Islam and homophobia: a turning point?

June 14, 2016 • 1:15 pm

Although there are still a few regressive Leftists who can’t bear to utter the word “Islam” in the same sentence as words like “terrorism,” “homophobia,” or “misogyny,” I sense that the previously clueless are beginning to see the connection, a connection palpably obvious to those who don’t hold that having pigmented skin guarantees moral virtue. Hillary Clinton, with a reporter holding her feet to the fire, mentioned the connection yesterday. And on the Internet I’m beginning to see some bloggers (you know who you are) begin to call out Islam for its homophobia.

I think this may be a watershed moment, though, tragically, it took the deaths of fifty people to bring it on. And we want to have a discussion of the connection between religious ideology and oppression, for if liberals don’t, Donald Trump gets more votes from frustrated people who can’t stand the pervasive ignoring and exculpation of Islamic ideology.

The discussion about conservative Christianity and homophobia, as well as the marginalization of women, has been going on for some time (remember l’affaire Kim Davis?) We all recognize the connection, and I don’t hear people asserting that religion had no part in Kim Davis’s bigotry. But Islam has so far been immune, and in the first sentence of this piece I told you why.

No longer, or so I think—and hope. Today three major newspapers have published editorials underlining the religously-based homophobia of Islam; and a liberal Muslim, Maajid Nawaz, published an even more explicit article on The Daily Beast websiteIt’s time we had a conversation about Islam, just as we’ve had it about the malfeasance of evangelical Christianity and Catholicism.

Why is the horrible mass murder in Orlando inciting this discussion? Is it the fact that it was gays that were murdered, and in the United States rather than Iran or Iraq? Why haven’t the murders of atheists in Bangladesh stimulated a conversation about Islam’s pervasive demonization of infidels and apostates? Why weren’t the mass sexual attacks in Cologne enough to begin a conversation about Islam and the oppression of women? Why didn’t the state-sponsored hatred against Jews, which appears regularly in Middle Eastern media, start a similar conversation about Islam and anti-Semitism?I don’t know, but somehow what happened in Orlando seems to be a tipping point. It’s early days, of course, but I hope I’m right, and that from now on those who discuss the dangers of extreme Muslim ideology won’t immediately be written off as bigots or racists.

Here are the four articles you should read, with a tiny excerpt from each. All seem to be written by either religious Muslims, ex-Muslims, or descendants of Muslims, and all are good. The pieces by Hirsi Ali and Nawaz are especially worth reading.

LGBT Muslims do exist, and they are grieving. It’s time for acceptance, ” by Amanullah De Sondy in the Washington Post:

I’ve spent more than a decade researching Islamic masculinities, including five years living and teaching in Florida before I moved last year. I have heard some Western Muslim leaders step haltingly toward acceptance. But most of what I have heard, when Muslim leaders speak to the LGBT believers in their midst, is callous disregard or deafening silence.

. . . As I have monitored the evolving statements of Western Muslim leaders — most of whom are straight — over the years, here’s what I have heard: a slight movement with regard to LGBT issues by some. Many are silent, but some have realized that the issue must now be publicly addressed, especially with the rise of countries adopting same-sex-marriage bills.

There are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Muslims who stand proud in their understanding that they have a God-given right to claim their gender and sexuality. But the religious leaders who speak out at all on LGBT issues say only this — reluctant and guarded — “Hate the sin and not the sinner.” From the discussions I have had informally with these leaders, this is as far as they think they can go without losing their own followers.

The Muslim silence on gay rights” by Bilal Qureshi in the New York Times:

No religion has a monopoly on homophobia. The track record of exclusion and outright abuse of gay men and women in the name of God is a depressing reality across faiths. But we cannot use those analogies to excuse our own shortcomings. Omar Mateen went on a rampage at a gay club out of hatred he attributed to his faith. He shot and massacred Americans for thriving in their safe space, for being among those they love and were loved by, and he did it during both Ramadan and a Pride Month that epitomizes self-love in the face of hate. The toxic cocktail of gun violence, unchecked mental illness and deranged ideology that propelled the massacre at Pulse is a threat to all Americans.

We must stand up against the anti-Muslim responses that come so easily in this current political climate. But for Muslims, this is also a moment to reflect more deeply on how we feel about living in a country where gay rights are central, where marriage equality is real and coexistence is the only way forward.

Islam’s jihad against homosexuals” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the Wall Street Journal:

The Orlando massacre is a hideous reminder to Americans that homophobia is an integral part of Islamic extremism. That isn’t to say that some people of other faiths and ideologies aren’t hostile to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, community. Nor is to say that Islamic extremists don’t target other minorities, in addition to engaging in wholly indiscriminate violence. But it is important to establish why a man like Omar Mateen could be motivated to murder 49 people in a gay nightclub, interrupting the slaughter, as law-enforcement officials reported, to dial 911, proclaim his support for Islamic State and then pray to Allah.

I offer an explanation in the form of four propositions [read them in her piece].

. . . Following the horrific attack in Orlando, people as usual have been rushing to judgment. President Obama blames lax gun laws. Donald Trump blames immigration. Neither is right. There has been comparable carnage in countries with strict gun laws. The perpetrator in this case was born in the United States. This is not primarily about guns or immigration. It is about a deeply dangerous ideology that is infiltrating American society in the guise of religion. Homophobia comes in many forms. But none is more dangerous in our time than the Islamic version.

Finally, from Maajid Nawaz in the Daily Beast, “Admit it: These terrorists are Muslims” (if the link sends you to a paywall, just try putting the title into Google, which should give you a link that works fully).  He points out the palpable dangers of refusing to discuss Islamist ideology, and offers a solution. An excerpt:

It is time that we liberals took the fabled red pill and accepted reality. Just as this clearly has something to do with outdated gun laws, and just as those laws need reform, this also has something to do with Islam, which also needs reform today. No other stance makes any sense.

. . . Liberals who claim that this has nothing to do with Islam today are being as unhelpful and as ignorant as conservatives who claim that this represents all of Islam. The problem so obviously has something to do with Islam. That something is Islamism, or the desire to impose any version of Islam over any society. Jihadism is the attempt to do so by force. This ideology of Islamism has been rising almost unchecked among Muslims for decades. It is a theocratic ideology, and theocracy should no longer have any place in the world today.

But it is as if we liberals will stoop to anything to avoid discussing ideology. We will initiate state sanctioned presidential kill lists and launch unaccountable targeted assassinations. Yet, no amount of drone strikes under Obama—at a rate that far exceeds Bush—will ever solve the problem. We cannot shoot our way out of an ideology. We cannot arrest our way out of an insurgency. Yes, law and war have their own place, but they will never solve the problem.

. . . What happens if we don’t name the Islamist ideology and distinguish it from Islam? We leave a void for the vast majority of Americans—who are unaware of the nuances in this debate—to be filled by Donald Trump and the Populist Right. They will go on to blame all versions of Islam and every Muslim, and their frustration at not being able to talk about the problem will give in to rage, as it has done. By refusing to discuss it, we only increase the hysteria. Like “he who must not be named”—the Voldemort Effect, I call it—we increase the fear.

