Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Sometimes in depth conversation is just not going to happen.

After David Cameron made a speech, in February, in which he offered deference to millions of peaceful Muslims, before making the point that UK resident Muslims should accept “British” values, pointing to tolerance and acceptance of non-belief, other belief, and of UK culture, like to encompass rights for women and LGBT people, no doubt many social media debates happened.

Deference to an audience that may feel threatened by criticisms of certain ideas associated with a broader superset of ideas in which they may be emotionally invested is appropriate, if for no other reason than not be heavily criticised in turn for making sweeping generalisations encompassing many who already agree that such a subset of ideas are worthy of criticism. Not doing so, some say, would lead to Cameron being called racist, but in any case would be counter productive.

One conversation I participated in went as well as any drunken brawl in a bar in that part of town where the police never go.

In early July, After a friend shared an article about Cameron's speech from the Telegraph. A mutual acquaintance (Q) made the statement that they would rather Islamic values than British “imperialistic” values. Apparently “values” of other groups means different things to different people and is subject to selection bias, which was evident in Q's remark.

To make a counter point I replied with an uncommented link to a Patheos page containing passages from the Tahir by Ayatollah Komeini. A description is bad enough, but to be truly disgusted you really have to read it. Caution – keep a barf bag handy.

The response that came back was disturbingly angry. And included an accusation of racism among “white atheists”. Q's response fit criticisms of leftists bowing to Islam for the sake of multiculturalism in to comments made by Pat Condell. I doubt Pat's critiques are representative of the left generally., but it would be a cheap-shot to use Pat's comment's as a retort. He does make the point that tolerance of the intolerant positions of Islam is inappropriate, and since the three of us all have gay friends the four major schools of though present a huge problem for people we care about. See Wiki.

A little stunned by the angry reply, I chose to point out how nice it was to have a reasoned discussion without name calling and ad hominem and left it at that. But, there were some big holes in Q's response.

Islam, of course, is not a race and history tells it is not indigenous to Iran, Nor is it entirely a necessary part of being Iranian, as Iranian atheists do exist as well as other faith groups including Ba'hai, and are vocal in social media. While the Tahir appeared in the context of Iran's Islamic Revolution. It is important to note many Iranians, who are mostly ethnically Persian, reject passages in the Tahir referenced above. Now a racist would saying thing about Persian physiognomy and cognition however that would be pointless, as the science suggest that there is little variation across ethnic groups, and indeed there is more variation within ethic groups.

People are good, not because of their religion, but often in spite of it, as Iranians themselves have shown by rejecting both the Tahir and the Hijab.

What's this about the hijab? Check out My Stealthy Freedom on facebook. Iranian women are photographing themselves without the head scarf required by the mullahs. Apparently, the regime is losing the culture war in Iran, Younger Iranians do not support their government, and many even despised the current regime. The old guard of the Islamic revolution is on borrowed time as it is being replaced by political and social progressives.

I highly recommend Bread and Roses, on Youtube. The show is hosted by Mariam Namazie from the UK based Council of Ex-Muslims. The will hope fully be aired on bootleg satellite TV so that it is available to Iranians looking for more information to help them understand what else is going on other than what the mullahs are saying.

You can have peace, over conservatism's cold dead corpse.

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