Maajid Nawaz on terrorism, American hypocrisy, and “the Voldemort effect”

Curiously, Maajid Nawaz, a liberal Muslim who constantly presses for a reformation of radical Islam, has been demonized by many on the left, even though, unlike Ayaan Hirsi Ali, he’s apparently not an atheist. He’s been called a “porch monkey” as well as Sam Harris’s “lapdog” and “Muslim validator,” and was even criticized by the odious Nathan Lean for dressing too nicely! It’s almost as if a liberal Muslim has no credibility with the Left at all, and negative credibility if he’s Westernized! Nawaz is the cofounder and chair of the Qulliam Foundation, dedicated to taming Islamic extremism.

Why, then, is he so demonized? It’s a mystery to me, and maybe readers can explain. At any rate, here’s a video just released by Nawaz showing his appearance on Fox News. Why a right-wing news channel? We all know the answer to that: what Nawaz says is inimical to the mainstream liberal press, marinated in Regressive Leftism. He actually calls out religious ideology, and that’s a no-no.

The part I like best is this, starting at 3:25:

“I am entirely exhausted by the obfuscation, the denialism, the double standards in this debate. President Obama is playing politics with evil. He’s so scared of offending people that he would rather assassinate people without any accountability, so he has a kill list. Everyone knows he has a kill list. He’d rather send drones illegally into countries, he’d rather arbitrarily detain than actually offend a Muslim. That’s the situation that liberals find themselves in today. And frankly, as a liberal, I’d rather offend someone than send out people to assassinate them without due process. I’d rather have that civil society debate, and the only way I can have that, by the way, is naming exactly what I’m challenging.”

Now listen to Maajid Nawaz on this video, and, if you’re a Leftist, tell me what you find objectionable. For the life of me, I can’t find anything.


  1. Diana MacPherson
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Nawaz is seen as stepping outside “his place” by other Muslims. In a word, he’s “uppity”! How DARE he! That’s why he’s demonized. It’s like how women are demonized for not having children or keeping their last names when they get married. Both question the status quo of their own culture and that just won’t do.

    • Posted June 20, 2016 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      And he is not wearing a tie – clearly a crime for a man who “dresses too nicely”

    • Posted June 20, 2016 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Remember when people like Pilger called al-Zarqawi an ‘insurgent’? The man whose methods even Osama bin Laden sometimes criticized?

      This speaker described in 2006 the unwillingness to call an Islamic jihadist by an accurate name.

      “Rather as the Greeks used to call…they were so frightened of the Furies that they wouldn’t name them, they wouldn’t say, ‘The Furies’: they would say, ‘The Eumenides’, the Kindly Ones. Call them that, they might make nice. It was under the breath, it was like Voldemort.”

      It was Christopher Hitchens, here, at 34 mins.

      • rickflick
        Posted June 20, 2016 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        Hitch was ahead of his time. He said something about everything.

        • Ken Elliott
          Posted June 21, 2016 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

          How fun would it have been if he had been around during this time of Trump, Hillary, and The Bern, as well as for the rise of regressive leftism? I know I’m not the first to say this, but I feel it quite profoundly. It’s interesting how someone you don’t even know can affect you in such a way.

          • rickflick
            Posted June 21, 2016 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

            Amen brother.

          • Posted June 21, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

            I rather think that Hitchens was around for the regressive left, Ken: they just weren’t called that in those days. I’m thinking of the CH’s debate with the big daddy of the RL in the mother of all debates – Gorgeous George Galloway.

            Btw. during the elections for London Mayor a poll revealed that GG would receive 0% of the vote. Given that the survey had + or – 3 margin of error, Nick Cohen tweeted that Saddam’s indefatigable lickspittle might be on -3%.

            And on Nick Cohen, there’s a Youtube video of him and CH, in which NC outlines his ‘What’s Left’ book from ooh…2007. CH comments, “Well done”. That’s the progenitor and first critique in book form (to my knowledge) of the regressive left tendency.

            CH was well aware of the RL strand: you can see it in his debates with ultra-leftists on the Iraq war. CH’s whole moral case was that ex-comrades were apologizing for and siding with deeply reactionary theocrats and authoritarians. And that is all of a piece with their denials of genocide in the Balkans during the 90s.

