57 Comments

Thanks for a very powerful clear antidote to the poison called religion. One addition: Ian Buruma's

vituperative attack on Ayaan Hirsi Ali for being intemperate and virulent was followed up by his NYT statement that there are some things that "civilized people" should not say. I suggest to him that a civilized person should not attack victims of Islamism who name their attackers. Buruma was accompanied by Nicholas Kristof, who seems strangely reserved when it comes to the oppression and slaughter of Muslim women for honor killings or the hanging of gays and apostates. Well, what can expect of two white men in their media towers writing about crimes they never suffered or witnessed. Apparently Muslim male attackers of women are just not criminal enough to get

named much less criticized.

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I guess he missed the irony of accusing others of incivility in defense of people simetimes committing horrible acts of oppressive incivility. We see women in Iran risking their lives to defy the demand they wear a head scarf. Am I not allowed to care about their struggle to free themselves from oppression because I'm not a Muslim? I don't care whether I'm allowed or not. I care whether it's a custom or religious tradition. Denying women education and personal autonomy or the ability to flee to places that would afford them such seems akin to slavery. The concern for basic human rights supersedes the concern for preserving religious tradition if and when the two things come into conflict.

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“If your belief is indefensible, your ignominious last resort is to accuse your critics of “-phobia”.

Very similar to “I’m offended”

……and?

It’s a weak, intolerant argument.

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What's the similarity?

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"Female genital mutilation."

...is evidently now viewed as a positive thing in certain circles.

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"-phobia" isn't usually the last resort of those who use it as an accusation. It's more often the first resort, and often the only one. If you don't have an argument, a label must suffice, and the "women can have penises" and the "Islam is a religion of peace" crowds alike have no real arguments. If you can't win with facts and reason, stigmatize your opponent.

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Islam is certainly a rather barbaric if not psychotic religion -- little short, if at all, of the Aztecs.

Though, relative to the implied comparison with transgenderism, and as Hitchens Himself might have said:

" 'transphobia' is a word created by fascists, and used by cowards, to manipulate morons.”

https://thehumanist.com/commentary/fascists-cowards-and-morons-combating-anti-muslim-bigotry-while-maintaining-free-speech/

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unfortunately, the good suffer with the bad. a friend lived next door to a muslim couple, they were the best neigbors you could wish. There are good and bad in all religions, and also in those that think they are, but are not. That are usually the worst. All the people trying to get you into their church, their temple, their mosque, are not good people to me. I want to believe what I believe and worship as I please in the privacy of my own home. If everyone went with that, lots of pain would be avoided, and lots of buildings would come free for the homeless.

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These people think that getting you into their church is going to save you from eternal damnation. They're not necessarily bad people. They're good people with bad ideas. That's what makes religion so dangerous. There are few truly evil people out there, but there are so many bad ideas.

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agreed. most people unfortunately believe, that belonging to a certain group will save you. I think religion is very personal, almost like a marriage. Talking about the One in front of others is almost blasphemous to me, let go a pastor who apparently has no clue! My late husband was a pastor and had no clue.

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Also complain about middle east, The Church is not save but Jesus saves you

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And, Christians is not threat

Stop being whore of Islam

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Prof. Dawkins, thank you for writing this. 🙏🏽 As a former Muslim, I wrote something similar about this misnomer. If you find interest, please get a chance to read it. Stay gold. Tomas https://open.substack.com/pub/thediscoursezone/p/loving-and-hating-islamophobia?r=1mz9pw&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post

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Ranking alongside islamophobia in terms of misuse is antisemitism. Here in the US any criticism of the Israeli government, especially concerning its litany of human rights abuses against the non-Jewish Palestinians, is responded to with shrill accusations of antisemitism. Also, it seems to me that the tactic is being taken up here by the white Christian right. So, in short, there is little justification to single out one of the Abrahamic religions. On their right edges they are all pretty disgusting.

