Skip to main content

Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Andrew Bolt, ANZAC, Julie Bishop, Islam, Gillian Triggs

Andrew Bolt says that Islam is an ideology: "Islam is an ideology, not a racial category."  He appears to be trying to give those biased against Muslims cover by criticizing the criticism instead of addressing the clear reality of bigotry against Abdel-Magied.  Abdel-Magied apologized for her wrongheaded ANZAC post, but continues to be attacked in bigoted tones.

But Bolt claims Islam is an ideology, "not a racial category". Bolt is wrong: Islam is neither a race nor an ideology.  Islam is a religion.

If Bolt wants to claim that all religions are ideologies, he may be able to do so; but if he singles out one religion and claims that it is an ideology while other religions are not, he will need to present strong evidence and a clear case for his singling out the one religion.

Next steps for Bolt would be to consider the following questions, if he hasn't yet:
  • Are all religions ideologies?
  • If not, which religions (beyond Islam) are ideologies?
  • What is the difference between religion and ideology?
  • After defining "religion" and "ideology", what attributes does Islam have to make it an ideology rather than a religion?

As he considers answers to these questions, he should be careful to acknowledge the diversity within religions generally and within Islam specifically.


Popular posts from this blog

Trump, Blumenthal, Comey, Vietnam, ad hominen, tu quo que

President Trump implies that Senator Blumenthal's comments on James Comey are irrelevant because of Blumenthal's previous incorrect statements about his own military service.  But whether Blumenthal misspoke or even lied is completely irrelevant to the current situation with the former Director of the FBI.

Trump is using an ad hominem attack against Blumenthal, and Trump is not addressing Blumenthal's position on Comey.  Trump is also committing something akin to tu quoque (directing criticism back on to Blumenthal on grounds of inconsistency to avoid criticizing the content of Blumenthal's argument), except that Blumenthal isn't making any claims related to the military.

Watching Senator Richard Blumenthal speak of Comey is a joke. "Richie" devised one of the greatest military frauds in U.S. history. For.... — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2017
Trump here appears to be "not even wrong", and his line on Blumenthal is not even very …

Healthcare, Tom Price, Insurance, Cost, Ecomomics

Tom Price here claims the new American Health Care Act will "bring down costs" and "will allow for more individuals to be covered".  The Congressional Budget Office projects that the number of uninsured under the AHCA will increase from 31 million this year to 52 million by 2026.

If the number of insured people decreases, costs for insurance should increase -- that is, at least, according to the traditional economic axiom of supply and demand.  If there will be greater demand for healthcare as people age and the population grows, and less available supply of coverage through insurance, one would expect prices to increase.

How can the bill "bring costs down" if the number of uninsured goes up?

Karl Oliver, Confederate Monuments, New Orleans, Lynching, Mississippi

Mississippi State Representative Karl Oliver said that if the leadership of "Louisiana wishes to... burn books or destroy historical monuments... they should be lynched."

Oliver has a problem here, in that lynching is the illegal or extralegal torture, murder, and mutilation by a mob.

If he is serious in his assertion that people who destroy monuments should be lynched, then he is actually calling for their extralegal torture, murder, and mutilation.  Because he posted this on social media to a public audience, he may even be inciting mob violence.  That may be grounds for charging him under 18 U.S. Code § 2102.

It is hard to believe that a public office holder, a State Representative, would be serious about calling for the torture, murder, and mutilation of those who remove monuments.

Oliver has to clarify -- was he serious, or was he just throwing around inflammatory language to express his anger?

{{Update}} Oliver has deleted the post as of 22 May 2017.