Until 9/11, Islam didn’t figure in the New Atheists’ attacks in a prominent way. As a phenomenon with its roots in Europe, atheism has traditionally been the archenemy of Christianity, though Jews and Judaism have also slipped into the mix. But emboldened by their newfound fervor in the wake of the terrorist attacks, the New Atheists joined a growing chorus of Muslim-haters, mixing their abhorrence of religion in general with a specific distaste for Islam (In 2009, Hitchens published a book called “God Is Not Great,” a direct smack at Muslims who commonly recite the Arabic refrain Allah Akbar, meaning “God is great”). Conversations about the practical impossibility of God’s existence and the science-based irrationality of an afterlife slid seamlessly into xenophobia over Muslim immigration or the practice of veiling. The New Atheists became the new Islamophobes, their invectives against Muslims resembling the rowdy, uneducated ramblings of backwoods racists rather than appraisals based on intellect, rationality and reason. “Islam, more than any other religion human beings have devised, has all the makings of a thoroughgoing cult of death,” writes Harris, whose nonprofit foundation Project Reason ironically aims to “erode the influence of bigotry in our world.
Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens: New Atheists flirt with Islamophobia
Flirtation is an understatement.
Dawkins, in a recent rant on Twitter, admitted that he had not ever read the Quran, but was sufficiently expert in the topic to denounce Islam as the main culprit of all the world’s evil: “Haven’t read Koran so couldn’t quote chapter and verse like I can for Bible. But [I] often say Islam [is the] greatest force for evil today.” How’s that for a scientific dose of proof that God does not exist?
A few days later, on March 25, there was this: “Of course you can have an opinion about Islam without having read the Qur’an. You don’t have to read “Mein Kampf” to have an opinion about Nazism.”
It’s an extraordinary feat for an Oxford scholar to admit that he hasn’t done the research to substantiate his belief, but what’s more extraordinary is that he continues to believe the unsupported claim. That backwards equation — insisting on a conclusion before even launching an initial investigation — defines the New Atheists’ approach to Islam. It’s a pompousness that only someone who believes they have proven, scientifically, the nonexistence of God can possess.
Morally corrupt assholes with raging boners for capitalist wars in the name of cleansing this world of vile Islam. Remember when Hitchens was told that nearly 6,000 Iraqis were killed right after the US invasion of Iraq and he replied, “The death toll is not nearly high enough”? Good ol’ I’m-not-violent Hitchens. Remember when Harris advocated for racial profiling (get those filthy brown Muslims out) to protect America? Good ol’ I’m-not-racist Harris. Remember when Dawkins admitted he never really read the Quran he seems to hate so passionately? Good ol’ I-am-not-biased Dawkins.
Nothing wrong with praying. There are no atheists in foxholes
“‘For God’s sake,’ he implored.
‘God?’, the child repeated with sudden interest. ‘Which God?’ she asked. ‘There are such a lot of them’.
‘Any damned God you like,’ he answered impatiently.
‘I don’t really like any of them,’ she answered.”
-“Island” by Aldous Huxley (1962)
I do not believe in God. I see no need of such idea. It is incredible to me that there should be an after-life. I find the notion of future punishment outrageous and of future reward extravagant. I am convinced that when I die, I shall cease entirely to live; I shall return to the earth I came from.
W. Somerset Maugham, A Writer’s Notebook (1949)
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
It would be intolerant if I advocated the banning of religion, but of course I never have. I merely give robust expression to views about the cosmos and morality with which you happen to disagree. You interpret that as ‘intolerance’ because of the weirdly privileged status of religion, which expects to get a free ride and not have to defend itself. If I wrote a book called ‘The Socialist Delusion’ or ‘The Monetarist Delusion’, you would never use a word like intolerance. But ‘The God Delusion’ sounds automatically intolerant. Why? What’s the difference? I have a (you might say fanatical) desire for people to use their own minds and make their own choices, based upon publicly available evidence. Religious fanatics want people to switch off their own minds, ignore the evidence, and blindly follow a holy book based upon private ‘revelation’. There is a huge difference.
You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image what it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.