History Professor Juan Cole on “The End of Faith”

 
lynmc
 
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lynmc
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05 April 2019 19:48
 

https://www.juancole.com/2019/04/everything-harris-unbelievers.html

I don’t personally think Sam Harris is malicious, that is, deliberately and consciously spreading hate of Muslims.  “Blood libel” might be apt.  I’m not an expert on Middle Eastern history like Juan Cole, but even I could detect Harris’s Islamophobia and carelessness with facts.  His book is an insult to science and rationality.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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06 April 2019 09:29
 
lynmc - 05 April 2019 07:48 PM

https://www.juancole.com/2019/04/everything-harris-unbelievers.html

I don’t personally think Sam Harris is malicious, that is, deliberately and consciously spreading hate of Muslims.  “Blood libel” might be apt.  I’m not an expert on Middle Eastern history like Juan Cole, but even I could detect Harris’s Islamophobia and carelessness with facts.  His book is an insult to science and rationality.

Cole might be an expert, but this article doesn’t demonstrate that. He starts be strawmanning Harris and then proceeds to pick and choose anecdotes in an attempt to build his case. It’s all very shaky and unconvincing.

BTW lyn, I’m still interested in your proposed solution for Israel, Palestine, and the ME in terms of religious freedom?

 
 
lynmc
 
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lynmc
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08 April 2019 17:55
 
icehorse - 06 April 2019 09:29 AM
lynmc - 05 April 2019 07:48 PM

https://www.juancole.com/2019/04/everything-harris-unbelievers.html

I don’t personally think Sam Harris is malicious, that is, deliberately and consciously spreading hate of Muslims.  “Blood libel” might be apt.  I’m not an expert on Middle Eastern history like Juan Cole, but even I could detect Harris’s Islamophobia and carelessness with facts.  His book is an insult to science and rationality.

Cole might be an expert, but this article doesn’t demonstrate that. He starts be strawmanning Harris and then proceeds to pick and choose anecdotes in an attempt to build his case. It’s all very shaky and unconvincing.

BTW lyn, I’m still interested in your proposed solution for Israel, Palestine, and the ME in terms of religious freedom?

You’ll have to be specific.  What exactly do you find is a mis-characterization by Prof. Cole of Sam Harris’s book?  What is your defense of the assertion that Cole’s background information on the writing of the Koran is nothing more than “anecdotes”?

As far as my proposed solution for Israel and Palestine, I’ve provided that in previous threads, and your response has generally been something on the lines of “look at the context,” i.e., not a response to my specific proposals and in general, a waste of my time.  Besides which, it isn’t appropriate for this topic.  Post a new topic if you want to discuss that.

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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21 April 2019 23:50
 

I disagree with Sam in terms of emphasis and context and possibly objective with this book but I don’t think he gets all the facts wrong. Especially in light of hindsight and clarification. There is most certainly a set of Muslim factions that hate the West, Christianity, Judaism, Israel and the U.S. We have very good and cross referenced poll data for that.

The problem with this critique, for me is the same as the problems it tries to highlight in The End Of Faith. Namely: over generalization, assumptions of motive and motivated reasoning. It isn’t careful. It’s less careful than Sam’s book… which also isn’t careful. Disagreeing with someone by calling them ‘hateful’ is never a great way to establish confidence with a reader who approaches your article willing to go either way. It’s unprofessional. I do appreciate his specific textual analysis and think some of that is on point. The problem which I think Sam correctly identifies is that it’s a category error to defend a religion with sophisticated theological or historical arguments when a majority of it’s followers subscribe to a simple and often toxic version. Again, poll data on this is pretty strong. Whether or not the Koran explicitly recommends judicial rape or child brides or public beheadings is scarcely significant if and when a majority of some region believes it to be true and puts it into practice. The ethical priority, I think is defend basic human rights first and cultural sensitivity about literature second. Though I know that is controversial.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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22 April 2019 08:03
 

Very well put, brick.