The Interview was originally published at Skepoet at the Crossroads of Critical thinking in 2009. That blog is now defunct. (Note: This is the first interview I did in these days that I don’t think is entirely foolish. However, my appraisal of Johann Hari has completely changed in 2009).
I first heard of Tauriq Moosa from a repost of a piece of his writing at Butterflies and Wheels about a year-and-a-half ago. Mr. Moosa writing on the importance of secularism in Europe, his defense of Johann Hari, and his philosophical writings have appealed to me greatly over the last year. His background can be read here. You can read him at his blog and at Factonista.
C. Derick Varn: What got you involved with skeptical activism?
Tauriq Moosa: My first understanding of reasoning resulted in observing where such reasoning failed. Mistakes are usually first identified with ourselves, criticising and wondering where we went wrong, then extrapolating that on to other people. Like many, my journey into fulfilling myself spiritually meant leaping into a mire of nonsense first then wading to a clear stream of reason later. Once I could see where I stood, even as these thoughts floated beneath me, the dredges of my past would drift down later.
I could see them for what they were. I believed I could read people’s minds and “souls” from pieces of wood; I thought that their palms held deep-seated secrets of their past and future. All this I did in an attempt to help my fellow people, a finding which has confirmed only two things for me: everyone needs a therapist, no matter how normal you think you are and secondly how easily people are fooled on both sides of the fraudster-fence. The first people duped into thinking they have psychic powers are those who practise it. I found confirmation of my abilities wherever I went – being paid to indulge in the private lives of complete strangers. I was able to bring people to tears in moments.
I later learnt from studying psychology that this was nothing but cold-reading. And I had a talent for it. This haunted me and most of what I do is an extended apology to those I duped. I began at this same time to shift my interest in speculative nonsense about spirits, souls, demons and magic and focus on something more wondrous: the Western philosophical position and science. Whilst I was on holiday, some time just before beginning my degree in psychology, I happened to take a book out my library called Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder. I was introduced to Plato, Aristotle, Russell, Kant, Wittgenstein. It was incredible. I read it four times, taking notes and rehearsing the various phrases: the myth of the cave, Russell’s paradox, the beauty of Spinoza’s depiction of “god”, etc.
Whilst all this had happened, I was a good Muslim child. I constantly worried about my delving into “satanic” endeavours, like Tarot cards and minds that were not Allah’s. I studied more Islam than proper school for most of childhood, going to numerous Islamic schools. The abuse and sadness of those times were physical but mostly mental. Islam, like all religions, is spectacularly inhibiting to a child’s mind and indeed children often see religion for the farce it is. Questions are met with straight and rehashed answers. Today the most shocking thing is realising that children are learning in a language they do not know – indeed, most Muslims are not Arab speaking. So, we have children learning off by heart that they must “slay the pagans wherever ye may find them” (Quran 9:005).
When I first began reading philosophy books and articles, I found all “sacred” knowledge as given by Islam constantly undermined. Not only was Plato more beautiful but had more universal appeal. Socrates once said that the unconsidered life was not worth living and to me, Islam constantly pleaded guilty to something worse than an unconsidered life: it was a life of submission. Islam literally means “submission” and it simply went against my natural instincts to give up my critical faculties, my reasoning, my creativity for the auspices of an arbitrary 7th century book. Islam to this day has offered no answers I can see that aids humanity or furthers thought in a beneficial way. My final turning away was the Rushdie affair, as Rushdie became one of my favourite authors (and still is).
This was on a basic level. When it finally dawned on me, quite late, how dangerous ideas lead dangerous people to do dangerous things and justify it with the same god I worshiped, I finally shed myself of this skin of delusion.
It is a very long story but eventually I met more and more people who thought religious ideas banal and boring. I had been writing since I was six. I have not stopped since. I realised that one way I could aid my species would be to use writing to further ideas about thinking, reasoning, human rights and a good basis of philosophical inquiry. Thus I found people silly enough to like my work and began posting them online. I began being introduced to more and more people in the sceptical community, a few times being asked to write or contribute. Thus I found myself being published in America in Skeptic – the first time I received an email from Michael Shermer I remember thinking: “This is what I want to do with my life.” I was in tears.
