I have seen blogs and comments where people decry that ‘we atheists’ mainly have a go at Christianity, we hardly ever complain about Islam. I guess there is some truth in this, but a truth that has mitigating circumstances.
I have lived my whole life in predominately Christian countries, English is my first (and only) language and the majority of blogs I read are written by Americans, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders, and people from the UK. The majority of people in these countries are, I would hazard a guess, similar to myself; so it’s hardly surprising that we focus on Christianity.
Truth be known, I knew very little (and now only a bit more) about Islam until about nine years ago, and wouldn’t be surprised there was a lot of others like me. However, come 2001 and suddenly Islam is all over the media – nothing like blowing up a few buildings to attract attention!
As yet the Islamic faith has had little impact on the government policies of the countries I’ve mentioned above, unlike Christianity (banning abortions, gay marriages, stem cell research, the list is endless).
Indirectly Islam has, due to increased ‘terror alert status’, but I won’t go into that here.
However the last few years has seen a rise in the predominance of Islam in the media (they will keep blowing shit up!) and more people have started to study and criticize it (Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Michel Onfray have all had a go). Still, the impact on our political policies and influence on our politicians is still minor. Our political leaders are still predominately Christian.
What we don’t want happening is for Islam to get a hold on politics in any of the countries I mentioned above (or any others they haven’t already, for that matter), and I think we’d also like Christianity to have less of a hold as well. To that extent, I think non-Islamic countries should be very wary how they treat Islamics within their societies and not be too tolerant of their beliefs, just because they are a minority group.
Janet Albrechtsen wrote an excellent article concerning this in todays Australian, and I’ll quote a section:
Instead, Islam has thrown into focus the need for the West to work out precisely which values it will not surrender – values such as the equality of the sexes, the rule of law, free speech and freedom of religion.
Something to think about?
PS. I have just bookmarked a few Islamic related sites today, and may post views from these in the future.