I’ve previously wondered what horrors I might uncover were I able to see what the Arabic speaking world were saying about atheists on Twitter. Well, thanks to the good work of Twitter user @Ahmedaa1k, I need wonder no more. And it’s not good news. Please note, Ahmed is not the individual making these statements, but the one translating them. Here are some Arabic responses to the hash tag ‘atheism is not a crime’:
Tag Archives: Muslims
At the start of January, I caught PZ Myers in a blatant lie about the stated views of the late Christopher Hitchens. In short, he accused Christopher Hitchens of ‘proposing genocide’ and being in favour of ‘wholesale execution of the population of the Moslem world’’. What was particularly useful about Myers’ claims was the fact that he named the time, place and precise moment Hitchens was alleged to have expressed these views. Unfortunately for Myers, this precise moment in time was also documented on video for all to see. The footage conclusively reveals that Hitchens neither said, implied or hinted at any such thing. Not to mention such views are antithesis to the solidarity Hitchens so vocally expressed for Muslim dissidents throughout his career.
It’s clear to me that the problem of Islamic fundamentalism will not be solved by non-Muslims. It’s going to take a great number of liberal, secular, progressive Muslims to reform their own religion from within. That’s not to say that non-Muslims do not have a valuable role to play in this process, but given that this process has already begun, I think it’s worth asking whether we are helping it or holding it back.
One of the biggest hurdles appears to be getting non-Muslims to accept that there even is such a thing as a liberal, progressive, secular Muslim. Pointing out examples invariably leads to cries of ‘no true Scotsmen’. How can they be Muslims if they don’t wish to push their faith on society? Surely they are not true Muslims if they favour secularism over theocracy.
I’ve noticed a double standard at work here when we consider the legitimacy of progressive thinkers within the Islamic faith. Non-Muslims are quick to decry Islamic fundamentalism on the one hand, yet hold all Muslims to a literal, fundamentalist understanding of Islam on the other. Any deviation betrays a lack of authenticity in the mind of the non-Muslim.
It’s been a devastatingly embarrassing six months for author and columnist CJ Werleman. Exposed for misrepresentation, serial plagiarism and probable sockpuppetry – and this was all before Sam Harris effortlessly spanked his ill-judged libellous accusations. Both Salon and Alternet dropped Werleman as a result, the latter completely removing his articles from their archives altogether. The only platform still willing to publish him is Middle East Eye. It’s a self-immolation that is painful to look at – yet I can’t seem to help myself.
You’d imagine this period would have been a good time for Werleman to put down the spade and contemplate where his career was heading. He appears to have dropped the spade and upgraded to a JCB digger however, committed to hacking his way downward – ethically.
I’d like to provide you with a few examples that distinguish a Journalist from a Propagandist.