Ireland And Islam

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Cork-based Journalist and human rights activist Bairbre Flood (above) has completed an hour-long radio documentary on Islam In Ireland (available to listen above or at link below).

Bairbre writes:

The radio documentary wasn’t broadcast yet I was getting messages that I shouldn’t be even discussing the subject as a white westerner.

Islam is often seen as a racial construct – and both the xenophobes and the social justice warriors buy into the orientalist view of Islam as a racial identity, not an idea (or set of ideas).

It’s very difficult to have a conversation about the doctrine of Islam within these parameters – everyone tiptoeing around the core tenets, either afraid they’ll inflame the bigots or of being labelled ‘Islamophobic’.

But surely we can hold Islam to the same standards we would fundamentalist Christianity for example – or Catholicism, or Scientology? It’s not a criticism of Muslim people themselves to examine the religion of Islam.

Perhaps the most well known mosque in Ireland, the Irish Islamic Cultural Centre (Clonskeagh Mosque) houses the headquarters of the European Council for Fatwa and Research which issued two particularly worrying fatwas – in 2003, a fatwa stating the punishment for apostasy is death, and one in 2004 stating that all gays should be killed.

The Dublin and Cork Islamic Cultural Centres have been given hundreds of thousands of euros from the al Maktoub Foundation in the UAE, and their particular kind of Wahhabi Islam has a political aim, not just a religious or spiritual one (the ‘Vatican of Islam in Ireland’ as one commentator dubbed them).

Ali Selim, who was secretary to the Imam at the Clonskeagh Mosque is an active supporter of sharia law (see his talk, ‘The Concept of Shari’ah, Islamic Law’ from 2013).

The day after the Charlie Hebdo attck in 2015, Selim was on national radio urging people not to link the attacks with Islam and threatening legal action on any Irish journalist or media outlet which printed the cartoon cover of the magazine published in honour of the people who’d just been killed.

Of course, the IICC doesn’t represent all muslims in Ireland (or even all Sunni Muslims) – there’s a large Ahmadiyya mosque in Galway and also a substantial Sufi community in Dublin. There’s over fifty mosques or prayer rooms throughout the country, most of these funded by the congregation themselves.

There’s over fifty different nationalities within the Muslim community and within that huge differences in how strict individuals are, and variations in how they practice their faith.

Some don’t pray at all, but still identify strongly as Muslim – like many people in Ireland who still identify as Catholic, but rarely go to mass andonly nominally believe in its doctrine. But even with all that in mind, there has been very little research into what Irish Muslims believe and how strongly they believe it.

The only opinion poll on Muslim attitudes was carried out for the Irish Independent and RTÉ’s Prime Time in 2006 and it found that more than a third (36%) would prefer Ireland to be ruled under Sharia law and more than half of young Muslims (57%) believe Ireland should become an Islamic State.

Then there’s the kinds of speakers that are being invited over here.

In May, 2017 the Cork Islamic Information Centre with Discover Islam put on a talk, ‘How To Live With Your Neighbour in Western Countries’ by Uthman Lateef who in 2007 told students at Queen Mary University in the UK:  “We don’t accept homosexuality. We hate it because Allah hates it”.

In March 2016 this mosque on Shandon Street invited a speaker called Shady Al-Suleiman, who once ended a talk in Birmingham in 2014 with ‘“Give victory to all the Mujahideen all over the world. Oh Allah, prepare us for the jihad” and who 2010 organised a conference which featured a talk via phone by Anwar Al-Awlaki (of Al-Qaeda).

In May 2015, Abdurraheem Green gave a talk ‘The Prophet and his Message’ at this same Cork mosque. Green was cancelled from an event at a Montreal university in 2011 after concerns were raised over statements he made about how men may treat their wives: he said, “The husband is allowed – to prevent her from evil – to provide some type of physical force”.

When I emailed the Cork Dawah Centre about these speakers, this was their response:

‘Let me reassure you, we would not have allowed anyone to speak if we had known of any extremist views that they may have had in the past. When I looked into it in the past, as
you’re not the first to question us, many of the individuals and the organisations as a whole have come out and opposed previously held ideas. Which unsurprisingly hasn’t been widely publicised.

