Friday, June 22, 2007

As If Islam Didn't Look Stupid Enough Already...

Nearly twenty years ago, a rarely read author, Salman Rushdie, was rocketed to international recognition when thousands of Religion of Peace followers took to the streets in violent demonstrations across the globe, all in protest of a stupid piece of fiction nobody with a life would've ever bothered to read anyway.

To this day, I know of only one person who has read the most famous book of the modern age. And he is a Muslim. His take: it was a goofie, hard to read thing that made little sense. A big waste of time and money, and a public crime against paper and ink. And not the least bit offensive to his Muslim sensibilities.

Adding further bewilderment to the whole situation, the Queen of England has seen fit to reward Rushie with an honorary knighthood for writing books nobody much cares to read anyway. (Now will you believe me when I say this old woman is the recipient of too much to-do?)

Kinda like Paris Hilton, Rushie has managed to make a career out of being famous for being famous.

So what do we have now?
Thanks to the Queen, whose only purpose is to exist in order to serve no other purpose (and we thought Paris had an easy gig), once again, thousands of Islamic assmonkies take to the streets, burning things, and shouting. demanding. threatening. screaming of death and violence to people they don't know, over a book none of them has read, and nobody else would've ever heard of, if they hadn't been acting like retards in the first place.
Read about it here.


RW said...

Yeah I'd say that pretty much sums it up.

Gino said...

almost like a bad SNL skit,eh?

apathyboy said...

Salman Rushdie is considered one of the best Indian authors of the modern era and is commonly studied in 300 level lit classes (not your area of expertise I assume). He is recognized for his work both prior and since the Satanic Verses, which he never intended to be controversial being a Muslim himself. Salman has fought for reform in the Muslim world, which I believe is necessary for bringing harmony between the Christians and Muslims of the world. (I would hate to think that favoring multiculturalism is a characterstic unique to non-Christians.)

But if you prefer to select a few individuals and make a sweeping generalization of an entire religious society, you don't have to look any further than Fred Phelps or James Kopp to see why extremist Christians are just as crazy as extremist Muslims.

Gino said...

and how does any of this make rushdie a widely read author?

or the queen anything other than an over-hyped,heavily aged broad?

or islamic assmonkies any less retarded?

apathyboy said...

I'm just saying that assmonkies are assmonkies whether or not they are Christian or Muslim. If you wrote posts about Christian assmonkies as well you probably wouldn't come across as being hypocritical or prejudiced.

RW said...

I've always had a soft spot for atheist assmonkeys myself. :-)

Ben Worley said...

Apathyboy, if you're playing devil's advocate just for fun then go ahead and have some fun. If, on the other hand, you actually believe that Islam and Christianity share qualitatively and quantitatively similar crazies then you yourself are crazy. There is no rational comparison.

If you want to compare 16th and 17th century Christians extremists with 21st century Muslim extremists you might find some similarities.

Gino said...

RW: yer right. an atheist assmonkie can be a barrel of laughs,too,eh?

apathyboy: but i am prejudiced.
what next? calling me cynical or irreverant?

kr said...

See, for me, it's not the degree of extremism of any given person or group so much as the "thousands" and the "around the globe" parts ...

kr said...

And of course Ben is right; if you look at our past, Christians were more into violence, both mob and individual.

apathyboy said...

Saying that Muslims are crazier than Christians is like saying that men are stronger than women. It's true only when comparing the extremity of the spectrum. But there are more crazies in Chrisitanity than there are in Muslim, at least from what I've seen. The Muslim extremists are more violent, granted, but the Christian extremists are in my government.

But what's the difference between a bunch of Muslims protesting Salman Rushdie's nighthood and a bunch of Christians protesting at the doors of an abortion clinic? To me it's people standing up for something that they believe in that I find rediculous.

Ben, if you're prejudiced as well just say so since there won't be any point in arguing. If you are not prejudiced, the problem is that you really come across as being as such.

Gino, I would love to see your treatise on how Jesus supports being prejudiced. You should make a post on that. If there's one thing that Jesus wanted more than anything else, it was people that hate other people with guns in their hands.

RW said...

What about prejudice against theists?

kr said...

prejudiced does not equal "I want them dead"
not even "I want them hurt"

prejudice against non-inborn-traits merely means, "I think they are wrong" or "I think they are stupid (and wrong)"

it's not necessarily a great thing, but you are accusing Gino of WAY more than he took on, when he said he was prejudiced.

Gino said...

are you sure you arent still in high school?

only an assmonkie, or a high schooler philosopher, would morally equate calling for mass death with it's exact opposite.

apathyboy said...

