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1 freetoken  Mon, Oct 21, 2013 7:56:45pm

I think it unreasonable to label Harris as on a “one-man jihad against Muslims”.

It’s an attempt to hijack (yet again) the world “jihad”, and also a way of avoiding discussing any merits (if any) of Harris’ objections to Islam (which he has in general with all theistic religions.)

That said, Harris is not exactly being sensitive to Malala as a person, but tokenizing her for his own use.

2 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Oct 21, 2013 8:39:39pm

re: #1 freetoken

How does one hijack a word? To whom does the word belong?

That Harris’s article is a long attack on religion while co-opting a self-described religious person is much more of a hijack. He is rather paternalistically praising her while ignoring the inconvenient fact that she thinks she is rooted in her religion and her culture.

To me, Harris falls into the trap of so many anti-religion activists, which is treating religion like it’s special, as if revealed truth isn’t present throughout culture and the distinction between religion and other cultural beliefs isn’t a completely arbitrary one.

3 CriticalDragon1177  Mon, Oct 21, 2013 9:17:00pm

re: #1 freetoken

I think it unreasonable to label Harris as on a “one-man jihad against Muslims”.

It’s an attempt to hijack (yet again) the world “jihad”, and also a way of avoiding discussing any merits (if any) of Harris’ objections to Islam (which he has in general with all theistic religions.)

That said, Harris is not exactly being sensitive to Malala as a person, but tokenizing her for his own use.

I have a feeling Malala would not appreciate the way Sam Harris is trying to use her for his own ends.

4 Vicious Babushka  Tue, Oct 22, 2013 4:49:57am

Way to totally miss the point:

5 SidewaysQuark  Tue, Oct 22, 2013 4:56:41am

re: #2 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut

….as if revealed truth isn’t present throughout culture and the distinction between religion and other cultural beliefs isn’t a completely arbitrary one.

Yes, that’s part of the whole problem with religion.

6 Aunty Entity Dragon  Tue, Oct 22, 2013 5:49:18am

Is there an actual rebuttal to his point? The culture and religion that produced Malala (and Malala is rebutting much of her culture…) also produces a lot of very sincere people who throw acid on the faces of girls who go to school, burn their schools down and shoot Christians who are suspected of not showing sufficient respect to the Prophet.

People who take guns to school and shoot at kids in Europe, the Americas, the Pacific Rim, much of Africa and most of Asia are recognized as psychopathic nuts to be captured or possibly killed if necessary. Harris points out that people who shoot at schoolgirls in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and who blow up those schools or burn them down are not crazy or demented. They truly believe that educating females is evil and against their religion, and they must destroy that source of evil as well as those people who defiled themselves by participating. These actions are undertaken with the approval of a large part of the community (not by all of the community by any means, or else no girls would have gone to school in the first place)

You can argue until the sun goes down whether these sorts of things are supported in the Hadiths…but as long as local religious leaders issue fatwas allowing them, then they will continue.

Christianity had the Reformation. The religious crazies were kicked out of government or at least had a much harder time pushing their views on everyone else. That has not happened in Islam…and in fact, we are almost certainly seeing a backlash against Western secular modernity. Malala was a victim of that backlash. I do not think it is paternalistic to point out that she is in tension with the religious beliefs of many of her countrymen (to the point that she will never be able to go home again!) and that doctrinal tension very nearly killed her. Nor is it paternalistic to point out that all too many people in Pakistan saw nothing wrong with shooting a 14 year old girl in the face.

7 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Oct 22, 2013 6:57:00am

re: #6 Aunty Entity Dragon

All very true, CD. But Harris still should have acknowledged that Miss Yousafzai does not agree with him regarding the essential nature of Islam and the existence of God. He just piggy-backed onto her story and her words and that was dishonest.


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