Today–September 30–marks International Blasphemy Rights Day. While the majority of the nonreligious are posting comic posts on social-media outlets today to mark this day as a day to criticize religion and say doing so is OK, I’m going to use today as an opportunity to address the left in the developed world, in regards to its stance on religion.
To all of you progressives:
I believe your minds are in the right place in regards to wanting to make the world a better place for everyone, and not just a privileged few. But giving a free-hall pass to people who commit heinous acts in the name of religion is not the way to go, nor is making excuses for them, nor attempting to shift the blame onto other entities, such as the governments of industrialized nations such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, etc.–though I will be among the last people to say these nations don’t have shitty policies, which effect the world beyond their borders.
Now on to the topic at hand: Islam. Islam is a religion, not a race–let’s at least try to distinguish between the two terms. Also, why are you sending us the message that Islam is beyond criticism, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is the enemy of humanity, is Islamophobic, bigoted, racist, pro-war, pro-occupation, pro-imperialism, etc.? Islam is not special, and does not warrant, nor should it be given, special consideration or treatment. There is a line between defending people who happen to be Muslims and demanding Islam be considered above reproach, critique, and even mockery, and treated as such. For instance, you’ll have to make like everyone else and live with it when people call out Islamic apologists like Hamza Tzortzis and Reza Aslan whenever they talk crap. And, lastly for this topic, stop it with the promiscuous use of the term ‘Islamophobia’–it doesn’t do anyone any favours, and we need to keep this discussion moving if we want to solve problems. If we want to end religious privilege–everywhere–we have to bring Islam to the same level as all religious and superstitious belief systems.
I would also like to take this chance to point out that criticizing, satirizing, and parodying religion, as opposed to giving it privileged status, does not infringe on people’s right to be religious. In societies such as Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, European nations, etc., people have the right to believe whatever the hell we want; what we don’t have the right to do is impose our beliefs on other people, in any way, or use our beliefs to infringe on the rights of others. If you want a better world, you should acknowledge the damage religion–and yes, that includes Islam–does, and help ensure it does not have a privileged place in society, but instead is kept in check like any other ideology is, and should be.