Hold on. I never said anything about calling for mass death or equating prejudiced as equaling putting a bounty on someone's head. Let me back up and sum up what I got from Gino's post, and you can tear me up for something I actually said:

The Queen, one of the more beloved figures in England (maybe this isn't true, I'm not English) is a useless, over-hyped broad (no contention on the astute "heavily aged" comment).

Salman Rushdie, an acclaimed author and one of the most respected artists in Indian society (as well as Indian-American and Indian-Brittish) is a no talent hack (I'm paraphrasing here, but I don't think I'm taking too many liberties on this one).

And muslims that protest the knighthood of someone they view as an apostate are "retarded ass-monkies." Granted there were a few people quoted in the article calling for Rushdie's head, but that is a select few that are taking this to the extreme.

To me, a bunch of muslims protesting a person they feel betrayed their religion is exactly the same as Christians that protest (and needlessly harass) women that walk into abortion clinics. Also, a few hundred Christians that praise the deaths of American soldiers (regardless of their religious or sexual affiliation) is at least as rediculous as a few hundred Muslims that call for the death of one author that openly seeks to reform their same religion.

I did not mean to imply that "prejudice" means calling for someone's life, just calling someone an ass-monkie based on their faith. I am a theist myself, and would not appreciate being subjected to prejudices for my beliefs.

I resent being referred to as an ass-monkie or a high schooler. Ironically, I believe the last time I heard the term ass-monkie was in high school. KR and Ben have provided insights that have made me re-think my beliefs without attempting to insult me personally, which I appreciate. You have not. Again, you are not helping.

P.S. I won't be calling you cynical or irreverant, since I most likely have those markets cornered. Perhaps that is one thing that we can agree on.

Ben Worley said...

Apathyboy, I think that charges of prejudice and bigotry have been used so much in recent decades that they have become ridiculous. I have said that modern Muslims, by and large, are more extreme and more violent than modern Christians. I stand by that statement. Yes, that is a generalization and there are inevitable exceptions to that since no matter what group affiliation a person might have, he is a still an individual who makes choices.

In some quarters that makes me prejudiced. I would argue that it does not. In fact, in my opinion many people use that type of terminology to shut other people up. You can believe what you like, but I have peace of mind.

apathyboy said...

What makes you come across as prejudiced is failing to differentiate between average Muslims and extremist Muslims. Modern Muslims, by and large, are God-fearing peaceful people. But (just like Christians) there are a handful of crazies that ruin it for everyone else. True, extremist Muslims are more visible because they are more violent. But making sweeping generalizations of an entire people based on what you've seen of a select few is prejudiced, and it is not healthy.

Gino said...

do you always make something of nothing just to hear yourself argue?

i never said rushie lacked talent. i said his books are not popular favorites.

i have no use for the concept of monarchy, and view the queen (and her spawn) accordingly.

and some muslims tend to act like retards in large numbers. am i wrong?

the last word is yours.

RW said...

Islam is the religion of peace and if you disagree I WILL KEEEEEL YOOOUUU!!

kr said...

apathyboy, (again not attempting to insult you personally, which I am SO glad you are cognizant of!), I was responding directly to this concluding thought from your immediately previous comment:
Gino, I would love to see your treatise on how Jesus supports being prejudiced. You should make a post on that. If there's one thing that Jesus wanted more than anything else, it was people that hate other people with guns in their hands.

That seems to directly equate "being prejudiced" with at least "hating other people." The "guns in their hands" clause perhaps I misattributed to the hater rather than the hated. That was what you wrote that I was responding to.

kr said...


You seem to be basing your accusations of prejudice upon two factors: religion and ethnicity (which term I here use to encompass nationality, culture, and perceived race).

Gino is undoubtably prejudiced against the Muslim religion, and it's "assmonkey" adherents. Whether or not against it's non-assmonkey adherents, I don't know. (I am willing to guess that Gino is prejudiced against assmonkey Christians too, including assmonkey Catholics, although I suspect he'd define those sets of people very differently from the way you seem to.) (Is "assmonkey" like a guy-lockerroom term? I had never heard it before hanging out on guy-blogs--het and gay. But then, my knowledge of sexual innuendo is decidedly 17th century, with a tiny smattering of Chaucer.)

It was you who introduced Salman Rushdie's ethnicity to this discussion as if it mattered to Gino's assessment of his relative literary value. I didn't know his ethnicity; it doesn't much matter (to me). I did know he was somehow-or-other American (although he had been living in hiding somehow assisted by the British government); does the fact that I don't disagree with Gino's assessment (he is not that widely read, so why the huge bother?) make me prejudiced against Americans?

