Here we go again, with more weird Christian bias from atheists.
Listening to the lovely bells of Winchester, one of our great mediaeval cathedrals. So much nicer than the aggressive-sounding “Allahu Akhbar.” Or is that just my cultural upbringing? pic.twitter.com/TpCkq9EGpw
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) July 16, 2018
You know, the first sentence is just fine — please do appreciated the culture and history of a place. Personally, I’m not at all fond of church bells, because I grew up near a church that insisted on playing those obnoxious electronic chimes every 15 minutes, and here in Morris some jerk insisted likewise that the local cemetery play ear-splitting hymns on their electronic carillon all day long (fortunately, no longer). It might be a matter of frequency, too, since the Catholic church 3 blocks away rings their bells every Sunday before mass, and that’s not a problem at all.
Dawkins begins to go off the rails with the second sentence. Why is he comparing church bells to “Allahu Akhbar”? 1) A better comparison would be with the adhan, or call to prayer, of an Islamic mosque. It’s not “aggressive-sounding” at all. It would drive me nuts if I had to hear it every day, but it’s analogous in every way to his church bells. 2) “Allahu Akhbar” just means “God is great”, a phrase you’ll hear all the time in Christian churches. It is awfully arrogant, but it’s exactly the same crap that goes on in the grand medieval building behind Dawkins. Just a different language and a different culture.
Which is why the third sentence is so disingenuously stupid. Exactly, Richard, it’s a matter of your cultural upbringing. What else would it be? This is nothing but a phony call-out to anti-Islamic sentiment.
But wait, his supporters say. He’s Just Asking a Question. Maybe he’s simply acknowledging the varieties of human experience and openly admitting that he has a preference shaped by his history? Read charitably, maybe he’s noting the similarities of these different cultures.
Nice try. Nope. He followed up with this:
The call to prayer can be hauntingly beautiful, especially if the muezzin has a musical voice. My point is that “Allahu Akhbar” is anything but beautiful when it is heard just before a suicide bomb goes off. That is when Islam is tragically hijacked by violence.
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) July 18, 2018
“Allahu Akhbar” is anything but beautiful when it is heard just before a suicide bomb goes off…fine. Relevance? Do you really think the muezzin is urging all listeners to yank the cord on a suicide vest? It’s a call to prayer. Just like the ringing bells of a cathedral. Shall we make the point that the bells of Winchester cathedral are anything but beautiful when it is heard just before a priest yanks down the pants of a little boy? That “Onward Christian Soldiers” isn’t exactly about peace and love? Is it beautiful when Christian America thinks it would a great idea to nuke Mecca?
Talk show host Pat Campbell for WFLA-AM in Orlando, Florida asked the Colorado Republican Congressman Tom TancredoWikipedia’s W.svg how the country should respond if terrorists struck several U.S. cities with nuclear weapons; he responded, “Well, what if you said something like — if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites.” “You’re talking about bombing Mecca,” Campbell said. “Yeah,” Tancredo responded. The congressman later said he was “just throwing out some ideas” and that an “ultimate threat” might have to be met with an “ultimate response.” “What is near and dear to them? They’re willing to sacrifice everything in this world for the next one. What is the pressure point that would deter them from their murderous impulses?” the representative asked, his spokesman stressing he was only speaking hypothetically.
Wow. That sounds just like a Sam Harris hypothetical.
It’s really simply bigotry when you condemn followers of one faith for doing exactly what followers of another faith do, and equate going to a mosque to pray with murder.