Members of the local community including the Gardai and various Lord Mayors have attended these events. Speakers when coming to the centre submit an outline of what they are planning to speak on so that it can be reviewed.

Most of the speakers we have invited in the past have been requested to speak on the importance of manners, not harming others, helping and caring for others in society, etc, as this is considered to be half the faith and the heaviest thing on the last day. This does not fit with the opinions you’ve expressed below. I hope I’ve allayed any fears you may have.’

The kinds of speakers being invited to mosques here and the influence of Wahhabi Islam is only one part of the problem – but at least they are in the public eye and open to scrutiny.

The even deeper problem is the more than forty Irish muslims who’ve gone to fight with ISIS since 2014, some of whom have started returning to Ireland. There’s also over 70 on a watch list, suspected of providing logistical support to terrorist groups in Europe and no anti-radicalisation programme in place here.

Yahya Cholil Staquf, general secretary of the Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s biggest Muslim organization, said:

‘Western politicians should stop pretending that extremism and terrorism have nothing to do with Islam. There is a clear relationship between fundamentalism, terrorism, and the basic assumptions of Islamic orthodoxy…The West must stop ascribing any and all discussion of these issues to “Islamophobia.” Or do people want to accuse me — an Islamic scholar — of being an Islamophobe too?’ –

This isn’t to demonise in any way the thousands of Muslims living here – or to diminish the very real effect anti-Muslim bias can have on their lives, but at the same time we can start holding Islam to the same standards as we’ve done in recent years here in Ireland with Catholicism, and strive for a similar insistence on the primacy of secular values.

It’s also important for us to provide a safe environment for Muslims to critique their religion (unlike in many parts of the world where it can mean dishonour, arrest, beatings and even death).

Ireland has an opportunity to be a safe house for Muslims to publish their ideas – for ex-Muslims to feel free to tell their experiences – and for moderate, liberal Muslims to find support and solidarity here.

Islam In ireland (Soundcloud)

 

96 thoughts on “Ireland And Islam

  1. Clampers Outside!

    It is perfectly rational to dislike, or even hate, any ideology that KILLS infidels, gays or apostates. Call that Islamophobia if you want.

    Fair play to you for raising the issue.

      1. ahjayzis

        You can hate fundamentalist Christianity and not be anti-Christian people.

        So you can hate Wahhabism and not be anti-Muslim.

      2. Clampers Outside!

        Did you read Bairbre’s post at all?

        Maybe you could look up the internet and see what a “fatwah” is, as it is not an interpretation, it’s a command or an edict or to be more precise, Islamic LAW.

        1. ahjayzis

          “Kill Salman Rushdie”

          *Rushdie killed*

          Ooooh, the fault alone lies with the idiot who thought we meant kill him LITERALLY.

        2. Rolf Henggeler

          There are some mistakes in my comment. I need to correct.
          The reply should be:
          Is it not dogs and their interpretation of the command that bite?

      3. david

        Its a religion
        As for trinity college it shows how much we pander this religion
        Remember George hook when he opened his mouth about the rape case
        Sacked removed
        When Dr slim sided with female circumcision they did nothing and no show of outrage
        This is female mutilation not making an unwanted pass

    1. david

      A great example is that trinity college rather than sack an imam who supports female circumcision shows exactly the pussy footing around Islam
      Imagine if that was a Jew a catholic
      Look at old Harvey WinSock who sexually harassed assaulted women
      But mutilating women
      I wonder what about old George hook when he opened his mouth
      Ireland panders to this religion which dwells in the biblical era

  2. shitferbrains

    And then there’s their anti-semitism which is usually attributed to the existence of Israel. Although why Pakistani and Indonesian muslims are so exercised by Israel can hardly be put down to blood ties or liberal politics.

    1. ivan

      Good question. I remember as a kid (and i may have posted this before) feeling a sort of ‘fraternity’ with Catholics in the UK, such that, when i went to work there in the 90s, i sort of felt bad about going out to watch fireworks on Guy Fawkes night. He was, after all, only trying to do stuff for Cafflicks, innit, and we were downtrodden ones back in the day, right? So, you’ve empathy of a sort.

