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 Topic: Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil

 (Read 9237 times)
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  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     OP - December 17, 2012, 04:48 PM

    When we first started using Twitter as a medium to promote our forum and our ideas, we tweeted a few prominent journalists to enquire as to whether they could consider supporting us. One of the journalists, Mehdi Hasan, who writes for the Guardian, New Statesmen and Huffington Post, and appears on the BBC and Al Jazeera, responded as follows:




    Mehdi Hasan has in the past written in support of ex-Muslims being persecuted for leaving Islam, so it was quite sad to receive this response.

    In a 2011 report produced by the Council of Ex-Muslims and One Law For All titled 'Enemies Not Allies', the bigotry, threats, violent rhetoric and anti-Muslim hatred of groups like the EDL was highlighted. It also described how they used concerns over extreme interpretations of Islam and the desire by some Islamists to institute forms of sharia arbitration courts in Britain to demonise all Muslims and foment an atmosphere of collective hatred.

    The Forum of Ex-Muslims saw the EDL for exactly what it is from the moment it was born. In 2009 the EDL started its campaigning and were given short shrift by ex-Muslims on our boards. The attitude of collective guilt and punishment radiates from the rhetoric and assumptions of the EDL.  Innocent Muslims and non Muslims felt intimidated and frightened by the aggression and demonisation that was their defining character. They made the atmosphere of society worse – both provoking a fearfulness in Muslims and emboldening Islamists and Salafis who posited their aggression as a useful threat to increase their own righteous power. Tensions in cities escalated as a result.

    So you can understand how absurd and dismissive it is to be likened to this bigoted firm of hooligans.

    But it was not surprising.

    Accusing ex-Muslim voices critical of Islam as being motivated by Islamophobia and 'EDL-esque' hate is today a standard reflex amongst many to the free expression of ex-Muslim conscience. And it isn't just some Muslims who seek to use this line of ad hominem to essentially render criticism of Islam as being in and of itself a form of bigoted hate speech. Its often a reflex response amongst non Muslim liberals too.

    Ex-Muslims believe that there are aspects of Islam that like any religion need to be scrutinised and criticised. To assert this is not to say that Islam is 'evil'. It is to say that Islam is a man made religion created at a certain time and place in history that requires certain beliefs and precepts to change to make it compatible with modernity, liberal ideas and free conscience. To describe Islam as 'evil' is to utilise the rhetoric of religion itself – to engage in a simplistic way of thinking.

    Religions are products of societies – and just as societies can change, so can religions. Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism have all had reformist movements that sought to change aspects of belief and dogma inimical to what reformists believed was just and truthful in modern times.

    And religious change includes ending blasphemy taboos, notions of heresy, the persecution and demonisation of apostates, and theological assent to the idea that those who leave a religion and criticise it deserve to have violence or death inflicted on them.

    Describing Ex-Muslim critique in this way is to try to impose, effectively, a new kind of blasphemy taboo against criticism of Islam by associating it with bigotry and hate speech.

    Ex-Muslims understand profoundly the agenda of bigoted far-right organisations. To try to stifle the free conscience of ex-Muslims in this manner is not just unfair, it is perverse.

    People from the Forum of Ex-Muslims make criticisms of aspects of Islam from within an inclusive, secular, universalist cosmopolitan tradition that utterly rejects the parochial simplicities and demonisations of nationalism. As such any group or ideology that projects collective guilt narratives is inimical to it. In fact for this reason the far-right EDL stands beside the far-right Islamists and Salafis in the target of this critical vision.

    Ex-Muslims are situated, in many ways, in a treacherous position.

    Not only do Islamists wish to silence their voices, but so do some moderate Muslims.

    Parts of the Left are frightened to support apostates, fearing the response of Muslims and accusations of Islamophobia, whilst others on the Left sympathetic to general Islamist sentiment are actively hostile to the expression of free conscience by ex-Muslims.

    The far-right nationalists either view ex-Muslims through the prism of racial / ethnic nationalism, or as individuals who, in their secular cosmopolitanism and inherent repulsion to the collective guilt projection they indulge in, are not obedient or malleable enough to serve their politics.

