Today, in light of the Peshawar massacre, Richard Dawkins offered his take on the events. He tweeted:
This led to The Independent scornfully covering this as:
Ho ho! Oh that silly Richard Dawkins, offering this “explanation” which is – oh, hang on, exactly correct. For when have he had an event of such a vile nature that has not been caused by a blinkered and strongly held belief such as fundamentalist religion or nationalism? Erm … I’ll get back to you.
But this is just it. Facts don’t matter when it comes to Dawkins. If you consider yourself a liberal then you have to mock him and act is if he is some comic caricature just as you laugh at Farage or Nick Griffin. I get that we’re meant to dislike him because his views may offend religious types and we’re meant to view people who hack off young girls’ labia as ‘culturally different’, but you know what? I couldn’t care less.
Yes Dawkins does go overboard sometimes, and he is often too belligerent, but what does it matter in the face of such horror? ‘Liberals’ may love to pretend we exist in some lovely, politically-correct world where Islam has no role to play in Islamism and if we just let people be and condemn anyone who suggests otherwise as a racist or, heaven forbid, a ‘militant atheist’ then everything will be okay, but we don’t and it won’t. Such is the great naivety of modern liberalism.
The fact is as I write this we are seeing the US trend of protesting outside abortion clinics spreading to the UK. Are they secularists with a real interest in foetal rights? No. In Ireland you can still die by being refused an abortion. Concern for the doctors who have to carry out the procedure? No. In much of Central Africa homosexuality has become punishable by death. A sudden rise in gay men commiting heinous crimes? No. I don’t even need to start on the horrors in the middle-east. The faux liberals who love to pretend there are only a tiny minority of ever-receding fundamentalists who have minimal influence on state policy are so, so wrong. Islamism has grown in the Middle East and North Africa since the 1950s and, as mentioned above, it’s not as if the Christian world doesn’t have its fair share of fundamentalism.
The reasons for this are of course multi-fold and not just reducible to religious fervour, and of course it is still the case that the majority of religious followers are good, decent people. But those ‘liberals’ who falsely equivocate the ridiculous, made up phenomenon of ‘Militant atheism’ with fundamentalism have their part to play in this sorry tale. I’ll leave you with this. Before condemning atheists and humanists as militant, racist or nasty, take a look at the history of even just the past twenty years of our world and ask yourself, ‘If it weren’t for religion, would so many people have died?’ Answer that, and then ask yourself who you should really be lambasting.