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Muslim extremists storm Irshad's book launch in Amsterdam - Comments

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 61 by Steve Zara

comment 59 by sidelined

Yet more clueless young men acting like children throwing tantrums

Have any psychologists published anything about this kind of extraordinary behaviour? Personally, I just can't understand the motivation behind it. What I find very strange is that it shows young men acting in a way that makes them look the exact opposite of tough - they appear weak and vulnerable to mere words.

So if this is an honest reaction to a book launch it seems to be a combination of extreme sensitivity combined with a total lack of self-awareness. That sounds like a mental deficit to a non-expert like me - these people are unwell?

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 01:16:54 UTC | #911240

helena!'s Avatar Comment 62 by helena!

I wouldn't buy her book if I were you. She's is also a liberal muslim and believes her interpretation is the right one of islam. Just like those new agers who say god is love. She can't let go of islam and puts on the blinders and defends it blindly ignoring how harmful this religion is. She's trying to reinvent it. It's futile and she is putting herself in danger. Yes she is brave but for stupid reasons. Quite deluded and I do fear for her safety you can't be so naive with these lunatics.

So don't buy her book. If you are an atheist you are wasting your money. But still I would support her right to free speech.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 01:29:10 UTC | #911241

prettygoodformonkeys's Avatar Comment 63 by prettygoodformonkeys

Just drove from Prince Rupert to Terrace (northern BC, Canada) 160k of real wilderness in a slushy blizzard alongside a swollen river just a few meters from the slippery road. Entered the warm house to check my RDF feed, after two days of no internet, and came across all these wonderful comments, trying to pick one as the best; can't do it.

I love the whole friggin lot of you. Thank you all.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 01:34:30 UTC | #911243

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 64 by Border Collie

"Allah Akbar" and spit. Can't chimps do that?

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 01:49:20 UTC | #911247

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 65 by Border Collie

Steve, the motivation is Islam.

"So if this is an honest reaction to a book launch it seems to be a combination of extreme sensitivity combined with a total lack of self-awareness. That sounds like a mental deficit to a non-expert like me - these people are unwell?"

That's probably a more accurate question than many PhD's in psych can come up with. You're hardly a non-expert.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 01:55:17 UTC | #911248

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 66 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 02:01:53 UTC | #911249

-TheCodeCrack-'s Avatar Comment 67 by -TheCodeCrack-

I can't get over people like this. I would never dream of embarrassing myself publicly like them. I can't even imagine myself storming into a book launching event and screaming at the author and people calmly standing around. I don't know where they get off on doing this stuff....

Growing a big wild looking beard, yelling like cavemen, and getting into some quasi-tribal mob roaming around attempting to intimate people out of saying things they disagree with. Truly astounding it's the year 2011. I doubt even our ancient ancestors 100,000s of years ago would act so lowly.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 02:05:17 UTC | #911251

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 68 by AtheistEgbert

Comment 61 by Steve Zara :

Have any psychologists published anything about this kind of extraordinary behaviour?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowd_psychology

Enjoy.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 02:07:34 UTC | #911252

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 69 by Steve Zara

Comment 65 by Border Collie

Steve, the motivation is Islam.

It can't be that simple because so many don't do it. If Islam is a motivator (and I don't deny that it is), it's not a very effective one. Perhaps Islam is an effective enabler for certain kinds of behaviour - it's an environment that either permits or encourages such strangeness.

Comment 68 by AtheistEgbert

Crowd behaviour doesn't seem to be at work here because this isn't spontaneous.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 02:13:29 UTC | #911255

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 70 by Richard Dawkins

This horrible film deserves to go viral. What a pathetic religion: how ignominious to need such aggressively crazed defenders.

Richard

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 02:43:58 UTC | #911257

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 71 by QuestioningKat

I found this longer version

Three minutes in and I can't watch it any longer.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 03:05:17 UTC | #911258

basti2682's Avatar Comment 72 by basti2682

Send them all to jail and get this crap over with.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 03:10:03 UTC | #911259

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 73 by AtheistEgbert

Group identity is a wonderful explanation for this behavour. What makes this so ugly is that the group are stirred up rather like a lynch mob, a common hatred of a chosen scapegoat. People behave this way because as a group they feel more powerful. For me, this is one of the fundamental explanations for evil.

