Sam Harris, New atheism and Islam

category international | religion | opinion / analysis author Thursday August 06, 2015 07:39author by Mazen Kamalmaz

This is a comment on the Sam Harris - Glenn Greenwald debate about Islam.

Sam Harris, New atheism and Islam

This is a comment on the Sam Harris - Glenn Greenwald debate about Islam; see :

I think that the Harris - Greenwald debate missed the main issue of the matter they debated, that is Islam and Muslims. We could agree with the poll quoted by Greenwald, that only 7 % of Muslims are radicals, and religiously devoted. And that the rest (93% of Muslims) are moderate and good. But unfortunately both writers wasted their time arguing about the goodness of this 93%, while I think that the whole issue related only to the other 7%, who neither argued about their "goodness". For Islamists, those 7% of Muslims, they used this debate only to stigmatize ant criticism of their dogmas as racism and bigotry, etc. But I don't think that convinced and devoted Nazi or fascists never exceed 7 % of German or Italian population at any time. And that the remaining 93% were always moderate and good, even when they were used by the ruling 7% to inflict atrocities on others.

Being controlled, brainwashed and suppressed themselves, they became tools in the hands of the 7% to suppress and control others. What we saw in Iraq after 2003 and in Syria and Libya after 2012, that this 7% claimed superiority and hegemony over the rest (the 93%) , as self-proclaimed, sole representative of the divine, the sacred. They assume moral and intellectual authority over others, then using this authority, combined with brutal force; to suppress the rest, who couldn't fight back properly. In fact , both Harris and Greenwald are dangerous representatives of their ideas. Harris didn't hide that his atheism is an authoritarian, Euro-centric one; as he called for repressive measures to counter the Islamist fundamentalist threat. In fact , this type of atheism is not new to Middle East or "Islamic" countries, where generations of autocrats and dictators practiced such atheism for a long time now. Not only that any "victory" won by such measures was only a false and transient one, but that this authoritarian atheism has no libertarian content at all, it is just another dogma to support some brutal and harsh dictators.

Greenwald is also a dangerous "friend" of the 93% of Muslims, whose goodness he wishes to prove. By underestimating the threat of the 7% on this good majority, and the potential of using Islam as undisputed justification of the hegemony of this 7% upon the rest of Muslims and upon other minorities and neighbors of Muslim societies, Greewald is not of real help to this 93% he wishes to defend... Finally , it is true that Harris questions (1) that the present situation of Muslim countries could be Euro-centric or even racist, but they are very serious ones, that dismissing them simply as being racist is a lost opportunity for the 93% of Muslims to look thoroughly in their present and try to find deeper answers to such serious questions....

(1.) Harris questioned basic and fundamental beliefs of Islam as being inhuman, anti-freedom. He wondered that if Saddam's dictatorship was the only possible barrier against sectarian Sunni-Shi'a war or the rise of fundamentalists, this would tell how bleak and miserable Islamic societies are.

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