. . . This September will mark 15 years since the 9/11 attacks, and we still haven’t devised a strategy to address Islamist extremism, let alone identified voices who can do so globally. Not al Qaeda, not ISIS, nor any other theocratic jihadist group that may emerge in the future, but a strategy that recognizes we are in the middle of a Cold War against theocracy. If we refuse to isolate, name and shame Islamist extremism, from fear of increasing anti-Muslim bigotry, we only increase anti-Muslim bigotry. If the rise of Trump has not convinced us of this yet, then nothing will.

Perhaps the days of Ostrich Leftism are over.

This is, of course, a myth—but it’s a good metaphor.

h/t: Grania, Dom


152 thoughts on “Islam and homophobia: a turning point?

  1. I think this may be a watershed moment, though, tragically, it took the deaths of fifty people to bring it on. And we want to have a discussion of the connection between religious ideology and oppression, for if liberals don’t, Donald Trump gets more votes from frustrated people who can’t stand the pervasive ignoring and exculpation of Islamic ideology.

    Exactly. If liberals do not provide a sane voice in response to all of this violence, then people *will* turn to the right-wingers who at least pretend to care.

    Here is another article worth reading, by an LGBTQ ex-Muslim:

    In the wake of Orlando, there appears to be a move by the well-meaning to dredge up and bring up every example of anti-Muslim bigotry and non-Muslim anti-LGBT sentiment as well as absolve Islamic homophobia. All are well-meaning, and some are less blatant in their erasure of Islamic homophobia, but none reflect reality or do anything to help anyone except straight, cis Muslims.

  2. “Hillary Clinton said Monday she’s not afraid to say ‘radical’ Islam”

    No she didn’t! The reporter got it wrong. For Hillary everything is very finely worded:

    “I have clearly said we — whether you call it radical jihadism or radical Islamism, I’m happy to say either. I think they mean the same thing.”

    Islam and Islamism mean very different things to her. Thus “Radical Islamism” and “Radical Islam” / “Islamic Radicals” mean very different things to her. But she thinks we won’t notice…

  3. The change is superficial and probably limited to this one issue. Some of the “correct” people (social justice insiders) have done an about face and signalled their fellows that criticising Islam is OK. Nothing to do with objective appraisal of facts or anything like that. Those of us who have been consistently stating the obvious are still bad people.

  4. You are blaming “leftist” for this mass shooting????

    I work with conservative christians and their view on homosexuals, women’s rights or evolution is no different than conservative muslims.

    When are we going to call out extreme christians that bomb medical clinics or murder black church members?

    You are not isolating extremism you setting a straw man argument and will do nothing to keep guns out of crazy nutjobs hands.
    I am done here cancel my membership

    1. When are we going to call out extreme christians that bomb medical clinics or murder black church members?

      What?? We do it all the time. Except when we criticize vile evangalicals and their beliefs we don’t need to also criticize every other religious group that also has vile beliefs.

      But yet…when it comes to Islam, and Islam only, allowances must be made. We can’t even talk about the bigotry inherent within Islam without mentioning every other group that might have a vile belief otherwise we too are bigots.

      So why all of the special pleading for Islam?

      What makes Islam immune from criticism?

      1. I dont see the difference in radical muslims or radical christians. Nut jobs with access to heavy firepower are the problem. Muhammad Ali was an inherent bigot? Your posts makes no sense and reveals a bias

        1. I want to know why I am a bigot if I criticise horrific Islamic ideas without also mentioning every other religion?

          If a bigoted Scientologist murders someone do I have to make sure that I say “Muslims do it too!!” in order to protect the feelings of those Scientologists who are not bigots?

        2. “Radical Christians”? What’s that supposed to mean? It’s conservative (in the religious sense) Christians who hold that homosexuality is a sin. Nothing radical about them at all. They differ from Muslims in (among many other things) that they don’t believe it is their place to punish homosexuality, let alone punish with death. These conservative Christians are many times more numerous than Muslims in the USA. If they were as much of a threat to gays as Muslims are, there wouldn’t be gay bars in every US city. Or there’d be some amazing security at those bars. If Muslims are as tolerant of homosexuality as conservative Christians, where are the gay bars in Karachi and Tehran? The false equivalence you set up is absurd. Meanwhile, in summer Muslim countries, it’s perfectly normal, and not considered radical at all, to put people to death for being gay.

          1. Right, and if the Enlightenment hadn’t happened along christians would still be doing their dirty deeds.

              1. I doubt that. I very much doubt if the established religion of the time regarded them as ‘good’ Christians.

                They were only culturally ‘Christian’ in the sense that they weren’t Muslims, Hindus or Zoroastrians.


              2. Have you read Locke, Descartes, Hobbes, Pascal? They were Christian. There’s a lot of theology in their writing, so it’s pretty obvious. There’s one Jewish philosopher who was important in the in the enlightenment (but Spinoza was excommunicated from his Jewish congregation, and adopted a Christan first name, Benedict, and chose to live among Christians.) The pioneer of idealism, Berkeley, was even a bishop. Later, you get increasing numbers of philosophers who are vague or quiet about religion, or appear skeptical or unorthodox, but most are Christians. It’s in the post-enlightenment 19th century that philosophy come to be dominated by religious skepticism. Even then, Christianity was an influence, as in the thinking of Henry Sidgwick, prominent utilitarian philosopher of the time, and agnostic.

              3. Even leftism was invented by Christians, starting with Rousseau, who lays out his religious beliefs in Emile, and going on to Saint-Simon, who established a Christian sect. Also Wilhelm Weitling, attacked by Marx as “utopian”, was a devout Christian.

              4. Hobbes thought god was a body. (I.e. material.) Ergo, he’s not a Christian (or at least of any standard denomination). Descartes claimed we could not possibly know god’s plan for the world (even in outline), attended a grand total of *1* church service as an adult, and wrote a deistic cosmology. He’s no Christian. Locke I’ll give you, but he also wasn’t very tolerant of other religions. His famous “letter on toleration” does not extend to atheists or Catholics. Pascal’s influence on the Enlightenment is pretty minimal, except indirectly, and even his views are not exactly obvious. Spinoza is a pantheist, at most. “Chose to live amongst Christians”? Well, sort of, but that was sort of unavoidable. (Though some of the Dutch seem to have been deists too.)

                Add in Kant (theist of unspecified type who deliberately avoided church services), Voltaire (deist), Hume (atheist or perhaps, deist), the Philosophes (deists or atheists, depending) and the number of Christians is pretty tiny.

              5. Hobbes proposed that society was made in the image of God, just like Man, so society has parts broadly analogous to a body. That’s not the same as thinking God has a physical body. Kant and Hume are late enlightenment. The enlightenment moved gradually away from its Christian roots, which are obvious in the early enlightenment (Hobbes, Locke, Descartes), less so (but not absent) in the likes Kant and Hume.

              6. PS, even atheist thinkers showed Christian influence in their thought, often without being aware of it. Even Marxism is full of Christian influence. In the romantic post-enlightenment, Nietzsche is most interesting, as his work is a direct reaction against Christianity.

            1. Meanwhile, the Muslim world missed out on the enlightenment. After a brief “golden age”, in which they absorbed wisdom from Greece, Persia and India, religious scholarship stifled secular learning, producing a thousand years of intellectual stagnation. That’s why mediaeval attitudes and practices remain widespread in the Muslim world today.

