The Enlightenment is generally considered to have begun in the mid- to late 17th century and ended in the late 18th century. Karl Marx was born in 1818 and died in 1883. Sigmund Freud was born in 1856 and died in 1939. Neither could have possibly given birth to the Enlightenment, which preceded them. Neither, for that matter, gave birth to any enlightenment, either.
As I have noted before, nowadays if you parrot the accepted establishment opinions, you can be hailed as a “respected scholar” even if you’re, well, dimwitted and arrogant. If you oppose America’s defense against the global jihad, hate Israel, love those who wish to destroy both the U.S. and Israel, claim that Muhammad was peaceful and Jesus was violent, and profess to debunk orthodox Christianity, you can become the next media star: hence Reza Aslan.
Why does this matter? Because Reza Aslan is a quintessential example of how those whom the mainstream media elevates as authorities are generally of the Emperor’s-New-Clothes variety, and the entire view of the domestic and international political situation, and particularly of the global jihad, that the major news outlets present is out of focus, misleading, and bringing this nation to catastrophe — as is becoming increasingly apparent.
Reza Aslan is, despite his renown as a scholar, supercilious, foul-mouthed, and prone to howling errors of fact, such as his claim that the idea of resurrection “simply doesn’t exist in Judaism,” despite numerous passages to the contrary in the Hebrew Scriptures. He thinks Ethiopia and Eritrea are in Central Africa. He called Turkey the second most populous Muslim country, which was only about 100 million people off. He has also referred to “the reincarnation, which Christianity talks about” — although he later claimed that one was a “typo.”
He has also claimed that the Biblical story of Noah was barely four verses long — which he then corrected to forty, but that was wrong again, as it is 89 verses long. Aslan claimed that the “founding philosophy of the Jesuits” was “the preferential option for the poor,” but the Jesuits were founded in 1534, and according to the California Catholic Conference, “the popular term ‘preferential option for the poor’ is relatively new. Its first use in a Church document is in 1968.” He invoked Pope Pius XI as an example of how “historically, Fascist ideology did infect corners of the Catholic world,” apparently ignorant of the fact that Pius XI issued the anti-fascist encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge.
He also confuses “than” with “then”; apparently thinks the Latin word “et” is an abbreviation; and writes “clown’s” for “clowns.”
Another reason why this matters: he mocks Sam Harris in this video for allegedly saying he had a sinister agenda. But Aslan’s agenda is indeed insidious: he is a Board member of a lobbying group for the bloodthirsty and genocidally antisemitic Iranian regime. Aslan tried to pass off Iran’s genocidally-minded former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a liberal reformer and has called on the U.S. Government to negotiate with Ahmadinejad himself, as well as with the jihad terror group Hamas. Aslan has even praised the jihad terror group Hizballah as “the most dynamic political and social organization in Lebanon,” and has also praised the anti-Semitic, misogynist, Islamic supremacist Muslim Brotherhood, which is dedicated in its own words, according to a captured internal document, to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.” Aslan wrote: “The Muslim Brotherhood will have a significant role to play in post-Mubarak Egypt. And that is good thing.” Millions of Egyptians obviously disagree. He has also applauded and called for the forcible shutdown of the free speech of those who hates — a quintessentially fascist impulse.
(Thanks to John for the video.)