• Dan Dredger wrote a new post, Washington Post whitewashes sharia law 3 years ago

    By Jerry Coyne

    All over the liberal media, most notably at HuffPo, the drive continues to argue that Islam is not responsible for anything bad. Frequently this is done by saying that it’s merely a fla […]

    • “….The leftish newspaper The Washington Post has just published a piece that would fit very nicely over at HuffPo, whose religion page is such a model for whitewashing Islam that its editor could have been Resa Aslan…..”

      Is Jerry perhaps not aware that the political editor / director of Huffington Post UK is none other than Mr. Mehdi ‘proud-to-be-a-muslim’ Hasan, who addressed a muslim audience thus (back in 2009) :

      “The kuffar, the disbelievers, the atheists who remain deaf and stubborn to the teachings of Islam, the rational message of the Koran; they are described in the Koran as “a people of no intelligence”, Allah describes them as not of no morality, not as people of no belief – people of “no intelligence” – because they’re incapable of the intellectual effort it requires to shake off those blind prejudices, to shake off those easy assumptions about this world, about the existence of God. In this respect, the Koran describes the atheists as “cattle”, as cattle of those who grow the crops and do not stop and wonder about this world.”

      In January 2014, Hasan was awarded the Services to Media award at the British Muslim Awards.

      mooooo !

    • Just making sure we all have the facts straight. The opening image for this piece shows the results of a Pew Center surveys which indeed seems to indicate that a large percentage of Islam followers in Asia and Africa are supporting some of the extreme stipulations of the sharia law. But those percentages are for “sharia supporters”. What percentage of population falls under “sharia supporter” in those parts of the world? For an objective analysis that piece of information needs to be provided as well.

    • @Catalin Florea

      The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society

      Scroll down two inches and see the % of all muslims that want sharia law in their countries. The rest of this study is also troubling.

    • Catalin

      Click on the little gray box above that says “Why Evolution is True” and that will bring you to the full article on the website where you will find more graphs that will pretty much answer your question.

    • oops. Neodarwinian beat me to it. Thanks. That link works just fine too.

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      Open post to Jerry Coyne

      Jesus. A hell of a lot of fulmination about the left on this site. The liberal media? The leftist Washington Post? What’s wrong with liberalism and leftism, Mr. Coyne? Bias is not a good thing, obviously. But every newspaper and journal has an editorial policy. And everyone who writes for the media has an agenda – including you.
      (If you want a completely unbiased news source then watch fox news.)
      I understand that we shouldn’t whitewash Islam[ism] or (fundamentalist) Christianity, but why denigrate the left? Without progressivism and dissension and a viable left there is NO hope for humanity, and people like you, the scientists, will be out of a job; we will all be extinct!!
      If you don’t like the Washington Post then read Chomsky, and check him out on YouTube. You might think twice about criticizing the rather anemic yet all-important left.
      The left needs to be revitalized, not denigrated.

    • Dan

      I understand that we shouldn’t whitewash Islam[ism] or (fundamentalist) Christianity, but why denigrate the left?

      Because we shouldn’t whitewash the left either.

      Criticism doesn’t mean everything is bad.

      Praise doesn’t mean everything is good.

      Sharia Law cannot stand anywhere outside of a caliphate without being an offence to the rights of an individual with no realistic choice of religion (or no religion). (Caliphates are their own special kind of disgrace.)

    • Tim replied 3 years ago


      Coyne’s complaint with the left concerns what he sees as a blindness to oppression of women, gays, and minorities in predominantly Muslim countries because too many inconsistent liberals are loathe to criticize Muslim societies because they see them as victims – mainly of colonialism or imperialism. Coyne believes that liberal values are being thrown under the bus to curry favor with such “victims” and, especially, that a significant portion of the left doesn’t want to face the fact that there is widespread adherance to or support for barbaric, misogynistic and homophobic practices that is motivated or at least reinforced by Islam as it is practiced in many countries. Coyne cites the Pew polling data in many of his posts on the subject.

      I wouldn’t call the Washington Post “leftish” though – maybe compared to the Washington Times, but that rag is run by Moonies. The Post’s record on allowing George Will’s lies about climate change is atrocious – they don’t even fact-check the guy.

