I promised never to mention the name of a certain gentleman (henceforth called CG) again, on pain of having to give a free book to the reader who spots his name—and this post doesn’t count in that pledge). But I wanted to point this out because here we have a genuine example of Islamophobia. The Godless Spellchecker, responsible for earlier bringing CG low for plagiarism, now points out that CG had a past history of violent anti-Muslim sentiments. The stuff CG tw**ted is absolutely horrendous, and if you don’t think Islamophobia really exists, here we have an example—from a nonbeliever, no less.
What’s odd about CG is that his bigotry against Muslims has now turned into nasty bigotry against New Atheists, while he’s begun coddling Islam itself à la Glenn Greenwald and Reza Aslan. As for the gentleman’s previous anti-religious bigotry, he’s now issued a notapology that says this: “You see, New Atheists aren’t upset I was an anti-Muslim bigot, probable racist, in 2009. They’re upset that I’m not that now.”
“Probable” racist indeed! While Islamophobia isn’t technically racism, as Muslims aren’t a race, the “probable” part is a weasel word. And, as The Godless Spellchecker notes, none of the New Atheists whom TG continues to excoriate for “Islamophobia”, including Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins, have ever said anything as vile and anti-Muslim as TG did in his earlier incarnation. Nor can one equate TG’s deliberately antagonistic baiting of anyone who looks “Arabic” with the criticisms of Islam posted by much of our atheist community.
Frankly, I’m sick of those critics, particularly nonbelievers, who accuse New Atheists of both shrillness and Islamophobia. They are either ignorant or intellectually dishonest. (Perhaps I’m extra sensitive to this because I’m lately the receiving end of the shrillness canard.) But such accusations are always meant to deflect readers from the real issue: are the claims of religion true? How would we know? What does it mean to base ones morals, worldview, and actions on propositions lacking any evidentiary support?
When someone plays the “strident” card, or conflates criticism of Islam with criticism of Muslims as people, you know they got nothing.