How to Defeat People You Don’t Like

Richard Spencer’s speech at the University of Florida was nothing short of a shitshow, in want of better words. Aside from a few decent questions made towards him during the Q and A, almost the entire speech was drowned out by protesters. Protesters shouting slogans that offer no rebuttal, chanting like drones with no individuality and no mind of their own. They didn’t offer any decent counter-arguments towards his ideas – ideas that should be challenged – and instead, they screamed and shouted. This highlights a huge pattern when it comes to right-wing speakers, alt right speakers or just any speaker the overly sensitive disagree with (because there are plenty of people who are on the left who have been de-platformed as well).

When it came to the Q and A, most of the questions were insults. It was pathetic and embarrassing. All that came from it was Richard Spencer getting exactly what he wants – to become someone who, in their eyes, is fighting the good fight and is being shouted down by those who just don’t want to hear ‘the truth’. Nothing attracts people to your ranks and cause better than brandishing the title of the silenced underdog, especially an underdog whose rhetoric is only met with empty insults from screeching college students and people resorting to violence instead of challenging their ideas. Spencer got an entire state to declare a state of emergency. A state of emergency. Spencer is free to go away and promote himself as ‘Spencer: The Guy Who Triggered a State’. They have given this man everything he could possibly want for his movement, and this is the problem with the regressive left when it comes to the alt-right or anyone they disagree with. I like to listen to alt right podcasts. Not because I agree with their views, but because I want to know what their ideas are in order to properly form counter- arguments without misrepresenting them. One pattern that emerged throughout – through interviews with key figures in the alt-right like Jared Taylor, Richard Spencer and so on, and through their own podcasts and videos (when they haven’t been put in limited state or just flat out taken down) – is that they are very much aware of what the left has done for them and they are absolutely thankful for it. Every screeching protest by leftists that turns into chaos, every Antifa protest that results in huge property damage and having events shut down for safety reasons, and people on their side being shut down or even physically assaulted provides them with the best marketing they could ever ask for. When someone in Antifa or someone from the far left resorts to violence or petty insults, it creates this facade to others that the entire left has no counter-arguments to them. They will be free to run with the assumption that the reason why these groups resort to such tactics is that they know that the ideas from these figures are right and they just don’t want to deal with ‘the truth’. People who aren’t familiar with these figures will then become more interested in the people being shut down, and as a result, these people will become more and more popular. It’s simple stuff really.

When Antifa thugs and other leftist protesters burnt down a part of Berkeley when Milo Yiannopoulos was set to speak there, did you honestly think that this would bring anyone to the side of Antifa or to the side of the protestors? Unless you love the idea of assaulting people, burning stuff down and labelling people with names so you can justify punching them, and believe this actually brings normal people to your side. Unless you are actually not a liberal, do not care for free speech for those you disagree with and you genuinely think that political violence – when it comes to people you don’t like – is the way to go. Yiannopoulos lost no supporters and his views were given a platform to millions after that event. During the time, sales of his books skyrocketed and support for Milo grew without Milo having to do a thing.

This has to stop, and I am saying this as someone who comes from the left. I consider myself a centrist although I will say that I am progressive in some areas. I think what I am about to say next is quite overused, but this behaviour is what got Trump elected. It’s this behaviour that pulls people towards the right. Screaming children who offer no arguments only make the speaker look like a martyr or become popular as a result. So how do you stop people who you don’t like – whether politically or not? Well, I’m going to offer two solutions – both of which differ from each other to a degree.

  1. Don’t show up.

Nothing is more embarrassing to a speaker than an empty room. It looks pathetic. It sends a message that no one really gives a shit about what they have to say and that their message holds no weight. If no one showed up to Richard Spencer’s talk or Milo Yiannopoulos’s talk or any speaker that you disagree with, then that would do more for their public image than anything. No state would have declared a state of emergency and no speaker would have instead been given a platform on a national news programme with millions of viewers. They would have just awkwardly had their speech or the speech would have been cancelled due to the huge lack of audience. A picture of an empty room with Richard Spencer standing on the stage looks pathetic and laughable, and I would have joined in the many memes that would have come from it. When Richard Spencer or anyone you disagree with has a room filled with people, you set him up as a somebody, and to the average person, you set him up as a somebody who has a strong and logical message, especially when the audience is filled with people who aren’t providing any kind of argument in response.

2) Come with good arguments.

