12 July 2018

Islam, Muslims, and discrimination

It's occurred to me that, because I've always strongly opposed Islam, some readers may have been a bit surprised by my hostility toward Trump's discriminatory policies and rhetoric towards Muslims.  Nobody's actually challenged me on this, but still, I think it's worth clarifying.

My stance toward Islam is exactly the same as my stance toward Christianity.  And my view of Muslims is exactly the same as my view of Christians.

Just as Christianity is a kind of mental parasite or infection that inflicts itself on human minds, the role of Islam in the Middle East is the same.  Europe and the Middle East are not separate and rival civilizations, but rather parts of the same civilizational region (rooted in the Classical Greco-Roman-Persian world), which has been artificially divided by the two religions -- "the Bloody Twins" -- into, effectively, two occupation zones.  Muslims suffering persecution in the Christian zone are as worthy of sympathy as Christians suffering persecution in the Islamic zone, and the dominant religions driving the persecutions in both cases are equally despicable.  (Yes, I know Trump isn't particularly Christian and has pushed anti-Muslim measures to pander to his base -- but if it weren't for the bigoted fundie subculture in the US, there would be nothing to pander to.)  And always remember that there are people everywhere whose natural human empathy drives them to resist religious fanaticism.

Americans easily differentiate Christianity from American people and culture because we're in America and easily see the complexity of the interactions and conflicts among those things.  The Middle East, distant and unfamiliar, looks like more of a homogenous mass defined entirely by Islam.  It isn't.

Christianity is evil.  Islam is evil.  Most Muslims are not evil, just as most Christians are not evil -- in both cases, they are really victims of indoctrination.  The goal must be to roll back the indoctrination.  Demonizing entire populations is playing the twin oppressors' game.


Blogger Ten Bears said...

Two of the three legs that make up the milk stool.

If we don't stop bickering ore whose imaginary dog has the bigger dick, we're not gonna' make it.

12 July, 2018 04:30  
Blogger Debra She Who Seeks said...

Any kind of religious fanaticism is harmful and dangerous. Or any kind of fanaticism, really, if it obtains political, social or economic power.

12 July, 2018 05:39  
Blogger Nan said...

The goal must be to roll back the indoctrination.

Of course this is the primary goal! However, so far, no one has figured out how to do it. *sigh*

12 July, 2018 09:09  
Anonymous Professor Taboo said...

Excellent points and post Infidel! All so very true about indocrination, but also what I personally include:

• Mob-Herd mentality

• Peer-assimilation/pressure

• Placebo-effect when humans are surrounded by theatrical performances and non-stop routines of propaganda

As many scientific, psychological, and sociological studies have revealed, the majority of humans when they reach a mature age of cognition and choosing, typically choose the Path-of-Least-Resistance influenced by degrees of familial-ties then community/region. In other words, when a human is allowed to think for themselves MANY ask:

How will my choice affect me immediately and in the foreseeable future? Will it be a negative or positive impact?

RARELY does the choice have anything to do with supernatural truths, laws, actual evidence, or supposed divine revelations.

12 July, 2018 09:36  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

One of the most forthright and excellent comments I have ever heard on this subject.

12 July, 2018 09:47  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Thomas: The conflict serves the interests of both religions, by keeping their more fervent followers riled up.

Debra: I think religious fanaticism is the most dangerous. Something that can promise rewards beyond the grave is more likely to inspire suicidal recklessness.

Nan: Oh, we have. Look at the tremendous growth in atheism in Europe and even the US -- and secular thinking and even atheism are also spreading in the Middle East (I've posted about this a fair bit). The fanatical movements like Dâ'ish (ISIL) and the Christian Right are the hard-liners' reactions to seeing their societies moving away from fundamentalism. It would be foolish to expect religion to completely disappear in just a few years, but it's clear which way the trend is going.

Professor: Those things do contribute. I think it's notable that religions are so strikingly well constructed to exploit all those available mechanisms for maintaining control over people. It's what makes them such effective mind parasites.

Green: Thank you! I appreciate it.

12 July, 2018 11:23  
Blogger Nan said...

Certainly from the big picture, there's been some progress. But I think you will agree that when you see "stuff" happening all around you, it's sometimes a bit difficult to look at that big picture. :-)

12 July, 2018 11:31  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Nan: Hey, I'm a big-picture guy :-) -- see the blog motto at the top, just below the blog name.....

