Friday, August 14, 2015

Jihadist Joe, Vive Charlie: An Islam Apologist's Dream come True

Every religion apologist, or more specifically *Islam apologist*, likes to feel validated for claims of constant victimization. They love it when they come across an 'atheist' that personifies the bigotry they accuse us all of. There aren't many atheists that I know who've left behind bigoted ideologies to align with other bigoted ideologies...but those that do exist are pure gold for an Islam apologist.


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 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...

Here are some lovely tweets:
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... ;)

Now that we've set the scene for grouping all Muslims in together, the 'Muslim' tweets will
flow much more smoothly. It's almost clever, because it's completely correct, technically....
and at the same time, its a handy way of reminding everyone to lump them in together.
Does Islam provide justification for pedophilia?
Absolutely, and it is disgusting that it does - an issue that
needs to be addressed no doubt. But are 'Muslims' pedophiles in general?
I think thats an unfair and inaccurate statement to make.
Not that he's claimed they are...again with the careful wording. 
It's nice that a little effort is made to conceal outright hatred of Muslims. 

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.

Which is it? Do some not believe in every word, or are even moderates total literalists?
Seems like someone is confused...And of course no names are mentioned in
this tweet, but if recent events regarding secular bloggers calling this generalization out
is what is referred to as an accusation of 'Islamophobia', then this is one of those times
where opposition to bigotry is deliberately being presented as Islam apologia.

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'.
They claim that they are being bullied with attempts to 'censor' them...or that their freedom of speech is being stifled just by others having an opinion...let me clarify (again) that none of us actually oppose the event or their publication's existence. But, freedom of speech doesn't protect one from 'criticism'.

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'. 
Obviously I'm the *racist* here. Because I hate
'white people' (and all other people) for holding bigoted views.
There you have it... not tolerating bigotry makes one
a 'racist', but spouting bigotry..makes one a 'satirist'?
The 'I hate white people for being white' bit is amusing..
because it certainly isn't anchored in reality. 

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.

Downplaying the threat I face as an ex muslim ...
 I'm just an *anonymous* attention seeker apparently. 
Apostasy punishment is a big fucking deal in Islam, 
as I'm sure Joe is well aware. So he hates Islam, 
but also trivializes one of the most dangerous aspects of it, 
the fact that it doesn't technically allow anyone to leave. 
Seems a bit self serving to hate on Islam when it suits you, 
but minimize its dangerous aspects when it doesn't.
Some conversation was address the actual issue of 'if you're not an anti-muslim bigot, why are the speakers at your event known bigots and a racist?' 

Issue 19 was supposed to be some big reveal of their position.
Where they addressed the concerns people have with them using 
atheism/secularism...Charlie Hebdo's name... and allying with a white supremacist. 
Nope. Joe had already made it clear that he wouldn't be naming 
any problem areas specifically. Because he's not into 'Cultural marxist labelling'. 
I can't help but see parallels with those he criticizes as being unable to call out
 Islam being problematic when it so evidently is. 
'NothingToDoWithRacism' sounds a lot like 'NothingToDoWithIslam'. 
This is from their issue 19 statement. I think even Reza Aslan would agree
that people should be able to draw Mohammed without having to fear violence.
But would anyone want to ally with Reza at such an event? Because
even if he's right on this one thing, we know his other views are nonsense.
And just like I tell  Burqa supporters, that feminism by definition isn't going to
include 'misogyny' - freedom of speech isn't going to include those who are
anti free-speech in other contexts. Unless, you know... consistency isn't your thing.

Paul Weston's racist and anti-muslim views are pretty relevant if one wants their criticism of Islam to come from a place of secularism and intellect rather than a place of outright hatred. Its not about 'sharing a platform''re not two parties attending an're co-hosting the event and *giving* them a platform. If you invite anti-muslim bigots to criticize Islam, its just not going to seem like a credible 'secularist' perspective. Sorry. Amuses me that they confirm and stand by 
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.

'It will cement our reputation' - Yes open bigotry will do that.
And you guys don't sound too devastated to be hosting an event with
a racist speaker in your magazine's official statement.
 (Tweet claiming threat of lawsuit from co-host was quickly deleted)

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...

And that coupled with the cover artist's words is just sad. The cover was later defended
in many weak ways, 'it's satire' - no it's not really satire if that's what you actually think.
 'Marvel has a brown person as spiderman' - yes, we all know the theme *here* isn't superheroes.
'The dictionary says you can use 'swarm' for people' - yes, but you're actually
 describing them as insects... not as *just* a large crowd. Complete intellectual dishonesty...
If one feels this way, why not stand by the sentiment at the very least?
Another article from the latest issue of Vive Charlie sticks to the same theme. 
Their own contributor realizes it 'appears racist' - but excuses that with 'it's a parody'
Unless you're parodying a racist, anti-muslim... this parody thing doesn't work. Joe parodies a jihadist..
jihadists don't spout anti-muslim bigotry....their bigotry goes the other way...

