Imagine the following scenario: During the morning rush hour commute, a young man enters a busy New York subway station armed with an improvised explosive device. The device is detonated, and owing to a technical malfunction, a lack of competence, sheer blind luck, or a combination of all three, only a handful of people are injured. This is viewed essentially as a “failed” attack by some, and by others; a relatively minor contribution to a series of far more prolific terrorist atrocities which have killed tens of thousands around the globe in the last sixteen years. Read the rest of this entry »
Category Archives: Islam
One of the most common, tiresome, and potentially dangerous side effects of speaking out against Islam and its adverse influence over society, are the ceaseless accusations of bigotry and racism hurled around by all and sundry. Explaining repeatedly as to why objection to a set of deeply illiberal ideas and their increasing prevalence, does not constitute a blanket hatred of individual people, seems to make little difference. For someone like myself, a major aspect of my objection to Islam is the suffering it causes Muslims. I object to the subjugation and persecution of Muslim women, apostates, and other minorities, frequently enforced by countries that base their societies on the precepts of Islam and Sharia. Read the rest of this entry »
On 22nd May, 2017, a 22 year old jihadist named Salman Ramadan Abedi wandered into the Manchester Arena during a concert populated primarily by young teens and their parents, and detonated a suicide bomb, killing 22 people including an 8 year old girl, and injuring approximately 120 others. This was the deadliest terror attack on U.K. soil since a group of jihadists murdered 52 commuters in the London transport attacks of 2005.
We are often told that in the wake of a large scale atrocity of this kind, we should defy the terrorists by simply carrying on as normal. Well, it just so happens that what I would normally be doing is writing about Islamic terrorism and berating the apologists who shamefully obfuscate the issue. Which is exactly what I intend to do now. Read the rest of this entry »
Dear Mr Burnham,
I’m writing this because I wish to acknowledge your remarkable achievement on BBC’s Question Time on 25th May 2017. Only two days prior to your appearance, I woke up to the news that a young man had strolled into a pop concert being held at the Manchester Arena and detonated a suicide bomb in a crowd of primarily teenaged girls and their parents. My initial reaction was to be overcome by a mixture of painful emotions. Outrage. Grief. Disgust. Devastation. Followed by a tidal wave of unbridled, unimaginable anger. Your achievement, Mr Mayor, is to have made me feel even more apoplectic than I did already. To increase the rage that I already felt upon finding out that children had been murdered en masse, should have been a truly impossible task. And yet you managed it. Effortlessly. Read the rest of this entry »
Back in the autumn of 2010, an online magazine produced and published by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula entitled Inspire, urged it’s readership to attack “the enemies of Allah” by ploughing vehicles into pedestrians in crowded locations. “Narrower spots are better because it gives less chance for the people to run away” they advised. “It is a simple idea and there is not much involved in its preparation. All what (sic) is needed is the willingness to give one’s life for Allah.”
Similarly, in 2014 Islamic State spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani issued the following statement directed at enthusiastic ISIS supporters without the means for acquiring explosives and firearms: Read the rest of this entry »
Imagine a series of An Idiot Abroad in which effortlessly amusing man-child Karl Pilkington is replaced by an effeminate Topman mannequin in a silver-flecked wig. Congratulations, you’ve just imagined Believer with Reza Aslan.
Yesterday I finally got round to watching the first episode of CNN’s six-part travelogue, in which Aslan cosies up with members of various eccentric belief systems in the hope of convincing us that religions are nothing more than “different languages” used to express the same inherent faith. Or something.
This is not the kind of condescending, new age guff that I like to hear about real-world ideologies that are responsible for the death and abject misery of countless billions of real human beings, and so I was very much looking forward to hating this show. To that extent I was disappointed. Read the rest of this entry »
There’s a charming line of argument popular among the godly, which posits that a lack of religious faith is responsible for the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, that morality is impossible without submitting to the authority of a supernatural creator, and that the only psychological state necessary to commit mass murder is a lack of belief in deities. There is even an entire book devoted to this nonsense entitled The Amorality of Atheism by Giorgio Roversi.
Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins have spent much of their careers as ‘New Atheist’ authors and speakers, kicking these arguments into orbit.
A recent mutation of these trite and fatuous accusations of atheism-inspired violence has begun to spread, which argues that New Atheism’s criticism of religion’s inherent menace is tantamount to incitement to violence.