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Brisbane Atheists Message Board Brisbane Atheists Meetup Group (BAMG) Discussion Forum › The Peculiar Case Of Waleed Aly – apologist for Islam.

The Peculiar Case Of Waleed Aly – apologist for Islam.

Steve H.
Gone_Xtianing
Brisbane, AU
Post #: 675
The Peculiar Case Of Waleed Aly – apologist for Islam. (Part 1/2 - for word limit reasons)

I like Waleed Aly. I’ve never met him but from listening to him and watching him on various medium I can’t help but feel he must be a pretty nice guy. Aly first came to prominence in my mind a few years back when he used to appear on ABC TV’s morning news programme where he would provide insightful commentary on the various main stories in the national daily newspapers. The question that started to dance around my mind at the time though was – How could such a softly spoken, intelligent and seemingly gentle man adhere to a religion that believes that Mohammed flew a winged horse into heaven and that anyone leaving the faith should be put to death (a softcore porn way of saying – if you don’t continue to pretend to believe what I say I believe then you shall be murdered). In other words – how could Aly be a Muslim? Not content to keep this thought to myself I actually sent Aly an email asking him for his thoughts on the subject. He didn’t reply – but really there was no compulsion for him to do so and I’m sure he had more than enough on his plate than to worry about satisfying my curiosity.


Anyway, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then. Unfortunately though this water has often been polluted by splodges of red caused by the blood dripping from yet another atrocity carried out in the name of Islam. And invariably Aly, who has now become quite the poster boy for the Australian Muslim community, will appear in the media to explain that those committing these acts of violence are not adhering to the ‘true’ Islam. [A brief aside: Every Muslim believes they are following the ‘true’ Islam and most will have different interpretations and so the presumption that any form of Islam can be described as ‘true’ is a nonsense. This is also true of Christianity. There are dozens of Christian sects in Christianity and all no doubt regard themselves as being the true form, however, no matter the sect the majority of other Christians will see them as being heretics (even the Catholics with 700million followers can’t claim a majority). Back to my main argument..]. My issue with Aly’s apologetics though, isn’t just to do with what he says, which is patently untrue (I’ll return to that statement shortly) but also about how and why he says what he says.

Aly is no doubt an intellectual and to explain his view of what Islam is all about he puts his arguments in to an intellectual framework that when taken in by someone, not familiar with the subject, the arguments sound so plausible that one can be forgiven for thinking they must be true. As I said before, clearly they are not (I refer to it as theologibabble) – but why does Aly have to resort to such a highfalutin sophisticated approach? Why doesn’t he take a leaf out of the Christian book and instead of asking – what would Jesus do? – ask himself – what would Mohammed do? I mean, given that Mohammed’s writings, teachings and actions are the cornerstone of what Islam is all about and given that he was only trying to get into the minds of unsophisticated 7th century desert dwellers – surely the resultant scriptures aren’t beyond the understanding of people living in 21st century Australia.
Steve H.
Gone_Xtianing
Brisbane, AU
Post #: 676
Part 2/2

So what would Mohammed do? What would this dessert dwelling illiterate 7th century WARLORD do? This man who was clearly a misogynist, a homophobe, a philanderer and a pedophile (to be fair to Mohammed though, although he married a six year old girl he did wait until she was nine before he had sex with her). What would he do? Well I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be wasting his time with going through the tortuous mental gymnastics that Aly goes through to explain the actions of his followers. In fact Mohammed had a pretty straightforward view of how his followers should deal with pesky infidels – convert them, subjugate them or kill them. Simple.

Such an approach, of course, would not rest easily on the shoulders of Aly. For a start he is an Australian and lives in Australia and so unlike Islamic states where stonings and beheadings are carried out to punish crimes as heinous as blasphemy, homosexuality or adultery etc with alacrity, Australia, and I strongly suspect the overwhelming majority of Australian Muslims, would never countenance such barbarity. But I also suspect that Aly actually enjoys some of the temporal pleasures that living in a civilized Western nation such as Australia has to offer even though Aly also wants to identify himself as being a Muslim. One can only wonder as to the confusion inside his mind space where the Muslim side of his brain thinks his Australian side needs to be converted, subjugated or killed! Of course this can’t happen otherwise he would go insane and so to overcome the cognitive dissonance he constructs elaborate arguments to make out there really isn’t a dichotomy between these incompatible world views.

Aly, of course, is being disingenuous. No matter how eloquently he puts forward his sophistry and casuistry, eloquence should never be allowed to trump truth. And the truth is that nearly all acts of violence carried out in the name of Islam have tentacles leading back to words that can be found in the Islamic ‘holy’ texts – and Aly should acknowledge this fact. Clearly there is a problem in the Muslim world and this problem is going to be even harder to solve while intellectuals such as Aly obfuscate the truth. The problem here for Aly is that if he were to fess up then he would also need to acknowledge he was a hypocrite. I mean it would be difficult for him to say on the one hand that Islamic violence can be justified by its perpetrators through reference to certain parts of the Islamic texts but then on the other hand promote the fact that these texts are the word of god and should be regarded as virtuous - without him being branded as a hypocrite. Unless he endorses the violence!

