Self-Censorship As A Muslim Content Creator

A Muslim, a Christian, and an Atheist sit down to talk about self-censorship and free speech. Here’s my discussion with Thor Holt and Donna Rachel Edmunds.

How do you think the discussion would turn out? Would they get along? Would they be at each other’s throats?

Given recent conspiracies by MuSJWs (Muslim SJWs) to de-platform me, I thought it relevant to republish and old podcast appearance (one of my first.) I had the pleasure of being a guest on the Write with Courage! podcast.

The show is hosted by Thor Holt, a public speaking coach and a fiction writer.

Thor Holt Host of Write With Courage
Thor Holt, host of the Write With Courage! Podcast

I found Nabeel through one of my previous guests on Write with Courage! – Mike Cernovich. Mike seems to enjoy engaging him on Twitter. Nabeel is one of the most intriguing people I’ve interviewed. His ability to communicate across cultures and religious boundaries is remarkable.

Thor Holt

My co-guest was Donna Rachel Edmunds, a British journalist and political activist who’s written for numerous media publications.

Donna Rachel Edmunds Journalist and Correspondent Breitbart London
Donna Rachel Edmunds – Journalist

In my journalism I try NOT to censor anything…[but] there ARE instances where I think ‘is what we’re saying going to do good, or is it just playing into people’s fears’…[in those cases] you have to ask yourself [whether] it’s worthwhile publishing something that’s not progressing a story or narrative, but is just playing into people’s prejudices.

Donna Rachel Edmunds

Before you read the rest of the post, you should sign up for my FREE 5-day e-mail course so you can navigate interactions like these with ease. Click here to subscribe.

The topic of the show – Should you self-censor as a writer?

2:50 – What is Breitbart and who was Andrew Breitbart?

4:40 – How I got into writing professionally and the reason I took action to start Becoming the Alpha Muslim, Mike Cernovich of Danger and Play Media.

7:03 – Should writers self-censor, and if so, how and why? My religious ethics as a Muslim writer.

9:14 – How Donna’s perspective on self-censorship differs from mine as a journalist and as a Christian.

11:40 – How does Islam’s notion of tolerance differ from the Christian understanding of turning the other cheek?

15:00 – Donna and I find some common ground on tolerance of offensive speech.

17:20 – Thor admits he’s hesitant to publish his fictional writing involving Muslims, fearing backlash.

22:12 – The ‘racist’ card

24:25 – On the Muslim world’s long history of tolerance of controversial ideas and writings.

25:50 – Donna mentions how mainstream media in the U.K. foments outrage culture and political correctness, and how this leads to division and mistrust between Muslims and non-Muslims.

28:00 – I use the Fatima Manji / Kelvin McKenzie drama to show why adopting the language and tactics of Feminists and Social Justice Warriors is a strategic error by Muslims living in the West.

29:48 – Donna makes the point that censoring dissenting ideas only results in their proponents going underground.

That was the end of the show proper.

However, we had a hilarious discussion after I mentioned that I’m a fan of professional troll and internet super-villain Milo Yiannopolous.

They didn’t believe me at first.

I mentioned how I thought of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey as Darth Vader in A New Hope and Milo as Obi-wan Kenobi.

Jack struck Milo down, only for Milo to become more powerful than he could ever imagine.

32:17 – Thor hit record again as I was elaborating on my theory that Milo’s announced gay pride march through a Muslim neighborhood in Sweden was only a publicity stunt.

If you enjoyed listening to the discussion…

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10 comments… add one
  • Jason Jul 30, 2016 @ 20:58

    Kind of strange that you respect Milo when he is an open homosexual and enemy of Islam

    • Nabeel Azeez Jul 31, 2016 @ 1:29

      Why wouldn’t I respect him? EVEN IF I disagree with him on these issues?

      • hereatlast Jul 31, 2016 @ 18:04

        Because he doesn’t show us the same respect. He doesn’t just disagree with Islam or specific issues within Islamic jurisprudence- he actively mocks and disrespects us on social media and in his speech.

  • Donna InSussex Jul 31, 2016 @ 7:22

    Hi Nabeel,

    I didn’t want to get too far into the difference between Islam and Christianity as the discussion was on writing and censorship, but something you said struck me.

    You mentioned the scene in House of Cards in which Underwood spits at Jesus, which I think you said you found to be offensive.
    When I watched that episode I wasn’t offended as a Christian – and as far as I can tell none of my Christian friends were either; we mostly discussed whether it was clever or not of the director to have the statue fall and break – and I’ve been thinking about why that is.
    I wondered how Jesus himself would react to being spat at. The Bible tells us that when people mocked Jesus while He was with us on Earth He was not offended or angry, but pitied them. Even as he was being cruelly killed his primary thought was compassion for His attackers as people who did not know the love of God. Therefore, not being offended by, but instead pitying & having compassion for those who mock God is central to Christian faith. This strikes me as a major difference between Christianity and Islam, which appears to be quick to take offense (even if Muslims don’t necessarily demand censorship).
    Therefore, I’m curious as to whether God in Islam is ever compassionate towards His enemies, or whether He is always in judgement?

