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Dec 16 2011

Christopher Hitchens has died

Christpher Hitchens, a leading voice of secularism, atheism and rationality died yesterday.

He’ll be sorely missed.

Below is a letter sent to him from the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain some while back and his response:

Dear Christopher Hitchens,

We at the Council of Ex-Muslims wish to convey to you the sincere thanks and good wishes of our members and friends for the enormous strength and support we have gained from your talks and from your writing.

For us, God is Not Great and The Portable Atheist are invaluable sources of inspiration. This is especially valuable in these difficult days in which religion is staging a come-back, a sort of ‘counter-revolution’ in which it has become the accepted thing to classify people in society in terms of religion as if this were their primary determining characteristic.

We send you our sincerest best wishes and deepest admiration,

Warmest wishes,

Maryam Namazie
Spokesperson
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain

Here’s his response:

Dear Maryam (if I may…)

Many thanks for such a heartening letter: it quite brightened my day. I would love to think that I had been of any help to you: your journey has been rather more arduous than mine and I follow your work with admiration…

Yours for ethical humanism and against false “classifications”.

Fraternally.
Christopher H

6 comments

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  1. 1
    Martyn Hughes

    My favourite Hitchins quotes.

    On Faith:

    “Faith is the surrender of the mind; it’s the surrender of reason, it’s the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other mammals. It’s our need to believe, and to surrender our scepticism and our reason, our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something, that is the sinister thing to me. Of all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated.”

    On Politics:

    “The noble title of “dissident” must be earned rather than claimed; it connotes sacrifice and risk rather than mere disagreement.”

    On Life:

    “[O]wners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realise that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.”

  2. 2
    Marie-Thérèse O'Loughlin

    Very sad news to hear indeed. Condolences to his family. The legendary figure will be sadly missed by atheists, sceptics, and even those from other divides of religion.

  3. 3
    Forelle

    How sad. I feel very sorry for his wife — it must be very hard.

    Thank you for sharing his letter. This is the first place I read about this news and his words fitted quite well part of the idea I have about the man, like a proper eulogium.

  4. 4
    keansimmons

    Another thanks Maryam (if I may)!

    Yesterday one of the FtBloggers put up what I considered a very disrespectful “eulogy”.

    I’m thankful that you as the spokeswoman for the Council of Ex-Muslims in Britain sent him your warm letter of thanks.

  5. 5
    ...

    He probably was the greatest defender of both reason and the old left I know of. We will not see his like again.

    1. 5.1
      julian

      We will not see his like again.

      Thankfully.

      No heroes. No gods. No saints.

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