KPFA radio in Berkeley recently invited Richard Dawkins to discuss his latest book, Science in the Soul: Collected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist.” Now, however, he has been disinvited. The reason given by the sponsors, along with an abject apology that is now a familiar feature of such self-humiliation rituals, was as follows:
We had booked this event based entirely on his excellent new book on science, when we didn’t know he had offended and hurt in his tweets and other comments on Islam, so many people. KPFA does not endorse hurtful speech. While KPFA emphatically supports serious free speech, we do not support abusive speech. We apologize for not having had broader knowledge of Dawkins views much earlier. We also apologize to all those inconvenienced by this cancellation.
Really? KPFA emphatically supports serious free speech? Right! The kind of free speech a Communist apparatchik in eastern Europe would have joyfully embraced in the 1950’s. Whether you like Richard Dawkins or not, there is no denying that the author of books such as The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker and The God Delusion is one of foremost scientific writers and thinkers of our time. Denial of a public forum to someone like him is a particularly egregious form of censorship, and the very opposite of “support for serious free speech.” The idea that KPFA has a problem with hurtful and offensive speech is beyond ludicrous. As I write this, the lead story on their website includes the following:
Trump is Appallingly Ignorant on Healthcare; Puts Greed Above Human Lives; David Cay Johnston: GOP Budget Redistributes Money to the Rich; Helps Make U.S. a Police State; Rights Advocates: Trump’s Commission on Election Integrity Set Up as a Pretext for Voter Suppression; Trump and the Russian Money Trail: Trump’s Ties to Oligarchs Go Back Decades; Married to the Mob: Investigative Journalist Craig Unger on What Trump Owes the Russian Mafia.
Nothing Dawkins has ever written about Islam even comes close to being as “hurtful” and “offensive” as the above. Obviously KPFA has no problem whatsoever with hurtful and offensive language per se. They do have a problem with any criticism, no matter how mild, and how truthful, of any of the identity groups that are deemed “good,” and are therefore protected by the regressive Left ingroup.
If the whole “Islamophobia” charade hasn’t reached peak insanity, it must be approaching it very quickly. Recently a flash mob of Moslems rioted and sexually assaulted several women at a fair in the German City of Schorndorf. I could find not a single headline or byline in the German legacy media the day after the event that identified the attackers as other than “youth.” The US media were similarly coy about identifying the Minnesota policeman who shot and killed an Australian woman who was unarmed, dressed in pajamas, and merely trying to report a sexual assault, as a Somali Moslem. One could cite countless other examples of the legacy media “protecting” the rest of us from the truth in this way. Any criticism of Islam, no matter how mild, is deemed “Islamophobia.”
The weird nexus between the regressive Left and Islam is remarkable in its own right. Many of the former tend to be fascinated by radical mass movements that peddle promises of a paradise to come. Communism was a natural fit, but its formerly powerful appeal has been drowned in oceans of blood. Now, at least for the time being, the only game in town for those whose tastes run to rabid fanaticism on behalf of messianic worldviews is radical Islam. Hence this odd couple’s incongruous love affair.
Is there really even such a thing as completely irrational and unjustified “Islamophobia,” or is there really some reasonable basis for being wary of Moslems and their ongoing penetration of western societies? After all, freedom of religion is considered a fundamental principle in most western democracies. One of the best known statements thereof is the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which was drafted by Thomas Jefferson in 1777 and became state law in 1786. The text included the following:
Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities.
However, according to another clause in the law,
That it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order.
Well, principles have broken out into overt acts against peace and good order on numerous occasions, most notably on September 11, 2001. The usual rationalization of this fact is that Islam is a “religion of peace,” and the persons committing these acts simply don’t understand their own religion. This is a dubious assertion in view of the fact that the “persons committing these acts” have often been schooled in Islamic madrassas, and have been steeped in the religion their whole lives, whereas the peddlers of the “religion of peace” nostrum have seldom even read the Quran.
The idea that Islam is a “religion of peace” is absurd on the face of it. The populations of Egypt and the rest of North Africa as well as much of the Middle East, including Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel were formerly predominantly Christian, Jewish, and/or Zoroastrian. They did not become Moslem by peaceful penetration, but by the most extensive and successful campaign of military aggression and colonialism the world has ever seen. At one time Spain and much of southeastern Europe as well as Sicily, Crete, Cyprus and many other large and small Mediterranean islands also fell victim to Moslem aggression, but managed to expel their conquerors, sometimes with and sometimes without outside help.
As for the Quran itself, it hardly supports the notion that Islam is a “religion of peace.” One can certainly cherry pick verses that seem to suggest that Moslems and infidels can live at peace with one another. However, these periods of peace are, at best, only breathing spells in a campaign of violence that must continue until the whole world is Moslem. Peace is certainly not an option if Moslems have the upper hand. For example, from verse 38 of Sura 57,
Be not fainthearted then; and invite not the infidels to peace when ye have the upper hand: for God is with you, and will not defraud you of the recompense of your works.
and verse 4 of the same Sura,
When ye encounter the infidels, strike off their heads till ye have made a great slaughter among them, and of the rest make fast the fetters.
From Sura 9, verse 124,
Believers! wage war against such of the infidels as are your neighbors, and let them find you rigorous: and know that God is with those who fear him.
and finally, from Sura 8, verse 40,
Fight against them till strife be at an end, and the religion be all of it God’s.
