Islam is part of Western civilisation

As the arguments about Western civilisation roll on, I’m struck by the assumption, seemingly shared by both sides of this debate, that the Islam and the Islamic world aren’t part of “Western civilization”.

Islam is an Abrahamic religion, standing in essentially the same relationship to Christianity as Christianity does to Judaism. That is, Islam claims to be the completion of the prophetic mission of Christianity, just as Christianity claims to represent the fulfilment of the promise of the Messiah to the Jews. In each case, the older religion rejects this claim [1].

These disputes have occasioned persecution and bloodshed right down to the present day, between and within the religions. On the other hand, all of these religions have promoted learning and encouraged acts of charity. However you weigh up the achievements, follies and crimes of Western civilisation, it is absurd to deny that all three of its major religions have shared in these things.

Ever since Muhammad claimed power as an armed prophet in the 8th century, Islamic states and rulers have been part of the European struggle for control of the Mediterranean and the countries around it. In this context, Muslims appear sometimes as the targets of crusades or the instigators of jihad (the two words have essentially the same meaning), and sometimes in alliance with (further distant) Protestants, such as Elizabeth I, against Catholics.

A striking effect of the exclusion of Islam is that courses on “Western Civilisation” reproduce the discredited notion of a “Dark Age” between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance. This period coincides almost exactly with the Islamic Golden Age, which carried the torch of Western civilisation for hundreds of years, giving us algebra, universities and much more.


fn1. In fact, Islam was long regarded by Christians as a new form of the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ, rather than as a separate religion

155 thoughts on “Islam is part of Western civilisation

  1. @Ikonoclast
    Of course the West bears great responsibility for the disastrous state of the Middle East. But that is a completely different claim from the claim that there is a “Western-led war on Islam”, as you well know.

  2. @Hugo
    The idea that the behaviour of the Iranian religious police will be affected by the decision of Jacinda Ardern to wear a headscarf on one occasion is implausible, to put it mildly. The idea that Ardern should be held responsible for the actions of Iranian religious police is risible.

  3. @Tim

    Maryam Shariatmadari’s account is that this s precisely the type of thing that Iranian religious police seize on, which is why Maryam Shariatmadari wrote the tweet and juxtaposed her image with the of Ardern donning the hijab. Her lived experience trumps your opinion, my old china plate.

  4. @Hugo

    Her lived experience trumps your opinion, my old china plate.

    Yes, I suppose it does. Point taken. However, given that Ardern was trying to patch up the social dislocation created by a horrific mass murder, you’d think someone like Maryam Shariatmadari would have enough perspective to cut her some slack. Context is everything. New Zealand is not Iran.

  5. KT2,
    I came to the conclusion that my use of the term cherry picking is not exactly what I was getting at.
    A better way to phrase it would be that people put different weights on some parts of what a person says as compared with other parts of what a person says. How much wieght one person gives to or does not give to a comment is dependent upon their own background and experience. That makes interpreting a persons comments quite subjective.
    Therefore based upon your background your hostility to Hugo’s comments is probably quite reasonable.
    Based upon my background I do not find Hugo’s comments unreasonable. It could be that Hugo is an ass. But he has not demonstrated that to me yet.

  6. @Ikonoclast
    It’s funny. After responding to your (somewhat flouncy) comment about my demonstrating that you are wasting your time commenting here (or WTTE), I went back and re-read your original comment, and found that I mostly agreed with it. The bit I reacted to was the statement that there was a ‘war on Muslims’, which I interpreted as a ‘war on Muslims qua Muslims’. I maintain that that is a lie promulgated mainly by extremists of both the Islamist and white supremacy varieties. On re-reading your comment though, I recognise that you probably did not mean it that way.

    But the position that Western-led wars in the middle East have caused untold carnage and precipitated further chaos, and that the vast majority of casualties have been Muslims, which I now take to have been your main point, is IMHO beyond dispute.

    (I think the 4 million figure is pretty dodgy though – I tracked its provenance back to Gideon Polya, who is IMHO an utter crank. However, I don’t think that matters too much – the death toll has been clearly astronomical, whatever the true figure is).

    Strange how our brains pick up on certain points and sometimes cause us to miss the bigger picture.

  7. @Ikonoclast
    Also, given that I misread your intent, I should probably apologise for saying that you were making common cause with violent extremists. Sorry mate.

  8. Curt Kastens says March 31, 2019 at 10:03 pm – “So there is a mitigating circumstance to the barbaric behavior of the Muslims that support the execution of homosexuals.” Oh c’mon, what’s the plea, pig ignorance? Faked iron age stories full of stone age nonsense made ’em do it? No, there simply is no excuse for any barbaric behaviour, yet expect ongoing weapons sales and joint military exercise posturing type mitigation here on behalf of the Five Eyes useful Brunei dictator, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah,
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-30/george-clooney-urges-boycott-of-hotels-over-gay-sex-penalties/10955942

  9. Savante,
    You might not like it. But I am sure that you know that Insanity is a very common mitigating circumstance. Greed on the other hand is an agrivating circumstance.

  10. Curt, insanity is a mental health condition limited to an individual. Saying that a governing system is ‘crazy’ doesn’t let it nor its adherents off the hook.

  11. wolandscat says March 25, 2019 at 6:15 am – “Islam seen historically is pretty clearly a political-juridical system expressed in religious form. True, it is an Abrahamic faith – it could hardly be anything else given its historical and geographical origin – but it’s the political-ideological aspect that is the more defining characteristic.”

    Absolutely. Yes, it claims to be an Abrahamic faith, as do others. All religions have governed and are sure there is no other way, grasping it if given half a chance. Paraphrasing Mark Twain, religion has often altered its appearance and abominable practices to suit a time and place, but the authorising texts always remain unchanged.

  12. nottrampis says March 25, 2019 at 8:06 am
    “I think it is moire accurate to say Islam was part of Western civilisation.”

    ‘Was’, not ‘is’? As in its later deliberately masked approach-at-your-peril beginnings arising from mutiny and rebellion by Arab commands of Roman employed Arab mercenary armies and Roman regular legions predominantly comprised of Arabs situated along Rome’s eastern border with Persia? Islam to be faked later by heirs to a quickly won rapidly expanding empire as a political-juridical system of imperial government. Islam manufactured, per Constantine, per Diocletian, as a tool to efficiently rule and unify geographically widespread divergent population cohorts. Chips flying off the old block, similar type of wood maybe (3 x Roman military), but seperate trajectories upon fall of the axe.

  13. ” Islam seen historically is pretty clearly a political-juridical system expressed in religious form. ”

    And the same is true of Judaism and Christianity (particularly in its Catholic and Orthodox forms).

  14. wolandscat says March 28, 2019 at 10:12 pm
    “I left Australia 25y ago because it seemed that people cared only about football, meat pies, and kangaroos (and John Howard). I had not at that time met anyone who cared about state hospitals. This stuff is just superficial culture;”
    – No, that time is 1976 and on. Whitlam has ended the cultural cringe. The GMH series of TV ads and the jingle were taken to heart in patriotic fashion – even by Ford buyers. Few knew it was appropriated from a US GMC ‘baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet’ ad, nor that it sold Holdens in South Africa, fewer would have cared. Leather jackets were out and prayers were back in Federal Parliaments, but soon would be absent again for some 13 years until praying in Parliament came back in conjunction with an explosion in NOM and vilification of refugees – all ongoing. People then had state hospitals that by and large met their needs. Then as today they cared very much for their state hospitals, but unlike today with insanely exploding population numbers due to NOM the state hospital systems worked. Queenslanders, for example, funded theirs adequately by a lottery run specifically for the purpose – now the hospitals are a lottery.

    “The deep culture of all those places is Christian-based (with some exceptions)”
    – No, it had fully gone US consumerist, and was if anything post christian.

    “What keeps societies functioning (in their usually dysfunctional way – as we see today in most of the West) are these deep structures. The shallow stuff sometimes has deep roots as well – e.g. English football is a replacement for religion and tribe for many people.”
    – Exactly so, all else being equal it is bottom up, but now we are instructed on what the culture is by never ending top down jingoistic propaganda. Cracks become splits, an alienation grows.

    “One of the problems with discussions about things like Shari’a, apostasy, blasphemy, women’s rights, terrorism and so on is that it in its popular form (i.e. the generally useless fake discourse on TV, press etc) might be directed at any ‘Muslim’, when in fact it needs to be directed at the political/ideological system and supporters of the political-ideological project.”
    – By definition muslims support the project – without muslims there is no Islam. A majority of those people need to do something for themselves where they are, but don’t hold your breath. The so called Arab spring didn’t go far. Worse, the texts remain unchanged wherever they go.

  15. John Quiggin says April 1, 2019 at 1:11 pm
    ” Islam seen historically is pretty clearly a political-juridical system expressed in religious form. ”
    And the same is true of Judaism and Christianity (particularly in its Catholic and Orthodox forms).

    True of any and all religion if it’s a big enough fish in its pond. I’ll point out the other usual prime examples, Hinduism and Buddhism, but I dare say the other 9995^ or is it 4195* religions, take your pick, all have the same propensity to rule outright if given the chance, or be exploited for the purpose by rulers.

    ^ https ://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion#cite_ref-9
    * https ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religions_and_spiritual_traditions#cite_note-3

  16. Savante, the idea that whole socities can be insane seems to me to be intuitively true. Anyways I did not come up with the idea. I got it from the psychologist Erich Fromm. If he got it from someone else I do not know.
    More importantly, No it does not let them off the hook in the sense that their behavior needs to change.
    It does let them off the hook in terms of what sort of punishment for their bad behavior would be appropriate. Those who have killed homosexuals should not be burned alive. It was not long ago that homosexuality was considered a crime everywhere. Sure there are people who use religion to advance their politcal and economic agenda. There are also true believers. Therefore I do not want to burn alive Muslims or Christians or Jews or Buddhists or what have you for when they do something barbaric. I mostly want them to change. I might want to punish them depending on the case. But a simple prison sentence will do.
    The only thing that US imperialists and their collaborators believe in is selfishness. We can determine that selfishness is in reality their only core value by the way their stories are always changing. The only constant in their historical narrative in which they attempt to explain their behavior to the world is, the rules are I win and you loose and if we are not happy with how much we win then we get to change the rules so the we win and you loose even more.

