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Sam Harris: Critics Are Proving My Point on Radical Islam

Sam Harris: Critics Are Proving My Point on Radical Islam

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Author Sam Harris defended the stance on radical Islam he took during a discussion on last Friday’s “Real Time” during an appearance on Thursday’s “The Last Word” on MSNBC.

Harris addressed to the objections of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and others, that Harris was failing to acknowledge the Muslims who have stood against radical Islamists, arguing “the irony is even when someone like Nic Kristof thinks he’s not agreeing with me, he’s actually proving my point. So, he’s arguing that we’re not acknowledging all the people who are making heroic efforts to reform the faith, or to criticize so-called extremism, but then he goes on to say how much courage this takes because their lives are in danger in dozens of Muslim countries merely for advocating for human rights. Which, of course, proves my point. The point is that there is a, what we’re calling radical Islam, or extremist Islam or fundamentalist Islam is massively well-subscribed in the Muslim world and there are reams of polling data to attest to this.”

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He added, “I asked in the green room after our fight on the panel, in response to Nick and Ben’s [Ben Affleck] point, that there’s so many people who stand up against ISIS, there have been demonstrations, there’s a hashtag, ‘Not in Our Name.’ But I asked both of them, ‘what would have if we had burned a Koran on tonight’s show?’  And they knew what would happen, there would be riots in scores of countries, embassies would likely burn, people would certainly get killed, and we would spend the rest of our lives hiding from theocrats under credible threat of death.  Now, that’s just a fact, it’s a fact that neither of them would deny.  And yet, what we have in response to ISIS, ISIS who is crucifying people by the side of the road, raping women by the thousands, torturing women, and burying children alive, in the name of Islam, we have a hashtag, and we have some demonstrations.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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