Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Fallacy : A "proves" B

Noticed the following in a flyer handed out outside a mosque by a Muslim "political party" in 2010:

"The recent attacks by Jim Fitzpatrick MP and journalist Andrew Gilligan on the Islamic Forum Europe proved, if proof were needed, that the secular system and secular parties want Muslims to abandon policies based on Islam and adopt the secular values of the parties".

Two points are perhaps worth noting in the above extract :

Point Number 1
Note how the writer moves from the actions of two individuals (Fitzpatrick and Gilligan) to the general ("secular system and secular parties"), implying that the actions of the former reflect the views of the latter.

It's a bit like claiming that a few Muslim benefit fraudsters "proves" that all Muslims are dishonest.

Or that the actions of a single corrupt Police officer "proves" that the Police (as an entity) cannot be trusted.

Point Number 2
Note how the writer states that the "secular values of the parties" can only be adopted if Muslims "abandon policies based on Islam"

Is that ALL the values of the parties and ALL policies based on Islam?

Are not universal education, the NHS, welfare benefits, the rule of law policies that are shared by both the main polical parties and by Muslims?

What about a sense of civic duty, avoiding litter, improving the quality of our air and water, recycling waste and reducing pollution? Are these not also shared policies?

I could go on, but I'm sure you get the picture.

In fact, the more I think about the quote at the top of this post, the more scary and cynically manipulative is seems.

Gentle reader, you may wish to take care to watch out for examples of twisted logic like those in the quote above in order to ensure that you are not taken advantage of. And if you have children, perhaps it might be worth explaining this post to them.

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