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Phil Torres is an author. His blatant dishonesty and lack of principles first caught my eye in 2017 when he published an article in Salon titled “From the Enlightenment to the Dark Ages: How “new atheism slid in to the alt-right”. The poster boys for this article were Sam Harris and Milo Yiannopoulos. Sam Harris isn’t alt-right (he’s a Jewish liberal) and Milo Yiannopoulos isn’t even an atheist (he’s a Catholic clown), but facts shouldn’t matter when you have an axe to grind.
The article is the usual mix of the guilt by association and misrepresentation we’ve come to expect from Salon’s output on Sam Harris. However, one shining example of Phil’s unscrupulous methods is exemplified in how he attempts to paint Richard “we are all African apes” Dawkins as a promoter of white supremacist propaganda.
The UK media is always keen to wheel out so-called ‘moderate Muslim’ talking heads to opine on behalf of ‘the community’. However, they seem remarkably inept when it comes to asking some very simple questions that would give the game up immediately.
This brings me to Roshan M Salih, the editor of soft-Islamist website ‘5Pillars’, or a ‘British Muslim news site’ as he would call it. Roshan describes himself as a ‘journalist’ and has enjoyed airtime on numerous mainstream TV and radio platforms—including the BBC.
I make a habit of reading books and articles that I expect to find disagreeable. This serves to test my convictions as I bounce them off opposing views and discover whether or not they survive the collisions. Moreover, the willingness to seek out alternate views invariably teaches you something that you did not know. In fact, sometimes you actually learn that your understanding of the issue was completely wrong altogether.
The fact that Robin DiAngelo’s ‘White Fragility’ did not manage to be informative or useful on any level is an achievement in and of itself. I’ve never encountered a book so intellectually vapid as to make me worry that reading it may have actually subtracted some knowledge.