Monday, May 17, 2010

Response To Chad On Islam

Chad responded to my last blog, but in a 3 parter on Youtube. It has been pointed out to me that doing a blog reply to him instead of a video would come off as disrespectful. No disrespect meant, but I did boldly state in my last video that it would be the last time I speak about any religion related topic unless someone were to provide a substantive counterargument regarding my unrefuted interpretation of religious scripture. This wasn't the purpose of Chad's videos to me, so I will be making my reply to him here. If I could cover everything he said in under 11 minutes, maybe I would make this a YT video instead. But there is far too much content to go over, and I'm not subjecting my sub base to a potential 6 part video series in which I reiterate some of the same points. It doesn't warrant even more Islam talk coming from me. So again, I mean no disrespect towards Chad by posting my reply here.

The other benefit of the blog, is the overall greater precision of text. Chad's arguments will be given a much more detailed analysis, so everybody wins. Unless you hate reading extremely long blogs.

I will split this up in 2 parts, so to ease the load a bit.

As things currently stand, I am under no illusion that I will convince Chad of much. He didn't deal with the main aspects of my arguments from the first blog, so I'm doing this mainly for any potential fence sitters. I predicted that Chad wouldn't deal with the crucial parts the moment I saw him thumb up and favorite MrTaloul's (Muslim Quran "specialist" guy) video reply to me, and leave the following comment to boot:

"I'm Not a Religious Person But This Was a Very Good Video. You Are Type of Person I"m Trying To Tell The Atheist Community About. Western Media Has Distorted The Eyes of Many Over Here. Keep The Vids Coming. Peace."

Yes, this just about sums up Chad's take on this. The sheer eagerness displayed to jump at the first opportunity to favorite that pitiful excuse of a video, is very telling. Let's take an in depth look at the video Chad faved here, shall we?

MrTaloul replied to my initial Islam video, made ZERO actual counter-arguments, ignored the links I left in my video (to this day), twisted my NY Times Article story to suit his ultimate goal, which is simply to create a false impression that every detractor of Islam is also uneducated about Islam. And he was downright patronizing throughout his entire oratory. This is all self-evident, and should have been picked up on the spot by any fair viewer who watched my video first.

When asked in the comment section by user TheAzov, whose question I'll post here:

"Let me also ask you this: in the Mujahadin group you belong to, I see a topic entitled "Death to Satanics." Does that include ABS and present company?"

MrTaloul's reply was:

"mujahadin group? lol... I am a muslim and I do not belong to any organization"

On MrTaloul's channel he clearly has ''Mujahadin'' listed as one of the two groups he belongs to. I've saved a screen shot of his channel just in case his association with the group is removed in the rare case someone points him to me calling him on his blatant lie here. This is just one of many examples of his self-evident bullshit.

Chad, the man whose video you whole heartedly endorsed here is a proven liar. Despite this, I am under the impression that his video will remain in your favorites. The truth seems to not matter as long as a pretty wrapping is on top of it. A slogan. All his video brought to the table was pseudo-diplomacy and shameless dodging of the specifics.

Safe to say I wasn't thrilled by this. So if this is the kind of nonsense which Chad will knee-jerkishly jump to and put his stamp of approval on, then to me, he has his mind made up. And no, prefacing his comment with "I'm Not A Religious Person But" does him no favors. I'll quote the 2nd part of his comment again:

"Western Media Has Distorted The Eyes of Many Over Here."

It's as if he hasn't read my first blog. I'm guessing he includes me in this, and "many" others who don't draw his conclusions. I could be wrong, but when he comments this way on a video that he also faved, a video which dismissed me and my entire argument as "ignorant of true Islam" based on absolutely nothing, then what the hell am I supposed to take from that aside from "Yes I agree with you that ABM is just brainwashed by the Western Media". Very disappointing.

The Argument from "The Western Media Did It" is the most overused, cliche piece of one dimensional garbage that this generation has had the misfortune of peddling.

I haven't owned a television in over 2 years. Haven't read a single newspaper in much longer than that. Basically, every form of Western Media that you can allude to, I have not paid attention to in seemingly forever. And back when I did pay a degree of attention to it, I took nothing at face value. Nothing. So I resent the hell out of this lazy, sloppy, broad and flat out false claim indicating that you guys have a knowledge pertaining to how I or anybody else reached my conclusions. You do not. I reached them through interaction with dishonest Moderates like your new friend here, MrTaloul. And with honest Moderates, who despite their good intent when it comes to all things non-Islamic, still operate on wishful thinking ergo intellectual dishonestly as it pertains to their fable's dangerous teachings.

