2:40 - The first thing to say is that the response of liberals, and again it is so depressing to have to use the term "liberal" in a pejorative way in this context, but liberalism has completely lost its moorings on the topic of Islam.
3:15 - You can't help but hear the stupid things they say about Islam, even in the immediate aftermath of an atrocity like this. As will come as no surprise, they will tell you that this has nothing to do with Islam, it has nothing to do with heartfelt religious convictions. No, it has everything to do with capitalism and the oppression of minorities and the racism of white people in Europe and the racism of cartoonists at a magazine like Charlie Hebdo. THAT is the cause of this behaviour. That's what causes someone to grab an AK-47 and then murder 12 cartoonists and then scream "Allahu Akbar!" in the streets. It is a completely insane analysis.
3:46 - Even if you grant everything that's wrong with capitalism and the history of colonialism, you should not be able to deny that these religious maniacs are motivated by concerns about blasphemy and the depiction of the prophet Muhammed, and consider their behaviour entirely ethical in light of specific religious doctrines. It is a kind of masochism and moral cowardice and lack of intelligence, frankly, at this point, that is allowing people to deny this fact.
4:40 - We hear everywhere about this false trade-off between freedom of speech and freedom of religion. As though there was some kind of balance to be struck here. There is no balance to be struck! Freedom of speech NEVER infringes on freedom of religion! There's nothing I could say in this podcast about religion generally or about Islam in particular, that would infringe upon someone else's freedom to practice his or her religion.
5:05 - If your freedom of religion entails that you force those who do not share it to conform to it, well then that's not freedom of religion! We have a word for that. That's theocracy. This respect that we are all urged to show for "religious sensitivity" is actually a demand that the blasphemy laws of Islam be followed by non-muslims. And secular liberals in the West are defending this thuggish ultimatum and putting the lives of cartoonists, of journalists and free thinkers and public intellectuals in jeopardy day after day.
5:40 - The muslim world simply has to get used to free speech winning. And we should make no apologies for this.
7:53 - And we should notice how euphemism is preventing honest conversation on this topic. We use words like "extremist" and "extremism". What do these words mean? Well "extremism" generally suggests that expression of a certain set of ideas has become an exageration, a distortion of those ideas. But when we're talking about muslim extremists, have they really exagerated or distorted the core teachings of Islam? No! Muslim extremists are motivated by the most litteral and straightforward and compregensive resort to the ideas expressed in the Coran and the hadiths. What is ISIS doing that Muhammed didn't do or didn't advocate somewhere in the scripture?
11:55 - It doesn't matter if a person's had direct contact with Al Qaeda or ISIS or wether he's a "lone wolf". We're talking about the spread of ideas. Again, ideas about martyrdom and Jihad and paradise and the rights of women and blasphemy. The point we cannot ignore, the point that should never be obfuscated is that we are at war with a global phenomenon of Jihadism. And there can be no compromise with this death cult. And these fake liberals, these fellow travelers with theocracy, these people who in the name of liberalism protect only political correctness and masochism, they're absolutely part of the problem! They're preventing us from demanding that the muslim community worldwide get its act together.
12:42 - And this is why expressions of horror and rejection are insufficient in the muslim community. Of course you're horrified by this behaviour if you're a decent human being and you have an even tenuous connection to civil society in the XXIst cebtury. But that's not enough! Muslmims have to honestly grapple with the bad doctrine in their faith. They can no longer just say that Islam is a religion of peace. They can no longer lie about the doctrines that relate to martyrdom and Jihad and apostacy and the rights of women. Muslims have to fight a civil war of ideas or a civil war against Jihadism and Islamism generally. That's what has to happen. It's not a matter of blaming all muslims for the actions of a few, it's a matter of demanding a reformation within Islam that only muslims can accomplish. The civilised world is waiting for this to happen and people continue to die until it does.
21:30 - How careful, if at all, should liberal critics of Islam be that their criticisms don't give cover to illeberal racists? Again, I think this is a non-issue. I think that if what you're saying relays to ideas and their consequences and you're actually not promulgating racism, which is to say you're not concerned about the color od people's skin or their ethnicity, you're just talking about ideas. Well then people are going to use your clear thinking for some nefarious purpose, that is outside of your control. There obviously are racists who are going to continue to be racists (...) but that's not something you can correct for by NOT criticising bad ideas or specific policies. (...) I think we should disparage racism whenever we encounter it and we should talk candidly about specific ideas, in this case, within Islam.
22:50 - How can we convince apologists that religious people really do believe what they say they believe and that their god is not metaphorical? Well, this is actually a very difficult problem. I think that many apologists know that they're lying. (...) But there are people that are simply confused, they don't know what it's like to believe in god and for that reason they doubt that anyone really does. And this is a difficult problem to get around. There seems to be no manifestation of religious fanaticism that is so unequivical as to convince people that it really must have been born of religious ideology, rather than some other motive. Now curiously, they don't tend to feel this about other kinds of religious behaviour. So people who go to church on Sundays and eat the communion host at the mass and they say the rosary, when you ask people why catholics, in this case, would behave this way, well they will admit that it is on the basis of their catholic beliefs. But when you talk about behaviour that causes immense harm in the world, then they ascribe this behaviour to some other motive. Even in the case of a suicide bomber who has left a video testimony as to his expectations about getting into paradise. So there is no evidence that would be sufficient for many of these people and they have, for whatever reason, rigged the game this way. They either rig their own minds or they rig the public conversation and there's nothing to do but keep talking past them in the hope of reaching other people.