“The left is wrong on Islam. The right is wrong on Muslims.”
On the left, people were saying that if you have any criticism against Islam, then you were a bigot against all Muslims. On the right, it was like, there are a lot of problematic things in Islamic scripture, so everyone who is Muslim must be banned, or profiled, or demonized. Both sides weren't making that distinction between challenging ideas, which has historically moved societies forward, and demonizing human beings, which only rips societies apart.
religion freezes culture in time. Religion dogmatizes culture and arrests its evolution.
Harris warned of this — the hijacking of the conversation by irrational actors on the far right — over 10 years ago. And disagree with him as much as you want, but he has always been mindful of that distinction between criticizing Islam and demonizing Muslims. His book with Maajid, Islam and the Future of Tolerance, is evidence of that. This is a point that we just need to drive home and keep repeating. Unless we do that, we can't have a responsible conversation about it.
posted by OftenBen
: 197 days ago