      However, it’s quite clear that if you look at a certain brand of UK Catholic (Rees Mogg, Duncan Smith etc), they’d view us as something unpleasant you’d step on. Funny old game.

      Dara O’Briain describes himself as a Catholic atheist; he’ll shout for celtic because heritage but that’s about it.

      And so I suppose you can sort of extrapolate that out a bit to explain, perhaps, why there’s the sentiment you describe – it’s perhaps a (subjective) feeling of ‘these people are screwing over our fraternal co-religionists’.

      I’m not justifying it, I’m not excusing it, but it’s possibly an explanation

    1. Andrew

      I’ll bet you ‘stop reading’ as soon as you’re triggered, quite a lot. Good for you George. Nothing like an open mind eh?

  3. Pete Tong

    Fair play to broadsheet for actually posting this. The radical feminists and leftists have more to lose than most in a state with majority Muslim population.

    1. Clampers Outside!

      ” Criticising Islamic attitudes to women increasingly comes under the remit of ‘hate speech’, as the Danish Iranian artist Firoozeh Bazrafkan found. In 2013, she was found guilty of violating anti-racism legislation and handed a 5,000 kroner fine for a blog post she wrote that was critical of Islamic misogyny. ”

      From – https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2015/09/few-feminists-dare-criticise-islam-the-ones-who-do-should-be-praised-for-their-bravery/

      1. david

        Maybe the me too campaign and others which is reminiscent of the mc carthy era might throw their weight behind the misogyny of Islam
        Imagine the Oscars where al these freedom fighters slam misogynistic Islam
        Mean while in Dr salim land the knives are being sharpened for the next female circumcission

      1. realPolithicks

        Daisy I hope you’re not contradicting something that clampers said. He doesn’t like be contradicted, especially by a woman.

    2. Hans Landa

      They’ve more to lose from any amount of Muslim influence. Sure they only make up c.5% of the UK and look at the influence they have on policy

        1. Hans Landa

          The numerous laws that make specific exception for Islamic culture (e.g. establishment of Sharia courts)

          1. Clampers Outside!

            That’s a nonsense. But, there is still an issue with Sharia Courts in that whatever about the strict legal position, “the power of Sharia councils lies in how they are perceived by their communities”. And the UK the government now says that “there is evidence of a problem, but we have an inadequate understanding of all the issues involved” – a review was launched in 2017, I don’t know results of it…

            Source: https://fullfact.org/law/uks-sharia-courts/

  4. Anne

    I think some very valid points are raised here. We are a democracy and attempting to move away from the influence of religion in our schools and livelihoods. We should be openly critical of all aspects of Islam that are incompatible with modern society. Not doing so means that more must Labour under the pressures of the religion for longer. A good friend of mine from Egypt said that Egypt is like Ireland 200 years ago and that we neeed to understand that they need time to move toward secular viewpoints. Those Muslims who live in Ireland should benefit from how we have already moved forward. No time should be given to those who want to drag us back. I heard Dr. Selim on news talk a while ago discussing how not allowing Muslim girls in school to wear hijabs is singling them out. I can’t think of anything that would single a girl out more than wearing a hijab in school. There is no place for this kind of thing in a modern progressive Ireland. Think of all those women and girls who will never feel the wind in their hair or the sun on their bare arms. Constantly covered up no matter how hot it is outside. Not having the freedom to wear what they like. It’s very sad and covering up is just the tip of the iceverg for what they have to put up with.

    1. Andrew

      + 1 Anne.
      In my opinion, religion needs to be put in its place. It should have a zero role in education for example.
      Practice your religion all you want, but do so in private, in your own time with your own money.
      We are, unfortunately, quite away from that, as the mainstream religion here still wields far too much influence and is deferred to far too much.
      Broadcasting the Angelus is an example. If you allow that kind of call to prayer, why not allow the Islamic call to prayer? It’s the same rationale.
      Neither should be entertained but our traditional Christian churches are holding the door open for other religions to have their say.
      As I said before, banish religion out of all public life. It should be a private pursuit.