Regardless of whether you’re part of Antifa, a far leftist, a progressive, a liberal, a centrist, a conservative or even a member of the alt-right who disagrees with Richard Spencer, come with the intent of countering Spencer’s rhetoric with your own arguments. Not screaming. Just calm rebuttals. Screaming at him only strengthens his argument to the average person who may not know who to side with. If you are going to come to his talk, listen to what he has to actually say. Don’t listen to what others are saying about him, a lot of which often doesn’t extend further than calling him a Neo-Nazi white supremacist, despite the fact that Spencer has said he isn’t a Neo-Nazi and despite the fact that he doesn’t believe white people are superior to all other races. Take the time to listen to him, and others who support him or have similar viewpoints, and form a solid argument. Encourage your group to sit down and listen to him, whether in person or online, encourage others to do the same. The average person on the street will be able to see this – as well as people who are supporters of Spencer – and realise how bad his arguments are and come to the other side which provides the better arguments. Shouting at him, or shutting him down – if they happen – only helps Spencer and others in the end.

I’m sure there are many other ways you could counter this without resorting to childish and ridiculous behaviour I once thought was only contained within social justice warrior and feminist rekt cringe compilations on the Internet. I believe these ways are the best ways to counter people you don’t like. If you think Richard Spencer has terrible ideas with no basis in reality or fact, show him that, or make a video and build your solid arguments through that method. Believe me, the need for alt right criticism video on YouTube especially is something that is much needed right now.

I’m probably going to sound like a broken record right now which is why I’m going to conclude it here. Bad ideas don’t go away if you scream at them, if you shut down their events or if you burn a few buildings or a few cars or beat up a few innocent rubbish bins (or garbage cans if you’re American) or if you smash up some windows or if you beat up or pepper spray the people who just want to hear a different point of view. The ideas will simply go someplace else. They will go underground where it’s almost guaranteed that none of their views will be challenged, and the curious ones, who want to see why the speaker was shut down and caused such an aggressive response, will be drawn to them. That rhetoric will fester and boil until eventually something bad might happen down the road. This regressive attitude from the far left is the best marketing strategy the alt-right, Richard Spencer, Jared Taylor or anyone you disagree with, could ever ask for.

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Destroying Antifa (And Why Some Might Hand Them an Advantage)

How do we destroy Antifa? Pretty simple. We keep exposing all the actual horrific and inexcusable activities that they’re actually doing. Attacking disabled people in the street. Attacking fathers and sons in the streets, dragging old women across the ground while trying to steal their American flag, smashing public property, setting things on fire, punching random people on the street and being as fascist and as sexist and as racist as the people they say they’re fighting – although that’s not saying that none of their opponents are sexist, fascist and racist. But, that aside, all of that is how we defeat Antifa, and that’s working too. Antifa activities are being determined domestic terrorist activities by the FBI, and the media that once held them close are now becoming johnny come latelys and realising how much of a threat they actually are. Perhaps even realising that liberals get the bullet too means liberals get the bullet too.

The one thing that isn’t going to destroy them and might, in fact, give them an advantage is people doctoring photographs or posters, putting Antifa in situations that make them seem even more authoritarian. I’ve come across quite a few images that end up being passed around Twitter and around the web. One suggested that Antifa made a new official flag, even though Antifa is not an official organisation with a set leader, and when presented with the picture, this new flag looked exactly like the Nazi flag. Now it was then brought to me that the image was actually a doctored image of a National Front flag – a group that could be best described as Britain’s Nazi Party. I’ll provide the link to where this actually comes from here: 

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  There was another example of an image being posted around about how 53$ of white women voted for Trump and Antifa advocating the beating of women, which turned out to be a 4chan prank.

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There have been many pictures of posters being distributed, which was racist towards white people, which no one could link to a specific Antifa organisation. This isn’t going to help anyone, except Antifa. In fact, to them, it might look as if you are reaching for anything to criticise them on. Acting as if you have no dirt on them or no criticism towards them so, therefore, you have to resort to making up stuff, even though there are plenty of legitimate criticisms you can make towards Antifa. You can pull up dozens upon dozens of actual footage and actual photographs of their victims , many of their attacks and many other examples that you can use against them, but doctoring photographs and the like isn’t going to help anyone.

