A Great Response to Pat Condell

Pat Condell has been releasing some less-than-stellar videos about his opposition to the (close to) Ground Zero Mosque (and community center). At least, I haven’t been a fan of them.

But until I saw this excellent video by The Amazing Atheist, I hadn’t seen a response to him that I liked quite so much…

Note to self: Always walk toward the camera when going on a rant. It is *so* much more effective than just standing there.

  • rbray18

    i liked the peaches video on this whole mosque
    bit myself,but then, I’ve never watched a amazing atheist video.

  • http://yetanotheratheist.net Yet Another Atheist

    He truly lives up to his YouTube moniker with this video. It was an excellent response to Pat Condell’s idiocy (which I’m still surprised that Pat, a fellow atheist, would give into emotional argument and lies and misinformation).

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    You have to like his passion.

  • Michelle

    Hey, I argued that it is better for them [Christians and Muslims] to fight each-other and give us a break. I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding between European politics and the politics of the U.S. We don’t take people messing with our first amendment well, to say the least. (Yes, I’m aware there are those that believe in it as long as it suits them, but that is not the standard and most of them can be brought about to understand what that would mean).

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Mmmmmmmmmmm nah. I’m not much of a fan of this “all unpopular ideas are equally acceptable” line. He’s equating decency to legality. There are good arguments to be made in favor of allowing the ‘mosque’ to be built; arguing that “it should be allowed” and “it should be built” are the same is not one of them.

    I do agree with him about Pat Condell, though. He started out great… but he’s become a bit tiresome lately.

  • JD

    Mike, I don’t think he’s saying that he’s equating decency to legality at all. Did you watch all of it? Please watch it again and note the points where he says despicable ideas should still be legal to believe.

    It should be legally allowed, or else our first amendment is in jeopardy. We get enough bozos telling each other what they can and can’t do with their land, their liberty, etc.

  • Kevin S.

    I have no idea who Pat Condell is or what he’s been saying, but that was fucking awesome.

  • Aj

    These videos are quite tiresome. I watched a few Pat Condell videos at the time I was first made aware of them, but haven’t watched any since. He was sensible enough, not interesting or entertaining though, now it seems he’s advocating the banning of Islam and Mosque building. I agree with The Amazing Atheist’s message but both videos annoyed me. They’re rhetoric heavy, repetitive, and delivered in a browbeating way.

    I really feel this “Ground Zero Mosque” thing is a non-issue cooked up by right wingers who are mainly religious, we secularists should be ignoring it. Those of us that do should say “we support freedom” and “we don’t like Islam”, and be done with it.

  • bigjohn756

    Ya know what this guy forgot: completely missed out on? He forgot to say ‘peace’ and give Condell’s sardonic peace sign at the end. Condell had it right in his diatribe. However, these Muslims still have a right to insult us as they wish. We have a Constitution– which they hate. Muslims cannot conceive of individuals having equal rights. As a matter of fact, neither can the Christians.

  • Lars

    Freak’n awesome.
    Do they have they have the right to build the mosque? Yes.

    Do I think it should be built? Does it matter?
    If it were a Christian shrine, built to honor the dead, I would have just as much, if not more, against it.
    Put that out there. What would you say if the 51 Park was set up as a Christian worship center to honor those that died? Would you be OK with that?

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Now that I look back at what I just wrote, I have no idea what the hell I was talking about.

    What I seem to have run into a lot in discussions about this subject are people who sound like they’re arguing that people who are offended shouldn’t be offended, since there’s no law saying they can’t be offended – as though the rational argument that it’s legally acceptable should be enough to deem offense irrational. I think, really, that’s what I don’t buy. It’s perfectly rational for some people to be offended. That’s just not a good enough reason to fight against someone’s rights.

  • Jonboy

    He says people judge all of Islam by the actions of Al Queda (I’ve never met anyone who does this) But what about Hamas, Hezbolla, Islamic Jihad, Al Aqusa Martyrs Brigade, Abu Sayyaf Group, Al-Badr, Al Ittihad Al Islamia, Al-Umar-Mujahideen, and Ansar al-Islam to name but a few? And what about the over 15,000 terrorists attacks since 9/11? I don’t think Al Queda was behind all of them. I think Pat Condell is right on the Money, He makes me proud to be an Atheist.

  • http://bligbi.com Karen

    Awesome. It’s good to see an atheist take Condell to task over his recent videos.

  • NewEnglandBob

    The walking towards the camera is distracting and serves no purpose. His delivery (as always) is sing-song, although better than he used to do when his voice would squeal at the start of every sentence. I give it a C+, mostly for the content.

  • Kevin S.

    “Muslims cannot conceive of individuals having equal rights. As a matter of fact, neither can the Christians.”

    Holy generalizations, Batman! You do realize that out of the combined 2 billion or so adherents of those two faiths, at least a handful can conceive of individuals having equal rights, right? You are aware that, for example, in this country roughly 75% of the populace identifies as Christian, yet roughly 50% of it supports full marriage rights for same-sex couples. That necessitates some degree of overlap.

    It’s never right to generalize so many people based on the vocalizations of a small minority that fills the airwaves. You don’t have to think their beliefs are logical to acknowledge that they might still be decent human beings with respect for their fellow man and woman.

  • http://yetanotheratheist.net Yet Another Atheist

    Condell is an idiot. He claims that the imam behind Park51 is a supporter of terrorism, etc., which are just unfounded claims made by right-wingers. He basically fell into their trap. He submitted to the supposed power of the lies and misinformation.

    The truth is, Imam Rauf has done more for anti-terrorism measures than any Christian has ever done, and has always been outspoken against terrorism. For those demanding that the moderate Muslims speak out against the radical ones, Rauf has done just that, time and time again, in the past.

