Link-Round Up 5/7/2014

Jen McCreight has left FTB. While we’re all sad to see her go, we’re very happy to see her new blog. Check it out. Here she also explains why she left.

This Dan Fincke post is more than 2 years old, but I read it recently and loved it: How Faith Theoretically Makes People Less Likely To Be Trustworthy

Do you like Little Prince? Then read this New Yorker article. Also on New Yorker, John Cassidy analyzes John Kerry’s use of the word apartheid. I don’t completely agree, but I enjoyed reading the article. Also on New Yorker, a powerful article about the dark past of Nigeria.

Is the Quran incompatible with evolution? This is an article from a person who seems to be a Muslim. It’s interesting to read, although ultimately I don’t agree with the article.

Seven Things You Should Know About UKIP And Farage. One thing I know is I am afraid of them.

Speaking of Farage, our own Alex Gabriel demonstrates why UKIP is so incompatible with secular values. Also, why John Paul II was a reactionary pope.

Avicenna responds to a commentor and makes some important points.

Neil Carter asks if times of tragedy is wrong to criticize god. My own answer? No. The truth doesn’t go on holidays in respect to the victims of any tragedy, and neither should we. What is a tragedy to some, it’s also an opportunity to face important questions.

BBC reports on a series of mysterious videos and their French connection.

An Atheist in Kuwait: Interview with Ben Baz Aziz and ExZombie

I love Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s article on Donald Sterling a lot.

Why atheism makes believers so uncomfortable? This is one answer.

A very great article on Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the blog fojap. You mean, we have to READ and UNDERSTAND what someone says before flipping out? That’s too much effort!

RIP Assia Djebar (1936 – 2015), Great Author and Feminist
The House Arrest of Green Movement Leaders: Four Years On
Community: Religion’s Greatest Strength or Tool of Repression?
In the Wake of Chapel Hill Shooting, Let Us Not Resort to Atheist Tribalism
About Kaveh Mousavi

Kaveh Mousavi is the pseudonym of an atheist ex-Muslim living in Iran, subject to one of the world’s remaining theocracies. He is a student of English Literature, an aspiring novelist, and part-time English teacher. He is passionate about politics, video games, heavy metal music, and cinema. He was born at the tenth anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of Iran. He has ditched the Islamic part, but has kept some of the revolutionary spirit.

  • atheist

    From the “fojap” blog post:

    Reason: …Do you think Islam could bring about similar social and political changes?

    Hirsi Ali: Only if Islam is defeated. Because right now, the political side of Islam, the power-hungry expansionist side of Islam, has become superior to the Sufis and the Ismailis and the peace-seeking Muslims.

    Reason: Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam?

    Hirsi Ali: No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace.

    I can certainly understand where Hirsi Ali is coming from, as she was a target of actual Islamist terrorism in the murder of her friend Theo Van Gogh, and given her long fight to escape from religious oppression by her family. I don’t discount her personal experience, but her statements about Islam apply globally. Here is more of that “Reason” interview with her:

    Reason: We have to crush the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims under our boot? In concrete terms, what does that mean, “defeat Islam”?

    Hirsi Ali: I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they’re the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, “This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore.” There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.

    Reason: Militarily?

    Hirsi Ali: In all forms, and if you don’t do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed.

    When you include the rest of the interview, it’s pretty clear that she’s calling for a Western war on Islam. She says she wants to stop “infiltration of Islam in schools & universities”. She also includes using the military. One cannot stop “infiltration of Islam” in a culture without attacking civil rights. A military response to Islam would seem to include missiles, drones, troops, and black ops.

    So I am happy to take her words in her subjective context. I can appreciate the extreme experiences that shaped her worldview. But she’s speaking in a global context. Her statements have specific meanings that go beyond harsh criticism of Islam. She’s calling for the West to abandon respecting Muslim civil rights in order to stop their “infiltration”. She’s also calling for a military response to the existence of Islam, which cannot be tamed until it’s “defeated”. Please consider what an actual global war between The West and Islam would look like, and how it might proceed.

  • atheist

    Greta Christina’s piece is great, as usual. It does indeed point to the weakness of religion if dissent from it must be suppressed.

  • Infidel753

    On the UKIP, I should point out that they have now dropped their opposition to gay marriage and expelled this person — they are trying to get with the modern world on those kinds of issues.

    The UKIP is basically a single-issue party — removal of the undemocratic European Union’s dominance over the UK. Its stances on issues unrelated to that tend to be only superficially thought out and rather half-baked. It certainly is not fit to run the country. But it is of value as an instrument by which the people can force the mainstream parties to listen to them on an issue on which, so far, they have flat-out defied public opinion.

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