    From this treacherous position comes perspective though.

    For example, secular Ex-Muslims are able to see how the unchallenged ideology of Salafis and Islamists, so often given a free pass in the name of 'multiculturalism', hiding behind accusations that critiquing them is 'Islamophobic', not only feeds into the system and opposition of far-right nationalism, but also how these ideological rigidities mirror and need each other.

    So we know that a failure to subject Islam in its political form as well as its theology has resonances beyond the persecution faced by apostates.

    Some might call the perspective that ex-Muslims have on these issues a curse – but in reality it is a blessing.

    Ex-Muslims see too much, understand too much,  know too much, and that is why they seem to cause so much disquiet.

    But conscience never sits still and never stays silent. Despite the multiple layers of distortion thrown at ex-Muslims, and the competing agendas that seek to co-opt or snuff out their voice, that voice is only going to gradually, steadily grow louder.

    The question will become not of what ex-Muslims must do to make themselves heard, but how those who are disquieted by what they say can respond with dignity and honesty in a manner that does not end up making them complicit in the marginalisations, and various chauvinisms at play around Islam from both within the religion, and externally to it, across the political spectrum of Left and Right.

    This is the profound disturbance and introspection that free conscience causes.

    It is why the ex-Muslim voice is, ultimately, irresistible.

  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #1 - December 17, 2012, 11:27 PM

    Nice one, Cyril. Nice one, son.

    Nice one. Cyril, let's have another one.



    (When you've got your breath back.)
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #2 - December 18, 2012, 12:11 AM

    Quote
    Mehdi Hasan has in the past written in support of ex-Muslims being persecuted for leaving Islam, so it was quite sad to receive this response.


    I'm confused. The article sounded supportive of the Ex-muslim cause. I'm not sure what is sad about that  Huh?



    Take me to the moon in your watermelon slipper!
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #3 - December 18, 2012, 12:35 AM

    Is Mehdi Hasan's comment missing?

    Good read btw. Good to see these issues dealt with in full, articulating the thoughts of many ex-Muslims.

    Too fucking busy, and vice versa.
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #4 - December 18, 2012, 12:50 AM

    Billy included a link to some screenshot of Hasan's comments, but it's not a valid url. I've given him a nudge about it.

    If anyone else has a link I'll edit in in now.

    If you think your religion is worth killing for, please start with yourself.
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #5 - December 18, 2012, 12:55 AM

    working on it now.

    "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #6 - December 18, 2012, 12:59 AM

    Okay. Image is fixed now.

    "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #7 - December 18, 2012, 01:02 AM

    Yeah, figured the comment would be something dickish.

    Too fucking busy, and vice versa.
  • Re: Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #8 - December 19, 2012, 02:10 AM

    When we first started using Twitter as a medium to promote our forum and our ideas, we tweeted a few prominent journalists to enquire as to whether they could consider supporting us. One of the journalists, Mehdi Hasan, who writes for the Guardian, New Statesmen and Huffington Post, and appears on the BBC and Al Jazeera, responded as follows:

    (Clicky for piccy!)


    What do you all think he meant by "I can't really back you given you not only support freedom to convert"?

    Is he suggesting that he doesn't support freedom to convert, e.g. of people who want to convert to Islam?

    Or is it only that kind of conversion he supports but no other kind?

    "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #9 - December 19, 2012, 03:51 AM

    Is he suggesting that he doesn't support freedom to convert, e.g. of people who want to convert to Islam?

    He knows the kuffar. They would only lower the tone of the Ummah.

  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #10 - December 19, 2012, 04:36 AM

    What do you all think he meant by "I can't really back you given you not only support freedom to convert"?

    Is he suggesting that he doesn't support freedom to convert, e.g. of people who want to convert to Islam?

    Or is it only that kind of conversion he supports but no other kind?


    I think he might means he supports freedom to convert but not freedom to criticize islam. 

    Whatever the exact meaning of his tweet it's pretty clear that he's a bigot that doesn't support freedom of expression. 

    He supports theocracy.   