    Condell’s video kind of pissed me off. In my eyes, when it comes to this issue, he’s no better than the neoconservatives who turned this non-issue into a controversy by spreading lies and rumors.

    I don’t support Islam any more than I support Christianity or Judaism. But what I do stand for, is the truth.

  • Rich Wilson

    Ya, I like some of Condell’s more than others. His latest one least of all.

  • Brian Macker

    YAA,

    “The truth is, Imam Rauf has done more for anti-terrorism measures than any Christian has ever done, and has always been outspoken against terrorism.”

    Well, sometimes in English he pretends to do that and sometimes not. Like when Castro or Chavez do their interviews and are all for human rights. In Arabic he’s pretty much for establishing Sharia in all western democracies. He’s two faced.

    Look up Imam Rauf Quotes on google, and educate yourself. Pay attention to the offensive ones in Arabic.

  • rbray18

    lets all not forget thunderfoot though,he’s sounding a pat twin lately,shame really,i use to really like thunderfoot but i had to unsub after his latest video

  • Hitch

    I don’t really watch either usually. But this was an excellent video.

  • Sverri

    This video should be added to all school curricula in the world.

  • http://onestdv.blogspot.com OneSTDV

    I 100% agree that they have a right to build it. But Americans have a rational reason to oppose it being built:

    http://onestdv.blogspot.com/2010/08/clarifications-on-ground-zero-mosque.html

  • http://secularshawshank.wordpress.com Andy

    I don’t think Condell is an idiot or a bad person. I just disagree with him on this.

    (TAA’s logic from 1:57 to 2:41 has to be tongue-in-cheek, right?)

  • Joshua Thomas

    This is one of the best commentaries on this issue I’ve ever seen.

  • steve

    About 4 years back when I first started my ascent into atheism I watched these you-tubers. I never really liked the amazing atheist, I thought he was too angry and offended over stupid things. This video made me rethink my opinion of him. Good; I love having views corrected.

  • Dan W

    That was a brilliant rant. I used to watch more of The Amazing Atheist’s videos, but I fell out of the habit of doing that because I didn’t have the time. Videos like this one remind me of why I liked The Amazing Atheist.

    Pat Condell is just wrong on this issue.

  • http://yetanotheratheist.net Yet Another Atheist

    I’ve looked into the Arabic quotes from Imam Rauf, and there is not a shred of evidence to suggest that Rauf has any ties to any form of terrorism. He doesn’t sound any different than a high-profile Christian minister would if he were in Rauf’s position.

    It’s nonsense. People are twisting words around, and I’m sick of it. No more lies, no more half-truths, no more conspiracy theories, no more supposed links to terror organizations (one of which is owned by the second-largest shareholder of Fox News’ parent company), no more misinformation.

  • ihedenius

    According to Hitchens Rauf is fully supportive of the clerical dictatorship in Iran. So then this video states “anyone who has looked into what Rauf has done what Rauf has written” yada yada, ‘Condell is lying’ I can’t agree with Rauf being portrayed as moderate or neccesarily that Condell is lying. Then again I haven’t watched Pat for a long time now.

    The video is right in that we must allow assholes their opinions because otherwise the only alternative is oppression and sometimes truths are very impopular. Galileo is so cliche but a good illustration to that.

  • Frink

    Bravo.

  • Edmond

    Loved this! He is absolutely right. Is this a good idea? Probably not, not any more than any extra churches ever are. But we MUST allow the bad ideas, or this isn’t America. It’s the only way to be sure to get all the GOOD ideas.

  • MaryD

    Rather than christianity and islam fighting it out between themselves, the experience in Europe is that they will form a coalition of ‘the faithful’.
    Islam will push, the PC politicians will move and your hated christians will use the door that has just been opened.
    I think Pat Condell’s main complaint is the way western politicians treat islam as just another religion rather than a political movement like communism. Both aim to reign supreme and would replace your precious constitution should they achieve that goal.

  • Claudia

    Very impressive. I used to be subbed to TJ back when his videos were often like this, profanity laced and outrageous but with actual ideas. Then he got rid of the ideas and I got tired of him and unsubbed. This sort of thing makes me reconsider my position.

    I think Pat Condell’s main complaint is the way western politicians treat islam as just another religion rather than a political movement like communism. Both aim to reign supreme and would replace your precious constitution should they achieve that goal.

    I would say that neither Pat nor anyone else I’ve seen talk about the subject has shown enough evidence that this is the case and especially have never defined what “Islam” is. Somehow the millions of secular Turks and moderate Indonesians and hundreds of thousands of Americans never figure as a part of “Islam” when it’s being discussed. I agree there is a problem with Islam, and I have no doubt that many Islamists would happily put me in one of those bin-liners they call clothing and deny me my rights. However I have yet to see evidence that the danger of this happening is so dire that we should make some sort of exception to our fundamental values to deny a whole class of citizens their rights.

  • SpanishAtheist

    I disagree with some of the statements of The Amazing Atheist. Of course there are perfectly identifiable good ideas and bad ideas; and of course the good ones are worth fought for. In fact, if you have a free country is, in part, because some people defended good ideas against some people who defended bad ideas, in a civil war. The ones defending the bad ideas didn’t have the right to do what they wanted, even if “this is America” as The Amazing Atheist says. Sometimes, good ideas and bad ideas are pretty clear (though I’m not saying this is the case). But what he said about every idea being allowed, that’s just not right. Building a monument to the terrorists shouldn’t be allowed, and that’s all. If you think it should be allowed, although it’s a bad idea, just because we have freedom of speech, you’re totally wrong. To build a monument to Hitler is a bad idea. Even if it’s just an idea and you don’t take real action against blacks or jews, it’s still a bad idea and it shouldn’t be allowed. In fact, in Germany is forbidden. So are there objective bad ideas, that shouldn’t be allowed? Of course.
    And about Imam Rauf, the only thing he could say to make me believe he’s a moderate is what Sam Harris wrote. Any other thing (even silence, or specially silence) is just supporting islamic terrorism. But the same goes for any christian that doesn’t criticize, for example, pedophile priests. Moderate is a hard position, you can’t please both sides.