    2. Hans Landa

      Never mind the wind blowing in their hair or sun on their bare arms. That same ‘cleric’ recently confirmed to the Medical Independent that he believes female circumcision should be “reasonably practiced…if there is a need for it” although he himself could not identify any medical grounds that would require it. There are absolutely no health benefits to this practice.

      1. Anne

        I actually really like to the ‘Sunday school’ idea. During the week go to your local school and wear the same uniform as everyone else – no religious iconography, no religion classes no distinctions. On Sunday or whatever day your ceremony is let those who want their children to learn more stay an extra hour for a class. They’ll have friends in school from all religions and then friends from their church who share the same religious ideals. I know this is in an ideal world but it is a nice concept.

    3. Nigel

      I think allowing girls to wear hijabs in school might be more in keeping with an open, liberal, tolerant and even secular society than banning them. Banning an item of clothing like that smacks of fear, insecurity and resentment. Whatever tenets of the religion you might object to, banning an item of clothing isn’t going to stop families raising their kids within those tenets. The point is to have a society where the kids can make their own choices as they grow up, just as we did, where no-one can force them to wear a hijab if they don’t want to, but also where choosing to wear one is not a stigma. Also, allowing schoolgirls to wear a hijab is not giving religion any sort of influence in education, no more than any other child’s personal religion is, except as a possible topic for discussion. Of all the countries in the world to understand how stamping on a religion only tightens its hold on people in the worst way, you’d think Ireland would get it.

      1. Clampers Outside!

        ” I think allowing girls to wear hijabs in school might be more in keeping with an open, liberal, tolerant and even secular society than banning them. ”

        ” The point is to have a society where the kids can make their own choices as they grow up, just as we did ” …but they don’t choose, their parents do.

        There is nothing secular about allowing a kid to be made wear a hijab. Kid’s do not choose hijabs ffs. Your premise, that it is a choice, is a nonsense.

        1. Nigel

          Don’t be more of an absolute boo boo about this than you have to be. Seriously. No kid chooses who they’re born to. No kid chooses the religion of the family their born to. No kid has a say on the tenets, beliefs and practices they’re raised in. I know this from personal experience having been raised Catholic and engaging in Catholic practices, with no choice in the matter at all. As I grew up, however, in an increasingly liberal and secular society, I was free to disengage from Catholicism and its practices and suffer no detrimental consequences outside of whatever tensions it might have caused in my immediate family (none, luckily.) That is not my premise, that is how life can work. Your family make your choices for you, then you start making your own choices, and society allows you the freedom to do so, just as you choose to be a bit of a muppet about something so elementary. With no religious indoctrination in schools themselves, I would hope it would be even easier for young girls to decide to shed their hijabs as they grow up, or to make an informed choice about continuing to wear them.

          1. Clampers Outside!

            Straight in with ad hom on the first line…. *slow clap *

            Your comparison of growing up in an Islamic household to your own experience is the most laughable of complete and utter deluded nonsense. Plse stop, you sound ridiculous.

          2. Nigel

            That wasn’t an ad hom. It was an insult, yes. Go read up on logical fallacies as to why an insult is not necessarily an ad hom. You probably won’t get it, but try. Then tell me why anyone should take your response to anything seriously since you obviously don’t understand what’s being said.

          3. Clampers Outside!

            ad hominem
            ad ˈhɒmɪnɛm/
            adverb & adjective
            adverb: ad hominem; adjective: ad hominem
            1. (of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.
            “an ad hominem response”

            You could do with reading that a few times.

            – – – –

            Good man, I like how you stepped around your ridiculous comparison …you’re a joke sometimes pet.

            That’s an insult.

          4. cian

            @Nigel: I’m not sure you’re comparing like-with-like.
            You grew up “raised Catholic and engaging in Catholic practices, with no choice in the matter at all” (I’m assuming in Catholic Ireland) and “was free to disengage from Catholic without detrimental consequences outside of whatever tensions it might have caused in my immediate family (none)”.

