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.)

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Unite Against Fascism (UAF) v Tommy Robinson & the Oxford Union


Tommy Robinson and the Oxford Union.

As was to be expected, Unite Against Fascism – in its endless battle against free speech and its defence of a national and total “no platform” policy – protested against Tommy Robinson’s visit to the Oxford Union. However, since UAF is such an elite and middle-class “vanguard”, it only managed to gain 150 signatories in favour of extending the gulagisation of the UK.

What I don’t understand is why councillors, journalists and MPs (who are endlessly fighting and speaking out against “the far right”) have such close relationships with a Trotskyist revolutionary group (i.e., UAF) which basically wants to end “capitalist democracy” through violent revolution. Sure, in certain cases some of these councillors, politicians and journalists may not have very close relationships with Unite Against Fascism. Nonetheless, if it weren’t for UAF activism (i.e., noise), there wouldn’t be a chance in hell that most – or any – of these councillors and MPs would have spoken out against Tommy Robinson being invited to the Oxford Union. What they are effectively doing is boarding the UAF (as well as the SWP) bandwagon in order to parade their “anti-racist” and “anti-fascist” credentials to their fellow travellers.
Martin Smith (in the glasses): former spokesman of Unite Against Fascism and activist in the SWP. He lost his post in both UAF and the SWP due to allegations of rape within the latter movement. The image shows us the the kind of debate UAF prefers.

One fellow traveller with the Trotskyists of UAF is Sam Hollick: a Green Party Councillor for Holywell. Here he is waxing lyrically about the evils of free speech:
We cannot accept Robinson and the EDL as mainstream. Any suggested benefit of drawing out his offensive beliefs in a debate is far out-weighed by the badge of legitimacy that Robinson would claim from speaking at such a widely known institution like the Oxford Union. The event should be cancelled as a demonstration of our rejection of racist hate.

Basically, Sam Hollick doesn’t trust the plebeians – not even the plebs of Oxford University! – to make up their own minds about Tommy Robinson and what it is he has to say. After all, if the plebs agree with him in any way whatsoever (or if they disagree with Sam Hollick in any way whatsoever), then it must simply be because they have a severe case of false consciousness due to their being “brainwashed by the Media” (or due to not reading George Monbiot, The Guardian, Socialist Worker and Marx).

In any case, the Green Party’s Sam Hollick says that we “cannot accept Robinson and the EDL as mainstream”. Well, the EDL either is or isn’t mainstream regardless of what the middle-class members of UAF and the Green Party think.

So Sam Hollick is attempting to stop Tommy Robinson and the EDL from becoming “mainstream” – which is fair enough. This must mean that he believes that the more people hear Tommy Robinson speak, the more he will become mainstream. Again, Sam Hollick – like despots and totalitarians throughout history – doesn’t trust the people to make up their own minds. And, of course, the arrogance of this man – and people like him – is nauseating.

The Oxford Union

Yassar Arafat, with his good friend, Saddam Hussein. This was Oxford Union speaker Trotskyists didn’t have a problem with.

The Oxford Union is in favour of free speech. So much so that in the past it has hosted such notable pacifists, anti-haters and anti-fascists as Malcolm X, Yasser Arafat, Gerry Adams, O.J. Simpson, Pervez Musharraf, Sheikh Masina and, last but not least, that Islamist cuddly toy who goes by the name Zakir Naik.

UAF and other Trotskyists never had any problems with these people being invited despite the fact that – between them – they killed, tortured and blew up literally thousands of innocent people.*

The Oxford Union shouldn’t be mixed up with Oxford University Student Union or the National Union of Students (NUS) generally. Indeed it’s precisely because it’s not part of the NUS that Tommy Robinson was invited on two occasions to speak to the Union. This must surely mean that, according to UAF’s deviant logic, the Oxford Union is itself fascist, racist or at least something with the suffix “ist” on the end of it.