  17. John Quiggin quoting my comment:
    ” Islam seen historically is pretty clearly a political-juridical system expressed in religious form. ”

    JQ: And the same is true of Judaism and Christianity (particularly in its Catholic and Orthodox forms).

    I don’t think this claim stands up. The canonical texts of Islam encode much to do with political and legal arrangements to operate a military society – they were born of just that need. The Christian canonical texts do not, not in any serious way. All of the wars and other atrocities justified by various nations as being ‘in the name of God’ have no supporting material in the bible or other canonical texts. Using religion as a justification for war and other evils isn’t the same as the religious texts themselves encoding such incitements. Some claims could be made for the orthodox reading of the Judaic canon on the side of how one must live one’s personal life, but that’s probably about it.

    You might want to make claims that the question really revolves around Islamic, Christian or Judaic ‘culture’, each being a mosaic result of central religious beliefs and societal development into a civilisational approach. And via that argument that each of the three privileges different aspects of their canon – for example, mainstream Christianity is based on the New Testament, not the Old. But it is hard to ignore the differences between the historical origins and textual details of Islam compared to the other two – the former define for a model of a society of pretty much total submission and rigorous enforcement of laws, with many prescriptions and proscriptions relating directly to the treatment of non-Muslims, women etc. Apostasy for example is properly understood in Islam as treason, and generally carries the death penalty. In Christianity, it is primarily a theological concept – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy_in_Christianity

    It should go without saying: none of this should relate to how anyone identifying or being identified as a Muslim is treated. For the vast majority of Muslims, Islam is an unchosen affiliation; nothing can be assumed about what any individual Muslim thinks purely on the basis of that identification e.g. that they support some kind of Jihad, Shari’a or killing homosexuals – to know that, you have to ask them, just as for any other individual.

    (note: I am not religious).

  18. Wolandscat:

    Apostasy for example is properly understood in Islam as treason, and generally carries the death penalty. In Christianity, it is primarily a theological concept …

    Wolandscat, need I point out that you do not have the authority to decide what must be “properly understood” as correct in any body of theology. No one has that authority, not even the most eminent scholar. The main source material for Islamic theology, the hadiths and Quran, are as confusing and contradictory as the Christian source material; the Old and New Testaments.

    On top of that, liberal and moderate Islamic theologians can use the same methods as their Christian counterparts to ignore or downplay the nasty bits in the source material.

    Islamic thinking, as I said earlier, will leave the the Bronze Age in its own time. The fact that it isn’t “woke” to point out how grotesque nature of the ideas still dominate Islamic thinking outside a few small pockets of moderation and liberalism is what I find objectionable. For instance, I have been attacked as Islamophobic for pointing out that mosques in Britain are still teaching the faithful that apostates, homosexuals etc should be killed and women are inferior. Of course, if a cardinal of the Catholic Church was to be secretly recorded saying that women are pea brains and homosexuals and apostates should be killed, the woke would never shut up about it.

    So yeah, at this point in our history, the mainstream “woke” left is full of crap in regards to ethno-religious issues, although it is still better than the right.

  19. Hugo: “Wolandscat, need I point out that you do not have the authority to decide what must be “properly understood” as correct in any body of theology. No one has that authority, not even the most eminent scholar”

    Clearly I do not, why would you think such a thing? However, there are certainly scholars who take that authority, and for all practical purposes, possess it. I’m simply quoting from the usual sources. The wikipedia page on its own gives useful refs, but read also Qutb, al Banna, etc. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, head of the Muslim Brotherhood said in recent times “If Muslims had gotten rid of the punishment (i.e. death) for apostasy, Islam would not exist today.”

  20. @ Wolandscat

    Your response, including the Yusuf al-Qaradawi quote, does not support your primary assertion, which is that “Apostasy for example is properly understood in Islam as treason, and generally carries the death penalty”. I’ll take that as a concession.

    Nonetheless, it is the classical position in the major Sunni and Shiite schools of Islamic thought that apostasy carries the death penalty.

    I also note the Wikipedia Apostasy in Christianity page says the classical cannon position on apostasy is that it should result in death. ****en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy_in_Christianity#Penalties

    I hope and expect that in 100 years time, Islam will be as chastened and wishy-washy as most of Christianity is today in Europe and that almost no one will be talking about killing apostates.

    If one wants to read intelligent and informed commentary on Islam, rather than “woke” left wing drivel, I recommend ex-Muslims like Sarah Haider and moderate Muslims like Maajid Nawaz.

  21. Hugo “woke”? What do you mean by that? Who do you think is woke. Is Trump woke. Are you “woke”, Hugo, and that is why you know so much about this stuff?

    You mentioned virtue signalling earlier and that’s another term that I don’t understand. Clearly I am not woke but do keep wondering about virtue signalling and I wondered if you are virtue signalling in this thread? Is it virtuous to want to enlighten people and give them the truth?

    Perhaps I don’t understand the term because I think that it is a good thing to aim to be virtuous and the term is clearly used as an insult. But surely we should all want to be more virtuous and ‘signalling’ to others that one is virtuous is one way to encourage oneself to become what one wants to be as well as telling others in your community that you want to be a good person and fit in.

