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Roger L. Simon

Richard Dawkins’ Islam Problem and Ours

August 9th, 2013 - 10:38 pm

Over the last few days, militant atheist author Professsor Richard Dawkins has caused an uproar with a Tweet that transcended the bounds of Twitter and made it into the (mostly British) mainstream media.

Dawkins tweeted: “All the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.”

I had once considered tweeting something similar — that the inventions of Jewish doctors had saved more Islamic lives than all the imams in history put together — but decided to refrain for fear of what happened to Dawkins, who has been savaged by the bien pensants.

As The Independent described the uproar:

The outspoken author went on to defend the remarks which sparked fury on the social network where he was accused of disguising his “bigotry” as atheism.

A series of high-profile Twitter users condemned his comments, prompting Prof Dawkins to question what Muslims had achieved since the Dark Ages.

He responded to the barrage of ensuing criticism by telling his followers: “A statement of simple fact is not bigotry. And science by Muslims was great in the distant past.”

In a further posting he wrote: “Where would we be without alchemy? Dark Age achievements undoubted. But since then?”

He sought to justify the observation by adding: “Why mention Muslim Nobels rather than any other group? Because we so often hear boasts about (a) their total numbers and (b) their science.”

One angry Twitter user hit out at the remarks telling the author: “You absolutely disgust me.”

Writer Caitlin Moran added: “Think it’s time someone turned Richard Dawkins off and then on again”, while Channel 4 News Economics Editor Faisal Islam questioned Prof Dawkins’ “spurious use of data”.

Writer and Independent columnist Owen Jones responded: “How dare you dress your bigotry up as atheism. You are now beyond an embarrassment.

Ah, but is it “bigotry” when you are factual? And Dawkins, as many will remember, has also attacked Christianity with great disdain many times over. Needless to say, however, he never got such pushback.

Bashing Christianity is fair game but bashing Islam is not. For Dawkins or just about anybody else.

Never mind that these days so much more murder and mayhem is committed in the name of Islam than Christianity, we’re not supposed to mention that out loud — not even if our name is Dawkins.

This isn’t just political correctness. In the United States, where jihadist mass murderer Major Hasan is on trial for “workplace violence,” it has become government policy.

But behind closed doors, almost nobody believes this nonsensical rhetoric. Just as there are no atheists is foxholes (well, Richard Dawkins excepted perhaps), no one’s “politically correct” getting on airplanes (we’re all a bit more nervous if some of the passengers look Islamic) or even, post Boston Marathon, attending sporting events.

We’re just not supposed to talk about it.

Richard Dawkins, however, is being excoriated for pointing out the obvious. These days the Islamic world has a giant problem — they’ve been moving backwards for hundreds of years while the rest of the world moves forward (although rather fitfully). And they’re visiting that problem on all of us.

Dawkins’ sin that has his opponents aflutter isn’t lying about this. It’s telling the truth about it.

He may have impulse-control issues — Twitter is one of the epicenters of that — but he’s no more a bigot than most of us. We all think that way, even many of his critics. We just shut up about it.

Is this a good or a bad thing? Well, it’s not simple, but our public dishonesty complicates matters. It also amounts to infantilizing Muslims — basically a racist policy. They are infants who cannot take criticism. (Hillary Clinton’s monumentally hypocritical apology for the Nakoula Nakoula video is a particularly wretched example of this behavior.)

The least you can say for Dawkins is that, unlike Hillary, he doesn’t treat Muslims like children.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
"Ah, but is it “bigotry” when you are factual?"

Yeah, ask that of Mark Steyn or Oriana Fallaci. Ask the math teacher in France and the female student in Seattle, both now in hiding. The answer? When it comes to Moslems, it *is* bigotry to make factual statements. Ask the FBI, a pro-Moslem outfit, about their reception for the 20 most wanted pictures on city buses. Or ask Pamela Geller about her factual bus ads.

Islam is the only belief system in world history that plunges into paroxyms of violence when you hold a mirror up to its face. The facts of Islam are too terrible to admit, and so it is too dangerous to state them.

PS: I'm still waiting for a list of Moslems to whom owe a great debt for the contributions to building this country. I believe Prez Barack owes us that.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When we are afraid to tell the truth, we became our own prisoner. And this is how the collectivist - from Islam to Marxism - ideologies reigns over the populous. By scaring you to submission.
History shows, this tactic eventually back fires at the cost of human lives and suffering. The sad part of this is that humans keep repeating the act over and over again.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Modern leftist/progressive thinking insists that truth is subject to context, and that reality is a matter of interpretation, and, above all, everything is relative.. Islamic honor killing is not murder, but a quaint cultural aside. Clitoral mutilation is a benign religious rite of passage. The torture, and murder of civilians merely a legitimate alternative mode of social protest a la Bill Ayers, for instance . And so on. However this phenomenon is not confined to the Lefts' attitude re the Islamic world; the same mindset is applied to the problem of Black murder rates, abortion/genocide, homosexuality/HIV, the definition of marriage, and the concept of science as a matter of consensus. Obama represents the epitome of the right thinking progressive, and of course, his policies vis a vis the Muslim world reflect this; utter catastrophe.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (169)
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Never mind that these days so much more murder and mayhem is committed in the name of Islam than Christianity"
What do you mean by "these days"?
There has never been a time in history when Christianity committed more murder and mayhem than islam.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Barbarians can be quaint like the loin cloth wearing tribes of the Amazon, but when there are millions of them that hold murderous hatred in their hearts that's quite a different matter. A large number of Muslims are barbarians. I know followers of Dawkins hate Christians with the force of a thousand exploding suns, but they don't have to worry about getting their head chopped off by one. As to the supposed Muslim scientific achievements the claim is laughable. Show us the historical data that proves these claims. They can't, so they just rattle their head chopping knives and condemn people to death for insulting Islam. And we cower to these frauds? I'd tell these savages that the next attack will be met with a retaliation that will send them further back to the Stone Age than they already are.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well, it is not the first time Dawkins has been proved wrong, and it is maybe only the exception that proves the rule, but Obama, Jr. claims a Muslim sire and name, and had a Muslim step-dad for sure, and damned if he did not win the Nobel Peace Prize. The Palestinians and Israelis haven't completely exterminated each other yet for which, I am sure, Hillary and John Kerry could claim equal credit on Obama's watch, when, like magic, American boots, left a quiescent Iraq after the Bush Surge which Obama voted against. So who is to say Obama as a Muslim did not earn his Peace Prize. I'm just saying. But I guess Dawkins couldn't fit all that into his Tweet. There haven't been so many Middle East ironies since Richard Lionheart got kidnapped on his way back from getting his nose tweaked by Saladin which in one way or another gave us the Magna Carta though no Nobel Prizes.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"and damned if he did not win the Nobel Peace Prize."
===
Obama was awarded the Nobel, he did nothing before or since to EARN it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When Dawkins was referring to Nobel prizes I suspect he was referring to the prizes for real things, like science or medicine, not the mostly BS Nobel Peace Prize. Yes Obama, a half muslim, got the Nobel peace prize, for doing absolutely nothing, and even Yasser Arafat got it, for signing a treaty with Israel that he subsequently violated. But Dawkins is essentially correct that since the middle ages Islam has contributed very little positives to human culture, in relation to their numbers, while contributing to an enormous amount of violence and terror.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm an atheist, as well. Am I prejudiced toward Muslims? Well, heck, it's hard not to be prejudiced toward a culture of murder and hate now, isn't it. Sure, they can call me a bigot, but I say that my prejudice is justified, simply because I know they would like to kill me just for believing the way I do, while a Christian will simply try to talk me into going to church. In comparison, I don't even see how other atheists can get so annoyed with well meaning Christians trying to do what they think is saving our souls, while there are Muslims out there who would kill us for simply existing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think you meant to say that you are prejudiced AGAINST Muslims, not toward them.

But even that is incorrect. The term, "prejudice" implies a judgement formed on the basis of superficial and (usually) irrelevant data, such as skin color or the like, and thus is an unreasoned and invalid judgement.

In contrast, yours is a REASONED judgement, based on a long history of actions, a track record, and a sufficient knowledge of the doctrines from which those actions flow.


And, as a Christian, I commend you for your reasonableness. ;-)

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The problem is that people, in general, don't want to believe the cold, hard facts. They'd rather believe a comfortable lie. This is as true of conservatives as it is of any other group.