Oxford Union President, Mayank Banerjee, put the Union’s position in this way:
The Union stands by the invitation to Mr Robinson and we would like to reiterate that an invitation from the Union is not an endorsement of any particular agenda. The Union believes in the principle of freedom of speech and we would encourage all members who disagree with Mr Robinson to question him on his views at the event later in the term.

UAF Inanity, Smugness & Snobbery

Let’s now see what Ian McKendrick – spokesperson for Oxford UAF – has to say on the matter. He told Cherwell (“an independent newspaper, largely published for students of Oxford University”):
We will continue to campaign against the Oxford Union extending an invitation to Robinson, and remain prepared to protest in the eventuality that this or any other invitation to a FASCIST goes ahead.

Such an invitation can only give credibility to Robinson’s RACISM and boost the confidence of RACISTS and FASCISTS in Oxford to be more open, posing a threat to local communities.

You see, there are no arguments there – just Leftist jargon and implied threats.

The bottom line is that once a first-year student adopts the theology of Leftism, from then on he or she doesn’t really need to offer arguments, data or even think for himself. The very fact that he has adopted Marxist/Leftist theology means that he no longer needs to do any hard work. All he needs to do is memorise the party line; as well as learn as much of the jargon (e.g., “racist”, “colonialist”, “imperialism”, “Islamophobe”, etc.) as he can.

Such are the vacuous minds of so many young – and older – Leftists. It’s as if the very fact that they have become socialists, or Marxists, or “progressives”, or “radicals”, makes them think that – by self-definition – they’re automatically intellectually, morally and politically superior to all the millions of “straight” (right-wing?) folks. All those other people who’ve been “brainwashed by the media” and who have “misconceptions about Islam” and about God knows what else.

All those who dare to think differently to these smug, snobby and self-satisfied Leftists simply must suffer from false consciousness. Either that or be evil racists and/or fascists.


*) Only three people have been disinvited from the Oxford Union: John Tyndall, David Irving and Philip Nitschke. The former two were deemed to be suspect because “far right”. Nick Griffin was, however, invited; though, due to left-fascist violence, his talk was effectively stopped.
The moral of this story is that UAF and other Trotskyists have no problem with violence, extremism and even mass murder as long as it’s not right-wing violence, extremism and mass murder. The logic here is brutally simple.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Former EDL leader Tommy Robinson thrown into prison ‘for a Tweet’


Former English Defence League (EDL) leader Tommy Robinson Photo credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Former English Defence League (EDL) leader Tommy Robinson Photo credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

A BBC News subtitle sums up the absurdity and injustice of this most recent example of the political maltreatment and intimidation of Tommy Robinson: “Ex-EDL chief back in jail ‘for Tweet’”.

Tommy Robinson was only released from prison in June.

Supporters of Tommy Robinson – posting on Facebook – have released a statement which said that Tommy Robinson “has been recalled to prison for responding to a threat on Twitter”. That threat was on the lives of Tommy Robinson’s family.

Mr. Robinson’s lawyers said that he has been sent back to prison for a fixed term of 28 days.

According to Mr Lennon (Tommy Robinson) himself:

"I was going to speak this Thursday exposing police persecution and tactics.

"Police are at my house recalling me back to prison for my licence, reason given that I responded to a death threat targeting my family.

"All this to prevent me exposing the facts on Thursday at Oxford Union."

So not only have we the absurd case of someone being put in prison for a single Tweet, it may even be the case that the police put Tommy Robinson back in prison to stop him from talking to the Oxford Union.

The BBC says that Tommy Robinson (who created and then led the English Defence League in 2009) “will not talk at the Oxford Union as he is back in jail”.

The BBC shows its bias here not by blatant politicising; but by what it intentionally leaves out. It says that Lennon “had previously been due to talk at the Union in September last year but the event was cancelled amid security concerns”. What it doesn’t say is those “security concerns” existed because left-fascist groups – such as Unite Against Fascism – threatened violence if the talk had been allowed to go ahead.

