Talk:Maajid Nawaz

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Just gonna butt in here...[edit]

...in hopes of oiling the gears, so to speak. @Levi, the topics you're adding seem pretty reasonable. IMO, though, your additions sort of read like a hit piece, they're long-winded, and the organization is haphazard. There are criticisms embedded in the article prior to your addition, so adding a "Criticisms" section maybe isn't ideal, and "Questionable X", "Questionable Y" subsections would be easier to follow if X and Y were narrower than "methods", "positions", etc; those are very broad terms. I think it'd make more sense to organize by specific topic, i.e., Quilliam Foundation, Israel, etc. For now I'm with RBP and ClothCoat in that your additions in their current state aren't ready to go in the article, but I for one think they would be very worthwhile if you repackage them. Hope to hear your thoughts. B) talk 22:41, 3 January 2017 (UTC)

Good post! My thoughts exactly.
There are plenty of valid criticisms against Majid Nawaz, some of which we have yet to bring up — warranting expansion (read: improvement) of our article on him.
However, making a chicken out of a feather by clasping for every straw on Twitter and presenting it all in a way so laden with drama hype as to make the whole exposé stick out completely from the prior text is neither fitting for a mainspace article, nor helpful to achieving the prior mentioned expansion and improvement of the article.
Irrelevant to the topic of Majid Nawaz is the topic of editor conduct on this site. With myself, ClothCoat and Bshaw, we are now three editors against one (Levi). This constitutes a clear consensus, and we're all asking you (Levi) to stand down from edit warring. Levi, please do not re-insert your edits before talkpaging, discussing your proposed changes and gaining mob support in your edits to the Majid Nawaz article. Thank you. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 00:36, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
@RBP, "your thoughts exactly"? Maybe try communicating those thoughts in words, rather than waiting for me to divine them by some metaphysical means. Re "editor conduct" and "edit warring", Bshaw only just entered the fray - and did so in order to get my attention, yet you include him/her (together with Clothcoat) among your 3 editors, which you referred to much, much earlier?
@Bshaw, I will take on board your recommendations and amend the article accordingly, but regarding the article reading like a hit piece, we have several articles, which are also promoted, which read like hit pieces. The article on Milo to name an example. The article on Sargon of Akkad to name another. The article on Andrew Schlafly to name a third. Or are you trying to tell me that articles are only allowed to read like hit pieces if the subjects of said articles are of a right-wing disposition? Moreover, I thought Rationalwiki wasn't meant to be biased:

RationalWiki does not use Wikipedia's well-known "Neutral Point of View". Snarky point of view — This is the meaning most people refer to. It means that, to keep our articles from being dry and boring, we spice it up with humor, sarcasm, skepticism, satire, and wit.

I will now re-insert my edits. The edit wars go on. Levi Ackerman (talk) 11:44, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
As for my edits on the WIGO:world page, it seems to me that you - RBP & Weaseloid - are trying to apply a new rule retroactively. That's a no-no. I don't mind the introduction of a new rule, but I won't let it be applied retroactively just because an editor had his/her misinterpretation of the rules pointed out and his/her authority challenged. Levi Ackerman (talk) 11:55, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
This is not the place to talk about this^. You should move it to the WIGO:world talk page. B) talk 15:40, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
Dude, he included me in the "3 editors" because I stated explicitly: "For now I'm with RBP and ClothCoat in that your additions in their current state aren't ready to go in the article". I just checked the page's changelog, and ClothCoat had reverted you already when RBP did for the first time. That still makes 2 to 1. A more productive way to handle getting reverted would be to take it to the talkpage first, clear up disagreements, and then add your content to the article.
And I'm aware of the SPOV of course. Good snark is fine. But - attempt at constructive criticism incoming, don't take this the wrong way - be wary, for example, of lines like "In an astonishing display of self-centrism" and "In an amusing display of self-contradiction". Instead of addressing exactly why the person is self-centered or self-contradictory, they're really just a sort of snotty sounding ad hominem. Well-executed snark is one thing, but lines like those aren't it. B) talk 16:04, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
Make that 4 editors, imploring Levi in unison to stop repeatedly violating the community guidelines and instead join us to participate in democratically finding our way forward. Instead, he cites our own rules back to us (as if we don't "get" that he's in charge now and that there's nothing we can do about it). You know, those very same rules which we actually work in reciprocal solidarity to uphold? And to top this all off — seriously — guess what? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:19, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
@Bshaw:

lines like "In an astonishing display of self-centrism" and "In an amusing display of self-contradiction". Instead of addressing exactly why the person is self-centered or self-contradictory, they're really just a sort of snotty sounding ad hominem. Well-executed snark is one thing, but lines like those aren't it.

As opposed to lines like:

He's loud and flashy. He's brash and a bit of a douchebag. He's a li'l bit sexist and a li'l bit racist.

Guess whose RW article that's from? Or:

former rodeo clown and Fox News clown

From Glenn Beck's RW article.

Lastly:

"It's very very easy for me to slander you to pieces in my book, thus ruin not just your personal but professional standing... If you think I’m being harsh now, thank your Islamist god that I’m not speaking against you in public, because trust me, if I was half as ignorant and idiotic as you, I could destroy your career in a second. And that’s not a threat, it’s to show you how stupid you’re being by writing such one sided crap... And my megaphone is far louder than your petty ignorant one-sided emails against my work..