  So whenever you go and find something claiming to be Antifa that’s being passed around, I would implore you to verify it and if it’s fake, then I think it’s important to call that out because that is only going to strengthen Antifa. And the last thing anyone with any amount of decency wants is to strengthen Antifa. We’re already on a very good path when it comes to exposing Antifa to the world for what it is – a regressive anarcho-communist fascist organisation that operates under the guise of anti-fascism, and even though this wasn’t said by Churchill, the quote ‘the fascists of the future will call themselves the antifascists’ is the perfect description of this group. This is only going to give Antifa a narrative, that their enemies have nothing against them so they have to invent and doctor images to discredit them because that’s all they have left. So just a quick video saying just be vigilant. Be sceptical every time someone shares a photo claiming its Antifa. And not just Antifa but any group, whether it’s a bunch of right-wingers, a group of Muslims, others on the far left, the alt right, anyone. This is going to be used as ammunition by the far left and Antifa and it’s not going to help us destroy Antifa, who need to be destroyed. 

Diversity and Entertainment

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, the people who push diversity quotas and cry the loudest about #Oscarssowhite, in my opinion, do not care about diversity in Hollywood or at least care enough to keep the controversy going without any kind of end goal in mind. Outrage culture sells. It brings out the virtue signallers who will show the world how much they pretend to care about an issue, and yet offer little to no solutions about it. Their drive for the issue doesn’t sell because that would mean they would have to offer an end goal to the issue. They have to keep beating the drum because if they don’t, the soldiers will have nowhere to go, nothing to shower them with praise, and the drummer will not be able to look at everyone while wishing to be looked at themselves.

I will definitely agree that there is a problem with diversity when it comes to Hollywood, and I will agree that there is some grain of truth with the rhetoric of the Oscarssowhite crowd. My solutions to this problems aren’t exactly revolutionary, to the point where my hypothesis that there is more interest in shouting about the problem and looking virtuous rather than offering any actual solutions seems to hold a bit of water. It reminds me of a panel featuring two Youtube stars. One audience member asked them a question about how to make it on YouTube. One of the YouTuber offered a very bland, carbon copy response which went along the lines of ‘just keep doing it and you’ll eventually get there’. This offers nothing, but it does feel good to say. The same way it feels good to say ‘it gets better’ but in reality, it’s not exactly offering you anything productive and any advice to make your life better. The second YouTuber then responded to the question and offered actual advice about how to be successful on YouTube. My point is: there seems to be a lot more reliance on appearing virtuous and good rather than actually offering productive advice and solutions.

The solutions involve creating your own content, instead of waiting for others to do it because chances are, they’re not going to provide you with what you want. Who knows exactly what you want? You. It starts with you and an idea. Of course, your idea will still be subjected to the same struggles that any idea would have – especially an original idea – and maybe your idea will be tossed to the side for another idea. However, I would respect some SJW or some feminist or someone from Black Lives Matter who actually makes the effort to make a difference and try and be the solution to the problem rather than simply screaming into the wind hoping someone will listen to you and give you a cookie. History is rife with amazing stories, real life adventures that could make for an amazing Hollywood movie or an amazing television series. Myths and legends that come from cultures all over the world. History is ripe for the picking. Anne Bonny and Mary Reed, who were the companions of Calico Jack, Grainne O’Malley who was considered the Pirate Queen of Ireland during the 16th century, Nonhelema who was a Native American chieftess from the Shawnee tribe who worked to form an alliance with the Americans, Frances Clayton who disguised herself as a man in order to serve the Union Army during the American Civil War, Caterina Sforza (if you’re familiar with the Assassin’s Creed series) who was an Italian noblewoman from an incredibly prominent family, known for her boldness and bravery. The story of Jesse James and the Widow, which follows the story of a widow who became friends with Jesse James, who manages to see a different side to the infamous American outlaw. The true story of Kate Shelley who saved the lives of many people by stopping a train from falling off a cliff after the bridge had been destroyed. Benazir Bhutto’s life would make for a fantastic biopic, and perhaps a film or a television series on Mother Theresa, using Hitchens’ amazing book on her as the source material. How about a television show or a film about Amelia Earhart? Presenting a what if scenario where she and her co-pilot – if he did survive – end up stranded on a deserted island? How about a show about Sappho, one of the first published female writers from the information we have about her. A film about the descendants of the Native Americans who crossed the Beringia Bridge could prove to be a fantastic historical Hollywood film. There are plenty of ideas that a few google searches could give you access to. It is the internet after all.