  • Mike

    I loved the overall video and message.

    And while I did not personally care too much for the “let them fight each other” piece in the middle of it, I support his right to suggest it. 8=}

  • Iason Ouabache

    @MaryD: I think Pat Condell’s main complaint is the way western politicians treat islam as just another religion rather than a political movement like communism. Both aim to reign supreme and would replace your precious constitution should they achieve that goal.

    And how is that any different from conservative Christianity (especially Dominionism)?

  • http://thegodlessmonster.com/ The Godless Monster

    A juvenile, emotional and excessively vulgar ad hominem rant.
    I’ve heard all these “arguments” from others, but stated much more eloquently and convincingly.
    Not impressed in the least, especially as only half of his points were valid.

  • http://thegodlessmonster.com/ The Godless Monster

    @MaryD,
    Well put and well said. Nice to see someone knowledgeable contributing comments.

  • muggle

    I’m applauding. Well said. I am so putting this video on my wall. And just may subscribe to his channel to make up for dropping Pat’s.

    Both aim to reign supreme and would replace your precious constitution should they achieve that goal.

    So the way to fight that is to throw the constitution out before they even try to? Voluntarily give up rights instead of fighting anyone who tries to take them from us? Yeah, that’ll work. Riiiight.

    Sigh. Once again, I feel the need to point out that sharia law would be unconstitutional at its core. American Muslims are free to voluntarily follow it, just as there are American Jews who keep kosher for instance, but even if it were (doubtful but for the sake of argument) passed as law, it’d soon be struck down as unconstitutional by the courts.

  • DreamDevil

    I’ve been subbed to both Pat Condell and The Amazing Atheist for years now.

    Condell was great at first but has become kinda nutty lately. TAA on the other hand has constantly developed and rarely fails to be interesting/amusing.

  • http://thishollowearth.wordpress.com/ Victor

    I had no idea Pat was getting all nutty on us, but this issue has been pretty divisive. Good response from the Amazing Atheist. Calling all Muslims terrorists is like calling all Christians Dominionists or Reconstructionalists. They are all superstitious and we need to keep talking sense into them, but we do have to be realistic. Once we start believing crazy ideas and stereotypes we become like the worst case examples of religionists.

  • Matt

    @SpanishAtheist

    But what he said about every idea being allowed, that’s just not right. Building a monument to the terrorists shouldn’t be allowed, and that’s all. If you think it should be allowed, although it’s a bad idea, just because we have freedom of speech, you’re totally wrong. To build a monument to Hitler is a bad idea. Even if it’s just an idea and you don’t take real action against blacks or jews, it’s still a bad idea and it shouldn’t be allowed. In fact, in Germany is forbidden.

    I have to respectfully disagree as well as add that I’ve always considered Germany to be wrong with their policy. At the core, it is the principal of the matter. One group’s terrorist may be another group’s savior. Who gets to make the decision over what is objectively decent enough to be allowed by free speech? Once you start to place limits on things you find personally distasteful, you are dealing with a slippery slope.

  • Secular Stu

    @MikeTheInfidel

    It’s perfectly rational for some people to be offended.

    I don’t think it is rational for people to be offended. At the very least it’s arguable. If all Muslims should not be accountable for the actions of a few, then there is nothing offensive about it, they had nothing to do with it. The fact that some people will be irrationally offended doesn’t change that.

  • Secular Stu

    I was annoyed by the video’s claim that Osama received CIA training. I haven’t seen any solid evidence that OBL even received funding, much less personal training from the CIA. That sort of claim should be held to the same standard as any other.

  • Revid

    @Secular Stu, I would just like to back up what you said. Amazing Athiest repeats a common Conspiracy Theory claim that Osama was trained by the CIA. There is no evidence to support this and I think it really hurts his rant.

    Here is some info on the subject – http://www.911myths.com/index.php/Bin_Laden_CIA_links

  • http://secularshawshank.wordpress.com Andy

    @Secular Stu

    Your instinct is right. The claim that bin Laden “received CIA training” is an exaggeration. Here’s CNN’s Peter Bergen, a credible journalist on all things bin Laden:

    The story about bin Laden and the CIA — that the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden — is simply a folk myth. There’s no evidence of this. In fact, there are very few things that bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the U.S. government agree on. They all agree that they didn’t have a relationship in the 1980s. And they wouldn’t have needed to. Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently. The real story here is the CIA did not understand who Osama was until 1996, when they set up a unit to really start tracking him

    Indeed, funding the Afgan Mujahadeen against the Soviets in the 80s is not the same as bin Laden receiving CIA training.

  • http://secularshawshank.wordpress.com Andy

    You beat me to it, Revid! Nice going.

  • g

    This video is just another example of the kind of typical brainwashed patriotic PC response I’d expect from an American: “How dare anyone question the greatest country on Earth! How dare anyone suggest that maybe, just maybe, we go a little overboard with our idea of tolerance and should perhaps re-evaluate it! America is never wrong! Rah rah rah! American fuck yeah!”

  • http://www.correntewire.com chicago dyke

    i’m quite disinterested in the matter and couldn’t finish the video. sounds like he was saying mostly rational things. but as far as manufactured un-controversies go, i’m Over this one and have been for a while now.

