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Why can’t Muslims criticize Islam

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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20 September 2018 13:02
 
Jefe - 20 September 2018 11:47 AM
icehorse - 20 September 2018 11:41 AM
Jefe - 20 September 2018 11:32 AM

Exactly when was Majid Rafizadeh prevented from being critical of islam?

The OP gave a sort of executive summary. If you want more details, I would direct you to read the article the OP linked to.

Read it.  Didn’t see any prevention of criticism in there.
He did mention some reactionary push-back, but not any prevention.

Perhaps I’m missing something here, but it seems to me that you’re the one introducing the notion of “preventing” into this thread?

 
 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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20 September 2018 13:06
 
icehorse - 20 September 2018 01:02 PM
Jefe - 20 September 2018 11:47 AM
icehorse - 20 September 2018 11:41 AM
Jefe - 20 September 2018 11:32 AM

Exactly when was Majid Rafizadeh prevented from being critical of islam?

The OP gave a sort of executive summary. If you want more details, I would direct you to read the article the OP linked to.

Read it.  Didn’t see any prevention of criticism in there.
He did mention some reactionary push-back, but not any prevention.

Perhaps I’m missing something here, but it seems to me that you’re the one introducing the notion of “preventing” into this thread?

Isn’t it explicit in your thread title?
“Can’t criticize”

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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20 September 2018 13:10
 
Jefe - 20 September 2018 01:06 PM
icehorse - 20 September 2018 01:02 PM
Jefe - 20 September 2018 11:47 AM
icehorse - 20 September 2018 11:41 AM
Jefe - 20 September 2018 11:32 AM

Exactly when was Majid Rafizadeh prevented from being critical of islam?

The OP gave a sort of executive summary. If you want more details, I would direct you to read the article the OP linked to.

Read it.  Didn’t see any prevention of criticism in there.
He did mention some reactionary push-back, but not any prevention.

Perhaps I’m missing something here, but it seems to me that you’re the one introducing the notion of “preventing” into this thread?

Isn’t it explicit in your thread title?
“Can’t criticize”

sometimes you’re just too funny smile

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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20 September 2018 13:19
 

I’m getting a little exhausted with this, but at least we’re not calling each other names!

icehorse - 20 September 2018 10:32 AM

hannah:

Point 1:  Some Muslims claim Islam is perfect.  Others declare themselves to be secular Muslims.  As I keep saying in so many different ways, we shouldn’t paint every Muslim with the same broad brush.  Nor every Catholic; nor every Mormon.  Etc!  At least you admit that reform in Muslim communities is happening, albeit slowly.

I totally agree that we should not paint every Muslim with the same brush. I thought I was clear on that point. The point I feel you keep missing is that a significant percentage of the world’s Muslims (perhaps half?), want to have Sharia be at least a part of the mix, and that same sort of percentage of Sharia-advocates appears to be true of Muslims in the UK. It seems to me that it’s completely reasonable to discuss the idea that half the world’s Muslims want to live in a theocracy and theocracy is antithetical to secularism. That doesn’t feel like too broad a brush. Do you think it is?

Yes.  I posted:  Just over half of British Muslims said they wanted to “fully integrate” (53%), and 37% said they wanted to integrate “on most things…”  Ok that’s 90%.
  So most of British Muslims DO want to integrate.

hannah:
Point 2:  It’s not a few IDers.  To repeat, 38% of Americans believe the Creationist view.  Though the number is on the decline, that’s 10’s of millions of adults.  The percent of bio teachers who promote ID is a much, much smaller percent, so yay, evolution is actually winning!  Yes frustrating for many teachers right now.  I went through that, both in my school teaching and working as a park naturalist.  I was pretty jazzed that, this week, I got a Christian friend to move from, “They shouldn’t teach evolution as a fact,” to “I don’t really know much science; I’d like to look into that.”

Ice:
The distinction I’m trying to make here is that - of the 38% you mention - it’s a small handful of those who are the noise-makers who are in effect warping how biology is taught in this country. We are NOT seeing millions of creationist protestors rioting on the streets. Instead we are seeing a handful of rabble rousers harassing biology teachers. This is an example of the broader point that in general a handful of rabble rousers can cause a lot of disruption. Make sense?

