The Best Thing We Can All Do to Defeat Islamic Fundamentalism

Posted: January 12, 2016 in Atheism, Civil Liberties, Islam, Religion

Anyone who reads this blog at least occasionally should be well aware that I have no great love for the religion of Islam — nor for any other religion. I consider Islam even more misogynistic, homophobic, and totalitarian, and a graver threat to human freedom, than the other major religions.

Having said that, a lot of people are not going to like what I’ll say next.

If you want to fight Islamic extremism, the best thing you can do is don’t harass Muslims. It might make you feel better to harass them, but it’s cowardly and it’ll ultimately backfire. Leave them alone. If you want to drive them into the arms of the fundamentalists and the terrorists, you won’t find a better way to do it than to harass them on the street.

Think about it. How would you react to being harassed (or worse, physically attacked) simply because of your appearance? Your perceived religious beliefs? Would you be more sympathetic to your attackers or to those who present themselves as fighting your attackers?

Harassment and physical attacks increase the isolation and fear level of Muslims in the U.S. — precisely the conditions under which extremism flourishes.

If we believe in religious freedom, let’s act like it. Treat people with respect no matter who they are or what their perceived beliefs.

And exercise your freedom of speech. Islam (and Christianity and religious Judaism) cannot stand up to scrutiny and ridicule. Give it to them in spades. The best antidote to the authoritarian religious threat is freedom of speech and freedom of belief.

Again, if we believe in religious freedom, let’s start acting like it. If you’re serious about defeating Islamic fundamentalism, the best thing you can do is to stop harassing Muslims.

 

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