AS106: A Few Thoughts; Patron of the Week

I have a few loose ends to tie up with Charlie Hebdo stuff, and then we have a great Patron of the week! This week’s Patron is Wes, and he works in intelligence, which sounds way cooler than it is! Or maybe it is that cool..

3 thoughts on “AS106: A Few Thoughts; Patron of the Week”

  1. Some people might make a big deal of it. I wouldn’t. An atheist protecting religious freedom, or a black man protecting the right of the KKK to march peacefully is what we should expect in a secular society. That being said I didn’t, and wouldn’t say it was infantile to praise him, but think it borders on bigotry because making the argument that he was particularly heroic because he was a Muslim does imply one might expect a Muslim police officer to act otherwise in that situation whether you personally feel that way or not. The real surprise would be if he didn’t do his duty.

  2. I think one of the reasons Ahmed is being celebrated (and why an atheist dying to protect people would be celebrated) is because they symbolize how stereotypes about the group are incorrect.

    Also, sometimes it’s okay to praise someone for doing what is expected of them – especially when a sacrifice is involved. It encourages that sort of behavior, makes the job respectable and honorable (thus encouraging individuals to join in the future), and recognizes the loss to the families. Yes, it is their job to put themselves in danger for others. It is not a job requirement to die for others. The death of a good person is a loss, regardless of their job.

  3. I understand why it’s pointed out, but the problem is that pointing it out isn’t going to change a bigots mind. No one who is told Pat Tilden was an atheist is going to be convinced that there ARE atheists in foxholes. They’ll still be convince that when it came right down to it, and his life was on the line he was still praying for God to save him. Likewise a Muslim protecting a cartoonist either didn’t know who he was protecting, was just caught in the crossfire, or wasn’t a “real Muslim”.

    On the other hand I’ve had non-bigoted theist friends ask me “why do atheists make such a big deal about Pat Tillman being an atheist. Is it so rare that atheists join the military, or die for their country?” A non-bigot hearing a Muslim being praised above others are going to get the same impression. That it’s unexpected for a Muslim to defend western values. It’s likely to make them more bigoted rather than less so.

Leave a Reply