12 July, 2018 16:39  
Blogger Adam said...

Funny thing is that right-wing Christians and right-wing Muslims agree on 99% of things. But they hate each over those few differences between them. It's kind of cute and pathetic in a way.

12 July, 2018 18:52  
Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

I'm not religious and think that anyone regardless of religion should be treated equally. If they are good and act right then I could care less what religion, race ect they are. If they break the law they should be punished the same regardless of race, religion...ect. Hating people because of their religion is just insane to me but it happens all over the world every day.

13 July, 2018 10:06  
Blogger Ten Bears said...

If you look to the root, you'll find the root of all evil.

There are three Abrahamic faiths, four if you count the Mormons.

13 July, 2018 20:41  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Adam: Theological fine points that seem trivial to outsiders can loom huge to fanatics. Catholicism and Protestantism are even more similar, but look at how much warfare there was between them when people in Europe actually believed in things.

Mary: The problem isn't the beliefs, it's what the beliefs lead people to do.

Thomas: And five if you count the Baha'is, etc. The reason I don't usually include Judaism, Mormonism, Baha'ism, etc. in posts like this is that their numbers of adherents, and therefore their ability to cause harm, are relatively tiny compared with Christianity and Islam which "occupy" continent-sized territories and billions of minds.

14 July, 2018 02:23  
Anonymous NickM said...

You caught me to the punch in your reply to Adam. Yes. Might I give the example of transubstantiation which Catholics and Protestants have fought wars over and to you or me (or even a Muslim, Jew, Hindu...) make no sense. It seems to me this can sort of be explained by Kuhn's idea of paradigms. Kuhn argued (in a very different context - he was a philosopher of science) that in order for science to progress there has to be mutually agreed terms on both sides of the debate for a debate to occur. Now scientific debates rarely involve pogroms or mass burnings etc but this doesn't apply in religion as such. So, the closer two religions are the more they can disagree on and the more vehemently so the more likely they are to clash and alas this is not harsh words at a conference but crusades and jihads. Conversely with two utterly disimilar religions they are more likely to just shrug in mutual incomprehension at each other.

14 July, 2018 05:40  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Nick: That seems to be true in some cases. Shinto and Buddhism coexist pretty well in Japan, though there have been times when Buddhism was considered a bit suspect because of its foreign origin. On the other hand, the Hindu extremists in India are getting pretty nasty with the Muslims and Christians. In there case, though, it seems to be mostly about market share.

14 July, 2018 07:15  
Anonymous NickM said...

From what I can see (from the UK) is that Hindu extremiism is very largely tied up with some deranged form of Indian Nationalism. Shinto is similarly very closely tied to Japanese Nationalism. Interestingly both are utterly impossible to convert to. This is in complete contradistinction to Islam or Christianity.

Hinduism also has the outrage of the caste-system.

14 July, 2018 08:18  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Nick: The caste system is the most brilliant scam ever devised to justify a grossly unequal society. Everyone deserves their lot because it's a reward or punishment for behavior in a previous life, and by suffering quietly, the downtrodden will win merit for their next one. It's as if the Afrikaners had had the foresight to make apartheid a religion.

14 July, 2018 09:21  
Blogger Les Carpenter said...

Humans are merely a specie of the animal kingdom with the faculty for rational thought. Ability to exercise said faculty obviously varies.

Humans have fears and uncertainties. Hence the perpetual need for and continued existence of mystical based beliefs.

Education and knowledge is the only antidote to the evils of religious fantasy.

14 July, 2018 13:28  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Education certainly helps. That's why fundies try to keep their kids out of real schools, and the Taliban even used to attack girls' schools in Pakistan.

15 July, 2018 01:55  
Blogger Unknown said...

I certainly don't feel Muslims should be persecuted or discriminated against. I was actually part of a Christian group attempting to support and connect with recent Muslim immigrants and refugees. Although, Infidel and I may be misunderstanding this completely, but I understood this ban to be temporary and not really directed toward all Muslims, but was more focused in countries where there was a higher concern for terrorism. It was seen more for national security purposes. In any case, as long as good vetting and safety measures are in place, I'm thrilled that it's been lifted.

24 January, 2021 11:45  
Blogger Unknown said...

Infidel, sorry I forgot to sign my name. Hey, thanks again for sharing the links. Becky.

24 January, 2021 13:36  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Trump was pandering to bigots, period. That's the entire explanation for this and for most of the other things he did.

25 January, 2021 02:02  

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