And let's get this straight again for context purposes: In my first blog, I plainly stated that there may very well exist a level of excessive rhetoric against Muslims coming from *some* Atheists. I have since spent lots of time digging around for it, and have finally found it. All of it in TEXT, however, made by faceless non-vlogger accounts, and located on that Muslim guy's channel (DawahFilms). The initial video of Chad's I blogged about argued that there has been a barrage of Atheist VIDEOS with unfounded categorical critiques against Muslims. Not Islam, but Muslims. I am yet to be presented with that long list of videos. Had Chad provided that list, and bothered to correctly quote this supposed hateful rhetoric against Muslims, I would have tipped my hat to him for his well researched efforts and educational content. But he didn't do that. He made some very loose, two-way commentary which left me with the impression that my Anti-Islam video was on his shit list. Well, now he says that it wasn't. Still, I was justified in having the wrong impression, since I had gotten removed from his "other channel recommendations" list not long after I uploaded my first Islam video. A little too timely there. But then I was placed back on it. And currently I've been removed yet again. So who knows.

Anyway, I will now play Chad's video and reply to it, statement by statement. I'll be referring directly to Chad from here on out:

I appreciate the complimentary words overall, especially saying I'm "badass". Made me feel lame for responding this late.

01:02: You found my blog to be a little more emotionally driven. I'm curious as to which part of the blog substituted logic for emotion? I'm sure we agree that the two aren't mutually exclusive, so I have to ask for a specific substitution of logic for emotion that can be found in the blog.

01:57-02:12: Your video was titled "Muslims Did Not Invent Terrorism" and I said in the first blog that I knew you were being facetious with the title, but at the same time that you also alluded to the title as being credible in some way. You re-confirm this now, by saying "People aren't saying Muslims invented Terrorism, but everyone is ACTING AS IF Muslims invented Terrorism". The problem I have with this line of reasoning is that it can be applied to everything and anything, and when it is, you'll see why it falls flat. For example, a fair analogy would be looking at the recent pedophilia scandals of the Catholic Church, then listening to Atheists ranting and raving at Catholic Priests, and ONLY at Catholic Priests, for committing those acts of pedophilia. What would you say to someone who came by and said "You guys are being childish, immature, and just fucking dumb for ACTING AS IF Catholic Priests invented pedophilia"?

Well, I'm guessing you'd say "They're not doing that". That's what I'd say. But see, technically, if their ruthless ongoing critiques of pedophilia are ONLY addressed to Catholic Priests, and NOBODY else, then by your logic, this comment about "Acting AS IF" would be a fair one to make. The problem is, there's been tons of bad publicity recently due to specific crimes committed by individuals in both camps, so naturally there will be a much higher level of critique that will seem exclusively directed at their respective labels. But realistically, despite the CIRCUMSTANTIAL heightened criticism, you know that nobody is actually acting AS IF the act of fondling a kid originates from being a Priest, in the same way that they are not acting AS IF the act of strapping a bomb to oneself originates from being a Muslim. Despite the recent negative publicity aimed at both camps.

02:53-03:03: Charles Manson was in fact seen as a Christian extremist by lots of people. Because that's what he was. He was a Christian inspired by the good book. That, and his hilarious misinterpretations of lyrics from a few of The Beatles' songs. We don't call him a terrorist because he (and his goons) went around killing people for the sake of killing people, and not for any ultimate goal. You can't just interchange words like "criminal" and "murderer" with the word "terrorist". It's a different animal.

Now, the substance of your argument here is that there are more people using "Muslim Terrorist" than there are people using "Christian Terrorist". But this is because we're mostly surrounded by Christians, outside of Youtube. Plus the fact that we're on the receiving end of the former. If we lived in Iraq, and were terrorized by Christians because of their religious goals (not imperialistic ones) then it would indeed be perfectly apt to refer to American Soldiers as "Christian Terrorists". But we know that most of them are actually Nationalistic terrorists. A bunch of state paid killers. Unlike their counterparts, who do it for their Allah.

