When we, as atheists, say that Islam is the problem with the Middle East, we aren't saying that Muslims as people are the issue, we really are saying that the root of the crisis is the system of ancient, outmoded beliefs. Belief in Allah is not merely an identity marker, it is a belief that is acted upon, and criticizing this belief doesn't make one a racist.
Ali A. Rizvi recently wrote an open letter to "moderate Muslims." I'm not sure if Rizvi's letter was directed toward me, as I don't measure my faith in chicken wing flavours, but I'm going to respond anyway. Rizvi's good will doesn't last long as he immediately begins to lecture Muslims about our "increasingly waning credibility" in the West.
Recent news that several young Canadian men, including two Calgary brothers, died fighting for ISIS has shocked Canada's Muslim community -- the vast majority of whom scoff at the notion that the terrorists who have overrun Syria and Iraq are acting upon authentic Islamic teachings, much less a compose a "caliphate."
It may be a crime under shariah but it is the legend of Muhammad who befriended Christians, Jews and Pagans, gave women rights, never persecuted gays and lesbians and spoke out against the rich, established tribes of Mecca. Where would he be if he was alive today? According to shariah law, Muhammad would be in jail, labeled an infidel.
I'm adamantly opposed to proselytizing. There are 91 different names for God in the Bible. I take that to mean that there are multiple ways of thinking of God, of connecting to His teachings. Different paths, same destination. With the advent of the Internet we've been given the gift of information at our fingertips. Telling another or even suggesting that their way of believing is wrong is to attack their identity, their very essence. There's another group who proselytize whom I find just as objectionable: Atheists. From the New Atheists to Militant Atheists.
Trinity Western University: Their "values" have once again come under scrutiny with their recent desire to have their own shiny law school. The most interesting part of TWU's covenant is the voluntary, obligatory commitment to abstain from "sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman." In other words, no gay fornical kabootling. It's shameful thinking. Especially in Canada.
The reality is that the seals being hunted are not an endangered species and are not being hunted in numbers that might cause them to become endangered. In the areas of the world where seals are hunted there are few, perhaps no, viable alternatives. There are limited economic opportunities and few other food sources.
Bill Maher wrote to interim Liberal leader Bob Rae expecting the Liberals to do better than the Conservatives in their blind support of Canada's commercial seal hunt. Sadly, the response was typical of what's usually seen from politicians: excuses and sad attempts to deflect from the issues at hand.
Bill Maher is pretty much the last person you'd expect to get sucked in by PETA, Ingrid Newkirk's cult of euthanasia. For Maher to uncritically cheerlead for one of the ugliest cults in America is truly disheartening. And, unlike most of the celebrity cults, PETA does real damage, on a gruesome scale.