            • Ken Elliott
              Posted June 22, 2016 at 8:47 am | Permalink

              Thanks, Dermot. I need to re-familiarize myself with those videos, but it proves that it would’ve been grand fun if Hitch were still here.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted June 20, 2016 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Yeah. Maajid Nawaz is someone who should he supported and celebrated by we liberals for the work he’s doing. The mealy-mouthed, petty, mean-spirited, small-minded gits who demonize him really piss me off. Can you tell?

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted June 20, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        No I can’t tell. You know, holding back like that can’t be good for you. You should tell us how you really feel, Heather. 😀

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted June 20, 2016 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

          I can give you more if you like …

  2. Somite
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    The only thing I find objectionable is the execrable Greg Gutfeld. The problem here is that Fox News is using Maajid’s reasonable position to stoke their xenophobia.

  3. fjordaniv
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    There’s a great deal of discussion about the concept of “cultural authenticity” among many academics in the humanities and social sciences. The concept is often framed as part of a larger conception of anti-colonialism; together, the ideas merge into the notion that authenticity requires the outright rejection of most things Western.

    Thus, individuals who reject what some deem to be an “authentic” identity often find themselves regarded as traitors by those who should theoretically support them.

    Since there’s an enormous focus in identity rather than the content of individual or group ideologies, regressives see no conflict or double standard.

  4. Eric Grobler
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    I think many people find it unconscionable that some religions are worse than others.

  5. Scott Draper
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    “I’d rather offend someone than send out people to assassinate them without due process. ”

    I find this comment objectionable. Surely this really isn’t the choice that Obama has? Would labeling the terrorism problem an “Islam problem” make it go away?

    • Posted June 20, 2016 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure what he is suggesting. That President Obama has a personal kill list? That Akhtar Muhammad Mansour should have been captured and brought to trial? I don’t think war is like that.

    • Curt Nelson
      Posted June 20, 2016 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      The choice Obama has is drone strikes or war, isn’t it?

      This is the false premise of so many criticisms – that something is bad and if you quit it everything would be better, except it wouldn’t because the alternatives are worse.

      But drone strikes are illegal! and war isn’t.

      • mikeyc
        Posted June 20, 2016 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        “But drone strikes are illegal!”

        They are? One could come up with all sorts of scenarios in which is this statement is unambiguously true, but there are many in which it is not. It is in the latter that Obama claims he is acting.

      • Jeremy Tarone
        Posted June 20, 2016 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        Drones are the latest tool to accomplish a goal or task. Before drones they used various other tools, such as napalm, carpet bombing, smart bombs sent by jets launched from air craft carriers, cruise missiles, sending in a few dozen troops as a surgical strike, or send in a few thousand troops.

        Sometimes they destroyed an entire block, town or village to get a few people.

        As for the legality, drones are not much different than the above methods. Which presidents have been arrested, impeached or indicted for previous hunter/killer attacks?

      • Scott Draper
        Posted June 20, 2016 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        “The choice Obama has is drone strikes or war, isn’t it?”

        I don’t know. It’s not clear that done strikes (or war) have done anything to stem the problem. Perhaps they’ve made it worse.

        • Posted June 20, 2016 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

          Explain how they have made it worse, please. President Obama inherited a middle east torn by sectarian strife between Sunni and Shia thanks to Bush and Cheney, as well as an Afghan war that was mismanaged by the same. What should he have done? Withdraw and let ISIS control Iraq and Syria? Send 50K troops into battle and carpet bomb causing extensive civilian casualties? Let’s hear how you think it could have been done better. Engaging the muslim world in the shortcomings of their religion would not have been helpful, IMO.

          • Scott Draper
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

            The drone strikes have further alienated the Muslim world and have become a cause that attracts Muslim combatants from all over the world. We create more people who wish to harm us than we manage to kill.

            The drone strikes have little to do with preventing ISIS from taking over Syria and Iraq.

            • Posted June 20, 2016 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

              The drone strikes have further alienated the Muslim world and have become a cause that attracts Muslim combatants from all over the world.

              As compared to what alternative? You may make a true statement, but without offering a better alternative. Do you think we should have simply let ISIS and the Taliban have their way?

              • Scott Draper
                Posted June 20, 2016 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

                I am not required to offer an alternative.

                But if actions you are taking are making things worse, then it’s pretty obvious that you ought to stop. Doing nothing would be more productive.