That is why promoting free thought and liberalism are greatl ways to combat collectivism and authoritarianism.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 03:27:44 UTC | #911261

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 74 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 61 by Steve Zara

Personally, I just can't understand the motivation behind it.

Yeah those multiple choice questions are real hard.....

A) Stamp collecting

B) Islam

C) Train spotting

D) Wild flower pressing

Hmm....a tough one.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 03:34:23 UTC | #911262

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 75 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 03:43:03 UTC | #911263

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 76 by Peter Grant

http://youtube.com/watch?v=nSFxZ62E7sQ Muslim extremists storm Irshad's book launch in Amsterdam

Hope that helps a bit.

Comment 70 by Richard Dawkins

This horrible film deserves to go viral. What a pathetic religion: how ignominious to need such aggressively crazed defenders.

Richard

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 03:48:14 UTC | #911264

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 77 by Steve Zara

comment 74 by Schrodinger's Cat

Yeah those multiple choice questions are real hard.....

"Islam" isn't a motivation, it's a belief system. If "Islam" was the motivation, then hundreds of millions would be attempting to find book launches to shout at. Even being a religious fundamentalist isn't a motivation for such activity. It's like saying that "being very drunk" is a motivation.

What I'm trying to understand is why these people think that public bullying and threatening of those with a somewhat different belief system is appropriate, and what on Earth they think it's going to achieve for the promotion and support of their faith.

This isn't anything as simple as crowd behaviour, as this was not spontaneous: these people had clearly planned to turn up at this event.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 03:53:01 UTC | #911265

Fouad Boussetta's Avatar Comment 78 by Fouad Boussetta

I exchanged comments with Irshad Manji just after the publication of her first book, and I sadly have to say that I agree 100% with Comment 62 by helena!

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 04:05:57 UTC | #911268

Capt. Bloodeye's Avatar Comment 79 by Capt. Bloodeye

Manji, a practicing Muslim

So she believes that there is one true god and the koran is true. So do the thugs who invaded a civilised meeting. They take it literally. How can she be a muslim if she doesnt? This sickens me from both sides. Religion demeans the human race.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 04:07:57 UTC | #911269

Zeuglodon's Avatar Comment 80 by Zeuglodon

Comment 77 by Steve Zara

What I'm trying to understand is why these people think that public bullying and threatening of those with a somewhat different belief system is appropriate, and what on Earth they think it's going to achieve for the promotion and support of their faith.

Two words: emotion driven. The thinking is a justification for afterwards to fit with what they already know. They're raised to treat their beliefs as something to love, as a kind of honour, and disagreements are as painful to them as having family members physically threatened. Imagine they're imagining their ''beliefs'' as being physically threatened and you get the scope of the problem.

Why those emotions? I guess because, when they fight off dissenters and get rid of them, they are then surrounded by people who believe what they believe, there's less disagreement and greater relationship compatibility with the people around them. I think the social and sexual advantage of this arrangement for a social species should become clear, hence why it is an evolutionary strategy as much as an individual tactic. Think of it as a kind of sexual selection.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 04:19:35 UTC | #911270

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 81 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 77 by Steve Zara

"Islam" isn't a motivation, it's a belief system. If "Islam" was the motivation, then hundreds of millions would be attempting to find book launches to shout at.

The majority of Muslims.....indeed the majority of any ideology......simply don't have the time or disposition to follow the creed down to the last dot of the 'i' of literal interpretation. But there will always be those who do ! And these thugs are simply doing just exactly what the Koran tells them to do.

My attitude is that even if any ideology only has 1% of followers who take it absolutely literally, we cannot judge by the lazy 99% who don't......but by the 1% who do.

The fact that even the most fundamentalist adherent of stamp collecting does not go round cutting people's heads off is what makes stamp collecting acceptable. How many crazed advocates of an ideology have to advocate heads being chopped off before you find the numbers who don't do that just a pathetic excuse ?

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 04:24:32 UTC | #911272

Sean_W's Avatar Comment 82 by Sean_W

Comment 77 by Steve Zara

What I don't like about your line of thinking here is that it is possible to take away from it the belief that if it wasn't Islam it would just be something else. These boys are damaged goods, they were just waiting to be scooped up by the nastiest elements of Islam. Or worse, just by bad people misusing Islam.

