It would appear that Richard Dawkins has made the news again.
For talking sense and standing up to the folly that is religion.
In his latest attack on believers, he said:
“[However] there is a sense in which the moderate, nice religious people — nice Christians, nice Muslims — make the world safe for extremists. The moderates are so nice we all are brought up with the idea that there’s something good about religion faith. That there’s something good about bringing children up to have a faith.”
“They’re entitled simply to say ‘oh that’s my faith, I believe it, you’re not allowed to question it and you’re not allowed to ask me why I hold it.’”
“Once you teach people that that’s a legitimate reason for believing something then you, as it were, give a licence to the extremists who say ‘my belief is that I’m supposed to be a suicide bomber or I’m supposed to blow up buildings — it’s my faith and you can’t question that.”
The public reaction to this has been, as you might expect, rather mixed.
Especially as they follow on from his infamous Tweets:
“Date rape is bad. Stranger rape at knifepoint is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of date rape, go away and learn how to think,”
At first this seems like a needlessly contentious statement in order to make a point about logic, that statement being, “Stating Y is worse than X is not an endorsement of X.”
The second quote, although entirely factual and logical simply does not have the same sort of emotional power as the identical principle employed in the ‘rape’ comment. So it should be obvious to anyone with any intellectual thought process going on in their head, that is better to use the more extreme version. After all, it did get people talking about it… Even if some clearly missed the point.
What all of this shows is that Professor Dawkins is not afraid to use emotive language to make his point and in this case apply it to that old enemy religion. More specifically in this case, Islam.
Islam, the religion of peace according to moderates and also to western apologists, both of whom, are very quick to jump on the Islamophobia bandwagon. Claiming that Dawkins is tarring every religious believer with the same brush. That moderates are no less dangerous than extremists.
To that, I would completely agree. I think that he is… And with damned good reason!
The recent and ongoing inhumane and horrifying acts carried out by IS, Boko Haram, etc. are a testament to the fact that religious extremists are poisonous to humanity as whole. I’m sure I have no need to pick out any particular acts or go into detail. Suffice to say, they are clearly very dangerous.
And yes, they are enabled by moderates of the same faith. The thing is that all of them, moderates and extremists follow the same book, the Qu’Ran. Each cherry-picking what they want out of it to justify their belief. Which is patently ridiculous!
If the Qu’Ran, as the Muslims say, is indeed the words of their holy prophet, Mohammad (Fuck Mohammad by the way) then it needs to be all or nothing.
The problem is that the Qu’Ran, much like the bible, is so filled with contradictions from beginning to end, that it would be impossible to follow it all *ahem* religiously as you would end up spinning in circles and disappearing up your own arsehole.
Case in point; In one place it promotes religious freedom and then later demands the death of unbelievers.
By following any parts of the Qu’Ran, ‘good’ or ‘bad’, moderate Muslims tacitly approve of the actions of the extremists. After all, we occasionally hear a moderate condemn the actions of the extremists, but we never see any action on their part to actually do anything about it! Simply crying off taking any action by saying, “They are just following the words of the prophet as they interpret them”.
Basically having their cake and eating it. Am I the only one to see how intellectually and morally reprehensible that is?
Similar to the way that the Catholic church publicly condemns the actions of paedophile priests and then does its best to protect them from prosecution.
That makes absolutely no sense. If the words of the prophet are holy, then it surely not for the individuals to decide for themselves which bits are holy and which are not. A bit like Christians who make a distinction between the bible and scripture, depending on the current point they are arguing.
I simply cannot understand why the dichotomy that religion poses isn’t screaming out at every believer that their holy book is nonsense.
So to go back to the original point, stating Y is worse than X is not an endorsement of X. With Islam, X and Y are both cut from the same Qu’Ranic cloth and should hold equal culpability for the appalling actions of Y.
Islamists of all flavours like to tell us that we are not allowed to question their faith. Even when it is used to carry out barbarous acts.
The problem is not that Professor Dawkins, amongst many others myself included, question the Islamic faith.
The problem is that Muslims don’t!