            1. Is the term “Christianist” (or “Christianism”) used at all?

              Or is it that it is generally held that there is no need to use it?

              1. Is not the (rough) Christian parallel to Islam’s Islamism, Christian Dominionism (though there must be other forms of Christian theocracies?

        3. “I dont see the difference in radical muslims or radical christians.”

          One difference is that when we condemn radical Christians for killing someone, nobody immediately shouts “Hey, Muslims do that too!”

        4. Ideologically, they are similar. The main difference is Islam has a larger, more global reach and the backing of places like Saudi Arabia. With radical Christians, their numbers are smaller and seems to be mostly a problem in the US (though the exist elsewhere). Islam also has more dangerous doctrines like jihad which tends to have more violent outcomes where radical Christians, because they have thrived in Western democracies, seem to enjoy said democracies and their principles behind them so rarely commit jihad-like atrocities.

          This is why I think Christian bigotry is a big problem and a scary one but Islamic bigotry is more global and more immediate.

          1. Another difference is that Xtian scriptures do not feature a warmongering founder extolling the virtues of killing the other and who led by example. Nor has Xtianity a 1500 year history of murdering (bodycount 250 million) people in Jihad. Not deaths occurring incidentally in wars between Muslim and non-Muslim nations, but largely deaths through Jihad and the religiously mandated slave trade. I’ve often heard of the Hindu Kush region, but it was only recently that I learned that it translates as funeral pyre of the Hindus. Eighty million Hindus were slaughtered in Jihad. Makes the Holocaust look amateurish. Religion of peace indeed.

          2. Gays have a tough time world wide, Russias football supporters have styled themselves the ‘”Russian Heterosexuals” – to France with love’. The usual horrible statements from various Western churches or supporters.

            But in legal terms the western countries, including the US and the Christian South America, are way way better than anywhere else, its very clear from the map the worst are Islamic countries followed by India and then by a handful of African Christian countries.

            (scroll down to see map)

        5. According to Maajid Nawaz the regressive put a spin on some of the messages Muhammed Ali was trying to get out at the end of his life.

          Also he was originally fairly radical – then adopted a particular teaching of Islam from a mild sufi sect. However, most of Islam isn’t moderate or tolerant and regressives can’t accept that
          Maajid Nawaz
          Don’t Let madmen like the orlando shooter hijak Muhammad Ali’s legacy

    2. Right, after making a bunch of invalid arguments and insulting people who don’t agree with your “progressiver than thou” purity position, you’re out of here. You’re done. Well. Good riddance. Crawl back to your echo chamber and assume the mythical Ostrich position.

    3. I’m kind of sympathetic with what you’re saying, although I don’t see that anyone blamed leftists for the shooting. Religion pretty much screws up everything, but I don’t quite see how a politician can pointedly blame Islam without inciting a horrific religious war, and without criticizing Christianity and every other religion too for their BS, past and present. How do you walk that line?

      1. I do not think that politicians blaming Islam can incite a horrific war – at any rate, not more horrific that the wars and smaller conflicts encouraged by the current appeasement of Islam.

    4. You must have read a different WEIT article than I did. Either that or your reading comprehension really sucks. You might want to read it again, a little more slowly.

    5. “When are we going to call out extreme christians that bomb medical clinics or murder black church members?”

      You need to pay closer attention. Hell, if you paid any attention at all you’d know how silly that question is.

    6. Those people do get called out.

      Otherwise the differences are so enormous that I have to doubt that you are thinking rationally.

      No one else is blowing themselves up an or taking out any number of innocent people in the name of anything but Islam.

      Everyone hates on the Westboro baptist church. Their not killing anybody, just holding up signs.

      Read some surveys on attitudes.
      Read some reports on actual actions. Then, rationalize it all away and pat yourself on the back for being so non-islamophobic.

  5. Homophobia, Femalephobia, atheistphobia, commicphobia, etc. They have so many phobias, that you can call it mental illness. I’m not only talking about muslims, but also about other silly believers.

  6. The Wall Street Journal article is behind their sign-in wall and even after signing in, I just see the exhortation to pay to subscribe to the paper, nothing more of Ayaan’s article.

    1. I got it by putting the title in Google. If you link directly to it through the link I gave, you might get a paywall. Just put the title words in Google.

      I’ll add that to the post, thanks.

  7. You are much more optimistic than I am. In a few days/weeks, when Orlando is out of the spotlight, I expect things will regress back to the way they’ve always been with Islam getting a free pass in some quarters.

  8. I hope you’re right, Dr. Coyne, but evidently (judging by the above comments) the attraction of feeling ideologically pure is still pretty strong in many of the regressive left. Maybe their numbers will begin to dwindle. We can only hope.

    1. Some people never overlook an opportunity to signal their virtue!

      It’s very very interesting how Islam gets a free pass, though. When the Colorado shooter shot up that Planned Parenthood, where were all of the leftist voices reminding us of every other religious sect that is misogynist? After all, every religion is equally misogynist, right? I never heard any voices saying that we must not blame *all* Christians for the murderer’s actions – after all, many are moderate and a large percentage are Christian in name only. Yet, when an Islamist burns a woman alive, or kills a bunch of LGBTQ people, we must immediately engage in special pleading and blame every other religion equally. In fact, we should talk about how everything *but* Islam is to blame.

      It’s a real head scratcher, that’s for sure!

      1. Have you seen the Young Turks take on James Wesley Howell.

        He hasn’t done anything. Hasn’t said he was going to do anything, but he is still pretty much equal, in their eyes, to the Orlando killer.

        It may be prudent to check out someone with a lot of gun stuff, but that is all.

  9. Indeed a challenging time for the struthious left. The soil is hardening.

    The sad thing is that it takes dozens of innocent deaths for people to start waking up. And I’m afraid it will take more in the months to come. What is worse, every glib denial of the religious element is a gift to Trump, who will point it out for its spinelessness and parley it into a confident blanket rejection of all things Muslim, which, to a panicking electorate, will start to make some sense.

    1. This! And it is not that we don’t have a virtual whole barrel load of historical examples to draw knowledge and experiences from 🙁

      The regressive Left is now firmly (I believe) on the path to becoming its own greatest enemy, and will risk pulling us all down in the process…

      If Trump wins in November, I fear it will be, not because of something he did or didn’t do, but rather the actions or inactions of the democrats – and the regressive part in particular – to questions like this one.

  10. I’ve only skimmed this in order to try to get this in earlier. Help needed – who was it (mentioned here a good number of months ago, at least) who came out and said that the Regressive Left’s continual bleating that this is all the fault of Western Imperialism etc are not helping the efforts of Muslim reformists?

    Otherwise, again a plug for Islamoloathia in place of Islamophobia.

    1. Yeah Mike, I believe that that is Eiynah. I have linked to this interview over the last few days because she makes a very good point regarding how regressives, in ‘protecting’ Muslims (by refusing to criticise Islam) are in fact harming minorities within Islam:

      When you criticize misogyny and homophobia in Islam, how to people on the Canadian and American left typically respond to that?

      They’re defensive, they deny, and then they lash out and accuse me of being a bigot. I’m a woman of Pakistani origin, and I’ve been called a white supremacist, an imperialist, a race betrayer, a textbook racist more times than I can tell you.