What the BBC also doesn’t say is that Mr Robinson probably wouldn’t have been allowed to talk at the Oxford Union anyway because those very same left-fascist groups and individuals were agitating to have him disinvited again.

The Oxford Union itself sent an email to students which said:

"Tommy Robinson has recently been recalled into custody and so is unlikely to be able to speak."

Despite all this, the Oxford Union is still hoping that Mr. Lennon can speak after his release from prison. In fact – despite “security concerns” – the Oxford Union was unhappy that Tommy Robinson’s previous talk was cancelled due to the anti-free speech actions of violent Trotskyist groups.


The Leftist “Hegemony” in the Law
[Gareth Peirce, the Trotskyist "super-lawyer", who once freed Abu Qatada.]

The intimidation and maltreatment of Tommy Robinson by the police and courts has been so systematic, long-running and blatant that it could only have happened because the legal establishment – and even the state – wanted it to happen.

Usually political activists have Leftist lawyers, rights groups, etc. all over them. Though that’s only when they are Muslim terrorists or members of an ethnic minority. Shami Chakrabarti’s Liberty and Gareth Peirce, for example, seem only to be interested in terrorists and Islamists like Moazzam Begg.

You see groups like Liberty don’t really fight for “rights” and “justice” across the board. Did Shami Chakrabarti – or someone like her – defend the former leader of the EDL when his parents had their doors knocked down by the police on more than one occasion?

Leftist lawyers are often only concerned with the rights and freedoms of those Islamists and chosen minorities who will help them further their own political agendas and causes.

These people fight for their non-violent Gramscian revolution through their work in the rights and race businesses. Specifically, they defend “revolutionary subjects” such as Islamists, Islamic terrorists, sexual groomers, rapists, criminals, Leftist activists and so on. The rights of minorities are fought for and given a superior status vis-a-vis what they call the “dominant culture”. That’s why the political intimidation of Tommy Robinson hasn’t even registered on their collective consciousness. Indeed they are at least in part responsible for that political maltreatment.

So, again, why has the legal establishment (or at least the large parts of it which are Leftist or at least Left-Liberal) more or less ignored the systematic political intimidation of Tommy Robinson? The answer to that can be expressed in this simple way.

Muslim terrorists and radicals are deemed innocent – by Leftist lawyers – until proven white and/or right wing. That is, Muslims and various ethnic groups can only ever be “oppressed” or victims. They can never be guilty or even in the wrong.

The Leftist Hegemony in the Universities

As stated above, the SWP-UAF has attempted to get Tommy Robinson disinvited from the Oxford Union again. (That was before he was thrown into prison.) The same Trotskyist group got him disinvited before because he was the leader of the EDL. And now it has attempted to do the very same again even though he’s no longer in the EDL.

The SWP-UAF – along with many other “radical” groups – has a strong grip on the universities; especially on students. Almost every university in the UK has a Socialist Worker Student Society.

Our universities are also over-populated with SWP professors and lecturers. When I say that the SWP has a strong grip on English universities, I don’t mean that in any overly-conspiratorial sense. However, if you have loads of student automatons willing to hold demos and sit-ins (as well as harass those who dare to think and say the wrong things), then that’s how the SWP expresses its political power in our universities – through endless activism and often through violence.

In other words, the SWP-UAF’s student automata behave in exactly the same kind of way that young National Socialists behaved in the universities of Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1939.

