I appreciate "our" free speech.

by The Rebel 44 Replies latest jw friends

  • freemindfade

    I criticize Islam for terrorism the exact same reason I criticize JWS for people dying from refusing blood or pedophiles being insulated. There is no difference. Doesn't mean personally hate individual JWS, but the ideology is to blame. Jihad and all the atrocities happening around the world because of Islam are not perversions of the faith, but plausible interpretations of it.

    Criticizing bad ideologies is the best example of free speech!

  • freemindfade

    free speech is all about disagreement

  • cobweb

    I take your points, but have you read the thread that sparked Rebel to think of leaving this site?

    Rebel seems to me to be a very thoughtful sensitive and even handed type person. He makes the point that he has Muslim friends who he is close to and they all treat him well, and he is made to feel like he is wrong to think this - and he apologizes for offending people. I hate that he is made to feel that way for acting on a good positive emotion.

    His personal narrative of Muslims being mostly nice people in his experience isn't allowed to stand. He is told that if they are nice then they aren't Real Muslims - they are something else, because so called Real Muslims are evil and deserve to be killed.

    The whole 'they aren't real Muslims' if they are nice reminds me of the 'No True Scotsman fallacy:

    Person A: "No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."
    Person B: "But my uncle Angus likes sugar with his porridge."
    Person A: "Ah yes, but no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."

    If a Muslim is a nice decent type person then they aren't true Muslim.

    Muslim attackers are extremists. There are extremist Christians too. A week or so back there was a guy in Portland USA who went on a rant at two Muslim women sitting on a train. When two men went to defend these Muslim girls the harasser killed them with a knife. He yelled 'death to the enemies of America' in court. Yet somehow that isn't labeled as terrorism because he was Christian.

    I condemn him as a Christian terrorist extremist but I don't condemn the entire Christian religion out of hand. I understand that not everyone applies Christianity the same way. Muslims are not afforded this luxury in people's minds it seems. For many here, if you are Muslim who have to advocate the very worst aspects of it no matter what or else you aren't a true Muslim.

    I do not say Islam doesn't need to get its house in order. I accept that the number of extremists in Islam are greater than any other religion currently. But this aggression against the general Muslim population is ugly.

    I listened to a story on the radio last week: After the London attack a Muslim nurse who had been working all night to help those who were injured, traveled back home and suffered disturbing verbal abuse. This is where bombast gets you.

    I am not saying it is wrong to criticize Islam just like I would criticize the policies of JWs but there is a generality and a forcefulness to it which disturbs me. People like Rebel shouldn't be made to feel bad for defending his Muslim friends. That is a bell weather for where the conversation lies. If he or others try to be even a little fair minded on the subject they get shouted down and ridiculed. Just like they did on that previous thread where Landy was told to get lost essentially. I fully expect to be insulted and ridiculed for saying what I have said here. I don't intend to say anymore on the subject because I know how it will go and I don't enjoy argument for argument sake.

  • _Morpheus

    While i can acknowledge the 'no true scottsman' argument lets reframe the question and ask (again):

    if a jw DID take a blood transfusion, what would we think about them? Are they a "real" jw.... or would you argue that they went against the tenannts of their reigion and wernt a true scottsman?

  • Simon

    I think some people have a real problem understanding the concept of free speech - complaining that other people are allowed to express their opinions too? Oh gosh, the outrage, the humanity, when will such persecution end ...

    If you don't think people should be allowed to express their opinion of Muslims and Islam then you are against free speech. Period.

    Why exactly should you enjoy free speech and others not? Why should one person's narrative be allowed to override other people's - especially when, in this case, it is clearly based on utter ignorance of the matter at hand. Having an opinion is great but basing it on some actual knowledge and research is better.

    What settles any disagreement are the facts and the arguments put forth. If you have facts and logic on your side then it doesn't matter how unpalatable some find the conclusions, the truth doesn't give a rats ass about your feelings.

    When it comes to "what is Islam" I don't think "I know a nice Muslim" is anything more than a complete non-argument. It's like trying to debate what the WTS does and what JWs believe based on the JW lady who brings cakes to work. I'm sure she's lovely and they taste great but it's irrelevant to the discussion and is nothing more than a weak trick - especially when it's used to try and shut people up. A counter argument devoid of actual content and argument.

    If anything, it is more of a "no true scotsman" argument - you're really dividing up Muslims into nice ones and non-nice ones then declaring everyone in the nice group as real Muslims and everyone in the non-nice group as false.

    Except that is reverse logic at it's finest ... we don't define Islam by what we like, we define Islam by what it is, and it is an evil ideology which causes many of it's followers to hold loathsome opinions and to do unspeakable acts. "No true Muslim would kill jews" simply isn't true because the definitive perfect example of a Muslim was Mohammed and he killed hundreds. Same argument for treatment of women, raping children and lots of other things. There is a reason lots of vile things are not just excused but openly practiced in Islam controlled areas - because they are what Islam is.