It’s not entirely the Oscarssowhite crowd who are responsible for this. It would unfair to totally lay the blame on them. It’s not a revelation to say that Hollywood wholly relies on safe ideas – and by safe I mean, sequels and remakes as they already have audiences that Hollywood can exploit for their money. That’s something though that we can expect from Hollywood and perhaps that’s why some become more drawn towards watching television shows, which have a lot more depth and include a lot more complex storylines. However, what irks me about the ideologues who shout the loudest about this is that it doesn’t seem like they care about the issue and care more about pushing forth their careers in professional activism. That’s actually a lot easier than actually doing something, and the people who do complain about a problem and do absolutely nothing about it should be condemned and/or dismissed wherever and whenever possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Shaming of Centrism

I think as I further advance with this blog, you’ll eventually realise that my political beliefs fall me in line with left leaning centrism. Believe me, I’ve done the political compass test and everything. If you regularly engage in the sphere of political debate, mostly online for me, as a centrist, you’re going to be barraged with people who believe that centrism is nothing more than fence sitting. While I can’t speak on behalf of all centrists, I think I will be comfortable in saying that centrists generally are centrists because there are some issues that they might agree more or entirely with the right on and then other issues in which they agree more or entirely with the left. As a result, this would naturally pull them towards the centre. In the interest of fairness, I cannot deny that there are those who classify themselves as centrists who do actually fence sit. However, I think it’s a gross mischaracterisation to suggest that this, in general, is the centrist position.

Wherever they go, whether it’s amongst the far left or the far right, centrists will often be the target of constant shaming. Both sides here believe that the centrist position is standing there in the middle, shrugging their shoulders, between the KKK and civil rights activists (when it comes to the left) or between rabid communists and freedom fighting patriots. Some would go even further and suggest that centrists during the Holocaust and during times of great struggle would simply dig their heels into the ground and won’t pick a side even though, I highly doubt anyone would be a fence sitter during times like the Holocaust.

Owen Jones wrote in the Guardian that centrists are the true ideologues. At first, he said ‘true extremists’ before changing it. He explains that centrists lack the ability to self-reflect, that we fail to diagnose our failures, all while being Owen Jones, and all while being someone who refuses to admit that socialism, at least in part, played a significant role in the current situation in Venezuela. In my opinion, centrists are one of the few who do self-reflect. The pursuit to discover how we may be wrong in our understanding and our thinking is essential to a centrist’s view of the world and essential to a centrist’s pursuit of the truth, whatever that may be. The pursuit of truth is much more important than aligning yourself to a House. There are bigger problems happening right now in the world that deserve our attention, much bigger and more important than siding with either the Lannisters or the Targaryens.

Centrists are going to be under attack for a while as our current political discourse worsens, and perhaps there will be a time in the future where taking a centrist position becomes impossible (although I doubt it). However, the unjust targeting of centrists should be a cause for concern. Blind allegiance can be dangerous and history – or even recent events – can show us what blind allegiance can accomplish. The desire to speak to the opposition, both on the left and the right, the desire to even befriend bigots in order to get to know them as fellow human beings and understand their positions and what brought them to that position, with the hope that you can convince them to abandon their beliefs and adopt yours, is something that centrists and everyone should thrive in. Sadly I don’t think these positions will be possible, since the media, many prominent organisations and many celebrities seem to have already made their position clear, whether it is genuine or not.

Shaming centrists, demonising centrists and only surrounding yourself with those who are also sworn to your blind allegiance to your political side may be detrimental to pursuing your own individualism too. Whether you are a far left Antifa member, a progressive, a liberal, a classical liberal, a Democrat, alt right, alt lite, Republican, a Conservative, a Labour supporter, a Corbynite, a Lib Dem or an identitarian, or even a centrist yourself, you must try to expand your echo chamber, even though the internet can often craft you your own echo chamber whether you like it or not. Strawmanning one’s position, keeping people out and shaming others for not aligning with your view of the world isn’t going to mend our currently fractured political discourse and, in fact, it will simply separate us all even further than we are now.

The Thing with Free Speech (Why It’s Important and Why It Isn’t To Some)

Free speech is one of the most important principles one can have in a free society, and it goes way beyond the First Amendment, despite what those with a very America centric worldview will tell you. It sets us apart, amongst other things, from fascistic societies that will put you in prison or a concentration camp for life – or even just flat out kill you – if you object to the idea that the God emperor doesn’t defecate. If you object to the idea that there is a God. If you believe in another God. If you want to fight for the right to love any consenting adult regardless of what’s between their legs. It is one of the golden treasures that liberalism has held onto for centuries. It is free speech that gave voices to every civil rights struggle, every fight for freedom and every fight for a fair and just society, and it is never something we should take for granted. Those who take this principle for granted are most likely going to be the people who do not hold it in high regard, fail to or refuse to understand its importance, or just flat out don’t see it as important at all. Sadly, there are those who think that freedom of speech should only be a gift to those you agree with. If you genuinely believe in this then you are unknowingly choosing the side that wants to silence dissent and only wants to hear what they want to hear, commonly known as an echo chamber.

