luigi

@luigi

Luigi

It is only as an aesthetic phenomenon that existence and the world are eternally justified.

1mth

Excerpts of a conversation I had today on another social network

Let's not forget that the 9/11 and 7/7 suicide bombers were highly educated. They were far from poor as well. Bin Laden was an engineer, educated in the best western universities. Do you think the ISIS leaders are poor or uneducated? Do you think the jihadists who left Sweden to fight in Syria are poor and ignorant? They are usually born in Sweden and have been educated like any other European. Ignorance and poverty are also fallacies when you deal with religion.


People always refuse to blame religion for some strange reason. "Oh, the problem is poverty" or "yeah, the problem is the lack of education"—or even "it's just the result of western foreign policy" (which is the worst kind of bullcrap). These are scapegoats. Apart from being plainly wrong statements, they help the jihadists and other cretins. "Haha, let the liberals try to find a reason for our death cult. In the meanwhile, we keep assassinating them."


I'd argue that ISIS' aim is not profit. It obviously helps, but as a fundamentalist religious organisation its main objectives are religious in nature. I understand the urge to rationalise their fanatical ways—as atheists/agnostics it's very difficult to grasp such justifications—but I think we need to realise that we're dealing with a phenomenon that disappeared in Europe a long time ago, so we're not really used to it anymore. We can't use modern economic theories (from Marx to the Austrian school) to explain blind faith. Profit is the method, yes, it's the necessary tool which oils the jihad machine, but their end game is much, much more perverse. Our rational western minds are not prepared for such a nightmare. That's why I think we should change our strategy. We need to look deeper at the religious aspect, in their dogmas and rituals, trying to find Islam's Achilles heels. The only way out is a reform.


One more interesting argument. ISIS is known for killing all residents of Syrian or Iraq villages. 300, 400 people at the time, just because they're classified as infidels/haram/impure. Mass executions are common. This behaviour can't be explained by economics. It's counterintuitive, from an economic point of view, to destroy entire villages and cities. If profit was ISIS' aim, they would control that population or slave them. This 'scorched earth' strategy is a desperate measure. It's only used in massive wars or, as we can see, in completely irrational religious fervour.

1mth

The problem with Islam is not only related to terrorism or the use of violence against innocent civilians. In fact, there are many other issues deeply interconnected with its religious aspect:

  • Mistreatment of apostates, including death penalty in many Islamic countries.

  • Mistreatment of atheists, including death penalty in many Islamic countries. A few Bangladeshi bloggers were lynched publicly a few months ago, accused of atheism. Such a horrible offence, isn't it?

  • Mistreatment of other religious groups, particularly Jews (antisemitism is rampant in the Islamic world—and in places with a significant percentage of Muslims, like in Malmö or in the Parisian banlieues).

  • Mistreatment of Muslims themselves (from different sects and branches): Shias against Sunnis against Alawites against Sufis against Ahmadiyyas against... The list goes on and on. Most deaths in the Islamic world are caused by this 'internal' warfare.

  • Homophobia. It's not by chance that gays are frequently murdered or condemned to death in the Arab world—not only by ISIS or other jihadist groups, but by many 'moderate' Islamic governments.

  • Misogyny: making the female body 'forbidden' and subject to male ownership, plus harassment and violent sexual crimes in the Islamic world—and in places with a significant Muslim population. As one example, the so-called Arab Spring revolutions were maculated by widespread public gang rapes. Just Google 'Tahrir Square': there are reports of more than 80 assaults in one single night. Finally, let's not forget about Female Genital Mutilation, a common practice in places like Indonesia and Egypt, although not strictly Islamic in nature (in any case, many Hadiths—accounts of Muhammad actions and words—praise female mutilation)

  • Honour killings. Religious families not only disown their daughters and sons (for a variety of reasons, mostly derived from strict moral principles), but go much further. They preserve the clan's honour by taking the lives of their own kin. A common occurrence in extreme moralistic—and hypocritical—cultures.

  • Extreme sensitivity or tendency to be offended. Just remember the childish, if not deadly, reactions to the Muhammad cartoons in Denmark. Or Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses. Or Charlie Hebdo. Or Lars Vilks' roundabout prophet. Or Theo van Gogh's short film Submission. So and so, ad nauseam.

  • Sharia Law, a set of laws based on religious scripture, which creates a violent and irrational legal system, basis of political Islam.

  • Belief in creationism—opposing or simply creating obstacles against scientific advancements. We tend to forget that religious Muslims don't believe in evolution by natural selection either, it's not only your next-door hillbilly.


As long as Muslims refuse to acknowledge the multiple issues affecting their religion, absolutely nothing is going to change.

A comprehensive Islamic reform is overdue. The religion's sacred texts should not be interpreted literally—as they normally are, by moderates or extremists. It's time to introduce the concept of literary criticism and historiography to Islam. This 'literalism' is probably one of the biggest causes of the problems listed here.

There are a few lonely voices here and there, like in the case of Maajid Nawaz or other members of the Quilliam Foundation in the Anglosphere, but their efforts are far from having a greater—and necessary—impact.

Until all these issues are dealt with, there's nothing wrong in being called islamophobic. That's just bloody common sense.


Disclaimer: obviously this applies to the religion's representatives. Most, if not all of them, refuse to see the bad sides of their belief, refuse to treat their holy book as literature. It's time to be more realistic. It's time to demand reforms. "My neighbour is a Muslim, but he drinks vodka and eats pig" is not a counter-argument, it's a fallacy that diffuses the issues at hand.

2mth

It is now offensive to pretend to be other people

"It’s so ugly. The intensity with which Saldana has been slated in the press and defamed on Twitter, having her skin colour and identity pored over and policed by racially correct identitarians, is a reminder of how vicious the politics of identity can be. People who pose as progressive, as enlightened and anti-racist, are ‘calling out’ a black woman over her skin colour, effectively branding her a modern-day minstrel, a ‘blackface’, a not-real black person pretending to be black. They can’t seem to see the twisted irony of claiming to be anti-racist while obsessing over a black woman’s skin and shaming her for having the wrong racial make-up. This isn’t anti-racism; it’s the very definition of racialism; it’s racial thinking, and racial shaming."
-- The ‘anti-racist’ crowd have resorted to the old politics of racism

3mth
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So... I have been to Japan. Business matters. I will post a few pictures here from now on.

This photo. Wedding at Meiji Jingu, Tokyo. :camera: @luigi

4mth

"Some of us are old enough to remember when refugees consisted almost entirely (and by definition) of the most vulnerable members of any given country in crisis: women, children, the elderly, and so forth. Today, on the other hand, most of the Muslims arriving in Europe from the Near East seem to be young men of fighting age: young men whose views regarding Jews, gays, and of course women are completely at odds with Europe’s liberal tradition as it has evolved these past few centuries; a liberal tradition which Germany, for obvious reasons, has sought to reify in its approach to domestic and international affairs ever since the end of the war. But thanks in no small measure to mass Muslim immigration, antisemitism in its most predatory incarnation is once again the norm on German streets, while misogyny is more or less accepted, even expected. It is to choke on the irony of it all. In the name of a long-cherished tradition of tolerance, Germany is becoming savagely intolerant: totally unsafe for Jews who dare to display their Judaism in public, and increasingly unsafe for women."

After Cologne, Feminism is Dead, by Phillip McGough

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