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Islam Is Not A Race

I came across this in my facebook feed this morning. There are not enough faces, nor palms to place against them, for this kind of poor thinking.

Opinion- -try replacing 'Muslim' with 'Black' in... - Al Jazeera English

What kind of nonsense is this? How can people still be getting this so wrong, especially news journalists? Don’t they have a duty to maintain at least a modicum of integrity?

Islam. Is. Not. A. Race. To claim it is, is insulting to the millions of Punjab and Pashtun people of Pakistan – an incredibly Islamic state. Very few are Arabic. Nor are they Berber.

Indonesia is the most populous Muslim nation on Earth.

Is this question trying to say that Punjabs, Pashtuns, Arabs, Egyptians Berbers, Turks and Javanese are all the same race? This is lunacy akin to saying Canada and Mongolia are the same country.

The article is here, and the author doesn’t seem to have read Harris’ work. Murtaza Hussain also seems to miss one rather important distinction when he says “It’s worth remembering why making sweeping statements about “the Jews” and “the Blacks” became considered unconscionable behaviour in the first place. Both groups were once spoken of by racists and anti-Semites as though they were a homogenous mass of people, undifferentiated in any meaningful way and all sharing the same (largely negative) characteristics.”

The distinction missed is this: racism targets people based on who their parents were. Criticism of religion is not criticizing people for things they have no control over in this way. Harris and Dawkins are criticizing ideas. Ideas are not people, though they are held by people. Ideas really do affect the way people act, unlike their skin colour.

Religion does not come down to the melanin receptor distribution in your skin, Mr. Hussain. Thanks for trying though.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2013 in Politics, Religion

 

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Dar al-Islam, Part One: The House of Islam

So let’s see who we’re playing as.

Where's all his family?

Yo!

Yes, hi. You would be Koriaur Kalmen, Emir of Alexandria. I’m Snarkangel, nice to meet you.

Yes indeed.

I can’t help but notice you aren’t married. That needs to be changed.

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I do?

Yes.

Sure, why not?

Really? No argumentation? Not insane ‘I DO WHAT I WANT BITCH’ proclamations?

Why would I say something so horrible?

Sorry, I’m just paranoid. Been playing too much Game of Thrones lately. You’re certainly no Joffrey.

Who?

It’s best you don’t ask. Let’s look at the world and our place in it. We need to know what surrounds us before we try to conquer it.

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Here’s the eastern Mediterranean. The Abbasid Dynasty controls the Levantine Coast and Mesopotamia. The Byzantine Empire is quite possibly the première empire in the world right now, but they are in the middle of a long, slow decline. The Tulunid Dynasty controls Egypt – and since we are Alexandria, that makes them our lords.

But this will change.

That sounds suspiciously sinister…

What are you talking about? Ambition is a good thing! But first, find a wife!

Well, there is this one woman…

Go on.

She likes poetry.

Is… Is that it?

She’s a Grey Eminence and Regent for the Emirate neighbouring ours.

Why haven’t you already married her?

Uh…

Well?

Well… I never asked? I’m nervous, okay?

Seriously? You’re Emir of Alexandria, and asking a woman’s hand in marriage stops you cold.

Lady bits scare me.

You’re afraid of vagina? Get over yourself. Ask that woman out! What’s her name?

Badiat

Well, go get her, tiger!

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There, was that so hard?

YES

Oh, come off it. You did great! And look, Ahmad Tulunid, your Sultan, wants to make you Grand Vizier of Egypt!

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See what happens when you assert yourself? The whole world falls into place!

Thanks, creepy voice in my head!

No problem, Koriaur. We’ll make a good team. Together, we’ll take over America!

Ameriwhat?

Never mind. Besides, you won’t even be alive by then. That’s not for another seven hundred years. In the meantime, don’t let your ambition falter just because you’re Grand Vizier! You’re going to need more than a fancy title and some minor responsibilities if your going to fulfil my plans! I suggest having children, and gaining more power here in Egypt. The Tulunid’s are decadent, weak like overripe fruit, rotting from within. It’s your job to become Sultan!

I like the sound of that!

