Tom Gjelten at NPR did a typically NPR passive-aggressive story on “extreme” atheists and Craig Hicks and yadda yadda. I’ve been doing the same sort of thing ever since last Wednesday, but…I think without the passive-aggressive aspects. That’s been my intention at least. I’m up front about it – Craig Hicks freaks me out because we had friends in common, because his Facebook wall looks exactly like the walls of countless other bro atheists, because I don’t know but I fear his anti-theism – which I share – may have had something to do with the three murders he apparently confessed to. I don’t like the idea, and that’s exactly why I’ve been poking at it so hard.
But Gjelten…well let’s see.
Outrage over the murder of three young Muslim Americans in North Carolina last week has gone international. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation said Saturday that the killings reflected “Islamophobia” and “bear the symptoms of a hate crime,” but local authorities say they don’t yet know what motivated the murders.
Stop right there. Why on earth would a reputable journalist go to the OIC for a comment? It’s a terrible organization. It’s the outfit behind the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, which allows no human rights that are not “compatible with Sharia” – which means many of the most basic rights are nullified, though the declaration doesn’t spell that out.
So that’s one bad move.
The man held responsible for the killings is an avowed atheist. Whether that’s relevant in this case is not clear, but some experts see a new extremism developing among some atheists.
See? Pure passive-aggression. It’s not clear, BUT, some experts see blah blah, so let’s just leave that lying there like a turd so that we can make atheists sound bad while pretending not to. How handy to be able to say some experts see whatever you want to claim.
Religion scholar Reza Aslan says ordinary atheists just don’t believe in God. Hicks, Aslan says, was an anti-theist.
“An anti-theist is a relatively new identity, and it’s more than just sort of a refusal to believe in gods or spirituality; it’s a sometimes virulent opposition to the very concept of belief,” Aslan says.
Reza Aslan isn’t a religion scholar tout court, he’s an apologist for Islam.
The anti-theists have their own heroes; people like the outspoken writer Richard Dawkins, who appears often on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher condemning religion generally and Islam in particular.
“I mean these people have a holy book that tells them to kill infidels,” Dawkins once said on the show.
Yes, and? That’s true. It’s also true of the bible, certainly, but then Dawkins doesn’t say otherwise. It’s so passive aggressive to quote a true statement as if it were some terrible outrage, without actually saying it is, much less saying why it is.
Reza Aslan says the anti-theists are few in number. But just as mainstream Muslims must confront the extremists in their communities, Aslan says, it’s time for mainstream atheists to do the same.
False equivalence. Very false equivalence. One Craig Hicks, even if his atheism did contribute to his murder of the students in Chapel Hill, is not anywhere near the equivalent of Boko Haram and IS and the Taliban and al Qaeda and the government of Saudi Arabia. The idea is laughable.
So, yeah, that adds up to a lot of passive-aggression in one short piece.