Confessions of a regressive leftist

One term that is often used by right-wing neoliberals (or the faux-left) who pretend they are “liberal” because they support nominal left policies – is the “regressive left”. Maajid Nawaz likes this term, a lot.

The Regressive Left’s betrayal of liberal Muslim reformers (especially reforming Muslim women) will not be forgotten by us. History is not on your side.

So yeah, the idea is. The “regressive left” is supporting right-wing “Islamists” at the expense of “liberal reformists” as exemplified by people like Nawaz. I guess this makes me a “regressive-leftist,” after all, I think that “reformers” like Hirsi-Ali are helping the progressive Muslim community as much as people like Pamela Geller are. I.e. not at all. And as a Muslim, I refuse to renounce my faith, to cut out parts of my Quran, to renounce my respect for the Prophet Mohammed – obviously this makes me exactly like ISIS.

True confession: I didn't want to join ISIS, but I can't resist Nutella or kittens. And no, don't try to lure me with Nutella substitutes, it's not the same. Sorry, long live the (un)Islamic Caliphate!

True confession: I didn’t want to join ISIS, but I can’t resist Nutella or kittens. And no, don’t try to lure me with Nutella substitutes, it’s not the same. Sorry, long live the (un)Islamic Caliphate! (Seriously, can anyone resist Nutella? Maybe the nut-allergy folks – you guys are our last hope!)

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Intent matters – but Sam Harris is still wrong

In his e-mail debate with Chomsky, Harris makes much of intent – but again, the analysis is either intentionally(see what I did there, hur, hur, hur) or unintentionally naive and flawed.

this kitten did not intend to be cute, but you're still in a cute-coma aren't you?

this kitten did not intend to be cute(or did she?), but you’re still in a cute-coma aren’t you?

Now, intent matters – if you kill someone by genuine accident vs. reckless disregard vs. intentional killing – you will be charged with a different crime, with different penalties. I think that’s fair. Intentionally causing harm is worse than making a genuine error in judgement. However, being so reckless or so racist that you don’t realise that your actions will cause severe harm is nowhere close to accidentally causing harm – in fact, in extreme cases I think such reckless harm is far worse than deliberate harm. Continue reading

In which I criticise Sam Harris (yes again)

I promised myself that I would not do any more Sam Harris stuff, it’s just too irritating. Of course, I lie.

I wanted to look up something in his article “Why I don’t Criticise Israel” and just found too much dumb. Must rant.

Let’s begin with this:

And there are millions of Jews, literally millions among the few million who exist, for whom Judaism is very important, and yet they are atheists. They don’t believe in God at all. This is actually a position you can hold in Judaism, but it’s a total non sequitur in Islam or Christianity.

Ok, Sam. Basic Jewishness 101. Secular Jewishness is a cultural/tribal identity that exists independent of religion. Judaism is a religion. Conflating the two and then saying Judaism is superior because of atheist Judaism is logically wrong(as is assuming a religion is superior because of the number of people who don’t believe in it).

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