      Why do you think that is? Where does that reaction come from?

      I hope it comes from a good place, where people are trying to protect a minority that they feel is persecuted — and it is, in a lot of ways — but in doing so they trample on the rights of minorities within that minority, like women, like the LGBT, like apostates and ex-Muslims, atheists who are called terrorists and killed for disbelieving.

  11. It’s all very sad,contridactory and complicated because homosexuality and strongly homosocial affection and intimacy (male and female) in the Arab-Islamic world has a long and storied history, which can’t be divorced from sexual segregation and the subjugation and devaluation of women. Unfortunately, paedophilia also has a long and storied history in Arab-Islamic societies, and to say this is NOT to equate the two; but to observe that frequently in those cultures, like it or not, the two go hand in hand. I saw beautiful dancing boys on the streets of Cairo. (Think of the abominable phenomenon of bacha bazi in Afghanistan); and if a “martyr” doesn’t care for 72 virgins in heaven, there are ghulam, beautiful boys in paradise, waiting to delight.

    1. Yes, Ed, good link.

      ‘Some of us old Salafists remember the good old days when we mass-murdering Islamists were inspired by cuddly old al-Qaeda. Thank God they’ve gone out of fashion.

      ISIS is it! Ignore the ultra-Islamic brothers in our ranks who declare us heretics. Let us be moderate in our theology. No, what our Hazimi brothers allege is not true: one cannot be excommunicated if one is ignorant of a religious requirement. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi himself,the descendant of the Prophet (pbum), declared so.

      Our Hazimi brothers are theologically wrong. Let us kill them.’

      And here, when you didn’t think Islam could be worse, is the evidence. Yes, a section of ISIS views its leadership as theologically moderate. This report from within Islamic State.

  12. In his remarks on foreign policy today, the President offered a full-throated apologia for his refusal to use the term “radical Islam.”

    The so-called Regressive Left also declines the terminology “radical Islam,” based on its own perverse rationale. But this shared abjuring of terminology by no means renders the two the same. One can reasonably disagree with him on the subject, but one cannot reasonably tar Barack Obama (an old-line free-speech proponent) with the regressive-leftist label.

    I’m not claiming that our host has. But others toss around the “political correctness” trope in an effort to blur this distinction.

    1. Agreed. Obama’s rationale is a strategic one, based on the idea that tying terrorism too strongly to Islam will reinforce the jihadi claim that the Christian West is at war with Islam as a whole and drive more Muslims into their camp. Right or wrong, this is certainly not regressive leftism at play.

  13. I especially liked Maajid Nawaz’s piece on this matter. He says exactly what I have said a few times before – the short version is – know your enemy or lose.

    The really dreadful irritating part is that Obama knows this because he has said many times, the war on terrorism will not be won on the battlefield. But he refuses to say what will because he can’t say it.

    1. I always like what Maajid Nawaz has to say on topics like this. His insight and analysis are always valuable.

      1. +1 I think its up to domestic policies and firm messages, with encouragement and fairness within the society but firm and not accepting the “its all our fault” crap from sections of the left. Though my take is that whilst some of it definitely is aggravated by past foreign policy (tho the west has other misbehaving great powers in mind too) much the most of it is the sectarianism, intolerance, extremism and particularly change resistant features in Islam. I think American muslims are if anything, considerably more moderate on average than in Europe, but it will take a while to moderate the bulk of Muslims in the West.

      1. He must say that he excepts that Islamist terrorist is real and it is a condition within the religion just like the extreme christian behaviors several hundred years ago. He must not say, as he has many times that this terrorism is not associated with Islam and that no Muslims believe this. He should listen to Maajid Nawaz, is that clear enough.

        If you recall past wars like maybe Vietnam or Iraq you may also recall that we basically lost those conflicts. This is a result of the condition of not knowing your enemy, and not knowing your purpose for being there.


    BREAKING: Teen schoolgirl stabbed in random attack by man ‘making sacrifice for Ramadan’

    June 14, 2016 • In Featured, US News Featured, US News Amarillo, Shooting, Texas, Walmart 10 Comments

    AMARILLO, Texas – An active shooter and hostage situation was reported at a local Walmart in the Amarillo, Texas Tuesday morning.

    There have been no reports of injuries or death at this time, but the incident is still unfolding.

    1 to 3 Muslim Somalis dressed in Walmart uniforms are holding hostages at Walmart in Amarillo TX and SWAT is responding. Police are searching for a Somalian man wearing Khaki pants. The number of Somalis is unconfirmed.

    The appropriate response, I think, is to discuss how misogynist the Duggars are.

      1. “I wonder if Wal-Mart was chosen because of their support for trans rights?”

        Apparently the Walmart situation is over with the would be shooter shot, and killed by police. It’s being described as a workplace dispute not terrorism.

          1. “Thanks for the update. Proof one shouldn’t jump to conclusions without info!”

            Contrary to how some on the left might characterize it, it’s not an unreasonable conclusion to jump to. While they might bend over backwards to avoid saying so, I suggest, unless they are brain dead, it’s a conclusion they jump to as well.

            1. Amarillo Walmart shooter’s name: Muhammad Khalid.

              Yeah, not unreasonable. Could just be a coincidence. No, I am not being sarcastic. We will await more information!

              1. “Yeah, not unreasonable. Could just be a coincidence. No, I am not being sarcastic. We will await more information!”

                Could have been a simple workplace dispute, could have been a Muslim employee who was inspired by the Orlando shooting, and could even have been someone who was responding to bigotry directed against him at work in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting.

              2. nd could even have been someone who was responding to bigotry directed against him at work in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting.

                Which is exactly what ISIS is aiming for. They want to set in motion a vicious cycle where Muslims are set upon by actual bigots, which leads to more violence, rinse and repeat.

                However, hiding one’s head in the sand as the regressives are doing is *not* the correct strategy, and will only empower the right-wing conservatives.

              3. “However, hiding one’s head in the sand as the regressives are doing is *not* the correct strategy, and will only empower the right-wing conservatives.”


      2. Hey Heather, funny you mention that!

        Another trans person has been stabbed… – Links to the original story in the article!

        And over NYE in Germany, a group of Islamists tried to stone a trans woman to death when they discovered xir block and tackle!

        Over on the Friendly Atheist there is a trans woman who is defending the shit out of Islam – any criticism of Islam = vile hate speech. I just…I can’t even…

        Oh, and it is Target that supports trans bathroom access, not Wal-Mart.

        But yeah, I just cannot believe how many LGBTQ folks are coming out in *support* of people who would *cheer* their murder. How many more have to die before these regressives get it through their thick skulls that Islam is not friendly towards LGBTQ and women???????

        1. Thanks for the links.
          I’ve never understood it either how people can go out of their way to protect someone even while that person is cheerfully advocating their death for simply existing. Sounds more like self-loathing than pride to me. They’re on the side of extremist conservatives who want them dead while attacking liberals who stand for real liberal values and think they should have full equality. (Sorry about using the word “they” in my argument. I don’t have a proper keyboard at the moment and can’t properly see what I’m even typing. There’s probably other stuff that’s bad too.)

          Thanks for reminding me about Target – not something I should’ve got wrong given all the videos!

