CFI-L.A. & O.C. -  04.20.08 Ibn Warraq - The Apologists of Islam
Posted: 04 April 2008 05:18 PM   [ Ignore ]
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CFI-LA’s FEED YOUR BRAIN Lecture Series
presents
Ibn Warraq: The Apologists of Islam

11:00 AM, Sunday, April 20, 2008 in Hollywood
4:30 PM, in Costa Mesa

Conflicting assessments about the character of radical Islam today are reminiscent of past disputes about the nature of communist systems. Attention should be paid to earlier analyses of radical Islam by important Western scholars and thinkers. In both cases, central to the disagreements has been these questions: To what degree do beliefs and ideologies determine policies or behavior? How closely did ideals shape actions?

Ibn Warraq, an independent scholar and a leading figure in Koranic criticism, will answer these questions. A senior fellow at the Center for Inquiry-Transnational, he has written five books on Islam and Koranic criticism, including Why I am Not a Muslim and the forthcoming Which Koran? His most recent book is Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said’s Orientalism.

WHEN: 11:00 a.m., Sunday, April 20th, 2008.
COST: $6 or Free for Friends of the Center, including those joining at the lecture

The Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles
4773 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90027
323-666-9797

The program will be repeated at 4:30 PM in Costa Mesa
Costa Mesa Community Center
1845 Park Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

[ Edited: 04 April 2008 05:27 PM by Elizabeth K ]
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Posted: 24 April 2008 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’ve first heard of him (ibn warraq) via Harris and Hitchens’ books. He didn’t impress me as a lecturer. He was reading off a sheet the entire time hardly looking at the audience, and was not thorough with answering the quesions nor was he honest (the questions were only like 3 or 4 total). I took a glance at couple of his books that were on display at the CFI/West. Seemingly he is a better author than he is a lecturer. Yeah, I think the written ibn warraq is more convincing than the spoken one.

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Posted: 24 April 2008 02:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks for the feedback. I didn’t get to hear the lecture—- but I heard someone make a mildly critical comment this past week. I think you are right; sometimes people are superb writers, but not very engaging in face-to-face conversation. cool hmm

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Posted: 27 April 2008 02:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I too felt that his reading straight from the papers in front of him was off-putting.  But his generalizations as to what liberals or feminists seem to believe was dishonest and offensive.  I felt near the end like I was at a AEI lecture.  And I was not alone…

On one hand, I do not want to be one of those people who only listen to those I agree with, but his neocon talking points were so aggravating…and I felt that to react as I wanted to would be rude.  I just left when the lecture was over.  I cannot remember quotes (although it was taped of course), but he said something like many prominent feminists (didn’t name any) were ok with or justified female circumcision.  This was part of his argument that liberals are helping radical Islam to spread to Western countries.  Now, I can see part of his point, with people like the Archbishop of Canterbury making statements like “the introduction in Britain of some aspects of sharia, Islamic law, was unavoidable.”  But as we know, he was roundly criticized…even by liberals.  Warraq’s sweeping statements about liberals were intellectually dishonest, and disinclined me to read his works in the future.

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Posted: 27 April 2008 12:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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rAmen - 27 April 2008 02:02 AM

... generalizations as to what liberals or feminists seem to believe was dishonest and offensive.  I felt near the end like I was at a AEI lecture.  And I was not alone…

On one hand, I do not want to be one of those people who only listen to those I agree with, but his neocon talking points were so aggravating…and I felt that to react as I wanted to would be rude. ....

Maybe I’m glad I didn’t stay. I have a tough time when I am confronted with people that have consistent beliefs with mine on some very important and profound issues, but with whom I disagree over some other profound and important issues.

It is at those times when I try to take a deep breath and remember that we all come from different backgrounds, have had different experiences, and that there is nobody on this earth who agrees with me exactly on every issue. I don’t even agree with myself 100% of the time.  tongue rolleye What I mean is: there are so many variables—different responses can be appropriate for seemingly similar situations depending on specific circumstances.  I don’t think that is being wishy washy… I think it means that sometimes I am paying attention to details.

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Posted: 27 April 2008 02:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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rAmen was right on Q. Even at the Q & A section he kind of got into an argument with a lady that asked a question in regard to something he said, he evaded another, he coudn’t answer a different one since he totally misread it. He was plain dishonest.  Because of Harris and Hitchens’ mention of him, I thought he may be different than the rest. He was not. The bits and pieces I’ve read off his books b4 the lecture I did honestly like because where I grew up, several aspects of life in general were secularised and as result I didn’t experience much of the rotten stuff (though life was miserable enough) I hear about in regard to islam, therefore thinking it’s made up each time it has been brought to my attention. From what I read, he goes deep into that and that’s good. That needs to be exposed.

During his reading, he gave many examples of males apologists that were for islam or against it. When one lady asked him to give examples of female apologists or activists, the only one he gave is that of one female that was in support of female circumcision, that’s it. First, female circumcision is practiced in only sudan, ethiopia and couple more countries, blacks I think, which makes one wonder if the practice is not specifically tied to the african culture than to islam as a religion. From the meager reading I’ve done on that, and for a supposedly learned guy, this is either pure ignorance or pure evil to narrow in on it in such away. There are many females that are rising against the muslim crap, quite few are working to reform it by taking the initiative to lead group prayers, etc. (I know, it’s still living in cloud 9, but better than just acting like or pretending to be a goat) this guy, supposedly expert in the subject doesn’t seem to know anything about it. I focued more on his body language than anything else when I was there LOL , the guy wouldn’t give the audience a direct eye contact, he was looking from the corner of his left eye for most of the time, when he looked, his body was not facing his guests but set on an approximate 45 degree angle toward the right, his pakistani hair was all over his face so one can’t even see one of his eyes, every now and then he’d go something along the lines of “I am almost done.”, most of his reading consisted of quoting bunch of long quotes that were not his. When time came to answer questions, he wouldn’t allow questions in, since he sternly halted the process with a hint of avoidance in his voice after the third or fourth was asked. The time he answered them amounted to about 7 to 10 mns. On a personal level, He came across as someone who was worried about something or was afraid of the audience.