Living in South Africa is a very lonely and isolated experience in terms of philosophy, reasoning and anti-religious activism. But it has started with better writers than myself. People who are actual thinkers and highly talented and intelligent. Jacques Rousseau, a philosopher and a sometime friend, is one. South Africa is a beautiful wonderful country and my desire to connect with people in Europe and America is to spread the notion that the message of a unified species is not lost. Indeed it has come back home to the continent from which we all came.
C.D.V.:Do you think philosophy plays a crucial role in the skeptical mindset?
Tauriq Moosa: Without a doubt (even though philosophy begins with doubt!). But what we must be careful of what we mean by philosophy. As Anthony Gottlieb has said in his book on the history of subject, The Dream of Reason, the last thing he expected to find in his decade long inquiry was that there was no such thing as philosophy. Or at least nothing particularly unifying about the great men he investigated. But what I understand firstly about how philosophy aids a sceptical mindset is learning its history. Surprisingly, as Roger Scruton has pointed out, the history of philosophy is quite a recent addition to the analytic canon of philosophy taught in Western universities. Philosophy, as an academic discipline is very difficult, but its interest in its general form, its beauty and just plain wonder is appealing to everyone. Everyone asks “why am I here?”, “why does the world exist?” and so on. I recall Isaiah Berlin saying that philosophers are those who lay bare the roots of everyday thinking – he beautifully mentions that every man commits patricide, not necessarily killing the father, but the ideas of the father. Philosophy is a mirror, but a broken one: its refracted image sheds light on the concerned subject from different angles.
Bertrand Russell, who would be my hero if I had heroes, is the first person (aside from Salman Rushdie) who I truly consider incapable of writing a boring sentence. I was in awe of someone of his stature writing about everything we all wonder about: meaning, truth, beauty, love, marriage, god. Here was the co-author of infamous Principia Mathematica writing about who should use lipstick, about why traditional marriage is rubbish, and how love and creativity need to overshadow the capitalist mindset. This was what the world needed, more people thinking like a philosopher about everyday matters (indeed, philosophers themselves need to do this more!). It seems that if people retained a sense of epistemic duty, they would be ready to scrutinise their own beliefs, be ready to admit uncertainty and doubt. But we do not like doubt and uncertainty, preferring as Hitchens says “the conspiracy theory to no theory at all.”
With regard to scepticism itself, I assume we are talking about the scepticism as exemplified by such people as Michael Shermer, Martin Gardner, Richard Dawkins and Carl Sagan – not the scepticism of Pyrrho and Sextus Empiricus. In such cases, philosophical inquiry starts with Descartes questions about what is possible to know beyond all doubt. This tiny bit of philosophy can, with one tiny notch, forever distort most ideas people have, not least the arrogation of power from a celestial mind.
C.D.V.:How do you think skepticism relates to secular governance?
Tauriq Moosa: A very good question. AC Grayling, who has reprised the role of the public philosopher from Russell, has said that a “measure of a good society is whether its individual members have the autonomy to do as they choose in respects that principally concern only them.” In this respect he was talking about the legalisation of drugs – a fact that not many people consider. The fact that heroin is illegal whilst nicotine is not, the fact that drinking is legal, whilst cocaine is not, is one hallmark of an uncritical populace. A society that respects its citizens enough to allow them the choices of drugs or tee-totalling is a respectable one; one which imposes laws from conservative moralists, who claim to know better than others on how these other people should live, is one we should be suspicious of.
I do not think scepticism so much as critical thinking would aid us in maintaining free, liberal and good governance. Critical thinking and good reasoning is a constant endeavour. Getting a whole society to constantly engage in this way is difficult and most likely futile. However, if we do not get the whole society, we can at least get many more and also allow them to be critical. Most do not realise the importance in checking up on your government: making sure their policies are correct, realising that government represents the people not the other way around, and so on. These are ideals, of course, but they are enshrined in many society’s constitutions. John Stuart Mill wrote in his essay on this matter that it requires the active participation of all men. I think that by giving people the power to decide for themselves – by legalising drugs, prostitution, abortion and so on – we can inherently make people more mature in their thinking. They can realise that paternalism is a horrid function of any regime.
Consider book banning, which occurred in my country recently, with regards to Sherry Jones’ The Jewel of Medina. Who is deciding for me that I can not read this book? Who is taking it upon themselves to read for the whole society? This is a disgusting affront to the autonomy of individuals. People must be grown up enough to decide that they will either read or not read a work of fiction. People give into to these impositions on their liberty without question – and that above all is the most terrifying part. People do not even defend their liberties which have been so long in their fruition.
