These include beheadings, stonings, domestic violence, honor killings, female genital mutilation, official legal inequality, home confinement, child marriages, and Saudi Arabia’s prohibition against women driving, to name a few.

Statements that come up with “multicultural” excuses to provide cover for the practices of fundamentalist Islam, however, never have, and never will, help to liberate women who suffer under Islamic misogyny, gender apartheid and jihad.

To make a positive change in Muslim countries, we need to be able to speak openly and tell the (too-often criminalized) truth about what Islamic teachings and traditions actually contain. Yet in Muslim countries, it is impossible speak openly about what is in these Islamic teachings and traditions, without putting one’s life at risk.

There is a situation even more frightening. It now seems to be difficult to speak openly about fundamentalist Islam even in Western countries, in part thanks to the dangerous enchantment of Western progressives and feminists who romanticize Islamism.

Women in the Muslim world desperately need the voice of Western progressives and feminists. But when it comes to finding excuses to neutralize critical questions about Islamic violence, Western progressives seem endlessly creative. Known by an increasing number of women as “Excuses for Abuses,” these include:

Criticizing Islam is racist and reveals “intolerance,” “bigotry” and “Islamophobia.”

For the record, Islam is not a race. Moreover, if you discuss the violent and misogynous teachings of Islam, it does not mean that you hate or are intolerant of Muslims, just of violence and misogyny.

The West's Dangerous Enchantment with Islam
Reposted byatanudey atanudey

January 17 2015

surveyork
20:27

There are no Charlie Hebdos in India. Je suis declarations notwithstanding, freedom of expression now seems to be an abstract ideal, a distant dream of our founding fathers.

At around the time that TV was breathlessly covering the 3.7 million people rally in Paris, there was considerably less attention on the protests in India against Tamil writer Perumal Murugan. Poor Murugan might have at the very least merited a stray nod from all those fulminating talking heads. Instead, the writer announced his retirement from writing.

For 25 years Murugan has written poetry, short stories and novels and single-handedly compiled a dictionary of the Kongu dialect. But it was his 2010 novel, Madhurobhagan (One Part Woman), set 100 years ago about a childless couple who attend a religious festival in the author’s hometown of Tiruchengode where women have consensual sex with men other than their husbands in the hope of conceiving, that has earned the ire of the RSS and caste organisations like the Hindu Munnani.

A sustained campaign included posters, a planned bandh and the distribution of selected pages. Murugan and his family were forced to flee town on the advise of the police. And a peace meeting among the author, agitators and district administration ended with an apology by Murugan and an assurance that future editions would excise the name of the town.

Je suis Charlie, hell yes. Je suis Perumal. Anyone?
surveyork
20:01

Every time someone ‘insults the religious sentiments’ of Muslims, ‘freedom of speech’ comes into the spotlight. From Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses to the YouTube video ‘Innocence of Muslims’ fatwas from all over the Muslim World have been slashed on the heads of those who ‘misuse’ their freedom of speech to ‘insult Islam’.

However, when someone implements those very fatwas at the cost of human life, the handful of moderate Muslims defensively bellow that the act has nothing to do with Islam or Muslims. The barefaced deceit gets the backing of the liberal left of the West, that gets extra brownie points for speaking up about the self-inflicted ‘marginalisation of Muslims’, most of whom continue to avoid befriending ‘Jews and Christians’ because their scripture ostensibly prohibits it.

And so when the Charlie Hebdo office was attacked in Paris last week, everything from France’s occupation of Algeria over half a century ago to the economic disparity between Muslims and non-Muslims in the country was touted as the raison d’etre. Fingers have been pointed everywhere except at the awkward truth that the majority of Muslims around the world, and their version of Islam, endorse killing ‘blasphemers’.

July 16 2014

surveyork
16:20

June 25 2014

surveyork
14:41

June 19 2014

surveyork
12:06

May 19 2014

surveyork
23:13

May 16 2014

surveyork
00:58

April 25 2014

surveyork
22:05

April 04 2014

surveyork
07:49
surveyork
07:07
surveyork
06:44

April 02 2014

surveyork
15:22

March 08 2014

surveyork
11:26

February 21 2014

surveyork
16:15
surveyork
16:15
surveyork
16:15
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