Here is an essay from a scientist who, per the nature of his activities, physics, astrophysics, mathematics and searching for exoplanets, planets orbiting stars in our galaxy, is forced to keep his mind wide open on a lot of questions of deep and burning interest.
Professor Coel Hellier shares my general approach (not just about Islam, but in much of science). However, he is from Europe, so he does not abide by the European bashing the leaders of the USA engage in. (And American academics know they are supposed to partake in, to earn the respect that brings them money and a nice career!)
Generally European bashing is practiced by the USA in a fashion covert enough that paid-off European leaders can claim they don’t have the faintest idea about what is going on.
An example is energy policy: Twenty years ago, the USA with Vice-President Al Gore (later made a Nobel Prize, of course), started a big noise, mirror, smoke and fury about “climate change”. The European Union bought it, hook, line, sink, and now even the European boat attached to all this is sinking.
While Europe was doing extravagant efforts to reduce its greenhouse gases emissions, the USA augmented its own (counting everything, something USA propagandists will not do for you).
Result? Right now the price of energy in the USA is half of that in Europe, the European economy is sinking (surprise, surprise), European unemployment is colossal, Europeans are rioting, and the President of the USA tells Europeans to their faces that this is all happening because Europeans are racist (more smoke and mirrors).
However, today is Martin Luther King Day. Who was MLK? Somebody who wanted Americans “of color” to have the right to sit where they wanted in a bus. (Most Americans are “of color”. with the one drop rule!)
That is a right, sitting where they wanted, that the Romans already had. OK, Romans did not have buses, but they had an imperial throne, and Spaniards, inhabitants of the Balkans, French and British born sat on it. More interestingly, African born and Arab born citizens also sat on the imperial throne.
Emperor Septimus Severus, a Libyan, was, indeed of African “blood”.
So the Martin Luther King craze, and sanctimony, is not something that Europe ought to look up to, but something to look down on. MLK was very courageous, but only as an example that one does not get anywhere good, but by telling the truth.
Anyway, let the sedate and wise Coel have a go at Salafists.
Not that the top propagandists of Salafism do not know what Coel is saying: they all do. Their (meta) aim is just more power for themselves and their masters, this is always how the Islamist game has been played.
Originally posted on coelsblog:
of person who would draw a Mohammed cartoon, if I could draw, which I can’t, and if I was good at satirical cartoons, which I’m not. Yes, we do understand that you find cartoons depicting Muhammed offensive. We understand that you value the reputation of Muhammed more than that of your own family, and that Western cartoons about your prophet are, to you, utterly disrespectful and blasphemous. We are not drawing cartoons just for the sake of being insulting, nor because we hate you. We draw cartoons because we regard doing so as important for a free society.
Over human history many ideologies have been totalitarian. The Christian religion used to burn people at the stake for heresy. The Soviet Communists sent people to the Gulag for any dissent from communist ideology. The Nazis murdered millions to further their fascist ideology.
All totalitarian regimes control what people can say, and.