    It is us humans that assert purpose onto an otherwise purposeless cosmos and then claim divine inspiration 

    In my opinion a life without curiosity is not a life worth living

    My Philosophy: " Fear no one and challenge everyone "
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #11 - December 19, 2012, 05:00 AM

    Quote
    I think he might means he supports freedom to convert but not freedom to criticize islam. 

    Yeah, I think that's what he meant and it's the expected response. I'm actually surprised that you guys were naive enough to think a Muslim would support an ex-Muslim organization, or any group that engages in any kind of criticism of Islam.  
    Quote
    He supports theocracy

    That's an exaggeration. I wouldn't put my support behind a group that was critical of something I believed in, but I wouldn't support them being silenced by the government either. Just because he doesn't support secular/anti-religion groups doesn't mean he supports theocracy.
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #12 - December 19, 2012, 05:06 AM

    ^

    CEMB didn't ask him to actively promote criticism of Islam. I wouldn't promote a group that criticized something I believed in but I would fiercely defend their right to criticize my beliefs. Which is exactly what CEMB asked him to do. Just support our right to criticize.

    Since he doesn't support freedom of speech which includes freedom to criticize religion due to his religious bigotry he is a theocrat

    It is us humans that assert purpose onto an otherwise purposeless cosmos and then claim divine inspiration 

    In my opinion a life without curiosity is not a life worth living

    My Philosophy: " Fear no one and challenge everyone "
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #13 - December 19, 2012, 05:30 AM

    Quote
    CEMB didn't ask him to actively promote criticism of Islam. I wouldn't promote a group that criticized something I believed in but I would fiercely defend their right to criticize my beliefs. Which is exactly what CEMB asked him to do. Just support our right to criticize. 


    Quote
    When we first started using Twitter as a medium to promote our forum and our ideas, we tweeted a few prominent journalists to enquire as to whether they could consider supporting us

    CEMB asked whether he'd consider supporting them and he implied he wouldn't. Nobody's rights to do anything were mentioned. Again, I wouldn't support a group critical of my beliefs either. That doesn't necessarily mean that I want them legally silenced or that I oppose their right to say what they want to say. 
    Quote
    Since he doesn't support freedom of speech which includes freedom to criticize religion due to his religious bigotry he is a theocrat

    Not supporting a cause that you disagree with =/= being against their free speech. He obviously isn't interested in criticism of religion because he's religious, I don't see bigotry or pro-theocracy in that. I doubt you'd respond to a tweet from a dawah organization asking you to support them with a "yes". 
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #14 - December 19, 2012, 06:42 AM

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the foundational or defining idea of CEMB is religious freedom. Since when did CEMB push the idea that ‘Islam is Evil’? It’s very instructive that this journalist should define CEMB selectively and exclusively in terms of the latter. So I wonder why he’s doing that?
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #15 - December 19, 2012, 06:46 AM

    Yeah, he's wrong about CEMB pushing "the EDL-esque idea that Islam is evil" but that's the standard Muslim reaction to any group/individual that says anything unflattering about Islam/shari'ah.
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #16 - December 19, 2012, 06:52 AM

    Yes.

    So, his comment can be read in 2 ways. The first says ‘I support your fight for religious freedom, but I don’t support your demonization of Islam and hence can’t fully endorse you’.
    The second says ‘I withhold support from you because (a) you support religious freedom (conversion/change from Islam) and (b) you demonize Islam’.
    This dude is either a bad writer or his subconscious is giving him away.
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #17 - December 19, 2012, 07:39 AM


    This dude is either a bad writer or his subconscious is giving him away.


     

    It's probably this !



    The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
                                   Thomas Paine

    Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored !- Aldous Huxley
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #18 - December 19, 2012, 09:57 AM

    Quote
    ‘I support your fight for religious freedom, but I don’t support your demonization of Islam and hence can’t fully endorse you’.

    I think it's this, seeing as he's spoken out about persecution of ex-Muslims in the past and appears to support religious freedom.
  • Re: Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #19 - December 19, 2012, 11:37 AM

    What do you all think he meant by "I can't really back you given you not only support freedom to convert"?