A Short List of Actions Taken:

  • His parents’ house was raided three times; even though Tommy Robinson had left home some four years before.
  • Arrested and stopped from going to many demos.
  • Arrested on many charges which were all subsequently dropped.
  • Bans from demonstrating, using the Internet, emails and texting dating back to 2009.
  • Police went after his brother and his mother for supposed financial crimes.
  • Police conduced a 3 year “tax evasion” investigation (which failed when it went to court in late 2012). Throughout the investigation, Robinson and his family were only allowed to spend £200 per week of his own money (the rest was impounded by the police).
  • He is awaiting prosecution for having gone over his designated time-slot at the last Tower Hamlets demo (the police held up the demo for 15 mins at the start, so I understand that they manufactured the situation where he would exceed his time-slot).
  • He was arrested for trying to do a charity walk through 5 boroughs (when he entered Tower Hamlets).
  • After receiving 100′s of death threats from Muslims (aimed at him, his wife, his kids, his mother), he was re-tweeting them, and even printed them out and went to the police. The police did not arrest a single one of the aggressors, but threatened to prosecute Robinson if he continued to re-tweet them.
  • The last conviction for mortgage fraud was for an offense committed by Lords & MPs and the financial backers of the major parties in the UK, with none of them were prosecuted, never mind convicted. My understanding was that Robinson pleaded guilty in order to stop his dying mother from going to court (she was being persecuted to get at him) – even thought it’s estimated 1 million people in the UK have committed similar mortgage fraud.
  • Whilst in prison the screws allowed him to be attacked (by locking him in a room full of Muslims). He was subsequently locked up for 23 hours of every day.
  • When Robinson told the police of his home address, gangs of Muslims would turn up and attack his home. In later years, he refused to let the police know where he was living.
For more details on this short period, see this link – ‘The Persecution of Tommy Robinson

Other Links:

*) ‘Tommy Robinson’s appearance at the Oxford Union is cancelled’ (12th September, 2013), at Liberty GB:

*) ‘Socialist Worker Students’ (Facebook page):

Monday, 20 October 2014

Reza Aslan's Marxist Account of Islam


Reza Aslan effectively provides us with a perfect Marxist (or at least materialist) analysis of Islam (if not of other religions). Or at least Aslan does so when he's rationalising or explaining the systematic and large-scale violence done by Muslims almost every single day in at least two dozen countries.
Aslan essentially argues (without using these precise words) that Islam is a mere "epiphenomenon of material conditions" (as Marxists once put it).
Basically, the argument is this: all the violence actions carried out by Muslims in the Muslim world and in Europe have absolutely nothing to do with Islam. It's all really to do with economics, colonialism, ethnic conflict, the malign influence of the West... anything as long as it isn't Islam.
So why would a Muslimbe saying that Islam is a mere epiphenomenon of material conditions? The answer to that is simple. A Muslim would need to say such a thing in order to excuse Islam of all the negative and violent actions done in its name.
Does Reza Aslan also apply his Marxist analyses of Islam to all the positive deeds and actions which are carried out by Muslims? For example, when Muslims criticise the Islamic State (as mentioned by Aslan and others recently) or give to charity (though only to fellow Muslims – which is something we aren't often told) are they merely responding to material conditions or to Islam? Or is it that only the negative or violent deeds and actions of Muslims yield to such a Marxist/materialist analysis?
So it can be said that when Reza Aslan claimed that Bill Maher, for example, is “not very sophisticated in the way that he thinks” about Islam, he basically meant that Maher doesn't offer us a Marxist (materialist) analysis of the religion similar to his own. Reza Aslan has also said pretty much the same thing about Sam Harris. Indeed Aslan says something similar about all the critics of Islam.
Clearly Aslan is partly playing on his academic credentials here (some of which have been classed as bogus by various commentators). And as everyone knows, every academic on the planet offers nothing but profoundly sophisticated and unbiased accounts of every subject they tackle. It's also highly elitist and even dangerous to say (as Reza Aslan does) that if you're not an academic specialist on Islam, you should keep your mouth shut. Except, of course, that he never questions people's academic qualifications when they say positive things about Islam.
The Islam-Culture Binary Opposition

Muslims and their Leftist defenders often tell us that we mustdistinguish Islam from the independent cultures in which Islam is the main religion.
Reza Aslan himself is at his most Marxist (or materialist) when he reiterates that very common binary opposition (Jacques Derrida's term) between Islam (or religion) and culture. Aslan, for example,states:

"It is really the single most basic idea about religion, that it marries itself to whatever culture it comes into contact with.”

