“Islamophobia: We need to accept the ‘other’”

From time to time, I post comments on news articles on The Globe and Mail news site.  The G&M lets people rate comments with a simple “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”.  My comments generally tend not to be rated very highly but, for some reason, I recently got the most highly-rated comment on a particular story.  The article is titled, “Islamophobia: We need to accept the ‘other’“.

The comment I posted is as follows:

I can live with Muslims just as I can live with Christians, but not unconditionally. I must not be expected to respect the beliefs of *any* religion and the devotees of any religion must accept the fact that, to many freethinking human beings, their religious beliefs are ridiculous and/or disgusting.

Neither must I be expected to accept the preposterous fiction that all cultures are equal. If we are to value all individuals equally, we should not be expected to value all cultures equally since some cultures discriminate against certain classes of people more than do others. And, lest anyone think I’m specifically targeting Islam with that, one should take note of the anti-woman bent to the particular brand of Christianity being promoted by certain U.S. would-be candidates for president.

I can accept the ‘other’ but I insist on being permitted to judge his or her beliefs. I can respect the person but I just might need to laugh at the beliefs.

A point of clarification: when I say that I can live with Muslims and Christians, I don’t mean that I find their religions acceptable. However, I recognize that inconsistency is pretty normal in humans. Highly intelligent people can do really stupid things; those who pride themselves on rationality can make irrational choices. Although I don’t respect their religion, I can still respect religious people – some of them, at least.

The comments section for that article is here.

(Note: the article and the accompanying comments will probably eventually no longer be available for viewing except by paid subscribers.)

7 Replies to ““Islamophobia: We need to accept the ‘other’””

    1. Hadn’t actually noitecd Darwin’s manner as a problem previously (only heard him talk once). BUT, I have read some of his books incl. The God Delusion and they are awesome! Clearly argued, logical, coherent and convincing. If he comes across as smug, I think it is just part of his strategy to behave in a similar but opposite way to those who have pushed religion down our throats for centuries. Also, he is rightly angry that we give special treatment handle with kid gloves matters of religious belief. He rightly takes the view that ANY belief should be open to scrutiny, whereas traditionally we have taken the view that we shouldn’t insult religious belief no matter how harmful for society. I’m with him all the way.

  1. Yes, people who are not religious can and do make irrational choices. That doesn’t make religion any less ridiculous.

    As for your question, no, haven’t. I expect that most Muslims are nice, normal people, as are most of the Christians I know. That means that I may respect them individually as people but it has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not I can or should be expected to respect their religion.

    1. this is great I hadent seen this one, I think that may be his house buescae, Thunderf00t on youtube had a chat with him too in this setting and aswell, he was very relaxed an more approachable, here is that vid, its very interesting fi not a bit long winded. Im a Dawkins fan, but I agree about the smugness, however, not so much about the forcing beliefs on people, he more over exudes the absolute facts and usually the, non scientist’ or whoever he is arguing with usually trips themselves up with, well, n0n factual drivel I do believe wholeheartedly with what Dawkins has to say, science is backed up with massive research and a lot of proof and only some theory, religion is just simply not, as you well know,but yeah I do find him harder than others to listen to as he is a tad wooden and a little like a school teacher in his methods but I cant help being a fan as he can bloody well debate with anyone and put them in their place! cheers for charing Tommy, hope ur well 🙂

  2. Informed rational freedom loving people have all the reasons in the world to fear islam. The twin fogs of political correctness & ignorance must be dispersed before western society better understands this menace. Even a brief review of islamic theology & history quickly exposes the deadly roots of this evil ideology.

    Mohamhead was a 7th century murdering warlord who rose to power on a river of blood surrounded by thugs and gangsters using intimidation, violence, deception and trickery to expand their criminal empire while mercilessly suppressing and killing their opponents and enriching themselves on stolen booty.

    The evil koran is a collection of sayings and speeches by this diabolical madman claiming divine guidance from some mythical sky-god which has inspired generations of crazed fanatics to abhorrent behavior resulting in historys worst ever crimes against humanity starting 1400 years ago and still continuing even today.

    Islam is just another fascist totalitarian ideology used by power hungry fanatics on yet another quest for worldwide domination and includes all the usual human rights abuses & suppression of freedoms.

    and some snappy graphics, great for emailing…

    http://img256.imageshack.us/img256/1479/dangermoko.jpg
    http://img826.imageshack.us/img826/9963/dangerislam.jpg

    1. Couldn’t agree with you more Tommy. Usually his overbearing, paostniring manner means I can’t watch him, despite agreeing with alot of what he has to say.Thanks for posting this interview, it certainly is a departure from his norm and means I can listen to his opinion for a change.

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