I don't need to tell you where that's from, do I? Yet it is praised as some kind of pwnage.

What was that about snotty sounding ad hominem again? I don't want to accuse you (the collective you) of anything but...

@RBP, you seem to think recruiting more to your numbers is an argument against my edits. Please, oh please, kindly spell out for me how EXACTLY I am violating community guidelines. As you said, I cite your own rules back to you, or is that not allowed when said citations are used against you? The only person actually offering constructive criticism of my edits is Bshaw. I'm starting to think when you, RBP, said you didn't "give a shit" about Nawaz, you weren't being totally honest. I will re-do my edits now.Levi Ackerman (talk) 17:37, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
  1. But nobody is even making the argument that "snark is forbidden", and everyone's been nothing but open to adding criticisms of Nawaz. The argument currently being made is more along the lines of "4 votes is more than 1 vote". But, of course, we're the ones acting crazy.
  2. You heard it here first, folks — your calls for reciprocal calm mean nothing, and any votes cast in opposition to Levi literally count as supportive silence unless Levi is in a giving mood. See, if you don't agree that Levi suddenly gets to decide everything, you're trampling all over his equal right to decide for all. Sadly, his threats aren't empty either — he's gone full Untergang. Dictator.gif Reverend Black Percy (talk) 18:03, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Oookaaayy... If Levi and The Rev. could chill a bit and tone down the attempts at divining each others' nefarious motives a bit for a while? So, back to the original issue: Criticism of Nawaz, yes?

  1. I agree that slapping various tweets up and then speculating what may they may mean is not a strong example of criticism. That said, the stuff about the "suck it up Muslims" does appear to be clear and straight forward enough to be used as a criticism of Nawaz's attitude and approach, though I'm not sure that the "offended by lack of offence"-stuff is indicative of Nawaz being self-centred. To me, it sounds more like a lame attempt at deflecting criticism for his deliberate shit stirring.
  2. The stuff about the video is written using a labyrinthine sentence structure that makes it less than obvious to me what the actual meaning is.
  3. Citing Tommy Robinson (via HuffPo) is not exactly using the most, ahem, trustworthy of sources. Simply adopting his version of events and copy/pasting from the HuffPo story is not good snark. Pointing out a rather strange and murky quid pro quo relationship and subsequent falling out between Robinson and Quilliam would probably work better.
  4. The contents of the Israel tweets look rather "meh" to me. They contain no really silly apologetics but at most a rather mild/lame version of whataboutism (mild due to the fact that Israel is clearly less repressive than the other regimes he mentioned, lame because it's, well, whataboutism). It could easily be cut and replaced with better examples of Israel apologetics based on the Daily Beast article mentioned subsequently.
  5. What exactly is the point of the "should not label Israel as a Jewish state"-bit from the Grauniad?
  6. I don't see the point of the final bit about Nawaz insisting that he's a moderate Muslim, yet defending Ayaan Hirsi Ali who think such Muslims don't exist. How exactly is that a mark against Nawaz?

So, it would appear to me that Nawaz can be criticised in a snarky way of:

  • Being the founder of Quilliam which has engaged in some kind of quid pro quo with Robinson though they seem to have fallen out.
  • Being an Israel apologist of the whataboutism variant.
  • Possibly being a bit too prone to adopt "the enemy of my enemy is my friend"-logic (Robinson and possibly Ayaan Hirsi Ali), though in the case of Robinson it should be clear when the criticism is of Nawaz and when it's of Quilliam.

What do the you think? ScepticWombat (talk) 19:01, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

Thank you for making a level-headed and constructive contribution to this discussion. Just allow me to point out that I haven't actually "attempted to divine [Levi's] intentions" (and certainly not impugned them as "nefarious", as I am a firm believer in Hanlon's razor) — he overtly expressed doubt about my honesty in his very last post, though. Regardless, the one thing that I think we need not tone down is the firm conclusion that: 4 votes "Nay" to 1 vote "Yay" means that the "Nay" side wins. It's unacceptable to blindy keep edit warring against such a consensus. The importance of respecting votes from the mob has direct relevance to all articles on RW, and thus far outweighs any discussion on Majid Nawaz in importance (though, such a discussion is also fruiful, and will have to be held). Reverend Black Percy (talk) 19:27, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
Hi Rev., I wasn't implying a balance fallacy theme here (Levi's constant cries of edit war are getting rather tiresome, but at least we're now engaging on this here talk page), merely trying to get things back on track with a discussion of contents, rather than behaviour. ScepticWombat (talk) 19:33, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
I know buddy, and I genuinely meant that your above contribution is a constructive first step in a discussion meant to take us out of a one-man revert spree. That being said, however — an edit war has to have two equally numerous sets of editors (be they 1v1) reverting each other repeatedly. Since the actual numbers are even in that case, the consensus is yet undetermined. In contrast to such a scenario however, it is not an edit war (per se) — but rather sheer troublemaking — for one lone user to engage in serial reverts against four other editors. This is because a consensus already exists in that case, and the impetus is thus on this lone user to peacefully take to the talkpage, discuss the issue, and maybe end up changing the consensus. But to just revert four other editors ad nauseum is unequivocally misguided and heavily frowned upon, and for all the right reasons. We don't go berzerk at RW; we work together and we respect the consensus even when we don't personally agree with it. This cannot be overstated, though it could in theory be understated (but it won't be on my watch). Reverend Black Percy (talk) 19:49, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
My point was exactly that this isn't an edit war, and I was simply pointing out that Levi has been crying edit war from the start when Clothcoat reverted his edits. ScepticWombat (talk) 20:25, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
I agree re ScepticWombat's comments & suggestions above. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:43, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
@Skeptic Oh, right — so we're in agreement, then. Sorry if that wasn't entirely clear to me — I'm currently fighting a fever. Th hug.gif Reverend Black Percy (talk) 20:46, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
I hate to break up your circle-jerk, but a few things. Well, more than a few, so bear with me.
First, ScepticWombat:

I agree that slapping various tweets up and then speculating what may they may mean is not a strong example of criticism.

This is not really an argument. This website - indeed - the real world functions like that. People say things, regardless of where they have said it - on a podium, on Twitter, in an article, and we infer their meaning. This website is full of examples of inferences. So, as aforementioned, not an argument. Or rather, a weak argument. Take Trump for example, his page expressly refers to him as a racist? Why? Because of things he has said. We infer that he is a racist from things he has said. Ergo, we speculate what he means and use it as criticism. For example, "moratorium on Muslim immigrations" = "doesn't like Muslims/Islam" = "criticism as a bit racist or Islamophobic".

Citing Tommy Robinson (via HuffPo) is not exactly using the most, ahem, trustworthy of sources. Simply adopting his version of events and copy/pasting from the HuffPo story is not good snark.

Which isn't the most trustworthy of sources, Huffpo or Tommy? If the latter, I could just rework that into criticism of Nawaz, and I will do. He should have known better than to "join forces" with an untrustworthy person, especially one so reviled by the moderate, "mainstream", Muslims.

It could easily be cut and replaced with better examples of Israel apologetics based on the Daily Beast article mentioned subsequently.

Agreed.

What exactly is the point of the "should not label Israel as a Jewish state"-bit from the Grauniad?

It's an example of how is position changes based on who is funding him and/or his organisation. He wouldn't dare say that now. Though I am just speculating. It's a piece of information. Take it or leave it.

I don't see the point of the final bit about Nawaz insisting that he's a moderate Muslim, yet defending Ayaan Hirsi Ali who think such Muslims don't exist. How exactly is that a mark against Nawaz?

You misread/misinterpreted the final bit. It's about his insistence that there is no such thing as "Islamophobia", when people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, exist. Levi Ackerman (talk) 10:03, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

My cries of "edit wars" (moved from ScepticWombat's talk page)[edit]

Moved here from my talk page ScepticWombat (talk) 09:55, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

When did I complain about or cry "edit war"? It is RBP who is complaining about edit warring and asking me to refrain from it. So, how it is you came to the conclusion that I am crying "edit wars" leaves me rather bemused. Perhaps you could quote some examples of me crying about edit wars, just for my clarity? Thanks in advance. That is all Levi Ackerman (talk) 09:46, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

I've already provided the example above, but apparently I need to spell it out. Check the fossil record, specifically what you wrote when you undid Clothcoat's reversion of your edits: "So this is what an edit war looks like. Fine. Bring it.ClothCoat" That was, as I've already written before The Rev. got involved Is that clear enough for you? ScepticWombat (talk) 09:55, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
So, one mention of "edit war", on my part, counts, for you, as "cries of edit wars"? Lol. Okay. Ask yourself this: who has complained more about "edit wars", me or RBP?Levi Ackerman (talk) 10:02, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
I've been complaining about your edit warring Facepalm Reverend Black Percy (talk) 12:38, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

Suggestions for improving the article and good SPOV[edit]

I've decided to split this off into a separate section for easy reference and reply instead of the earlier meandering thread. ScepticWombat (talk) 10:14, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

B)'s (Bshaw's) suggestions[edit]

B's suggestions for the very beginning of the first thread copy/pasted here by ScepticWombat:

@Levi, the topics you're adding seem pretty reasonable. IMO, though, your additions sort of read like a hit piece, they're long-winded, and the organization is haphazard. There are criticisms embedded in the article prior to your addition, so adding a "Criticisms" section maybe isn't ideal, and "Questionable X", "Questionable Y" subsections would be easier to follow if X and Y were narrower than "methods", "positions", etc; those are very broad terms. I think it'd make more sense to organize by specific topic, i.e., Quilliam Foundation, Israel, etc. For now I'm with RBP and ClothCoat in that your additions in their current state aren't ready to go in the article, but I for one think they would be very worthwhile if you repackage them. Hope to hear your thoughts. B) talk 22:41, 3 January 2017 (UTC)

ScepticWombat's suggestions[edit]

My suggestions, copy/pasted and slightly edited from the earlier thread, regarding Levi Ackerman's additions:

  1. I agree with the earlier sentiment of Reverend Black Percy that slapping various tweets up and then speculating what may they may mean is not a strong example of criticism. That said, the stuff about the "suck it up Muslims" does appear to be clear and straight forward enough to be used as a criticism of Nawaz's attitude and approach, though I'm not sure that the "offended by lack of offence"-stuff is indicative of Nawaz being self-centred. To me, it sounds more like a lame attempt at deflecting criticism for his deliberate shit stirring.
  2. The stuff about the video is written using a labyrinthine sentence structure that makes it less than obvious to me what the actual meaning is.
  3. Citing Tommy Robinson (via HuffPo) is not exactly using the most, ahem, trustworthy of sources. Simply adopting his version of events and copy/pasting from the HuffPo story is not good snark. Pointing out a rather strange and murky quid pro quo relationship and subsequent falling out between Robinson and Quilliam would probably work better.
  4. The contents of the Israel tweets look rather "meh" to me. They contain no really silly apologetics but at most a rather mild/lame version of whataboutism (mild due to the fact that Israel is clearly less repressive than the other regimes he mentioned, lame because it's, well, whataboutism). It could easily be cut and replaced with better examples of Israel apologetics based on the Daily Beast article mentioned subsequently.
  5. What exactly is the point of the "should not label Israel as a Jewish state"-bit from the Grauniad?
  6. I don't see the point of the final bit about Nawaz insisting that he's a moderate Muslim, yet defending Ayaan Hirsi Ali who think such Muslims don't exist. How exactly is that a mark against Nawaz?

So, it would appear to me that Nawaz can be criticised in a snarky way of:

  • Being the founder of Quilliam which has engaged in some kind of quid pro quo with Robinson though they seem to have fallen out.
  • Being an Israel apologist of the whataboutism variant.
  • Possibly being a bit too prone to adopt "the enemy of my enemy is my friend"-logic (Robinson and possibly Ayaan Hirsi Ali), though in the case of Robinson it should be clear when the criticism is of Nawaz and when it's of Quilliam. This of course overlaps with the Quilliam/Robinson criticism.

What do the rest of you think? ScepticWombat (talk) 10:14, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

I just addressed each of your criticisms in turn above. Here it is (again):

I agree that slapping various tweets up and then speculating what may they may mean is not a strong example of criticism.

This is not really an argument. This website - indeed - the real world functions like that. People say things, regardless of where they have said it - on a podium, on Twitter, in an article, and we infer their meaning. This website is full of examples of inferences. So, as aforementioned, not an argument. Or rather, a weak argument. Take Trump for example, his page expressly refers to him as a racist? Why? Because of things he has said. We infer that he is a racist from things he has said. Ergo, we speculate what he means and use it as criticism. For example, "moratorium on Muslim immigrations" = "doesn't like Muslims/Islam" = "criticism as a bit racist or Islamophobic".

Citing Tommy Robinson (via HuffPo) is not exactly using the most, ahem, trustworthy of sources. Simply adopting his version of events and copy/pasting from the HuffPo story is not good snark.

Which isn't the most trustworthy of sources, Huffpo or Tommy? If the latter, I could just rework that into criticism of Nawaz, and I will do. He should have known better than to "join forces" with an untrustworthy person, especially one so reviled by the moderate, "mainstream", Muslims.

It could easily be cut and replaced with better examples of Israel apologetics based on the Daily Beast article mentioned subsequently.

Agreed.

What exactly is the point of the "should not label Israel as a Jewish state"-bit from the Grauniad?

It's an example of how is position changes based on who is funding him and/or his organisation. He wouldn't dare say that now. Though I am just speculating. It's a piece of information. Take it or leave it.

I don't see the point of the final bit about Nawaz insisting that he's a moderate Muslim, yet defending Ayaan Hirsi Ali who think such Muslims don't exist. How exactly is that a mark against Nawaz?