When I was in the classroom, objections to evolution were raised by parents.  Early in my career, I let a few students do an alternate project during our evolution unit.  Later, the schools where I worked required all students to participate in the unit, but teachers made some sort of statement in introduction. Something like, “This is the view of the majority of scientists in the field.  I realize others support ID or Creationism, but we will not cover those in school.”  I also worked at as a naturalist at a park that was renowned for its geologic features.  I was periodically challenged by fundamentalists (from all over the US) when I led nature walks.  Since they were visitors on vacation, my goal was to avoid confrontation, so I’d agree that there were different opinions and move on.  Once, my supervisor hired a summer staff member who turned out to be a Creationist.  I believe he gave the standard geology info, plus he was allowed to add in a bit about his view.  I thought that was weird, but it was out of my hands.  My point in giving these details is that I don’t think the Creationist view is “just a handful.”  People who teach biology or geology meet up with Creationist challenges all the time.  That is because so many Americans (the millions I mentioned) hold that faith-based view.

hannah:
We so easily slip into tribalism.  But in 2018, the only valid tribe is humanity.  It’s a conscious choice, not the default setting of our brains.

But now we’re back to arguing about whether or not Muslims can be integrated into American and European culture.  The original OP was asking why Muslims can’t criticize Islam.  It’s clear that they can, especially if they are specific about their criticism and it appeals to general humanitarianism.  Muslims women criticize FGM around the world.  And everyone else agrees with them.

Ice:
You seem to be ignorant of the nature of the ideology you’re defending. Islam is arguably the most tribalistic of all of the world’s major religions.

When we’re talking about large trends, it’s NEVER black and white. The OP was NOT claiming that 100% of the time, Muslims cannot criticize Islam. I really can’t imagine you thought that was the claim i was making. From that perspective, when you cite a few examples of Muslims criticizing Islam, it doesn’t really address the bigger point. In any large sample size, there will be outlying data points. To me, the harder question is to ask, what percentage of the time are critics being shut down. I have cited a few specific examples of such censorship, but again those COULD be outliers. To me, free speech is one of those areas where we should NOT budge an inch. Free speech is not a topic we should compromise on. From that perspective, EVERY example of censorship is important.

So, what percentage of the time ARE critics being shut down?  Obviously, we know a lot about Muslim controversies, such as abuses of women, because the women are speaking out.  You cited one Muslim man who feels criticized, or censored.  What have his critics said?  I could be wrong, but from what I read of his writings, I’d have many of the same objections to his words as I do to yours.  I accept that both you and the Muslim author have had legitimate negative experiences with Muslims, but then you overgeneralize from those, and that triggers objections.  I don’t know.  You’re not giving specific examples of the criticisms of the author for us to debate.

But yeah, I’m tired.  By the time we get to third level point-by-point quoting, whew!

[ Edited: 20 September 2018 13:21 by hannahtoo]
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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20 September 2018 13:41
 
icehorse - 20 September 2018 12:57 PM
Jan_CAN - 19 September 2018 07:58 PM
hannahtoo - 19 September 2018 05:11 PM

...
We so easily slip into tribalism.  But in 2018, the only valid tribe is humanity.  It’s a conscious choice, not the default setting of our brains.

But now we’re back to arguing about whether or not Muslims can be integrated into American and European culture.  The original OP was asking why Muslims can’t criticize Islam.  It’s clear that they can, especially if they are specific about their criticism and it appeals to general humanitarianism.  Muslims women criticize FGM around the world.  And everyone else agrees with them.

Exactly, I agree.

THE OIC does not agree with them, and it’s the biggest block in the UN.

I don’t know anything about the OIC.  So I googled and found their statement from 2013 on FGM:

The FGM is unfortunately only one of many cultural practices that are disguised as part of religious tradition. Child marriage, violence against women as well as other negative acts perpetuated are often misidentified as being part of Islamic tradition, whereas they are part of the local tradition and we should raise awareness at the local level to de-link these practices from religion. (…)  One activity that we can all take part in is to organize public awareness campaigns about the FGM, and other issue-specific campaigns to ensure that all people receive information regarding the negative impacts of violence against women. This can happen through community gatherings, radio, television, social media, mass text messaging, social media and other forms of media.

It sounds like the OIC is trying to argue that FGM is not specifically a Muslim practice; however, they do consider it to be violence against women.  From a bit more googling, I can see that many Muslim sects speak against it.  What have you read to say that the OIC does not agree with the UN on FGM?

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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20 September 2018 14:38
 

The OIC in general has an agenda to:

- promote blasphemy as a crime
- promote apostasy as a crime

I would urge you to compare the Universal Declaration on Human Rights to the the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.

When push comes to shove, the OIC will support the Quran before it supports things like women’s rights. The Cairo Declaration was written specifically to combat what’s in the UDHR.