        2. Have you stopped to wonder about your commitment to your/this cause? The way you speak of liberals and “regressives”, the number of comments and links? Even a link to Breitbart which is a profoundly anti-gay site? And yes, LGBT people are suspicious when people in the conservative anti-gay crowd are suddenly worried about our well being.

          1. I have asked you a simple question twice now, and you refuse to answer it.

            If a Christian shoots up an abortion clinic, should we, to be fair, remind everyone that Islamist ideas are also rather hateful of women?

            Yes or No?

            1. Are we on Fox News? Do you think a yes/no question is a substitute for actual information/knowledge/nuance?

              Islamic ideology can be harmful to LGBT people if taken literally. Add dictatorship, theocracy and ignorance to the mix and it’s deadly.
              BUT, just a few decades ago gay people were still being imprisoned in developed countries. April Ashley was put in a British mental institution because she was transgender. Gay men were being harassed in Canada in the early 80’s.
              Homophobia isn’t about “one” of the perpetrators, it’s about “all of the victims”. You don’t get to tell gay people what we should actually be worried about because we already live it ever single day.

              1. Yes or No answers only please, since your thesis is that anyone who criticizes the homophobia within Islam without also blaming every other religion equally is a homophobic bigot themselves.

                So, since you believe that all religion is equally bad, and that it is bigoted to criticize the bad ideas of some religious sects and not others, then surely you can tell me whether or not it is fair to *also* criticize Islamic misogyny if a misogynist Christian shoots up an abortion clinic.

                Every single time a Christian does something terrible, I can safely say “but what about the Muslims?” right?

              2. My argument is in the video. Are you saying you care so little about what LGBT people think you won’t even have the courtesy to watch? Doesn’t that sort of put you in the Islamic extremist camp?

            2. You obviously chose to ignore every time I unequivocally condemned homophobia within Islam. I do. I simply explain they’re by no means the only homophobes, in fact their impact on the lives of LGBT Westerners is minor, at best.
              You’re the one giving one religion a pass.
              And just so we’re super clear, you don’t get to dictate to LGBT people what homophobia is or when and how we’re victimized by it. We already know. We’re victimized by it. Here’s a little video by Ireland’s most famous drag queen. Watch and learn what homophobia is all about:

              1. That still isn’t an answer.

                Every time a Christian commits a hate crime must we remind the world that Muslims also commit hate crimes in the name of religion.

                YES or NO?

                I will remind you that you have been arguing since your very first comment here that we cannot condemn Islam alone for homophobia, that in order to not be bigots we must immediately and fervently condemn Christianity as well.

              1. I am going to wait patiently for you to defend your argument.

                Deflection and insults won’t work.

            1. Ehm. Their editor is a self hating gay that has stated that homosexuality is wrong, gays should go back into the closet (except himself appearantly) and that he would be the worst homophobe ever if he was straight (I guess he means he would be behind shootings like this if he was straight since the worlds worst homophobes are actually killing people).

              The righ wing nuts love nothing more than to get self loathing gays, immigrants and women on their side. There are self loathing gays out there just like there are jewish holocaust deniers. Just because there are jews out there denying the holocaust, doesn’t mean that they’re right.

              Would you say that the catholic church isn’t homophobic just because so many if its priests have been found with male prostitues and the like?
              I even know of women that are against voting rights for women, there are blacks (like michael jackson) that want to make themselves white.
              So right wing nut webpages aren’t excused by having writers belonging to the same groups they harass. There’s more than enough self hating individuals out there for them to choose from.

              1. That is not the impression I get from him.

                Nor do I get that impression from women who don’t swallow the cool-aid you are serving, whatever that is.

                Those absurdly extreme accusations you came up with, such as that Milo would be behind mass murder, is as hateful as it is ridiculous.

                If this is the best you can come up with in response to my questioning your ‘profoundly’ anti gay assertions, then I think I see where the loathing lies.

            2. It’s his words not mine. He has stated that he would be the worst homophobe if he was straight (which I found ridiculous since the worst homophobes are actually killing people). I ddnt mean to say he’s a murderer, which is why I said: “I guess he means…”
              I was attempting to use his own words against him, but I’m sorry for writing poorly.
              I just found it stupid to state that you would hate gays if you werent one yourself.

              He’s also stated that he’s against gay marriage and tnat homosexuality is wrong. He’s also stated that gays should go back in the closet and that the lgbt movement makes him want to go out and bash queers.
              I’m not making this up. Google it.
              It might be that he’s changed his mind about all this since I read about him last, which would be great.

              When it comes to my comment about women, I was simply asserting that it’s possible for someone to be against a part of themselves. You gave me the impression that a webpage can’t be homophobic if it hires gays. That’s not true, and I tried to give you examples of how it’s possible to hate yorself.

              Im not selling any kool aid (I’m not trying to murder anyone with poison). The women I mentioned do exist. I’m not talking about feminism. I mentioned those women as an example of people that truly work against themselves. Don’t you believe that it’s possible for women to perform Female genital mutilation for instance? Women can actally be misogynistic, just like gays can be homophobic (again, as seen plenty of times among priests for example). There are even speculations around this killer being gay himself.

              You’re welcome to search for my name in association for this site, and you’ll see that I’ve spoken against the regressive left several times. I dont think I’m being hatefu for speaking against hate, but it’s up to you what you want to call me. I dont need any safe space.

              1. Milo has denied being a self loathing homosexual.

                Milo says a lot of contrarian provocative, and allegedly funny, things.

                But has explicitly denied being self loathing.

                I would have thought that a ‘profoundly’ anti gay website would have a problem hiring gays.

                I don’t read Breitbart except for some Milo stuff so I don’t know for sure if their not ‘profoundly’ anti gay.

                I did read one thing though where one of the other writers referred to ‘our’ editor, in a seemingly not, profoundly anti gay way.

                Perhaps you have some examples.

                “I don’t think I’m being hateful for speaking against hate”

                Are you accusing Milo of hate?

                Breitbart of hate?

                Maybe you are not being hateful but you did make some seemingly strong accusations.

                Do you know why he said gay men should go back in the closet?

                Do you know why he says anything he has said?

                It may not be hate.

                The hate speech situation around the world is absurd.

                I don’t see that your examples of women being involved in FGM, or that the catholic church has seemingly homosexual priests are very good examples at all.
                They are addressing a different thing.

                Is Breitbart really ‘profoundly’ anti gay?
                If it is, I suppose my initial query becomes moot.

                Then, whatever Milo is or is not, is a question for another day.

                I don’t think I write that well, and I know communication can be difficult at the best of times, so I shall assume the best.

            3. That’s fine. i know I stated myself badly.

              Of couse I don’t know directly what he thinks about the stuff he says. That’s the problem. I’ve seen him contradict himself frequently, but I can only go by his direct statemenents. It’s difficult to know what he means when he states that homosexuality is wrong and talking about the stench of same sex marriage, and then turn around and say he isn’t self loathing. Im sure people in the “ex-gay” groups would claim they arent self loathing either.

              I suppose he for example might use the word fag ironically, but he seems to use it differently than f.ex someone like Dan Savage would use it. He wrote an article encouraging his right wing fanbase to use the word because fags deserve it. There’s something very off about it all.

