Dec 052011

In “Attacking Islamism and even Islam is not anti-Muslim“, Maryam Namazie makes the important point that there is a difference between criticising Islam and criticising individual Muslims. They must not be confused or conflated.

I have made this point a number of times, for example in:

My articles about Islam
Should modern Muslims re-brand Islam?
Is “Islamophobia” a rational concept? Is it “the new racism”?

But just after 1 minute into the video, (also on YouTube), she says (approximately):

… when a terrorist attack happens Muslims are told they should say they don’t agree. Why should they? Do all doctors say they don’t agree with Dr Shipman?

There is a difference: the profession of being a doctor is enlightened, while Islam is not.

Joining the profession of being a doctor implies the acceptance of its identified principles, all of them enlightened. Doctors have implicitly already said they don’t agree with Dr Shipman, who contradicted those principles, and there is no need to repeat it. (Dr Shipman didn’t commit his crimes in the name of the profession of being a doctor).

Being a Muslim implies (strictly speaking, demands!) the acceptance of Islam’s identified principles, some unenlightened. In the absence of speaking out against acts committed according to the principles of Islam and/or in the name of Islam, (those are different), there is room for doubt about the attitude of any specific Muslim.

That doesn’t mean that specific Muslims can therefore be accused of supporting those acts. “Innocent until shown to be guilty”! Most Muslims are innocent of the worst aspects of Islam, and indeed some are victims of them. But no-one should be surprised about any suspicion. There is no legal requirement for Muslims to speak against those acts. But politically and socially it would often makes sense to do so. Doctors don’t need to pick-and-choose which parts of their professional principles they adhere to; it should be all of them. Muslims do need to pick-and-choose; and sometimes it would be wise to go public.

Sometimes they do so:

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