But I think our most important goal, in terms of active defense of liberties and promotion of maturity in our societies, is the emancipation of women. We are nowhere near completing this goal. I am ashamed not only to be a human but a male when confronted with this most horrid affront to sensibilities, of one half of the world denigrating the other. It will start first with understanding and setting women’s feet on a platform called humanity, that precarious piece of wood we all struggle to balance. Being human it seems is similar to doing a pirouette on a tight-rope. But by seeing everyone, including women, as equal we can make our whole planet a much better one. This is after all the only one, the only home, we will ever have.
C.D.V.: Your story is actually quite similar to many ex-Fundamentalists Skeptics I’ve met. Do you think being involved with such religiousideas as a child gives your skepticism a sense of urgency?
Tauriq Moosa: First-hand experience always gives one’s mission a full-throated cry. Primo Levi’s “sense of urgency” as you call it is strengthened by his own experience in Auschwitz; if someone wrote it, never having been there, it seems to lose all colour. Anyone can do the outlines but the picture needs to be filled in. And this means that there can be many armchair activists who are excellent at creating the outlines of criticism or an idea, like Richard Dawkins, but it would take many who have experienced it to fill in the blanks and colour in the spaces.
I also think that there are not enough English-speaking ex-Muslim anti-theists. I do not consider myself a humanist, or an atheist – since labels are silly – but if forced, I call myself an anti-theist. Especially coming from a Muslim background, this adds a sense of urgency, since those criticising Islam are often ignored because they have not been Muslim, no nothing about it as a faith, are white, etc. etc. All quite pseudo-racist responses, to be sure, but one that finds nodding heads even amongst your average person. I do hope to write a book about leaving Islam, how important it was replacing all its answers with the beautiful questions of philosophy, its problems with modern conceptions of human rights, and why we need to be active in defending liberty and so on. Its been done before, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Ibn Warraq for example – both brilliant books – but there needs to be more people speaking out against Islam.
I am tired of hearing the boring rehashed arguments of “moderate” Muslims, like Irshad Manji and Reza Aslan, where excuses for Islamists are made. These are highly intelligent people retaining a bizarre ritual practise that actively endorses the denigration of women. Their reasons for retaining Islam is most likely a sense of cultural identity – as this is how they are making a name and money for themselves. Manji of course is excellent but I am saddened that she still considers herself Muslim. This petty waffling must stop and the emperor’s nudity must be brought into the harsh light of reality. Islam is silly, petty, parochial and there are better ways to identify oneself and live a good life. All of Islamic thinking can easily be wiped out by a good dose of Epicurus.
I do want to write such a book but the sense of arrogance and egotism involved has always prevented me. Who would want to read about me, a complete unknown person who is barely in his mid-twenties? Why is my life so interesting (it is not) that it needs to be put in print? It was my realisation that I can identify with the average person, in that I have a loving family, a comfortable existence and so on, that I can highlight how Islam completely undermines such a life. It is as though there is an underground world into which you step from your everyday happy existence to talk of killing unbelievers, beating women and destroying the minds of children. You spoke of a sense of urgency – this is mine.
Whether I write it or not, however, depends on whether I can overcome such feelings of arrogance and egotism.
C.D.V.: Is there anything that frustrates you with the English-speaking peoples various relationships to the so-called “Islamic world”? I know that question is worded a little strangely, but I don’t think the civilizations involved are monolithic.
Tauriq Moosa: Any divisions frustrate me: men and women, black and white, good and bad. I function under the banner of universal application of freedom, that is: freedom and liberty for all, within the framework of rescinded harm. But in the context of the so-called “Islamic world” (I don’t know what that is in reality but I know it is one the most horrid ideals), there are many. Firstly, nearly all those previous examples I have mentioned find fruition in Islamic societies. The burka-clad women, buried up to her chest in sand about to be stoned to death is a familiar image. Or the hatred between Muslims and non-Muslims, as seen in their banners and violence, against free-speech. The fact is, within an Islamic context, there are conceptual hues which make for complications. It’s not easy to simply say all Muslims are evil – that is false. What frustrates me in talks of division is highlighting the humans who embrace the idea, rather than criticising the idea itself. For example, we can be as rude, mean and mock any ideas; but people deserve respect.