            A Muslim girl, (assume immigrant parents), raised Muslim and engaging in Muslin practices (including wearing hijabs), with no choice in the matter at all” (in a mostly Catholic-but-getting-more-liberal Ireland). However will she be free to disengage from Islam without detrimental consequences?
            1. you were a Catholic in a Catholic majority country – it is easy to be complacent
            2. you and your parents were both living in an increasingly liberal and secular society. The girls parent (as a minority) may not be getting more liberal
            3. when you stopped practicing nobody knew (unless you weren’t see at mass). If a Muslim woman stops wearing a hijab everyone knows.
            4.The cost of leaving your religion is different. In Catholicism , well you can’t technically leave :-), In Islam punishment for apostasy is death.

          5. Nigel

            My own experiences were intended to be merely illustrative of the principle that no-one gets to choose how they’re raised, and an aspirational expression of how I’d like it to be for all children who come to the point where they’re free to make these choices for themselves. We’re not that far removed from a time when stepping outside the bounds of Catholicism carried a fairly hefty price, just ask any girl who got pregnant outside marriage in the previous century. The fact that punishing apostasy with death simply will not be tolerated in our society is an extreme example of the sort of thing I mean. Getting free of or making peace with your family might be incredibly difficult, depending on the family, but society should allow them every freedom and opportunity to do so, if they wish.

      2. Anne

        I completely agree with you that the child will be brought up according to the religious will of the parents but I see this as further reinforcing the need for school to be a place where the pervasive arms of the parents and their religious beliefs can not be pushed onto the child. No religious iconography at alll. I don’t understand why you say banning an item of clothing smacks of fear and insecurity. Fear of what? Looking at someone in a hijab? Insecurity how? I mentioned in a previous post about a friend from Egypt. He showed me family photos of him as a child. His family have always been practising Muslims but up until he was around 10 his mother never wore a hijab – from that point on he said the societal pressure got too large and now she wears one all the time. If they can move from no hijab to mandatory hijab in one persons lifetime then they can move back to no hijab as Muslims living a progressive modern society. If it is a choice to wear one then that’s fine to do that in their own time similar to how we all dress how we want in our downtime. Living in a society where if you wear a hijab it MUST be worn at all times with no exceptions is very worrying for the women in question.

        1. Nigel

          Believe it or not, my own impulse is to ban them, too, but I don’t trust that impulse, to be honest. There are religions that require certain forms of clothing. I think a secular society can reach a reasonable accommodation with those requirements. I think on balance, banning something like that is more harmful in the long run than allowing it. There are plenty of things I’m happy to impose uniformly across society regardless of religious observances, such as laws against sexual or gender discrimination in the workplace.

          Having said that, you make a good point in suggesting that allowing it will put social pressure on observant Muslims to wear them, whereas banning them might remove that pressure… that’s certainly something worth considering. If it’s the law, then no fellow Muslims are going to look at you funny and want to know why your daughters aren’t wearing their hijabs, because it’s the law. That might make me rethink my position, actually. Thanks.

          1. Sarah

            I’m muslim and wear the headscarf but don’t agree with people pushing it on their kids. In Islam, there is no compulsion in religion. You can’t force a child to wear it and it’s against the religion to force anyone to do anything. But as with anything people take it as they will

          2. Anne

            “It’s against the religion to force anyone to do anything” – I find this a very odd and inaccurate statement. If it’s against the religion to force anyone to do anything then why was this making headlines only last week? It definitely sounds like they are being forced. Indeed you also say “in Islam there is no compulsion” ….

            “A new wave of protests against the compulsory wearing of hijab has spread across Iran, resulting in the arrests of dozens of women. “

          3. Lush

            I think what Sarah means is that The Queran makes no mention of the hidjab being compulsory; it is the Iranian authorities who have imposed this law. As is so often the case, in Islam as in Christianity, these are man-made (emphasis on man) rules.

        2. Nigel

          That being the case it would certainly make sense to not allow girls to wear them with their school uniforms.

          1. anyone

            Why would that ‘make sense’? Only if we ban all articles of religious attire in school e.g. catholic crosses and those disgusting scapulas people wear sometimes.

  5. Daisy Chainsaw

    My feeling is that Islam today is like Catholicism 50 years ago. Eventually, rather than all being stuck under a hijab, we’ll just live and let live without sky fairy interference.

    Also, the mouthiest anti Islamics would be the first to fall to their knees at the mere hint of a religious coup because at the end of the day, they’re just gobby cowards.

    1. Hans Landa

      Haha you’re deluded. Head over to Saudi Arabia there and continue living your life as you currently do and we’ll see how far ‘live and let live’ gets you. You’ll be minus a head within 6 months

    2. Clampers Outside!

      Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an ex-Muslim who campaigns against Islam. She’s very very “gobby” about it, but she is absolutely no coward. She has a fatwah on her head, and Women’s March organiser Linda Sarsour called for her genitals to be taken. Ayaan is no coward.
      That’s just Leftist claptrap you are spouting, the type of “gobby” talk that prevents the like of Bairbre from getting her piece heard.

      I would also add “gobby cowards” like Sarah Haider / @SarahTheHaider and Yasmine Mohammed / @ConfessionsExMu to name just two others…. there are too many to list, maybe you could do with listening to some of them.

  6. ahjayzis

    You can totally deplore Islamism and fundamentalist Islam without being “Islamophobic”.

    The largest death toll from these cancerous ideologies are in Muslim communities – hundreds of thousands. Look at the state of the place they originate – Saudi is a hellhole and it’s people suffer for it.

    Islam and the Irish Muslim community aren’t a homogenous whole either, I have a lot more time for what Shaykh Al Qadri has to say than Ali Selim. Selim is a fundamentalist, and in my view we should have heard the last of him “representing Irish Muslims” when he threatened our media. Everytime he gives us his wonderful 9th century opinion he damages his community. He denies any fundamentalist / islamist presence in Ireland – Al-Qadri calls him on this and seem far, far more secular / pluralist in outlook in general.

    1. Clampers Outside!

      +1

      What amazes me sometimes is that the media goes to these people for ‘the’ views of Muslims in this country…. it’s akin to going to a Cardinal and saying that they speak on behalf of the Irish people… or even just the Catholics in Ireland. Everyone knows at this stage they don’t speak for all of either grouping, not by a long shot.

      1. ahjayzis

        If I wanted to set back Muslim integration and harm inter-community relations I’d do what Sean O’Rourke does and wheel Selim in every time something Muslim-related comes up. It’s almost an attack on Muslims. Selim holds no elected office, he has no mandate to speak for the majority of normal thinking, real-world living Irish Muslims.

        We don’t go the Phelps family for analysis on abortion rights or religious freedom in America.

        1. Sarah

          Agree. As a Muslim I get so annoyed any time I hear him speak. He doesn’t know the religion properly so he spouts all kinds of nonsense that damages the Muslims in Ireland.

  7. Jimmey_russell

    ok can we have this article taken down now? Islam is a peaceful religion the word Islam means “peace” what about the crusades or the spanish inquisition or the magdelene laundries? Terrorism has nothing to do with Islam the more we allow hateful Islamophobic rants like these to be published the more moderate Muslims will be pushed into extremism.

      1. rotide

        Jimmy’s been at this for at least two years now, nearly entirely unnoticed.

        He’s a national treasure

      2. Nigel

        Is he a right wing parody of an SJW? Or an SJW parody of a right wing parody of an SJW? Does he even know any more?

      3. Tony

        Whatever about Jimmy’s intent or politics or irony levels or none of the above, the literal sense of his comment is spot on. Those who equate the actions and/or opinions of SOME Muslims with the religion of Islam are ignorant at best and bigots at worst.

        See other comments on this thread for prime examples of that same lazy/ignorant/bigoted (tick one) thinking

  8. nellyb

    Imported clerics only ape the local ones. Ireland is where unchallenged ignorance finds its home. I’d argue, though, we’re second place to the six counties.

    1. Anne

      Agreed. Prime Time last night – Ali Selim discussing how female ‘circumcism’ can be justified. Zero tolerance approach needed to this kind of attitude. Ireland is a modern society. We should not tolerate anyone with these views. Yet he was invited on prime time.