  • http://thescythe.org Scythe

    Ah! TheAmazingAtheist seems to be a man after my own heart. He needs a better camera operator, though. The poor focus and nearly constant lens flare were very distracting.

  • Claudia

    “How dare anyone question the greatest country on Earth! How dare anyone suggest that maybe, just maybe, we go a little overboard with our idea of tolerance and should perhaps re-evaluate it! America is never wrong! Rah rah rah! American fuck yeah!”

    Sorry but what? The American exceptionalism types are actually on the other side of this issue. I can guarantee you that if you find a guy with an American flag shirt he’s a lot more likely to think the mosque should be banned.

    No, this is the idea that one of the ideas this country was founded on was freedom of speech, and you don’t throw that away because some given form of speech offends you. In fact, it’s offensive speech that needs defending. The idea is to appeal to people’s patriotism in the form of their belief in the value of freedom of speech. He’s not directing himself at other countries but rather other Americans.

    I do think it’s legitimate (if mistaken) to think the mosque is offensive or a bad idea IF you absolutely recognize the right to build it. I recongize the right of the Westoboro Baptist Idiots to protest in their usual vile manner, but I can and do say that it’s offensive. In this case, since people who oppose it are also made up of people willing to throw the Constitution in the toilet for this “special case”, people who think it’s offensive but don’t support it being banned need to make that particularly clear.

  • Secular Stu

    @Claudia

    No, this is the idea that one of the ideas this country was founded on was freedom of speech, and you don’t throw that away because some given form of speech offends you. In fact, it’s offensive speech that needs defending. The idea is to appeal to people’s patriotism in the form of their belief in the value of freedom of speech. He’s not directing himself at other countries but rather other Americans.

    I don’t mean to speak for g, but you can find plenty of Europeans who think our free speech protections go to far (you can see this with European blasphemy and hate speech laws). G can correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s where I think g’s coming from, that America’s idea of free speech is wrong and a defense of that ideal is “Rah rah rah!”

  • Chas

    “He says people judge all of Islam by the actions of Al Queda (I’ve never met anyone who does this) But what about Hamas, Hezbolla, Islamic Jihad, Al Aqusa Martyrs Brigade, Abu Sayyaf Group, Al-Badr, Al Ittihad Al Islamia, Al-Umar-Mujahideen, and Ansar al-Islam to name but a few?”

    How many of those acts are really about religion? Hamas is about a homeland for the Palestinians, Al Qaida wants us to stop supporting Israel and get our troops out of the Middle East, religious wars are rarely about religion, they are just drawn along religious lines, or use religion to brainwash the public.

  • matt

    I never understood Condell’s popularity. He’s just another angry old man bitching about whatever pissed him off most recently.

    If I wanted that, I’d talk to my grandparents.

  • Ben

    I’m really concerned about Islam and it’s constant attempt to seek hate crime legislation when one criticizes it…it happened in Canada. In the US when political correctness frowns upon it I feel even more silenced. It is in these occasions, laws and political correctness, when laws do get passed.
    I also dislike the notion of “cultural relativism.” In that all cultural practices are equal. No, they are not. Middle Eastern Islamic is not as good as Western Culture. And you only have to look at the barbarous practices of the region and brutal punishment given to it’s citizens. So when decency gets trumped, as in the mosque uprear, by political correctness, I get irritated. Is one to tell me that those people who were building the Cordoba Community Center didn’t know that building at the present site may be seen as provocative? Seems to me building it in another spot may have been more prudent.
    I’m aware that they can build their mosque anywhere they want, but am I to be told they are stunned by the reaction? Islam is held in suspicion because people don’t trust it anymore and for very good reason.
    So unless I hear more about “moderate” Islam and renunciation of violence and honor killings and female circumcision, I’m going to hold this religion in particular disdain whether it’s here in America or any damn where else in the world.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    I don’t think it is rational for people to be offended. At the very least it’s arguable. If all Muslims should not be accountable for the actions of a few, then there is nothing offensive about it, they had nothing to do with it. The fact that some people will be irrationally offended doesn’t change that.

    I originally blockquoted this intending to respond with a bit of sardonic dismissal, but the more I parse it out in my head, the more I find myself having trouble rebutting it.

    I suppose the best I can come up with is that someone might be rationally offended at the idea that, knowing that people are irrationally offended by the idea of the ‘mosque’ being built there, the Park 51 promoters dismiss the offense and try to compare America’s wartime activities to terrorism.

    But then again, I’m not so sure how accurate my sources are. I’ve largely heard about this controversy through atheist blogs and the far-right Christian station I listen to at work (to keep tabs on the nuts), and I haven’t put a lot of effort into finding out which sources to trust (for information about what Imam Rauf says, for example).

    There are a lot of layers to dig through in this issue, and I’m still just breaking the ground.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    So unless I hear more about “moderate” Islam and renunciation of violence and honor killings and female circumcision, I’m going to hold this religion in particular disdain whether it’s here in America or any damn where else in the world.

    And again, taking a moment to parse things out saves me from sounding like an ass.

    I was going to say that attacking Muslim moderates for being too quiet about the extremists is like attacking moderate Christians for being too quiet about the Phelpses. But the Phelpses aren’t even comparable to Muslim extremists. At the very least, they’re not out murdering people.

  • Secular Stu

    But then again, I’m not so sure how accurate my sources are. I’ve largely heard about this controversy through atheist blogs and the far-right Christian station I listen to at work (to keep tabs on the nuts), and I haven’t put a lot of effort into finding out which sources to trust (for information about what Imam Rauf says, for example).