              • Posted June 20, 2016 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

                Doing nothing IS an alternative. If you think that would have made things better, I think you are mistaken.

          • Posted June 21, 2016 at 7:09 am | Permalink

            Well, Darwinwins, nobody seriously argues that the Stage 4 planning in Iraq was well-handled. What we do know is that the Shi’a-run government had free rein to direct Iraq on sectarian lines.

            You ask what Obama should have done. ‘Withdraw and let ISIS control Iraq and Syria?’ That is precisely what happened. By 2010, ISI, the parent organization of ISIS, had been almost wiped out. Obama withdrew the troops in 2011 giving ISIS time to regroup and build its gangster state.

            It has been remarkably easy for ISIS’s propaganda to assert that Obama has favoured Shi’a Islam over the Sunnis (without giving credence to the absurd suggestion that Obama is a closet Shi’a). ISIS can point to the Iran Nuclear deal, the dropping of the embargo, Rouhani’s trip around the developed economies organizing trade deals, the opening up of the Iranian economy to Russia and China, the reduction in US weapons deals with KSA, occasional US air support in the battle for Fallujah this month despite the queasy acknowledgement by Obama’s Middle Eastern advisors that the Iranian revolutionary Guard Corps and Iraqi Shi’a volunteers were committing atrocities against Iraqi Sunnis..

            You have further the gradual takeover of Lebanon by Iranian-backed Hezbollah by 2011, when PM Saad Hariri was actually in Washington. ISIS can point to the US having stood by as that happened, and indeed allegedly passing information to Hezbollah on potential attacks by Salafi jihadists. Iran would like the Lebanese Armed Forces to engage in the war on the Syrian insurgents in order to legitimize Assad, in the American’s eyes, as a bulwark against terrorism, thereby bringing him de facto into the western coalition. Hezbollah in Lebanon would have to help (as it has already done), thereby creating a region of (effectively) Shi’a-friendly governments in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

            This would enormously strengthen Russia. Iraq was the USSR’s client under Saddam, it would consolidate Russian access to the Mediterranean and one need only look at the body language in the photo of Assad’s meeting with the Russian Defence Minister last week to see that Assad is not so much a client, but rather an employee, of Putin.

            We all know that the solution to the problems of the Middle East is a democratic, secular government run by the locals, by Sunni and Shi’a Muslims. The murderous sectarian nature of the battle for Fallujah in Iraq is only storing up further intra-Muslim atrocities: Obama finds himself euphemizing the disastrous strategic and tactical situation. Hence the pushback a few days ago by members of the State Department.

            I think it was the Islamist Anjem Choudary who asked the pointed question, “Whatever makes you think the UK government is yours?” It’s time to start asking of Khameini, Assad, Putin and al-Abadi, “Whatever makes you think these governments are yours?”

            • Posted June 21, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink

              Iraq was *also* the US’s client, also under Saddam, for example, during the Iran-Iraq war.

              • Posted June 21, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

                To nowhere near the same extent, Keith. The USSR and the East German Stasi trained Saddam’s Mukhabarat Secret Service in propaganda techniques and it’s highly likely that we see the fruits of that program in the professionalism and intelligence of the ISIS media department.

                Don’t forget that from 1967-83 the US and Iraq had no diplomatic relations at all after Iraq suspended them following the 6-Day war. Reagan initiated the rapprochement with Saddam in order to buttress the US policy of encouraging stalemate in the Iran-Iraq war: the policy succeeded for the next 6 years.

                Yes, the US armed Saddam but that trade only accounted for 0.48% of Iraqi arms imports from 1973-2002 (the UK’s share was 0.18%). By contrast, France accounted for 13% of Saddam’s purchases: the USSR/Russia? 57%.

                Saddam was Russia’s proxy and the US and UK influence on Iraq pre-1991 should not be over-stated.

    • peepuk
      Posted June 21, 2016 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Of course is that a choice Obama has; why not? He could for instance support liberal Islam (thereby offending many) and stop illegal drone actions.

      Understanding and naming a problem is indeed a required first step towards a solution. Ambiguity and hypocrisy makes problems in the long run only worse.

  6. Posted June 20, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Is he showing the Lie of “moderate Islam” for what it is? An apologetic for jihad. I think he’s incredibly brave and maybe incredibly honest about the real problem. He seems to think that moderate Islam exists when in reality, his own kind are ready to eat him alive for speaking out against Islamic extremism.

