The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan American think tank that provides information on social issues, public opinion, and demographic trends. They are considered to be a trusted source for information.
The Global Attitudes Project is a series of worldwide public opinion surveys that encompasses a broad array of subjects.
The vast majority of Muslims are peaceful and not represented by the extremists. But are there wide spread beliefs in the Islamic populations that are counter to the human rights of free speech, free expression, woman’s rights, and gay rights?
What are the statistics?
The following statistic has been repeated by Bill Maher many times. For atheists, our people, the free thinkers, have been persecuted, imprisoned and murdered in Islamic theocracies. The same goes for Muslims who converted to Christianity, so this is a passionate issue for Christians as well, and for anyone who believes in the human right of free religious choice and free religious expression.
Among Muslims who say Sharia Law should be the law of the land, % who favor death penalty for converts.
How deep is Islamic extremism in Muslim communities across the world? Are there beliefs that human rights advocates would consider extremist that are wide spread in what we think of as moderate Muslim countries such as Egypt?
Bill Maher and Sam Harris believe attitudes that are counter to human rights are deeply ingrained in many Muslim communities, and the statistics from the Pew Research Center back up their argument.
This is what Ben Affleck added to the discussion:
First he begins by challenging Sam Harris’s knowledge of Islam. Not a smart thing to do.
Then he angrily blurts out “that’s gross, that’s racist.”
No Ben, that’s data, and Islam is not a race. Many people in the non-religious community have criticized the Bible every week for years (or in Bill Maher’s case decades) without it ever being called racist. The double standard with Islam is nonsense.
The discussion then degrades into how we shouldn’t paint with a broad brush as not all Muslims are bad. We then get specific examples of Muslims who aren’t bad just in case there are any doubters.
Anyone with an IQ over 5 understands there are wonderful Muslims in the world. We don’t need to have that conversation. But if there is a population of millions of people who believe that leaving their religion warrants death, that in itself is a huge problem.
It became apparent very quickly that an intelligent conversation with Ben Affleck about this issue would be impossible. Any criticism of Islam was deemed a racist stance that equated all Muslims with terrorists.
Bill Maher began the discussion about how people on the left have been unable to engage in honest diolog about wide spread Muslim attitudes that are counter to strongly held human rights that the left are supposed to be championing per their ideology. Ben Affleck proved his point. Bill Maher and Sam Harris used statistics by a trusted source of information, Ben countered with shameless ignorance and nonsensical babbling.
How do we address the problem of human rights across the globe? Recognizing that there is a problem is a great place to start.
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James Kirk Wall
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