Mona Siddiqui, professor of Islamic studies, New College, University of Edinburgh

“There is something deeply hypocritical about praying for a problem you’re unwilling to resolve,” but let’s do it anyway.

9 thoughts on “Mona Siddiqui, professor of Islamic studies, New College, University of Edinburgh

  1. “My IMF won’t react to prayers so we humans need to do the real work.”
    Non- believers & Mona agree we must do the work. She qualifies for TFTD, though, by claiming that the onus is on us because her IMF won’t do anything. No wonder Islam has a PR problem.
    As far as I understand it, the Islamic IMF doesn’t respond to prayers – people pray so that can willingly accept what the IMF was going to do all along. From that point of view, Mona must think those praying Christians to be very silly.


  2. Mona tells us we mustn’t just sit there praying, we must do something, because her BBoMS says so. She is very ecumenically-minded, so I expect she accepts that other people’s BBsoMS tell them to do something as well.

    Usually it’s something to do with justice and mercy. The trouble is that these concepts turn out to mean different things, depending on which BBoMS you read, or even which bit of any given BBoMS you look at first. When it comes to dealing with real problems in the real world, gods and BBsoMS are no help at all; indeed, they do little more than get in the way of finding workable solutions.


  3. Kinda makes allah redundant except as a fear mongering vindictive mysogenistic control freak. Except of course that allah does not exist except in the minds of those enslaved to allah by power hungry clerics and theocratic regimes.


  4. Thoughtful believers have arrived at the point where they accept that their god does nothing. Their god actually behaves exactly as he would if he didn’t actually exist. Surely there is a really obvious conclusion to be drawn from this.


    1. Yeah you would think so. But even highly educated technical people sometimes fail to make the connection. Just google Andy Macintosh to see a prime example of an intelligent mind crippled beyond recovery by frankly unbelievable notions of godly creation. Leeds university were forced to issue a disclaimer to distance themselves from him. The power of religion to totally hijack otherwise rational thinkers into evangelism for totally torpedoed notions of creationism and god is astonishing.


  5. One thing is that we’re motivated far more by aversion to possible loss than we are attracted to gain. It’s easier to see the possibly wasted years than the intellectual freedom. It’s probably even more sharp if you like the social side.

    A couple of years ago I read a biography of Barbara Pym , written by a long-term friend, which claimed in a she was very religious, but offered no real evidence other than her church attendance. Was she?There very little theology in her books, and the biographer gave no examples I can remember of her a decision she made ever being governed by any theology. The church and clergy feature prominently in her books, but there’s not much theology mentioned . The social, rather than theological, divisions between high and low church people are more important. The biographer herself says Pym was first attracted to the Church as a teenager because it was her only chance to meet young men i.e. curates. (Her books are chock full of lonely, slightly strange, gauche young clergy.) Devout and observant aren’t necessarily the same thing.

    I suppose that’s where the idea of an ineffective God could be attractive as a compromise with yourself. You get to keep the life and contacts without having to tell those contacts you don’t believe any more in that God’s existence. You hide the seeming irrelevance of your God by talking vaguely about its”mystery” . You can just keep thinking it’s a bit puzzling why it doesn’t reveal itself a bit more, and leave it at that, deliberately going no further, making it easier for yourself and your fellow “believers.”


  6. Without in any way wishing to diminish the horror and tragedy of the 250 shooting deaths (so far) this year in the USA (Mona’s figure), they pale into insignificance in comparison with motor vehicle deaths. The shootings are unpredictable, target innocent people, and shock because they are so public and virtually unpreventable. That’s why they make the news. And, on each occasion, the questions of gun ownership and the NRA lobbyists are trotted out, and again, nothing happens. But how many firearms are there in private hands in the USA, and how does that compare with the numbers of shooting incidents? I don’t know these figures, but I do know that in the USA in 2017 there were over 40,000 motor vehicle deaths. No one has yet stood up and said something should be done about the availability of motor cars; that their ownership or use should be more strictly controlled.

    Motor deaths tend to occur individually or in very small numbers, though they occur countrywide on a daily basis. They rarely make front page or international top news stories. But I find 40,000 annual deaths much more worrying than. 250. If the gun shootings should be stopped or prevented, then so should the motor vehicle deaths. Faffing about around the periphery of these issues with nonsense about thoughts and prayers is simply a self-indulgence on the part of the religious to give the impression they actually care.

    Another example of this was the piece I read in the papers about how busy the local Vicar in Whaley Bridge has been of late – as if no one else was doing anything. It’s simply a case of ‘look at me, I’ve got a really important position in this community,’ whereas he hasn’t. He just leeches off other people’s misfortune.


    1. Yes, just like the ”look at me I am humbly doing the good work of the lord” lady vicar during the Boscastle flash flood. She was bravely risking her neck handing out cups of tea to people in the sports hall whilst helicopter crews and other service professionals were faffing about actually rescuing poeple.


    2. I dont think RTA’s no matter how many are killed is equivalent to a lunatic shooting several tens of people. The equivalent are those who deliberately drive cars into innocent people. Even then the motives are different. On one hand some heavily armed misfit lunatic dysfunct sets out to do his worst. On the other its usually some islamic fundamentalist doing the work of his god.

      And please do not forget the thousands of engineers who have made cars much much safer than they were 25 years ago and the planners who have done the same for the road networks. We have a long way to go still but the efforts is ongoing. You try do do without a car … not easy. Guns in the hands of the public are a fetish and unnessesary save to those who need them for their egotistical gratification


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