Some folks get pretty upset when it appears to them that atheists are picking on Islam. Certain atheist authors* (and those who agree with them) are accused of “Islamophobia” and even racism (guess what: Islam is not a race). Well, isn’t it just possible that there are good reasons for secularists to severely criticize Islam? A phobia is an irrational fear. Is it really irrational to see Islam as a threat? I don’t think so.
All three abrahamic religions are burdened by “holy” books (yes, I’ve read them all) that I think any modern, compassionate, morally conscious human being would have to describe as disgusting. All of these horrible books prescribe rather nasty implementations of the death penalty for various “sins”.
It might be noted that the Qur’an doesn’t order the killing of blasphemers whereas the Bible does require that such persons be stoned to death. However, Islam doesn’t get off quite that easily. Sharia law does demand various penalties for blasphemy, including flogging, amputation, hanging, or beheading.
Whenever Christianity or Islam gain control of a government, evil follows. However, I suggest that Islam is inherently more inclined to seek control of governments. One can make a strong case from the New Testament that Christians ought to stay away from government. One cannot make a similar case for Muslims based on the Qur’an. Christians are faulty humans, of course, and many of them seek to control governments anyway but my point is simply that it is more difficult for them to justify such activities on the basis of their “holy” book and that, therefore, that is possibly a moderating influence that Islam simply does not have. In the west, of course, secularism has made significant strides and for that reason, too, the potential for Christianity to do evil is diminished.
So, what do we see around the world when we look at nations that are dominated by religious authorities? We see a few African countries where Christian missionaries have, unfortunately, been fairly effective and, consequently, homosexuals and “witches” are in serious danger. However, we also many more nations where Islamists have seized control. We see horrible barbarism when that happens. People are cruelly executed for “crimes” such as blasphemy or apostasy. Women and girls who’ve been raped are blamed and punished for the assaults committed against them. Women in general are not permitted the ordinary freedoms enjoyed by even the most marginalized citizen of a semi-free western nation.
But oh!, you say, those are only the extremists. Well, let me tell you about some of the disgusting things said to me by well-meaning moderate Muslims who didn’t want me killed or imprisoned but wanted to warn me so that I might escape the wrath of Allah in the “afterlife”. Without exception, they have told me that they love Muhammad (my shoe be upon him) more than they love their own spouse, siblings, or mother. How disgusting! That dead asshole is more important to them than actual living, thinking, feeling human beings. That is the foundation on which extremism can so easily be built. Those who carry that sickness might not ever become extremists but they perpetuate the seed from which that evil is ever ready to grow.
Now, I’m not saying that similar evils don’t exist in other religions, such as Christianity. They do. However, it seems pretty obvious that, today, those evils are most frequently expressed through through Islam. I assert that to deny that fact is to choose to stand in denial of reality.
* See what Sam Harris has offered in response to the lies and misrepresentations regarding his ideas about Islam: Response to Controversy : Sam Harris