I knew you would! It seems others like the idea too. Sheikh Yahya of Benghazi has formed a coalition of independence-seekers, and has since been joined by the Sheikh Milad of Cyrenaica . As of now, they are not hostile, but their peaceful negotiations with Sultan Ahmad may fall apart. If you were to join this faction, it would be a huge boon to the movement, and a huge detriment to Ahmad’s legitimacy. However, I doubt we are strong enough to challenge the Sultan so soon. It may be best to let this faction fester in Ahmad’s side, and see what happens.

I thought you wanted more proactivity?

Well, yes. But there is a time and a place.

So I guess making Glitterhoof into my Grand Vizier was a bad idea?

I’m sorry, what?

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Um. WHAT.

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I sure know how to pick ’em… Still, he’s no Joffrey.

Seriously, who is Joffrey?

Don’t worry about it. The Benghazian Independence has been crushed. Good thing we weren’t on their side!

I didn’t even notice they’d risen!

Me neither. In other news, the Shia schismatics are gaining traction in the eastern deserts of Arabia.

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I can see this causing strife for many centuries to come.

BURN THE HERETICS!

That’s a little harsh, don’t you think?

You wanted me to be a go-getter. So I’m going to go get some wood to burn the Shia with.

Hoo-boy!

NEXT TIME: More Wives, Some Kids, Some War

 
 

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Greece is Falling into Fascism

Pay attention. This may be the most important thing you read today.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2013 in Politics, Religion

 

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You Should Probably Read This

An Atheist-Muslims perspective on the root causes of Islamist jihadism and the politics of Islamophobia.

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2013 in History, Politics, Religion

 

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Anonymous Rights

In response to the recent Westboro Baptist Church’s declaration that they would picket the vigil of the Sandy Hook victims, and the subsequent hacking of their personal computers and twitter accounts, I have this to say:

No, people, Anonymous is not in the right here. They are, in fact, and in the most disgusting way, destroying the privacy of citizens. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like the Westboro Baptist Church. Disliking a group does not revoke from them their rights; this is exactly the sort of thinking that fuels the WBC, yet at no point do they actively destroy the rights of those they, with such vitriol, detest. They would if they could, but they can’t because their lunacy ensures a deaf response to their words.

For the record, the only appropriate response to loud, angry people like the WBC is this, which comes with an uplifting little mantra (I guess an ‘Aggie’ is a member of the school?):

It is proposed that we respond with true Aggie spirit. 
In response to their yelling, we will be silent. Like silver taps, like Bonfire Memorial.
In response to their signs of hate, we will wear maroon.
In response to their mob anger, we will form a line, arm in arm.

This is a silent vigil. A manifestation of our solidarity.

Now that is how you beat the Westboro Baptist Church. Not by diving into the shit and vomit that is the low end of the human spectrum. By showing that, no matter how hard they yell, we’ll ignore harder. We are better than they. We can’t do that by revoking the rights of any citizen. Ever. We’re not simply wallowing in the filth, we are bathing in it and calling ourselves clean. Worse than pigs.

Anonymous has simply proven that even a society based on enlightenment values can descend into tyranny. This is the mindset that breeds totalitarianism. We are willing to suspend the rights of the citizen – provided only that we hate.

 

UPDATE: What do you know? It still works.

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2012 in Politics, Religion

 

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Three Hurrah’s for Germany, Part Seven: The Closing Decades

Fascism in France

The truce between Germany and France means Germany cannot fight the now-legitimized Fascist rebellion that grips its western neighbour. Ethnic Germans are hunted in the streets of Paris and Orleans, arrested or executed. German shops are closed and burned. Revenge and revanchism reign supreme.

Fascism in America

I take my eyes off of North America for one decade and shit goes sideways!

The Confederate States of America turn Fascist again, the United States takes northern Texas (Rio Grande has the south). California declares independence from Mexico.

Then things get… interesting.

Oh dear. America, once the worlds greatest beacon of liberty and freedom, has fallen to Fascism. Another Great War looms, this time initiated by Germany. The United States declares war against the Fascist Dictatorship in Mexico – a war between these two nations is good for Germany, distracting as it does our enemies in America and the Fascist regime in Mexico.