    Is he suggesting that he doesn't support freedom to convert, e.g. of people who want to convert to Islam?

    Or is it only that kind of conversion he supports but no other kind?


    It reads as if he believes that saying this in the abstract is magnanimous and generous of him.

    However it might be an abstract position - he supports it in theory, but perhaps is more ambivalent about 'supporting' that right (which is like saying I support your right to breathe) in practise.

    By saying we are 'EDL-esque' the dilemma is resolved - he can say he supports the abstract right but because we are 'EDL-esque' he doesn't have to actually 'support' it in any real sense at all. In fact, ex-Muslims can be dismissed as 'EDL-esque' and brushed away with the trash.

    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • Re: Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #20 - December 19, 2012, 11:45 AM

    That's an exaggeration. I wouldn't put my support behind a group that was critical of something I believed in, but I wouldn't support them being silenced by the government either. Just because he doesn't support secular/anti-religion groups doesn't mean he supports theocracy.



    Yeah, I agree.


    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #21 - December 20, 2012, 02:55 PM

    I've met people   like Mahdi , and that's the kind of ''intelectuals''  that give me creeps. At first, they all seem kind, nice, tolerant, multi-culti, open to different opinions...

    but at some moment, all their suppressed bigotry will come out like flood.

    Isn't it funny how cats can understand people without ever reading a single psychology book?
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #22 - December 20, 2012, 03:44 PM

    his interview with dawkins should be out this weekend
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #23 - December 23, 2012, 03:26 PM

    Medhi Hassan and his Ilk, like Tariq Ramadan don't realise that a large majority of Muslims especially Ahle sunnah wal jammah consider him a heretic, I've been to plenty of mosque talks where they are telling young muslims to avoid him and progressive muslims.

    His comments are typical, I hear his talks and something tells me that deep down he has big doubts and outing himself could destroy him. Thats why I feel he tries to avoid harsh criticism of Islam. I would not be surprised at all if he was closet ex-muz.

    I don't consider Islam anymore evil than Hinduism/Christianity etc. They are all just plain and simply wrong and its wishful thinking to think otherwise.
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #24 - December 23, 2012, 03:37 PM

    Medhi Hassan and his Ilk, like Tariq Ramadan don't realise. ....................

     
    Rascals double talk .. They talk different to different audience .. Those days are over.. Cameras and voice recorders are everywhere

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6aIPIsUE5I

    Freedom of Expression is a Fundamental Right  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #25 - December 23, 2012, 10:23 PM

    e-raja nails it. completely agree and nicely put.
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #26 - December 23, 2012, 11:30 PM

    and i completely agree with Simon.. totally
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #27 - December 24, 2012, 05:58 PM

    check out his latest article full of logical flaws and non-sequitors trying to validate belief in god http://www.newstatesman.com/religion/2012/12/god-best-answer-why-there-something-rather-nothing
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #28 - December 24, 2012, 06:57 PM

    Wait... the new statesmen is a theist rag now?

    "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."
  • Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
     Reply #29 - December 24, 2012, 07:10 PM

    His comments are typical, I hear his talks and something tells me that deep down he has big doubts and outing himself could destroy him. Thats why I feel he tries to avoid harsh criticism of Islam. I would not be surprised at all if he was closet ex-muz.


    He's for real. He's a real believer. Here's a quote from a recent debate he had with David Aaronovitch:


    "Some liberals believe that beliefs are different. [That] you can change your beliefs. But you can’t change the colour of your skin or your sexuality. Well, first of all, I would argue, that that is a total misreading of what belief is, and how people hold religious beliefs. In particular, Muslims. My Islamic faith defines my identity far more than my racial or cultural background. David wants to be free to mock my beliefs or my prophet but he would never dare mock my race. As a Muslim, I would rather he mock my skin colour than that which is most important – most dear – to me in my life, which is my faith and my prophet. And I know this may be hard for some of you to accept and to understand, but a prophet who is more dear to me than my own parents. Or my wife. Or my children. That is what it means to me"

    Mehdi Hasan, journalist, during debate at LSE October 2012 titled "The Right to Offend"


    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

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