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View Diary: Sometimes You Have To Be Allowed To Criticize Faiths (196 comments)

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  •  The inevitable collision (4+ / 0-)

    of multiculturalism and universal human rights.

    You can't argue in absolute favor of one, and at the same time, argue in absolute favor of the other. There are cultural (and/or religious) practices that are evil. Pure and simple.

    I don't know what Ayaan Hirisi's comments were to which Brandeis objected. But if they were directly related to her own history, they are not simply anti-Muslim, they are pro-human rights. It is not dissimilar to the war being waged against women and gays in this country in the name of religious freedom. Evil, in the name of "Religious freedom".  

    •  I would say it is one and the same war (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kane in CA, Fishtroller01

      Yes she attacks Islam directly and with a broad brush, but she has reasonable cause on her side.

    •  The biggest complaint about Ayaan Hirsi Ali (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is that she believes the West and Islam are at war, and that Islam needs to be "defeated" in order for it to reform itself.  Her husband is a particularly awful historian, Niall Ferguson, known for his Protestant chauvanism and his willingness to bend the truth in his arguments. See the controversy over falsehoods in a Newsweek article entitled "Hit the Road Barack" and the rebuttal which calls into question his basic honesty:

      So Ayaan is a damaged individual who feels that Islam needs to be defeated, and her husband is an unethical historian known for continuing to use falsehoods even after being called out on them, and for pimping "the seven killer aps" of Western Protestantism as an explanation for the way the world is, and a justification for the 1%.  Both of them are exceedingly unpleasant individuals.  (And I'm an atheist, by the way - I do not believe even slightly in Islam, but I don't want a "war" on Islam).

      That said, she has a right to her opinion, as does Ferguson.   Braideis was wrong to invite her without doing at least a little due diligence first.  There could be a healthy debate - I actually agree with a lot of what she says and thinks, minus the demand that Islam be "defeated", whatever that means.  Her choice in men is arguably worse than her critique of Islam.  

      I don't think the left should shut them up.  With respect to Ferguson, I think the left should call him on inaccuracies and deliberately deceitful writing, and go after his theories of history with hard fact.  (For example, his theories of European colonial superiority fail to take into consideration differences between temperate zone agricultural surplus and the nature of tropical agriculture and soils, and he refuses to consider disease, physical environment or cultural ecology in his ideologically biased and unsophisticated analysis).   He is an idiot, and should be exposed as such in the public sphere.

      Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a person who has suffered a great deal, and Somali refugees from radical Islam share an attitude with Oklahoman refugees with Southern Baptist upbringings.  Both run as far and as hard as possible from religious tradition.  That's fine.  That comes with a great deal of anger and some blinders.  Let her say her piece, but present alternatives.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:00:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Brandeis invited (0+ / 0-)

        her to speak, so it's not a matter of silencing. The shame is that she's denied an award while white male neocons who basically share her views but who choose their words more carefully continued to be considered respectable.

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