While the debate (I wish this really wasn’t one as it should be obvious) over freedom of speech and the limits of freedom of speech has been around for centuries, the debate has truly livened up in the last five or so years, especially after this bloody election, around Milo Yiannopoulos (who honestly at this point is becoming just as predictable as a comedy night with a female comedian), around events like the Women’s March, the horrific events in Charlottesville and Berkeley, and many others. Day after day, we’ll see the pro and anti sides fighting against each other, with pro arguing for freedom of speech for every person (with the limit being set to inciting violence) and the anti side arguing that if we give a platform to hate (although hate within these circles if often dangerously vague to the point where anyone left of Marx is pushing ‘hate’) then we’re spreading their words to fresh ears and we would be endorsing and/or defending the speech of Nazis and white supremacists. I put myself in the former category and I’m sure a lot of people do for the same reasons I do. Sadly, the latter assume my intent is to justify the speech of Nazis, bigots and other disgusting people, and that my priorities shouldn’t be to defend the speech of bigots, but to instead defend the voices of historically marginalised communities (ironically the very communities whose historic successes have relied on freedom of speech, amongst other things, in order to advance their causes). While defending the voices of historically marginalised voices is commendable and should be encouraged, the reasons why freedom of speech should be a right for even the vilest person is because:

  1. It is a right that everyone should have.
  2. It is a right that everyone should have.
  3. Because you can use your own to use as a weapon to destroy bigotry

It is because free speech will be the undoing of those who spout racism, bigotry, anti Muslim bigotry, misogyny, misandry, anti science nonsense (from the evolution deniers on the right to the biological gender differences deniers on the left), Nazism, white supremacy and many others. I think it’s already been said by countless other people on and offline, much better than I could ever do, but sadly it’s something that we have to repeat over and over again. Even if it feels like we’re shouting at a brick wall once in a while.

Freedom of speech is the enemy of bigotry and all the other words I mentioned in the last paragraph. It’s the best non-violent way to crack open the logic (in their mind anyway) of a bigot and spread his or her nonsense across the floor in order to stamp all over it with your logic. For an audience, this is vital too. Surely if you destroying your opponent on stage causes someone to change their mind and turn away from being a Nazi or a white supremacist or from following your opponent, that makes it worthwhile, doesn’t it? While I’m not comparing the two, I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who were once religious, watched a few Hitchens and Dawkins videos on YouTube or read a few books by them or even went to one of their talks, and then became an atheist or at least an agnostic on the issue of religion, or at least aiding them in their transition. Why make the comparison? Because those religious people were exposed to challenging opinions, were exposed to someone dismantling – whether politely or not (although as Daniel Dennett said, there is no polite way to say you’ve been living a lie) – their opponents’ argument. Hitchens and Dawkins’s, as well as their opponents, right to free speech has undoubtedly made millions of people turn away from religion, and perhaps lead better lives as a result. Sitting and talking with someone who identifies as a Nazi or a white supremacist or just someone you disagree with and destroying their arguments and converting people out of those narrow-minded beliefs is one of the best gifts this right can offer you.

‘But how could you possibly get a Nazi or a white supremacist to see reason?’ I hear you cry. ‘How could you do that? They’re already messed up in the head if they’re at that stage already. There’s no point. They’re a lost cause. There’s no point is giving a platform to bigots who are just going to exploit it to spread their hatred.’ Now, while I understand that you can never get to everyone and that, yes, there are people who you will never convince, I do not see this as a reason to give up entirely. The people who usually spout these responses are those who rightly support the idea of gender equality, of fairness, of tolerance, of understanding, of empathy and other strong left wing values, yet they will walk away from the opportunity to convince more people to come over to their side and embrace these values. Bigots can stop being bigots. It has happened many times and will happen more in the future (hopefully!)

There is an African American gentleman who managed to befriend and convince over 200 KKK members to leave the organisation. He did not go out and threaten them with violence. He didn’t shut down their events and didn’t do anything that would only serve to make the KKK members angrier and more likely to exploit that moment. Instead, he sat down and talked to them and treated them like they were people. He sat down stating: “I never set out to convert anyone in the Klan. I just set out to get an answer to my question: ‘How can you hate me when you don’t even know me. I simply gave them a chance to get to know me and treat them the way I want to be treated.”  That’s exactly how you should treat these bigots unless, of course, they are inciting people to kill you. This man treated these people he converted like they were his equals (even though he knew going in that they wouldn’t think the same towards him) and, as a result, this led to them leaving the hateful organisation. I think that’s the best way to tackle such bigotry. Suppressing disgusting speech will also have consequences for those who you might even support. If you do not know where this bigoted speech is coming from, you are only going to be holding back the abilities of anti racist, anti homophobia and anti-bad things activists, who will not be able to challenge the people they have dedicated their lives to challenging. Suppressing the speech of your opponents only means that it’ll be pushed underground, never exposed to any light, never challenged. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, not darkness. You can’t see anything in the darkness.

The people who do call to suppress speech that they disagree with, I believe, are some of the most dangerous when it comes to our current discourse. While their intentions may stem from good, their demand for the silencing of others will be their undoing. No one ever convinced a bigot, who was just standing there and posing no threat, to join their side by screaming at them, and no one ever convinced a white ethnonationalist to stop being one after punching them in the face. In fact, there are plenty of people like this who are just peachy about the progressive approach to silencing people they disagree with. You are just giving them more pawns for their game, and you are just creating more enemies in your attempt to wipe away your enemies.

Freedom of speech is naturally important to those who have an opposition that is trying to rob them of their rights. When you are on the side of accepted mainstream discourse, when your beliefs and opinions echo through from your news stations, adverts or from a microphone on a university campus, of course, you’re not going to care that much about your rights when it concerns freedom of speech. The reason why there is no rallying cry to defend the free speech rights of puppy lovers is because puppies are lovely and cute and people who say this do not need their free speech rights protected. It’s a generally accepted opinion in our discourse. When a frothing at the mouth liberal arts student screams at a university dean for hosting a speaker, all while holding a sign saying ‘LOVE, NOT HATE’, they do not need to worry about their free speech rights. Unless something changes in the future, they will never know what it’s like to fear having their speech rights taken away or fear that someone will take their words or even their satire the wrong way and send the police to come and have a word with them. Of course the media will try annoyingly hard to lionise Antifa because they – whether subconsciously or not – agree with Antifa (either that or they’re scared that Antifa will track them down and throw a brick through their window). Those who do have to worry about their free speech rights, even if they themselves rightly condemn Nazism, white supremacy and so on, understand the importance of free speech because they have had it taken away from them or have come close to that. However, I don’t want the anti free speech crowd to have their rights taken away from them as a way to teach them about what it’s like when their speech rights have been violated. They should not happen to them because they don’t deserve to have their rights taken away due to their opinions, unless of course they themselves are inciting violence.

The answer is never more censorship, the answer is never less information, the answer is never more silencing. They just need to be aware that if you’re not in a group or a school of thought that is at risk of having their speech rights taken away, the chances are you won’t understand what it’s like when it’s been threatened.

The Left and Islamic Apologia

When I was younger, around my very early teens, I was a hardcore Christian. I used to be taken aback when someone told me that they were atheists because I was afraid of them going to hell, and I remember one conversation I had with my mother once where I told her about my shock that people would say god damn because it was offensive to God, and God was my bae. As I went through my early teens, I became more and more exposed to people who were atheists or were at least questioning their faith and soon after that I come across YouTube, and the likes of Richard Dawkins videos and Hitchslap videos and the Amazing Atheist, and I read more criticism on religion and as a result of this, I become an atheist. All these people would mock and tear apart Christianity in an informative or a comedic way, and as a result of this, my eyes were truly opened. Christianity was torn apart and mocked in front of my very eyes, something I had never seen before. It tore apart my bubbled world for the better, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Throughout this process, I became more and more involved in my political journey, trying to figure out and understand myself politically. I obviously fell on the liberal and more recently, I started to become a bit more of a left wing centrist – yeah, those evil people who compromise between the KKK and civil rights activists because the world is that black and white. Now, what is still consistent with my beliefs from my transition from a liberal to more of a left leaning centrist was my understanding that religion was something that should be mocked and criticised. It believed that religions were simply emperors that had no clothes, and I felt like it was a very liberal thing to point that out. And that’s what left wing publications and other left wing outlets often did with Christianity. Piss Jesus. The debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. The atheist vs christian era of YouTube – a time when everyone – both anti sjws and left wing sjws – agree and fought together on something. But now it seems like the tide is changing now – this time it’s Islam’s turn. Of course there are still liberals like myself and others who are criticising Islam, but for some reason, the same left wing publications who were so quick to criticise Christianity and the Westboro Baptist Church and the same left wing youtube channels who made videos about the top ten dumbest bible verses or about how dumb Christianity was were so hesitant to criticise Islam, and instead siding with those who have, in their company, people would be the very first people to cut their heads off or at least silence them with the threat of death if sharia law took over their country.