    I suppose that avoiding apostasy is/was considered to be virtuous in certain narrow situations that certain humans experienced and it became a narrative because of chance occurrences and then was incorporated – or not- into other narratives that become increasingly complex and dependent on specific circumstances to be true that make up the levels of knowledge that seem to be common to all human religions.

    What is a religion but a way or a method for humans to achieve virtue, be virtuous and earn the respect of their neighbours?

    Are values better than virtues as a way to determine how we should live with each other?

  22. Hugo says;
    “For instance, I have been attacked as Islamophobic for pointing out that mosques in Britain are still teaching the faithful that apostates, homosexuals etc should be killed and women are inferior.” 

    No Hugo, you haven’t been attacked. I was just pointing out your lack of balance and cherry-picked data you use, to bolster your ‘attacks’.

    “rather than “woke” left wing drivel,”
    Much. Projection.

    Julie T. Great question; “Are you “woke”, Hugo, and that is why you know so much about this stuff?”
    “need I point out that you do not have the authority to decide”.

  23. I thought virtue signalling was wearing a clerical collar and vice signalling, dressing like a playboy bunny.

    Since various enquiries, maybe I’ve got my signal wires crossed 🙂

  24. Julie Thomas:

    What is a religion but a way or a method for humans to achieve virtue, be virtuous and earn the respect of their neighbours?

    Virtue signalling has to be be judged within its context; it isn’t inherently good or bad.

    An unhealthy concern with earning the respect of one’s neighbours by is what leads to honour killing. The killing itself signals virtue and assures the neighbours that the family is pious.

    A readiness to invoke public ire can lead to positive social change, for instance those sturdy suffragettes who withstood the hatred and ridicule of the general public, the churches, the media and politicians. To hell with being seen as virtuous, human rights are inalienable and undeniable.

    I haven’t the foggiest idea what this means:

    I suppose that avoiding apostasy is/was considered to be virtuous in certain narrow situations that certain humans experienced and it became a narrative because of chance occurrences and then was incorporated – or not- into other narratives that become increasingly complex and dependent on specific circumstances to be true that make up the levels of knowledge that seem to be common to all human religions.

  25. But Hugo if “Virtue signalling has to be be judged within its context; it isn’t inherently good or bad” how does one know if one’s virtue signalling is good or bad.

    Do you have a website that one can go to and ask for advice? The left does this through things like Lifeline; not so much cultural Marxism. Perhaps Jordan Peterson could run such a site or is Conservapeadia the go to site for information about the truth as understood by the really woke, who are different from those who just think they are woke?

    And Hugo how does one know when one’s concern with earning the respect of one’s neighbours is “unhealthy”? What are the danger signs that good neighbourliness is slipping into the unhealthy zone? Is reading the Koran enough to seduce some people into seeing honor killing as virtuous?

    And Hugo if it’s all about human rights …you maybe you have an army to enforce the rights that you think are the woke human rights as opposed to the rights that others think are woke? Seems to me that arguing about what rights are the right rights is like arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    But there has been some interesting thoughts about virtues and ethics in the European tradition of Western Civisation. Like Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Aquinas’s Treatise on Virtues, or Kant’s second Critique. One would hope this work would be appreciated as a useful part of the Western Canon.

  26. Admirers, once in the west? Just look around now! However critics in general are far better informed and balanced today, the sample from Tolman notwithstanding..

    Such American “irony” in this, from your aeon link: “Adolph A Weinman, a German-born American sculptor, depicted Muhammad in his 1935 frieze in the main chamber of the US Supreme Court, where the Prophet takes his place among 18 lawgivers.”

    Why no mention of the other Adolf, another artist at that time intent on doing a bit of noteworthy supremo sculpting of his own? The first transgresses basic Islamic law and so will not see this century out, the second, also destined not to last, idolises the unifying militarist mahomedan esssence. AH repeatedly laments, on his urgent special top priority request trip to Tours made at the first opportunity, and elsewhere, that Germany was xtian degraded not muslim pure, that this made his ‘sculpting’ much more difficult.

  27. “Is reading the Koran enough to seduce some people into seeing honor killing as virtuous?”

    It is. Why, and why not just some but many?

  28. Julie Thomas:

    Seems to me that arguing about what rights are the right rights is like arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    Discussions on blogs are also about as productive as arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, yet here we are, discussing away 😉

    But on a more serious note, almost nothing has been more important to human lives than the outcome of arguments about rights. We all deploy rights based arguments in political discussions, whether we are conscious of it or not. You are no exception. Since you already know this, what is your actual point, other than trolling?

  29. Hugo, creating a label for a phenomenon does not mean that the phenomenon is significant or even that it exists.

    [language is symbolic: if you’re doing things properly, swapping between a word and a description of the concept it indicates won’t change anything. Words symbolise, stand for, their meanings, can be freely interchanged with their meanings. If your rhetoric requires that people use certain formulations then… you’re thinking with the words themselves rather than remembering that they’re standing for concepts. But that doesn’t actually work; the words are of themselves, still, just empty symbols. This error is called “reification”.]