    Now the part about Imam Rauf, if rumors are true (and I don’t think they are), now that is something people I could see people being rationally offended by. But at this point it’s a little late. All the hubbub started with this one simple thing: a mosque was being proposed near Ground Zero. Then Palin called for Muslims to “refudiate” it, Gingrich compared it to the Japanese building something near Pearl Harbor. It was never about the Imam, at least in the beginning.

    Even if the Imam turns out to be a dick (and I’m not nearly convinced that’s the case), even if he is a dick, these people don’t get to claim they aren’t prejudiced because in this particular case the prejudice turned out to be right. They were still pre-judging.

  • http://happyatheists.com Greg Gant

    I like this guy…. a lot.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    I do love a good rant.

  • JJ

    “But what about Hamas, Hezbolla, Islamic Jihad, Al Aqusa Martyrs Brigade, Abu Sayyaf Group, Al-Badr, Al Ittihad Al Islamia, Al-Umar-Mujahideen, and Ansar al-Islam to name but a few?”

    There are roughly 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. The combined membership of all those organizations might top 100,000. Even if you found over a million terrorists (good luck with that) that would still be less than 1% of the Muslim population. To codemn 99% of a population for the actions of 1% is asinine to say the least regardless of the stupidity of their religion.

    “And what about the over 15,000 terrorists attacks since 9/11?”

    15,000? That seems like extreme BS to me. There were the bombings in Madrid and England and a couple other incidents but unless you are counting every IED in Iraq as a terrorist attack this number is a complete fabrication.

    “…treat islam as just another religion rather than a political movement like communism. Both aim to reign supreme and would replace your precious constitution should they achieve that goal.”

    I think most atheists would support opposition to Islam as an ideology, but if you are going to fight it you have to fight it the right way and for the right reasons. Instead we get silly, whiny, indignant theatrics like we are seeing with this whole mosque thing. In a democracy that values freedom, censorship and subjugation are not the proper tools to combat bad ideas.

  • Aj

    Chas,

    How many of those acts are really about religion? Hamas is about a homeland for the Palestinians, Al Qaida wants us to stop supporting Israel and get our troops out of the Middle East, religious wars are rarely about religion, they are just drawn along religious lines, or use religion to brainwash the public.

    They’re not organisations with religious members, they’re religious organisations that concern themselves with theology. Their goals are usually expressed in religious terms, and their philosophy only really makes sense when you consider the religious nature of the organisations. Hamas isn’t purely a nationalist organisation, it wants to create an Islamic state of Palestine, they have regularly fought secular and socialist Palestinians. Al Qaeda and Hamas grew up out of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, the group that spread Islamism (political Islam). Like many people who are very religious, most of the things they say and do are about religion, they construct their “reality” around it.

    Only people with a political ideology that completely biases their view ignore the religious nature of these groups and conflicts. The “holy” lands have been fought over for centuries, and those ideas are involved in forming and continuation of conflicts in Palestine, it’s not like it’s strategically or materially valuable. People claim anything religion influences that is negative has some other “real” cause, and that any mention of religion is a “use” or “misuse” of it. When missionaries help people and preach to them they’re motivated by religion, but if they’re armoured and using weapons it must be about something else. The truth is there are many factors that contribute to human events, religion often plays a role.

  • SpanishAtheist

    @Matt

    I have to respectfully disagree as well as add that I’ve always considered Germany to be wrong with their policy. At the core, it is the principal of the matter. One group’s terrorist may be another group’s savior. Who gets to make the decision over what is objectively decent enough to be allowed by free speech? Once you start to place limits on things you find personally distasteful, you are dealing with a slippery slope.

    I think that certain ideas can be totally and objectively discerned as good and bad, not from a personal like/dislike, but from a universal human moral (which actually exists, over countries, religions and cultures). Of course slavery (as an example) was good for some (enslavers) and bad for others (slaves). However, aren’t we capable, nowadays, of saying without any doubt that slavery is a very bad idea and that we must get rid of it in the whole world? (not by means of war, etc). The same goes for the racist and genocidal ideas of nazism, and so on. The slippery slope is what you said about terrorism: it seems you were (although I know you weren’t) endorsing terrorism, just because it can be seen as good by some people, so who are we to say it’s bad? That’s dangerously wrong. Hamas maybe a terrorist group for Israel and a savior for Palestinian people (the same that the Israeli army is seen as an oppressing group by Palestinians and as a defense by Israelis). But we shouldn’t say, “we don’t know which one is better because both are seen as savior and terrorist at the same time for different people, so we’ll allow both”. The right thing to say is: murder is objectively wrong, so both are wrong.
    The thing is many people confuses ideas with the people that believe those ideas. Not all ideas are respectable: they can be criticized, challenged and there are some very bad ideas (universally speaking) that we must get rid of (as we have in some cultures) to continue evolving socially. However, people are respectable (every single person, that’s another universally objective good idea). So I should not harm others just because I think their ideas are bad. But if their ideas are objectively wrong (from a universal human moral point of view, not from a personal dislike) modern society has learned to get rid of those ideas, always respecting the people that believe them.

  • Brian Macker

    “How many of those acts are really about religion?”

    All of them.

  • Brian Macker

    MikeTheInfidel,

    There is nothing irrational about being offended by the Mosque being built so close to ground zero. How can you make such an ignorant and irrational statement? Also holding a protest against it in no way violates their rights. It’s called free speech.

    There are quite rational limits to both free speech and religion, at least there should be, and when your speech or religion incites violence against others, or defames them then it can and should be restricted.

    There are certain forms of speech that are quite clearly defamation. When one speaks a universal against another group claiming that “all x are greedy” then it is quite clear that the speaker cannot know that unless he has direct knowledge of every single member.

    Putting others in danger is a form of harm. You can’t unsafely store dynamite next to your neighbors house even if it is on your property.