In fact, these publications do more to defend Islam or do more to criticise the critics of Islam, demonising them as right wing islamophobes or puppets for the alt right, or just alt right themselves and bigots who hate all Muslims. I can’t find any left wing publication that, at the time, called the atheist youtubers who criticised Christianity Christianphobes. Islam has been given a free pass to flourish without being criticised. And why is that? Why, as Richard Dawkins said after his appearance was cancelled by Berkeley’s KPFA radio, is Islam given a free pass when it comes to criticism? Is it the soft bigotry of low expectations? Do they believe that Christians are just more capable of their religion being criticised and that Muslims aren’t? That Muslims are just so vulnerable and fragile that if you criticise their religion, they’ll pack up, go to ISIS and then come back and kill people? Is there a fear that comes with criticising Islam and that’s the reason why people don’t criticise it or don’t want to? And if so, who are the real islamophobes then, if we’re going by the definition of Islamophobia, which is a fear of Islam, then surely would that suggest that those who may be at least subsciously afraid of criticising Islam are perhaps the Islamophobes? That combined with the idea of the soft bigotry of low expectations which I often find as the racism of the far left. Of course, I’ll put that thought aside because to know for sure we’d actually have to be able to read their minds.

I believe this is why the left often criticise the right because, for them, it’s easy. When you are in an environment where the right, especially in the media side of things and in universities all across the west, is extremely underrepresented, it is incredibly easy to criticise the right and blame the right for all the problem. Despite the fact that Islam could arguably be considered a conservative religion, with its appeal to modesty for their women and with its vicious treatment of gay people, and well looking at every Muslim dominated country, I would furrow my brow at someone who would think that a place like Saudi Arabia was a liberal or a feminist paradise. And to add, that’s often why it’s incredibly hilarious to see pundits like Faith Goldy and other similar talking heads criticise Islam and it’s attacks on women and so, and then do a video about how women in their faith should be more modest and make videos about how women are truly defined by their sexual relationships, but that’s an issue for another day.

Getting back to it, whenever a terrorist attack occurs, what do you think the left wing pundits are going to do? I can guarantee that you will find a lot of people out there who will rob these terrorists are their agency and say that it wasn’t their religion that fuels this atrocious attack, but the islamophobic rhetoric of the right that actually spurred them to commit such acts. That a column about Islam written by someone or a drawing by someone or even the lack of diversity by a racist right wing government was enough for some person to run into a building and murder men, women and children in a cafe, a concert or on a bridge or on a road. So much attention is pushed towards the effort to demonise any kind of rhetoric from their enemies blind them from actually reading the words their people are saying, and these people don’t even have to be right wing. They can be liberals, or centrists, they could be Muslims who sway towards the centre – or as the far left calls them so eagerly Uncle Toms, dancing monkeys or coconuts – but it won’t matter because criticism of an ideology worshipped by people they see as children cannot be seen as criticism, because despite the fact that they rightly so that Islam is not a monolith, some people will interpret fair and legitimate criticism of Islam, the religion, as a hatred for every single Muslim, plain and simple. Period.