As for the American Soldiers who DO actually believe that they are on a Mission from their Christian God to liberate Iraq, then yes, "Christian Terrorist" is a fair label to use for them. And by the same token, if a terrorist who calls himself a Muslim commits an act of terrorism where things like Allah and 72 virgins play absolutely NO role in his motivation to carry out the act, then he should not be labelled as a "Muslim Terrorist". He is simply a politically motivated terrorist, or what have you. Speaking of all this, I have done several videos equating the US Troops to Terrorists. At least those who willingly sign up and re-enlist in the Military, in the middle of a bogus war.

03:45-04:27: It is not fair to equate the Muslim Moderates to Muslim Extremists, yes. But I'm still waiting to be pointed to all these videos in which Atheists took part in the equating of the two brands of Muslims. Now, given the fact that most Moderates (like the one whose video you faved) will attempt to justify the very same text which drives the extremists, it is also NOT fair to pretend that Moderates play absolutely no role in the overall negative picture of Islam. It's absolutely crucial to understand this part, and I get the sense that you're avoiding it. You say that Moderates don't agree with what's written in parts of their holy book. Which parts of the book do you think they disagree with? Do you think the majority of Moderates disagree with world wide implementation of Sharia Law? How about ANY implementation of Sharia Law? Do you honestly believe that most Moderates oppose it? Because if they are in favor of such implementation, then they agree on "enough" as far as the Quran is concerned. I'd actually love to see a poll done on this question, so that we can see the exact percentage of Muslim Moderates who are in support of Sharia Law. Based on my experiences with them, of which there have been many, I can safely say the percentage of those in favor of it is very high.

05:15: You're back on the "Muslim Terrorist" part, and you mention "Atheist Terrorist" in an effort to make it all look silly. So I'll explain again: There would be no problem calling any Atheist an "Atheist Terrorist" if (and it's a big if) he or she committed the act of terrorism purely based on his or her lack of belief in a God or Gods. I have not yet heard of any such cases. If such a case were to occur, and the media used "Atheist Terrorist" to describe the perpetrator, I would not feel the least bit discriminated against. I can't see why any Atheist would.

06:00: You're saying people are making Anti-Islam videos it because it's "too easy" and is guaranteed to generate views. So do you think that I made my video for these reasons? Or do you realize that I had a genuine interest to find out if any Muslim Moderates would agree with me that the verses are in fact putrid and that they shouldn't be so apprehensive in speaking out against those aspects of their holy book? Which they haven't been doing, by and large. And I bet that plenty of other Atheists made videos for that exact same reason. Maybe I'm wrong, and I'd love to judge for myself, but I'm yet to be provided with the links to all these videos that you're referring to. I don't think you can honestly say that thunderf00t did it for views. He gets views no matter what. And he certainly didn't do it because it was "too easy". Those of us who have been around a while are all too aware of just how many YT Atheists flat out refuse to have anything to do with Anti-Islam videos, because of America's and Britain's current occupation of their land, or some other kind of bullshit rationalization. Thunderf00t knew ahead of time that he wasn't going to win any awards for these videos. Nevermind the fact that lots of people still associate "Muslim" to "Race". Because of all this, I saw the fallout against thunderf00t from Atheists coming a mile away. Nonetheless, he still went ahead and made the videos because freedom of expression matters to him, and it was suppressed for that week by Comedy Central, out of fear by way of Islamic threats. Human Nature didn't make Muslims riot against these cartoons. Their holy book did. So it's in no way "too easy" to cover this topic without being lectured by preachy Atheists about how "you're doing it all wrong". The level of rabid political correctness in the YT Atheist circles is overwhelming. You and I are both supporters of people on here who are heavily disliked by a majority of their fellow Atheists, for bullshit reasons, so we know all about this.

I also disagree with you that YT Atheists in general have at any point been focused exclusively on Christians, and have only recently shifted to focusing on Muslims. You should have seen some of the videos from back in the day. Guys like Fakesagan and Kevin "Awesome" received massive support when they spat on, pissed on, and literally wiped their asses with the Quran. So none of this is new. In fact most of today's Anti-Islam content is pretty tame by comparison.

