Thursday, October 28, 2010

Texas author un-invited as 'feminist science fiction convention' Guest of Honor over remarks on Islam

The question is how to you get everyone to go along with this PC narrative. You would need to develop a communist like structure to rigidly decide, what can and cannot be said about Islam. And this goes against life in a free society, but fits perfectly well into the average Islamic one. Without becoming an Islamic society, how can we expect people not to think critically about Islam's history, Islam's holy books ~ which are all readily available ~ and Muslim behavior today ~ which includes jihad warfare, but also the suppression of basic human rights and freedoms across the Muslim world. Even in moderate Jordan it is not possible to change one's religion from Islam.

Interesting, the writer said, that after 9/11, in her area there were louder calls from the mosque for protection against attack, then there were condemnation. This fits in with the war-like mentality that is also Islam. And probably demonstrates that they understood best the gravity of the attack. In that they are most afraid of what they are thinking of.

How do we negate Islam's history in a free society? How do we support the parts of Islam that fly in the face of rights, freedoms and respect for others? Silencing its critics seems to be one way. But we know that even some classical music was seen as offensive in its day!

A best-selling Texas science fiction author has been un-invited as a Guest of Honor at a literary convention in the wake of controversial remarks she posted on her personal blog Sept. 11 on the subject of citizenship, assimilation and Islam.

Elizabeth Moon is a best-selling author who lives in Florence, a small town north of Austin. She said she received a phone call Wednesday evening from a representative of WisCon, the self-described 'world's leading feminist science fiction convention' held in Wisconsin every spring, stating her invitation as a Guest of Honor had been rescinded.

Moon's comments in her Sept. 11 posting, specifically on assimilation and Islam, has generated a firestorm of controversy among the science fiction community of authors.


Charges of retaliation flew this past week on blogs and web sites across the internet. Moon was philosophical on the subject. 'The right to free speech does not include the right to have everyone like what you say...there is no Constitutional right to be agreed with, liked, or befriended.'

“Nobody likes being dumped on, she continued. 'I do care, and it does hurt. But you have to be able not to be intimidated.'

Read more:

News OK

When an Islamic group decided to build a memorial center at/near the site of the 9/11 attack, they should have been able to predict that this would upset a lot of people. Not only were the attackers Islamic—and not only did the Islamic world in general show indecent glee about the attack, but this was only the last of many attacks on citizens and installations of this country which Islamic groups proudly claimed credit for. That some Muslims died in the attacks is immaterial—does not wipe out the long, long chain of Islamic hostility. It would have been one thing to have the Muslim victims’ names placed with the others, and identified there as Muslims—but to use that site to proselytize for the religion that lies behind so many attacks on the innocent (I cannot forget the Jewish man in a wheelchair pushed over the side of the ship to drown, or Maj. Nadal’s attack on soldiers at Fort Hood) was bound to raise a stink. It is hard to believe that those making the application did not know that—did not anticipate it—and were not, in a way, probing to see if they could start a controversy. If they did not know, then they did not know enough about the culture into which they had moved. Though I am not angry about it, and have not spoken out in opposition, I do think it was a rude and tactless thing to propose (and, if carried out, to do.)

I know—I do not dispute—that many Muslims had nothing to do with the attacks, did not approve of them, would have stopped them if they could. I do not dispute that there are moderate, even liberal, Muslims, that many Muslims have all the virtues of civilized persons and are admirable in all those ways. I am totally, 100%, appalled at those who want to burn the Koran (which, by the way, I have read in English translation, with the same attention I’ve given to other holy books) or throw paint on mosques or beat up Muslims. But Muslims fail to recognize how much forbearance they’ve had. Schools in my area held consciousness-raising sessions for kids about not teasing children in Muslim-defined clothing…but not about not teasing Jewish children or racial minorities. More law enforcement was dedicated to protecting mosques than synagogues—and synagogues are still targeted for vandalism. What I heard, in my area, after 9/11, was not condemnation by local mosques of the attack—but an immediate cry for protection even before anything happened. Our church, and many others (not, obviously all) already had in place a “peace and reconciliation” program that urged us to understand, forgive, pray for, not just innocent Muslims but the attackers themselves. It sponsored a talk by a Muslim from a local mosque—but the talk was all about how wonderful Islam was—totally ignoring the historical roots of Islamic violence.

I can easily imagine how Muslims would react to my excusing the Crusades on the basis of Islamic aggression from 600 to 1000 C.E….(for instance, excusing the building of a church on the site of a mosque in Cordoba after the Reconquista by reminding them of the mosque built on the site of an important early Christian church in Antioch.) So I don’t give that lecture to the innocent Muslims I come in contact with. I would appreciate the same courtesy in return (and don’t get it.) The same with other points of Islam that I find appalling (especially as a free woman) and totally against those basic principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution…I feel that I personally (and many others) lean over backwards to put up with these things, to let Muslims believe stuff that unfits them for citizenship, on the grounds of their personal freedom. It would be helpful to have them understand what they’re demanding of me and others—how much more they’re asking than giving. It would be helpful for them to show more understanding of the responsibilities of citizenship in a non-Muslim country. (And the same is true for many others, of course. Libertarians, survivalists, Tea-Partyers, fundamentalist Christians, anyone else whose goals benefit only their own group. There’s been a huge decline in the understanding of good citizenship overall.)

What you can’t say about Islam - The backlash against Elizabeth Moon

Russell Blackford: a fellow of the IEET, an attorney, science fiction author and critic, philosopher, and public intellectual.

Whether or we agree with them or not, I find it extraordinary that her remarks would lead to her no longer being welcome as a guest of honour at a science fiction convention. If Moon’s remarks now count as hate speech, such as to make the speaker unacceptable at venues such as Wiscon, many of us are in deep trouble. As I think of all the things I’ve said in public that are far more provocative than this, I wonder just how anodyne we need to keep our public comments these days, at least if they are about Islam or Muslims, if we are not to lose our speaking platforms.

Forthright atheists are often accused of being prepared to speak out against the wrongs of Roman Catholicism and evangelical Protestantism, but not those of Islam. To a large extent, those accusations are false: we could find many examples where leading atheists do criticise Islam, and particularly political Islam. Still, many of us concentrate on what we know best, which is often Christianity. Furthermore, there’s an intimidation factor: let’s acknowledge it, radical Islamists have done a good job of muting the critique of Islam simply by demonstrating a propensity to extreme violence - think of what happened to Theo van Gogh and the current situation of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who must be heavily guarded wherever she goes. The intimidation factor is raised to an even higher level if it’s reaching the point where comments such as those of Elizabeth Moon can make you unwanted by convention organisers in Madison, Wisconsin. To borrow a phrase, Wiscon is not helping.

In all this, the convention organisers have done a disservice to the free flow of ideas about matters of public interest. They have also treated Elizabeth Moon with outrageous rudeness - there is no indication that she did anything to provoke what has happened to her, except use her blog to express some opinions. The Wiscon organisers ought to feel some rage. ieet

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