Quotable Friendly Atheist

At least, Muhammad Syed, quoted on Friendly Atheist:

There will never be reform or improvement if you are unwilling to even hear out ideas that are threatening to your beliefs. The complete lack of introspection, self-criticism, and demands for improvement paved the way for my disillusionment with the Muslim community many years ago and remains a main reason why I believe the Muslim community lacks the will to adapt to the modern world.

I borrow the paragraph from Hemant Mehta’s post regarding Yale and their invitation to have author and human rights advocate Ayaan Hirsi Ali speak this week. The Muslim Students Association and the Yale Humanists were critical of her speaking engagement and wrote a letter to the Buckley Program, which had set things up. In it they requested she limit her speech to direct life experiences and avoid talking smack about Islam — something she feels she has the right and obligation to do given her direct life experiences with it.

Muhammad Syed, the co-founder and Executive Director of Ex-Muslims of North America, penned an open letter to Yale Humanists and the MSA about this, which Hemant Mehta included in its entirety. It’s worth a read.

Change is good. Change is natural. Change is hard. Criticism is often just a lot of people bitching about the shit they don’t like. Constructive criticism, on the other hand, is meant to encourage change for the better. I don’t know where on the spectrum Ali would fit; I’ve read nothing she’s written on this topic or anything else for that matter.

I suppose for those who are getting criticized, the type of criticism might not matter; it’ll still feel like the whole world is against them. No doubt this feeling of “backed into a corner” just adds to the digging of heels and overall stubbornness. And then this choice to remain unchanging is easily justified simply by pointing out how generally fucked up the criticizing cultures are. “You’re one to talk..” as it were. Or, paraphrase the bible if you prefer – don’t point to the sliver in my eye while you have a stick in yours. But which side is doing the pointing? Each side would say the other.

Nobody’s perfect.

Take the NFL…

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