The war starts much like the last, with a handful of Great Powers combining to face this industrial and military giant.

New England and the Atlantic Northeast fall in short order, including Washington D.C.

Fascist Mexico falls to American military might, leaving my ally in Rio Grande exposed. Armies are diverted from the Northern to the Southern Front, slowing the war effort, which includes two different Wargoals: Great War (to dismantle the American Empire) and Install Democracy – I will not make the same mistake as I did in France.

After a short push by the American Armed Forces, Germany is back on the offensive, and an end to this Great War is in sight.

Damn it, Jacobians!

A simultaneous Fascist rebellion in Canada creates a three-way Civil War – Jacobin Anarcho-liberals, Fascists, and Loyalists – bringing Canada to its knees. Jacobin rebels in America aid the cause of freedom.

North America after the Great War.

This puts Mexico in a disturbingly powerful position. Should they start warmongering, they will face the infinite might of Liberal Germany!

A few short interventions in Fascist CSA and Mexico turns North America into… Well, into a patchwork mess:

I don't think this is what North America looked like in 1934. I blame the lack of a WWI. Yes. That is the problem here.

That said, a First World War is right around the corner, as the Fascist Republic of Britannia annexes Venezuela and bites off a chunk of both Brazil and Qing China. It may not be long before Greater Germany and Britannia face off.

World War I

Germany declares war on Fascist France, which is attempting to reunite its lost Occitanian provinces in the south. Britannia, ally of France, declares war against Greater Germany. Germany turns this conflict into a Great War, and suddenly the whole world is at war. From China to Brittany, the Ottoman Empire to South Africa, Canada to Argentina, the nations of the world gear for war. German troops board their transports, ready to invade the British mainland through Wales and across the Straights of Dover.

Germany is surrounded. Russia joins on the side of Fascism, pitting Germany against Britannia, France and Russia – three Great Powers and their Puppets, Satellites and Spherelings.

Another Blitzkrieg into France.

The British Campaign proceeds with mediocrity.

While on the Eastern Front, things go poorly.

Balls.

How will WWI play out? Will Germany defeat the vile forces of Fascism and totalitarianism in Europe?

Who knows?

Yes, Victoria II ends in the Year of Our Lord, 1936. Let’s see the impact an early, true unification of Greater Germany had on the world (I’ll bet it’s negligible):

North America

South America

North Africa

South Africa

The Middle East

India and Southeast Asia

The Far East

And finally, Europe

The Final Score

So, dear reader; how was the war won? Was the war won? And by whom?

That’s for you to decide (and maybe leave your ideas in the comments)

Danke Sehr!

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Snarkangel Plays (The Tags), Vicky II

 

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Three Hurrah’s for Germany, Part Six: Germany, Defender of Freedom and Liberty!

Fascism in America

The Fascist Party of America takes control of the United States. It’s a showdown between Communism and Fascism, North and South!

This cannot be left alone. Democracy must be defended, liberty upheld. Germany gears for war. But first, Fascism and Communism must be rooted out of my allies.

At the same time, Polish Nationalists rise up in Russian Warsaw, securing the region’s inclusion in the growing Polish Fascist dictatorship. I put a quick end to such silliness – though Poland retains Warsaw, they are not allowed their dictatorial rule.

The United States continues its aggressive wars against the CSA, even takes land from Canada and Mexico. This has to stop, before such violent extremism becomes intercontinental – as it has already begun to do in places like Poland, Denmark and Spain.

Something happened in Spain.

The German-American War is declared, with the intent of reducing American military might – the Cut Down to Size Wargoal. Next will be the CSA, but for now the United States are a far bigger threat. They have even intervened in Hawaii and the Philippines, annexing the island nations.

New York, Long Island, Atlantic City, Philadelphia and, to the west, Detroit and Denver, are quickly occupied. There has been no American resistance, as the Yank armies are busy waging war against the CSA.

With a Mexican intervention in Texas, the US-CS War, and now the German-American War, Fascist America falls. An emergency election is forced upon them, and the Liberal Party wins by a landslide. Freedom wins the day in the North.

Now to do the same in the Communist South. It goes just as smoothly as the war in the North.

