According to yesterday’s Independent, Dr. Usama Hasan, an imam who also happens to be a physicist at Middlesex University and a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, was forced to cancel a lecture on “Islam and the theory of evolution” because of death threats. The lecture was to be held at Masjid al-Tawhid, a mosque in east London. Sadly, he not only canceled the talk, but apologized for his heresy:
But according to his sister, police advised him not to attend after becoming concerned for his safety. Instead his father, Suhaib, head of the mosque’s committee of trustees, posted a notice on his behalf expressing regret over his comments. “I seek Allah’s forgiveness for my mistakes and apologise for any offence caused,” the statement read.
One hopes that he construed his “mistake” as giving a lecture where he might have been killed, not as talking favorably about evolution. Hasan had given a pro-evolution lecture at the mosque in January, but was interrupted by leaflet-bearing fanatics who shouted him down (was there “forced laughter”?) and threatened his life.
Unfortunately, Hasan’s apology—which I’d normally dismiss as intellectual cowardice, but can perhaps be understood if he feared for his life—was not enough. The mosque’s committee of trustees fired him as imam and vice-chairman of the mosque (which the Independent describes as running one of Britain’s largest sharia courts), and issued a statement characterizing Hasan’s views as a “source of antagonism in the Muslim community”.
Yes, because science is the source or “antagonism” in the Muslim community. And this happened in the UK!! Are you kidding me? Islam is anti-science. But if anyone says something about it, they are causing “antagonism” in the community. What utter tripe. Not only is truth turned into a lie but even mentioning so can cost one’s life.
Heck, for just writing this I can surely say that the “Islamophobe” slurs will start in 3, 2, 1….
Are you really so narrow-minded that you can’t see past Islam as a source of ignorance? Yes, it is Islamophobic. It also tells me you know very little of the history of a number of Islamic nations.
I’m going to be brief because it’s not my duty to educate you; suffice it to say:
Instead of condemning Islam for certain communities’ faults, it is far more productive to look at certain socio-political structures in place in nations with Islamic-theocratic leanings. (AKA the state/culture that fundamentalist communities defer to, and where they are socialized; that ‘this happened in the UK!!!!!’ is not relevant to the discussion.)
Notice extremely important details such as: how many of these nations have relatively recently gained independence from imperialism? Or perhaps, how many of these nations are/have been ravaged by war and haven’t been able to build/rebuild healthy infrastructure (and thus proper education) for its populace? Why does religious fundamentalism of any sort occur? (Hint: it does not appear out of thin air and thus it is not what you ought to be deriding.) We are products of our society. Understanding what events led to certain interpretations or sects of Islam being imprinted upon a society is essential.
Religion is not the enemy. Certain structures within society that allow for religion to be manipulated or interpreted in order to enforce or gain power over the people? Certainly. Take the 2002 genocide in Gujarat: Hindu extremists massacred Indian Muslims in order to keep their one region of which they had considerable (political) control legitimate. They used religious propaganda to enforce their “divine right” to controlling this region, for keeping it an irrefutable seat of their fundamentalist party’s power. Religion is a great evasion tactic. It validates conquest. It stands in as a poor substitute for education. But why is it used in such a way?
This is elementary stuff. I’m spelling this out for you as simply as I can. Theocracies and theocratic orientations in nation-states are product of immense and powerful structures that need to be deconstructed before you go off blanket-condemning Islam as the source of all ignorance.
That’s just the easy vout.