Sunday, October 16, 2016
"In France, Muslims have actually taken an author to court for calling Islam "the most stupid religion." Apparently he's inciting hate. ... What about the Koran's incitement of hate against Jews? Shouldn't Muslims who invoke the Koran to justify anti-Semitism be themselves open to a lawsuit?" - from 'The Trouble With Islam' by Irshad Manji
Sunday, October 09, 2016
"It simply will not do for Muslims to claim that their religion has been "hijacked" by extremists. The killers of IS and Boko Haram cite the same religious texts that every other Muslim in the world considers sacrosanct. And instead of letting them off the hook with bland cliches about Islam as a religion of peace, we in the West need to challenge and debate the very substance of Islamic thought and practice. We need to hold Islam accountable for the acts of its most violent adherents and demand that it reform or disavow the key beliefs that are used to justify those acts. At the same time, we need to stand up for our own principles as liberals. Specifically, we need to say to offended Western Muslims (and their liberal supporters) that it is not we who must accommodate their beliefs and sensitivities. Rather, it is they who must learn to live with our commitment to free speech." - - Ayaan Hirsi Ali from the Introduction to her 2015 book Heretic
"Why are these people impelled to try to silence me, to protest against my public appearances, to stigmatize my views and drive me off the stage with threats of violence and death? It is not because I am ignorant or ill-informed. On the contrary, my views on Islam are based on my knowledge and experience of being a Muslim, of living in Muslim societies - including Mecca itself, the very center of Islamic belief - and on my years of study of Islam as a practitioner, student, and teacher. The real explanation is clear. It is because they cannot actually refute what I am saying. And I am not alone. Shortly after the attack on Charlie Hebdo, Asra Nomani, a Muslim reformer, spoke out against what she calls the "honor brigade" - an organized international cabal hell-bent on silencing debate on Islam. The shameful thing is that this campaign is effective in the West. Western liberals now seem to collude against critical thought and debate. I never cease to be amazed by the fact that non-Muslims who consider themselves liberals - including feminists and advocates of gay rights - are so readily persuaded by these crass means to take the Islamists' side against Muslim and non-Muslim critics." - Ayaan Hirsi Ali from the Introduction to her 2015 book Heretic
Sunday, August 28, 2016
I've just about finished reading an excellent book about oxycodone and Mexican black tar heroin, and it also touches on something I've noted from being involved in the 'zine world', especially these last few years - the glorification of infantilism known as "Trigger Warnings": "Keeping kids cooped up seems to me connected to the idea that we can avoid pain, avoid danger. It doesn't surprise me to hear that in universities, students, raised indoors on screens, apparently lived in some crystalline terror of any kind of emotional anguish. A 2015 story in the Atlantic called "The Coddling of the American Mind" reported on the phenomenon of college students - kids who grew up in the era of hyper-protection from physical pain - demanding to be protected as well from painful ideas. They were demanding professors provide "trigger warnings" in advance of ideas that might provoke a strong emotional content - for example, a novel that describes racial violence. This new campus ethos, the authors wrote, "presumes an extraordinary fragility of the collegiate psyche, and therefore elevates the goal of protecting students from psychological harm. The ultimate aim, it seems, is to turn campuses into 'safe spaces' where young adults are shielded from words and ideas that make some uncomfortable." - from the Author's Afterword in the 2016 edition of 'Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic' by Sam Quinones  Everyday Feminism [If I didn't know better, I would swear it's a parody!]: "Editor’s Note: ...Everyday Feminism definitely believes in giving people a heads up about material that might provoke our reader’s trauma. However, we use the phrase “content warning” instead of “trigger warning,” as the word “trigger” relies on and evokes violent weaponry imagery. This could be re-traumatizing for folks who have suffered military, police, and other forms of violence. So, while warnings are so necessary and the points in this article are right on, we strongly encourage the term “content warning” instead of “trigger warning.”"