From this, you can see I agree that the civilisations are not monothilic. Kenan Malik, in his latest book about the Rushdie affair, says that there are failings with the “clash of civilisations” view as well as equating Islam with peace. What frustrates more than anything is the lack of attacking ideas because we are afraid of the very people who embrace those ideas. If I want to criticise an Islamic doctrine, for example the undermining of women, that is acceptable. In retaliation, Muslims should not wish for my death but should, if their ideas are truly from Allah, point out why my idea is wrong, using civil discourse. What frustrates me is the operation on two different planes: that of discourse which operates in the realm of ideas, and those which grasp the sword and reap blood. That is the relationship of fear.
The second horrid relationship seems to me one of placating the big and loudest child in a classroom. Instead of correcting his incorrect and rude methods with the other children, we tell the other children to just take it. Or we delude ourselves and say he is actually a child of peace. Or worse still, say we brought this on ourselves. All those who say that I find make the most pathetic arguments.
They need to read the Quran, they should read the history of Islam. They should learn about Muhammad. Don’t ask Muslims about their faith – most don’t know what it is. They regurgitate the words of their Imam. (I recall a finding in Britain last year or so which found that so-called “moderate and liberal” mosques had Imams preaching about the “horrid” notions of liberty, human rights, equality, because they were man-made.) Islam like all religions I think belongs our past. I have yet to find a single instance in areas like philosophy and science where religious or ordained knowledge can aid it, or take it forward. By its definition, religions can not. Perhaps a certain religious person can, but certainly not from their sacred texts. What frustrates me are those who make excuses for those who wish death, but immediately blame those who criticise Islam. For example, Salman Rushdie was often blamed for his received death-threats by fellow non-Muslims. How bizarre is the mentality when people criticise the person issued with a death-threat, rather than to say it goes against peace, liberty and human-freedom to issue death-threats, burn and band books and so on in the first place. Where was reason but in exile when the hankering shadow of Islam fell into civil discourse in a Western democracy?
C.D.V.:Do you think a public intellectual has a duty to promote things like Enlightenment values and/or a scientific approach to possibility of truth?
Tauriq Moosa: The very existence of a public intellectual precludes being silent on these values. If one considers oneself a public intellectual, we should be focusing on the universal application of basic human rights: freedom, justice, equality, and the pursuit of happiness. Some people who are considered public intellectuals do not promote this, for example the puppet of pettiness, Slavoj Žižek. Also, consider Prospect magazine’s number one public intellectual from last year, Fethullah Gülen, who is a Tukish Sufi cleric. Regardless, it seems to me that being in a position where one has access to a large audience, willing to listen to your opinions on the “big questions”, it is a matter of utility that we do our best to help them in the best way possible. Now I am no public intellectual, but certainly that is what I expect from those who I hold in high-esteem. These are the men and women who have replaced the all-important Grecian philosopher, people who are wiser, more eloquent than ourselves.
Enlightenment values have one very important aspect: they inspire a universal utility, from which everyone can benefit if they are given voice and fertile ground. Autonomy remains number two, because at the top is freedom to express that autonomy. This is the first thing that should unite public intellectuals, but of course many would disagree for whatever reason. It seems though that even those who do not outwardly state their position on defending or promoting Enlightenment values, do so as soon as they contend to speak of equality for all, justice and liberty. If we hold people in high-esteem who believe in marginalising society based on race, creed, political position, sex, or eye-colour (all five are as bizarre as the next), we should be worried – certainly about those who think this, but more about those many who would support those views.
Science needs more eloquent expositors like Sagan and Dawkins. Many don’t realise that Dawkins is not a professor of biology, but was Professor for the Public Understanding of Science. I think that this position, now endowed to the mathematician Marcus du Sautoy, is more important than most academic positions. But I have huge issues with current tertiary institutions. To put it bluntly, I think the humanities is full of bullshit and many undergraduates are learning beautiful-sounding horse-shit, from men and women who should be teaching them new ways of thinking not relativistic, post-modern nonsense. But that is another point. The major point even here is that a scientific mindset could undermine this. I don’t see a conflict between art and science, since I see the latter as beautiful as the former. Sure, those who sit for hours pricking the legs off fruit-flies might seem pointless to people like Sarah Palin and, that sprouter of all things idiotic, Jeremy Clarkson, but their intense, jargon-ignited thoughts and papers could save your life later. We need people who can straddle the lines of the doing and the telling: Sagan was a gift to our world, as was Darwin and Huxley. By showing society how beautiful, interesting and – most importantly – fun science is, we can have a world that doesn’t flinch when we talk about genetically modified food, or stem-cells. This could lead to faster advances for all and therefore better lives lived.