Anyway, after all this anti-muslim support people like Badawi or retweet Maajid Nawaaz's articles, comes off as hypocritical and self-serving once are *Muslims* stupid pedo goatfuckers...or are they sometimes people you'd want to support and not alienate?

Photo from Vive Charlie

One thing this whole incident indicates is an absolutely HUGE failure on the left's part. A failure to call out the problematic parts of Islam, a failure to try and dismantle the power it holds over the world today....a failure to show enough solidarity with murdered cartoonists...with those oppressed by Islam...

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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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Yes clearly... all evidence to back anything up at all haha.

      If you can't read properly, I understand the difficulty you may have seeing evidence of anything....but otherwise not really. " Please also provide proof that Vive Charlie knew that Paul Weston would be a guest speaker." - Who cares if they knew or not, they confirmed they r happy to have him speak. If you don't think their own ad and statement in their magazine that they are happy for him to speak at the event is enough proof that they allied with him on *this* issue (and that is problematic enough), then I can't help you and your level of ignorance.

      Your comment is amusing though... haha thanks for the laugh.

      It sounds to me like you have no idea what you're talking about, esp re: my facebook. Perhaps you should get your story straight then come back.

      "3 dishonest statements in 24 hours" - how about you prove anything is dishonest rather than making stupid claims ffs.

      You sound like an apologist for bigotry, tbh. If there isn't enough proof for you here on this page, that's disturbing.

    2. >As a patron, I'm not fussed what people say on their private time.

      Well you bloody well should be, because they are saying these things in the public square.

    3. I did find this misquote of "aligned" for 'allied' interesting. I seem to have seen it somewhere before.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Yes its a photoshopping conspiracy...because I'm a secret got me. (I also have a screenshot of her saying she's deleting all her tweets to me) - so you're not exactly going to find any of that on her TL are you?

      A personal attack? It's fine for her to accuse me of 'spreading rumours' about something they themselves have confirmed? That's not a personal attack to you? How dishonest and hypocritical.

      Im writing about Vive, why wouldn't I include the tweets of someone who works for them who *came to me* on twitter to accuse me?

      Did I claim she was an editor? I said she was a contributor...
      Did i make any claims about how often she had articles? How is this relevant?

      I know who the driver is, and I know plenty of British ppl that take issue with it as well. Its the manner of depiction of migrants I have an issue with. Did you fail to see the words of the artist about migrants?

      "Got anything of substance." - Yes, this article... do you though? Photoshopping accusations are the best you have?

      Anti muslim bigotry apologists are strikingly similar to Islam apologists.

    2. I'm British, and I certainly take issue with the cover. Great article - love your PSA and final rallying cry. I think you really nail the problems and inconsistencies with these people. There was just one thing I was unsure about which is whether it's precisely accurate to say Wilders wants to ban the Qur'an, as I thought that was more a rhetorical point about double standards, not a serious call for it to be banned.

    3. Thanks Sarah :) as for your point about Geert, I do believe he's called for an actual Ban, Here's a quote from The Washington Post

      "For one thing, the Dutch MP might be standing up for free speech in Texas, but in his native Netherlands, he has repeatedly called for the Koran to be banned."

      Here's a quote from the Telegraph: "The Koran should be banned as a “fascist book” alongside Mein Kampf because it urges Muslims to kill non-believers, says Dutch populist MP Geert Wilders."

      By the same standards, other (holy) books that call for stoning homosexuals to death, endorse rape, and slavery should also be banned. Just comes off as inconsistent, hypocritical. I don't deny the books are vile, but banning something rather than dismantling it's power is where I have issues.

    4. Thanks Elynah - I completely agree such books should not be banned.

  3. <*)))>< this is for the troll.
    Eiynah: Keep up the good work. We all need to accept that some people out there are either unwilling or incapable of objective background research and sound arguments.

  4. Their tweets and magazines were off somehow, I couldn't figure out what it was. I am surrounded by followers of the Koran and bible and was looking for things to point out absurdities in both. I enjoyed a few of Joseph's tweets but they were definitely slanted to an absurd amount. Great article. Always good to hear from someone who thinks Vive Charlie and Ezra Aslan are equally dishonest and absurd.

  5. Very interesting to see that "Naomy" has deleted her comments.