We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

For years I was an apologist for Islam, as regrettably, many still remain. I only read books and believed those who painted Islam in a peaceful, glowing light. I made excuses for radical Muslims and lived in a flood of denial that religious teachings could still, in this modern age of drones and clones, motivate a person to commit evil. I criticized the numerous atheists including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sam Harris, and Bill Maher warning of the dangers inherent in Islamic doctrines, recklessly labelling them Islamophobes.

Today I’m writing to say I’m sorry, I apologize, and I ask for your forgiveness. We who have blindly defended Islam and called you Islamophobes are tragically wrong.


We who have carelessly thrown around the Islamophobe label including Glen Greenwald, Reza Aslan, and Karen Armstrong should lower our heads in shame and guilt. Few things are as morally depraved as attacking someone who criticizes Islam (Ayaan Hirsi Ali) rather than attacking the Islamic apostasy and blasphemy laws teaching Muslims they should kill her. We must now live with the knowledge that we’ve abandoned and betrayed our principles. Though we claim the mantle of human rights, free speech and equality, we lack the courage of our convictions when it offends someone. We make the cowardly lion look like Churchill.

Mike Dobbins

22 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Flubber

    Well duh.. One should I suppose celebrate someone finally recongnising the obvious, but ffs what the hell took this guy so long?

  • pete

    Intolerant ‘liberals’ use Islam as just another excuse for shouting down dissent from their PC view of the world.

    They aren’t interested in Islam any more than they are interested in racism, sexism, global warming or any other of the things they harp on about.

    All they want is obedience.

  • but ffs what the hell took this guy so long?

    To publicly write an article saying, in no uncertain or exculpatory terms: “oh boy did I fuck up…” is something maybe 2% of the world is capable of doing.

    I imagine this is probably because the reaction from friends is that they become former friends, and the reaction from the former ‘other side’ is not to fulsomely welcome their unqualified repentance (for that is what we are talking about here: repentance) but rather to say something like “Well duh.. One should I suppose celebrate someone finally recongnising the obvious, but ffs what the hell took this guy so long?”

    Just sayin’

    Personally I am an atheist but there are many germane sections in the Bible on the topic of repentance and some of them nail it rather well (and others not so much).

  • What an awesome article, it took real balls to write it.

  • Jane Simons

    I almost fell off my chair reading this. Here is someone who sees the consequences that come from self-indulgently emoting without really paying attention to the subject. I admired Glen Greenwald for his role regarding Edward Snowden, so its a real pity he takes his cigarette breaks in between doing good deeds behind a pile of Christian, Yazidi and indeed Muslim corpses, striking a pose there to show how “right on” he is. He doesn’t have enough karma banked to do that.

  • Laird

    It did take courage to write this; it is undoubtedly going to cost him some erstwhile friends. Taking off the blinders, and recognizing Islam for what it is (what it overtly proclaims that it is) is a necessary first step. Perhaps the most important passage was: “No religion, book, prophet, law, or God, no matter how sacredly held by the follower, is exempt from criticism. No religious belief or doctrine receives preferential treatment in a free society. Either all religions, books, and prophets are open to criticism or none are. We either live in a free society or tyrannical one.”

    To that I would add “mockery”, which is often the most effective form of criticism. Cartoons lampooning Islam and Muhammad are important tools and should be defended at every turn. I also appreciate satire of this sort. Whatever works.

  • Bod

    i guess that it’s a kind of come-to-Jesus moment for him.

  • n005

    Perhaps he tried to make a new entry to his list of disavowed fellow Scotsmen, only to find there was not one bit of space left on the paper!

  • I’d been planning to write a post broadly along those lines for some time, mainly about how the expectations that Muslims will lean away from their own faith and embrace Western culture are a tad unrealistic. I’ve now gotten off my arse and written it.

  • Runcie Balspune

    what the hell took this guy so long?

    I’d hazard a guess and say it was the threat of having his head removed?

  • More likely he was just following the herd of ‘kind and caring people’. And then one day he stood on a turd that was not even supposed to be there (i.e. he actually read the Koran).

  • Veryretired

    The assertion that some people should be free from ever encountering something that offends them, and, if they do, are justified in any violent response they care to make, is a demand that free speech and expression stop.

    It is interesting, and informative, that the same people now demanding this “freedom from” anything they find offensive are the same ones who, a short time ago, demanded the right to all sorts of offensive speech, and behavior as speech, when those objecting were western patriots and/or Christians.

    Now, of course, as multi-culti PC rules require, anything offensive to protected groups must be banned, and relentlessly condemned as racist, sexist, —phobic, etc. The unprincipled cynicism of such duplicity is, of course, also off limits from any criticism.

