Before you read this article, I highly advise you to read my articles: Become a Successful Left Wing Muslim Apologist in Six Steps, and How Islam Apologist Leftists May Respond To Bill Maher/Sam Harris Discussing Islam. They provide the necessary context for this article.
Bina Shah is a writer for NY Times, Muslim feminist, and a stellar journalist. She has written many articles that I do enjoy and find valuable for public discourse. I highly advise you to read her work.
However, she has recently spouted a cliche fallacy on the discussions around Islam. She has suggested that Bill Maher and Sam Harris should not discuss Islam reform because they’re white men. We had a twitter exchange in response to this. Below are screenshots of our exchange.
In this exchange, Bina has suggested that Sam Harris and Bill Maher are white men and that somehow makes them ineligible to discuss Islam. If you have read some of my recent articles that I mentioned in the beginning of this article, you will see how predictable this response is.
This ad hominem fallacy is commonplace in today’s liberal discourse. What you are determines the validity of your argument over what your ideas are. Your identity is the most important requirement if you want to engage a specific subject. Never mind that you are a human/organism talking about other humans/organisms. (#Humanism anybody?)
I would like to copy and paste an excerpt from one of the links mentioned earlier in this article. This excerpt was my predictive simulation of how left-wing Islam apologists would respond to Sam Harris and Bill Maher discussing Islam Reform.
Oh my god this is so stupid. How come two white men are on national TV talking about Islam? They are whitesplaining, better yet kuffarsplaining Islam. Sam Harris, as a white man, needs to check his privilege. He has no business telling ME and MY FAMILY that WE need reform. As if these are white colonizers telling us savages to “be civil.”
The fact that her best response to this article was that it’s not innovative, even though it predicted her exact reaction, is quite amusing to me. I wonder what her thoughts were on seeing her own words predicted before she said it? Does it not seem ridiculous how circular these identity-based arguments become? Does she not realize her response to Sam Harris and Bill Maher’s conversation was dependent on their white maleness is extremely cliche and predictable?
Maybe it was an instant denial, such as the one people have when they see others do impersonations of them. “I’m not like that,” they say. But everybody around them says “oh yes you are.” Could this be one of those instant dismissals? You tell me.
I expressed that in the western discourse, apostates of the Muslim world (or Ex-Muslims as we call ourselves) have little representation and little voice. As a result of this, many Ex-Muslims do listen to what these two western atheists with the privilege of free speech say.
She tries to dilute the subject of Islam by discussing its cultural diversity. I explain that many people still value apostasy laws, is that not an issue of perceived scriptural infallibility? If domestic violence is codified in the Quran (Quran 4:34), and this is used to defend legalized domestic violence, is that not an issue of scriptural infallibility? Open discussion on Islam does need to take place in order to challenge this illusion in holy books.
I bet she expected me to call her an “SJW Regressive-leftist cuck” but was surprised to see that I don’t settle with ad hominems. I guess her narrative of “New Atheist troll doesn’t know what he’s talking about” wasn’t fulfilled. Because her “nuanced narrative” was discomforted by this response that belief in holy books do have problematic sociopolitical consequences, she muted me.
The religion of Islam has many problematic effects in today’s world. There is the issue of Islamic terrorism, misogyny, homophobia, apostasy/blasphemy laws, etc. widespread in many parts of the world. While many local cultures do have their own values prior to religious influence; Islam does little to challenge these values but instead codifies it. If the rest of society values scriptural authority, it becomes a difficult task to challenge these values without being called a blasphemer.
So whether it hurts an American Muslim’s feelings or not is irrelevant. Her feelings doesn’t debunk the idea that Islam needs to be discussed.
If Miss Shah had challenged the idea that Islam needs reform, or provided feedback on what was said rather than comment on the skin color/genitals of the one who said it, we would’ve had a productive conversation.
But she didn’t. All that mattered to her was the skin color (white) and genitalia (male). Whether that constitutes as racism or sexism, I leave it up to you to decide. But moving forward, can we please critique ideas and not personal characteristics? We need to move away from the “excesses” of identity politics. Because if we don’t:
The left wing will self-cannibalize. This needs to stop!
What do you think? Feel free to comment below. Don’t forget to follow me at: