Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rd Extra: Defending the West

Recently Ed Brayton, author of the "Dispatches From the Culture Wars" blog and host of WPRR's weekly show Declaring Independence, interviewed Ibn Warraq on a variety of subjects concerning Islam. These were subjects that were not covered in RD #60, including Warraq's most recent book "Defending the West." The doubtcasters would like to thank Brayton for allowing us to share the interview with our listeners.

To download this or any previous Reasonable Doubts episodes click here. Find the episode you want and right click the "play now" link and select "save target as..."


Unknown said...

This was a very good episode but I'm not sure I agree entirely with Ibn Warraq about western Christian extremism being as dangerous as radical Islam. I think Christian extremism in the west can be just as deadly as radical Islam but in different ways. Radical Islam uses its deadly force in very open and violent ways whereas Christianity in the west tries to enforce its extremism on people behind the scenes in the shadows. One example is the recent case in Uganda where western evangelical Christians not only influenced but directly helped to create an anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda that would make being gay a crime punishable by death.

The Christians who were involved with this kill the gays bill include not only fringe evangelical Christians like Richard Cohen and Scott Lively, but also included more mainstream fundamentalists like Rick Warren who has been associated with this bill. They didn't need to use any violence to form this horrific bill but they worked silently in the shadows behind everyone's backs. And there are moderate Christians in the west who did have to have bodyguards to protect them from Christian extremists. The most recent example would be Dr. Tiller, who was murdered by a pro-life terrorist and has been harassed and threatened by pro-life terrorists for years before then.

I don't know if he has bodyguards, but the liberal Christian, John Shelby Spong, has received death threats and a bomb threat from Christian extremists. Then there's Christians who are trying to get laws passed to give them the "right" to abuse children by letting them die from illnesses because their faith forbids them from taking medicine. I'm not saying this as a justification to not criticism Islam too loudly or anything like that. I just disagree with Ibn Warraq's assessment that western Christianity is more tame than Islam is.

Unknown said...

I made a typo in my post, it meant to say, "e but I'm not sure I agree entirely with Ibn Warraq about western Christian extremism not being as dangerous as radical Islam.

Luke said...

Your links to episodes 1, 3, 4, and 6-26 are broken in iTunes.

JC said...


The persecution of alledged witches by Christian extremists in Nigeria has not been behind the scenes at all.

"In the past ten years, thousands of children alleged to be witches and wizards have been tortured, thrown out, abandoned or killed by their family members in Cross River and Akwa Ibom States (Nigeria)." Link

I agree with you. We need to stop treating Islam as if it is some uniquely violent religion and realise that all religions are dangerous.

I listen to the Dogma Free America podcast and it has regular stories about Ultra Orthodox Jews in Israel. They are just as bad as Fundamentalist Muslims. In one story, the beat up a woman because she wasn't sitting at the back of the bus.