 
 
icehorse
 
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20 September 2018 14:47
 

I’m tired as well, but I want to do you the courtesy of responding…

hannah:

When I was in the classroom, objections to evolution were raised by parents.  Early in my career, I let a few students do an alternate project during our evolution unit.  Later, the schools where I worked required all students to participate in the unit, but teachers made some sort of statement in introduction. Something like, “This is the view of the majority of scientists in the field.  I realize others support ID or Creationism, but we will not cover those in school.”  I also worked at as a naturalist at a park that was renowned for its geologic features.  I was periodically challenged by fundamentalists (from all over the US) when I led nature walks.  Since they were visitors on vacation, my goal was to avoid confrontation, so I’d agree that there were different opinions and move on.  Once, my supervisor hired a summer staff member who turned out to be a Creationist.  I believe he gave the standard geology info, plus he was allowed to add in a bit about his view.  I thought that was weird, but it was out of my hands.  My point in giving these details is that I don’t think the Creationist view is “just a handful.”  People who teach biology or geology meet up with Creationist challenges all the time.  That is because so many Americans (the millions I mentioned) hold that faith-based view.

I appreciate hearing some of your experiences - sincerely. At the same time, yours are a few data points in a large sea of data. This article from PBS does a far better job than I have of describing the horrifying degree to which a relatively small number of religious activists have been able to radically distort the teaching of biology in our schools.

pbs: biology education

 
 
icehorse
 
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20 September 2018 15:01
 

hannah:

So, what percentage of the time ARE critics being shut down?  Obviously, we know a lot about Muslim controversies, such as abuses of women, because the women are speaking out.  You cited one Muslim man who feels criticized, or censored.  What have his critics said?  I could be wrong, but from what I read of his writings, I’d have many of the same objections to his words as I do to yours.  I accept that both you and the Muslim author have had legitimate negative experiences with Muslims, but then you overgeneralize from those, and that triggers objections.  I don’t know.  You’re not giving specific examples of the criticisms of the author for us to debate.

In post #3 I gave several examples of criticisms of Islam causing violent reactions. More recently, the SPLC tried to use its muscle to shut down critics. Ayaan Hirsi Ali was recently de-platformed from speaking at a college. Recently several right-wing journalists (not alt-right, just plain old right wing), were banned from entering the UK because of their criticisms of Islam. Many other examples are just a quick google search away.

In post #19 I listed about 10 data points that support my concerns.

I think apologists for so-called “secular Muslims” ought to ask themselves if they’re really doing those Muslims a service or a disservice? I firmly believe that to be born into a Muslim family is to be born with a huge cognitive anchor around your neck. Being indoctrinated into Islam - to whatever degree - will make your life in the west harder. And if you’re unfortunate enough to be born in a Muslim majority country, your disadvantages will only be multiplied.

Why on earth would you give cover to this medieval, misogynistic, homophobic, theocratic, anti-semitic, intolerant, supremacist set of ideas? By not criticizing this ideology, you’re dooming millions and millions of the next generation’s children to be born saddled with this needless curse.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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20 September 2018 18:31
 

Ice:
Why on earth would you give cover to this medieval, misogynistic, homophobic, theocratic, anti-semitic, intolerant, supremacist set of ideas? By not criticizing this ideology, you’re dooming millions and millions of the next generation’s children to be born saddled with this needless curse.

I don’t think people learn by being criticized.  They learn by being exposed to new things and looking around themselves with open eyes.

[ Edited: 20 September 2018 19:15 by hannahtoo]
 
icehorse
 
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21 September 2018 07:15
 
hannahtoo - 20 September 2018 06:31 PM

Ice:
Why on earth would you give cover to this medieval, misogynistic, homophobic, theocratic, anti-semitic, intolerant, supremacist set of ideas? By not criticizing this ideology, you’re dooming millions and millions of the next generation’s children to be born saddled with this needless curse.

I don’t think people learn by being criticized.  They learn by being exposed to new things and looking around themselves with open eyes.

I believe in kindness. But it’s not always obvious what the kindest actions are. Is it truly kind to pretend that Islamic teachings are acceptable? If we are kind enough to criticize Islamic teachings, then that’s what those “open eyes” will see. If we don’t, we give tacit approval to hateful beliefs.

(It’s been a long time since I asked, have you read the Quran?)

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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21 September 2018 08:20
 
icehorse - 21 September 2018 07:15 AM
hannahtoo - 20 September 2018 06:31 PM

Ice:
Why on earth would you give cover to this medieval, misogynistic, homophobic, theocratic, anti-semitic, intolerant, supremacist set of ideas? By not criticizing this ideology, you’re dooming millions and millions of the next generation’s children to be born saddled with this needless curse.

