It’s good to see attendance growing again, after a little downturn. We had 18 people on Thursday, including who seem to be attending semi-regularly: Phyllis, George (who used to be a regular), and Moss. Past members Rich and Jeff also attended.
We had a good debate on Islam and women, although things got out of hand briefly at the end when we tried to switch to talking about the Tuscon shootings. I should have cracked down on the interruptions during that segment better than I did. My apologies. The dust-up does show a perrenial problem that we have to deal with: Left and Right just live in different factual universes these days, and not much can be done about it. (See also this old post of mine on the same subject.) The view that the vast majority of the violent rhetoric in this country comes from the Left is just incomprehensible to me. But, there’s no use arguing, I suppose. We need to let people say their peace without interruption, although responses can be more spirited, of course. I forgot my gavel and was tired, so I let down.
I expect this divide to come up again when we discuss political poarization on February 17 and blue versus red state world views on March 17, so we need to be better at dealing with beyond-what-we’re-used-to views.
Anyway, here are several of the books that were cited by group members:
- Nomad: A Personal Journey Through The Clash Of Civilizations, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Muslim dissident from the Netherlands. Peter was citing this one.
- What Everyone Needs To Know About Islam, by John Esposito. Steve was citing it.
Finally, Jim Z. mentioned an interesting event coming up on January 23. The Humanist Fellowship of San Diego will host a lecture by an SDSU professor on the crisis of Islam and modernity. See here for details.