Zubin Madon is identified as a mechanical engineer from Mumbai, India—and an atheist. Just yesterday, in the pages of PuffHo, he published one of the best indictments of the Regressive Left I’ve seen: “Terror has no religion.” It pretty much dismantles the multifarious argument that Islam and its dictates have nothing to do with promoting terrorism. Of course Regressive Leftists will pay no attention, for theirs is a faith not subject to disconfirmation, and they’ve already decided that when Enlightenment values clash with religious doctrines, the latter win—but only when those doctrines are held by Muslims.
First, the title of the piece is clearly a play on two previous articles published at PuffHo. The first, “Terror has no religion, ” was written by by Harun Yahya in 2013. Many of you will know that Harun Yahya is the pseudonym for Adnan Oktar, a sleazy Turkish creationist who produced the infamous Atlas of Creation. I doubt that PuffHo knew who he was. At any rate, Oktar’s piece is basically a “No true Muslim/Religion of Peace” article, claiming that no genuine Qur’an-following Muslim would commit terrorism. An excerpt:
Simply because various terrorists call themselves Muslims, who execute people by shooting them when they cannot get an answer after asking them about the “pillars of faith”, who resort to their guns when they hear the answer “Yes” to the question of “Are you a Christian?” and who ruthlessly murder innocents, does not make these persecutors Muslim.
. . . The essence of Islam is love, compassion and friendship. Muslims are obliged to defend and protect the freedom of thought and faith
. . . One of the reasons which lead some Muslims who embrace terror and violence as the “right path” — despite these explicit commands of the Koran — is that they drift away from the essence of Islam. When the bigoted mentality that embraces false hadiths (sayings of Prophet Mohammad) that conflict with the Koran is combined with ignorance, a structure of hate and anger emerges.
The only way to avoid this is to spread the true spirit and morality of the Koran, which is love and peace.
The second article, published in December of last year by “political pundit” Leslie Marshall, had the same name: “Terrorism has no religion.” It’s a combination of blatant stupidity and America-blaming, holding us accountable for all the terrorism committed by Muslims. The first two lines below are classic facepalmers:
The first time a radicalized Islamist committed an act of terrorism on U.S. soil was in 1993. Yet Muslims have been coming to this country since the 17th century.
Also, if ISIS members are Muslim, then why are their victims mostly Muslims? [JAC: I guess ISIS isn’t Muslim, then!]
. . . The West also has some responsibilities to end the violence; it can be honest and take the first step by recognizing the pains caused by the policies they have followed since the beginning of the 20th century. When this is done, the West can also see that it is an irrational method to attempt to shape the Muslim world in line with their own interests. No doubt, every state first thinks about the welfare of its citizens and country; however, they must know that when they do this in a manner that ignores the rights of others and treats them callously, it will generate a backlash as surely as night follows day.
But enough. Madon’s piece is great—a worthy palliative for the No True Islam-ists and Neo-Chomskyites. I’d reproduce the whole thing, but that wouldn’t be fair: you should read it on his site. It’s garnered a mere 12 comments, and I can’t understand why. So tw**t it around. I love the way Madon describes the different camps of apologists.
Madon debunks six arguments against the religion-as-terrorist-inspiration trope: it’s due to a misreading of scripture, the “terrorist” verses from the Qur’an are taken out of context, it’s not religion but oppression, and so on. One point he makes is that if we give credit to Muslims for following the beneficent dictates of the Qur’an, like giving to charity, why don’t we criticize them for following the violence-promoting verses? That’s just hypocritical.
Here are two excerpts, but since this is a Professor Ceiling Cat (Emeritus) recommendation, go over and read the whole thing.
The verses are misinterpreted!
So 20-plus translations of the Quran that are endorsed by the Ulemas, and the many dozen spine chilling verses in them are all misinterpreted? Reputed Islamic scholars such as Pickthall & Maulana Wahiduddin Khan got their arabic wrong, but secular Leftists whose knowledge of the text is restricted to sharing memes of verse 5:32 on Facebook have got it right? This is an argument from ignorance and incredulity, and is normally propounded by folks who have never bothered to read scripture.
It’s American Imperialism, western foreign policy & the Iraq Wars that are responsible; not religion. (The Chomsky defence a.k.a. Mehdi Hassan’s Fallacy):
Apart from 12-16 million Christians, there are thousands of Bahai, Zoroastrians, Yazidis and Jews living in Islamic nations. If terrorism were simply a reaction to American imperialism, shouldn’t these minorities also form a fraction of terror outfits? Or are they miraculously shielded from NATO bombs and American policies that affect the middle-east? Surely one disgruntled Zoroastrian would cross the Iranian border and join Hezbollah?
This favourite cliche of the Regressive Left fails to explain another phenomenon— the “everyday terrorism” faced by millions of Muslims in the Islamic world. Was the spontaneous and gruesome lynching of Farkhunda outside an Afghan mosque a product of colonialism? Was the stoning of Roxanneh, the killing of Noor Malleki, the murder of secular bloggers in Bangladesh a result of US foreign policy? What does the violence unleashed against homosexuals, apostates, ‘blasphemers’, against Ahmedi and Hazara Muslims of Pakistan & Afghanistan (who are murdered by Sunni supremacists for not being ‘Muslim enough’) and the systemic genocide of ethnic minorities throughout the Islamic world, have to do with George Bush’s Iraqi misadventure? At some point, Bronze Age belief systems must be held accountable for the atrocities inflicted on its followers.
It’s refreshing to see someone speak the truth without squirming, as one senses the Regressive Left often does. The conclusion?
By shutting down genuine criticism of Islamist ideology using the non-word ‘Islamophobia’, Leftists have failed the very people they claim to protect. The Left has actively shielded a totalitarian ideology (Islamism) by conflating it’s [sic] criticism with bigotry against a largely peaceful and diverse people (Muslims). By refusing to address the elephant in the living room, Leftists have unwittingly created a vacuum which is now filled by xenophobes like Trump and Farage. We only need to look at Brexit to understand how disconnected and vacuous the Left’s narrative has become, and how it has driven the masses towards the anti-refugee, anti-Muslim lobby on the far-right.