Harris

This is a statement that was made by Dr. Sam Harris on Real Time with Bill Maher. Even though the statement is 4+ years old it is riddled with so many factual inaccuracies, distortions, and half-truths that a criticism of it could not be avoided.


Oct. 14, 2014 – “the Islamic world includes a strain that truly is disproportionately intolerant and oppressive. Barbarians in the Islamic State cite their faith as the reason for their monstrous behavior — most recently beheading a British aid worker devoted to saving Muslim lives — and give all Islam a bad name. Moreover, of the 10 bottom-ranking countries in the World Economic Forum’s report on women’s rights, nine are majority Muslim. In Afghanistan, Jordan and Egypt, more than three-quarters of Muslims favor the death penalty for Muslims who renounce their faith, according to a Pew survey. The persecution of Christians, Ahmadis, Yazidis, Bahai — and Shiites — is far too common in the Islamic world. We should speak up about it.”

  1. The World Economic Report was on gender gaps not women’s rights. Which is, according to them, a measure of “relative gaps between women and men across four key areas: health, education, economy and politics.” See,  http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2014/?doing_wp_cron=1522037969.6652209758758544921875

  2. There are 57 Muslim majority countries so the 10 at the bottom would only be 17.54% of what is being referred to as the “Islamic world”. Proof: 10 / 57 = 0.1754; 0.1754 * 100 = 17.54%

  3. The Islamic state (IsIL) does not represent Islam. They have been denounced and their justifications have been proven – factually, to be spurious. See, http://www.lettertobaghdadi.com

  4. Only a misguided Muslim would be in support of the death penalty for renunciation of ones faith. 

    The Qur’an explicitly states in Surah Al-Baqara 256: “There is no compulsion in the religion”.

    Arabic:  لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ ۖ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ ۚ فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىٰ لَا انفِصَامَ لَهَا ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

  5. Muslims throughout the so called “Islamic world” have suffered more because of U.S. foreign policies, bombings, conflicts, and drone strikes than anything. See,
    https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/costs/human/civilians
    https://www.iraqbodycount.org
    https://www.law.columbia.edu/human-rights-institute/counterterrorism/drone-strikes/counting-drone-strike-deaths

  6. The religion of Islam is derived from the Qur’an. NOT the cultures and practices of the people in the Middle East.