    • Nabeel Azeez Jul 31, 2016 @ 15:05

      Hi Donna. Thanks for the question. I think the difference in reaction is due a a fundamental difference in how we perceive God and how we deal with the rights of His Prophets and Messengers. Peace be upon them all.

      The most obvious difference is that you believe Jesus is God Incarnate. You may not feel a need to ‘defend him’ because why would God need anyone to defend him?

      We don’t believe that Jesus is God. Rather we believe that Jesus Christ, son of Mary, is a Messenger of God, born of Immaculate Conception, the Messiah, the Anointed One, who will return in the Last Days to defeat the False Messiah and establish God’s Law on Earth once more. Peace be upon him. He is mentioned by name and title, directly and indirectly, over 180 times in the Quran. There is an entire chapter in the Quran named after Mary, mother of Christ, and we believe that she reached the highest rank of piety known to man, second only to Prophets. Peace be upon her. And we believed that both Jesus and Mary were Muslims, in that they submitted to God Almighty (Islam means submission.)

      Given that, our relationship with Jesus is very different to Christians. Our relationship with all the Prophets and Messengers is one of love and reverence. We love them more than ourselves and our families. And we believe all Prophets and Messengers have certain rights over us.

      The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, is well known for forgiving those who harmed him personally, even though he had the power to lay waste to his enemies. Forbearance is a great virtue in Islam and something every Muslim is exhorted towards.

      As individuals we have the right, and it is praiseworthy, to overlook and forgive sleights against our OWN person. But NOT on behalf of others.

      Imagine you were out with your husband and a man walked up and spat in your face. Now, you might be a good Christian and choose to forgive him. But can your husband forgive him on your behalf?

      Or imagine that you were out with your son and a woman walked up and slapped him in the face really hard. Would you forgive her on your son’s behalf?

      That just doesn’t make sense. And I’m almost certain that you would NOT behave in the way described.

      Even Pope Francis said (paraphrased) “I’ll punch anyone who insults my mother.”

      Another way to look at it would be to think of crimes that are prosecuted even if the victim chooses not to, or does not want to, press charges.

      Furthermore, forgiveness and mercy become a weakness when it is taken advantage of by those without honor or decency, and one’s religion, God, and Prophets, are humiliated and degraded.

      As a devout Muslim I abhor the way Jesus is treated in the West, in your art and entertainment. And for the life of me, I can’t imagine why Christians don’t defend him. But again, we have a fundamental difference in World view.

      The other major difference may be in our conception of God’s essence and attributes.

      Any time we Muslims talk about God we couch our language in the qualifier – there is nothing whatsoever alike unto Him. Take a moment to internalize that – there is nothing whatsoever alike unto Him.

      We believe God is a transcendent, perfect being with no likeness or equal. We believe that He has infinite attributes that are all a manifestation of His perfection and divinity.

      So it is not at all strange for us, for example, to believe that God Almighty is the Epitome of Mercy and Forgiveness, while also being the Most Perfectly Just of all Judges and The One Who is Severe in Punishment. We believe in all of the attributes that He has described Himself with through revelation, as well as those infinite attributes that He chose not to reveal, in His infinite Wisdom.

      For us to limit Him to one or more of His attributes, like Love or Compassion, is to limit His perfection and divinity. When we think of Him that way we are also violating “there is nothing whatsoever alike unto Him” because we are thinking of love and compassion in human terms, and in our limited perception these attributes ‘contradict’ justice, judgement, and punishment.

      I hope that answers your question. I had to get a bit technical because this is a deep theological question and I needed to explain things properly. Still, I don’t know if I’ve done it any justice.

      • Donna InSussex Aug 1, 2016 @ 15:24

        Firstly, I want to make clear that I absolutely am not suggesting that we should reduce God to any of his attributes. The God of the Bible also displays a range of attributes including compassion, but also righteousness and justice. Jesus Himself displays righteous anger (overturning the money-lenders tables for disrespecting the temple) and warns time and time again that he will come to judge everyone, so I would certainly take issue with Christians who reduce God to mere sentimental love and forget his awesome power (- awesome in the traditional, not modern sense of the word!).

        However, Jesus, as God, has a right to overturn those tables. He, as God, has a right to judge others in matters of sin. But He instructs us, as sinners ourselves, not to sit in judgement of others’ sins, which would be hypocritical. He doesn’t incite his disciples to overturn those tables.