              Maybe I’m more annoyed by his fanbase actually.
              They enjoy pointing to him saying, “look, even a gay immigrant hates other gays and immigrants.” I’ve seen people say that he’s the only gay person that deserves to live or that they respect (because they feel that he agrees with their homophobic views).

              It’s the same problem with Trump. I don’t believe he means eveything he says either, but we have to take him on his word.

              From what I’ve read, he seems to be a typical religious right wing (he stated in one discussion I saw that he thinks our western morality comes from the bible so I think he’s christian). I could be wrong, just like I could be wrong about Trump, but I have to draw from what I see.

              From what I’ve read on breitbart, I think the commentary there is pretty extreme.
              I remember reading through one article about the blacklivesmatter group saying something stupid on that gorilla case, and the first few hundred comments were about jews and how jews are described in the bible. The comment section felt like stormfront or something similar.

              And I used the examples of homosexual homophobic priests and women performing fgm because you gave me the impression that you didnt believe in self hate. There are women out there who want to deny women the right to vote and some extreme misogynist would love to use such women as examples.
              I feel Breitbart does the same. That’s the reason I wrote the comment.

              And there is hate speech out there on the christian right wing. Take this pastor for instance:

              <a href=";

              And before there’s another misunderstanding, I’m NOT comparing the level of hate with that link. Just giving an example of how there still are hate speech issues among the christian right too. And it’s not meant as a whataboutery, just as a refutation to the assumption often made by the Breitbart writers or trump supporters that there is absolutely no sexism or homophobia in the western world.
              Phew. Think I’ve covered all my bases now. 🙂

              1. I have seen Milo on Dave Rubin multiple times and I often find myself agreeing with him vs disagreeing.

                One key point…he did explain that outrage is his thing. He is outrageous because he seeks to offend people. That is his schtick. When he sits down with Dave Rubin, he manages to behave like a normal human being and not a troll. But it can get confusing because the trolling is often at odds with his more subdued beliefs.

                Oh, and the commentariat at Breitbart is just the mirror of the SJW idiots on liberal rags. Noise that, for one’s mental health, should just be tuned out.

                And Linn, depending on where I go, I am either a conservative Christian homophobic, misogynist bigot or a Communist, baby-killing SJW man-hater. Minor disagreement is portrayed as the most extreme form of hate by identity-politickers. Anything to get the moral high ground. They think that “racist” or “baby killer” is an instant win button. There is no need for nuance. If anything, dealing with SJWs has pushed me more towards the center and I am less likely to immediately assume that someone with different beliefs – namely a conservative – is a horrible person.

              2. “…pushed me more towards the center…”

                Heh. Your description (and Cindy’s) of how you’re seen simultaneously on opposite extremes is familiar to me. But, at least in my case, I don’t think I’ve shifted toward the center as much as I just stopped ignoring stupidity on the left. I don’t think I’ve actually moved at all toward the right.

                For me the transition point was when I could no longer tolerate religious apologists some dozen or so years ago. Finding myself described as a bigot for calling out Islam made me begin to recognize other forms of illiberal thought among my fellow left-wing family and friends.

              3. Pushed towards the center more in trying to be moderate and examine the more conservative views without playing identity politics.

                If American, Bernie would still be my first choice for President.

              4. I never said there was no hate speech on the Christian right. Of course there is.

                And of course there is self hate but is a complicated thing and using at as a tool in an argument can be the easy option.

                What is one to make of all the weird body mods some people indulge in?

                He sis have a reason for saying homosexuals shou;d go back in the closet,and it wasn’t hate.
                He does have a reason for flinging the word fag around, to reduce its power, not hate.

                That some comment thread on a Breitbart article generated some anti-semitic comments doesn’t make the site itself ‘profoundly’ anti anything.

                Breitbart writers may skewed into ‘seeming’ to say that there is no sexism or homophobia in the western world as a response to those who claim it is rife and as bad as anywhere else.
                Which it is not.

            4. Damn. The link didnt work (I suck at making links). It gives you the right website, but the case about the pastor is on the right hand side (called christian pastor celebrates nightclub massacre). If you dont find it you can google pastor steven anderson. The direct quote fom him is: “There’s 50 less pedophiles in this world.”

              1. That is pastor Steve Anderson and TFA has been reporting on him for a while.


                He is a fruitcake with a tiny congregation. He also thinks that women should stay in the home, that they should be stoned Biblical style if they have the wrong kind of sex etc. There are a few nutcases who are just like him – Theodore Shoebat for example. These guys are on the fringe. Thankfully, the vast vast majority of people find their beliefs to be repugnant. Yes, there are people who follow these guys but we must remember that David Icke, who believes that the world’s leaders are lizards, also has a following. The key is that Pastor Steve Anderson’s hateful ideas are *mainstream* in Islamic nations. That raping women who are not wearing a hijab and throwing gays off rooftops is considered to be heroic and moral.

        3. Because LGBTQ people are less sensitive to ideological blather and blowhards, but acutely sensitive to raw hatred, the latter which is what is being spewed on this comment site, by 95% of the faux-liberal, ultra conservative loonies here.

          1. I find it most interesting that criticism of homophobia within Islam is now being portrayed as bigotry, hatred, conservativism, Trump support, etc.

            This appears to be the strategy, to once again deflect from the role that Isamic doctrine played in all this. If you point it out, you are a Trump supporting bigot yourself.

            If you don’t immediately lay all of the blame for this on guns and Christianity you will be accused of being a bigot yourself. Whatever you do, don’t talk about Islam and it’s problems with women or LGBTQ people in the same breath, otherwise you are a bigot and a misogynist.

            A similar strategy was employed over NYE when hundreds of Muslims sexually assaulted German women. Ultimately , the regressive left, in order to protect Muslims, chose to blame German men for creating “rape culture” in Germany. Those woman hating migrants (who really do believe that Western women are prostitutes) *only* sexually assaulted the women of Cologne because they learned it all from German men.

            I guess that I am also a misogynist because I choose to hold Islamic ideology responsible for the misogyny therein instead of blaming German men for what happened in Cologne.

            1. I have to respond to this comment as I’m unable to respond to your answer to me.
              Thank you for the nice answer Cindy.

              I think it’s the trolling that gets me off guard. There’s so much insanity out there that it’s difficult to know what’s trolling and what’s not. I remember the first time I ventured onto internet fora as a young girl.

              First, I assumed everyone was serious, then found out some were trolling. Then I assumed everyone was trolling and found out that some actually were crazy. Now I have no clue anymore. I’m capable of spotting obvious sarcasm, but the professional trolls (some of which are major political candidates in several countries) throw me off.

              I remember one time when I was 15 and I was discussing against someone claiming we should round up all the gays and kill them.
              I was shocked. Then someone else said the guy was being sarcastic. I apologized for my overreaction, only to find out later that the guy actually did want to kill gays.
              It was the start of an era of confusion for me, and it hasn’t ended yet. 😛

              I think I would figure out if someone like our great host prof. Coyne was trolling at least. I’ve read pretty much all his posts by now, going through the archives. 🙂

              1. Ok so I was just watching Milo’s channel and it seems that he is quite positive about gay men and sex between gay men. Being a gay man is not a choice and their sex lives are hot and macho because penis.