Homosexuals are condemned to hellfire in several places. See, for example, Sura 27, Verses 55-60. The Quran condones slavery, and particularly the sexual slavery of women. See for example, Sura 23, Verse 6, which praises those,
who restrain their appetites, save with their wives, or the slaves whom their right hands possess.
and, from Sura 4, Verse 28,
Forbidden to you also are married women, except those who are in your hands as slaves; This is the law of God for you.
Western feminists are strangely silent about the plight of their sisters in Moslem countries in spite of such passages such as the following from Sura 4 (Women), Verse 38,
Men are superior to women on account of the qualities with which God hath gifted the one above the other.
And, according to Sura 4, Verse 12,
God commandeth you to give the male the portion of two females.
Christians, or at any rate those who associate the word “begotten” with Christ and those who believe in the Trinity are considered so evil that they will burn in hell forever. For example, from Sura 10, verses 69-71,
They say, “God hath begotten children.” No! by His glory! He is the self-sufficient. All that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth is His! Have ye warranty for that assertion? What! speak ye of God that which ye know not? Say: “Verily, they who devise this lie concerning God shall fare ill.” A portion have they in this world! Then to Us they return! Then make We them to taste the vehement torment, for they were unbelievers.
As for the Trinity, from Sura 9, Verse 6,
Attack those who join gods with God in all, as they attack you in all: and know that God is with those who fear Him.
and from Sura 5, Verse 77,
They surely are infidels who say, “God is the third of three:” for there is no God but one God: and if they refrain not from what they say, a grievous chastisement shall light on such of them as are infidels.
Moslems are explicitly forbidden from taking Jews or Christians as friends, hardly a promising recommendation for a thriving, multicultural society. For example, from Sura 5, Verse 56,
O believers! take not the Jews or Christians as friends. They are but one another’s friends. If any one of you taketh them for his friends, he surely is one of them! God will not guide the evil doers.
and, from Sura 4, Verse 91,
They desire that ye should be infidels as they are infidels, and that ye should be alike. Take therefore none of them for friends.
There are several other similar passages in the Quran. Moslems, who are quick to claim freedom of religion for themselves, deny it to others, and particularly to those who may have been born to Moslem parents but reject Moslem teachings. For example, from Sura 3, Verses 84-85,
As for those who become infidels, after having believed, and then increase their infidelity – their repentance shall never be accepted. These! they are the erring ones. As for those who are infidels, and die infidels, from no one of them shall as much gold as the earth could contain be accepted, though he should offer it in ransom. These! a grievous punishment awaiteth them; and they shall have none to help them.
Early Moslem visitors to western countries were often nonplussed by the existence of parliaments and other secular legislative bodies. After all, the law had been handed down by Muhammed in the form of Sharia. Surveys consistently show that large percentages of Moslems still believe that Sharia should be the basis of all law. In other words, Islam is not just another religion. Its dogmas apply as much in the realm of politics as they do in theology. As Milo Yiannopoulos wrote in his book, Dangerous,
Islam is not like other religions. It’s more inherently prescriptive and it’s much more political.
He also notes the disconnect between the principles the Left is supposed to stand for and its support for Islam:
There is nothing else which better exposes the modern Left’s rank hypocrisy, their disregard for the facts, and their hatred for the West and all it stands for than their attitude to Islam. Every noble principle the Left claims to uphold, from rights for women to gay liberation, even diversity itself, dies on the altar of its sycophantic defense of Islam.
I doubt that any sincere Moslem, at least to the extent that he is honest, could claim that any of the above is “hurtful,” or “offensive,” unless they are “hurt” and “offended” by facts. It is simply a truthful accounting of relevant historical events and a summary of some of the things the Quran actually teaches. The Left can dream as much as it wants about a future border-free paradise of perfect equality and human brotherhood. That dream will be shattered by a much grimmer reality in any country where Moslems get the upper hand.
Leftist are masters at manipulating moral emotions to get what they want. They claim that the rest of us are “immoral” for resisting the “paradise” they have in store for us. That’s why, when it comes to morality, its always a good idea to go back to basics. Always consider why the moral emotions exist to begin with. They exist because they happened to enhance the odds that the genes responsible for their existence would survive and reproduce. Those genes are the root cause for the existence of all human moralities, in all their gaudy variations.
Does tolerating the unlimited immigration of culturally and/or genetically alien hordes enhance or diminish the odds that those same genes will survive and reproduce in the existing population? The answer is the latter – it will diminish the odds. It will lead to all the social disorder potentially ending in civil war that history has taught us to expect when ingroups are brought in close proximity to their outgroups. Beyond that, it will greatly increase the environmental damage the Left claims to be so concerned about, exacerbating it by further increasing what are clearly already excessive populations in terms of the health of the planet we all depend on for survival. In fact, if one takes the facts of human nature into account, enabling such unlimited immigration is nothing short of suicidal.
Of course, there is nothing inherently “evil” about the Left’s version of morality. In the end, it amounts to manipulating moral emotions to accomplish ends that are the exact opposite of the reasons those emotions exist to begin with. I personally prefer to pursue goals that are in harmony with those reasons, if only for the sake of consistency. Objectively speaking, that doesn’t make me morally better or morally worse than the most Islamophilic Leftist you can imagine. However, it strikes me that any life form that pursues its own destruction is dysfunctional, and I find it unaesthetic to consider myself dysfunctional. In short, I haven’t adopted the Left’s version of morality for the same reason that I don’t try to walk on my hands instead of my feet, or smell with my ears instead of my nose.
As for Dawkins, he’s said some “hurtful” and “offensive” things about all religions, not just Islam. However, regardless of who they happen to “hurt,” or “offend,” those things may just happen to be true. Whether in reading his books or listening to his talks, it would be useful to at least consider that possibility.