Thursday, January 31, 2013

Is it OK to Call Islamic Fundamentalism Barbaric?

Obama speaking about many Islamic countries.

Yes, the newest poll (located in the upper left corner of the blog) does have a story behind it. I was at a restaurant a few days ago with friends and friends of friends. Most of you have probably experienced this: The closer you are to an individual, the less back story you need to provide when making an assertion. For example, I was talking about the secular blogger in jail in an Arab country for breaking the local blasphemy law. I dropped the "B" word -- barbaric -- as in, "That country's government is freak'n barbaric." And my buddy's brother (who I see irregularly at best) replied that using the word barbarism was a bit, well, strong. Seeing that I had been driving for a fair portion of the day (this is when I was driving back from Yoga Camp last week) as well as having a few drinks in me, I chose not to follow-up on the matter.  In retrospect, I should have, along with the caveat that medieval Western European Christianity was the very picture of barbarism. I'd also point out that while modern day Christianity has lost many barbaric characteristics, it's only because it had bled whole populations white and that secular laws and secular society had curbed that barbarism (as it still does).

Have you had experiences calling radical Islam barbaric, and then called out for it? I seems that many liberals cringe at calling the faith the "B" word in fear of appearing intolerant or even racist. Of course, many conservatives feel free at calling Islam barbaric without any sense of history regarding Christianity's inhumane past.


  1. I'd say something about how barbaric Islam actually is, but I enjoy living too much.

  2. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and murders other ducks in cold blood saying its ok cause their duck bible said to do it, then of course it is ok to call them a murderous duck

    Protecting barbarism only leads to more barbarism

  3. Right now two people have voted that it isn't OK. I'd like to hear their reasoning.

  4. I think the word "barbaric" has racist connotations and should be avoided for that reason alone. Having said that, if we are talking about horrific medieval laws like stoning women to death because they went out on a date, then it is hard to get mad at someone for using a harsh term. Having said that, the argument that "barbaric" is correct because fundy islamic crazyshit is the kind of thing originally referred to as "barbarism" first used, then we're bordering on just plain ignorance.

    Rather than getting ones shorts in a knot over the term 'barbaric' (one way or another, pro or con) why not come up with a couple of better, more descriptive and accurate, meaningful terms that will be more persuasive and useful?

  5. Oops, I hate tablets (sometimes). My previous message was sent without it being finished so please do not post. What I was trying to say is that the term barbaric is normally problematic because it is normally used to describe violent or revulsive acts commited by peoples.of other cultures or subcultures (the other). In the context of a First Worlder calling others barbarians I can see how it may trigger negative reactions. Have you ever noticed not too many over here think of Hiroshima as barbaric? And no, I have not voted yet ;)


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