You misread/misinterpreted the final bit. It's about his insistence that there is no such thing as "Islamophobia", when people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, exist Levi Ackerman (talk) 10:21, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Hi Levi, my point was not that you can never use tweets, but that you seem to be extrapolating far too much from far too short and ambivalent tweets. Trump, by contrast, tends to be quite blunt and unambiguous in his tweets.
If your criticism in point 5 is about Nawaz being a windbag whose views change based on who's funding him, find examples how he has changed his tune and use them.
HuffPo simply cites Robinson and then some responses from Quilliam, and I was referring to Robinson as a poor source. However, my three bullet points sum up my impressions of what Nawaz can be criticised for: It would appear that he's prone to whataboutism and using "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" approaches (cozying up to the likes of Robinson and Ali simply because they share his outlook on Islamic fundies and ignoring their views on Muslims in general as well as their other unsavoury attitudes). It should nevertheless be clear when this criticism is based on statements from Nawaz himself and when it is a criticism of Quilliam which is not a one-man outfit. We may need to split off the criticism of Quilliam into a separate section to make this distinction clearer.
As I read your Nawaz quotes regarding Islamophobia, it seemed more to be about semantics than substance. He seems to object to using the term Islamophobia, preferring something like anti-Muslim bigotry, not denying that such bigotry exists. I myself have a good friend who doesn't like the "psychologisation", with its connotations of mental illness, of attaching "phobia" to all kinds of bigotry, but his objections are purely based on the specific term, not a denial of the underlying phenomenon it is used to designate. As I read your quotes of Nawaz, it seems that he's arguing along similar lines. ScepticWombat (talk) 10:47, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
As I read your Nawaz quotes regarding Islamophobia, it seemed more to be about semantics than substance. He seems to object to using the term Islamophobia, preferring something like anti-Muslim bigotry, not denying that such bigotry exists. I myself have a good friend who doesn't like the "psychologisation", with its connotations of mental illness, of attaching "phobia" to all kinds of bigotry, but his objections are purely based on the specific term, not a denial of the underlying phenomenon it is used to designate. As I read your quotes of Nawaz, it seems that he's arguing along similar lines
This coming from the same person who chastised me for speculating what people may mean. You're just as self-contradicting as he is. I criticise Nawaz based on what he says and you accuse me of speculating. I criticise Nawaz for saying "there is no such thing as Islamophobia" and you defend him by speculating as to what he meant when he expressly said, "there is no such thing as Islamophobia". It's a "heads, I lose. Tails, you win" situation. Also, and this is a minor point, I only referenced one Nawaz quote regarding Islamophobia, namely the one where he denied its existence. I therefore don't know why you say you read my "Nawaz quotes regarding Islamophobia". Levi Ackerman (talk) 12:00, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Levi, are deliberately trying to wear out other editors' patience or are you simply missing my point? Allow me to repeat myself in bold for your convenience: As I read your quotes from Nawaz, he does not appear to be clearly denying that bigotry angainst Muslims exists, but rather to be objecting against referring to it using the term Islamophibia. I then explained, by using the analogy involving my friend, why that is not necessarily the same as denial of the underlying phenomena referred to by others who do use the term Islamophobia. Was that a more clear explanation of my objections and qualifications? ScepticWombat (talk) 14:10, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
With respect, you're not repeating yourself when you say, "As [you] read [my] quotes from Nawaz". You're saying something else entirely. Now, you could say what you initially wrote is not what you meant, and that's fine, but to act as if you're repeating yourself, is just silly. I would say you were being disingenuous, but I'll wait until I am sure. Here's the original quote from you at 10:47, 5 January 2017:

As I read your Nawaz quotes regarding Islamophobia...

Here's you repeating yourself at 14:10, 5 January 2017:

As I read your quotes from Nawaz

Spot the difference? In the first quotebox, you are referring to a multiple statements by Nawaz regarding Islamophobia, which I have quoted. Of course, I only quoted one statement by Nawaz regarding Islamophobia. So, I was right to point out that your use of the word "quotes" is wrong. In the second quotebox, claiming to repeat yourself, you have said something entirely different from what you said in the first quotebox.

You've not repeated yourself at all. It is made all the sillier by the fact that you've sought to emphasise your point by emboldening your "repetition".Levi Ackerman (talk) 15:04, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

Also, why are you telling me Nawaz doesn't deny bigotry against Muslims exists. I didn't claim that he did. Unless, of course, your position is that "Islamophobia" and "anti-Muslim bigotry" are one and the same. I'm starting to think you didn't actually read - properly! - my edits, you're just hopping on the bandwagon.Levi Ackerman (talk) 15:04, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Okay, what exactly is it you are trying to criticise Nawaz over, regarding Islamophobia, then? I was enquiring whether Nawaz is denying that the kind of hatred or bigotry against Muslims commonly referred to by the term "Islamophobia", exist, or whether he was objecting to using the term "Islamophobia" without, and this is important so please pay attention, denying that the actions and attitudes (i.e. the hatred of and bigotry against Muslims) that lead others to use the term "Islamophobia" are real.

This is now the third time I try to get this question answered, so I'll try to rephrase it in case I'm being less than perfectly transparent in my prose so far: If you don't think that bigotry against Muslims (which your chosen Nawaz quotes and your own explicit interpretations indicate that he thinks is real) and Islamophobia (a term which your Nawaz quotes indicate he objects to) are the same, then how is Islamophobia different from anti-Muslim bigotry and thus, by extension, what exactly is it that you criticise Nawaz for denying the existence of? The reason I ask is that your "gotcha" link to the Ayaan Hirsi Ali interview is about the whole "moderate Muslims don't exist"-BS, but perhaps you don't think that's anti-Muslim bigotry, being Islamophobia instead? If that's the case then where do you think the line should be drawn and, by extension, where is Nawaz wrong? ScepticWombat (talk) 20:29, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

Why is everyone shouting?[edit]

Please explain in 2 sentences or less. Fuzzy. Cat. Potato! (talk/stalk) 15:16, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

