Tuesday, July 25, 2017

CFI opposes efforts to penalize critics of Islam

Kudos to the Center for Inquiry, and their board chair Eddie Tabash, for calling out the radio station that invited Richard Dawkins for an interview about his new book (Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist) and then obnoxiously cancelled their interview without notifying their invitee (it appears that they never even attempted to notify Dawkins that they had cancelled the interview with him).  The CFI characterizes the radio station's unbalanced accusation against Mr. Dawkins as "unfounded allegations", which comports with my understanding that the radio station did not provide support for their accusation, and notes that the radio station's "stance is like the justification nations use to defend their blasphemy laws".  The radio interviewer could have confronted Mr. Dawkins with the allegations against him during their interview, which appear to be unrelated to his book that they had agreed to discuss, to give him an opportunity to respond.

Subsequently the radio station cited this "most evil religion" quote about Islam as an example of his abusive commentary that justified their canceling the interview:

“It’s tempting to say all religions are bad, and I do say all religions are bad, but it’s a worse temptation to say all religions are equally bad because they’re not,” he added.

“If you look at the actual impact that different religions have on the world it’s quite apparent that at present the most evil religion in the world has to be Islam.

“It’s terribly important to modify that because of course that doesn’t mean all Muslims are evil, very far from it. Individual Muslims suffer more from Islam than anyone else.

“They suffer from the homophobia, the misogyny, the joylessness which is preached by extreme Islam, Isis and the Iranian regime.

“So it is a major evil in the world, we do have to combat it, but we don’t do what Trump did and say all Muslims should be shut out of the country. That’s draconian, that’s illiberal, inhumane and wicked. I am against Islam not least because of the unpleasant effects it has on the lives of Muslims.”


At the Secular Conference in London, all guests and speakers, some of whom are likely to be called "apostates" because they are secular Muslims or former Muslims, were instructed not to share the location of the event to non attendees due to security concerns.  Indiscriminate endorsement of "Islamophobia", and "abusive speech" against Islam complaints, directed against people who are interdenominational with their dislike of counter-evidenced beliefs, like Richard Dawkins, in today's world were we face these related, ongoing, threats by people who fancy themselves to be defenders of Islam, is not going to take us anyplace we want to go.  The people making these threats recognize when their threats are affective in intimidating people which is a positive outcome from their perspective.  There is no destination in the direction of endorsing such unbalanced accusations that will ultimately satisfy the people behind such accusations short of jail or violence targeting almost anyone who is judged by a theocratic standard to have insulted the "true" religious beliefs, because that is where the profoundly illiberal logic of such automatic rejection of almost any public expression of criticism of Islam takes us.