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indi wrote

I'm not going to comment on the moderation standards on Raddle, because I don't really follow the drama. All I can say with confidence is that the rules (the ToS, etc.) are sound. Whether the application of those rules is also sound, somebody else with more knowledge of these forums will have to address that. (The example you gave is not evidence of mod impropriety by any stretch of the imagination. First, I have no idea of the context of that post or its response; for all I know, this could only be one part of a wider, cross-forum campaign by "gonnagetbanned" to argue for "white genocide". Second, there are signs of shenanigans - of posts being edited or deleted after the fact, such as TheLegendaryBirdMonster quoting a sentence that doesn't exist... did it exist in the OP before it was edited?)

I can only offer you my personal experience:

Despite your assumption, I do not agree that it is "way too easy to be banned for criticism of religion". I am not only an atheist, I am an atheist activist. I routinely criticize religion, and while I haven't posted any of my own stuff on Raddle (it would feel weirdly self-promotional to do so), I'm pretty sure I've posted other people's stuff and made comments critical of religion (pretty sure, but I haven't exactly kept records on exactly what I've done on Raddle, so I couldn't swear on what I've done here). I've never even had a warning, let alone a ban. I've never observed any "excessive force" by mods, either.

I don't believe merely saying "fuck Islam" should warrant a ban... but I don't know the context in which "fuck Islam" was stated that earned a ban. And context always matters.

What appears to be the issue is that you think you are making cogent, rational criticisms of Islam, but the mods are telling you that you are not. So the million-upvote question here is: Are you making cogent, rational criticisms of Islam?

Let investigate....

There is no religion with stronger oppression of women TODAY than in Islam. However, by saying this, which is objectively true and can be easily backed by facts....

"Objectively true and easily backed by facts"? Are you sure you know what the words "objective" and "facts" mean? How does one "objectively" measure oppression? What SI unit does one use to quantify oppression? (I propose, taking inspiration from the candela, to call the SI unit of endured oppression the "Mandela". To measure of inflicted oppression, defined as "Mandela¯¹", it can be the "Strijdom".)

Okay, just because something is objective doesn't necessarily mean it's quantifiable. So what is the qualitative difference between types of oppression? If one group treats women like goddesses right up until the moment they violate one of the social rules, then they rape, torture, and murder them brutally... is that objectively worse than a group that treats women like second-class citizens and servants but otherwise ignores them over a full and productive lifetime?

What I'm getting at here is that the words "objective" and "facts" aren't just salt and pepper you can sprinkle onto any claim to make it more palatable. You have chosen to use those words because you hope they will pass unchallenged, and provide cover for the underlying claim. But if the underlying claim really were objective and factual, then you wouldn't need to assert it as so. You could just point me to the objective data that proves the fact.

There is no objective way to compare oppression. That's just nonsense. Even if you could objectively compare the rules for women in two different belief systems item-by-item, that doesn't say anything to the actual experience of the women. A belief system may have shockingly (to Western eyes) oppressive rules, but those rules may simply not be enforced, so the women themselves live quite freely. On the other hand, a belief system may have comparatively mild rules, or no "official" rules at all, but the women in that society may be subject to constant harassment, belittlement, and vicious abuse with threats of sexual violence if they dare step out of line (sound familiar?).

But there's an even bigger problem here, and that is that there is no such thing as "Islam".

Speaking from my experience as an activist who is always on the lookout of islamophobes trying to infiltrate our groups and take advantage of our platforms and legitimacy, one of the clearest red flags is when someone talks about "Islam" as if it is a single, monolithic thing. That's a pretty sure sign they haven't really done the legwork, and don't really care to. When you say "Islam" is oppressive, do you mean Sunni Islam? Shia? Sufi? Or do you mean Ismaili, Hanafi, Salafi, or Wahhabi Islam? Or do you mean all of them? It's one thing to use "Islam" as a shorthand when you're just making vague and inconsequential statements about all or most branches of Islam, or just the most popular branches... but you're trying to make a specific accusation. Have you really checked every single branch to see how women fare? I doubt that.

But maybe you'll claim you don't need to actually bother to, yanno, actually check the easily backed facts you claim are objectively true, because oppression of women is baked right into the core of the theology that all branches of Islam share. Except... that's not actually true. It turns out people have done analyses on both the Quran and the Christian Bible... and surprise, surprise, the latter is more violent and misogynistic. And there are more Christians, too. So... "objectively"... that would imply that Christianity is more oppressive. Clearly that entire line of thinking is complete bullshit.

That's because another red flag is when someone tries to pass off stuff from extremist or fundamentalist sects of Islam as "Islam" in general. There's no doubt that extremist and fundamentalist variants of Islam are horrifically misogynistic... but the same is true for extremist and fundamentalist variants of any religion. "A wife is to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband." Pretty disgusting quote, eh? That's from the official statement of Southern Baptist Convention, and it was repeated and endorsed by Mike Huckabee - who was almost a presidential candidate - so that's not even from some underground cult, it's from a pretty mainstream branch of Christianity. And yet, no one would say that "Christians" - generally speaking - believe that. Because that would clearly be bullshit. And yet, here you are, passing off the ideology of extremist and fundamentalist Muslim groups as something intrinsic to "Islam".

(As an aside, yet another red flag is when someone makes claims about Islam that they assert are so obviously true you don't actually need evidence provided for them. That's a pretty sure sign that there never was any evidence to begin with.)

It's one thing to claim that Islam, in general, is misogynistic... that's pretty low-hanging fruit, given all the stuff in the scriptures, and there's plenty of statistical data to back up the claim that misogyny is widespread among contemporary believers. It's quite another to make the claim that Islam is more misogynistic than other religions, or all religions, because pretty much all religions are misogynistic, and there is no sensible way to compare the "level of misogyny" between religions. By all means, argue that Islam is incompatible with general lefty goals - just as Christianity and Judaism are; that's a perfectly legitimate case to make (assuming you make it rationally, and on the basis of reality (and note: just because it's a legitimate case to make, doesn't mean it's right, or that people won't argue against it)). But arguing that Islam is "worse" than Christianity or Judaism... that's stepping into irrational - and, hence, bigoted - territory.

So the claim that Islam (or any religion) more "strongly" oppresses women than any other religion is neither objective nor factual. It is an opinion. It is not a particularly well-informed opinion, nor a coherent one, but it is an opinion you are free to have... though not necessarily free to express anywhere you please, such as on Raddle. Please don't try to pass it off as "objectively true".