(As a comparison, there were LOTS of Catholics quite irate about Dan Brown and his fun-to-read, widely read, terribly inaccurate DaVinci Code ... especially when it led people to go back and read his less-fun, just-as-inaccurate Angels and Demons ... and what did millions of us do? Grump during coffee and donuts after mass for a few months. Call radio shows. Write books specifically point by point refuting every error Mr. Brown committed to ink, whether against the Church or against secular reality. And, perhaps most importantly, a bunch of us went out and actually read the book(s).)

As for Gino being charged with prejudice against the British: from what I have seen, he is irritated by some of their cultural choices, and he finds the queen overhyped--but not inherently as a person worthy of disgust.

Again, there is a great difference between prejudice against a chosen trait and prejudice against an inborn trait (given that culture is only barely chosen--but it is changeable).

Rushdie's ethnicity was not part of the question; the actions of people who have chosen (to become or to stay) Muslim is. Those actions were taken specifically and consciously in "defense" of that choice--to their perception, in "defense" of their religion (or of Allah, which begs the questions, why does God need defense, and, how exactly are you going to defend God?). I also object to Gino's implicit grouping of all Muslims (btw, Gino). But his reaction against the media/government message of a Religion of Peace when the evidence shows that an awful lot of it's adherents aren't really very into Peace--and particularly that they chose what seem to him relatively insignificant reasons to demonstrate this--is at least understandable.

(I caught the end of a Bill Moyer special interviewing a leading American moderate Muslim the other day. It was pretty good. He sidestepped a couple of things--most notably a challenge about one of the "kill the infidels" passages--but it was pretty good.)

apathyboy, I have this question, which might be very pertinent to this whole discussion:

If you know (I don't): in India, or among Hindian expat communities, is Rushdie in fact widely read? (As he is not among general Americans, nor I suspect among the general British population?) If the fatwah hadn't been called, he would not have had even the readership he has had, at least in America.

Being widely read in India would raise two significant issues: the relationship of Rushdie and his work to the burgeoning Muslim population there (obviously a bit messy, as he both is and isn't an "Indian Muslim"), and the ongoing and frequently extremely violent "realtionship" between Hindis and Muslims in India.


kr said...

apathyboy: just so it is in the open: I am not sure whether you are trying to open another can of worms with the repeated abortion references. There are several of us who are not-responding to that goad at this time. If you stick around Gino's site, you'll probably get to argue it eventually.

'Thought I'd let you know/confirm your suspicions. I'd hate to be thought reasonable when I am, apparently, inherently not, based on my belief structure ;).

apathyboy said...

KR: To answer your question, Rushdie was widely read in America prior to the controversy. He was most known for Midnight's Children (published seven years before the Satanic Verses) and The Moor's Last Sigh. He was featured in publications like Harpers and The New Yorker, it just wasn't until the fatwa that he appeared in publications like USA Today and Newsweek. To say that he was not widely read is an uninformed statement.

I can't say whether or not Rushdie is well read in India. My guess is that he is very much read by both politically and literary minded students in India and England.

I was goading a bit regarding abortion, but was not by any means trying to open a can of worms. I was using that as an example of Christians behaving in a manner that I believe Gino would refer to as "assmonkie" behavior (thanks for the definition by the way). It's a much weaker example that the Phelps church and the Patriot Guard.

kr said...

awwright, I made it back

ah, now, apathyboy, methinks we define "widely read" widely differently. Having a very viable literary career (which I knew he had) does not equal widely read, to me. In America, the (relatively small) intellectual set is not prone to being threatened by someone questioning a religious tenet.

Interesting to consider the cultural implications of European Realpolitik and Subcontinental religious fanaticism ... I wonder if literature is simply more incindiary in general in cultures outside of North America. We associate intellectualism with "reasonability," which to us includes a lack of action ...
so GWB can't be "smart," since he acted instead of talking
so foreign mullahs inciting riots can't be "smart"

'wonder if the doctors'-bombing plots in GB will affect our cultural asumptions ...

sorry. Tangential.

Anyhow, Rushdie would not have been read by nearly so many people if folks who hadn't even read his book hadn't overreacted, and if people who had read them chose not to give him worldwide publicity.

People write about the questionability of the source of the Book of Mormon all the time. Not too many Mormons urging murder and general warfare. People question the source(s) of the Bible; I'm not sure when was the last time a Christian killed someone for that. I suppose the Hebrews, pre-Babylonian Exile, were killing doubters with some regularity ...

eh, that's it for now. sorry so scattered.

Gino said...

the only figures i could find:
'shalimar the clown' has sold 26000 copies, in the entire english reading world.
i think mark twain sells more huck finn books than that in six months, and he been dead forever.