                However, he is skeptical about lesbians. He seems to think that being a lesbian is a *choice* because ‘female sexuality is different from male sexuality’ and that since many women are ‘bi’ while in college but then get married and have kids that it must be a choice.

                Methinks that he has a good handle on what it means to be a gay man but is ignorant when it comes to the love lives of lesbians.

  15. The regressive left are the slowest believers of all. All their dogmas are insane and patently untrue. Their ideas of how to run society are utterly corrosive. Their academic output is fraudulent and stupid. Their behaviour, like their aesthetic taste, is frequently gross and bestial. They cannot debate coherently or honestly on any subject, but always try to shout down their opponents with name-calling. Their only talent is for Newspeak. They have invented many new terms equivalent to the old “heretic”, “recusant” and “blasphemer”, often borrowing and twisting psychological jargon. When those terms fail, they typically either run away, call for censorship, or resort to violence. The regressive left exists as a result of the over-expansion of higher education, resulting in the admission of numerous semi-morons. These fools rail against religion, blissfully unaware of the cultish nature of their own beliefs and behaviour.

  16. I suspect that the conversation is happening now because the Right would love to have anything to talk about other than gun control, and Islam is too temping a target — since in this instance, the ideology is as much to blame as the easy access to automatic weaponry.

    If we’re being honest here, in the United States, the political Right controls the national conversation about most issues these days and has done so for decades. (Income inequality may be the only area where this is now changing.) And talking about Islam, steering all media conversation in the direction of terrorism and jihad, is tremendously convenient for the Right right now. It makes their bigoted presidential candidate look positively prescient, AND it keeps the NRA out of the news. Bully for the GOP, eh?

  17. There’s a concerted effort by some people (mostly) on the Left to limit the debate to gun control issues – perhaps because those people feel comfortable criticising right-wing Americans and less comfortable criticising Muslims. When I pointed out on a friend’s FB page that homophobic rants by Muslim preachers were another factor, I was told I was ‘trying to turn this into a story about homophobia’ (!) when it was clearly a story about gun control – and that by mentioning homophobia I was aiding the NRA. This strikes me as a very odd way to think. I debated for a little while but frankly nobody agreed with me so I left (and came here).

  18. John Higgins:

    “…easy access to automatic weaponry.”

    Wrong. See Firearms Control Act of 1934, and Gun Control Act of 1968, as amended 1986. IF you are aware of shootings involving “automatic weaponry” (except for the North Hollywood bank shootout, involving illegally-modified weapons, and resulting in no deaths save for the two perpetrators), please share them.


    1. I have no interest in quibbling with a pedant.

      Yes, there is a technical distinction between semi- and fully automatic weaponry. No, it isn’t germane to this issue.

      1. It is pedantry.
        The gun does reload automatically. Fully automatically.
        No bolt mechanism, no pump mechanism, no cocking mechanism.

        Fire one shot and it is automatically ready to fire another.

        1. Wow, Mr. Waterhouse. Well done.

          “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

          In firearm terminology, the words automatic and semi-automatic have well-defined meanings that have stood for over a hundred years. And “automatic” doesn’t refer to the the reloading of a cartridge into the chamber.

          But you knew that.

          1. Sarcasm alert:


            Like, I saw an interview with a young woman who was shot in both legs while hiding in a bathroom with the gunman also in that same bathroom shooting, and where other people were murdered by the gunman. She was so stupid she referred to the gun that was being fired feet away from her as a machine gun! What a dummy!!

            The above is sarcasm and criticism of Brujo Feo for the slow at mind.

          2. Yep.
            And I had a cheap .22 many many years ago that turned itself into an automatic.

            I am sure you can figure out how.

        2. But I understand the AK15 to be an automatic weapon but not an automatic rifle – the latter fires repeatedly so long as the trigger is squeezed without having to repeatedly squeeze the trigger. Another post pointed out that to modify it to be fully automatic both is highly illegal, requires specialist part making skills/access and knowledge – which its doubtful the gunman had.

          At any rate the gunman must have used multiple magazines because in the US generally I think the magazine size is fairly limited to 9 bullets max and even with 2 pistols he surely had no time to constantly reload the magazine with bullets.
          I understand that tho its quite easy to get an AK15 in Florida – it said nothing about purchase of magazines – Has anyone read anything about how he got the ammo/magazines?

          1. somer:

            “But I understand the AK15 to be an automatic weapon but not an automatic rifle…”

            OK…let’s slow down a moment. There is no such thing as an “AK15.” I assume that you mean “AR-15,” the semi-auto variant of the M-16, and not “AK-47,” the full-auto assault weapon of which the semi-auto variant is the SKS.

            As it turns out, what Mateen used was neither, but the Sig-Sauer MCX, a completely different weapon. But it’s closer to the AR-15, in that it uses the .223 Remington cartridge, and both in a pinch (there is controversy about how smart this is) can use the 5.56 x 45 NATO cartridge. Both are very different from the AK-47’s 7.62 x 39 cartridge.

            But the “weapon but not rifle” language doesn’t parse; all three are rifles. (I’m not getting into sub-distinctions like “carbine.”) Perhaps you meant “ASSAULT weapon but not…”

            There is no real LEGAL definition of “assault weapon”; the ad hoc cobbled-together usage in the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban has no descriptive utility, and among people who actually know about such things, the term can ONLY apply to weapons with a selective-fire switch–either full-auto or the “burst” setting available on some other weapons, such as the current M4. (See By that definition (and there is no other that is coherent), none of the three are assault weapons either. (BTW, the “AR” in “AR-15” does not stand for “assault rifle”; it’s short for “Armalite rifle.”)

            Now about the magazines (and thank you for not saying “clip,” which is a completely different thing): not exactly. Some states (like California) have a 10-round limit, but in neighboring Nevada, I could easily buy a 20-round, or 30-round mag. Florida has no law limiting the size. I’m going to put a link for you in a separate comment, as multiple links here seem to put comments into awaiting-moderator-approval limbo…

              1. State by state laws like this seem pretty ridiculous. There should be federal laws to keep things equal and reduce smuggling.

              2. rickflick:

                There’s certainly an argument to be made for consistency, but bearing in mind that the great majority of states have no restrictions of any kind, a federal standard might well gut all state restrictions, and I’m not sure that that’s where you were going with this. And as far as smuggling goes, consider the example of cigarettes–would New York be willing to adopt North Carolina-level taxes on them in order to avoid smuggling? Apparently not, or they would have done so already.

                It’s a constant issue with federalism. Remember the federally-mandated 55 mph speed limit, based upon the false notion that “speed kills.” (It’s actually speed *differentials*, which made a 55-mph limit perhaps not a big deal in Delaware or Rhode Island, but ridiculous–and dangerous–in Wyoming and North Dakota.)

              3. Thanks a lot Bruno for the writup and interesting links- The sites I looked at mentioned clips not magazines and I was curious about bullet capacity of magazines – as this must have been pretty high to do what Mateen did. So no probs in Florida getting plenty of magazine power.

                And thanks for pointing out my errors – I should have rechecked my sites – I meant to say AR15 is a semi-auto rifle classified as an assault weapon but not as an assault rifle and I knew the automatic version of AR15 is M16 (illegal) and nothing to do with AK47.

