Friday, November 07, 2014

Jon Carroll: A "nice liberal" and Islam

Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll is a representative California liberal when it comes to Islam. Yesterday he took a swipe at Bill Maher:

Istanbul is a tolerant place. Women in burqas walk down the sidewalk next to women in short skirts. The conversations in the cafes are free-wheeling. It’s a place of great intellectual ferment, and great creature comforts too. It stands as an answer to Bill Maher and those other bigots who think that a Muslim state is by definition cruel, capricious and violent.

But Maher is talking about Islam, not Muslim states, though he could---probably already has---talk about Saudi Arabia or Iran as examples of repressive Muslim states.

The point he and others are making: to many Muslims, Islam is a weaponized version of the religion that is responsible for almost all the religious violence now happening in the world (The campaign by Buddhist Burma against Muslims is the only significant exception that comes to mind).

Carroll was bothered by the media attention to that Malaysian airliner that disappeared earlier this year because...?

Richard Dawkins worries that the good people, the nice liberals are betraying liberal values with their failure to understand radical Islam. These fanatics want to kill us because of who we are, not because of US foreign policy:

You have turned your attention to Islam recently. Why is that?
Richard Dawkins: I think my love of truth and honesty forces me to notice that the liberal intelligentsia of Western countries is betraying itself where Islam is concerned. It's stymied by the conflict between being against misogyny and discrimination against women on the one hand, and on the other by the terror of being thought racist—driven by misunderstanding Islam as though it were a race. So people who would normally speak out against the maltreatment of women don't do it. I do fret about what I see as a betrayal by my own people, the nice liberals.

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