I woke up to several links from readers about religion—mostly Islam, but also Catholicism. So we shall have a bit of documentation.
Here are three items found, and scanned, by reader Howard from a single page of this week’s The Economist. Tell me again how Islam is the religion of peace? (Oh right, the opposition to polio and educaton is the West’s fault.):
Humans wiped out smallpox, and we wiped out rinderpest. Those are two of the great triumphs of science and humanism. We could have wiped out polio, too, but it would be a lot easier if Islam didn’t exist. Instead of eliminating polio, Muslim extremists”—I no longer know if that phrase is nearly a tautology (see the following post)*—try to eliminate girls who want an education.
UPDATE: Since people are getting exercised by the phrase in dashes (“I no longer know if that phrase [‘Muslim extremists’] is nearly a tautology”), let me clarify it briefly. Yes, I certainly recognize that there are some liberal and moderate Muslims who do support things like gay rights, women’s rights, and decry violence. My question is how many of these there are among all the Muslims of the world. The evidence I’ve seen is that they’re only a handful compared to a greater majority with more extremist views, and most of them are in the West. But even in the West a surprisingly large number of Muslims (see post above) hold what I see as “extremist” views. And even those so-called “moderates” like Reza Aslan show a darker side when pressed, or vociferously decry fatwas or the death penalty for apostasy.