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Not really but okay.

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In many cases, the practices you mention belong to the ethnic cultures, or repressive governments, of the various countries that promote them, and have nothing to do with Islam. I speak as an atheist.

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You can’t separate the criminal from the crime. I was once a willing Catholic. I am not now. I am an atheist. I am free and more morally attuned than ever. People who believe in gods have been groomed by religious zealots whose goal is world domination through ill-gotten money and power. They are among the most preternaturally authoritarian and dangerous people on earth.

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Nope, There is no religious zealots

You're obvious whore of Islam Barbaric

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Prove it when you try accuse Christianity?

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islam freezes the barbarism of the 7th century abaria, bringing it to the modernity. killing critics of islam has nothing to do with islam? 😏 islamic scriptures are filled with assassinations for apostacy and criticisms -- NOT doing it is not islamic.

Genital mutilation is not islamic? it's practiced till now only because muslims try to preserve the lifestyle of the originators of their religion. it's tightly connected to the idea that a womann is not supposed to feel pleasure from sex, in order to not become a whore.

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Conveniently forgetting that if men did not demand pleasure by offering money there would be no market for “whores”.

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You're whore of Islam, how poor soul

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an addendum, sir dawkins, as the daughter of a dr. of veterinary medicine who grew up in her father's veterinary hospital, and who has spent her entire life as a marine, lacustrine, and riverine invertebrate zoologist [i'm now 82 and retired], it has been 'endemic' to my life's understanding that sex and gender issues are far more complicated and diverse than what you seem predisposed to present. many of the mammalian species in our veterinary hospital over the decades arrived w/ 'ambiguous genitalia'. furthermore, the animals i studied, whether invertebrates, vertebrates, or their commensal symbiotes, not only sported high levels of hermaphroditism, but also arrived post-birth as females, especially pomacentridae fish species and several reptilian species, as beta-males or females respectively, who then transmutated into alpha males or females, respectively, who then transmutated into alpha-females or males capable of reproduction throughout their life cycles. these dynamic reproductive permutations are either dependent or independent of the environmental ambits of temperature and cloacal, intrauterine, or oviduct biochemical inputs to which they have been exposed. reproductive parametres and feracities are as nearly as diverse as the hundreds of billions of star systems in our hundreds of billions of galaxies.

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I have read a book about the principles that define a cult. One example is a religion's intrusion and instruction that impacts on and restricts people's personal lives and freedoms. I wonder which of the main religions embrace that example.

Regarding Islamic faith, I find it difficult to reconcile the killing of Mahsa Amini in Iran for not wearing the hijab properly, and women protesting in the streets. Yet in the Western world many muslim women choose to wear the hijab. Perhaps it is the freedom to choose that is an important principle.

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I agree that the right to choose is an important principle and think our laws should preserve it, but I also think the purpose of religious indoctrination, particularly when it occurs in childhood, is to psychologically remove the right to choose from the child.

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I agree with you Kevin, that the influences in childhood contribute to our adult worldview. Perhaps that is why education is so valuable, to give a wider perspective based on facts, rather than faith. Not to say faith is wrong, but needs to be realistically viewed as symbolically representing good over evil. All religions have an underpinning ethic of no harm 'treat others as you would want to be treated'. Except of course where religion is deliberately used for manipulation and control.

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You missed the fact that the religion is false. There is no good reason to support Islam.

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I couldn't watch that caning.

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Just listened to David Pakman's interview with Richard - I thought it was very good indeed, especially in the context of his general viewership, so well worth a look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vrv9Ns5wMo

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Thank you Richard. I am so thankful to you for your ability to logically bring people along with you when you are giving your perspective. I am in 100% agreement with your position.

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As ever, Prof. Dawkins is a sinner for the truth. It is the greatest sim we can instill in our young people but it means taking charge of your own life against those who would — and want to — kill you if they could for being logical, rational, irrelevant.

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