  7. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Excellent idea to put this video up today.

    Is it not sad that Obama and the left have put themselves in this box. As I have said and will continue to say, I have no confidence in a leader, no matter how smart he may be, who can actually be commander in chief and find the solution when he cannot name the problem. It is no different from George Bush going to Iraq or LJB going off to Vietnam. Obama has a kill list and that is it. When the list is complete, where will he be – still looking for a cause.

  8. Robert Seidel
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    > Why, then, is he so demonized? It’s a mystery to me, and maybe readers can explain.

    My take: He says things they don’t want to hear, but has the credentials of a “minority voice” they’d normally feel obliged to listen to. So he must be illegitimate, for only then it’s ok to ignore him.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted June 20, 2016 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      There is nothing illegitimate about Maajid Nawaz. He is a very smart fellow who also has been there and done that as they say. That is why Sam Harris sat down with him and wrote a book with him. He brings truth and a breath of fresh air to the conversation. The liberal left does not want to hear the truth and he steps on their belief which is to never say anything negative about Islam.

      • Curt Nelson
        Posted June 20, 2016 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        What about going with the logical conclusion? If it isn’t bad religion it must be bad culture.

        They’re blood thirsty killers, the result of poor parenting, evil traditions and base values.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted June 20, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

          I have no idea what you are talking about. You say – If it isn’t bad religion. Who said any religion was good? It is extreme, fundamentalist religion. The blood thirsty stuff comes from this interpretation of the religion.

          • Curt Nelson
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

            I meant that if religion isn’t the cause of bad behavior (terrorism) then it must be culture. Islam can’t be blamed so why not harp about an apparently rotten culture. I wonder how that would be received.

            • Ken Phelps
              Posted June 20, 2016 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

              With relief, around my house. That seems like the transparently obvious conclusion, since religions are fictions created by the people who follow them. Someone has to have the shittiest culture on the planet, is there any reason it can’t be the people who let their countries become Islamic states?

              • darrelle
                Posted June 21, 2016 at 8:33 am | Permalink

                How does it make sense to separate religion and culture? Clearly religion is culture. An aspect of culture.

                “That seems like the transparently obvious conclusion, since religions are fictions created by the people who follow them.”

                Given the context, do you mean to say that religion can not be a cause of behavior because it is not true? If so, that seems clearly wrong. Whether it’s true or not isn’t relevant. What’s relevant is what individuals believe.

  9. Historian
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    I can only speculate as to why Obama doesn’t want to state the obvious. Perhaps it all boils down to one word: OIL. By blaming Islam as an element in the cause of terrorism, he runs the risk of offending a significant supplier of oil that is also implicated in financing terrorism – Saudi Arabia. Obama is walking a tightrope. He sincerely wants to fight terrorism, but international politics says he cannot name the cause because for economic and geopolitical reasons he is compelled to cozy up to the odious Saudi regime. In international relations truth barely counts.

  10. normw
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Except there’s lots of oil in the world now.
    The reliance on Saudi oil should not have the bite of distant days, and the Saudis know this too.

    • Hempenstein
      Posted June 20, 2016 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      How’s this scenario: Saudis increase oil flow to undercut ISIL. ISIL in turn has to increase their output to keep their income steady. All this keeps the price low. Saudi Arabia recently had to float bonds – something they haven’t done in a long while as I recall – but in the long run the Saudis should make out because the reserves ISIL’s tapping will run out before they otherwise would, then giving the Saudis an advantage, and hastening ISIL’s demise, drones notwithstanding.

      And low gas prices help the current administration.

  11. keith cook + / -
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    The opening dialogue by Obama is interesting… in saying the phrase radicle Islam is not a strategy who is giving him this advise and what does that actually mean.
    I have long suspected something ‘not mentioned’ by this administration has been going on.
    I get that people wish to speak and support the non violent, the oppressed and silenced majority but to ignore a conversation on the the radicle element and it’s yearning for death, it’s decrepit moral values to appease a useless doctrine of make believe is something I will never fully understand,a bit like the ‘strategy’ mentioned, unmentioned.