Being sysop (read: immune to page protection), Levi has been allowed to repeatedly override the express will of 4 other editors (start reading here from the 20th of December 2016 onwards — and yes, he's been keeping this up for quite a while now). Reverend Black Percy (talk) 16:25, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
@RBP, are you trying to get my sysop revoked? Wow, that's pretty low. @FCP, RBP has a crush on Maajid Nawaz and doesn't want his crush cast in a negative light. Levi Ackerman (talk) 16:37, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
By the way, RBP, since it appears you want my sysop revoked, I should point out that it was you who gave me sysop rights. Lol. Levi Ackerman (talk) 16:39, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
I can honestly say you had earned it when I gave it to you. And right now, I can honestly say that helping you restrain yourself by making you not-immune to page protection while we sort all this out on the talk page in a calm and democratic manner seems a wise idea. We are all your peers and we get to have a say too, not just you. You need to submit your conduct to the simple fact that 4 votes is a bigger number than 1 vote. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 16:55, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
You keep touting the fact that there are more of you, as if that ends the argument. What you fail to notice is that 2 out of 4 of you have differing opinions re my edits. While you want to undo them entirely, both Bshaw and Sceptic think some parts can stay. I agree with them. That puts the vote tally at 3 (Myself, Bshaw and Sceptic) to 2 (your good self and Clothcoat)! Do you know how you might have avoided this entire fiasco, by not doing a blanket wipe of my edits. By not asking me to go back to a blank drawing board. That implied to me that you didn't want anything negative about Mr Nawaz in his article. Now, if you had removed parts you disagreed with, citing your reasons, we might have been able to proceed cordially and constructively. You could have suggested changes, and I might have made them. At the very least, we would have debated them. But nooooo, you just blanket wiped my edits, even pure statements of fact! Also, it would appear I only deserve sysop rights so far as I share your outlook? Levi Ackerman (talk) 17:14, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Good grief Facepalm You read this situation like Satan reads the Bible. There's plenty of bad things to be said about Majid Nawaz (about which I don't even disagree with you!), but that simple fact doesn't imply turning over complete control of the site to you.
Once again — determining the content of the page is not the thing we need a moderator to resolve here. We need a moderator to resolve your perpetual edit warring, and your failure to recognize the votes cast against you.
Page content is decided by the mob, and that discussion will be able to begin in a serious sense once you're made to discuss things rationally. As long as just forcing your version back on is an option, there is indeed no reason for you to sit down and talk to your peers.
And for the record, you're quite delusional if you think that the reason your sysop might be at risk here is because of the content of your edits. Sysop is taken on the basis of misusing the tools — in this case, refusing to stop edit warring against the mobocratic consensus while standing above page protection.
The reasons for moderator intervention here are two-fold.
Firstly: Do 4 sysops outweigh 1 sysop, on the simple question of: which reversion should currently stand in mainspace?
Secondly: Is it kosher to let one lone user revert four other editors 19 times in a row, all the while dodging the talkpage for the longest time? And should such a user continue to enjoy immunity from page protection? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:32, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Okay, let's take this to a philosophical level. In that philosophical level, in your rather simplistic worldview, the will of the majority within a system always trumps the set rules of that. I don't think so. What I am trying to say is you can't keep yelling "mob rule", when the fact is nothing I have done is in contravention of the rules of this place re contents of a page and I think you realise that, which is why you keep harking on about "mob rule". Sorry, I don't play that, and neither should any right thinking person. Adherence to the rules should always trump mob rule. So, take your 4 sysops and stick it. Unless you can tell me how my edits breach the rules, then I will keep "edit warring". Also, the Jordan facepalm is so 2015. Seriously, update your memes. It's embarrassing. Levi Ackerman (talk) 17:46, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Facepalm That's Jean-Luc Picard, not Jordan (highly resolved enough for ya?). As for the rest; well, it doesn't get any clearer than that. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:58, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Levi Ok, let's not take it to a philosophical level, please. See "Mobocracy". As demonstrated by the other 3 editors' reversions and my own statement at the top of the page, the vote that your additions in their current state should not appear in the article is 4 to 1. Stop. B) talk 17:56, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

So, if I make edits to the page per your notes, will you still vote against them?Levi Ackerman (talk) 18:10, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
@RBP, regardless of whom it is, the point stands; it's an old meme. Upgrade your memes. Levi Ackerman (talk) 18:12, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
I will do what I can do make that the top priority of the board. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 18:30, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

Modhat: @Levi Ackerman, please place your edits here for others to suggest improvements to. Page locked 24 hours.[edit]

Icon fedora.svg * dons Mod Hat *Icon fedora.svg

Enough. αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 18:19, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

Ackerman's edits go here

Other's suggestions go here

I've already stated my suggestions several times but they may get lost in the sprawling cut and thrust of my dialogue with (mainly) Levi Ackerman, so here is the ultra-condensed version in no particular order:

  • Save the Daily Beast article from Levi's contribs and use it as a cornerstone for a criticism of Nawaz for his whataboutism and not as bad as Israel apologetics.
  • If the Alternet story in Levi's contribs is solid, use it to criticise his apparently mile wide vindictive streak and to point out that he has apparently whitewashed parts of his autobiography (not to the level of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, but still...). Note, that this is a new point
  • Being quite explicit about when the criticism is of Quilliam and when it is of Nawaz, criticise his/its tendency to go full "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", cozying up to anti-Muslim fanatics such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Tommy Robinson as long as they share Nawaz's views on Muslim fundamentalists — and by extension to gun heavily for left wingers for not being "tough on Muslim fundies" (or at least not as tough as Nawaz would like).

Do this succinctly and with proper SPOV and we're definitely cooking with gas (or possibly charcoal) as far as I can see. ScepticWombat (talk) 20:52, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

Nods.gif My thoughts exactly. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:58, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
I like how the Wombat thinks — but let me also quote Bshaw from above:

Good snark is fine. But - attempt at constructive criticism incoming, don't take this the wrong way - be wary, for example, of lines like "In an astonishing display of self-centrism" and "In an amusing display of self-contradiction". Instead of addressing exactly why the person is self-centered or self-contradictory, they're really just a sort of snotty sounding ad hominem. Well-executed snark is one thing, but lines like those aren't it.