But suppose we find out that most of them did well in school, have no or only minor run-ins with authority, they have close relationships -the whole bit- could we accept then that they are perfectly normal boys that just so happen to actually believe what they've been taught?

Then it would become a question of what kind of beliefs make it okay to do what these boys are doing?

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 05:02:19 UTC | #911274

RDfan's Avatar Comment 83 by RDfan

Comment 75 by helena!

She needs to take a look at how Salmon Rushdie faced the reality of what these islam defenders are capable of.

It appears that Irshad Manji is well aware of Salman Rushdie; here's her interview with him. She's also a lesbian, a professor at New York University, founder of The Moral Courage Project, and a writer and filmmaker. Here's an article about her with some biographical notes about her life; there's also a wikipedia entry on her. But, yeah, I agree: she needs to lose the religion.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 06:09:29 UTC | #911279

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 84 by susanlatimer

In many ways, it reminds me of "gangstah" culture. Young men who are loyal to a code that doesn't make sense in the first place. Crimes of "disrespect" (which can include looking at someone the wrong way, accidentally bumping into them or just not doing what they tell you to do) are punishable by severe beatings and often death.

Snitching is one of the worst offenses. If a guy rapes a woman in your neighbourhood and you cooperate with the police, you're a rat and you can't get much lower than that. It makes you a target in the eyes of the code, a deserving one.

In some ways, I agree with Steve Zara. There's a bizarre brotherhood going on that isn't necessarily about religion.

In other ways, I think Islam is a superversion of that sort of tribal code so it IS about religion because it's about an immoral and ultimately destructive code. It's violent, hateful and delusional but it's given credibility out of cultural respect because it is a religion.

Christianity is no better but most Christian cultures have had to adapt to a great extent in cultures where enlightenment principles have taken root, which dilutes the code significantly. Where Christians are a majority, the code can be pretty ugly. Most of us encounter Christian culture that has been watered down by secular pressure but if they had their druthers, life for us wouldn't be much better than it would be for your average Afghani.

Islam, Christianity, the Mafia, Satan's Choice. Many neighbourhoods actually believe they keep the peace. And they all throw a benefit or two throughout the year for a local children's charity.

That might be a little off-the-wall but I see so many comparisons.

With one hand, they offer to protect your family and with the other, they gladly make you an example if you step out of line.

It's late. I'm thinking out loud. I expect to be shredded for such half-formed thoughts.

Or worse. Ignored.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 06:14:01 UTC | #911280

regginon's Avatar Comment 85 by regginon

Those guys are scary. Her book looks interesting, though. I look forward to reading it.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 06:25:21 UTC | #911281

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 86 by susanlatimer

Comment 83 by RDfan

Thank you for the link to Irshad's interview with Rushdie. What a great conversation. I hope everyone listens to it.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 07:32:07 UTC | #911283

Rosbif's Avatar Comment 87 by Rosbif

Had I spent the last 14 billion years creating and managing a vast expanding universe, connecting everything with infinitly tiny particles, creating stars and planets at will, then destroying them and creating more interesting elements to build with, making life, listening to the prayers of all living things, reading all thoughts, making lists of who gets to love me for ever, I would be really pleased that these chaps shouted at someone who wrote a book they didn't understand. Why, I'd probably make a special order of virgins for when these visionaries finally do make it to my kingdom in the sky.

..... or not.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 08:38:13 UTC | #911287

Graham1's Avatar Comment 88 by Graham1

That lovely tolerant country has given itslef over to these medieval devils. Shame, shame, shame.

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 09:06:44 UTC | #911289

Jonathan Dore's Avatar Comment 89 by Jonathan Dore

The people at UCL who let a single thug with a camcorder stop their meeting last week could learn a thing or two from their friends in the low countries.

http://www.iheu.org/threats-violence-force-cancellation-university-talk-sharia-law

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 09:39:03 UTC | #911290

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 90 by Premiseless

This guy really believes democracy involves allowing Islam freedoms to "Take over the world."

He really believes this is the ultimate freedom. I think he may even have some translations of the Quran in Welsh?

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 10:00:33 UTC | #911292