We cannot accept the truth without interpreting it in order to make ourselves feel better about ourselves and the world around us.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Islam is stuck in the Middle Ages It's religious thinkers have had a great deal of difficulty in reconciling science and Islam, because the Koran is written in such a way as to preclude it. Many ulama have tried to reconcile the two, but it has resulted in an unfinished patchwork. That is the main reason that Islam remains close to its original world of superstition. Christianity was flexible enough to accommodate the Enlightenment, Islam was not.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
To be fair, it took the Reformation, the Counter-Reformation, and the 30 Years War (which killed off a sizeable percentage of the population of Central Europe) for Christianity to get to an intellectual space where the Enlightenment could occur. The scary thing about the Muslim world is it will also go through this, but in our lifetime, and with modern weapons.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Let you know I have great empathy for the atheist and finds an easy time to become an agnostic helping the people around him in his life. from my great war with the demons I saw the atheist agnostic remains in temporary protection.
Also Remember how leaders of religion can be the worse offenders as we see in God's word The Bible with King Ahab and The Jezebel. They had their own priest on their side. This reminds me of USA today with their murder of the 54 million lilltle babies in mommies tender tummy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jezebel
But it could be worse for our world as we see in China where the Atheist Communist have gained great Riches and turn that into great power for themselves
The "HARLOT of Bablyon " is easy to tame and one can even put her on chain and marry her if she OBEY but this is not the same of the Atheist who now rule China and too amny people get rich off China want to make them the role model for the world
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
footnote
therefore, Orthodox Jew and Christian uniting with Islam bring healthy social conditions to all the people under the True God then Stand firm from the evil power Satan the Devil brings to this world from coming events no one can stop
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Roger Simon ought to do more research, before cheering on any critic of Islam. To the likes of Dawkins, there is no difference between Islam, Christianity and Judaism. I am no fan of religion at all, but Dawkins is an odious moral and cultural relativist, then again he is a liberal.

Plus is Simon oblivious of Dawkins's anti-Israelism? Appears so. All Dawkins's criticisms of Islam go out the window when it comes to the Palestinians and their conflict with the Jews, then it's a case of the poor innocent Muslims in Dawkins's book. Dawkins echoes and parrots the fashionable anti-Israel and yes anti-Semitic sentiments of the British intellectual Left when it comes to the Muslim Arab-Israel conflict. So Dawkins is simply full of it. He tries to have it both ways. Dawkins has added his name to at least one anti-Israel petition and his commentary on the all-powerful Jewish lobby in the US is simply odious.

Whenever any Leftist has anything unPC to say about Islam, the response should be to check a little deeper, go below the surface appearance; and not just cheer on said Leftist in autonomic fashion.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"I am no fan of religion at all, but Dawkins is an odious moral and cultural relativist, then again he is a liberal. "

That's a bit of a redundancy, isn't it, Larry?

;-)

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama recently gave a press conference. He told his usual number of lies, along with an extremely ugly, malicious, demonizing charge hurled at Republicans (which I will not repeat). Did anyone in the Press stand up to this lying tyrant? No. They all acquiesce to his lies. Now this is nothing new -- it's been going on for a long, long time. Liars are praised and become presidents. Meanwhile, people who fight for the truth are ostracized, belittled, defamed, called names. This dust-up between Dawkins and his irate twitter followers who resent his truthful statement is like a microcosm...ironically, even their former "hero" can suddenly be dumped if he refuses to mouth their propaganda. I think it's breathtaking just how far society is collapsing (have the masses lost the ability to discern truth from fiction? I read a text by Louis Jacobs, and one chapter was devoted to the value of truth -- he repeated that familiar Talmud quote: "The seal of the Holy One, blessed be He, is truth", and then he explained what he thought this means. I find myself re-reading this chapter over and over (so many insights).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The subject of this article is the hypocrisy of the PC crowd and their inability to accept facts without screaming racism. Interesting information about Dawkins, but it has nothing to do with the subject and argument of this article and should neither subtract nor add to its premise.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
'Angry little punk [and lots more amateur insults]' -- hardly.
Dawkins is typical of the kind of vain limey academic who stays well away from reality. Very bright, and an adept self-publicist, but emotionally on a par with a kid with a can of spray paint. Reading between the lines, Simon knows that, or at least suspects it.

As for his atheism, D hasn' t exactly recanted but he has acknowledged he's an agnostic. (Logical rigor or fear of Pascal's wager? -- dunno.). Believe his mini-Damascus moment came after Christopher Hitchens' death, which may not be a coincidence. Overall, D is a valuable form of fertilizer, in all senses.

More worrying is the torrent of clueless cut-and-paste invective coughed up here on this thread as a substitute for thought or action. There is plenty of room for shame. What have you done to honor the memories of those slaughtered at Fort Hood and to prevent a repetition? Major Hassan, like President Cardboard, is more a symptom than a cause. Whining your way to alienation accomplishes precisely zip.
If you won't accept that, then you're part of the problem.
Destroy political correctness first.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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