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Ron Bassilian (R) @Ron4California
, 14 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
1/ Monday night I watched @islammovie screening by @SamHarrisOrg and @MaajidNawaz followed by a Q&A. I didn't get to ask a question so I'll discuss it here.
2/ The movie is quite substantive and is a great history of the Western debate on Islam - up until about five years ago. So I recommend watching it, but the "until about five years ago" is the key point I want to discuss.
3/ The Q&A had an oppressive pall to it. Pretty much all questions felt predicated with "are we allowed to discuss this in public? I don't want to be harassed and deplatformed!"
4/ This even though the audience was your classic cosmopolitan liberals, all ready for open dialog. Meaning - the culture is ripe for this discussion, but our current institutions forbid it.
5/ And here's the thing - everyone there knew full well @MaajidNawaz settled a $3.5 million lawsuit with @splcenter . @SamHarrisOrg knows full well it sits on a $500 million offshore endowment. Good luck tracing that.
6/ Sam realizes this settlement was just an operating cost for them. And yet he still pretends this is some "accident," some "stupidity." Yeah, people funnel $500 million to a gang of smear merchants out of stupidity.
7/ I wanted to address the oppressive pall in the room. I wanted to ask about @datasociety and their report treating our free press like a terrorist organization.…
8/ This is a free country. We should have no pall in our discussions. It's undemocratic and un-American and our real enemy in this discussion. "The Future of Tolerance" was a title meant for religion but it now seems about our institutions' ability to tolerate *us*.
9/ But Sam, as a prime member of this #IDW , goes from naive to suspect when he talks about Trump as this "error that we can hopefully get past and forget about as a society."
10/ So I'm not sure he's being naive. It's what many suspect about the #IDW - it's a group of intellectuals, not committed to challenging our institutions, but simply looking to channel our discontent for some surface "reforms" and their own renown.
11/ That's why he has to trash talk Trump. He sees Trump as an "existential threat" - the devil that we must defeat to maintain our society. That's the ultimate "pinky ring kiss" every intellectual must make to maintain their status.
12/ The problem is, Trump goes and the whole movement that supports #IDW dies. As the #IDW people should know better, if we don't push back, they are next to go.
13/ So that's the thing. For all his wisdom and expertise, Sam can't see basic reality that's five feet in front of all of us. As leader of the talk, he couldn't even put the audience at ease. That's a problem.
14/ Obscure reference but I've talked about this before once upon a time. Mystics have their heads wrenched on backwards. They can see the whole world behind them but not five feet in front of them.…
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