Aslan wins James Joyce Award

One proof that there’s no God (or at least a just and merciful one) is the triumph of the unjust and ill-deserving. And one of the best pieces of evidence of that sort is Reza Aslan’s ascendancy as a religious and cultural pundit. Here’s the latest argument against God’s existence: Aslan has just won the prestigious James Joyce Award. The University of California at Riverside Office of Puffery announced it;

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Reza Aslan, professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside and best-selling author, has been named the recipient of the James Joyce Award and an Honorary Fellowship of the Literary & Historical Society, Europe’s largest university society.

The James Joyce Award is given to those who have excelled in a field of human endeavor and have made a profound impact on the world around them. Recipients in recent years have included Salman Rushdie, Alan Rickman, Desmond Tutu and Noam Chomsky. The award will be presented in the 2016-17 academic year.

The Literary & Historical Society is located in University College Dublin, Ireland, which is Ireland’s largest university, with more than 25,000 students.

“Given your immense success in the field of theology, we maintain your accomplishments certainly merit the award,” Sinead McCarthy, fellowships officer of the 162nd Session of the Literary and Historical Society, wrote in a letter announcing the award. “… We feel that your principled and unique analysis of Islam and other religions will be very educational for the students (at UCD), many of which are of either Christian or no faith – not to forget the university’s growing Islamic community. In an age where Islamophobia and ignorance of Islam dominate media discourse, we would be honoured to hear you speak in front of the Society to challenge the students and present to them another way of thinking about the way religion and specifically Islam are discussed and presented in the modern world.”

Aslan’s “principled and unique analysis of Islam” is, of course, to whitewash it, distorting its history and the beliefs of its adherents. What’s clear from the above is that he’s getting the award for defending pernicious religious beliefs by lying about them. It is an Authoritarian Leftist Award.

You can see more information about the prize, and the list of winners, here.  Meanwhile, I’ve decided I’m in the wrong business. With a little greed and mendacity, I could be rolling in this stuff, and flush with Templeton cash.



  1. GBJames
    Posted June 4, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink


  2. Posted June 4, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    From Dublin to Dabiq. Although, I’m not sure if Irish whiskey is considered Halal.

    • Posted June 4, 2016 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Whiskey is haram, as is all alcohol. It should be considered magru, but it’s not.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted June 4, 2016 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

        Some argue that only wine is haram, as it is that is what’s mentioned in the Qur’an. Of course, there wasn’t a lot of whiskey floating around Arabia in the 7th century! (The first written evidence for whiskey comes from the 15th century.)

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted June 5, 2016 at 9:37 am | Permalink

          The alembic has a history preceding Islam, and possibly Christianity. Whether it was used for recreational distillation or prototype chemistry work is harder to tell, alchemical texts being notoriously obscure.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted June 5, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink

          A modicum of research leads me to suggestions that both the Orient ( and occident ( page 57-58) in the middle of the 1100s. Distillation was certainly going on before then, but distillation of alcoholic beverages seems not to be reported. I find that a little surprising, but that seems to be the state of research.
          “Freeze distilling” is known from a number of centuries earlier (first source), so people had a taste of the “strong stuff” a lot earlier. In fact, Greek literature is full of references to the need to “water the wine” at symposiums, so they’d got a firm hold of the dose-concentration-response relationship well into the BCEs.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted June 5, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

            Very interesting! Thanks. 🙂

        • Posted June 10, 2016 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

          Eaerlier than that, they were probably too drunk to write. 😉

  3. JCarter
    Posted June 4, 2016 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Reza Aslan wins an award given to Salman Rushdie years earlier. Irony doesn’t exist on the left coast.

    • somer
      Posted June 4, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      You mean you’re so impressed?

    • Posted June 4, 2016 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      I was thinking that “Salman Rushdie, Alan Rickman, Desmond Tutu and Noam Chomsky” should all turn their awards back in, to protest Aslan’s being given the same award. If only…

      • bencbt
        Posted June 4, 2016 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        Well stated. I hope they do. This degrades the award.

    • Posted June 4, 2016 at 11:59 pm | Permalink


  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 4, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    In the past, when I read about awards with a wicked famous name tacked onto it – e.g. the Mark Twain award – I admit, my skeptic-o-meter would short circuit. A few years ago, not sure why, I fixed my skeptic-o-meter so it’d go off. It just went off.

  5. Vaal
    Posted June 4, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I think this is just what the poor guy needs.
    His ego needed a bit of a boost, didn’t it?