Well that was… That was anticlimactic.

I was really hoping this War of Ideologies would play out more…  tight. Close to the knuckle. But no, Germany just curb-stomped both States of America with ease. This makes every Great Power at least Democratic, though not necessarily liberal; the United Kingdom jumps between Communist and Socialist, France keeps dipping into Fascism (though remains mostly Reactionary). Spain, despite its recent disintegration, remains an agitator in colonial politics, and is in fact a Communist Proletarian Dictatorship. Still, they aren’t threatening anyone – they are just annoying.

Great War on the Horizon

This can only end well...

Meanwhile, the Great Powers of Europe have expanded their colonial efforts into the Balkans – Bulgaria has been split between the Ottoman, British and Dutch Empires. It seems a Great War is inevitable as the forces of freedom face down the armies of extremism and dictatorship.

Russia and Bukovina (the little orange bit in the lower-centre) invade Poland - Russia for Warsaw, and Bukovina for Russian control over West Galicia.

After so many revolutions and counter-revolutions in Poland, I’ve given up on keeping Poland in my Sphere. Still, Polish freedom has come at so great a cost. I’d hate to see the country divided and subsumed back into the Russian Empire.

While Germany prepares to face down the Russian Empire, potential allies in the fight for democracy fall into brutal warfare all along the Swiss Alps and African colonies:

This games first Great War. Not quite a World War, but certainly bigger than anything I've seen so far.

American Patriots take over in New England, subsuming the minor North American state into the United States.

I could press my (empty) claim to the land, but the people have spoken. ‘Tis a shame the revolution turned violent.

Italy slowly gains the upper hand in its war against France, but a sudden Jacobin rebellion on the home front might turn the tides in France’s favour. Germany remains isolated from this Great War.

Well, I was complaining about Spanish totalitarianism...

Yay.

Great War Comes to Germany

And it’s not the Russians! It’s those pesky French; their alliance of France-Canada-Ottoman Empire has declared war against Germany in a Great War – likely to retake  Elsaß-Lothringen and dismantle Greater Germany. This would put France in an easy first place among the Great Powers. Far ahead of even the United Kingdom, which still sits in a distant third. Germany would be reduced to a pathetic shadow of its current greatness – all Cores go to their original owners, so I would lose Friesland, Heligoland, huge swathes of eastern and southern Germany, and almost every colony in Africa.

Then again, I can do the same to France when I win.

Germany's blitzkrieg start.

Germany makes a quick push into the French heartland, reaching the province of Ile de France in weeks, the outskirts of Paris itself within a month.

The Battle of Rouen is shaping up to be the decisive battle of this war, while a French army is driven into the sea and destroyed at Dunkirk.

The Great War ends with a French defeat.

Huzzah!

The Great War is ended! All that remains is dividing the spoils.

No, that barf-green smudge in southern France is not Vichy, but Occitania.

As you can see, the United Kingdom gets quite a hefty chunk of Africa, from which the Brits had almost been excluded during the Scramble for Africa.

French colonies around the world are split off, many becoming independent sovereignties, some going into German hands for safekeeping – no more Fascist rule in Africa! Russia, the UK and the USA, who were all a minor part of the Great War, gain their own holdings. As do Brazil and Italy, for some reason.

With the end of the Franco-German War, an election is called.

Oh dear.

Revanchism hits France hard, leading to a massive upsurge of Fascist support in the newly-democratic country. An utterly massive Fascist rebellion spreads across that nation.

Over half-a-million Fascist rebels in Paris - which is defended by German troops.

Wave after wave of Fascist rebellion rises again and again in France. The combined might of German and French armies cannot hold them at bay. Over one million troops are committed to the Battle of Paris.  Even if liberty is victorious against this vile rebellion, France will have been nearly depopulated, it’s young men dead in the streets of its battle-wracked capital. In the end, 1.1 million Fascists died in Paris alone, another 750,000 across France. On the other side, ‘only’ 100,000 Germans died protecting French freedom. When another wave of thousands-strong Fascist armies spread across France, Germany withdraws. France falls.

Next Time: The Last Decades
 
 

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