C.D.V.:Your answer to last question brings to mind some recent controversy about the role of scientists as communicators that was sparked by Sheril Kirshenbaum and Chris Mooney. Kirshenbaum and Mooney seem to contrast Dawkins and Sagan as sort of antipodes. I don’t always agree with everything Dawkins says about the United States and I sometimes think people misunderstand his tone. So what do you think is the ideal “tone” for a public intellectual to take? Or do you think this is sort of a useless question in the first place?
Tauriq Moosa: Well I would be the first to be worried if you agreed with everything a certain person said! The first thing we must realise about these people we hold in high-esteem is that they have reproductive organs and orifices. They are not perfect. So, of course Dawkins is wrong on some areas (I can only think of factual errors more than general ones, like dates and names he gets wrong in The God Delusion.), that’s obvious enough. But his power and eloquence are not diminished, hence his importance.
The tone is a difficult one but it needs to be said with eloquence, lucidity, clarity and aiming for the minimum. By minimum I do mean just the number of words or syllables, but to compact an entire image quickly. A brilliant example is from Plato in his dialogue Timaeus. Here we have the a depiction of a vanished and horrible land called Atlantis, which Plato described so brilliantly that people instead made it into a utopia. It was that vivid! Now, the importance here is not really that people got it wrong but that people remembered the impact of such a place. That is what is important: creating an impact with one’s ideas. And when we think of impact, we think of hammer blows. Some might say “fundamentalist atheists” (a bizarre term) are blunt and forceful in their approach. But this attitude is forgotten when taken to the realm of art criticism, literature, politics and so on. I think Dawkins could at least alter his tone somewhat in certain circumstances, but I find no problem with it.
As to whether this suits some ideal “tone” that a public intellectual should have, I do not think so. Daniel Dennett for example is soft spoken and appears apologetic in his approach to religious matters. In a lecture he gave, he set out a disclaimer apologising – then said: “Now I can offend whoever I want”, and proceeded to brilliantly do that. There is no reason to be harsh to people but we can, as I said, be harsh toward their ideas. It seems that if ideas are steadfast, strong and retain a sense of truth, they will gleam from the oncoming fire of criticism. Their mettle and metal will be tested, whether it’s found to bend and break, or twist and curl. What remains after the fire-blast determines that idea’s utility. This is quite a Popperian way of looking at it, in that ideas are not “true” but useful to the extent that we use them until a new, better or different idea arises. How we communicate ideas rests I think with the individual public intellectual, but I think primarily their communication and discussion of ideas should be: interesting, lucid, clear, eloquent and obvious in their position on the idea. I loathe people’s writing where they waffle in their positions, so, for example, we never know if the argument is for or against religious belief (Eagleton and Midgley are horrible examples of this).
So whilst the initial question might be useless, I think there are certain aims rather than attitudes to the public intellectual tone.
I have not read Kirshenbaum and Mooney’s book, Unscientific America, I must admit. But I have read plenty about it, by the authors themselves and others. From what I’ve read, it seems petty, childish, uninformative and boring. I’d rather not waste my precious reading time on them. In fact my ideas come from the authors’ defence against the criticisms (especially from PZ Myers, Jerry Coyne, and my some time editor Ophelia Benson). I do not think they have reasoned the book well and I have read better authors and social commentators on these matters. I recall a brilliant essay by Bertrand Russell where he says something worth quoting in full:
“The same love of adventure which takes men to the South Pole, the same passion for a conclusive trial of strength which leads some men to welcome war, can find in creative thought an outlet which is neither wasteful nor cruel, but increases the dignity of man by incarnating in life some of that shining splendour which the human spirit is bringing down out of the the unknown. To give this joy, in a greater or less measure, to all who are capable of it, is the supreme end for which the education of the mind is to be valued.”