            1. Even given all this discussion of weaponry and magazine size, how likely is it that 1 person could kill or wound 100 people?

  19. I’m all in favor of calling a spade a spade, of calling radical Islam, “radical Islam.”

    But those who think President Obama is without a leg to stand on in eschewing the term should ask yourselves how many Muslim allies we would’ve managed to enlist if we’d have labelled the “War on Terror” the “War on Radical Islam” (which is what it is, inasmuch we never invaded Northern Ireland or sent drones after the Tamil Tigers.)

    1. true but neither the Tamil Tigers or the IRA ever killed 3,000 western opponents in one hit, wiped out two of the tallest buildings in the country, and part of the defence HQ (4th plane that diverted by passengers and crashed was probably aimed for the white house)

      1. True, but that’s a non sequitur in this context. My question is whether we’d be better off, in terms of securing international cooperation, if we called the “War on Terror” what it really is, the “War on Radical Islam”?

        1. Sorry – get your point. Just my thought but given all the tensions with other states in the relevant areas maybe its easier to get support for the “war on terror”.

            1. “Terror” is merely a tactic, usually one employed by the relatively powerless — those unable to wage war on a set-piece battlefield — against the powerful, who can. We can condemn terrorism, just as we condemn the use of chemical weapons like chlorine and mustard gas. But it makes no more sense to declare a global war on terror than it would to declare hostilities against trench warfare or high-altitude bombing.

              We have experience, OTOH, with waging war against ideologies — both a cold war against communism and a hot one against fascism. The question here is whether it would be wise strategically to call this war by its proper name.

    2. I think it would be better. My experience is that honesty rarely does harm and often creates respect and a basis for future agreement even among enemies. People hate being lied to.

  20. I understand why President Obama needs to avoid inflammatory words at this troubling time, especially with Trump fanning the flames. Given the wars he is managing in Afghanistan and the Middle East, I doubt that he has any illusions about the role of radical islam in inciting violence.

    1. Who was the tirade aimed at? Certainly not Trump.

      Do you think that he fears that everyday Muslims will be more likely to become inflamed and react violently if they hear Trump/Hillary use words like “Radical Islam” and “Radical Muslim Jihadists”.

      I wish I could share Jerry’s optimism that there is a change afoot.

            1. I understand now, tx. “Tirade” was in the headline on the link.

              “Obama goes on tirade against Trump over ‘dangerous’ Muslim ban, ‘radical Islam'”

              I think it probable that his talk was aimed way beyond the American people, and that the American people were probably not his primary audience. He is wanting to assure the Muslim world that he gets the difference between “Radical Islam” and “Radical Islamists”.

              So relative to the topic of Jerry’s post, I just don’t see the change Jerry is hoping he sees. And I think rather than being about political correctness and the regressive left narrative, it is more about not inciting even more violence through use of the wrong words.

              1. We are in full agreement, then. What matters is not whether the President uses the words “radical islam” but whether he understands that, at bottom, it is the problem. I think he must. As President, he measures his words, and urges others to do the same, for both for diplomatic and domestic harmony reasons.

              2. But isn’t this then a further indictment of Muslims where one has to mince words not to incite further violence? “Don’t criticize them or they will kill even more of us”

              3. I think it is more a matter of mincing words to keep segments of the muslim world allied against our immediate enemies. All countries do this. We didn’t win WWII by telling our Russian allies they were an untrustworthy bunch of commie drunks, even if it were true.

      1. Unfortunately, I do not share this optimism. I fear that gays will be just the next group of people to be pushed under the bus in the Authoritarian Left’s relentless quest to Islamize the world. We have already seen this done to Jews, secularists, liberal Muslims and women.

  21. Well it seems what was wrong with murderous young man is that he was gay and living in a homophobic world. Claiming he was acting according to Islam was his way of denying his sexuality.

  22. Hirsi is wrong to diminish the
    role of gun laws. It will always be possible for someone with sufficient intent to get hold of a gun, however tightly controlled by law, but an entrenched ideology/culture of gun worship is just as dangerous as a culture/ideology of homophobia. The current Islamic version is the marriage of these two toxic components – among others. The target of jihadist terror is everyone who does not subscribe to their ideology. The easy accessibility of the means of committing mass murder is a boon to each and every variety of human psycho in America.

    Otherwise, all four articles are well worth reading.

  23. How did Islam become such an untouchable cause for the regressive left anyways? I graduated from school about 15 years ago and was active with the campus left and doing something about the Taliban for their mistreatment of women and girls was a fairly big issue for us. Is it just Bush/Republicans was/were against so we must be for it?

  24. We certainly have the equivalent in Australia going on right now. Religious conservative are using this to argue against the Royal Commission into sexual abuse in religious and state institutions.

    Extracts from an article on Religion and Ethics website of ABC (national media) – and there are other similar article right now on the website:

    The Socially Progressive Paradox: LGBTI Rights and Anti-Islamophobia
    Michael Bird 14 June 2016

    “The rub is you can’t just penalize churches and leaves the mosques and the synagogues untouched. If you are going to go after religion by repealing the religious exemption laws, then you have to go after every single religion in society.

    So do the Greens and their social progressive base have the desire to be the first Western democracy to prosecute or close Islamic schools, charities and institutions for being, well, Islamic? If so, where is your anti-Islamophobia badge now?
    You might not find other people’s views persuasive, agreeable, or tasteful. You have the right to criticize and even mock those beliefs. But the moment you say that certain people no longer have the right to hold and live by their beliefs, you are then rejecting diversity as a value and instead are insisting on the dogmatic imposition of your own beliefs as the sole acceptable position in the public domain.

    No one knows how the social progressive paradox of supporting LGBTI rights and opposing Islamophobia is going to play out. I suspect that they will bumble along together for some time yet with social progressives playing innocent to the tension.”

    1. They are not arguing against the Commission into sexual abuse – but arguing for the right of religion to practise norms that others (secular people) find offensive – like being opposed to homosexuality, and perhaps a reference to not being overly critical of celibate clergy is implied

    2. My apologies it is NOT talking about the sex abuse Commission and sex abuse At All. The article is concerned about religious exemptions legislation that enable religions to hire selectively, contra to the Sex Discrimination Act – and these exemptions within the Act are being considered for review.

    3. Thank you for the links, somer!

      Just spent the last half hour reading Harry’s Place! Great stuff, and an intelligent, insightful commentariat (which is a microaggression btw, and totes ableist)

      I am also going to start reading allthink on a regular basis – a lot of good articles lately:

      To say that Omar Mateen was gay, and therefore, this could not have been a religiously motivated attack is to purposefully delude yourself. It’s essentially saying that you can’t be both gay and Muslim at the same time which is downright ridiculous. You can convert to and out of Islam. It is a choice. There is no question about how homosexuality is viewed in the Muslim world. There are less than a dozen known imaams in the world who will tell you that it’s okay to be gay. All ten countries where homosexuality is punishable by death, happen to be Muslim countries. A majority of British Muslims think homosexuality should be illegal. Islam isn’t as flexible as to fall back on the fact that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality in the Bible, as is the case with Christianity, as the Prophet Muhammad had plenty of ideas about homosexuals, and none of them were friendly.

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