As it stands, the statement above contains some truth. Nonetheless, it also has to be said that it is Islam(or the Koran, hadith, sharia law, etc.) which “marries itself to whatever culture it comes into contact with”. After all, it's not atheism or astral travelling which does so.
So no matter what differences these Muslims cultures may well display, nearly all of them still practice (to various degrees) jihad, female genital mutilation, stoning to death, honour killings, death for apostasy, etc. It's all fare enough for Reza Aslan to point out differences when similarities such as these are far more noticeable. Reza Aslan, for example, cites the case that Saudi women aren't allowed to drive cars; though they are, I assume, in Turkey. However, perhaps no law is needed in, say, Pakistan because - outside of rich political families, etc. - Muslim women will simply accept that they're not allowed to drive cars. As for Turkey, liberality when it comes to women driving cars has occurredin spite of Islam, not because of it. In other words, it has nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with the secularisation of Turkey which began some 90 year ago (in 1923).
And what of this Islam-culture binary opposition itself?
This is strange because for decades Marxists were at pains to tell us that religion is a cultural and therefore material phenomenon. Then all that changed with the rise of Muslim demographics in the West and the concomitant rise in Islamic terrorism and and Muslim radicalism. As a response to all this, Leftists - in order to “tap into the revolutionary potential of Muslims” - had to invent a divide between Islam and culture in order to excuse Islam itself of all its responsibility for misogyny, violence, etc.
Aslan puts his own twist on this Islam-culture duality by saying that all critics of Islam have an genetic “inability to understand the difference between a cultural practice and religious belief”. That shameful inability to offer a Marxist or materialist analysis of Islam is “shocking among self-described intellectuals”.
There are other problems with this neat and convenient Islam-culture distinction.

In terms of honour killings, for example, the main problem is that Islam - or, more correctly, the Koran, the sunnahand the hadith - are full of references to 'honour' and the concomitant need to abide by the 'principles of honour'.

In sharia law there's also the notion of 'ird. This applies to the honour of the individual Muslim. Abdul Wahid Hamid (in his
slam the Natural Way), for example, writes that

"preserving honour... is the goal of... sharia laws that punish sexual relations outside marriage'. In addition, the 'severe punishments' of Sharia Law are there to 'protect honour and chastity (125)”.

In Islam it's also said that a Muslim becomes a mukallaf at the age of puberty onwards. After that, each Muslim has many duties to fulfil and obey. One of those duties is 'maintaining honour' through chastity and in various other ways.
So yes, Islam, or sharia law, may wellrespect “local laws and customs”. Though there's still a big but here. Islam, according to Wahid Hamid, respects various customs only as “long as these are not in conflict with the Qur'an”. Thus, if anything in a given Muslim culture is in conflict with the Koran or sharia law, it must be stamped out. It must surely follow, then, that FGM, honour killings, jihad and whatnot must be in accordance – at least to some extent - with Islam otherwise such practices would have been stamped out.
One other point is is that many Muslim populations, such as Saudis or Arabs generally, Pakistanis, Egyptians, etc. have been Islamic for up to 1,400 years (or at least their cultures and traditions have). Therefore after such a long period of Islamic history, how valid can the distinction be between culture and Islam?
Generalisations About Islam & Muslims?
Reza Aslan also relies on thegeneralising-about-Islam/Muslimstrope. And guess what, he too is a super-generaliser when he talks about all the critics and criticisms of Islam. This is the case, for example, when he assumes - or pretends - that all such critics and criticisms are “not very sophisticated”. (This is also aLoonwatch idea,along with the ad hominems that all critics of Islam are “loons”, “fascists”, “racists”,“pseudo-intellectuals”, “self-described intellectuals”,“bigots”, “haters”, whateverists, etc.)
You can also say that it is a perfect case of generalisation to argue that virtually all the negative and violent acts carried out by Muslims have nothing to do with Islam itself.
Reza Aslan, for example, has recently said (in response to Maher and Sam Harris) that the

"problem is that you’re talking about a religion of one and a half billion people, and certainly it becomes very easy to just simply paint them all with a single brush”.

