Why no Islam?

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.

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3 Comments

Filed under atheism, christianity, politics

3 responses to “Why no Islam?

  1. Mark J

    You don’t criticize Islam because you know what would happen to you if you did. You western atheists are cowards. It is that simple and you know it. . You pick on Christianity because you know there is no bite, and even no bark. Your excuse mongering above for not criticizing Islam is despicable. Islam is taking over the West and will impose on you atheists big time.

    Atheists also love Darwin, but hate the social Darwin. And that is, if we evolved from apes, which I believe to be true, than those that evolved in temperate climates would be a lot different from those who evolved in tropical climates. Right? Let’s use some of that humanist logic you atheists pride yourself in.

    I would like to be anonymous.

  2. Well Mark you obviously either a) didn’t read the above comment b) read it, but didn’t understand it c) are being actively antagonistic or d) being a complete arse. What is it Mark?
    I try not to criticize or ridicule people usually, I know it’s not the best way to win an argument or gain any friends, but I have taken an exception to this rule just for you.

    I’m happy to criticize Islam or any other religion that I see as having undue influence on this country. If you had any inkling you would know that the predominant influence in this country (and USA & UK) is Christianity so it is no surprise that, that is what we ‘western atheists’ predominately attack.

    Go read some of the books in my reading list, you’ll find plenty of criticism of Islam in them. I have also posted at least one blog criticizing Islam and will surely post more, I have also read many blogs written by ‘western atheists’ that criticize Islam – search for Mohammad Teddy Bear, for a start. So I totally disagree with you on your point that “western atheists are cowards”. This blog was not an ‘excuse’ for not criticizing Islam, it was an explanation why I, in particular, don’t have much to say about it.

  3. I’m not strictly an atheist, but I’ve criticized my fair share of religions. Christianity is my main focus because I see it as a religion that often strays from its fundamental basis. It’s also the predominant religion in the United States and its influence on politics and life in general is something I abhor.

    Islam, on the other hand, is a religion I like more. Perhaps it’s the fact that it doesn’t have much of an influence on politics or social life in the United States. Perhaps it’s the fact that most Muslims actively follow the tenets of their religion. Indeed, the violent terrorists that have sprung from Islam make it hard, but Christianity has its nutcases as well. No need to judge a religion based on the bad eggs.

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