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Sam Harris vs. Glenn Greenwald & Murtaza Hussain & Nathan Lean

with 4 comments

“Everything I have ever said about Islam refers to the content and consequences of its doctrine. And, again, I have always emphasized that its primary victims are innocent Muslims–especially women and girls.” – Sam Harris

If God is good and loving and just, and wishes to guide us with a book, why did he give us a book that supports slavery? Why did he give us a book that demands we kill people for imaginary crimes like witchcraft?

Recently The Guardian (Glenn Greenwald), Al Jazeera (Murtaza Hussain), and Salon (Nathan Lean) attacked Sam Harris and other “New Atheists,” Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, accusing them of racism and Islamophobia.  These accusations are significant, and led to a back and forth between Harris and Greenwald. Compare above and below, and notice Greenwald’s Kobe-Bryantesque misuse of “honest”:

“Sam – To be honest, I really don’t see how that full quote changes anything. You are indeed saying – for whatever reasons – that the fascists are the ones speaknig (sic) most sensibly about Islam, which is all that column claimed.” – Glenn Greenwald

Indeed? Indeed. I question the skewered semantics that make Harris a supporter of “fascists.”

Meanwhile, Nathan Lean at Salon chastises Dawkins for Tweeting: “…(a Muslim woman’s) testimony worth half a man’s and needing 4 male witnesses to prove rape.” But Dawkins draws directly from the Koran.

“If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death.”Deuteronomy 22:20-21

Arguments?  Greenwald, Hussain, Lean and ilk imply equivalency between Islam and Christianity because both encourage atrocities such as slavery and honor killing. Sure. Still, according to UN Women over 91% of world wide honor crimes are within Muslim societies (the rest are attributed to Hindus, Coptics, etc.). That’s a huge discrepancy.

These three should spend more time reading, say, Rana Husseini, Irshad Manji, Mukhtar Mai, Zana Muhsen, Nawal El Saadawi, and other Muslim women as they document accounts of forced child marriage or honor crimes. Though these women point out the value of Islam, they basically align themselves with Harris regarding the horrible treatment of women justified by fundamentalists. Go ahead, accuse them of Islamophobia.


Written by Caleb Powell

April 3, 2013 at 12:23 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Harris responds with logic:

    “Consider: Anyone who wants to draw a cartoon, write a novel, or stage a Broadway play that denigrates Mormonism is free to do it. In the United States, this freedom is ostensibly guaranteed by the First Amendment—but that is not, in fact, what guarantees it. The freedom to poke fun at Mormonism is guaranteed by the fact that Mormons do not dispatch assassins to silence their critics or summon murderous hordes in response to satire. As I have pointed out before, when The Book of Mormon became the most celebrated musical of the year, the LDS Church protested by placing ads for the faith in Playbill. A wasted effort, perhaps: but this was a genuinely charming sign of good humor, given the alternatives. What are the alternatives? Can any reader of this page imagine the staging of a similar play about Islam in the United States, or anywhere else, in the year 2013? No you cannot—unless you also imagine the creators of this play being hunted for the rest of their lives by religious maniacs. Yes, there are crazy people in every faith—and I often hear from them. But what is true of Mormonism is true of every other faith, with a single exception. At this moment in history, there is only one religion that systematically stifles free expression with credible threats of violence. The truth is, we have already lost our First Amendment rights with respect to Islam—and because they brand any observation of this fact a symptom of Islamophobia, Muslim apologists like Greenwald are largely to blame.” – Sam Harris

    Read the whole response here: Controversy

    Caleb Powell

    April 8, 2013 at 12:53 pm

  2. […] self-described “moderate” Shazid Khatun, and cultural and religious apologists such as Glenn Greenwald (more horrified by Sam Harris than by the Taliban), who seem to think misogyny is wrong only in […]

  3. Murdering in the name of honor is and can never be justified through religion, let alone Islam. It’s basically the patriarchal and cultural practice, but indeed horrible. All the invention of horrific acts done in the name of religion, seems that Al-Mighty’s message continues to be perceived in such negative manners.


    May 4, 2013 at 4:34 am

  4. […] Mutar                                                            Murtaza Hussain Maajid Nawaz                                                        […]

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