  6. Gasper Sciacca
    Posted June 4, 2016 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Not only is there no justice in the world, there is no sense.

  7. Posted June 4, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    The only thing I think will prevent me from losing all faith in humanity is that I won’t quite live long enough for it to reach zero. Unless of course the rate it’s declining increases.

  8. Stan
    Posted June 4, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Aslam is the worst of the worst, and a distinctly dangerous person. His spewings are poisoning attempts at reasonable dialog with mountains of bullshit. How he keeps managing to get the kind of notice he does is completely beyond me.

    • somer
      Posted June 4, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      We keep spewing out regressive types of leftists to adore him

  9. EvolvedDutchie
    Posted June 4, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    “Meanwhile, I’ve decided in the wrong business. With a little greed and mendacity, I could be rolling in this stuff, and flush with Templeton cash.”

    True, but who would be able to look at himself in the mirror after spreading such nonsense like Aslan does?

    • somer
      Posted June 4, 2016 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Thats why his main degree and profession is Creative Writing or WC. Write Creatively enough and you start to believe it

      • ploubere
        Posted June 4, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink


  10. Martin Levin
    Posted June 4, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    A glance at the list of recipients, Rushdie aside, gives you a pretty good indication of the political proclivities of the “society.” But what a dishonour for Joyce!

    • nicky
      Posted June 4, 2016 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Martin, agreed about Rushdie, but what is wrong about Desmond Tutu? I hold him in quite high esteem. (I’ve never heard about the other recipients)

      • nicky
        Posted June 4, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        Of course, I actually did hear about Nim Chimpski, named after Noam Chomski. What did he get Joyce’s reward for? His really interesting contributions to linguistics are deserving and would fit in a Joyce’s reward, methinks. I hope he didn’t get it for his (sorry to say) naive political patter.
        Note, I agree with our host and you that Reza Aslan is completely undeserving of *any* serious award.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted June 4, 2016 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

        There have been allegations of corruption relating to Desmond Tutu, though I’ve never looked into them myself and don’t know if there’s any basis to them. He does seem to have a lot more money than he should based on his career.

    • Tim Harris
      Posted June 4, 2016 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Rushdie aside? You need to read some of Rushdie’s political pieces – in particular his pointing out, correctly, that the British Empire was not far from being the delightfully benevolent and charitable institution that many British people like to think that it was. His sharp comments hit home and aroused anger and resentment among such people. Good for him! But you, of course, are interested only in the fact that Rushdie attacks Islam. I note that the recipients also include Seamus Heaney, whom I knew and who was an extraordinarily generous man politically and personally, as well as a number of other very good people. I think you should find out about the people who have won the award before spreading your tar over them with so indiscriminate a brush. I hold no brief for Aslan.

      • Tim Harris
        Posted June 4, 2016 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        NOT ‘not far from being’ but ‘the British Empire was far from being…’.

  11. ploubere
    Posted June 4, 2016 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Awards are like hemorrhoids, in the long run, every butthole gets one.

    • Petu W.
      Posted June 5, 2016 at 4:15 am | Permalink

      As every Billy Wilder fan knows…

  12. DrBrydon
    Posted June 4, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Creative writing indeed….

  13. Victoria
    Posted June 4, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Aslan’s success is like Jon Hamm’s character on 30 Rock: terrible at things, but so handsome that everyone accommodates him.

    I really do think that’s the critical factor of how a vapid apologist like Aslan can succeed, beyond the background foundation of deference to religion of course.

  14. Steve Pollard
    Posted June 4, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    This is the sort of thing that Joyce left Ireland to get away from. I bet they made sure he was safely dead before having the temerity to name the award after him.

    There doesn’t seem to be any money in this one, Jerry. Better go for the Templeton.

  15. Merilee
    Posted June 4, 2016 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Joyce should be rolling/rattling in his grave.

  16. Heather Hastie
    Posted June 4, 2016 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Just like Donald Trump’s African American, they now have their Muslim. Tokenism at its worst, and Aslan can be relied upon to say the right things.

  17. Posted June 4, 2016 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    “Aslan’s “principled and unique analysis of Islam” is, of course, to whitewash it, distorting its history and the beliefs of its adherents.”

    The man is Professor of *Creative* Writing. Have they not noticed this? What he excels at is making stuff up.

  18. nay
    Posted June 5, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    What would Joyce say? . . . and who has the temerity to make such a decision?

  19. Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:04 am | Permalink


  20. jeffery
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    This is just more “ass-kissing of all things Muslim” by what the liberal left has devolved into…..

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