"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

The Casual Bigotry of Xeni Jardin and Jardin’s Many Followers


Xeni Jardin @xeni
Dude ISIS is bombing Muslim people in Muslim communities during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan how is ISIS Muslim no they’re psychopaths

and

Xeni Jardin, Why Muslims around the world made my tweet go viral, The Guardian, (July 5, 2016 20:49 BST), http://tinyurl.com/juyj4zo

The Casual Bigotry of Xeni Jardin and Jardin’s Many Followers

This post is not about Islam; it is about Westerners who write about Islam.

Recently, Xeni Jardin, a self-described “white American,” tweeted: “ISIS is bombing Muslim people in Muslim communities during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan[.] [H]ow is ISIS Muslim[?] [N]o they’re psychopaths.” Ibid.

What does Jardin’s post mean?

Jardin did not write: “ISIS kills people of all religions and of no religion at all, so they cannot be Muslim, they are psychopaths.” If Jardin had stated that, then Jardin’s implicit assumption would have been that Islam generally bans killing people (without regard to religion), and the conclusion that Isis is not authentically Islamic would follow from that assumption. 

But Jardin did not write that ... Instead, Jardin wrote: “Isis bombs Muslim people” and concluded that Isis cannot be authentically Islamic. But here the implicit assumption is that Islam has a particular ban in regard to killing their co-religionists (or, perhaps, Jardin’s assumption is that such killings of co-religionists are uniquely banned one month a year: i.e., during Ramadan.) Jardin’s assumption, that Islam specifically bans Muslim-on-Muslim killing, as opposed to murder generally, is not exactly complimentary. Some might even call Jardin’s assumption downright racist. Some might.

Sadly, Isis kills lots of people. Some Muslim, some non-Muslim. Did Jardin mean that if Isis murdered only atheists, Yazidi, Christians, etc, then all would be well, and that Isis would not be a group of “psychopaths”? Why did Jardin focus on Isis’ Muslim-on-Muslim killings, except to dehumanize the non-Muslim victims, and to teach that authentic Islam (as Jardin understands Islam) specifically prohibits Muslim-on-Muslim murder, rather than precluding murder generally?

Jardin is not teaching tolerance and respect. Jardin is teaching tribalism and the soft bigotry of low expectations. Her world view is a newly invented faux-orientalism: a Westerner’s politically correct view of non-Westerners. 

Those who have given Jardin’s post a “like,” those who have become her Twitter “followers,” are not part of the solution—they are part of the problem. A big part.

Seth

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