I don’t think people learn by being criticized.  They learn by being exposed to new things and looking around themselves with open eyes.

I believe in kindness. But it’s not always obvious what the kindest actions are. Is it truly kind to pretend that Islamic teachings are acceptable? If we are kind enough to criticize Islamic teachings, then that’s what those “open eyes” will see. If we don’t, we give tacit approval to hateful beliefs.

(It’s been a long time since I asked, have you read the Quran?)

As I’ve said before, Muslims should follow American laws when in the USA.  No FGM here.  No child marriages.  Etc.  If a Muslim group is planning violence, they should be treated like any other dangerous group.  But given the statistics I’ve seen, which in every case show that the majority of Muslims want to integrate and live peacefully, I’m not going to let my heart harden to them as a group.

I’ve not read the Quran.  Maybe I should, but I have low tolerance for scripture these days. 

I have read the Bible, many times.  And I’ve listened to many Christian teachings along the theme of “we do not belong to this world.”  How people will let your down, so you can only depend on God.  How society is full of sin and heading for Armageddon.  This leads a few Christians to attack Planned Parenthood.  There has been violence to gays.  They may not care about environmental woes because the world is in God’s hands, and all these troubles are harbingers of the glorious end times.  Many voted for an egotistical scoundrel because he will appoint a Supreme Court judge to overturn rights they disagree with.  Arguably the damage done by our President’s policies could eclipse the deaths on 9/11, if we go to war with another country or increase environmental hazards. 

But these are my fellow Americans.  The ones who break the law are subject to penalties.  The ones who just think about stuff are entitled to their thoughts.  And I might voice disagreement with my Christian friends, or write a letter to the editor of the local paper, or participate in a march.  But I won’t condemn Christians as a whole because they are a large and diverse group.  And modern American society is indeed a stew with many ingredients.  These are identifiable, but they also take on the essence of each other to create an overall harmony.

 
icehorse
 
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21 September 2018 10:08
 

hannah:

I’m not going to let my heart harden to them as a group.

I’ve not read the Quran.  Maybe I should, but I have low tolerance for scripture these days.

I believe that openly criticizing Islamic teachings is actually opening my heart to Muslims. Any child indoctrinated into Islamic thought is being saddled with a handicap in society. Here’s a brief summary of the Quran. It has a few ideas that it repeats (seemingly) endlessly:

- You must submit to Allah, or else.
- Muslims are better - way, way better - than non-Muslims.
- Do not trust or befriend non-Muslims, they are bad people who will be punished.
- Men are way better than women.

These are the main messages in Islam’s perfect book. Children are put the task of memorizing these perfect messages.  The daily prayer - the one that half the world’s Muslims utter five times a day, every day - reinforces the first three of the four points listed above. Anyone who has these messages pounded repeatedly into their heads will be at a disadvantage in our society. it is not a kindness to look the other way.

As for your concerns about many Christian ideas, I share your concerns. I think both set of ideas do far more harm than good.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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21 September 2018 13:05
 
icehorse - 21 September 2018 10:08 AM

hannah:

I’m not going to let my heart harden to them as a group.

I’ve not read the Quran.  Maybe I should, but I have low tolerance for scripture these days.

I believe that openly criticizing Islamic teachings is actually opening my heart to Muslims. Any child indoctrinated into Islamic thought is being saddled with a handicap in society. Here’s a brief summary of the Quran. It has a few ideas that it repeats (seemingly) endlessly:

- You must submit to Allah, or else.
- Muslims are better - way, way better - than non-Muslims.
- Do not trust or befriend non-Muslims, they are bad people who will be punished.
- Men are way better than women.

These are the main messages in Islam’s perfect book. Children are put the task of memorizing these perfect messages.  The daily prayer - the one that half the world’s Muslims utter five times a day, every day - reinforces the first three of the four points listed above. Anyone who has these messages pounded repeatedly into their heads will be at a disadvantage in our society. it is not a kindness to look the other way.

As for your concerns about many Christian ideas, I share your concerns. I think both set of ideas do far more harm than good.

Let’s say you had a nextdoor neighbor who was a devout Muslim who did not have antipathy toward American culture, but was wary and kept mostly to his own religious community.  Would you say he would be most likely to soften his views if you told him your opinions about his religion, or if you shared a friendly small talk and helped him dig out after a snow storm?

 
icehorse
 
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21 September 2018 13:44
 
hannahtoo - 21 September 2018 01:05 PM
icehorse - 21 September 2018 10:08 AM

hannah:

I’m not going to let my heart harden to them as a group.

