For the past few days the Vive Charlie / Jihadist Joe crew has been terribly furious with me and other secular bloggers for calling out their problematic ideas and associations.
Jihadist Joe is a popular 'satire' twitter account, that critiques 'Islam', but ends up being more anti-Muslim than anti-Islam. He is also one of the founders of Vive Charlie, which is a seemingly far-right, anti-migrant, anti-muslim magazine. It was set up after the horrific mass shooting of cartoonists at French satirical (left-leaning) publication Charlie Hebdo. Sadly, out of ignorance...Charlie Hebdo is too often accused of 'bigotry' and 'racism', as many critics of religion...especially *one* particular religion are. If anything lends credibility to such false accusations, it's publications like Vive.
The difference between a critique of ideology and a critique of entire groups of people is lost on too many - on both the left and the right. The left conflates any criticism of Islam (the idea) with racism/bigotry and ends up pandering to the Islamic far right which is deeply troubling. The Western far right however, lumps together all *Muslims* and tries to pass it off as legitimate criticism of the ideology, also troubling.
In the middle of this 'hate-sandwich' you have ex-Muslims like me. We are called self-hating bigots, 'native informants', 'islamophobes', 'uncle Tom', 'house Arab' by the left...and we are called 'overly PC', islam-apologists by the far right. Kind of impossible to be both...
Ah yes, my penchant for political correctness must be why my work is often censored and why I receive a constant stream of death threats.
The way I see it, ideas don't have rights, bad ideas should be discussed and mocked without hesitation. Groups of diverse people however, should not be unfairly generalized.
It sounds simple enough, but it isn't for some. Either they just don't get the difference, or they are knowingly bigoted.
Below I will share screenshots of interactions with the Vive Charlie gang, and you can decide which it is in this case.
It started when they were caught with their hands in the bigotry jar, teaming up with and endorsing Katie Hopkins (who happens to think migrants are like cockroaches and viruses). You can read my previous piece on that here. They were then proven to be dishonest by Sam Harris' confirmation that he did not agree to write for them, as they had falsely claimed.
It was more disturbing to discover that their upcoming Mohammed drawing contest had a known racist guest speaker (Paul Weston), who is on record talking about his ideas regarding 'White Genocide' and how Muslim immigration will cause white Europeans to become outnumbered.
He's also on record in an interview acknowledging he wants to ban Muslims from public office.
Another fine example of the embodiment of Freedom of Speech (which this event is all about, of course) is their other guest speaker Geert Wilders (a Dutch politician) who is also anti-Muslim immigration, and wants to ban the Quran.
The utter hypocrisy in wanting to champion 'free speech' while having guest speakers that want to stifle it ...is remarkable. And the idea of banning something kept personal is too reminiscent of religion for my taste.
Extremism in all forms is horrendous... and no, I'm not equating racism/bigotry with murderous jihadists, one is clearly more harmful, more urgent. But bigotry by definition is anti-equality and therefore anti-secular. Some will mask it by accusing anyone who opposes their actual 'proof-in-front-of-your-eyes' bigotry of Islam apologia - which does exist in excessive disproportionate amounts. That certainly adds to the confusion.
Its not whats happening here, but it is a very convenient excuse to have...
Public Service Announcement: pic.twitter.com/pSzMKChMPm— Eiynah -- (@NiceMangos) August 6, 2015
|Disingenuously labelling it as criticism of *Muslims*? |
Because yea, there's no mention of the word
'Muslim' in the tweets below at all.
This tweet would be disingenuous if there were though... ;)
|The ol' 'Muslims are goatfuckers', thankfully the British refined and rescued though!|
|Oh ok! Well considering the *majority* aren't beheading disbelievers and live peacefully |
while not taking the Quran literally, that's a bit misleading.
People are better than their religions.
|Yes because having an opinion on something and explicitly|
stating you don't want to ban anything, is 'bullying'.
John Sargeant of Homoeconomicus Weblog has blogged extensively on
Vive Charlie, with nothing resembling the sentiment of 'Do as I say or else'.
For someone that thinks everyone who disagrees is just a whiney cunt, he seems to get upset really easily. There was attempt to reason....the level of interaction was not very mature.
|Lol....always with the name calling, when he's upset. But hey, |
its the people opposing him politely that are 'whiny cunts'.
|Why can't everyone just fuck off and stop being such a whiny cunt?!|
|And when swearing at someone constantly isn't enough, just tweet pictures of people being|
shot in the head at them. That should stop them from daring to 'blaspheme' against you!
|If that's not working, then maybe you can add them to a list to|
inform them they are being given the silent treatment
(you know, in case they don't notice otherwise)
- and then continue the twitter debate with them.
their guest speakers with such confidence. Because just the day before, one of their contributors
was trying to tell me they are trapped and unable to pull out because they have been threatened with a lawsuit.
|This lawsuit excuse. was quickly dispelled as their co host|
publicly tweeted she would not sue if they
wanted to pull out of the event.
|I was continuously accused of 'spreading rumours' about something |
that was on their own ad for the event. The 'you'll see' was in reference to
the great statement they would make, explaining it all in the new issue (above).
|Photo via Vive Charlie: Not to mention, their new magazine cover totally falls in line with the 'people as insects'|
stuff...people clamouring up top, one with a spiderman shirt - incase u missed the insect theme...
|Another article from the latest issue of Vive Charlie sticks to the same theme.|
Anyway, after all this anti-muslim stuff....to support people like Badawi or retweet Maajid Nawaaz's articles, comes off as hypocritical and self-serving once again....so are *Muslims* stupid pedo goatfuckers...or are they sometimes people you'd want to support and not alienate?
|Photo from Vive Charlie|
If the 'liberals' aren't stepping up and defending free speech...then we're going to get people allying with white genocide lunatics, anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists, the frustration will increase bigotry towards those few truly progressive Muslims already marginalized by Muslim bigots.
Its time for the left to step up to the plate. And create a distinct, secular liberal discussion around Islam. We need to be honest and not shy away from it. And its also time for actual 'secularists' to reflect upon whether supporting publications like Vive Charlie will help in starting honest discussion around Islam, or will it just give the apologists fodder to continue shutting down all debate with cries of 'Islamophobia', as well as provide cover to people with anti-muslim, not secular agendas.
We need to stop letting extremists on both sides, or extremist-sympathizers control and shape the narratives in this discussion.
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