    [or you can frame it as a form of equivocation, where the words have a meaning but you can’t swap the purported meaning and the words because in reality the words have an extra meaning that’s unacknowledged…]

  30. I mean how wide do you want to draw the circle.. Arabic numerals originated in India for instance.

  31. “Discussions on blogs are also about as productive as arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, yet here we are, discussing away 😉”

    Hugo, I was serious and your analogy sucks and doesn’t work at any level. Add the word ‘some’ as in ‘some discussions on blogs ….and it could work, but then you need to define the categories of blog discussions that are as productive etc and blog discussions that are not …Can you do that?

    It’s difficult to take you seriously particularly now that you have introduced another of your politically incorrect trigger words and called me a “troll”. Is it trolling to ask questions that you know the other person can’t answer rationally?

    Do tell me what is what Hugo a go go; are you just joking and you wern’t serious when you said all those silly things about Islam and what ‘they’ need and need to do?

    So my point was and is that we should all think about the benefits of discussing what it means to live a virtuous life or to be a superior man as the term is used in the I Ching or to be the sort of person that people look up to and want to emulate which is what I was raised to think of as a civilised person.

    Thank you for your responses. I probably won’t be discussing away with you anymore. For some time now, I’ve been finding it more useful to read comments than to participate. This must have been just a momentary lapse of reason.

  32. Hugo,
    Do you disagree with everyone and everything (including your own comments and those with whom you previously agreed), simply for the sake of disagreening, or some other similar reason. There is no doubt in my mind that the answer is YES. As to exact motive of this, I am not sure.

    You do get plenty of attention, and your offten incoherent and childish protestations may be due to this (ie attention seeking).

    You don’t directly address people’s comment or answer questions put to you in good faith either. It looks like you may have gotten advise from the NRA (on throwing sand in people’s eyes) as it seemed offered to Pauline H’s secretary; in fact you talk about the poor muslim women’s mistreatment whenever anyone says anything that threatens your worldview or possibly simply because you don’t want to lose sn argument. You wore down those who tried to reason with you: You refuse to follow any rule that would disallow inconsistencies in arguments.

    Here are a few reasons why your comments are a waste of everyone’s time, if not worse: You show clear disrespect for certain sets of people that are the members of this society just as you are (eg muslims), your writing and thinking are full of inconsistencies (or offer ‘alternative’ facts to those presented by others). You also show zero inclination to see what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes.

  33. Julie Thomas

    “What is a religion but a way or a method for humans to achieve virtue, be virtuous and earn the respect of their neighbours?”

    My basic understanding is that religion is used by some people to gain control over other people, by saying that they are the representatives of (insert god or divinity or lifestyle).

    Virtue is one of many tools.

  34. rog,
    Our reproductive systems are there essentially so that we can reproduce, once we reach maturity.

    Yet some unlucky individuals’ bodies are misused by others (abusers without going into too much detail), which results in these individuals being permanently scared (by all reports).

    What these two assertions put together say about our reproductive systems, I have no idea.

  35. Svante,
    My previous comment directed at Hugo was inspired by some (if not most) of your answers too.

    Your comments regarding the ‘admirers of Muhammad’ makes ZERO sense to me. It looks (it is best I can do) like you may be offering ‘alternative facts’. Not sure!

  36. Julie Thomas:

    Do tell me what is what Hugo a go go; are you just joking and you wern’t serious when you said all those silly things about Islam and what ‘they’ need and need to do?

    What silly things?

    I identified you as a troll because of your sarcastic and irrelevant mention of Jordan Peterson etc. and because you say “[It] seems to me that arguing about what rights are the right rights is like arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin” yet you (like practically everybody else on the planet) deploy rights based arguments when it suits you, such as here:

    I want more gun responsibility and less freedom for gun lovers to do their thing, not more gun rights and more freedom for these alpha males to walk around among the rest of us armed and feeling superior and judgemental.

    ***johnquiggin.com/2015/02/08/sandpit-59/comment-page-3/#comment-165919

  37. AleD:

    You show clear disrespect for certain sets of people that are the members of this society just as you are (eg muslims), your writing and thinking are full of inconsistencies

    I try my best to distinguish between people and the ideas they hold. As an example, my wife’s neighbour is a Rohingya Muslim. From our discussions, I know he thinks homosexuals should be put to death by being thrown off a high place. This is a traditional Muslim view and is well supported by the hadiths. This view upsets me and for me is very personal, since my beloved sister is gay. I do not respect such a view, in fact I outright hate it. However, knowing this Rohingya gentleman to be otherwise decent and kind but also dirt poor and with a family to support, my wife and I give him as much paid work as we can afford.

    No religious or secular belief is owed respect or is beyond criticism, in my view. Your disrespectful response to myself and Svante shows that you know this to be true.

  38. AleD says April 2, 2019 at 5:21 pm
    “…Here are a few reasons why your comments are a waste of everyone’s time, if not worse: You show clear disrespect for certain sets of people that are the members of this society just as you are (eg muslims), your writing and thinking are full of inconsistencies (or offer ‘alternative’ facts to those presented by others). You also show zero inclination to see what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes.”

