Do Indian Atheists Avoid Criticism of Islam?

Here’s a comment from a Hindu apologist on Facebook:

“A strange place these atheists and their groups and discussions…..they flaunt their language and persuasion and knowledge and reason.. But they fear and tremble before fundamentalist religions like Islam….they don’t even mention it’s name and their prophet…they treat all religions as same and hate them as ‘religion’ and not by their names and specific beliefs… consciously evading the fact that religions and beliefs can be analysed objectively..and some beliefs can be more dangerous and with far reaching consequences than the others…they fear the believers…fearing someone might take offence and retaliate, retaliate not with words but with force. They take pot shots at only those people of religion who they know would not fight back and who would only, at the most, talk back… they criticize the tame magicians who with their cheap tricks spread humanity… they fight the tolerant believers and censor and isolate those who blaspheme the fundamentalists…such is your creed…such is your Atheism.. cheap entertainment and nothing more.”

There’s nothing new about these false arguments; most of them are hurled at us at a regular frequency, and dismissing them has become almost boring, to the point where many of us find it easier to simply link to an earlier shredding of the same flawed reasoning. But in this case I’ll give it an undeserved response in the hope of stalling the zombie apocalypse for a while.

I’ll present a line by line response.

“But they fear and tremble before fundamentalist religions like Islam”

Firstly, all religions have fundamentalist and moderate versions, so this is a false premise. But if you really think that we Indian Atheists are afraid of fundamentalist Islam, you are just plain stupid.

“they don’t even mention it’s na’me and their prophet”

Interestingly, it is this person who fails to mention the pedophile Mohammad. While we’re on the subject, it has come to my attention that this aforementioned pedophile allegedly had a thing for camels. I said ‘allegedly’, don’t quote me on that.

The plain truth is that this moron making the argument doesn’t really care whether we criticize Islam or not, because if he really did he would have searched on our site and found more than 40 articles that are critical of Islam, and he would have known that Nirmukta is probably the only Indian organization that organized and celebrated Everybody Draw Mohammad day last year. What he actually cares about is all the criticism that we heap on his chosen set of stone-age ideas that go under the label Hinduism, and he uses distractions such as the one above to deflect criticism of his beliefs.

“they treat all religions as same and hate them as ‘religion’ and not by their names and specific beliefs”

We have plenty of articles attacking each specific religion that we have turned our focus on. But notice a pattern? It is this accuser who doesn’t name a single Atheist or Atheist/Freethought group, and instead engages in a drive-by-shooting of innocent passers-by, and yet without any self-awareness accuses others of what he is guilty of!

“consciously evading the fact that religions and beliefs can be analysed objectively”

Nirmukta’s stated objective is to objectively analyze “religions and beliefs”. There are plenty of articles on Nirmukta that do just that. This is more drive-by-shooting. Patently absurd argument from an apologist.

“and some beliefs can be more dangerous and with far reaching consequences than the others”

Duh.

“They take pot shots at only those people of religion who they know would not fight back and who would only, at the most, talk back”

I ask anyone who thinks that this is what Indian Atheists do to please be specific. Who is “they”? Who are these “people of religion” that “they” don’t take pot shots at? If these Hindu apologists would be a little less mysterious and be a little specific perhaps we can actually criticize all these religions that we have apparently been ignoring.

“they criticize the tame magicians who with their cheap tricks spread humanity”

Firstly, “magicians” are legitimate and sometimes even beloved members of the skeptics community, because they do not claim supernatural powers. Magicians are conjurers who entertain- people who use tricks and make no bones about it. In fact, the greatest magicians in the world (for example, James Randi, P.C. Sorcar, Darren Brown, and years ago, Harry Houdini) are/were famous for criticizing the type of people that this Hindu apologist is defending- the conmen. What we’re opposed to are these conmen, the godmen and babas who rip off the gullible and line their pockets (and Swiss bank accounts) while using a small portion of their ill-gotten wealth for charity, which then serves as propaganda.

“they fight the tolerant believers and censor and isolate those who blaspheme the fundamentalists”

We fight the tolerant believers? What do these apologists consider “fighting”? Debate? Discourse? Well, in that case, guilty as charged. But of course, that’s a twisted definition of the word “fight”.  Religious people use such mis-characterizations because they are so insecure in their beliefs that any criticism is perceived of as an affront on their very existence. This is a pathetic excuse of an argument.

Such is the irrational reactionary attitude cultivated among those who have been subjected to religious indoctrination, that many of these believers are incapable of seeing “outsiders” through unbiased eyes. They fail to address the actual arguments of the atheists and freethinkers, and redefine our existence through the cultural narrative that best fits their twisted worldview, dismissing all of moral progress, scientific enlightenment and humanistic activism as “cheap entertainment”.

The conclusion? Religion turns people into mindless drones.

Note: There are plenty of very good reasons why Indian Atheists criticize Hinduism more than they do Islam or Christianity. This is akin to why Atheists in Italy criticize the Catholic church more than they do Hinduism.

Here are a couple of articles on why Indian Atheists criticize Hinduism more:

http://nirmukta.com/2008/09/30/why-i-criticize-hinduism-the-most/

http://nirmukta.com/2008/11/15/further-thoughts-on-why-i-criticize-hinduism/

If you personally would like more criticism of Islam, then do your research and put some effort into writing a coherent article that would appeal to those of us active in the movement towards reason and rationality. Attacking others because the focus of their much needed activism differs from yours, is childish behavior. To those who engage in such behavior, grow the f*^! up.