There’s always some point in a discussion, having had a dig at Islam, there comes a necessary aside. So here it is, for future reference.
“Why do you pick on Islam? What about Sikhs, Hindus? What about Christianity?”
This question inevitably follows. I don’t only pick on Islam, but it does attract greater attention now.
Because, after a lifetime of opposing Christianity and seeing secular success in taming it, Islam has burst on the scene in the UK and undone much of the work of secular liberal progress. To the point that in support of ‘minorities’ (but not minorities within minorities – FGM victims, persecuted and killed for honour, apostates) the second largest religion in the world gets a free pass on way too much of its own bigotry.
The rhetoric of ‘Victim Islam’ (fake Islamophobia) has even contributed to many young people rejecting secular liberal values like free speech, in favour of the dangerous ‘hate speech’ laws.
It started with Blair, funding self-appointed Islamic organisations, several later shut down for their links to extremists. It has continued after 9/11, with excessive and poor attempts to ‘protect’ Muslims in the UK, with ridiculous statements like “Nothing to do with Islam”. Lies like that have only increased anti-Muslim sentiment as well as opposition to Islam.
So, yes. I oppose Christianity and Islam, explicitly. I find them both antithetical to Humanist liberal values. I won’t support their legal outlaw, or any violence against their followers. But I do oppose them and argue against their support.
As for Hindu and Sikh religions … I do criticise them, when the need arises. In the UK we occasionally have reason to criticise. But, anecdotally, personally, I find they accept the secular nature of the UK more readily. So, while I’d probably disagree with them on some grounds, I don’t know enough or find I’ve needed to know enough to make an issue of it.
Islam and Christianity are in my face constantly. Fair enough – proselytise by all means. But expect a response. And don’t think I’ll look the other way, as many police, politicians and press have done, actively, in the face of evil done in the name of or under the cover of religion.
You can tell I’m not one of the passive aggressive atheists that complain more about atheists like me, in some daft deference to religion. Religions deserve ZERO deference. They are ideologies, like any other. To be criticised and ridiculed, like any other. There is a ‘spiritual’ aspect, but religions are NOT about spirituality, but about propagating THEIR particular dogmas, politically.
There are many very nice Christians, Muslims and other religious people that follow their religion and don’t ram it down my throat, and don’t try to impose their personal ideas of sexual propriety on others (it’s always about sex). Many in my own family are like that. I’ll argue the toss over religion, if they like, but otherwise, their beliefs are their business.
I’ll even agree that some, a few, religious people are far nicer than most non-religious people. There’s a reason. Nice people are attracted to the sales pitch of religion, and naturally cherry pick just the Goldilocks parts of the doctrine. The bad people in religion I’d say were already religious, and somehow manage to convince themselves there’s no incongruity: Roman Catholic Mafia gangsters, paedophile priests. So, anyone that is seriously lacking in empathy isn’t going to be attracted to the nice religious sales pitch, and if they have no need for religion, they will boost the number of evil non-religious people: the non-religious killing regimes of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot.
But on the whole, and very specifically too in some cases, religion is a divisive force that I oppose.
That’s how it is. I value Global Liberal Secular Democratic Humanism. Not religion. Certainly not Islam.
For more detail on ‘Why Islam’, see My Problem With Islam.
For my view of Islamophobia, see Our Islamophobic Politicians.
For a list of other posts on Islam, see Islam.