Stories about Sam Harris

He was just a kid who made a clock, America

It has been 14 years since the Twin Towers in New York City were attacked – 2977 Americans died that day and thousands were injured. Soon after, the United States of America launched a full-scale offensive against al Qaeda in Afghanistan, under the name of ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’. That operation lasted 13 years. American forces invaded Iraq as well, for around a decade.  Twenty thousand civilians and 6,000 security personnel have perished since 2003 in Pakistan. A grand total of 210,000 civilians have died, once you include the staggering numbers from Afghanistan and Iraq. Women, children, and unarmed men. What number is enough to stop calling it ‘collateral damage’? But ...

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Noam Chomsky versus Sam Harris: Rationale versus hate

Sam Harris is butting heads again – this time with Noam Chomsky. He recently blogged an email exchange he had with the great man himself; an exchange which, as with most things with Harris, quickly degenerated into crassness. That this torture-advocating anti-theist would, of his own accord, publicise such classless piffle over the web, expecting quite possibly a tsunami of approval from his fans, betrays a curious audacity one may only encounter in a special breed of omniscience-claiming cult-runners. Of course Harris can be absolved of such an indictment – no cult-runner is he. But he may well be drifting perilously close to ...

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Is atheism rampant in the Middle East?

Just recently Ahmed Harqan, an Egyptian human rights activist, stunned television audiences all over Egypt and rest of the Arab Middle East, by claiming his non-belief in the existence of God and his profound disdain to religious scriptures and ideology. Following this astonishing revelation, a raging debate sparked all over the Middle East, since religion has been the most sacred form of thought in these parts of the world. It was very uncommon to discuss faith and scriptures, as it was considered blasphemous to question the doctrines of religion, and was even punishable legally. But over the last few years, things have taken ...

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It is not just the West, Islamophobia is on the rise in Pakistan too

Only when we thought Osama bin Laden was rotting in his grave and the West had started accepting us for our faith, Islamophobia struck again.  After the Charlie Hebdo attack of January 7th, the Denmark shootings of February 14th and the public flogging of Raef Badawi, a liberal blogger of Saudi Arabia, the West found grounds to fear Islam again. We see articles in the news about how the West is becoming cynical and alienating Muslims, and how a parking space issue can turn into a homicide because almost everybody in the West is either afraid of Muslims or angry at them. Like Mr Kashif Chaudhry, you too might believe that some Twitter ...

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Why is ‘Islamophobia’ on the rise in America?

This weekend, fliers threatening Muslims with mass murder were left at a bus station minutes from my home near Boston. The warning on the fliers: Muslims in America be ready to face death if ISIS did not surrender within the following three days, as if Muslim Americans command and control the actions of the terrorist group. This unfortunate incident follows a series of anti-Muslim hate crimes in America in the last few days. Following the brutal Chapel Hill shootings in which three young Muslims were killed execution-style, an Islamic community centre in Houston, Texas, was burned down. A fireman posted on social media, asking his fellow firemen not to put out the ...

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Chapel Hill: Should Muslims in America worry?

Almost 13 and a half years ago, 9/11 set in motion US involvement in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and escalated tension between fundamentalists and the world. Despite this, the United States, with a population of 300 million, including roughly two percent or six million Muslims, has seen relatively few domestic attacks against or by Muslims. Prejudice exists, nevertheless. On February 10, at Chapel Hill, self-professed atheist Craig Stephen Hicks murdered three young Muslims, Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, may they rest in peace. This tragedy stands in infamy with Major Nidal Hasan’s Fort Hood killing spree in 2009, but in the ...

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Organising a Holocaust denial cartoon competition makes you no different from Charlie Hebdo, Iran!

In my recent post titled Where are all the moderate Muslims?, published on January 8th, 2015, I opened the blog retelling a true story, here it is; “History tells us a story about a woman who used to throw garbage out every morning as the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) passed by her house. This was the woman’s practice every morning, the Prophet (pbuh) did not reprimand her neither did he change his route. And then one day, the woman did not appear, the Prophet (pbuh), worried to see the woman missing, knocked on her door and inquired about the woman’s wellbeing. The woman was so ...

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If you are the US, you can get away with anything. Even torture.

States exist for their own well-being. They have their self-interests. Domestic and foreign policies define and dictate state acts and omissions on the world stage. In the post 9/11 order, state-to-state interaction has undergone an incredible amount of change with the entire gamut of international relations now at the mercy of a few role players. The United States of America, of course, holds the centre stage, in a global effort against the spread of religious fanaticism and waging a war on terrorism. That being said, the recently released report detailing the US Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) tactics of interrogation after September 11, ...

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Interfaith gestures: Moral placebos or progress?

On November 14, 2014, Muslims prayed at the National Cathedral in Washington DC. South Africa’s US Ambassador, Ebrahim Rasool, gave a sermon and declared that, “never again must there be intolerance towards Christians or any other faith,” and media observers heralded this breakthrough in interfaith relations, though not all cheered. The prayers were interrupted by a heckler screaming that America was “founded on Christian principles”. Reverend Franklin Graham described the event as “sad”. Dr Sebastian Gorka at Breitbart.com accused the Muslim Brotherhood of taking over the cathedral, inexplicably bringing in the Armenian genocide during the Ottoman Empire; all this in the ...

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Muslim is the new black

This past Monday I watched CNN’s Don Lemon question Sam Harris sympathetically, almost apologetically, about Ben Affleck’s defence of the Muslims of the world. Lemon asked Harris loaded questions, encouraging him to spew his ignorant half-true rhetoric about Islam. And this claim I do not make condescendingly, rather Harris’ knowledge appeared lacking because of its biased subjectivity rather than studied objectivity on the subject of Islam, his simplistic rambling sounded amateurish and very myopic. A discussion on religion within the same religion is fundamentally complicated, let alone in comparison to other religions, hence to make the dialogue intellectual and fair, the media must play a responsible role and have ...

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