    Defamation is telling a falsehood against another that causes that other person to suffer harm.

    History has established that saying the false statement “All Jews are greedy” puts Jews in danger.

    If you lie about an individual in a way that causes him harm that is illegal, and considered a defamation. [Note this applies to corporations which are technically groups but legally "persons" under the law and therefore individuals. You can't defame a corporation either.]

    Now there is an aspect of defamation law that is irrational. It doesn’t apply to groups. Even though that a claim about a group is identical to a multitude of statements against each individual in the group the law doesn’t treat it that way. Therefore you are allowed to defame groups all you want.

    I think the reason this is allowed is to protect religion. Religion is all about the defamation of other groups.

    I think it is rational to have the law apply to group defamation as well.

    I think it is fairly easy to establish that Nazi lies about the Jews lead to harm. Therefore it is quite justifiable to outlaw such speech.

    Note this doesn’t mean we have to ban the publication of Mein Kampf. It’s perfectly reasonable for these kinds of books to be treated as works of fiction.

    It is when someone actively promotes such a book as fact and advocates action based on it that it becomes both a statement of falsehood, and a harm.

    Yes, it would likely put a crimp in the activities of the Westboro Baptist Church, if the were to start harming people.

    Yes, it would put a crimp in the activities of those who claim that gays deserve to be lynched because of the teachings of the bible.

    No it would not violate their free speech rights because that doesn’t include the right to defame others.

    I don’t have a problem with that, do you?

    In fact defamation is a violation of others rights to freedom of association at the very minimum because it intentionally interferes in their free association with others via a falsehood, and is therefore a fraud. The butcher who is lied about has his right to associate with customers violated when someone falsely claims his scales are fixed. His customers rights to associate with the butcher are also violated by the fraud.

    Defamation is therefore justifiably prohibited.

    Incitement to violence is also another form of speech that we quite rationally do not consider free speech. I leave it to the reader to figure out why.

    I do not think religion should be a shield protecting either activity, incitement to violence, nor defamation. Just because you have a religion doesn’t mean you get to violate other peoples rights.

  • Brian Macker

    Chas,
    “Hamas is about a homeland for the Palestinians, Al Qaida wants us to stop supporting Israel and get our troops out of the Middle East, religious wars are rarely about religion, they are just drawn along religious lines, or use religion to brainwash the public.”

    That’s the leftist spin but that is not true. Hamas is about exterminating the Jews from their homeland, and they have publicly stated that over and over. How can you be so ignorant?

    How can you with a straight face say that “religious wars” are not about religion, especially when they are motivated by religion.

    Suppose I declared a new religion, and that our new god has claimed Mecca as one of the holiest places in my religion and commanded with an infallible voice that he doesn’t want any greedy Muslims on such holy land. Suppose I am doing it motivated purely by my own greed for money (the oil) but do not state so. Suppose a bunch of people take the religious seriously and expel Muslims from Mecca. How could you possibly claim that wasn’t religiously motivated?

    I suggest you stop listening to guys like Noam Chomsky. He fabricates most of what he has to say, and has just found another set of violent terrorists or dictators he can get behind.

    Read this entire article: Chomsky lies: denial of the Khmer Rouge holocaust in Cambodia.

    Examine it throughly and learn all his tricks. The same tricks are being used in the case of Israel.

    I suggest you read some literature from the other side and then try an verify the actual history instead of taking only one sides view of things.

    Here’s a good starting point for your enlightenment: “BIG LIES: Demolishing The Myths of the Propaganda War Against Israel”

    Here’s an excerpt:

    “Zionist pioneers from the middle of the 19th century onward joined the local Jewish communities in rebuilding a Jewish homeland in what was then the Turkish Empire by purchasing land from the Turkish Crown and from Arab landowners (effendi). There was no invasion, no conquest, and no theft of Arab land – and certainly not of a land of Palestine, since the Arabs living in the region had been Turkish subjects for 400 years. Unarmed and possessing no military, the Jews bought so much land from Arabs that in 1892, a group of effendi sent a letter to the Turkish Sultan, requesting that he make it illegal for his subjects to sell land to the Jews. Their successors did the same thing, via a telegram, in 1915. Evidently, the very presence of Jews owning land in the Middle East – however legally acquired – was offensive to some.”

    I’ve written more about this here on Friendly Atheist.

    You are so far off base that it is ridiculous.

  • Brian Macker

    We did not give Osama bin Laden CIA training. That is a lie. It is based on confusing one set of groups fighting against the Soviets and another. Osama wasn’t a member of the groups receiving funding.

    Even if he was that does not mean “we” are responsible for 9/11. You have to be a stupid twit to think that. Besides the Imam’s statements were far more offensive than that and much less precise. He did in fact blame us for 9/11.

  • Brian Macker

    I agree with many of the “Amazing Atheists” points in this video, however he gets many facts wrong. His whole theme that this is an attempt to violate Muslim rights is bogus. I have the right to protest in front of every Mosque in the country, and even the ones in Mecca.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Brian:

    There is nothing irrational about being offended by the Mosque being built so close to ground zero. How can you make such an ignorant and irrational statement?

    Rather than just say this, why not build a case for rational offense? You didn’t really respond to me, you just asserted that I was wrong.

    I personally know people who spent weeks pulling body parts out of the ruins of the twin towers who also support the right of the Muslims to build their community center. I know people who lost loved ones on 9/11 who do to. As far as I can tell, the only reason for offense is a false conflation of Imam Rauf and his group with the people who committed the terrorist attacks. It’s a false comparison. It’s like getting offended that a Christian church gets built a few blocks from where a bombed abortion clinic used to be.

