So this happened:
(I’m having a little trouble with the link in my blogging software, so I’ll post it here just in case it goes horribly wrong).
First of all, I like Russell Brand. I do. I don’t exactly think he’s any kind of bastion of intellectual thought, but his heart is in the right place. But here, like with Ben Affleck, he’s adopted this mainline liberal idea that Muslims are this big giant group of peace loving hippies and there’s just a couple of bad apples who run around blowing up buildings trying to make Islam look bad.
So I find my self in the uncomfortable position of actually agreeing with Fox News. Yes, they got something right. There are scores of human rights abuses in Islamic countries ruled by Sharia Law. However, Fox is right but for the wrong reasons, and they get the point wrong as usual.
You see, Fox has an agenda. They target a Christian conservative audience and play on their fears to increase viewership. To a conservative Christians, Muslims are fuckin’ scary. We sort of ran out of bad guys with the fall of the (godless communist) Soviet Union in the early 90s, and 9/11 gave us a new one: Muslims!
In this case, the facts fit Fox’s narrative beautifully, as long as you don’t back up and look at the bigger picture. The Quran does endorse subjugation of women. It does call for killing infidels and apostates. Fox says that you can be killed for “sins” but it’s actually a bit more specific than that. Only certain sins will merit the death penalty, and leaving Islam is right up there. I can only assume they dodge that one because *gasp!* it makes atheists look persecuted. Fox hates atheists too, so they can’t go there. But back up a little, take the 40,000 foot view, and you can say that Islam commands death for the commission of (certain) sins. See how easy it was to twist that little fact to fit a narrative?
So lets take Brand’s claims into account here. There’s 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, and the vast majority of them aren’t running around blowing up buildings. Yes, true. But Fox was actually talking about human rights abuses, and these occur at an alarming rate in many Muslim theocracies. The problem, of course, is more complex than anything that can be summed up in a simple sentence and plastered on a picture of Morgan Freeman for circulation around the internet.
What Fox is missing is the fact that any criticism that can be leveled against Islam can also (and should be) leveled against Christianity. Christianity had Theocracies with human rights abuses a while ago too. We call them the dark ages now. Islam is currently in it’s own dark age.
You see, the problem isn’t Islam, it’s Theocracies. It’s following bronze age religions in the information age. But you have to love the irony of Fox News decrying a Theocracy, considering how much time they’ve spent suggesting that we become one.