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      Tim, Phil, others:

      Who defends Sharia law or whitewashes it? How pervasive is this? I am skeptical. Cite some specific articles. The more the better.
      There are stupid people on the left and there are intelligent, outspoken people on the left.
      I’ll bet that the majority of leftists are completely opposed to sharia law. You can probably find very few articles written in left-leaning newspapers denouncing sharia law, and that is because there’s no need to denounce it; it’s like denouncing crime. (Who’s going to write an article about the evils of crime?) So the writers from left-leaning newspapers that do defend it – if that is what they are doing – draw attention to themselves.
      Let’s focus on the right. The extreme likelihood is that the destruction of human liberty will come from the right, not the left.
      Liberal media is an offensive term. Sounds like Jewish media. Sounds like Trump, sounds distorted and conspiratorial. The media is owned by mom and pop, the corporation, the establishment.
      There are actually very few truly leftist magazines or newspapers left. There’s The Nation, but how many people read The Nation?
      (I call the conservative NY Post a rag. And the Wall Street Journal regularly publishes articles denying climate change.)
      So maybe there are some liberals that are bleeding heart liberals. There have always been bleeding heart liberals. (Now renamed as the regressive left.) That is nothing new. So I say once again: let’s not marginalize and tear down the all-important left. Let’s be critical, yes, but let us not generalize or demonize. And let us keep our sense of proportion: the Republican party is no longer a political party. It is a radical insurgency.
      “We should recognize—if we were honest, we would say something that sounds utterly shocking and no doubt will be taken out of context and lead to hysteria on the part of the usual suspects, but the fact of the matter is that today’s Republican Party qualify as candidates for the most dangerous organization in human history. Literally. Just take their position on the two major issues that face us: climate change, nuclear war.” (Chomsky)

    • Dan,

      There have always been bleeding heart liberals. (Now renamed as the regressive left.) That is nothing new.

      Yes it is. The number of young hyper pro socials now is extraordinary. We have discussed this again and again. There is a problem of keeping reason intact when we think we have identified the underdog. This is a problem of respecting the other when at best they should be merely tolerated and criticised for the way they closet women and children from their state rights (say).

      So I say once again: let’s not marginalize and tear down the all-important left. Let’s be critical, yes, but let us not generalize or demonize.

      But here’s the thing, stupid articles are going out right next to decent ones on these papers. All journalists need to notice what is happening in the name of their specific channel. All are tainted by the channel being brought into disrepute. All can help fix this by triggering self examination and restoring confidence in the medium that carries their message.

      And frankly (Dan this is NOT personal, but I have to say it this strongly, and sorry mods) fuck “My group, right or wrong”. The correct concerns are “right or wrong”. This is much harder work admittedly. This is why ideology is wrong. But this is why consensus across political dispositions actually becomes possible, why, in the free will debate, being driven by evidence and reason matters far more than any supposed freedom from deterministic fate. This is why everyone is criticisable from Schopenhauer to Feynman, Ghandi to Clinton. This is why real progress, evolutionary progress becomes possible, in science, politics, and cultural life.

      Dan you passionately love and hate institutions. (Great people seem elevated to the level of an institution in your mind.) These have impermeable barriers I suspect to keep the goodness or badness from escaping. These institutions do battle. Yet, I have a vision of the parts I think inside. I always seem to complain this or that entity is described with too few parts to account for its rich behaviours Evolution and progress can only happen with complex enough entities contained in permeable containers.

    • I think faith schools, especially faith based primary schools, are entirely against the requirements of a fair education for all. The idea that children feel the pressure of group identities before reason is instilled is the most useful education opportunity squandered. Discovering commonality under the variety is THE first lesson. Whilst I oppose a French style burka ban I thoroughly approve of their insistance that school children see each other bereft of family and community tokens of child-ownership.


      By Jerry CoyneAll over the liberal media, most notably at HuffPo, the drive continues to argue that Islam is not responsible for anything bad. Frequently this is done by saying that it’s merely a fla […] [Read more]– Dan Dredger (@dan-rdfrs) Jul 9, 2016

    • So aren’t the schools being unjustly under-criticised? Too right!