        1. Nigel

          I like to think of myself as pretty tolerant but having an advocate for female circumcision on national television is like having an advocate for violent child abuse on, and allowing him to represent himself as speaking for a religious community is equally abhorrent.

          1. anyone

            Why? In order to understand this kind of barbarism we need to discuss it openly.
            Not like how we didn’t do with the paedo enablers.

      1. Andrew

        Has Dr.Selim been asked to resign his post in publically funded Trinity? What have the students and staff of Trinity to say on this?
        Dr Catherine Lawless Dr Margaret Robson on the Gender and Women’s studies course? I wonder have they commented?
        lawless@tcd.ie is Catherine’s publically available email address if you’d like to ask her

    1. Pete Tong

      Is that why they’re slaughtering each other in the hundreds of thousands as well? You haven’t a clue mate. The Islamic world has been attacking the west for over a thousand years and they have been slaughtering each other for as long as well.

      1. Nigel

        No. It’s how you understand the current rise of Islamic extremism (though it would be interesting to read an article on the effects of non-Western imperialism.). It”s right there in his first sentence. If you work out why it is humanity spends so much time attacking each other and slaughtering each other by the thousands, be sure to let us know.

      2. f_lawless

        “Is that why they’re slaughtering each other in the hundreds of thousands as well?”
        Trying to dismiss my point with a logical fallacy doesn’t make you look very clever.
        As the article I linked to states, Islamic extremism was virtually non-existent 50 years ago. Its resurgence in modern times is largely due to the Saudis spending billions a year indoctrinating it’s own citizens and those of poorer Muslim nations. The Saudi dynasty has of course been propped up by the West for several decades.
        Western intervention in the Middle East in order to exploit oil reserves has had disastrous consequences for those living in the region in terms of quality of life. This has created the perfect breeding ground for the Islamic fundamentalists to spread their message.
        On top of that, Islamic militants have been trained and armed by the West to be used as tools to fight proxy wars. The mujahideen were spawned by the US which then gave rise to Al Qaeda.
        It was confirm by those leaked Clinton emails that the US government was supplying massive amounts of arms to Saudi Arabia and Qatar all the while knowing that those countries where in turn supplying ISIS.

  9. Leighanna Walsh

    I just want to point out that I was previously a friend of Bairbre’s who encountered the preamble to her show on her website, outlining her position. I found a number of elements of it problematic and overly-stereotypical for a critique of Islam, and was concerned about someone in her position, a relatively privilege white western woman with a platform most Muslims don’t have in the west, adding to the already massively volumous level of criticism towards Muslims & Islams.

    She claimed she didn’t want to “offend” Muslims or want right wingers and islamophobes to use her articles(which she clearly just says so she gets to keep her activist cred) but clearly has no concern for the voices of Muslims whatsoever. One of her points centred around the homophobia found in mainstream & conservative Islam, something I’ve encountered myself as an LGBT convert. I know many, many people who could talk about this. When I pointed this out, she condescendingly asked if I knew about this before converting, wondering why I would, when I took several months out researching it before I committed to converting.

    A friend of mine engaged in the thread telling her that she was born into a Muslim family, and had already faced near constant criticism from a young age, and didn’t find Bairbre’s approached particularly nuanced at all. Bairbre then demanded my friend answer her points, and went on moaning about how we wouldn’t let her talk about Islam because she was a white western woman(which we didn’t actually say, but gives an insight to the victim complex a lot of “critics” of Islam have).

    I think there’s room for nuanced discussion and criticism but Bairbre is just regurgitating the same talking points you see from Youtube Atheists and using right wing language like “social justice warriors”. It’s trash, there’s no value in it, she just completely alienated me and annoyed and hurt friends of mine, and she doesn’t remotely care. Too many activist types are solely driven by ego and self interest and can easily descend into right wing talking points as a result.

    1. Rob_G

      “… she condescendingly asked if I knew about this before converting, wondering why I would

      – I have to say that I find it odd myself that someone would decide to convert to a religion that holds people like themselves in such open disdain, but horses for courses, I guess…

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