On my facebook wall, I found a video that was shared by both very religious and atheistic friends: Reza Aslan was on CNN, attempting to respond to this segment from the consistently annoying Bill Maher. Here’s Bill. I didn’t find it particularly interesting. It’s merely posted for context.
Here is Reza, trying very hard to make me break my computer screen…
I’m glad to see a little bit of heat directed at Islam from CNN, but I can’t compliment them beyond that. Reza is slick enough to avoid the whole point of the segment, and CNN is way WAY too cowardly to call him on it. The press is simply unwilling to be sufficiently precise with their criticisms.
I agree with Reza that the subjugation of women is a Saudi problem. Genital mutilation is a central african problem. (Ok, it’s a problem almost everywhere) The lack of more female leaders is an American problem. I’ll go a step farther and say that dental hygiene is a UK problem. So is Yakety sax.
The point is that women can’t drive in Saudi Arabia because of Islam. Genitals are mutilated (for the most part) because of religion. Islam promotes violence and muslim leaders incite violence. The Quran is at least as bloody and despicable as the bible, but islam has too many honest adherents to ignore the obvious calls for violence. Case in point: Most people are too scared to post that this is “the prophet” Mohammad -> 🙂
Not every muslim beheads heretics, but muslims that do behead heretics are chiefly motivated by their faith. Just ask them. Of course, you don’t have to. They are quite public about their motivations.
Moderates like Reza Aslan grant ideological shelter to violent theofascists. It is far too complimentary to the parties of god to call their most principled adherents “extremists”.
I propose that we stop referring to them as “extremists” altogether. ISIS and Al Qaeda are composed of “principled muslims”. I would like to hear moderates deny that description as accurate. Perhaps moderates have different principles than their more violent adherents, but there is no good reason to justify one over the other once the legitimacy of faith is granted.
Atheism has no principles that can be used as indictments for the actions of atheists. That’s not to say that one shouldn’t adhere to organizations or ideologies that contain important principles, even a few dubious ones. Hell, I’m a member of the Democratic party! However, if the Democratic party’s platform, or a significant number of its members, advocated that Democrats should “kill [disbelievers] wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out” (Quran 2:191-193), I would immediately resign membership, and work to change or undermine it. I call on the parties of god to do the same.
(This is just my first google result. I won’t claim scholarship of the Quran)