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Posted: 27 April 2008 05:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Daisy - 27 April 2008 02:56 PM

  During his reading, he gave many examples of males apologists that were for islam or against it. When one lady asked him to give examples of female apologists or activists, the only one he gave is that of one female that was in support of female circumcision, that’s it. First, female circumcision is practiced in only sudan, ethiopia and couple more countries, blacks I think, which makes one wonder if the practice is not specifically tied to the african culture than to islam as a religion…

I have trouble imagining what that must have sounded like. Was he saying that there is a female apologist who he respected who says she is in favor of female circumcision?  Or was he saying he is in favor of female genital mutilation himself?  I had not heard either one of those statements… ever, altho I am not seriously immersed in the debate… if there is one. I understand that in at least one culture, it is the elder women of the group who commit the mutilation on young girls…. and also I agree with your statement earlier, that it is a cultural custom, and has nothing to do with the Koran.

According to one online document, based on a few minutes of research 10 minutes ago, there are excuses and justification galore in societies that practice Female Genital Cutting (FGC)
http://www.meforum.org/article/1629
There are many societies outside of sub-Saharan Africa where versions of female genital mutilation are practiced, and even in the UN there are obstacles to effecting change. The article cites Haditha, not the Koran, as the authority; the article is easy to read and heavily footnoted.

But I think it’s a strange, brutal custom to circumcise male children, too.

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Posted: 28 April 2008 05:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I have trouble imagining what that must have sounded like. Was he saying that there is a female apologist who he respected who says she is in favor of female circumcision?  Or was he saying he is in favor of female genital mutilation himself?

No, he wasn’t agreeing with the practice.  But he was using it as a support for his larger argument that liberals are helping radical Islam spread in the West by allowing practices like this in the name of multiculturalism.  I am sure there is some truth in this argument, but when he says something like feminists support female circumcism or similar, but with no supporting backup, it really insults me.  Warraq was using liberal as a perjorative and giving examples of what liberals have done or believe that I have never seen or heard.  Whomever he was talking about would be an outlier (like maybe Ward Churchill) rather than what I would typically call a liberal.

Again, I don’t have perfect recall.  I am not sure what is involved in seeing the taping, but it should be seen rather reading my lame paraphrasing.  But, I have seen many lectures here over the years, and this is the first time I had such a reaction.  I can disagree with people, but I felt this speaker was dishonest in his words and not a complex thinker. 

If you like Michelle Malkin, this is your guy.  I think they have similar audiences (except the atheism part, of course)

Edited to add MM bit.

[ Edited: 28 April 2008 05:28 AM by rAmen ]
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Posted: 28 April 2008 11:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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[quote author=“Elizabeth K” date=“1209356612]I have trouble imagining what that must have sounded like. Was he saying that there is a female apologist who he respected who says she is in favor of female circumcision?  Or was he saying he is in favor of female genital mutilation himself?  I had not heard either one of those statements… ever, altho I am not seriously immersed in the debate… if there is one.


He said that in response to one question that has been asked by a female/attendee after the reading was over. No he was not in support of the practice, he was criticing her and that’s fine and dundy. I think just as he stated several examples of males that are for islam’s idiologies or against them from the east and west, for fairness sake he should have done the same for the female counter part, first he didn’t even mention a single name during the reading, and when that lady, probably out of concern stood up and asked, he took the crapiest example he could probably come up with, and this probably says more about his primitive make up than about the assertiveness of the female community in the arab muslim world.

I understand that in at least one culture, it is the elder women of the group who commit the mutilation on young girls…. and also I agree with your statement earlier, that it is a cultural custom, and has nothing to do with the Koran.

My arabic is very poor but the sourate that speaks about females mentions nothing of female circumcision, it speaks about flogging and all kinds of trashcan material but nothing about circumcision. I have relatives spread all over the muslim world including Saudi Arabia, I don’t know of a single one that practices female circumcision.

According to one online document, based on a few minutes of research 10 minutes ago, there are excuses and justification galore in societies that practice Female Genital Cutting (FGC)
http://www.meforum.org/article/1629
There are many societies outside of sub-Saharan Africa where versions of female genital mutilation are practiced, and even in the UN there are obstacles to effecting change. The article cites Haditha, not the Koran, as the authority;

As far as I know hadith/ coran clearly commands males circumcision, there is no way out of that, it’s a must for any muslim male but not females.

the article is easy to read and heavily footnoted.

I will take a look, thank you.

But I think it’s a strange, brutal custom to circumcise male children, too.

You are absolutely right, it is barberic even for boys, you should read this chapter (if you haven’t already) in Hitchens’ “god is not Great” where as result of investigations he’s done, he states the reason why jews circumcise the boys as to tame and basically put a leach on their sexual pleasure when they grow up!!!!! and I bet the same also goes for muslims and the christians that do, muslims claim it’s for purification reason, but purification from what? the kids are just kids, they are not sexually active yet and won’t be before years if not decades. The more one learns about religious grabage and the more outrage sets in, that’s probably why none of them like to be scrutinized about anything, they know the underneath layers to their entire systems are made out of nothing but filth.

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