  12. Christoph Allin
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Oh wonderful, Jerry Coyne asks a question of “leftists” and everybody gives their preferred diagnosis of “leftists”. I’m not very familiar with Majid Nawaz, but what I have read of his seems pretty unobjectionable, if not particularly insightful.

    But is possible, believe it or not, to agree that Islamism is a legitimate problem worthy of free discourse, and not sign to the simplistic narrative peddled by Sam Harris and friends. What I find aggravating is the assumption that any disagreement, any call for nuance, any sense that these questions are not simple, is necessarily a result of stupidity and pathology. After all, if one in-group calls itself Rationalist, the other must be irrational, obviously.

    • Posted June 20, 2016 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Congratulations. You’ve managed to find a way to be superior to all of us. I’m in total awe.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted June 20, 2016 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Sam Harris and friends don’t peddle a simplistic narrative.
      A the lack of nuance comes not from them but from their critics.
      Majid and Ayaan are friends of Sam, surely they have some nuance to contribute but they like Sam are immediately slurred with accusations of bigotry or ‘phobia’ or whatever.
      This is the point.
      The simplistic side is the the that refuses to engage engage in reasoned discussion because they are either stunned into silence, or opposition, by some non PC term or it is tactically expedient to avoid the real issue.

      This refusal to engage rationally is the point.

      Calling for nuance on one hand and shutting down some aspects of the discussion because you don’t like what the people have to say, shutting it down with slurs and accusations, is irrational.

      • Christoph Allin
        Posted June 20, 2016 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        Well I apologise for using the N-word. It is not my intention to shut anyone down.

        There are indeed plenty of people itching to shut down Harris, Ali, and Nawaz, and it seems plausible that they are the same sort that would categorise non-PC speech as “violence”. There are also plenty who say Muslims should be put in camps or that we should bomb Muslim nations indiscriminately. The fact that there are a lot of stupid or objectionable people in the world doesn’t really tell you whose argument is correct.

        OK so the problem is Radical Islam – I suppose that’s a good a term as any. What should we do about it? Donald Trump has an answer; Pamela Geller has an answer. I suppose earnest Sam Harris just wants us to be really serious about.

        • Posted June 20, 2016 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

          You’re still being snarky about atheists, including Sam, who really tried to have a conversation with Maajid about it. So look, you tell us what YOUR solution is, since you seem to think you’re the only person with a nuanced opinion.

          As for me, I’ve repeatedly said I don’t KNOW what the solution is, but I think it has to come from moderate Muslims reforming their faith from within.

          • Hempenstein
            Posted June 20, 2016 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

            Nearly positive I’ve seen Obama say the same thing – reform from within – I just can’t remember where or when. Sometime within the last 3yrs, tho.

            • steve oberski
              Posted June 21, 2016 at 6:46 am | Permalink

              The best way to support “reform from within” is to point out and name the object that is in need of reform, repeatedly and publicly.

              And then provide wholehearted support for those that are already advocating for this position.

              And getting back to the drone strike comments, this is the real damage that they cause, a loud and public indication that US foreign policy in the middle east is limited to the assassination of those who would stand in the way of a steady flow of oil out of the middle east and a contemptuous refusal to pursue any longer term objective with the aid of Muslim moderates and reformers that could actually result in real change for the better.

          • Posted June 21, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

            “I think it has to come from moderate Muslims reforming their faith from within.”

            Yes. Just like Maajid Nawaz. As you have pointed out.

        • Posted June 21, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

          The nuanced subtlety of Sam Harris’s critics is a bit lacking.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted June 21, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

            That’s for sure. I find Sam’s thoughts very nuanced and I’m often perplexed at the assertion that they aren’t. Often, people who make this assertion have only heard Sam’s thoughts through the vitriolic filter of his detractors.

            And now that I’ve said the above, I’ll be dismissed as a “fan girl”. LOL!

  13. Posted June 20, 2016 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Why, then, is he so demonized? It’s a mystery to me, and maybe readers can explain

    The US is an increasingly partisan country, where affiliation to one tribe — red or blue — rests on producing the correct key words. Failure has social repercussions, losing friends, followers and community.

    I also suspect that today’s social media users are “history aware”. They want to appear on the “right side” when looking back. Blue Tribe members want to appear not only progressive, but also against whatever a future judge might find dubious in today’s world, in particular racism.

