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Embarrasing interview with Muslim scholar Reza Aslan

29.07.2013. Religious scholar Reza Aslan recently appeared on the FoxNews.com show Spirited Debate and the host insisted that his being a Muslim somehow affects the quality of his new book about Jesus. The whole ordeal was embarrassing for Fox News, but things are only going to get better from here for the author. Thus writes The Atlantic Wire, and continues:

Aslan appeared on the online show on Friday to promote his new book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, about how the environment Jesus grew up in shaped him. But host Lauren Green didn't want to talk about the book so much as she wanted to talk about how Aslan is a Muslim. "You’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?" was Green's very first question. "Well, to be clear, I am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim," Aslan politely replied. Green doesn't give up, though, the interview goes downhill from there:

At one point Green goes so far as to accuse Aslan of hiding his religion, as if he was trying to be sneaky, or as if it matters. "Ma’am, the second page of my book says I’m a Muslim," he tells her. "Every single interview I have ever done on TV or in print says I’m a Muslim."

Read the entire story at The Atlantic Wire. Se also Huffington Post and BuzzFeed.


Our crippling fear of the truth

27.07.2013 (updated 31.07.2013). If you make it clear that «Devotion to Jihad for the sake of Allah, and the desire to shed blood, to smash skulls and to sever limbs for the sake of Allah and in defense of His religion, is, undoubtedly, an honor for the believer.» (Mohamad al-Arefe, on MEMRI-TV, quoted in The Spectator, 27.06.2013), you are welcome to embark on a speaking tour in the UK. If, however, you are a critic of Islam, you are denied entrance to the country. Pat Condell has released a YouTube comment to this double standard. Hereby recommended.

HonestThinking comments: While I take issue with Condell's downright condemnation of Islam as such (he's an atheist, I'm a theist), I think he repeatedly hits the nail on the head in this case. What we are witnessing here from the ruling elite in the UK is simply blatant hypocrisy; they deserve to have scorn and sarcasms pored over them.

PS: See also Who's afraid of free speech?.


Muslim extremism on the rise

24.07.2013. A young British woman has made a short documentary about Muslim extremism rising in the UK.


The bitter fruits of stupidity and political correctness

10.07.2013. What a god-awful mess this country has got itself into over multiculturalism, and once again our fear of racism will lead to the betrayal of hundreds of young girls, writes Allison Pearson in The Telegraph.


Double moral standards

08.07.2013. Authors Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer were recently denied entry to the country that gave the world the Magna Carta. Among the reasons given were that «The UK should never become a stage for inflammatory speakers who promote hate», writes Roger Kimball in PJ Media.

HonestThinking comments: While some would argue that Geller's and Spencer's stark criticism of Islam «promote hate», it is not at all obvious that this is the case (many would argue that their writings are clearly within the bounds of civilized and democratic exchange). On the other hand, there are several radical Islamic preachers who undoubtedly qualify as «inflammatory speakers who promote hate»; hate against 'infidels', hate against other religions, hate against secularism, hate against Western culture, etc.

And while the latter can (more or less) freely travel back and forth between UK and various Asian, Middle-Eastern, and African countries (and also exploit the British welfare system), Americans Geller and Spencer are denied temporary access to UK for participation in political meetings and the like. This is a clear indication of double moral standards, as is well captured by Spencer in his article Yes, You Can Tell the Truth About Jihad Violence in Britain (As Long As You’re For It).


What if she looked like a real woman?

05.07.2013. Some people say that we shouldn't pay attention to the body proportions of Barbie because she is just a toy. On the surface, that sounds like a valid argument. But a closer look, through research, suggests that Barbie may lead to the following:

  • Heightened body dissatisfaction among young girls.
  • Unhealthy eating behaviors.
  • A desire to achieve a slim body and therefore eat less.

Continue reading at MyDeals.com.


The fallacy

03.07.2013. Political philosopher John N. Gray's book The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths, is reviewed by Robert W. Merry in The Fallacy of Human Freedom, The National Interest, July-August, 2013. Hereby recommended.



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HonestThinking is dedicated and committed to the art of thinking honestly. Yet honest thinking is not the same as true thinking, for it is possible to think honestly, but be mistaken. For the same reason, honest thinking is not identical with objective thinking either. Honest thinking is striving to get things right. This involves being truthful about whatever one publishes, but just as importantly, it involves an uncompromising dedication never to suppress relevant data, even when data collides with dearly held prejudices. Such an approach may sometimes cause hurtful revisions in one’s belief system. That’s what HonestThinking is all about! Read the entire manifesto.

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Please send e-mail to postmaster at honestThinking.org (replacing ' at ' with '@') if you would like to tip us about a web resource that we should link to, or if you wish to submit an article for publication here. Quality contributions are welcome from anyone.



The current European immigration and integration policy is profoundly disrespectful of both Muslims and Islam, because it is built on the tacit assumption that the Muslims will become like us. One claims to have respect for Islam and for Muslims, but one also expects Muslims to give up their orthodox faith when they come here. At the same time one is assuming that Islam will be reformed and modernized as soon as the Muslims become integrated and understand and appreciate how superior our Western culture is compared to their own. This is cultural shauvinism and arrogance indeed! The unspoken premise for this scenario is that Western socities are superior to Islam. Read more.




Human rights and democracy are under pressure. One threat comes from the Western world, in the form of lack of or dishonest thinking. There exists a peculiar Western "tolerance" which is so "tolerant" that it even tolerates totalitarian or anti-democratic ideologies. A tacit assumption underlying such an attitude is that all cultures, world views, and religions are really equally good. As a consequence of this assumption one is cut off from the possibility of critically examining the above mentioned ideologies. Read more.