    That seems just typical of an expression of resentment when some other party won’t subscribe to the religionist line being pushed. A resounding no to any of this ad hominem. Reasons(?), disrespect, inconsistencies, ‘alternative facts’, empathy lacking? No. OTOH, has Hugo shown reasoned, consistent, factual, considered argument? Yes.

    Further – “You also show zero inclination to see what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes.” – demonstrates that apart from understanding the political strength to be gained by their grouping together religionists of differing persuasions find it hard enough to understand each other’s proselytising and simply are incapable of understanding an atheist viewpoint!

  39. Hugo and Svante,
    You never asked me if I was religious! Since you bring it up here it is.
    FYI I am not religious (as a young child I refused to believe in anything I could not see, because even then I found unfairness in an adult using God against me).
    I never told my child that there is a god, but I did not tell her that there is no god/s. I don’t want to impose my belif on anyone. The child finds the idea of god/s laughable but I remind her still to respect other people’s ideas (and listen to them as long as they respect hers).
    You on the other hand are as forceful with your religious dislike as the religious fundementalist is forceful with their dislike of those who do not believe. Please remember and try to understand Ikonoclast’s comment about Fundamentalist A criticising Fundamentalist B.

    Maybe it would be better if we had no notion of god/s. But this is not the point. WE DO HAVE THEM (and I am sure you would not be standing up and telling the World that they must abandon their religions!)
    Homosexuality is prohibited in Islam, but so it is in other monotheistic religions. Remember what happened to Alan Turing in the UK? Not executed exactly, but maybe execution would have been less cruel. It is illegal in China even though I am not aware that it is on religious ground. Does that mean that all other good things should also be gotten rid of? I don’t think I should make that decision for others. And you shouldn’t either.

    And if you still want to comment on anything I say, don’t.
    Instead read my comments above again (on why your comments are a waste of time.)

  40. Hugo,
    Your patronizing attitude toward the poor Rohingya family is unimpressive.
    Again, don’t comment (same reason as before)

  41. AleD says April 2, 2019 at 6:24 pm Svante, My previous comment directed at Hugo was inspired by some (if not most) of your answers too.
    Your comments regarding the ‘admirers of Muhammad’ makes ZERO sense to me. It looks (it is best I can do) like you may be offering ‘alternative facts’. Not sure!

    AleD says March 26, 2019 at 4:29 pm @Svante @hugo
    I read the interview by Tom Holland and have difficulty understanding what exactly he’s saying. That Islam needs to be reformed? Which one? In which country? Why? To what end? Why not reform western countries to mind their own business? To take care of their poor instead of pointing the finger, letting the poor see the imigrant as the enemy?

    The above shows, for example, consistent incapacity to apprehend leave alone understand information from beyond a certain constrained religionist viewpoint, and an incapacity to formulate reasoned factual argument.

    AleD, I’m sure I can’t help you. Holland looked into the history of Islam specific memes. You wish to support the average muslims, and want more in the ‘west’. I get that. I do not support any religionist line. A position I believe to be beyond you. I think all religions are inimical to enlightened civilisation – our ‘western civilisation’ project.. Tax religions, and drastically reduce net overseas migration to Australia, I also say. Possibly with the passing of time you may get some of that, which is not to say you need agree. Religion, pro religion, those old memes work as strong filters you may perhaps not put aside.

  42. And Svante

    “Tax religions, and drastically reduce net overseas migration to Australia, I also say.”

    Neither you alone nor I alone can make this decision!

  43. @AleD,

    Homosexuality is prohibited in Islam, but so it is in other monotheistic religions. Remember what happened to Alan Turing in the UK? Not executed exactly, but maybe execution would have been less cruel. It is illegal in China even though I am not aware that it is on religious ground. Does that mean that all other good things should also be gotten rid of? I don’t think I should make that decision for others. And you shouldn’t either.

    China decriminalised homosexuality in 1997. Why are you making untrue statements?

    There are no “Alan Turings” in the UK today precisely because activists disrespected the ideas of monotheist fundamentalists and changed the law. According to you, this is jolly awful and those activists need to take a good long hard look at themselves. I find your mindset perverse and reactionary.

  44. AleD – “You on the other hand are as forceful with your religious dislike as the religious fundementalist is forceful with their dislike of those who do not believe”

    I dispute the contention that Hugo is forceful. His arguments have force. Hugo has not decreed that anyone should be harmed unlike the texts you implicitly try to defend. Religious texts don’t change. They are the basis of numerous religions. Without religion there are no religious fundamentalists nor any plain old ordinary religious violence.

    Ikonoclast wrt out of the box fundamentalist criticism you say. Show what evidence you have that Hugo is a white supremacist.

    The remainder is whataboutery, a fallacious argument even were any facts by chance correct.

  45. Hugo and svante are you trolling? Calling others trolls? Note the question mark please. Hugo responded to Julie with ” You are no exception. Since you already know this, what is your actual point, other than trolling?” And of course Hugo,  you and I are NO EXCEPTION. Are you trying to imply you are exceptional Hugo and Julie is not? Or are you trolling? Have YOU EVER made any trolling type of comment?  Is your word absolute?  

