When you mix a political ideology with a philosophical or religious belief system, you often get contradictions and problems. These aren’t really inherent problems, but they are problems that seem to crop up in most cases.

For example, a conservative Christian has to reconcile Jesus’ love of everyone (even enemies) with the dislike (hate might be a better word) of homosexuals. A liberal Muslim has to square their liberal view of sexual equality with the very anti-woman Qur’an.

If you look hard enough at any combination of belief systems, you’ll inevitably find some discrepancy between political leanings and religious opinions.

Most combinations, but not being both politically liberal and atheist. If you are a humanist (which most atheists are even if they don’t know it), your philosophical opinions line up very nicely with a liberal political outlook.

Liberals support freedom of religion, as do humanists (wanting to keep church/state interaction at a constitutional level does not mean you are against freedom of religion). Liberals want to help the poor and unfortunate, and humanism holds that the only way to fix problems in the world is to do it ourselves (since no supreme being will help us). Liberals and humanists are pretty anti-war. Et cetera.

However, there seems to be a wrench in the works. And that wrench is Islam. Islam seems to be the one thing that is difficult to account for if you are a liberal atheist.

You see, Islam is a problem. Objectively so. (If you take issue with this, saying that it doesn’t have to be a problem, that it isn’t inherently problematic, at least admit that it is a problem in its current form.) Islam brings to the West an assault on women’s rights, an assault on freedom of speech and expression, and an assault on homosexuals. Plus violence if you care to disagree with their opinions.

This is not a problem for atheism or even humanism. Freedom of religion only goes so far. It does not mean that other people have to bow to your religious edicts. It does not mean that we have to shut up because you’re offended by what we’re saying. It doesn’t mean that you can erect your own courts that adhere to Sharia Law and trick women into using those instead of real courts that will ensure them their rights.

It is, it seems, a problem for liberals, though. Liberals tend to be cultural/moral relativists, and that would mean that the actions of radical Muslims cannot be called “wrong” or “bad.” Liberals are also very politically correct, not wanting to call a spade a spade and assign blame where blame is due. 9/11? No, not Muslims, that was a bunch of people who were uneducated and poor and had nothing else they could do! (They were actually middle class, educated people, but okay.) Fort Hood? He was just disturbed, it wasn’t because he was Muslim. Terrorists? Political extremists. Taliban? Uneducated tribal warriors.

Liberals need to drop the politically correct, multiculturalist crap and stand up to Islam. Yes, let them practice their religion. Yes, let them build their places of worship. But do not let them take our freedoms away in the name of “tolerance.”

And when those of us who aren’t afraid to stand up for our way of life and our rights speak up, please do not throw out the horribly inaccurate term “islamophobe.” A phobia is an irrational fear, and there is nothing irrational in pointing out that where Islam goes, human rights don’t last.

What do you think? Do any of you liberal atheists have any difficulty responding to Islam?

~peace, RR

I welcome comments and suggestions. Comments can go below, suggestions to radiantreason[at]gmail[dot]com đŸ™‚