Now of course, I think it’s also important to remind everyone – which I really shouldn’t have to – that of course not all Muslims are these terrible people who want to slaughter or convert all the non Muslims, even though I would argue that this is something that is intrinsic in Islam, referring to the idea that those who fight for the faith will only stop when their enemies have surrendered to Islam and recognised Allah as the one true God, or when those who refuse to do that are dead. But that aside, it is very important to remind yourself of that when tackling this, but at the same time I wouldn’t let that stop you from criticising Islam or even criticising Muslims who are considered liberal or moderate, or saying that Islam is not a religion of peace or saying some harsh truths to people who are other nice people, because, as Daniel Dennett said, ‘there’s simply no polite way to tell people they’ve dedicated their lives to an illusion’. In fact when it comes to the moderate Muslim, when it comes to those who may see the religion as simply that, I think it’s much more important to have discussions with people like this because the moderate muslims, whether liberals or leftists or whatever you want to call it like it or not, these moderates are the doorway and the locks and the keys to tackling the worst of them, to the extremists. Why? Because it’s often the moderates who will say that these jihadists blowing up buildings aren’t real Muslims, despite the fact that theoretically there can be no such thing since each sect in Islam does the same with the other sects every day, it’s often the moderates who will say that Islam is a feminist religion, despite the fact that female genital mutilation is something that is practiced in Muslim countries or at least in the Muslim communities within countries and despite the fact that you will find countless stories from ex Muslim women who will tell you a much different story. It is the moderate muslim who tells you that ex Muslims aren’t a persecuted minority within the Muslim community, and honestly people like that truly need their minds checked because that level of denial should be something of concern. Often, it is the moderate muslim who will throw a rug over a problem and say that there is no problem. And that is a problem. And it only, in my opinion, does more to empower the more extreme elements, the jihadists who would strap ball bearings and bombs and nails onto themselves so they could reach paradise and secure a path for their families. Now, of course, that is not every moderate Muslim, but I would definitely push more for the moderates who seem to do more to grandstand than to actually engage with what the reality is.

But let me get back to the topic, why does the left do such a thing? Why are you blind to the desire to help others that you fail to see what the grand picture is? The path to hell is paved with good intentions after all. I would happily understand why they might be doing this, and it’s both a kind hearted gesture but also a disturbing condescending one. Kind hearted gesture in the sense that you want to help someone who may have been the victim of a legitimate hate crime and want to help them seek justice if the crime did in fact happen, but disturbing condescending in the idea that these people are robbed of their agency, robbed of their intelligence (in that, a lot of leftists assume that terrorism preys on the undereducated and the vulnerable when this is in fact the opposite), robbed of their ability to stand on their own two feet, robbed of their ability to have their own voice, and, for some especially when that Muslim or those Muslims do an act of terror, rob them of their ability to call themselves a Muslim.

In Berkeley, there was a sign on the wall that wrote ‘liberals get the bullet too’. It was a chilling message that told the world that if the so called anti fascists were to take over and somehow create their ideal society, the people who would support them the most would not be protected from their rule of law. This is something that I believe would happen if there was a sharia takeover of the west – namely the US and the UK – although I do concede that this is very likely. The women who say that Islam is a feminist religion would have their rights stripped away and would be stoned to death for the crime of being a rape victim, the members of the LGBT community who support Islam and denounce Islamophobia will be the ones who will either have to return back into the closet or will be thrown off a roof or will simply be stoned to death, those who manage to stay alive who aren’t Muslim will be required to pay the jizya and live as a second class citizen. If this would happen, it wouldn’t be liberals get the bullet too. It would be liberals get the sword first. I have to reiterate again that I don’t want to generalise every single Muslim and there are definitely Muslims out there who denounce and condemn jihadists and still realise that those people will quote the quran and the hadith and that those people are pretty Islamic by their own definition of Islamic. I think it’s important to reach out to people like that, with combining our efforts, fight against the dangerous moderates who do muddle the waters, whether out of denial or for a more nefarious purpose, even in their attempt to reform the religion so that it could bring Islam to the 21st century and so it can embrace western ideals of freedom of speech, freedom of expression, rights for women and the LGBT community, rights for men, and freedom to and from religion. I’m often called an idealist and I probably am, but these issues aren’t going to go away if they’re swept under the rug. In fact, there’s no space left under the rug, and the shit we’ve tried to push under it is starting to show now.

In conclusion, the left wing deafness and blindness to Islam is loud and obvious. It does more to rob individual Muslims, both extreme or not, of their agency and treating them like children instead of adults who are able to think for themselves and who can come to their conclusions based on the logic of their mission (and when I say logic, I mean in the Islamic sense in which their ways of getting to paradise could be deemed logical to anyone who studies Islam closely). Their reliance – or some would say alliance – on moderate Muslims like Linda Sarsour and Medi Hasan, who do successful jobs at denying the realities of Islam, the rejection of Islam’s critics, the rejection of ex Muslims, and the easy game of shoving the blame on the right, will set a dangerous precedent for our future. I hope that it’s not going to go like that. Apparently I’ve heard that the political ideology of the next generation will be more libertarian and more to the centre of things, so perhaps we’ll be able to gradually work with something but who knows. Let me know what you think in the comments.