More Atheists, Thanks to Muslims?
Dennis Prager, writing for the National Review
, seems to think that secular-minded people and atheists owe a debt of gratitude to Muslim extremists . . . for swelling our ranks.
From what I am told, an entire generation of atheists has been produced by the Islamic Republic of Iran. How could it be otherwise?
Nothing produces atheists like despicable religious people. They do far more harm to religious faith than all the atheist writers and activists in the world put together.
Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, the ayatollahs, Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan, the Taliban, and all the other Islamist organizations actually decrease the number of believers in the world.
Over the course of time, people do not judge religions by their theology. Yes, some people convert to a religion thanks to its convincing theology. And many remain in a religion because of family ties, cultural norms, and sheer inertia. But over time, religion — and faith in God itself — is judged by its fruit. Which is how it should be.
And the best-known fruit of Islam today — in countries calling themselves Muslim, such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Taliban Afghanistan, and certainly among the Islamist groups mentioned above — is so ugly that many millions of people are increasingly repelled by religion and by God.
While my logical response is to ask for the data — Prager presents none, and speaks only from anecdotal evidence — my emotional reaction is to simply say, “YAY!”
And then I wonder when Prager is going to apply his basic proposition, that religious extremism induces the rejection of religious beliefs, to his own belief system.
You see, Prager is a “Judeo-Christian” conservative, and thinks Muslims deconverting is a bad thing, if they’re not leaving Islam to join up with Judaism or Christianity. He recently cried about “secular extremists” and the desperate situation of the persecuted Christian majority in the US:
The Muslim world is threatened by religious fanaticism. The Western world is threatened by secular fanaticism.
Both seek to dominate society and to use state power to do so. Both seek to eliminate the Other — for Islamic fanatics, that means non-Muslim religions and secularism; for secular fanatics, it means Christianity and virtually any public invoking of God. The Islamists impose Sharia law; the American Civil Liberties Union and the left generally impose secular law. The Taliban wiped out public vestiges of Buddhism in Afghanistan; the ACLU and its allies seek to wipe out public vestiges of Christianity in America — as it did, for example, in Los Angeles County, when it successfully pressured the County Board of Supervisors to remove the tiny cross from the county seal. A city and county founded by Catholics — hence the name “The Angels” — was forced to stop commemorating its founders because they were religious.
This fanaticism has been on display most recently in the state of Rhode Island. This past Christmas, the governor, Lincoln Chafee, renamed the state Christmas tree a “holiday tree.” Though Christmas is a national holiday, for the secular fanatic, anything Christian — or, as we shall see, anything that relates to religion or God — must be banned from public life.
Prager is every bit the religious extremist he despises. He promotes division, and demonization of anyone not sharing — or at least silently submitting to, and financially supporting (as a vassal or tributary) — his belief system. Isn’t that called dhimmitude?
What Muslims call “tolerance,” others correctly identify as institutionalized discrimination. The consignment of Jews and Christians to dhimmis under Islamic rule means that they are not allowed the same religious rights and freedoms as Muslims. They cannot share their faith, for example, or build houses of worship without permission.
Historically, dhimmis have often had to wear distinguishing clothing or cut their hair in a particular manner that indicates their position of inferiority and humiliation. They do not share the same legal rights as Muslims, and must even pay a poll tax (the jizya). They are to be killed or have their children taken from them if they cannot satisfy the tax collector’s requirements.
It is under this burden of discrimination and third-class status that so many religious minorities converted to Islam over the centuries. Those who didn’t often faced economic and social hardships that persist to this day and are appalling by Western standards of true religious tolerance and pluralism.
Such ugly fruit Prager produces.
A wise man once said, “over time, religion — and faith in God itself — is judged by its fruit. Which is how it should be.”
I’d like to buy that man a mirror.