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IslamQA: On political correctness

What do you think of 'Political Correctness'?

I consider it an extremely harmful thing. Political correctness simply means that an unelected elite decide for the rest of society which truths they are allowed to speak and which truths they are not allowed to speak. In the United States this basically means that those who own the major media outlets and publishing houses decide what is allowed to be discussed in public.

An extreme example of harm of political correctness is recent attempts to make discussions of the harms of being overweight and obese politically incorrect. Thus doctors who speak about the science on the dangers of obesity are attacked for discriminating against obese people.

Another example is the fact that discussing the powerful influence of Israel on US politics is politically incorrect. This makes it impossible for intellectuals to discuss the fact that having a foreign country have so much power over one’s own country may not be in the best interests of the home country.

In my view it is a betrayal of God to hide any important truth for political reasons, so I have little respect for those who consider political correctness to be more important than truth. I am a supporter of free speech and believe that an important duty of Muslim intellectuals is for them to be speakers of truth. Recently a scientist was attacked for studying the possibility that the practice of cousin marriage among Muslims in Britain may be responsible for the high incidence of birth defects among certain Muslim-majority ethnicities. I have only contempt for people who attack scientists for studying such politically sensitive issues. If it is true that cousin marriage among Muslims in Britain is leading to increased birth defects, the first step toward a solution is for this to be openly discussed. But the ignorant, narrow-minded media elite of Britain, rather than discussing the actual facts involved, attacked the scientist’s motive for studying the subject. Even if the scientist hated Muslims (and there is no evidence that he did), if what he said is true, then it must be discussed and taken seriously.

And God knows best.
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