Things I am already very tired of No 1.

Religious believers using the worse excesses of Islam, its believers and polities dominated by it as an excuse for their own fanaticism and bad behaviour. Complain about homophobia in Orthodox Judaism (as Julie Bindel does here and yes, JB condemning intolerance, too sweet, baby steps, I could not possibly comment, now that’s out of the way – and the usual CiF people will start whinging that people are worse off in Saudi Arabia or Palestine. Blaspheme, and they’ll blame you for not decrying the Prophet and taking real risks. Even a sensible bishop – not an oxymoron, I will always maintain, because there are bishops so much less than sensible that it is important to make a clear distinction – like Tom Butler will sometimes let his African colleagues off the hook for homophobia a little on the grounds that if they don’t persecute LGBT people their Islamic rivals will point and mock.

Two points – there are plenty of devout and profoundly spiritual Muslims who find the Wahabism of Saudi Arabia and its missionaries profoundly alienating and threatening. And saying other religions are worse does not let your own off the hook. After all, to an atheist or an agnostic, you are all wrong to begin with without making excuses.

(This in no way lessens my horror at the extent of religious persecution in some Islamic states – my only caveat is that it is not only Christians who are being persecuted but that we don’t hear as much about other groups practicing smaller and less powerful religions.)


About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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3 Responses to Things I am already very tired of No 1.

  1. Just reminds me of that tired old argument whenever someone has a pop at Christian groups for bigotry: “Oh, that’s really brave, why don’t you say that sort of thing about Muslims, they might actually kill you!” – as if that’s somehow an argument for why they should be allowed to go around saying hateful things.

    “The bigger boys were doing it” wasn’t an excuse in the playground and it isn’t one now.

  2. jessie_c says:

    Intolerance in the name of religion is the worst of all sins.

  3. mevennen says:

    >Two points – there are plenty of devout and profoundly spiritual Muslims who find the Wahabism of Saudi Arabia and its missionaries profoundly alienating and threatening.

    Pretty much everyone I met in Central Asia thinks that the Saudis are nuts. The Uzbeks regard the Taliban with rather more horror than we do, given that the maniacs are actually on their doorsteps. Islam is as nuanced and complex as any other religion.

    Another point, quoted from the article:

    >Before my partner’s niece married, she had never attended a mixed-sex party, been to the cinema, kissed a boy or attended a pop concert.

    Before going out with my first partner, I had in fact been to the flicks, but does this strike anyone else as a rather curious list to choose? I hadn’t been to a pop concert, didn’t like parties (still don’t) and my first kiss was little short of revolting. OK, I got over it – but I was into other things, like spending time with my family, reading SF, archaeology, the RSPB…. I know this isn’t quite the point of the article quoted, but it strikes me as a rather stereotypical list, and I, for one, don’t like being pigeonholed by hacks. It also strikes me as a bit patronising. How does the writer know that her partner’s niece hadn’t had what she regarded as a meaningful life according to her own standards?

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