‘I Hope They’re Not Muslims’

As officials scurried about Paris assessing the damage and seeking to identify the culprits, I know my Muslim friends were thinking, “I hope they’re not Muslims.”

Were innocent people killed again in the name of Allah? If so, my Muslim friends know that Muslims will once again be defined not by what they believe and how they live, but by the actions of a vicious few who pervert the meaning of Islam. They fear that “Muslim” and “terrorist” will become even more deeply seared into the Western psyche.

Is Atheism Evil?

TEHRAN, IRAN - AUGUST 14: Iranian women in chadors walk at the Holy Shrine mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini on August 14, 2012 in Tehran, Iran. (Photo by Franco Czerny/Getty Images)

TEHRAN, IRAN – AUGUST 14: Iranian women in chadors walk at the Holy Shrine mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini on August 14, 2012 in Tehran, Iran. (Photo by Franco Czerny/Getty Images)

On February 11, atheist Craig Stephens Hicks killed three young Muslims in a dispute over a parking space. On atheist Hicks’ Facebook page, we learn of his associations with fundamentalist atheist groups such as Militant Atheism for the Soul, United Atheists of America, The New Atheists, and Atheists for Equality. The vast majority of his postings mock religious belief and religious believers. And then there’s the photo of atheist Hick’s gun in a holster, with the caption: “Yes, that is 1 pound 5.1 ounces for my loaded 38 revolver, its holster, and five extra rounds in a speedloader.”

موضع جالب جیمز کلارک: من شارلی ابدو نیستم

My blog in Farsi!

يكشنبه, ۵ بهمن ۱۳۹۳، ۱۰:۰۴ ق.ظ
  مسعود صادقی: کلی جیمز کلارک استاد دانشگاه نوتردام است که برای مخاطبان ایرانی بیشتر با کتاب بازگشت به عقل و نیز بواسطه سفر اخیرش به ایران شناخته می شود. مقاله اخیر او تحت عنوان آیا من باید شارلی ابدو باشم؟” در واقع آخرین یادداشت نامبرده در سایت شخصی اش می باشد که حقیر به محض مطالعه و علیرغم وارد دانستن نقدهایی بر محتویات و برخی مدعیات آن بی درنگ و شتابان آنرا ترجمه نموده و نهایتا با اجازه و ترغیب کلارک تصمیم به انتشار آن برای استفاده فارسی زبانان گرفتم. اولین پیام مهم این مقاله برای حقیر در واپسین جمله آن نهفته است: اگرچه بر آزادی بیان صحّه می نهم اما من شارلی ابدو نیستم.صرف نظر از اختلاف با کلارک در تعریف حدود و معنای آزادی بیان من با این موضع اخلاقی او موافقت دارم که می گوید هرچه حق right است الزاما خیر یا خوب good نیست. کلارک در بخشی از مقاله اش می نویسد:

“پنج میلیون مسلمان فرانسوی یک اقلیت قدرت زدایی شده هستند. جوانان مسلمان دوبرابر غیرمسلمانان محتمل است که بیکار شوند(در برخی از مناطق مسلمان نشین نرخ بیکاری بیش از چهل درصد است). ممنوعیت پوشش سر به شکلی نامتناسب مسلمانان را (در اظهار آزادانه دین خود) تحت تاثیر قرار می دهد. عدم پذیرش اعطای مجوز به ساخت مساجد موجب کمبود اماکن عبادی شده است. مسلمانان با تبعیض در اسکان مواجه هستند و بسیاری در فقر آشکار زندگی می کنند. قوانین، سکولاریزمی را که به نظر می رسد مستقیما مسلمانان را نشانه رفته است تقویت می نمایند. کوتاه آنکه مسلمانان فرانسوی از حیث اجتماعی، دینی و اقتصادی در حاشیه قرار گرفته اند.

Who Would Jesus Waterboard?

Ben Franklin once wrote that “it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer.” Dick Cheney, on the other hand, said: “I’m more concerned with bad guys who got out . . . than I am with a few that in fact were innocent.” When asked if he was bothered that at least 25 percent of those detained and tortured might have been innocent, he responded, “I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective. . . . I’d do it again in a minute.”

Muslims for peace

Hedieh Mirahmadi

Last week I wrote about the most persecuted religion in the world — Christianity. So dire is the persecution of Christians, Christianity is in danger of disappearing from its homeland. Christianity is most in peril, I noted, in Muslim-majority countries where either by official policy or official laxity, Christians are discriminated against, persecuted, tortured, threatened and even killed (Christians are not alone in this; atheists, Jews, Baha’is, and Muslims judged heretical are likewise persecuted.) Since this impending threat to Christianity has been largely ignored in the West I called upon the Western media to report on these atrocities and so prod Western governments to act in support of the universal human right to the free expression of religious belief. Finally, I said it was not my place to speak for Muslims but that Muslim leaders needed to make a compelling case that Islam is not inherently intolerant.

The most persecuted religion in the world

Over the past year, I have written of the intolerance that Christians have shown to Muslims in the U.S. From Missouri to Murphreesboro, Christians have demonstrated both a lack of charity and a denial of the right to religious liberty by setting fire to old mosques and opposing new ones. But Christians in the U.S. are rank amateurs compared to the Muslim persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

What I don’t like about them Muslims

Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian-American columnist and criminal mastermind, was arrested this week for vandalizing a legally protected poster in the Times Square subway station. The poster declared: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.” The ads were paid for by Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative. While the Metropolitan Transportation Authority attempted to block the adverts, good sense prevailed in federal court. Fox News, sadly, lacked the courage to display the entire poster in its coverage of the posters.

Why do they hate us?

In a recent article in Foreign Policy, Mona Eltahaway, Egyptian born journalist, gets us thinking about “they” and “us.” During the so-called Arab Spring, Egyptian riot police violated her sexually and broke both of her arms.

It’s not the usual Muslims vs. the US sort of article. In the article, “us” is women and “they” are misogynists and patriarchs in the Middle East.

Socially, legally, financially, educationally, and morally, women are treated very poorly in the Arab world. One shocking statistic: 90% of married women in Egypt, a socially and economically advanced country, have had genital mutilation.

The Sin of Tolerance

I was doing some research on Christians and tolerance and came across an old Billy Graham essay, “The Sin of Tolerance.” It appeared in Christianity Today in 1959. I wonder if he would stand by it today. It’s worth revisiting because I think many Christians today still think tolerance is a sin.

Graham takes Jesus as his model of intolerance, pointing out that Jesus was intolerant of hypocrisy, selfishness, and sin. Jesus, of course, thought all of those things wrong, and he spoke out against them, and he worked to eradicate them. But he did not persecute, kill, or crusade for laws against hypocrites and sinners. He didn’t avoid them, not rent housing to them, or bomb their countries.

Afghani rage: religion or autonomy?

Eleven years into the Afghanistan war and a few days after the disastrous burning of the Korans, US officials have mandated sensitivity training for US troops. Now with over thirty Afghans and two US servicemen dead, sensitivity training seems too little, too late.

One wonders, though, whether Afghani rage is motivated by the violations of their religious beliefs or, rather, by violations of their sovereignty and dignity. NATO air strikes have killed innocent children, Marines have urinated on the bodies of dead Afghans, night raids have terrorized citizens, and the American military continues to be accused of torturing detainees at secret locations (where detainees are denied basic human rights).