06:40: Very few vloggers intentionally go out of their way just to piss off Muslims for the hell of it. The "Draw Mohammed Day" is about showing Muslim Extremists that we will not cower to their threats, the way Comedy Central did. If this is not done, the Extremists are left with the impression of "Our threats have worked well for us in the past, so they will surely work well for us in the future".

It's a protest, and a much needed one at that. You can't deny the benefit of it. And no, I will not be sympathetic to any innocent Muslim offended at a fucking drawing, in the wake of what happened with Comedy Central. Enough is enough.

07:00: More on this oversimplified "unfair categorization" stuff. I've explained this away on several levels. It's more nebulous than you're making it out to be.

07:30: I was actually talking about religious text there, so the news text analogy is not apt. But how would you have preferred something like 7/7/7 to have been reported? Should the media tip toe around the fact that it was the terrorists' Religion that drove them to commit the act? That's not news reporting.

Now in states like Oklahoma, they probably should remind their hick viewers that Muslim Moderates =/= Muslim Extremists. But that's as far as I'd take it. If Islamic holy text played a role in the Terrorist act, it is their job as news reporters to REPORT every detail of the story.

08:20: I would have accepted your Bush analogy, since Bush's peddling of good ol' Christian values was what played a huge role in him getting re-elected in 04. The Christian assholes voted for him because he was being a Christian asshole. The reason I don't accept the analogy, is because you said "White Christians". Bush wasn't elected because he's white. Besides, there is no such thing as a large sum of "Good American Christians". Most of them to this day still oppose the idea of an organization of Atheists having any voice in congress, or an Atheist running for president. So until I see some brand new polls done demonstrating that the average Moderate Christian in America no longer opposes the idea of having an Atheist president, then yes, Moderate Christians who vote for Bush are still assholes and we should call them on it.

09:20: No Chad, I do not "contribute" to terrorism of any kind. What you analogized here is essentially the same as me calling every single human being who has ever existed a murderer because the living cells on their skin kept dying. Or because they stepped on and squashed a living plant. Do you not see how counterproductive and abhorrent it is to equivocate these terms this way? Terrorism is defined as the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political, religious or ideological in nature; This is done through intimidation, coercion or by instilling fear. It's a specific word with specific connotations. When someone thinks of a terrorist act, they should in NO WAY think of a guy drinking bottled water. It's a preposterous slippery slope argument and to use it in a conversation where we are discussing the remorseless, willful and DIRECT act of terror, is indicative of desperation on your part. You cannot just blend terrorism with any random act of harm anyone participates in or indirectly contributes to. It completely equivocates the term. Bad move.

Hilariously enough, I don't buy oil, drink bottled water, wear jeans, or buy shoes made by Korean kids working in shops. And I would never say that others who do any of these, contribute to any kind of terrorism, by any rational definition of the word.

End of Part 1. Since this is turning out to be even longer than I expected, I will post Part 2 in a couple of days. I don't want to bury this long of a blog by posting another long ass one on top of it. I tried to reduce the length, but I can't leave anymore stuff out.

Thanks for reading.

ABM

5 comments:

  1. I Really Enjoyed This Read.
    I'll Have To Read It a Few Times Before a Response and I Truly Look Forward To Part 2.

    None The Less Thank You For Taking The Time To Reply. Keep Em' Coming.

    - Chad ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  2. He's human after all.
    13th paragraph (not including only one line as a paragraph), 1st sentence:
    "I haven't owned a television >in< over 2 years."

    Looking forward to part 2.

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  3. "The Argument from "The Western Media Did It" is the most overused, cliche piece of one dimensional garbage that this generation has had the misfortune of peddling."
    could say the exact same thing about religious ignorance. it is not purely their scripture that drives extremism, it is the political and economic circumstances that really drive terrorism. The scripture is merely the blueprint for how to channel their anger and desperation. If the middle east were the power mongers, in control and exploiting europe etc, do you not think we would have that extremist faction in our own culture? This is the holistic approach that is missing from many atheists assessment of things imo. including tf00t.

    other than that, good blog. you put your position across strongly.

    ben

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  4. The "masterminds" behind the terrorist attacks are obviously (at least in part) politically motivated. But the politics have never and will never make a mother put a grenade in her child's hands. Having the GUARANTEE that an action will assure you immediate and eternal life and happiness is probably the biggest motivator for people to act against their own survival instincts or to harm the ones they love.

    ReplyDelete