When it comes to the pernicious influence of religion, I consider myself fortunate to live in the western world.
I get to write about the Evansville crosses without any fear of Christian mobs administering a beating.
I can say what I want about the disgusting and disgraceful practice of ritual baby-penis-sucking among Hasidic Brooklyn Jews, and no armed posse of YHWH fans is going to come to my home to teach me a lesson.
I may publish whatever strikes me as truthful about the so-called prophet Muhammad without incensed Islamists threatening to butcher m–oh, wait, not that one. I forgot: Islam is special.
Whenever anybody raises the argument that Islam, at its current stage of historic development, spawns more violence than other faiths, the criticism is usually that terrorism is deplorable but understandable payback for Western aggression. We hear that the U.S., in particular, has invited the bloodshed upon itself through foreign interventionism and wars. There’s some truth to that (certainly, I’m a longstanding foe of the arrogant U.S. foreign policy that holds that we should be able to barge into any sovereign nation if it serves the so-called national interest).
But it’s easy to short-circuit that kneejerk response by pointing out that rather a lot of the terrorist bloodshed has little or nothing to do with U.S.-led military aggression. What I’m talking about are acts perpetrated by radical Muslims against people (including other Muslims) who dress “immodestly,” or who joke about Muhammad, or who make a movie that’s insufficiently deferential to Islam, or who believe in equal rights for gays and women — and in education for all.
There is no current equivalence for these attacks in Christianity; Islam is demonstrably more of a threat to classical-liberal ideals, and to the Enlightenment, than any other religious belief system (one problem is that Islam has morphed into a political movement in addition to being a popular faith).
No organization drives home the point quite as well as the degenerate Nigerian group Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sinful.” So Boko Haram’s fighters love targeting schools and students, in a series of loathsome acts not seen since Muslim terrorists killed almost 400 pupils and teachers in Beslan.
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