    Does this mean that there can't be "nice Muslims". Of course not, there were nice Nazis who did great things during the war. But it would be disingenuous to suggest that they were as good a representative of the Nazi ideology as any others were.

    The difference with the attacker in Portland is that there is no basis in his religion for him to attack people. It's actually counter to the teaching of most Christian sects. That's why no one has any trouble condemning him. Imagine though that the bible said to behead non-believers and kill them wherever you find them. First, I would question why anyone would want to be identified with such a hateful religion and second ... wouldn't he be a better adherent of it than someone who did not follow the commandments that dictated what it was to be a true believer?

    Where people get mixed up is being able to say "someone is a better Muslim because they are a better adherent of Islam" were "better" in this case also means "much worse human being".

  • jp1692
    The Rebel: I truly appreciate having that voice, having come from an organisation that denied free speech.

    Good for you. Often people that leave a cult have a hard time listening to views that differ from their own. Sometimes it interferes with their ability to even hear or understand what the other person is actually saying because they (unknowing to themselves) filter everything through the lens of their own biases and misperceptions.

    I can't tell you how many times I've been accused of holding ideas and beliefs which I have never even thought let alone expressed.

    Glad you are sticking around!

  • jp1692
    DOC: The WTS required us to all "think in unity as one". You don't have to do that here!

    And aren't we grateful for that!

  • redvip2000

    @The Rebel

    I think part of the issue is that you seem to conflate Anti-Muslim with Anti-Islam. Those are different things. I'm willing to bet that most here are not Anti-muslim. However, it's fair to say that many here are Anti-Islam -- I would say i'm one of them.

    I would be good for you to realize that when someone criticizes a religion, they are not necessarily criticizing the people that are captives of that belief system.

  • steve2

    What's great about this discussion is that, were it on a JW forum, it would have been deleted at the point of the OP and/or a subsequent impression given of unity among JWs. Real life doesn't work that way. Differences of opinion and selection of facts are messy and seldom black and white. And, of course, emotions run high - which simply reflects depth of feelings

    I must admit that my "views" on Islam can at times seem like they're all over the place. I am certain I do not have a coherent set of views. Each time I hear about another terrorist attack, I realize how emotion-laden my views are.

    Yet, when Christian extremists engage in acts of terrorism, we come full circle with a loud cry of, "This is not true Christianity" versus some claiming it is (Just look at Revelation for visions of war-mongering - or flick through the generous descriptions of genocide in the Old Testament and instructions to Jehovah's people to kill all inhabitants of selected lands.

    The IRA held the United Kingdom in terror for decades. And in more recent centuries, those bearing the name Christian slaughtered nonbelievers.

    Blood is everywhere in the name of religion. The difficulty is in determining whether the blood now being spilled is a true representation or a perversion of a specified belief system. Often it boils down to what you prefer to believe.

  • Simon
    I think part of the issue is that you seem to conflate Anti-Muslim with Anti-Islam. Those are different things. I'm willing to bet that most here are not Anti-muslim. However, it's fair to say that many here are Anti-Islam -- I would say i'm one of them.

    I agree. I started listening to some of the ex-Muslim podcasts a while back and it's fascinating how similar the experiences are to many of our own and to other people who leave high control religions (except their's are usually more extreme and life or death). I certainly don't hate Muslims as people.

    I would be good for you to realize that when someone criticizes a religion, they are not necessarily criticizing the people that are captives of that belief system.

    I have a theory that the same people who are unable to separate the WTS from JWs are the same ones who can't separate Islam from Muslims.

    Some of us understand that you can "hate" the WTS and things that it's done but respect and like JWs as people. That's why I can have a cordial discussion with them when they come to me door ... I know those JWs are not the WTS, even though they may think they are and identify with it, even defend it or die for it. But others seem to think that all JWs are bad simply because they are JWs. I think they are usually nice people, misguided, sometimes victims themselves but certainly not deserving of the hate and hostility that some think is acceptable.

    They are not our enemy!

    I wonder if people have the same mindset (but reversed to be defensive) with Islam and Muslims? Because they personally can't separate the belief from the believer, they assume that other people's criticism of Islam is hatred of Muslims?

    When someone says that Islam is evil and should be destroyed, do they take that to mean death to all Muslims? In which case, are their claims of wanting to destroy the Watchtower a desire for genocide of JWs?

    I also think many have fallen for the concerted "accuse people of islamphobia" political manipulation and think they will earn virtue signal points by defending it regardless of whether it is appropriate. Really, to show up on a topic discussing the revolting attack that killed two dozen young people and children to defend the ideology that spawned it is beyond vile and loathsome and yet is accepted and people who do it for some reason promoted as "better" by some.

    As I said, I listen to exMuslims and they are often exasperated because of the liberal agenda which defends the very thing they are trying to either escape from or push to reform and it doesn't help them or their cause or the people still trapped in it.

    If you do care about Muslims as people, you really can't want to defend or promote Islam, you should be wanting to help them.

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