    And I don’t think I’ve once said that people don’t have a right to protest.

  • Eddiebaseball

    If this qualifies as a “great response” then I would hate to see the other videos. Pat Condell isn’t wrong. Stop the PC garbage.

  • Salmon of Doubt

    Since when did the American civil war begin (or end) in 1910? Considering the subjective and opinionated nature of this hapless and embarrassing rant, you’d think this guy would have made a minimal effort to correctly date the only fact contained within that piss-poor excuse for philosophic insight.

  • Justify

    That video was stupid, and frankly I’m disappointed in you people you swallowing it. Whenever the Amazing Atheist proclaimed “Condell thinks that…” it was immediately followed by something Condell never actually said. He was literally just making up sentiments to attack, and pinning them on Condell. Sheer strawman. Condell’s whole point was that this issue was NEVER about rights, that’s just a red herring. Think about it for a moment. If someone says something blatantly stupid or evil on television, and the public demands they be fired, we aren’t claiming it should be ILLEGAL for them to work, merely that the people responsible should do the right thing. It’s a moral issue, not a legal one. Putting a mosque (which is exactly what it is) as close as possible to Ground Zero is just needlessly provocative. Osama bin Laden said that the purpose of the attack was to call America to Islam (read his letter (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/nov/24/theobserver); he quotes the Quran numerous times. Like it or not, 9/11 was very much a product of Islam. Saying otherwise is EXACTLY like the Christians who claim the Crusades or the Inquisition had nothing to do with their religion. It’s nonsense! Those of you who think this is all a “non-issue” that’s been “cooked-up by right-wingers” have absolutely no comprehension of history or current world events. Look up what’s happening in Europe right now with Islam. This stuff is headed our way, and we’d better be ready.

  • Brian Macker

    “You didn’t really respond to me, you just asserted that I was wrong.”

    You didn’t support your statement. You just made an unsupported assertion. I do see reading further down that you rejected your own comment and also didn’t support that either. You should write a comment complaining about yourself.

    I gave you a long comment on why Islam is a problem, because of defamation and incitement to violence.

    Islam at it’s core is a violent religion. It’s texts, and even the supposedly peaceful parts, are fundamentally violent, and the founder of the religion was a criminal and some kind of sociopath.

    The acts of 9/11 are fully compatible with Islam, was justified based on Islam, was motivated by Islam.

    Imam Rauf is a two faced liar who makes different claims to different audiences and is seeking funds in terrorist states like Iran.

    How can you be so ignorant of all these facts. Of course, people will take offense at a religion that incites violence and defames non-believers.

    Some of these people may be hypocrites but they are not being irrational about Islam. Islam is a very big threat to non-Muslims in every part of the globe.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Imam Rauf is a two faced liar who makes different claims to different audiences and is seeking funds in terrorist states like Iran.

    This is, fundamentally, the only thing you’ve said about this particular controversy. You don’t get to say that it’s rational to be offended by the actions of a specific group of Muslims because some other Muslims take their religion too literally and do terrible things as a result. These are distinct groups of people who respond differently to their beliefs.

    I’d like to know your sources for that information, by the way. So far the only people I’ve seen claiming that he’s two-faced are the far-right Christian station I mentioned listening to, who quite obviously intentionally twisted his words and took them out of context (e.g., saying that “we knew there would be controversy” means “we wanted to do this to be defiant and stir up trouble”).

    As for the funding from Iran… I can believe it. I don’t have a problem with that claim, and it does bother me a bit, considering Iran’s poor track record on human rights, democracy, etc. Are we talking about the Iranian government, or private citizens/groups within Iran? It’s an important distinction to draw.

  • http://jetson.wordpress.com Jetson

    I like Pat’s videos and his messages. I don’t have to agree with everything he say’s in order to like him in general. I think his message got lost in his personal distaste for Islam, which is fine with me, because I can also agree with AA on many points.

  • Brian Macker

    MikeTheInfidel,

    He is not a member of a distinct group. He supports Hamas a terrorist organization. He wrote a book, “What’s Right with Islam” funded by IIIT and ISNA which are both Muslim Brotherhood fronts, and credited in the book.

    Why don’t you get up off your lazy ignorant ass and find out this stuff for yourself. People aren’t upset for no good reason here.

    People like you belittle claims that this is two blocks away and yet the fucking bastard Rauf wrote a book in Arabic titled, “A Call to Prayer from the World Trade Center Rubble: Islamic Dawa in the Heart of post 9/11 America.” He seems to think there is significance in the site in converting non-believers. Yep, mass murdering us is an opportunity for conversion.

    That just scratches the surface you ignorant ass.

    Here you are bitching about how ignorant the opponents of this are and you admit to not knowing anything. Go google him you and stop being lazy about it. I told you how. Do I have to provide a link too.

    Let me clue you in on something. You need to start thinking critically in both directions and not just in the anti-American direction.

    If you read a Wiki article on Feisal Abdul Rauf it will say things like, “He has condemned the 9/11 attacks as un-Islamic and called on the U.S. government to reduce the threat of terrorism by altering its Middle Eastern foreign policy.[5][6]”

    If you follow the footnotes [5] and [6] you will find that they DO NOT SUPPORT THE SENTENCE. I provided the direct links. At the time of my writing this footnote 5 points to an article by Frank Walker in the Herald Sun titled “West must act to end jihad: Imam”. What is Rauf’s suggestion? That we blame ourselves. He says nothing about it being un-Islamic. This sentence sums his point of view up nicely:

    “Speaking from his New York mosque, Imam Feisal said the West had to understand the terrorists’ point of view.”

    There are a lot more damning quotes in that article.

    That doesn’t sound like evidence supporting the claim that he’s condemned 9/11. In fact it’s the opposite. Thus he is two faced.

