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!