  • thefrollickingmole

    All it took was reading the source book and the tissue of lies became too frail to stand it.
    Most of the caring left can pull “hater” bits from the bible (old testament) at the drop of a hat. But will deny flat out Islam is full of the same (or worse) language, and even more relevant, is considered the “final word” of god.
    Jesus’ spiel was supposed to abrogate a lot of the old “fire and brimstone” sections of the old testament, dietary laws etc, Mos mob reintroduced them in spades.

  • As VR suggests the issue is essentially about the tolerance of the intolerable. VR calls it “duplicity” which it is but it is also internally self-contradictory. In a way we should be happy about this. Such structures tend to collapse under their own weight of idiocy.

    I for myself have never understood the student union politics which supported Gay Pride stuff but also supported virulently homophobic Islamists. Now, OK, free platform for anyone and all that but that is not what it is about is it? It is a a very juvenile free platform to whoever sounds “cool” meaning different from their Dad really. Anyone. No free platform would be given to me say what I think (not that I ever sought one – being more interested in maths, physics, getting laid and getting on).

    I mentioned maths there. It can involve mental gymnastics but the most awkward concepts – the thinking your way round a corkscrew you have only seen in 2D – are nothing to the mental gymnastics of those who would support anything as long as it was “counter-culture”. I’m sorry folks but the right to be gay and the right to jihad are not compatible and hiding criticism of Islam under the veil of racism is a category error.

  • Nick (Pro-Sovereignty) Gray

    If you think that is bad, try being a modern physicist, who believes both in General Relativity, AND Quantum mechanics! They complain about religions having a dualistic structure, and then say that duality IS reality!

  • CaptDMO

    A bit confused I think.
    The “right” to simply be homosexual (and let’s not confuse that with “gay”), and the “right” to simply be Muslim are ENTIRELY compatible.
    “Criticism” of the behavior of prosecuting folks for failure to celebrate, participate, and accommodate, at EVERY LEVEL, by “radicals” (or..um…fundamentalists?) are just as compatible.
    IMHO, contemptible, and actionable.
    I’m not convinced that “some” folks (such as myself) are guilty racist bigotry for simply asking apologists, and appeasers, to simply READ THE FREAKIN’ MUSLIM INSTRUCTION MANUAL!, and compare it’s “radical” adherents- hiding behind “Religion”, to the ethos of…say….Sicilian, and subsequently Italian, “radicals” criminal enterprise- hiding behind “fellowship”, as well as organized Negro “radicals” in the drug/turf enterprise- hiding behind “keepin’ it real”, or early American west “radicals” of bank/train robbing gangs- hiding behind “Every man for himself”, or European/Asian/African “radicals” practicing piracy/human trafficking- hiding behind “For the flag” etc., etc., and so on…and so on…and so on…

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Mike Dobbins has admitted he was fundamentally wrong and has apologised.

    This was indeed a brave and good thing to do.

  • Dom

    Does anyone know who this Mike Dobbins is? I find someone with that name writing a book on atheism (he’s against it). Right now, I’m thinking he’s just posing. That is, he’s always thought what he calls his recent enlightenment, and he’s playing the part of a convert to add a little gravitas to it.

  • I find someone with that name writing a book on atheism (he’s against it)

    As he is writing for The Christian Post, I would hardly expect him to be pro-atheism 😉

    Right now, I’m thinking he’s just posing

    I have no idea one way or the other, but it is incumbent upon you to provide evidence or it is a baseless supposition.

  • Dom

    Perry, it’s not a baseless assumption so much as healthy skepticism. I can’t find anywhere that he accused anyone of islamophobia, using that word as Glen Greenwald uses it. At most, it was a private opinion, and he changed his mind once he read the Hadith. That public apology for a private opinion seems odd.

    This is not like Andrew Sullivan explaining why he changed his mind about Iraq.

  • At most, it was a private opinion, and he changed his mind once he read the Hadith. That public apology for a private opinion seems odd.

    Not really that odd, given that as a Christian he presumably holds that sins should be confessed and repented, not swept under the carpet. Moreover by publicly stating his repentance and making the argument why being an apologist for Islam is an act of wickedness, he carries out an act of redemptive goodness.

    As it this bloke actually takes the whole “Christian” malarkey seriously, his action therefore strike me as both reasonable and quite easy to understand (even Dawkins has had a nice word to say about the guy!).

    That said, I do not think your healthy scepticism is unreasonable, merely that given he is a Christian acting as a Christian in theory should upon realising they are in moral error, I do think it is still incumbent upon you to demonstrate why this very Christian act is probably cynically motivated 😉