    The other article didn’t support the claim very strongly either. Here’s from that other article:

    The guy was put on the spot and basically asked if Islam supported such acts, which it clearly does. He just straight out lies about that by saying “Fanaticism and terrorism have no place in Islam.” All the while thinking that the terrorists have legitimate reasons for mass murdering innocents, as proven by his other statements.

    His only goal in that was to hide the truth from non-Muslims. In fact, fanaticism and terrorism have a very very long history in Islam, and were practiced by the very founder of Islam.

    His statements were a white wash not a condemnation. He was protecting Islam, and never condemned the 9/11 terrorists in either article. He only defended them.

    Saying things like “God says in the Koran that they think that they are doing right, but they are doing wrong.” doesn’t count for squat when you are lying. Exactly where does it say that? Nowhere. It does say the opposite that terror should be used to spread Islam, in multiple places, both by description and literally.

    In the same interview of that second article he turns around an blames it on the US yet again.

    Had he, like Christians do, admitted that there were bad passages in the Koran that with honest reading actually foment this kind of violence, but that the living religion of Islam denies these because of X, Y, and Z, then he would be speaking honestly. What he is doing is lying.

    There are plenty of Christians who recognize the horrors of the Inquisition, the Crusades, witch burning etc. and the part that Christians, Christian institutions, and Christian theology had to do with it.

    Muslims are so oblivious to the harm they’ve cause that they name their organizations “Cordoba House” totally That’s like Catholics starting a foundation to gain the trust of Jews and Atheists called “Inquisition House”.

    As to him being two faced here he is in Arabic:

    ‘I Do Not Believe in Religious Dialogue.’- Imam Rauf in Arabic on March 24, 2010 for the website Rights4All.

    So he lied about the content of the religion, he contradicts himself by blaming 9/11 on the US and claiming that it is the US that needs to reform (not terrorists). He’s funded by terrorist organizations. Plus the guy writes stuff in Arabic that contradicts what he says in English.

    Another example of his contradictory Arabic statements is that he has advocated establishing Sharia law in all the western democracies in order to govern them.

    Meanwhile the Imam also published that statement on another web site that advocates a fatwa against Muslims selling land to Christians who intend to build a church on it. How ironic.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Hey, Brian, here’s an idea:

    When someone asks to know what your sources are, don’t call them an ignorant, lazy ass. I actually was interested in what you’ve been reading, because I am genuinely interested in understand why people are upset.

    You’ll find that not once did I stoop to attacking you, even when I disagreed with you. Perhaps rather than stand aghast at how little I know, you could send me links to some of the things you’ve been reading. That would be helpful, rather than just snidely condescending.

    People like you belittle claims that this is two blocks away and yet the fucking bastard Rauf wrote a book in Arabic titled, “A Call to Prayer from the World Trade Center Rubble: Islamic Dawa in the Heart of post 9/11 America.” He seems to think there is significance in the site in converting non-believers. Yep, mass murdering us is an opportunity for conversion.

    That just scratches the surface you ignorant ass.

    Again: what are your sources? I just spent a good 20 minutes on Google and I just see a bunch of blogs linking to each other. I see no actual evidence of this – just people re-reporting each other’s claims as facts.

    Here you are bitching about how ignorant the opponents of this are

    This never happened. Based on my lack of information, I wasn’t able to figure out a rational reason for being offended. At no point did I ever complain about opponents of Park 51 being ignorant.

    Go google him you and stop being lazy about it. I told you how. Do I have to provide a link too.

    Yeah, actually, that would be helpful, seeing how I asked you what your sources were. When you start stating things as facts but don’t let me know where your information comes from, that weakens your position.

    Let me clue you in on something. You need to start thinking critically in both directions and not just in the anti-American direction.

    What the hell are you reading? When did reserving judgment based on lack of information become equated with leaning in an anti-American direction?

  • «bønez_brigade»

    Late to the game…
    That video was fucking awesome.

  • Phrank22

    What a load of male bovine ordure.    Your comments about arseholes proves just what a complete rectum you have proven yourself to be by one of yourself them so forcefully. and with such fervour.   Perhaps you might consider just how you abuse the language of English however, since you do not speak it, I doubt whether you will be able to understand this.

  • Guest

    That was too funny. Another blimp-scale M.Moore wannabe product of hamburger ‘n shake making a big ugly populist spit-in-the-lens ‘virtuous’ pc rant. Which would be quite entertaining if he hadn’t totally lost his mind. It is three years on, judging by the date of the first comment here so sadly I have to imagine that he still holds with what he was screaming about, otherwise I guess he might have stricken the vid. It seems ludicrous to have to lower the tone to such an obvious conclusion given all the hardcore intellectualism evident in the comments here (apparently to justify ones opposition to the bloody spread of a slavering brutally ignorant crapology one has to prove oneself a Chomsky) but it had to fall to someone to point out to our hysterical friend (whose demeanour would not look so out of place at a flag-burning) that 50% of his egomaniacal rant regarding his hatred of Islam as well as christianity would be sufficient to see him lynched by his own entrails at any Islam street mob riot-wannabe-infidel-blood-fest, whatever his ‘noble’ pc first amendment defence of their right to enforce and advertise the growing world domination of the slobbering mediaeval superstition in the very place they should die of shame to even look.

    A quick PS to all those in defence of this rant —- again, really too cheap and obvious to say, but I feel pushed —– as a cowering ‘dhimmie’ (look it up, dummy.. ;) try having any voice, at all, in the ‘society’ you help usher in with your thoughts and remarks —– when as one more kaffir your vocal chords are, (um, quite literally) severed..

    PPS
    T h i n k about it.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X