I think education really should be teaching kids how to and not what to think. But anyway, this seems to me something that could solve many problems of scientific illiteracy. Yet that domain must be made amicable to the tastes of the average person, so, as I said, we just need those who straddle both communication and participation to be doing that more. Apparently this is also their solution. I do not see why they had to write a whole book about it – but you have read the book. But I am refraining of judging it as a whole and referring only to the points the authors have made themselves.
C.D.V.:Who do you see as picking up the useful threads of the Enlightenment right now?
Tauriq Moosa: If you mean one thinker, it’s A.C. Grayling. There is no doubt. Not only does he write beautifully, but his arguments are water-tight and he is unafraid to give his views. He is also a professor of philosophy, which makes him all the more respectable in my books. Not only has he written about the history of Enlightenment ideals (Toward the Light), but also a recent defence of them (Liberty in the Age of Terror). If there is anyone I would never want to debate, it would be AC Grayling.
Hitchens also is a steadfast Enlightenment fighter, despite what many say. He too writes beautifully. His love of literature, his activism against capital punishment, his highlighting of horrors around the world – all mark him as someone attempting to defend and promote Enlightenment values.
In terms of groups, I see the recent fruition of thought in this new generation forced to face ideal patricide. Never before has it been okay to criticise god on such a global scale. The gap of god is filled with human freedom, a smiling face of dignity and respect for the stable diet of placated humanity. The watershed of superstition finds the face of stars reflected in its quivering. Wonder is everywhere and their hands are up, ready to meet it where before their parents’ hands were up, ready to worship it. This generation, my goodness, they are brave, beautiful and so intelligent! I find myself constantly intimidated by them. I am 23 years old and many are younger than me – but nearly all of them are more brilliant, better qualified and more literate than I could ever hope to be. I remember after having dinner with the president of the Swedish Humanist Association, he said something which I now say to all those who are fighting for women’s rights, equality, justice, compassion, respect and against religion, in their blogs, on Facebook, in forums – “If the world has you as the next generation, maybe things are not so bad after all.” They really are quite amazing and not given enough credit. They are the true Enlightenment defenders, the major champions of reason. And there are so goddamn many, too, it makes me smile and sweat at the same time. You and your blog for example would be one of these. It’s a bit intimidating just being interviewed by you, since my knowledge is unimpressive in these matters and I am not an expert on anything. I am always nervous when I have to speak mostly for this reason. I would be more confident speaking before an older generation of Nobel laureates, than the new generation of bloggers and student activists.
I recently saw you published a review in the Ameican magazine, Skeptic, and this got me to thinking: Why do you think that the European–particularly the UK and the Northern European countries–rationalist/anti-theist and the American Skeptic community overlap so much even if the politics of the parties involved are sometimes greatly different?
Naturally, their entwined history has made the flower of their unified thought blossom between their connected vines. Most of the patriotic ideals of America are genius (it’s patriotic to defend the second amendment, or the separation of church and state. Those who fight for “god” in American politics are unpatriotic, actually). It was devised by great men like Washington and Paine. Indeed, Paine was English but also truly American (he is said to be the first to use the term “the United States of America”). Aside from their histories, language is an important identifier. Both countries during their epochs had English as their main language. With language comes culture and thought and so on. Even if you want to ignore history and language as factors (the former beautifully discussed by Hitchens in Blood, Class & Empire), then it seems that it must rest simply with the spread of ideas. I am not very well versed in politics – it seems too difficult for me to understand what the different positions are. I am not at the point where I could tell you how a Leftist is different to a Social Democrat and so on.
But I think the major reason is the rescinding of authority and paternalism, and the decline in religion. I think faith is dying, with this new attitude to grasp life with both hands and shake it vigorously until it coughs up something useful.
Some European countries are still suffering. My colleagues in Poland, who sometimes translate my work, often tell me how the Catholic church denies, hides or lies about the growing number of atheists there. It distorts all the statistics and adds to the delusion for the gullible faithful.
Also, these are the countries targeted by Islamists – which in way is good thing. It means we are promoting ideas which are incorrigible with Islamists. That means we are doing a good thing. Its a nasty way to look at it, but we should at least find some ray of sunlight in the gloom, even if its filled with dust.
C.D.V.: Anything you’d like to say in closing?
Tauriq Moosa: Yes, I love your blog. Keep it up. And thank you for interviewing me. It has been a pleasure.