Add this Bshaw quote to the Wombat's list, and I'm in full support of the entire endeavour. Th hug.gif Reverend Black Percy (talk) 21:11, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
I completely agree with B)'s caveat to the snark Rev., which is why I used the qualifier "proper", but I can see that this may not have been crystal clear.
Btw, the Alternet story would also serve as a useful source for how Nawaz has drifted further and further to the right, whether in search of wingnut welfare (as the article claims) or due to his own change of mind (which has certainly made him attractive to US wingnut welfare providers which in turn may lead its recipients into an ideological echo chamber that helps leading them further to the right, see also Ayaan Hirsi Ali). ScepticWombat (talk) 21:24, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Wombat's suggestions sound good to me. Per the rules Fuzzy kindly gave us (heh), I'll copy this here:

There are criticisms embedded in the article prior to your addition, so adding a "Criticisms" section maybe isn't ideal, and "Questionable X", "Questionable Y" subsections would be easier to follow if X and Y were narrower than "methods", "positions", etc; those are very broad terms. I think it'd make more sense to organize by specific topic, i.e., Quilliam Foundation, Israel, etc.

If anyone has better ideas re organization, fire away. B) talk 22:40, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
I agree that it would be a good idea to put the criticism under relevant topic headlines as suggested by B), rather than in a separate criticism section. ScepticWombat (talk) 22:45, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

Why[edit]

Why the scare quotes around "won" (in the section about the debate with Ayaan Hirsi Ali & Douglas Murray?

Also, why no article about Douglas Murray on RW?

95.146.48.172 (talk) 11:25, 23 September 2017 (UTC)


Feeling a little disappointed with this article[edit]

I should give a heads up that I do actually like Nawaz so keep that in mind.

I feel rather disappointed with this article because it seems to give a lot of attention to criticisms of him lying and white washing his stories just to make money. For example, the Alternet article you used reads like a hit piece. First of all, it claims that the validity of his arguments rests on the truth of his stories of himself. This is just an ad hominem. Even if he made everything up, that doesn’t mean his reformist criticisms are wrong. Secondly, it doesn’t really provide anything solid other than cherry picking friends and family members who see things differently.

I am an Iranian atheist as well as an ex-Muslim, and I can tell you it is dangerous to promote the stereotype that ex-Muslims are all just right wing shills paid by Zionists. Much of my Muslims family accused me of this as well and It is possible the same happened with a Nawaz. Not to say those don’t exist, but Nawaz, I believe, is not an example of this as I do not think his criticisms of Islam was ever directed towards Muslims. The article from Alternet, I believe, has this in mind. Especially considering most Alternet authors seem to disregard criticisms of Islam as Islamophobia.

As for Karen Armstrong’s criticisms. I again, have to strongly disagree. It seems to imply that Nawaz does not acknowledge the role of Western imperialism. This is just not true.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/oct/01/drone-killing-anwar-al-awlaki

https://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/maajid-nawaz/maajid-obama-middle-east-failure-islamic-terrorism/

Also the criticisms of association with the right wing I find to be really weak. Association might mean something, but the argument can really only be inductive. And in his case, I think it’s fair to say that his association is tied to the fact that many left wing people become uncomfortable with the idea of Islamic reform and criticizing a minority religion. Looking at his actual statements tells me that he shouldn’t be bunched with neocons like Hirsi Ali and Pam Geller SupremeBeing (talk) 15:13, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