    Svante perhaps you may be able to clear this up but from your comments being acusatorial and absolute and fundamental “all religions are inimical to enlightened” which is itself an “all” opinion statement”. 

    Svante, you need imo to define an enlightened civilisation. Is civilisation in Australia “enlightened” or parts of our ‘civilisation ‘. Examples – 1) locking up refugees indefinitely and; 2) cutting WATER to people in hiding from violence who can’t pay a bill.

    Re 2. I have a family member who, due to ongoing violence by a mentally ill person, (who gets almost zero treatment after abuse and 30 years later gets threatened with gaol), has been forced into hiding 2x. And the council cuts water off to the victim (victim in a real sense – not thenreified victimhood here) even though a single parent of a minor. All this is known to police / mental health authorities and personally by local councillors,  so please tell me Svante about a specific enlightened civilisation so I may join it. Being absolute in this [ devolved to argument / discussion but I wish it was a ] dialogue is counterproductive. 

    Hugo does the one data point setup, as you do Hugo, previously and now (seperated Hugo? You always unkowingly out yourself): “example, my wife’s neighbour is a Rohingya Muslim. From our discussions, I know he thinks homosexuals should be put to death by being thrown off a high place. This is a traditional Muslim view and is well supported by the hadiths.”

    … followed by a put down and talking for the other and hypocrisy; (triple as I have called you out on before)

    “Your disrespectful response to myself and Svante shows that you know this to be true.”

    … and convenient to his ARGUMENT you do  not mention fundamentalist xians or the whole first testament nor the crusades nor fraser anning. Nor Curt. Where is the enlightened civilisation in the person making these comments Svante? Generosity needed if a response please.

    Svante you are obviously triggered and seem to be Hugo’s troll troll. Can you please justify “has Hugo shown reasoned, consistent, factual, considered argument? Yes.” In a narrow one by one technical sense maybe. But not in the spirit of enlightened reasoning nor dialogue. Isn’t this OP a full history inclusive comment by JQ? Not a one by one driveby? And if you want to trigger me just follow up uo with the cowardly bullying “its was jest / fun /  joke”. That comment by Hugo is the only reason I have bothered to comment. JQ’s reasoning islam is part of western seems almost simplistic yet easily justifiable over the broad sweep if history IF you look both ways and don’t confine your comments to the neighbor next door of your wife!

    I just can’t see you ever Svante stooping to the its a joke line Svante. I read a comment by you in a deniers blog the other day. So good I didn’t need to say anything.

    And; “and simply are incapable of understanding an atheist viewpoint!”

    Svante, your use of exclamation points and absolute argument “simply are incapable ” show it is you who are also projecting the same. We understand your views on relgion are fundamental. Do you see the problem svante?

    Svante and “its just a joke” hugo seem to have missed the only person here who has called for burning people – Curt. Why are you not countering curt who, as per Hugo’s one data point at a time arguments, has actually incited? JQ no comment? 

    Svate you go on to say; 
    “I think all religions are inimical to enlightened civilisation – our ‘western civilisation’ project.. Tax religions, and drastically reduce net overseas migration to Australia”

    … and in then same comment prior you say; “Which one? In which country? Why? To what end? Why not reform western countries to mind their own business? ”  Apply your own questions to your own comments and see what you get. Just white migrants?

    Maybe down the pub “Its just a joke ” but not in this thread! – “and hurting others for one’s own amusement won’t earn much sympathy, either. There is overlap between this trope and emotional abuse.”. See below.

    I regard Hugo as abusive and by extension you Svante and worst Curt. There is your bell curve /spectrum for sensible non triggering and engaging in dialogue (not argument or reification) for a return comment. And please, if anyone comes back with snowflake I will request whoever gets a red card. Bad ratings… Incitement #1, its a joke #2, snowflake #3. Ad hom hardly makes this grade.

    Collin Sreet nailed it: “Reification… (also known as: abstraction, concretism, fallacy of misplaced concreteness, hypostatisation)

    “Description: When an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it were a concrete, real event or physical entity — when an idea is treated as if had a real existence.”

    And this last one lmfao and wtf? “China decriminalised homosexuality in 1997. Why are you making untrue statements?” We have yet to remove abortion from some states laws. Explain why you used suchna point in this OP please?

    ***

    “When humour is used to excuse behavior that others find offensive and inappropriate, you have just encountered a “Just Joking” Justification. Never mind that this seldom soothes the sting; the original barb hurt, after all, and hurting others for one’s own amusement won’t earn much sympathy, either. There is overlap between this trope and emotional abuse. ”

    – tvtropes org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/JustJokingJustification

    ***

    “Think Sarcasm is Funny? Think Again”Sarcasm is really just hostility disguised as humor

    If you want to be happier and improve your relationships, cut out sarcasm since sarcasm is actually hostility disguised ashumor.  Despite smiling outwardly, most people who receive sarcastic comments feel put down and usually think the sarcastic person is a jerk.  Indeed, it’s not surprising that the origin of the word sarcasm derives from the Greek word “sarkazein” which literally means “to tear or strip the flesh off.”  Hence, it’s no wonder that sarcasm is often preceded by the word “cutting” and that it hurts.   

    … “After all, when you come right down to it, sarcasm is a subtle form of bullying and most bullies are angry, insecure, cowards. psychologytoday com/us/blog/think-well/201206/think-sarcasm-is-funny-think-again

    ***

    “Why do you take everything so seriously? It was just a joke!”

    “Where’s your sense of humour?”

    “It was just a game.”

    “All of these statements have one thing in common — they are typical responses from bullies (or their parents) when confronted with their wrong-doing. In dismissing it all as a joke, they are doing two things that are tip-offs to bullying:

    – they are showing a lack of remorse for the hurt they caused;

    – they are blaming their targets for feeling hurt and daring to articulate it.
    risk-within-reason com/2013/01/18/just-a-joke-and-things-bullies-say/

    ***

    “But while the Fox News audience will no doubt lap up this excuse, and even pity Carlson for supposedly being the target of the fun police, other people should not be fooled by the “just joking” excuse.”

    alternet org/2019/03/dont-buy-tucker-carlsons-excuse-the-fox-news-hosts-twisted-and-demented-comments-on-women-reflect-his-deeply-grotesque-history-of-misogyny/

  46. “Svante perhaps you may be able to clear this up but from your comments being acusatorial and absolute and fundamental “all religions are inimical to enlightened” which is itself an “all” opinion statement”.
    Svante, you need imo to define an enlightened civilisation.
    …so please tell me Svante about a specific enlightened civilisation so I may join it.”
    I did so up the thread you have raveled here.

    Svate you go on to say;
    “I think all religions are inimical to enlightened civilisation – our ‘western civilisation’ project.. Tax religions, and drastically reduce net overseas migration to Australia””
    And?

    “Svante, you need imo to define an enlightened civilisation. Is civilisation in Australia “enlightened” or parts of our ‘civilisation ‘. Examples – 1) locking up refugees indefinitely and; 2) cutting WATER to people in hiding from violence who can’t pay a bill.”
    Obviously the answer is parts. Your examples are the work religionists who wear it as such on their sleeves: Keating, Howard/Ruddock, Rudd, Gillard, Abbott, Turnbull, Morrison…

    “Hugo does the one data point setup, followed by a put down and talking for the other”
    I dunno ’bout that, but you’ve done this pers com thing you complain of immediately prior…

    “… and convenient to his ARGUMENT you do not mention fundamentalist xians or the whole first testament nor the crusades nor fraser anning. Nor Curt. Where is the enlightened civilisation in the person making these comments Svante?”
    I specifically mentioned all religion, including texts. Anning? Ought I necessarily mention Churchill too? Who else then, when those who have had something critical to say in the Islam-Religion-West political/philosophical/cultural space are legion. Anning is a Senate rep for Qld, not a particular religionist rep, afaik, though I think it quite likely he is possessed by religion, nor is he the embodiment of ‘western civilisation’. You haven’t taken me up on my reply to a 1935 artist, Adolph, being introduced to the thread – Tours in France, idolatory and demographic destiny. “Whole sight; or all the rest is desolation.” Surely you could have dropped a Godwin into this raveling spiel, so hard to make sense of, but then I didn’t raise it did I, so best to gloss? My take on some of Curt’s comment is that it is hyperbole which he makes plain at various points.

    “Can you please justify “has Hugo shown reasoned, consistent, factual, considered argument? Yes.”
    It is self evident.

    “But not in the spirit of enlightened reasoning nor dialogue. Isn’t this OP a full history inclusive comment by JQ?”
    No. The Islam and Christian characteristic late Roman Principate spinoffs, the god authorised, god chosen, solely and personally god given indisputable mandate to govern, and for the governed to accept their relationship to rule, comes as one of several innovative institutional creations of Diocletian via Constantine, not by way of Abraham… Moses… David… etc. Their governing systems are merely cloaked in the claimed authority of the latter. Diocletion disposed of the need for Senate and army support by cloaking himself with the mandate of Jupiter, the highest authority, etc. Constantine took note, as subsequently did the ruling imperial creators of Islam. It is the succession, empire, power, and effective efficient government that count, not outward apperarance nor spurious religionist ancestry. “Western civilisation” post refomation and C18th enlightenment developments emerges and seperates from what has reigned before = a tradition severing break-away ongoing on the scale of Diocletian’s if more radical and fresh.

    “JQ’s reasoning islam is part of western seems almost simplistic yet easily justifiable over the broad sweep if history”
    Yes… and no. It is of a popular version. Why?

    “We understand your views on relgion are fundamental. Do you see the problem svante?”
    I see that it is doubtful.

    “… and in then same comment prior you say; “Which one? In which country? Why? To what end? Why not reform western countries to mind their own business? ” Apply your own questions to your own comments and see what you get. Just white migrants?”
    Not my questions. Get a grip.

    “Maybe down the pub “Its just a joke ” but not in this thread!
    Collin Sreet nailed it: “Reification… (also known as: abstraction, concretism, fallacy of misplaced concreteness, hypostatisation)”
    Collin did the very thing he attacked. Think. Why?

    “And this last one lmfao and wtf? “China decriminalised homosexuality in 1997. Why are you making untrue statements?” We have yet to remove abortion from some states laws. Explain why you used suchna point ”
    Whataboutery. deep end.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s