    Imagine, a fotograph surfaced with you. It’s either one with Martin Luther King, or one with the opponents. Having something like this in mind, it’s thus most important to appear Not Red Tribe, for they are associated with everything wrong.

    Since the Red Tribe adopted an anti-Muslim rhetoric, and is frequently bigoted, the typical, Blue Tribe member must never appear similar to that and take great pains to avoid any form of racism, associstion with racism, or with anything the Red Tribe says (the more it is prototypical).

    This, then, becomes the guiding principle — as some social sociologist call it, a “sacred value” which is here “anti-racism”, as opposed to “truth”. Anti-racism is not non-racism, though, especially for Europeans (or Germans like me) it looks more like “inverse racism”.

    This is one reason and it is also irrational in the way that it overcompensates and that it is association-phobic, i.e. the benchmark is not carefully understood criticism, but that criticism-bigotry is associated with the wrong team.

    Another key factor, equally postmodern grounded, is that demand of reform or change coming from outside a culture (again, associatively) is associated with the imperial and colonislist West. Again, something from the “wrong side of history”. Mix in a dose of culture relativism.

    And finally, Sam Harris was (unfairly) expelled from the Blue Tribe, and again, associating with him is deemed ungood for proper Blue Tribe members.

    As I wrote many times before, you have an acute postmodernist problem, and more precisely (in the Atheist Movement) a huge problem with the Critical Race Theory framework that has effectively replaced New Atheism.

  14. Craw
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

  15. Posted June 20, 2016 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  16. Helen Hollis
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Would it be out of line to ask why we can not find a Muslim that actually lives in the US to criticize our President than one that does not even live here? I have run across many people in life that feel they have special knowledge about places they never lived in. As a third grader I remember my teacher asking me if my mother missed having winter all year long. My mother was born in Finland. I just stared at her in disbelief.

    • Posted June 21, 2016 at 1:25 am | Permalink

      Yes, global jihad is a problem that only affects the US and only since San Bernadino. I see this same kind of “analysis” used to suggest that the Orlando shooter’s motives are irrelevant (tally of US lives lost in mass shootings, percentage of those lives taken as a part of global jihad = islamism not a problem. Meanwhile the body count worldwide is huge, and most of those bodies are other muslims.)

      Have you considered the possibility that Nawaz is chosen for this kind of thing because he is an expert, and not because he is a muslim?

      • Helen Hollis
        Posted June 21, 2016 at 3:48 am | Permalink

        By whom?

        • Posted June 21, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

          I don’t know, who’s the “we” who cannot find an american muslim?

  17. JBaldwin
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    In not connecting ISIL/ISIS to Islam, Leftists believe themselves to be protecting U.S. Muslims, a minority, from the bigotry and persecution that would surely in their view follow such an admission. Demonizing those who would make such a concrete connection between Islamism and Islam follows from that belief.

  18. Posted June 20, 2016 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    On top of all this, Obama is a Muslim, probably of the Chicago nation of Islam variety, but doesn’t want to be honest enough to admit it. He gives cover to his own because he agrees with them

    • Helen Hollis
      Posted June 20, 2016 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      Primary Sources of information to back up your accusations against the President?

      • Posted June 20, 2016 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        I am hoping that was sarcasm, but lately on this topic I am not sure.

      • Posted June 20, 2016 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        Is everything an argument or a debate for you? It certainly isn’t for me. Have a wonderful night

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted June 20, 2016 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

          Thought that was a Poe but nope. How dare you ask for evidence Helen! What do you think this is, a rational discussion using facts?! 😀

          • Helen Hollis
            Posted June 21, 2016 at 3:42 am | Permalink

            Hello Diana, I guess I am asking too much!
            I will return to knowing my place.

    • Posted June 20, 2016 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      I, too, want to know what this comment is about.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 20, 2016 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

        You’re being trolled by Donald Trump’s Freudian super-Id. This is what the Donald meant when he said Obama “had something else in mind.” But Trump lacks the guts to say it other than at dog-whistle frequency.

        Like D-Mac, I thought this might be a Poe, but it lacks the trace of sublimated wit that tends to betray an industrious Poe.

      • Posted June 21, 2016 at 5:12 am | Permalink

        My comment was fairly clear. It wasn’t an invitation to an argument or a debate. It was a comment. Areval comments on this blog considered such?

