It’s getting so popular now for moderate (?) Muslims to say “not like us,” or “they aren’t good Muslims.” Just what is a good Muslim? Hell, what is a good Christian? What is a good atheist? I am not even sure “what is a good tractor mechanic?” Huh, really? A good tractor mechanic is one who can do their job–fix the tractor, do it when promised, and charge a fair price.
Why is it so hard to evaluate religious mechanics?
What are the means of evaluating a religion, a religious person? It seems obvious what we do with a tractor mechanic. Why is it so hard to evaluate the religious?
The have no standards of excellence. They have no spec sheet that is clear, concise, and able to be revised. There are no standards of a good religion by which to compare and evaluate.
It’s all in the mind and can have no evaluation because there’s nothing there to evaluate but one’s own perception, regardless of how reckless or wild? No, in spite of god or a revelation if such beliefs made us better we would adopt such phantasms. Or at least make recommendations allowing for variance due to personal freedom, so long as harm to others is absent.
1. No, Islam is not above criticism — it never was and never will be — and neither are Islamophobia deniers
Really? Islam is like all other religions that insist they are true regardless? Only if one denies the religion can it be criticized. That there is a Vatican that attenuates the pope doesn’t mean the canon-bible can be criticized. Just because some parts of a sacred text allows doubting doesn’t deny that other parts don’t. Let’s just evaluate the texts openly by all and see the free for all. Hell, whether the prophet comes from one brother or another incites insane violence.
Since Islam does allow local courts and rules it does by tolerance allow blasphemy laws and all the rest. If you want some sort of local rights should they be able to disavow the most important and basic tenants of the big religion. What you’re saying here is Islam is so renegade it can’t modify local deviance even at its most immoral.
2. The ones denying Islamophobia are often the ones creating it most.
Prove that fear of Islam is unnecessary. Show us how people who follow Islam are better able to live in peace. Show us that it is at least a bit more successful than not having a religion in making people better. Let’s just study it and do the math. If it is shown to be the best at morality then maybe I’ll join or at least praise. Until then it’s just another renegade religion running havoc over the world.
3. We get it. Some Muslims over use the Islamophobia label.
I don’t so much care if an oppressed people make random remarks against their oppressor. I do care when bullies say they are oppressed. Civility is appropriate while addressing greater concerns. Mocking may be necessary but again in the right arena. I write a mean word but I insist on politeness in public.
4. There’s a right way and wrong way to point out something isn’t Islamophobia.
The wrong way is to deny its existence? I definitely think there is Islamophobia. Usually by wing nut right wingers who haven’t a clue what Islam or the Koran are but just hate others. By studying a religion, its tenants, practices, and results one can evaluate a religion, any religion. At that pojnt recommendations may be made. One can say smoking is bad for you because the Book of Mormon says so or one can do studies that show smoking causes cancer. The first is nonsense and the second is legitimate. Why? Smoking was being castigated by Mormons before they even knew whether it had health benefits of not–it was a call to Protestant deprivation and had nothing to do with health.
I know we’re all just people. But isn’t the point that religion is a tool to make us better people, which can be evaluated.
5. Islamophobia deniers are just as skewed as those who overuse the term.
Yep we’re all biased. So lets get a crew of our best minds out there evaluating religions and their effects on society. Whatever they decide we’ll take as best practice. Are you willing to change your mind? Or is the only real possibility isolation, separatism, and competition on the wrong level?
Jim Newman, bright and well www.frontiersofreason.com