I’ve not read the Quran.  Maybe I should, but I have low tolerance for scripture these days.

I believe that openly criticizing Islamic teachings is actually opening my heart to Muslims. Any child indoctrinated into Islamic thought is being saddled with a handicap in society. Here’s a brief summary of the Quran. It has a few ideas that it repeats (seemingly) endlessly:

- You must submit to Allah, or else.
- Muslims are better - way, way better - than non-Muslims.
- Do not trust or befriend non-Muslims, they are bad people who will be punished.
- Men are way better than women.

These are the main messages in Islam’s perfect book. Children are put the task of memorizing these perfect messages.  The daily prayer - the one that half the world’s Muslims utter five times a day, every day - reinforces the first three of the four points listed above. Anyone who has these messages pounded repeatedly into their heads will be at a disadvantage in our society. it is not a kindness to look the other way.

As for your concerns about many Christian ideas, I share your concerns. I think both set of ideas do far more harm than good.

Let’s say you had a nextdoor neighbor who was a devout Muslim who did not have antipathy toward American culture, but was wary and kept mostly to his own religious community.  Would you say he would be most likely to soften his views if you told him your opinions about his religion, or if you shared a friendly small talk and helped him dig out after a snow storm?

IMO, you make a great point.

I think that one on one confrontations would mostly not be productive, and probably they’d be more likely to be counter-productive. OTOH, I think that “in the media” Muslims ought to be exposed to honest criticisms of their ideology. I think that every time someone cries “that’s Islamophobic”, we’re a step further away from a healthy society. Muslims ought to hear credible speakers calmly and rationally criticize Islamic teachings. As it stands now, most of the time that someone “in the news” criticizes Islam, most of the rest of the media jumps on the “that’s Islamophobic” bandwagon.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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21 September 2018 15:13
 
icehorse - 21 September 2018 01:44 PM
hannahtoo - 21 September 2018 01:05 PM
icehorse - 21 September 2018 10:08 AM

hannah:

I’m not going to let my heart harden to them as a group.

I’ve not read the Quran.  Maybe I should, but I have low tolerance for scripture these days.

I believe that openly criticizing Islamic teachings is actually opening my heart to Muslims. Any child indoctrinated into Islamic thought is being saddled with a handicap in society. Here’s a brief summary of the Quran. It has a few ideas that it repeats (seemingly) endlessly:

- You must submit to Allah, or else.
- Muslims are better - way, way better - than non-Muslims.
- Do not trust or befriend non-Muslims, they are bad people who will be punished.
- Men are way better than women.

These are the main messages in Islam’s perfect book. Children are put the task of memorizing these perfect messages.  The daily prayer - the one that half the world’s Muslims utter five times a day, every day - reinforces the first three of the four points listed above. Anyone who has these messages pounded repeatedly into their heads will be at a disadvantage in our society. it is not a kindness to look the other way.

As for your concerns about many Christian ideas, I share your concerns. I think both set of ideas do far more harm than good.

Let’s say you had a nextdoor neighbor who was a devout Muslim who did not have antipathy toward American culture, but was wary and kept mostly to his own religious community.  Would you say he would be most likely to soften his views if you told him your opinions about his religion, or if you shared a friendly small talk and helped him dig out after a snow storm?

IMO, you make a great point.

I think that one on one confrontations would mostly not be productive, and probably they’d be more likely to be counter-productive. OTOH, I think that “in the media” Muslims ought to be exposed to honest criticisms of their ideology. I think that every time someone cries “that’s Islamophobic”, we’re a step further away from a healthy society. Muslims ought to hear credible speakers calmly and rationally criticize Islamic teachings. As it stands now, most of the time that someone “in the news” criticizes Islam, most of the rest of the media jumps on the “that’s Islamophobic” bandwagon.

I’d offer that it might be better to do what works, rather than what feels cathartic.  I don’t see the point in a “news” story questioning the Quran’s teaching that Islam is best, and you must submit to Allah (or else), because Christianity also teaches these things.  That’s no news flash.  As for trusting non-Muslims and seeing women as equal, that can only come with time and exposure.  Obviously the latter is still a work in progress in much of American society. 

But yes, Muslims should know the American laws and follow them.  And if they live in the West long enough, they’ll be exposed to criticism of certain laws in their home countries, such as lack of rights for women.  We’re a culture that is constantly looking for problems to report on, within our home culture as well as abroad.  It never stops.

 
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