Sorry to zero in on a minor supporting point of yours but "just right wing shills paid by Zionists" is not a charge we make here. Where did that concern come from? ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 15:46, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Well, think about it from my perspective. Ex-Muslims don’t have many people or speakers to look up to that are not discarded as “neocons” or shills. Some of them are, like Pamela Geller, but most ex-Muslims are not. I look up to people like Nawaz because he doesn’t make any neocon points yet you still bring up defamatory articles like the one Levi brought in from Alternet, which I think is unfair. How many articles on here about ex-Muslims/Muslim reformers are here that do NOT have an entire section about “questionable funding” or “associating with right wingers”. I haven’t found any.Did you ever think that many ex-Muslims can only get funding from right wingers as it makes liberals very uncomfortable? I thought that despite Nawaz being a good example, I was proven wrong. Without any good reason, it seems to be playing off of those stereotypes.
Can’t us ex-Muslims just have one guy without everyone throwing their pitchforks up claiming we shouldn’t trust them? Ex-Christians have Bertrand, Nietzsche, Mark Twain. Jewish atheists have Chomsky (although he isn’t really that critical of religion), Karl Marx, or Ayn Rand if your into that. What do we have? Can you give me an example of an Muslim atheist on this site that isn’t smeared as just being paid off to say anything? Because I cannot! SupremeBeing (talk) 21:55, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Another thing, I don’t know how many ex-Muslims you have as moderators, but I assume it’s mostly ex-Christians. I can bring this subject up on r/exmuslims to get some more influence from the community. SupremeBeing (talk) 22:07, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Well, we don't make that smear, is the thing. I can easily see that there's a harshness and a presumption of bad faith where maybe it's not due, but the specific charge of him being paid or a shill aren't things we say or do in this article. Rhetorical omissions, unfairness to still-adherent Muslims are aren't bad people, those are the things that are laid out as problems. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 22:10, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Yet there is an entire section called “questionable funding”. That seems to be very suspect. If I were editor, I would remove this section or at the very least.l, separate Nawaz as a person and speaker from what his funders do. As for rhetorical omissions, I addressed that. Criticisms saying that he doesn’t address western imperialism by Karen Armstrong are not true as I have provided links to his articles. Maybe you can say he doesn’t do it enough, but that is a less strong argument. As for him being too harsh on adherent Muslims, I’m not sure where this criticism comes from. He is harsh of Islamic apologists, but not Muslims in general. He is a Muslim that believes in God. Even in the article itself, it mentions how he says Islam is a religion of peace that became corrupted. SupremeBeing (talk) 22:18, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Oh, I see now. That sounds like a reasonable concern given how poorly sourced that section is. I'm definitely willing to entertain a rewrite of it. But also I'd like to look in a little more detail why the SPLC put him on hatewatch, and the fallout of that. Just for my own edification. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 13:58, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
Well, further down the rabbit hole tells me, yeah, they were right the first time, and the lawsuit was a bad ruling. I've been looking over the kinds of shit he's been saying online for the past few weeks. He's awful. This guy is a radical anti-islam asshole. He makes the very disgusting case that people saying Israel shouldn't mass slaughter unarmed protestors are anti-semites. He jumps on the "Regressive left" bullshit. He blames all shootings in London on the mayor being a Muslim.
Fuck, we're way too fair too him already. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 20:23, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
It gets worse, he suggests an Imam discussing the horrors in Syria for promoting terrorism against the UK. I think I've had enough of this fuck's twitter feed. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 20:29, 30 August 2018 (UTC)
Jesus, you really took a 180 turn there. No, he is not an anti-Muslim extremist. Pretty much non of what you said is true. He never blamed all London attacks on the mayor being Muslim. He never justified Israel attacks. In fact, he heavily criticized Israel for Operation Protective Edge. You seem to be on a hard hate boner right now SupremeBeing (talk) 17:32, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Also I don’t think you understand the reasons SPLC called him an anti-Muslim extremist. They basically used the fact that he criticized Islam as a proof of hate. They used no actual hateful statements as proof. It was a pretty regressive smear piece on him. And considering the fact that they video recorded an apology saying that they were wrong, kinda no longer gives them a case. He is not an anti-Muslim extremist and I find your claims that he is a bit ridiculous. SupremeBeing (talk) 18:44, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
The SPLC has been somewhat discredited in American courts on this subject of extremism. Harsh language cost them over 3 million.Ariel31459 (talk) 19:11, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Not just harsh wording, active defamation. Even if you disagree with him, putting him with the likes of Richard Spencer is ridiculousSupremeBeing (talk) 03:13, 22 September 2018 (UTC)

Questionable Funding section doesn't work[edit]

@ScepticWombat The Funding section is indefensible as is: "The Quilliam Foundation (and hence by association, Nawaz) has received funding from a man[Who?] associated with Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, neo-cons.[20][please explain] Moreover, Quilliam takes money from the UK government[21] as a quid pro quo and, as noted, has sent a list of alleged Islamist sympathizers to British intelligence."

If we don't know who the man is who funds Quilliam, how do we know who the man is associated with? Needs to be cited or removed. Also, "takes money from the UK government" is not in itself questionable because almost every npo applies for government money. The ones that receive funding almost certainly provide useful information or services that Government wants. Also, current reporting states Quilliam has not received government funds since 2011, which might be considered relevant.Ariel31459 (talk) 16:10, 10 November 2019 (UTC)

@Ariel31459 And you’re pinging me about this because...? If the information is out of date, update it and change the wording to past tense for the bits that no longer reflect present circumstances. If the sources are lacking, add them.
As for not knowing ”the man is who funds Quilliam” his identity (if you refer to ref. no. 20) seems to me to be quite clearly evident in the link (he’s called Douglas Murray; the connection being via the Henry Jackson Society by way of the Student Rights group). Assuming good faith in the original edit (I haven’t checked who made it), I’d guess that the guy is merely unnamed due to lack of name recognition (and RW article) factor. In addition, the link mentioned another connection (at least back in 2013 when it was made), namely that a Ghaffar Hussain featured in both Quilliam, the Henry Jackson Society and the Student Rights group.
Now, what does seem problematic is the claim that there is/was a clear funding trail between these three organisations, something that is not immediately obvious to me based on the link provided, suggesting that these connections to the Henry Jackson Society/Student Rights more properly belongs in the “Far right links” section. As the link also highlighted the link to Tommy Robinson and both Robinson and Murray’s involvement with Robert Spencer, this argues in favour of such a move to the “Far right links” section and removal of the funding claim based on ref. no. 20.
The link does state, however, that Quilliam’s funding was obscure (again, this was back in 2013), as a press officer for the organisation claimed that “There is only one print copy and it has gone missing” when queried by journalists about Quilliam’s annual report detailing its finances and their sources.
Happy editing. ScepticWombat (talk) 22:11, 13 November 2019 (UTC)