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Robert Maynard's Profile

Robert Maynard's Avatar Joined about 7 years ago
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Go to: Mosques to become bigger part of German life – Chancellor Angela Merkel

Robert Maynard's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by Robert Maynard

Just out of interest. Where is tolerance built into the framework of laws?

On an even more basic, functional level, it's inherent in democracy that you tolerate outcomes you didn't desire. The only outcomes we have any business working to prevent in a liberal society are ones which would see the equal protection and rights of all citizens and minorities (including the inevitable white minority) dismantled, and that should define the extent of our efforts against Islam and religion in general.

Sun, 26 Sep 2010 10:42:27 UTC | #525077

Go to: Mosques to become bigger part of German life – Chancellor Angela Merkel

Robert Maynard's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by Robert Maynard

Well, I should be careful when I say 'creating'. Most of the time fear-mongers are not 'creating' worry out of thin air, so much as taking advantage of our evolved anxieties and conflict-oriented instincts when it comes to groups of 'others', and fretting over our relative strengths. The anxiety is primitive and so unsurprisingly the remedies people reach for are usually also primitive, anti-democratic, violent.

I repeatedly noted in my comment my concern about the spread of Islam as an ideology, and the challenging task of domesticating it. My point was that although I can't stand it when criticism of Islam is linked with racial discrimination and 'Islamophobia', articles like the original piece posted - along with its vile, thuggish commenters - really do demonstrate the nativism and racial paranoia that runs beneath a lot of the discussion.

We should honestly be as concerned about the spread of Islam as the spread of AIDs, but we should be working against it without framing the problem in terms of ethnic insurgency, which is precisely what the demographic argument does. That kind of talk will inevitably lead us to anti-democratic, conflict-oriented policies, and it's as hopeless as standing on a beach and trying to hold back the tide. If what we're worried about is indeed ideology, and not brown people, we should be working to fortify secular values in our laws and in our education, not fretting over how to stem a tide of foreigners.

Sun, 26 Sep 2010 05:54:59 UTC | #525034

Go to: Mosques to become bigger part of German life – Chancellor Angela Merkel

Robert Maynard's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by Robert Maynard

I suppose it depends on your definitions. But I would say that 'creating worry' over changes in demographics is functionally equivalent to 'mongering fear'. :P

Sun, 26 Sep 2010 05:17:02 UTC | #525027

Go to: Mosques to become bigger part of German life – Chancellor Angela Merkel

Robert Maynard's Avatar Jump to comment 32 by Robert Maynard

I loathe the multiculturalist canard that being concerned about Islam - an ideology that is several centuries less domesticated than Christianity - equates to base racism, but when you see this kind of fear-mongering over demographics, it really is pure paranoid nativism. It really is about 'foreign hordes' and their 'alien gods'.

Now, this should obviously concern white Christian Europeans that cherish the ethnic heritage of their pasty continent, and excite their fetish for conflict and apocalypse, but why should any of this shift the strategies of atheists and secularists? All of a sudden "they" are breeding too fast, and we throw our hands up in dismay, and literally start coyly discussing old Nazi policies as a remedy, with winks and chuckles? "Ah, I'm kidding about sterilising all of them, but seriously though.." Shut up. It's pathetic.

All this shift does is make the task of secularisation and religious domestication more difficult, and more imperative. Nothing more. If we want to call ourselves moral humanists, we play by the effing rules.

[Edit: This is in response to the original Canada Free Press piece that linked to that rotten Last Crusade site - the Reuters one has a much less hostile tone]

Sun, 26 Sep 2010 04:12:24 UTC | #525016

Go to: Debate - Hitchens, Harris, Dennett vs Boteach, D'Souza, Wright

Robert Maynard's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Robert Maynard

I have bookmarked it for later.. but the audio seems.. really, really quiet. :\

Mon, 16 Nov 2009 05:13:00 UTC | #413718

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