      Newspaper editorial policy can turn on a new editor. Decades and centuries of traditional schooling have long and tenacious roots with far more vested interests.

      Failure and effects mode analysis looks at problems in a product and tries to prioritise the best use of resources in tackling problems (failures). Three parameters exist. Severity of problem, detectability of problem and fixability of problem added together give the order of tackling problems. A detectable and fixable severe problem should be tackled first. Newspaper editorial policy is clearly high up on all these three. Persuading people about schools is difficult. I believe the failure severe especially in some faith schools, but I fear the general public not understanding the implications of over-imitation and given the ability of schools to select to achieve apparent good results will not as yet detect the problem. Much explication is needed over years to bring this out. The fact that some faith schools are far more guilty than others doesn’t help the fixability issue. All faith schools will have to go.

      I can imagine some progressive policy that could deal with the problem over some decades, but it is not so easy.

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      @Phil #11

      Just for the record: I am absolutely opposed to the “my group, right or wrong” approach.

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      Phil, 12

      Okay I see that Namazie has a problem with The Guardian; but is this defense or denial of Islamist atrociousness and sharia law pervasive and entrenched in the so-called liberal media?

      I think it’s a generalization, unfair, and not supported by much evidence.

      Allow me to speculate: I think the US and the UK has simply lost much of its affection for liberalism; people are frightened and angry and confused; they have lost much of what little conviction they once had, and these attacks upon the left are but a symptom of that larger problem.

    • Dan #18

      Not the least little bit. The enthusiastic support of Corbyn and Sanders over the last year nails that. People’s taste for socialism as a cure for current ills is palpable.

      The issue is as I described it. Hyper Pro Social behaviours, and the resultant misidentification of underdog status and misidentification of the true bully (the favouring of the apparent complaining patriarchs and not hearing the suppressed women and children and turning we women and children champions into demons rather than the patriarchy). Along with HPS thinking (Viceral protective) goes an unreasonable belief in the integrity of labled groups. Communities and traditions are inviolable.

      We have to understand these issues (because they cause palpable problems elsewhere) if they are to be fixed.

    • Dan replied 3 years ago


      Not black and white. There are still some progressives out there, but by in large it is losing momentum.
      Theresa May. Know nothing about her except that she loves Israel, despises illegal immigration, is tough on terrorism, is puppet-like, presumably, in her relation to her conservative counterparts in the US, and is the new prime minister. That all means: status-quo. And Australia just suffered a defeat. The labor party guy just lost to some right-winger.
      Sanders is no more a socialist than was FDR – a great president; that is just an example of the propaganda that even men as savvy and learned as yourself have been susceptible to.
      Trump, if he wins, will set us all back to the year zero. Terrible time. Our better angels — Where are they? They are being feathered and roasted by the politics of greed, fear and by ignorance (propaganda).
      Democratic socialism is the right way to go. What else is there? The disenfranchised need housing and good schools and good jobs. We have the resources. But we don’t have the political will, and no angels to guide us inwardly or otherwise.
      I might not know exactly what I’m talking about but I certainly don’t understand and this is not personal) this:
      “Along with HPS thinking (Viceral protective) goes an unreasonable belief in the integrity of labeled groups.” Sounds like robot talk– a la Pinker, perhaps?

    • Utterly unpersuaded that there has been no renewed interest in the left in the US and UK. Corbyn is a socialist and Sanders as close to it as anything in US politics, in with a shout, has got for decades. He’s to the left of Jed Bartlet ffs!

      Theresa May is there because of xenophobia on the right and austerity pushback/xenophobia on the left (They come over here and take our jobs…). Corbyn not wishing to offend his old working class base chose not to condemn the xenophobia. The young left are not xenophobic and they are where a sudden upsurge in interest in a more moral way of doing things has come from.

      I have written endlessly about hyper pro social characteristics some of which posts I know you have seen. You can always find what I’ve said by typing into google say “rimmer dawkins hyper pro social”. This is how I remind myself of what everyone (at least) used to think.

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      rimmer dawkins hyper pro social.
      Thanks. I’d never have thought of that.
      I just googled “dan dawkins schopenhauer”.
      It worked!
      Would you have preferred Corbyn, in spite of his wishy-washiness?