What worries me as an atheist is what Islamophobia has become in the wake of the Paris murders, not that it hasn’t reached such a pitch that one’s conscience was daily pricked by events and the propaganda that was/is it’s fruit. The fear mongering has become unapologetic from even the ‘liberals’ who used to speak in more sedate terms of ‘tolerance’: a pernicious political conformity has taken hold of the prophets of the Enlightenment, whose ignorance of the complete diversity of that historical/literary/political force leaves one in a state of awe at the self-enforced ignorance of the experts. Or more accurately a motley collection of scribblers/apologists . Regarding the fact of that diversity made up of theists,deists,and atheists and other assorted thinkers/writers/advocates as relevant to an argument about the ‘historical entity’ called by the name Enlightenment, or more accurately called Enlightenments. The paradigmatic work of the French Enlightenment is Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary. He was a deist.
This in a political atmosphere of the witch hunting of ‘terrorists’ or simply persons that are identified as ‘suspects’ in the political opportunity that this crisis offers, to the authoritarians in our political midst. Recall Carl Schmitt’s advocacy of that opportunity? Governments and police agencies operate with impunity, within that atmosphere, aided by the unrelenting propaganda of the ‘otherness’ of Muslims, when in fact Islam is an integral part of the Abrahamic Tradition and The West. The political hysteria mongering has reached a level that cannot be tolerated by any person of conscience no matter what their identification: theist,deists,atheist and even the religiously indifferent.
As both an atheist and a queer I cannot turn my back on the historical evidence past and present of the murderous record of that Abrahamic Tradition, toward persons like myself throughout history, but that prick of conscience about political context and manifest political hysteria demand a different response.
In response to Robert Colburn’s post: