This blog initially set out to focus primarily on Islam and the Islamisation of the UK. However, since that time the subjects covered have broadened. They now include (amongst other things): IQ tests, Jean Baudrillard, global warming, sociobiology, Marxism, Trotskyism, David Cameron, Foucault, Nazism, Ralph Miliband, economics, statistics and so on. - Paul Austin Murphy
I've had articles published in The Conservative Online, American Thinker, Intellectual Conservative, Human Events, Faith Freedom, Brenner Brief (Broadside News), New English Review, etc... (Paul Austin Murphy's Philosophy can be found here.)

Friday, 10 October 2014

Sam Harris's Reply to Ben Affleck

 



Sam Harris's website reply to Ben Affleck (or to the Real Time show) seems very apologetic - despite his cogent defences. (People have said to me that Mr Harris is simply giving Ben Affleck the benefit of the doubt.) I'm not saying that he shouldn't have been reasoned and analytic in his reply; just not defensive.

If Leftists and Islamists like Reza Aslan, Glenn Greenwald and Nathan Lean are supplying Ben Affleck with the ammunition (as Sam Harris suggests), then there's no need to be apologetic. Effectively it's they who are the true "bigots". As an example of this, you should see the vicious and intolerant hate speech - as well as the college-boy sarcasm - on Loonwatch. No doubt Reza Aslan, like Nathan Lean, has another – more nasty - persona for this website. (Hence the cowardice and student intrigue which goes along with using fake names.)


Nathan Lean or 'Garibaldi' of Loonwatch.


I also suspect that some of the Islamophile Leftists just mentioned – and people like them - are the kind of “inverted” or "positive" racists (i.e. racists) who continuously project their racial obsessions onto other people (much like Puritan and Victorian moralists projected their sexual obsessions onto others).

And as ever, zealous and fanatical anti-racism is doing more than almost anything else to contribute to racism. In other words, one of the biggest contributors to racism today may well be anti-racism; whether that be what happened in the UK (Rotherham) in regards to over 15 years of unchecked and rampant Muslim sexual-grooming gangs (i.e., the 1,400 victims of Leftist anti-racism policies) or Ben Affleck's mindless equation that the criticism of Islam equals racism.

I know that that many people are more or less becoming racists as a direct reaction against the extreme bullshit, zealotry and prejudice (yes, prejudice) that's coming – every day - from full-time/professional anti-racists.




Of course the partisans of anti-racism will simply say that such people were racist all along. After all, only the pious Nathan Leans of this world are truly untainted.

So all this talk about “shifty Jews” and “how white racists talk about African Americans” is deliberate obfuscation – if not outright Stalinist debate-stopping. (Loonwatch must be praying for either sharia blasphemy law or an extension of the Left's “no platform” policy; the latter being so omnipresent in the UK.)

Moderate Muslims – What & Who are They?



Ben Affleck made the mistake of conflating those Muslims who aren't directly involved in Islamist politics (or in Islamic religious affairs) - those who like "eating sandwiches", according to Affleck - with those who are genuinely moderate. Not every Nazi, communist or, for that matter, every supporter of the Liberal Democrats is politically active. Nonetheless, that doesn't stop them from being Nazis, communists or Liberal Democrats.

Political and even religious inactivity isn't moderation. Eating sandwiches, Mr Affleck, isn't Muslim moderation either.

What Ben Affleck and the rest don't realise is that even though there may be many moderate Muslims ('many' is a relative term), it doesn't matter in the end. It wouldn't even matter if there were ten million moderate Muslims in the world. These people aren't winning-out and they probably won't win-out in the future. Muslims in the West, for example, are becoming more - not less – radical and literalist. And more people are being killed and blown up by Muslims in the West and in the Muslim world.

To place all your eggs in the basket of Muslim moderation (or in the Church of Interfaith) is utterly foolish and ultimately suicidal. It's like being in favour of Nazism simply because a handful of Nazis helped the Jews during World War Two.

So what about Sam Harris's “Muslim atheists”?

Harris apologised by saying that he



“misspoke slightly at this point, saying that hundreds of millions of Muslims don’t take their 'faith' seriously. This led many people to think that I was referring to Muslim atheists....”

Wouldn't it be better to say that “Muslim atheists” are ex-Muslims – and for obvious reasons? Unless the word 'Muslim' is being used in a tribal or nominal sense in that people are seen as Muslims simply because their families and/or cultures are Islamic. In any case, evidently Muslim atheists can't be classed as “Muslim moderates” for the simple reason that they ain't Muslim/Islamic at all. And neither can politically inactive Muslims – such as those who eat sandwiches or drive taxis – be deemed moderate simply because they are, well, too busy earning money to be causing political or social trouble.

It's also a sad state of affairs that I can only think of two public figures who are believed by many to be genuinely moderate Muslims: Maajid Nawaz and Irshad Manji. (I'm not sure about the former; though I am about the latter.) Of course what I mean by that is that they are the only names which spring immediately to mind. No doubt there are other writers, academics and suchlike who are also genuine moderates. (I'm discounting everyday Muslims who are moderate here.) Indeed the situation is so bad that an American writer (Sam Harris) had to seek out an English Muslim politician and activist (Maajid Nawaz) in order to begin a “dialogue”; just as Tommy Robinson (the former leader of the EDL) had to seek out this very same man for a similar reason.

And guess what, Islamophobia Watch and numerous other white, middle-class Leftist groups and individuals deems such moderates to be
Muslim Uncle Toms (as they do Hirsi Ali). And, of course, many – or most - Muslims hate them. Indeed some of the self-proclaimed moderates (e.g., Mo Ansar, the MCB, etc.) especially hate them! This all due to the fact that because Muslims like Nawaz and Irshad Manji are so liked by non-Muslims that it makes them seem like soiled goods to other Muslims.

As I said, both white, middle-class Leftists (or at least Trotskyists, communists and “progressives”) and many Muslims see genuine (not fake) Muslim moderates as Uncle Toms.

The Iraq War

Sam Harris tries to keep himself in line – perhaps – in at least one area by saying that “the war in Iraq was a catastrophe”.

Hell!? Is that a reference to what IS is doing at present? Well, British troops pulled out of Iraq in 2009. US troops pulled out in 2011. That's three years ago.

For the first year of "occupation" most Shia, Kurds, Christians and even some Sunnis were happy to be free of Saddam Hussein (there was, of course, sporadic violence). Then the Sunni terrorists (the Shia militias joined in later) - those forerunners of IS - set out to make sure that there would be chaos and violence in Iraq in order to pursue their jihadist and Islamic dreams.

I'm not saying here that all Iraqis wanted democracy (they didn't). I'm just saying that
Muslims, the jihadists and their Western Leftist defenders will predictably blame the West - kuffar - for literally everything. Muslims have been doing this for up to 1,400 years. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), for example, states this almost every day on its website. It's argument-frame – and that of many others - is as follows:
Yes, we condemn terrorist action X and Islamic group Y. But it's the West that's to blame for it all!

So although the MCB, Reza Aslan, CAIR, etc. officially and publicly condemn IS. They also blame the West for its existence; as they have done for the existence of Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, al-Shabab and even for Islamic terrorism and Muslim sexual-grooming gangs in the UK.

Do you catch the common theme here? Both IS and the MCB – both the “extremists” and the “moderates” - believe that kuffar are to blame for all the problems in the Muslim world and even beyond!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Ben Affleck Shows Us How Not To Discuss Islam

 





Last Friday there was a prime-time debate about Islam on Bill Maher's Real Time show. I say debate in a qualified sense because, as far as Ben Affleck was concerned, no real debate was actually had. (The show also included the philosopher and writer Sam Harris.)

(This is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vln9D81eO60.)

Apparently, Maher has recently criticised Islam and Ben Affleck doesn't like anyone doing that. He thinks, for some bizarre reason, that it's “racist”.

In the show itself, Ben Affleck simply didn't seem interested in debate at all. In fact he seemed – at different times- to be both bored and angered by it.

Sure, Affleck displayed some strong emotions on the issue; but that was all there was. Indeed he was intent on displaying those strong emotions; as well exhibiting his misplaced anti-racist piety. He was also keen to show both himself and the audience how supremely– and, ultimately, suicidally – tolerant he is of Islamic intolerance.

In other words, it was all about Affleck's political-emotional ego and not really about Islam.

As I said, Affleck wasn't really interested in discussing the reality of Islam. Indeed even if there are good aspects of Islam, Affleck only wanted to hear about them. It was as if the very mention of any negatives is, well, “racist”. And that can only mean - as with Nathan Lean and Loonwatch- that Leftists and left-liberals demand quite literal critical silence on Islam. (In order to defeat "racism" and "fascism".)

In fact the negative aspects of Islam could have been put on a plate in front of Ben Affleck and he'd still have pulled the furrowed brow he pulled throughout the discussion.

The best Ben Affleck could manage was to display the primacy of emotion over argumentation. For example, during the interview Affleck said to Maher: “I'm simply telling you, I disagree with you.”

Bill Maher himself got to the heart of Ben Affleck's cognitive deficit and emotional surplus (which masqueraded as a political or even a moral position) when he said: “You’re not listening to what we are saying.”

The Debate

At various points in the show Sam Harris made various cogent and well-argued points against Islam. (This doesn't necessarily mean that they are true or even accurate; only that they were argued-for.) However, Ben Affleck responded aggressively to all those points. And to that aggression Bill Maher said: “Why are you so hostile about this?” To which Affleck replied: “It’s gross, it’s racist.”

I think that deep down Ben Affleck knows – as do many Leftists and left-liberals - that it's not racist to criticise Islam or even to criticise the Muslims who are acting on Islamic principles and texts. Such people use the word “racist” simply because they know that calling a political enemy – or simply someone who dares to disagree with them - such a thing works political wonders. (It's also effectively a Stalinist – Stalin himself used the word “fascist” or “imperialist” all the time- attempt to end the debate.)

In Ben Affleck's specific case, he simply didn't have any arguments to defend his position (that's if he has one). Not only that: he couldn't stomach the fact that millions of critics of Islam do have arguments. So all Affleck had left was that mindless ejaculation: “It's racist.”

All outright Leftists and many left-liberals (just like Affleck) don't listen to their political opponents. And they certainly don't listen to those they deem to be “racists”,“bigots”, “fascists”, “Nazis”, “xenophobes”,“knuckle-draggers” (or “pseudo-intellectuals”), “red-necks”,“the far right”, “haters”, “hooligans”, “thugs”,“loons” (as with Loonwatch) and “Islamophobes”.

Ben Affleck displayed that unwillingness to debate - and even to, well, think - when he replied to Sam Harris's comment that “Islam is the motherload of bad ideas” by saying, “Jesus!”

All Muslims are X

Mr Affleck did manage one scintilla of debate. Or, should I say, he came out with that most unconscionable of clich├ęs when it comes to most – or even all - discussions of Islam. (Except, of course, what Affleck said has nothing to do with Islam itself.) Affleck said:


“[you don’t mention] the more than a billion people who aren’t fanatical, who don’t punish women, who just want to go to school, have some sandwiches, and don’t do any of the things you say all Muslims do?”


Of course Sam Harris never once said that "all Muslims" are anything. Indeed nothing Sam Harris or Bill Maher said depended on all Muslims being either X or Y. That's why Sam Harris focuses on Islam itself most of the time. And when he does mention Islamic groups or Muslim individuals, he ties those comments to how Islam itself - or the Koran itself - has affected the behaviour and actions of such groups or individuals.

Sam Harris himself responded to the not-all-Muslims-are-X argument – as well as Ben Affleck's made-up figure of a “billion” moderate Muslims - by saying that it's not only blatant extremist Muslims who are the problem. That is, “conservative” Muslims and groups also keep other members of their community “immiserated”. (It can also be argued that many – though not all – of the so-called “moderate”groups and individuals do so too.)

Political Actors

What do people expect from Ben Affleck and other actors?

Despite saying that, on the one hand people may say that you can't expect political eloquence from any actor. Yet on the other hand many people hang on their every word (though only, of course, if they agree with their politics).

So, in a sense, we shouldn't be too bothered about what Ben Affleck and other actors/pop stars/sports personalities/etc. have to say on political issues - even if we agree with them. After all, Ben Affleck is an actor who's using his position (of fame) to advance political views which people wouldn't otherwise listen to.

Finally, in articles about - and interviews with - Ben Affleck it often says that he has “strong political opinions”.Now I know what that actually means.

Monday, 6 October 2014

The Muslim Council of Britain's New Website

 



The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is (or aspires to be) the UK version of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

A few months ago the MCB "revamped" its website. It did so in order to reach its new target audience. That target audience, surprisingly enough, is non-Muslims! Specifically, the MCB wants to reach out to (or be read by) the British government and other British authorities.

The content of the website is what the MCB wants non-Muslims to read about itself. (This is true of the CAIR website too.) In other words, the MCB now knows that its pronouncements and articles are being monitored by non-Muslims. It knows that at least some British journalists have their eye on the ball.

This explains why all the controversial stuff (which many people had already read) has been erased. It's why there's hardly anything at all on the new website, even after a period of five months (since May 2014). The Islamists of the MCB could have quite easily included all the old stuff. However, as I said, much of it was deeply controversial, at least to non-Muslims. So the website was more or less scrubbed clean.

All the MCB's hard-core Islamist conversations will presumably now be taking place elsewhere, in private forums, via emails or perhaps on those public websites (such as the Muslim Brotherhood's "official English website", Ikhanweb) which aren't often frequented by curious journalists and other non-Muslims.

Wanting respect


The Muslim Council of Britain overhauled its website in anticipation of its latest offensive to gain support and respect from the British government and other British authorities. Recall that the Conservative Party broke its links to the MCB in 2009, and even the Labour Party did the same slightly earlier (only to restore them a year later). As The Times put it:

"The group [the MCB], which once enjoyed a close relationship with the government, has been ostracised since 2009 when one of its officials signed a declaration supporting Hamas and calling on Muslims to destroy 'foreign warships' preventing arms smuggling into Gaza."

Ministers have since been advised to restore ties to the MCB, specifically in response to what's happening in Syria and Iraq and the fact that over 1,500 British Muslims have travelled to these countries to become jihadists.

Today, there are MCB articles on Islamic State (IS) and on the British Muslims who have travelled to Syria and Iraq, as well as on the MCB's recent turnaround on female genital mutilation (FGM).* Indeed, when you see the MCB website you quickly note its focus on extremist Muslim actions in Syria, Iraq and Nigeria (e.g., the kidnapping of schoolgirls), though not on Muslim actions at home or in Gaza, Egypt and Pakistan. For example, take these titles from the website: "British Muslims Hope for Peace in Iraq and Syria", "Muslim Council of Britain Comments on Minorities in Iraq" and "Terrorist attacks in Kenya, Pakistan and Iraq: Muslim Council of Britain Decries a Weekend of Carnage".

Regarding the aforementioned paucity of content, along with a few older articles and press releases (copied and pasted from the old website) there have been two 'Letters to Editors' since February 2014, and a single entry under the 'Speeches' section. I couldn't find a single comment after the news items and press releases even though that option is available.

The MCB's Facebook page has (as of 3 October 2014) received 3,514 'likes'. Compare that to the 8,848 likes of the self-consciously violent and militant Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPACUK), the 5,085 likes of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) and the 5,897 likes of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain.

Now, bear that in mind alongside the MCB's claim to have a "mandate from 500 organisations who represent Muslims from all walks of life".

500 affiliated organisations?


What does that claim amount to? How strong is the link between the MCB and these 500 organisations? Is it anything more than formal exchanges and a few signed documents? Are these relations merely nominal in nature? What are the 500 organisations, exactly? Are they nearly all mosques? (The MCB itself says "500 mosques and Muslim groups".) And if they are nearly all mosques, does the MCB's connection to them amount to anything of real substance? Are the claims about having 500 affiliates and speaking for "Muslims from all walks of life" just smoke and mirrors?

In other words, is the MCB more concerned with influencing the British government and other non-Muslim institutions than it is about being a genuine voice of British Muslims?

Conclusion


As mentioned earlier, almost the entire MCB website seems to be made up of apologies for what Muslims are doing throughout the world and in the UK. Having said that, these hedged, qualified and very conditional apologies always come with political rationales for what the extremist Muslim groups and individuals are doing. In each and every case, the real blame, according to the MCB, lies with non-Muslims and Western governments ("British foreign policy", "Islamophobia", "racism", our lack of cooperativeness when it comes to sharia law in the UK, etc.).

In fact, the MCB's position amounts to one long list of the following argument frame:

"We condemn Muslim action X and Islamic group Y. But ... ."

If you are really cynical (or realistic), that omnipresent response of the MCB actually amount to this:

"We at the Muslim Council of Britain publicly condemn Muslim action X and Islamic group Y simply because not doing so would be political suicide for us here in the UK."

In other words, the MCB's website is all about Muslim/ Islamic public relations.

* According to a 2013 UNICEF report, Egypt – which is the heart of the Muslim Brotherhood – has the world's highest number of victims of FGM, with 27.2 million women – or 91% of Egyptian women and girls – having suffered mutilation. Under the rule of Mohamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood from 2012 to 2013 the rate of FGM actually increased.