Dear Indelible Stamp.
I don’t know whether you’ll see this, and if you do read it, you probably will not be convinced. So, now that we understand each other, can I ask you to read this through to the end?
I think your piece is important, because it illustrates something important – a deep division in the ranks of the atheist movement that can be honestly discussed. We see this division differently. You see it as the divide between those of us who view Dawkins, Harris etc. as infallible, and want to turn a blind eye to patriarchy and sexism in the movement. I see it it another way. I see it as – well, you’ll see.
Let’s look over the last month or so. During that time we have seen the systematic ‘grooming’ for rape and exploitation of fourteen hundred girls in Rotherham. We have also seen jihadis swarm from all over the West to help held chained women to open slave markets in the newborn Caliphate. Some twenty five thousand Yazidi girls have been taken for this slavery to date.
And what is your side of the divide upset about? Why, that Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris have occasionally said mean things. Sam Harris in a botched joke, Richard Dawkins on twitter.
I’m not even going to bother defending those comment. Let me just draw your attention to the way this is being argued. The argument is:
“Sam Harris/Richard Dawkins said something sexist. Therefore, he is a sexist person, terrible, irredeemable and we are better of without him!”
Okay. So, someone once says something bad and he is irredeemably evil. Got it. But have you asked yourself what this standard would mean applied to your colleagues?
Let’s take Taslima Nazrin:
Is Sam Harris sad because Jews population is much less than Muslim population? I am sure he knows the reasons why Muslims are more in number than Jews. If they are more, does not mean they are powerful. You have money and weapons, you are much more powerful than them.
It doesn’t matter that there are only a handful of Jews in the world, they are immensely powerful and rich and control things – wait a second, isn’t that antisemitism? What are you doing sharing a platform with an antisemite?
Or what about Maryam Namazie? She’s an avowed Communist, a defender of a totalitarian movement that killed more people than any other one in history, excluding perhaps Islam, one that enslaved a third of mankind.
So, if you are going to apply this standard of yours, it doesn’t look like there will be that much of a movement left.
But, you might say, sexism is just so much worse than antisemitism or totalitarianism. Sexism has historically produced way worse crimes than antisemitism or totalitarianism.
Okay, let’s say you just care about sexism. I’m sorry to break this to you, but I’m afraid you will not find your friends that… consistent. Here’s Myers defending Bill Clinton.
What exactly is Mr Super White Knight doing defending a man who kept a government staff on hand to defame and bully women he had used and discarded, against whom there were no less than three credible rape accusations, of three women who described the exact same modus operandi despite not knowing each other? Odd, don’t you think?
You see, that’s the real division here. It’s between those who want atheism and skepticism to be the chastened, modest handmaiden to every third rate, shopworn bromide of US left liberalism… and those of us who actually want to get shit done.
Your colleague carelessly admits this:
So most atheists being mainly American, think that the big issue today is the reduction of women’s rights. And indeed to the MAJORITY of my readers, the big issue is the loss of abortion rights in parts of the USA
Notice, please, that this is phrased in the most chauvinist and isolationist way. “It’s not in the the US so it does not matter”. Well, I’m not in the US. I’m in Europe where we clash with the jihad daily, and my friends and comrades are spread throughout the developing world, and face it on the front line. Sorry, I care way more about the jihadists from Somalia attacking Kenya than I will ever give a damn about these excitable twitter types. Or to phrase it bluntly: You turn your back on me and mine? Very well, I turn my back on you.
Which brings me back to Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sabatina James, Nonie Darwish, Ann Marie Waters etc. – the ones on my side of this great divide. My response to your criticism is – please get real. Perfect consistency is a fool’s errand. Every great struggle of emancipation has had questionable involvement – Qadaffi and Castro were fast friends of Mandela and I do not think that this discredits the anti-Apartheid struggle. Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins are on the frontlines, actually making inroads and achieving things. All your colleagues seem to do in response is whine about ‘orientalist stereotypes‘.
This is why I chose Namazie and Nasrin as my examples above. It’s not that I have a beef against them – I respect them, and would defend Namazie if she were under attack, and I’d be disgraced otherwise.
Let me in fact broaden this: the biggest rolling back of Islamic Imperialism in civil society I can think of, was Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant destroying the idiotic ‘Section 13’ in Canada in response to the challenge by the Supreme Islamic Council of Canada. Yes, yes, yes, they are right wing haters and whatever. Still, it is thanks only to them that if you can complain and not be in legal trouble if, say, are upset about segregated prayer in Canadian public schools, and more upset about having menstruating girls segregated out as being unclean.
So, there’s your divide and there’s your choice: You can either get real, join with those of us who are trying to actual change things, or you can nurture your feeling of perfect, and impotent, purity.
Just do me one favor: if you choose the latter, stay the hell out of our way.