Harris’ failing isn’t that he has gotten the essence of Islam (or of religion in general) wrong. (This is another key point of Orientalism.) It’s that religion is a complex human phenomenon that can’t be reduced to a single essence. There is nothing to know about “the Negro” or about the Orient or Islam or Judaism or religious people in general. These are all conceptual fences that enclose diverse populations, not natural categories that each have a unique Platonic essence. So you can quote all the statistics you want about, say, the size of Jewish noses. But that caricature of the big-nosed Jew is still anti-Semitic.
What is this about?
This is my attic blog. It's an archive of old blog entries and posts on various blogs and blog-like things. When I close a project down, it goes here. This may move, the links aren't permanent, but if you're interested in reading stuff I've written over the years – go nuts!
CAUTION: it's about as well sorted as you'd expect an attic to be.
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