Yesterday, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore created a new campaign to fight back against “The Donald.” Donald Trump (and pretty much the entire Republican Party) has been waging war on Muslims. Trump, however, went a little over the top (as he often does) by calling for the expulsion and restriction of all Muslims from the United States of America. Even his fellow Republican have called this a step to far despite many of them stepping just a half step short of these very remarks.
This is an important issue because I think it is often confused in the media and by the general public. There is a huge difference between what Trump and the Republicans are saying and calling for and what atheists are saying and calling for. The Trump camp hates all Muslims because they see all Muslims as potential threat because the terrorist organization of ISIS are all Muslims and many terrorist attacks around the world have be perpetrated by Muslim fundamentalist who have justified their actions with their holy book. What they fail to understand is that most Muslims are like most Christians and Jews who pick and choose what parts of their holy books they want to follow. Most Muslims, like most Christians and Jews, don’t follow the more violent aspects of their holy books.
Recent, some Dutch YouTubers went on the street and started reading some particularly horrible verses from the Koran and asking passersby what they thought of them. Of course the people on the street were outraged. The Koran is such a horribly violent holy book… except it wasn’t the Koran. The YouTubers secretly replaced the Koran with the Bible. The verses they were reading were actually Biblical verses.
The fact of the matter is that the Bible is way more violent and horrific than the Koran. Of course in fairness, the Bible is a longer book. Still, the fact remains that all of the Abrahamic holy books are horribly violent.
As an atheist, I am very critical of the Koran… and the Bible… and the Torah. But I don’t blame all Muslims for what is written in their holy book. I am critical of Muslims who actually follow the horrible things prescribed in their holy book – just as I am with Christians and Jews who do the same. My point here is that it is okay to be critical of Islam and to be critical of the actions of Muslim fundamentalists. This is different from Trump and the Republican Party’s fear and hate of all Muslims.
Michael Moore has started a new campaign asking people to pose with signs that say, “We Are All Muslims” in support and solidarity with Muslims who face the fear and hate of the political Right. I get it, but I am not on board. I have argued strongly that America should take in Syrian refugees (who are mostly Muslims) and I support equal rights (including the right to worship their beliefs) of Muslims. But I am most certainly NOT a Muslim. That is a step too far for me.
I wonder, why Michael Moore and others haven’t created a campaign of solidarity with atheists who are also harassed and demonized in this country and around the world. Atheist bloggers are beaten, lashed, and murdered in many countries that are predominantly Muslim. Where are the, “We Are All Atheists” signs? It isn’t like the Right in this country love us. No, hating atheists is one thing that fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Muslims both agree on.
In fact, a sign saying that “We Are All Atheists” actually makes more sense because as a matter of fact, we actually are all atheists in relation to some deity or another. How many Christians believe in Zeus? How many Muslims believe in Thor?
With that in mind, I took the liberty of helping Michael with this campaign:
- Refuting Refugee M&M Meme (skepticink.com)
- Syrian Refugees Are Welcome by This Godless Atheist (huffingtonpost.com)
- Ted Cruz’s Not So Surprising Statement About Atheists (skepticink.com)
- Atheist Winter Greeting Card – 2015 (skepticink.com)