May 2, 2014
In a recent piece, new atheist Ali Rizvi argues “The phobia of being called “Islamophobic” is on the rise — and it’s becoming much more rampant, powerful and dangerous than Islamophobia itself.” While thus admitting that Islamophobia exists in some form or another, Rizvi then cites Sam Harris who contrarily claims, “There is no such thing as ‘Islamophobia.”” Rizvi is clear that however Islamophobia exists, it is less dangerous than being called “Islamophobic” and Rizvi apparently has some danger-meter device to measure. Next, Rizvi also argues that the Qur’an endorses death for apostasy while Sam Harris is on record to state to the contrary that “…[the penalty for apostasy] isn’t spelled out in the Koran…” (By the way Harris is right on this one as the Qur’an categorically condemns any and all punishment for apostasy).
I present this illustration to show that in just one article, two new atheists who ostensibly agree on much cannot seem to agree on even basic principles of what is or isn’t Islamophobia, and what Islam does or does not teach. Yet, they seem to want to paint all Muslims into one corner as a group who sounds the alarm anytime someone criticizes Islam. Rizvi, in particular, would like for us to believe that the “Islamophobia smear [is] the ultimate, lazy substitute for a non-existent counter-argument.”
So rather than risk being called a lazy smear-monger, here are the five facts Islamophobia deniers just don’t get.