There is a way out for Aly though, and that would be to campaign within the Muslim community to bring out a revised edition of the Koran and Hadith. A newer up to date version which clearly annunciates what it is ‘moderate’ Muslims actually believe in. So if moderates don’t believe in executing homosexuals then expunge all references to the contrary. Likewise with ‘crimes’ such as apostacy, adultery and blasphemy, etc. Of course, when thinking about the likelihood of this happening snowball and hell come to mind – although it does seem strange to me that even though they believe that the Koran is the uncontestable word of God they appear to have no problem ignoring the bits they don’t like. If they’re going to ignore them why not get rid of them? – why leave a loaded gun lying around the house?

Of course, if Aly were to be totally intellectually honest with himself then he would recant his faith. He must know deep down inside that belief in any god is simply intellectually unsustainable - It’s an insane notion, though not as insane as actually thinking you know what’s inside the mind of this imaginary being. There is, however, a problem for Aly should he take this approach, it could well be that one of his current fellow travelers will decide to follow the word of God and have him murdered. It’s quite a pickle that Aly has found himself in.
Marcus
freakvent
Brisbane, AU
Post #: 42
Islam should be banned. Plain and simple.

Why do we allow this vile and disgusting ideology? If people are allowed to openly support an ideology that states in clear text that non-adherents to this same ideology should be forced to support it, be forced to live as second class citizens with a tax not applicable to supporters of this ideology, or be put to death, then why would we have a problem with people wearing Nazi uniforms, displaying Swastikas, and supporting the calls for the killings of Jews? What's the difference? Because islam calls itself a religion? Because they believe in talking ants and winged horses and therefore can't be that dangerous?

When will someone of influence stand up and point out the obvious - that THE problem is islam itself? With HD beheadings in our faces, there is no longer any room for pondering about whether islam should be interpreted this way or that way. It's CLEAR, if you actually read the koran itself. There is NOTHING that the islamic state savages have done that is not islamic. It's straight from the koran. Either you support it, or you don't.

Nut cases like Waleed Aly should be exposed for what they are - supporters of an ideology that is worse than Nazism and Fascism together. So thanks for your post, Steve.
Brooke B.
user 12682338
Brisbane, AU
Post #: 39
Thank you Steve for your post, I also find Waleed Aly an interesting charachter and if he ever does reply to your email please let us know!

Onto another apologist for islam, did you happen to see the 3 hr discussion between Sam Harris and Cenk Uygur. I am always amazed at how eloquently Sam Harris delivers his arguments. If you did, or anyone for that matter, I would be keen to hear your thoughts.

Steve H.
Gone_Xtianing
Brisbane, AU
Post #: 678
Thank you Brooke. I have indeed seen most of the discussion you mention but a poor internet connection meant I decided to leave a full viewing to a later time - a time that hasn't yet made itself available. Like you though I'm a huge fan of Harris's - in fact it was after reading his book 'Letter to A Christian Nation' that I decided to become serious about my atheism.
Bren
brendoug
Brisbane, AU
Post #: 1
this thread caught my eye because I too find Waleed a likable guy. All that you have said is true enough but I don't think it's any different from the cherry picking christians who hand pick the verses they like. Perhaps the Bible itself needs to be re-written. Obviously as people become educated, they tend to loose their fanaticism. But don't forget the crusades, the inquisition, the mission fields, and slavery were all justified by christianity. Religions are so bloody divisive. Imagine......smile
Steve H.
Gone_Xtianing
Brisbane, AU
Post #: 682
I kind of understand what you say Bren but I think we at least need to give Christianity a bit of credit for reforming itself - dragging and kicking all the way maybe - but it has changed. Christianity still has significant problems with its doctrines but violence done by Christians in the name of Christianity these days is really quite isolated. I don't believe the same can be said of Islam. Islam is in need of a major reformation - a reformation that makes the current misogeny, homophobia, murder of infidels and apostates, insurgency, suicide bombings etc, etc, that is clearly permissible within the framework of the existing Islamic texts - unislamic! Christianity has largely succeeded in doing this. Many of its sects have quietly put away the repugnant parts of their doctrines and made an effort to fit in with modern civilised society. To me this is a project that Muslims also need to embark upon but progress will be stifled while we have guys like Aly refusing to accept there is a problem to be solved. If it requires Muslims to accept a cherry picked version of their sacred texts to make this happen then its a type of hypocrisy I'm all in favour of.
Rob W.
robarc
Brisbane, AU
Post #: 27
It is absurd to say that Waleed Aly is an intellectual. Some have called him a public intellectual. He is a values-free zone and can, like the lawyer he was, argue either side of any question as he was trained. He tends to obfuscate rather than clearly reveal what he is speaking about and he is quite capable of talking a subject to death. What some grant him as intellectual rigour is mainly sophistry dressed up in language crafted to confuse. It is because he lacks any taste for values that he has no datum to bring him back to common sense. He can't see the relative significance of the issues he attempts to deal with so cannot decide what is significant and what is not. He gets himself lost as a result along with some of his audience.

He is at his most disgraceful in the Minefield discussion on ABC Radio National on the subject of Aung Sang Suu Kyi where he performed as an apologist for her omission of criticism of the treatment of the Rohingya by the government and Buddhist extremist vigilantes. See or hear the podcast at http://www.abc.net.au...­
It was a relief to hear his guest Catherine Renshaw put him in his place and expose the paucity of his argument. But he kept on coming back hoping to convince her and us of his nonsense.

The Minefield is a joke when you consider that it is hosted by two intellectual cripples; a devout Christian (Scott Stephens) and a devout Muslim (Waleed has done the Haj to Mecca) Some intellectual. what they need is a thinker un-hobbled by irrationality. Someone with a Science background or a Liberal Arts background.
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