Now I don't think I've ever heard any single commentator or writer generalise about the “one and a half billion”Muslims on this planet. Sure, some people on Facebook may well do so. However, I doubt that Sam Harris, Bill Maher, Robert Spencer, Gert Wilders, etc. have ever done anything like that because they don't need to do that. Criticisms of Islam – to state the obvious –simply don't need to be about every Muslim on the planet. Indeed just as one doesn't need to account for every Nazi, Communist or Liberal Democrat in order to criticise Nazism, communism or the Liberal Democrats, so one simply doesn't need to account for every Muslim on the planet in order to offer a criticism of Islam.



1) ".... Islam is largely a process of Arabization, so to speak. The teachings and practices of Islam stem from those of the Arab desert culture from which Mohammed came...."

True to a point. Islam is still indeed Arabic. Though Arabic culture became Islamised too in that it can't be denied that Muhammad brought things to the Arab tribes which they would have been unfamiliar and unhappy with.

So Muhammad "married" himself to Arab culture. (He couldn't help but do so - he was an Arab.) Then he created an Arabic-Islamic culture and society. From then on, all Muslim societies married themselves to Arabic Islam; rather than the other way around, as Reza Aslan suggest.

After all, it's 2014 and the vast majority of non-Arabic Muslims still have both Arabic first names and Arabic second names. Many still wear Arabic clothes. Allah is a monoglot who only speaks Arabic. And the Koran "can only be truly understood in the original Arabic"... and all that's to miss out the many abominations of Arabic sharia law.

2) "Rather, the truth is that Islam affects local culture and local culture affects the practice of Islam."


I hope I didn't come across as going too far in the opposite direction to Reza Aslan - completely denying local culture or "material conditions". Marxists called that position both "idealism" (the philosophical position) and "voluntarism" (i.e., the - complete? - psychological freedom from material conditions).

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Does Reza Aslan or the Islamic State (IS) Speak For Islam?


Reza Aslan via The Guardian
Reza Aslan via The Guardian

Prominent Islamic scholar Reza Aslan says that no one Islamic group or Muslim individual can ever be deemed to have the last word on Islam. Thus the Islamic State (IS), for example, can’t be deemed to be definitive of Islam.

It follows from this that when Aslan says that IS promotes a distorted version of Islam, then Aslan’s own position – that IS distorts Islam - can’t be deemed to be the last word on Islam either. In other words, Muslims have no more or less reason to accept Reza Aslan’s interfaith-materialist account of Islam (presuming it’s not all smoke and mirrors: taqiyya or “lying for Justice”) than to accept IS’s or al-Qaeda’s.

Yes, there is no central authority in Islam. So that means that the utterances of people like Reza Aslan might have had almost zero effect on the vast majority of Muslims. Indeed that’s certainly the case. No doubt there are a handful of Muslims in American and European universities (such as Georgetown University) – as well as Muslim members of the Church of Interfaith – who buy Reza Aslan’s version of Islam. The problem is, can we put all our eggs in their basket or would that be suicidal?

Though, of course, I may think all this simply because I’m a “pseudo-intellectual”…. or a “loon” or an “Islamophobe” or a “hater” or a “bigot” or “far right”.

Reza Aslan, as with Loonwatch, will often inform the Leftist “tribe of independent minds” that many – or all – academics who are also critics of Islam are either “pseudo-intellectuals”; or, as Aslan himself puts it, “self-described intellectuals”… What? I can’t think of a single critic of Islam – academic or otherwise – who has christened himself an “intellectual”. As everyone knows, the word “intellectual” has always been a self-description that Marxists, structuralists, post-structuralists, post-modernists, etc. have used about themselves. Thus it seems seem that in order to be a true intellectual, one has to be a Leftist or a “progressive”. If you’re not, then you’re either a “pseudo-intellectual”…. or a “loon” or an “Islamophobe” or a “hater” or a “bigot” or “far right”.

Reza Aslan’s Academic & Materialist Elimination of Islam

The thing about Reza Aslan’s version of Islam – that’s if it’s sincere – is that it effectively negates or erases Islam from the picture.

In one breath Aslan will apply his Marxist (or materialist) analysis of Islam. In the next breath he will erase or negate Islam from the picture in another way by saying, for example, that people don’t “get their values, their morals from their scripture”. Instead, you “bring your morals and your values to the scriptures”.

Now Reza Aslan – according to Reza Aslan (not me) – is a Muslim. So let’s rewrite that statement:

Muslims don’t get their values and their morals from the Koran, the hadith and the sunnah. Instead, Muslims bring their morals and their values to the Koran, the hadith and the sunnah.

Again, why would a Muslim like Reza Aslan be saying things like that? I will tell you why. He will say things like that when the subject under discussion is Islamic extremism – whether that be terrorism, jihad, female genital mutilation (FGM), honour killings, sexual-grooming gangs, death for apostasy, stoning to death, the killing of gays, etc.

However, when the seemingly positive things about Islam – as well as the positive actions of Muslims – are being discussed, then Aslan’s materialist analyses of Islam (or his eliminativism as regard Islam) are simply dropped from the debate.

Reza Aslan tells us that his own position on Islam – as stated above – is something you “learn… on day one of the study of religion”. That may well be true. So I suggest that Aslan – as a Muslim – tells his fellow Muslims that. I suggest that Aslan tells them that Islam is a mere “epiphenomenon of material conditions” (not his own words) and that the “morals” and “values” which devout Muslims uphold existed before any reading or study of the Koran.

Surely such radical views would be deemed as apostasy just about everywhere in the Muslim world; and even in the United States.

The Islam-Culture Binary Opposition

On Twitter (October 11th) Reza Aslan stated the following:

If you think female genital mutilation, which predates Islam by about 2000 years, is a ‘Muslim practice’ you’ve already lost the argument.

Just about all critics of Islam have acknowledged that FGM existed in other cultures and existed before Islam. However, simply because that’s the case, it doesn’t follow from that that it’s not an Islamic practice. For example, many Christian practices and rites pre-date Christianity. That doesn’t stop them from being Christian.

Despite all that, since Islam has sanctioned and endorsed FGM, honour killings, stoning to death, jihad, etc., and since Islam has existed in the Muslim world for up to 1,400 years, then surely we can ask why all these things still exist in Muslim countries and cultures.

Why, for example, is the FGM rate in Egypt 91%? Why is it 0% in Western states (if you discount the Muslim populations) and even fairly low in those African and other states which aren’t Muslim?

The fact is that even though FGM may pre-date Islam (is this even true?), it has still become an Islamic practice. After all, Muhammed and the early Muslims borrowed – or stole – almost all their principles, rites and practices from other religions and other cultures. That means that Reza Aslan’s position that FGM pre-dates Islam can be applied to many other aspects – the seemingly positive ones – of Islam too. But he doesn’t. He is, of course, as highly selective about Islam and its texts as he accuses all the critics of Islam of being.

Sharia Blasphemy Law or the Leftist “No Platform” Policy?

Finally, what did Reza Aslan mean when he said (during an interview with Salon) the following? -

I think that people have had enough of this kind of rhetoric [referring to the critics of Islam], and they’re just not going to put up with it any more.


*) ‘Reza Aslan on Bill Maher’s anti-Islam crusade’, published by Salon:
*) ‘Loonwatch and Islamophobia Watch: Why Leftists are Islamophiles’, published by Brenner Brief: