From the archives: are we “getting” Islam?

More forgotten content from the archive, based on a comment by Sean Faircloth: It's worth noting that I largely agree with Faircloth here, but the small bit where we disagree matters a lot and largely colors our respective attitudes towards Islam. There's a subtle shift in Faircloth's language throughout the piece, and I think this is rather emblematic of this difference. Faircloth says: If liberals can – with great vitriol – condemn the Christian Right (as they do constantly), then liberals ca … [Read more...]

Atheism, Islam, and Race (Ctd)

Timberwraith had a great comment on yesterday's piece about atheism, Islam, and race:The notion that dominant racial, ethnic, and cultural groups in predominantly Christian and/or European countries have been treating Muslims in ways that strongly resemble the social patterns of xenophobia, ethnocentrism, and racism isn't some wooly concept which Vlad pulled out of a magicians' hat. It's not just another heated topic du jour on blogs and Twitter feeds. The subgroups that a society treats as … [Read more...]

What atheists still don’t get about racism and Islam

There's a fantastic post at Vox discussing the racial fall-out of recent controversies surrounding Ferguson and the SAE chant. It touches on a point I think many of us often miss, particularly in the atheist community. Jenée Desmond-Harris writes: Many people believe racism has to be spelled out or said out loud to be taken seriously or punishedRacist songs about lynching are shameful, and it's disheartening that people alive in 2015 think they're fun and appear to be thrilled with their un … [Read more...]

How anti-theism can contribute to violence against muslims

I wrote early this year about comments Richard Dawkins made about Islamophobia and racism. I think they're relevant today: [W]hat's relevant [to racism] is whether something disproportionately and negatively affects racial minorities, rather than whether the target is a racial minority, per se. It seems pretty undeniable that the U.S. drug policy makes life unjustly harder for black Americans. That’s what matters, not whether “drug user” as such is a race. So the question becomes whether new ath … [Read more...]

Police not ruling out hate-based motivation in Chapel Hill shooting

There are some update on the story that broke this morning of Craig Stephen Hicks, the Chapel Hill man accused of shooting three muslim students in their home.The Charlotte Observer reports:Chapel Hill police said Wednesday morning that a dispute about parking in the neighborhood of rented condominiums near Meadowmont may have led Craig Stephen Hicks to shoot his neighbors, Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, and his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and Abu-Salha’s sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-S … [Read more...]

3 Muslim students killed by an anti-theist in Chapel Hill, NC

Three young Muslim students were killed in their homes yesterday. They were shot in the head.CNN reports: A 46-year-old man has been charged with murder in the shooting death of three Muslim students in an apartment near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus.Police haven't said what may have compelled the accused, Craig Stephen Hicks, to allegedly carry out the attack Tuesday evening. He turned himself in to police later in the night.But given the victims' religion … [Read more...]

Putting Islamic terrorism in perspective

In response to my calling out other atheist bloggers for fear-mongering about Islam---specifically for hand-wringing about a poll which shows that 2 in 10 Muslim-Americans say violence against civilians can sometimes be justified, without ever putting it in the proper context by noting 6 out of 10 Catholics and Protestants and 5 out of 10 "nones" believe the same---a reader writes: The concern is that it's overwhelmingly Muslims who will act on those thoughts. I haven't heard of any "nones" … [Read more...]

French Muslims have faced more violence since Charlie Hebdo than they did in all of 2014

Tracy McNicol at The Daily Beast reports:The National Observatory Against Islamophobia says there were 128 anti-Muslim incidents reported in France between the Charlie Hebdo killings and Jan. 20, compared to 133 last year. The Islamophobia monitoring group, linked to the French Council of the Muslim Faith, notes the figure only takes into account incidents reported to law enforcement. It leaves aside victims who haven’t bothered out of fear or resignation. It also leaves out numbers not yet a … [Read more...]

Interfaith literacy: A chat with Omar Sarwar on Islam & atheism, pt 1

Back in November, Omar Sarwar, who is a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, wrote a piece for Huffington Post that thoroughly debunked some of Bill Maher and Sam Harris' go-to talking points about Islam. After he showed up to engage our readers in discussion about his piece, we figured that Sarwar had a lot more to contribute to this conversation.We asked him a few questions about himself, about his academic work, and about his views on the relationship between Muslims and … [Read more...]

Vox: asking Muslims to condemn terrorism is Islamophobic

Max Fisher at Vox has had some spot on commentary about Islamophobia. Most recently, he wrote about the response to the Sydney hostage crisis, but his comments apply equally well in the aftermath of yesterday's tragic massacre at a Pakistani school. Fisher writes: There's a certain ritual that each and every one of the world's billion-plus Muslims, especially those living in Western countries, is expected to go through immediately following any incident of violence involving a Muslim … [Read more...]