        That of course doesn’t mean that we as Christians fail to recognise the respect that God, Jesus, Mary, the prophets, apostles and saints deserve – of course we do, and we would hope that everyone else would recognise that too. Society works best when people are civil towards each other even when they disagree. However, it does inform how we react when faced with a situation in which someone is being disrespectful towards God or his prophets.

        This morning I came across this on Franklin Graham’s (a well known evangelist) Facebook page:

        “Saturday The Washington Post reported that “After School Satan Clubs” could be coming to elementary schools across the country. The initiative is sponsored by The Satanic Temple which says they don’t worship Satan at all, but they are a voice for secularism. We are already seeing the devastating effects of secularism everywhere. These self-proclaimed political activists are open about the fact that they’re really just trying to counter the success of Christian clubs such as the “Good News Clubs” that have spread across America.”

        How to respond to something like this? The most human way, I think, is to want to fight fire with fire – to protest, to decry, to try to ban. A more extreme way might be to react violently, by attacking the leader of the Church of Satan personally, as a blasphemer.

        However, Graham suggests another way; he suggests this: “Their leader & co-founder Doug Mesner (who goes by Lucien Greaves) is fervently leading this charge. Let’s pray for this man’s eyes to be opened to the truth of the Gospel and his own personal need of a Savior. Pray for his heart to be touched and softened by the working of God’s Holy Spirit. No one is beyond the reach of God’s love and mercy. Before he came to faith, the Apostle Paul was once the greatest enemy and persecutor of the church. Let’s also pray for school leadership to have wisdom to decline the letter of request for these After School Satan Clubs which the article says will be going out today–they even include a link to the letter.”

        Rather than rushing in to defend God, Graham suggests that the correct Christian response is to hand the problem over to God; to ask God to forgive Mesner (note, Graham doesn’t suggest that WE forgive Mesner), and to ask God to show mercy and love towards Mesner.

        Are Mesner and his followers committing sins in setting up this Church of Satan and mocking God? Undoubtedly. But is that their right, as humans granted free agency by God to do as they please? Absolutely. Therefore the right response from Christians is to ask God to forgive them and pray for their salvation.

        This brings me to your two examples, which you sum up as: “As individuals we have the right, and it is praiseworthy, to overlook and forgive sleights against our OWN person. But NOT on behalf of others.”

        You’re right, I have no right to forgive someone on another’s behalf. But by arguing that blasphemy should be ignored, I’m expressly not arguing that I, as a Christian witness, should FORGIVE the blasphemer. How could I? I’m in no position to do so. I’m merely suggesting that we respect the God-given right of people to turn away from God, while at the same time doing what we can to help or persuade (but not force) them not to.

        This brings us right to the heart of the doctrine of forgiveness, and why Jesus MUST be God.

        In your two examples involving family members, the attacker’s wrongdoing is twofold: it harms the victim, and it harms God. Only the victim can forgive the personal attack, and only God can forgive the sin. But in both cases, some sort of debt must also be paid. If the crime against the person is severe enough the criminal would go to jail as penance. But how to pay for the sin against God?

        The Bible teaches that the wages of sin, that is, the debt for sin, is death. Who then can pay that debt on behalf of another? If my sister is robbed of a large sum of money, I couldn’t hand her an equal sum and forgive her robber. That would be unjust. But if my sister is robbed, say, by her son, for whom she feels love and compassion, she may choose to take the financial hit, waive the debt and forgive him.

        Similarly, if Jesus is just a man, crucifying Him would be unjust. It would be cruel of God to pick out a man to pay MY debt of death, which MUST be paid as I have sinned. Rather, God Himself chose to come to earth in human form and die in innocence (that is, without having committed sin) on our behalf to pay our debts so that we can be forgiven and reconciled to God.

        This has consequences in this world, and the next. In this world, if I fought fire with fire; if I met every instance of blasphemy with aggression or anger, what would that achieve other than enmity between man? But if I instead hand the problem to God to deal with as He sees fit, what happens? God moves hearts, and we have tolerance, understanding and peace.

        I take your point that forgiveness and mercy can be a weakness, but to that I say 1) Jesus tells us to be “as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” and 2) we await patiently the day of the messiah’s return, in the knowledge that until that day we will suffer hardship and persecution, and that that won’t be our lot forever.

        • Nabeel Azeez Aug 2, 2016 @ 10:41

          Hi Donna!

          Thank you for the detailed response.

          I thought on whether I have anything else to add, and I don’t.

          I think this was a productive exchange.

          If nothing else we understand where the other is coming from, even if we don’t agree. 🙂

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