        • Vaal
          Posted June 21, 2016 at 1:15 pm | Permalink


          Do you think it’s ok to make assertions about people with no evidence? Would you be ok with someone making a public claim about you, which would seriously misrepresent some important aspect of you…without that person having to give any reason for the accusation?

          Both Prof Coyne and his audience (e.g. in this com-box) take the stance that one should be able to back up a claim. It’s therefore normal here that if you are going to make a claim, especially an extraordinary or controversial claim, you will be expected to give your reasons or evidence for that claim.

          You have come here making the claim Obama is a Muslim. That is a very significant, controversial claim. All the evidence I’m aware of makes it a false claim.

          What is your evidence for the claim Obama is a Muslim?

        • Dean Reimer
          Posted June 21, 2016 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

          You claim the President is Muslim with no evidence, and you wonder why nobody is taking your comment seriously?

        • Posted June 21, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          Basically, what you are saying is “I am a troll.”

        • Vaal
          Posted June 22, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

          Out of curiosity, was this just a drive-by Troll, or has KIA posted here before?

      • Posted June 21, 2016 at 5:13 am | Permalink

        *are all

        • Robert Bray
          Posted June 22, 2016 at 9:29 am | Permalink

          Insulting to a decent brand of automobile.

  19. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Maajid Nawaz has the brass to risk life and limb by taking on Islamofascists, like Anjem Choudary, including on video disseminated everywhere the internet isn’t blocked by autocratic government.

    Those who call him “lapdog” and “porch monkey” should have a fraction of his courage.

  20. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    The Marxist Left of the 50s and 60s slowly went into retreat in the 70s and 80s when folks like Susan Sontag after touring Communist countries said it really doesn’t work, and more and more defectors from Russia gave credible testimony that it just wasn’t working.

    No one on the Regressive Left has trouble admitting that the Christian pastors in Sacramento and Arizona who applauded the massacre were being motivated by ugly theology.

    So what’s up with the stubborn ostrichism and ostracization of fellows like this?

    (Did this guy have to get onto Greg Gutfield, the single most obnoxious commentator of Fox News hands down??)

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 20, 2016 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

      You’re dead wrong JLH — that sourpuss thigh-flasher Andrea Tantaros can give Gutfeld a run for his money as the most-obnoxious Fox commentator. 🙂

      With all due affection for the late Ms. Sontag, the anti-Stalinist Left didn’t need her to tell them that Soviet-style communism had come a cropper by the time of the purges and show trials in the mid-1930s. Hell, a Marxist like Rosa Luxemburg saw the (Cyrillic) writing on the (Kremlin) wall for the Soviet Union as far back as 1919.

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted June 21, 2016 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        Andrea Tantaros has been on indefinite suspension from Fox News over “contract issues” since April 25, 2016.

        Point well taken about Luxemburg but the lingering Marxists still around in the 60s and 70s obviously hadn’t listened to her.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted June 21, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for the clarification regarding Ms. Tantaros. I don’t follow the comings and goings at Fox News. But I do tune in semi-regularly, for as long as I can take it, to keep an eye on what the rascals are up to. The times I’ve caught her act, she’s struck me as particularly obnoxious.

  21. Frank Harr
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m on the Left. I don’t find him at all offensive. The HOST was something of an idiot, but Mr. Nawaz? What’s the big deal? He’s fine. I may disagree with him on this or that point, but it’s not like he’s saying something odd or counterfactual.

  22. Merilee
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 11:16 pm | Permalink


  23. jay
    Posted June 21, 2016 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    This, as well as many other points you’ve raised over the past year, illustrates the fact that we need a right wing as well as a left wing (and other viewpoints as well). Having a strong opposition willing to call things out keeps all sides more honest

    [In my own political drift over the past number of years, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are areas where I feel the right has got a more rational position than the left.]

  24. MIke
    Posted June 21, 2016 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Been watching and listening to Majid Nawaz for years, he calls it as it is, its a pity the radical left refuse to take him seriously.

  25. Robert Ryder
    Posted June 21, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    I like and respect Nawaz, and mostly agree with him, but if one appears on Fox News one can’t really accuse others of “playing politics with evil,” because that’s pretty much all that channel does.

    • Posted June 23, 2016 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      I think that if other channels do not invite Nawaz, they are to blame, not him and not Fox News.

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