Actually, atheists are afraid to criticise allah wailers. This has less to do with fear of lunatics than it does with fear of getting tarred and feathered by self-styled humanist, politically correct atheists that are meant to be on our team. Just look at the stick both Harris and Hitchens get for their opinions. The criticism they receive only really points out the colossal ignorance of pan-islam their detractors have. The critics live in some kind of twisted Peter Pan world where this is the best of all possible worlds and everything will work out for the best if we all hold hands and be tolerant. Sorry, this isn't our world. Placing faith in moderate islam is one of the most foolish memes there is of recent times. It ain't gonna happen. As the H guys point out, moderate islam rolls over and pisses itself in terror and apathy and is allowing batshit insane islamism to seize control of global islamic organisations, with a never ending supply of Saudi funding, and inject their poison into the young. The results are visible in London and Madrid.
"Islamophopia" is a concept coined and promoted by secular humanists. The situation has become that to criticise islam is to paint yourself a racist bigot.
It's a fucking double standard. There's no shortage of folks to protest prayer in school or 10 commandments in courts. Yet to even broach the subject that islamisation is poisoning western society with demands for shariah or censorship through intimidation, that it is happening more and more and is out of control gets you branded a racist. The only reason it needs to be repeated is because people choose to deliberately bury their heads in the sand. Xtianity and islam are NOT on equal footing when it comes to criticism from secularists. The question was "Are atheists afraid to criticize Islam?" and sadly, a lot of the time, the answer is yes.
Being an apostate is a far different situation to a fat, pink liberal westerner that theorises about human rights over a skim milk latte. You have your reasons to be fearful. The islam accommodationists don't. They're too preoccupied with maintaining the illusion enlightened and tolerant moral superiority. At least that's how they tend to label moral cowardice.
The move to western democracies for the economy. They then start getting offended by everyday occurrences and start to undermine the very freedoms that have allowed that economy to prosper. It's hypocrisy and it needs to come to an end. You're also neglecting the point that Felch made regarding the method they use to display their hurt feelings - violence. You don't need large numbers for violence to influence policy.
An equal share of blame should be put on secularists and other religious folks in allowing themselves to be intimidated.
I understand that what you're saying is a fairly accurate assessment, but I still perceive too much apologism. it still stands, that folks are without shame in criticizing Christianity, give Hindu's and Buddhists a free pass (since they're, perceived as, benign - history says otherwise) while avoiding criticism of Islam for fear of reprisal.
And no....nearly all of the Muslim immigrants I know are quite well-off. They also build schools that permit them exclusive rights to teach hate.
The problem with "moderate" Muslims is that they really aren't. There is no criteria that determines someone as moderate. "Moderates" have included people who think women should be allowed to wear a burqa in a courtroom, in a bank and on drivers' licenses; people who have explained why it was reasonable for the Muslims of Denmark to riot (because the cartoonists were making fun of someone they loved more than their own parents!); people who defend flogging for alcohol or homosexuality, and people who defend adolescent marriages "so that young people can have sex without it being sinful".
I've known some liberal Muslims with a completely different interpretation (or pick-and-choose) of the religion, and some who were born Muslim and not at all serious about it. They were the only Muslims who didn't have some degree of backwardness that usually made Christians look progressive by comparison. Sometimes a moderate Muslim is just one that quietly supports extremism without actively participating in it. Other times it is someone who explains the reasoning for extremism in a calm voice, so that stupid people are tricked into thinking it's reasonable. Other times the "moderates" get defensive when people talk about Islamic fundamentalism, and lash out at the people speaking out instead of at the extremists. How many times have you seen comments like "u don't know anything about islam i kill u jew pig faggot" coming from "moderate" Muslims when you criticize their religion? (Although actually I love those. Show everyone how tolerant you really are!)
Plenty of atheists have criticized Islam, although it hasn't been raked across the coals as thoroughly as Christianity. There are still some that buy the racism/Islamophobia bit, mostly because they think everything Western is Bad and everything non-Western is therefore good. "Who are we to say our society is better than theirs?" Ask Ayaan Hirsi Ali about which society she thinks is better. Or doesn't she know anything about Islam? I'd have been stoned to death long ago if I'd lived in a Muslim country--hell no their society is not equally good. So-called atheists who are Islamic enablers make me fucking puke!
as to 'islamophobia', Hitchen's contended with this best.
A phobia is an irrational fear. The danger posed by Islam is very real - the Christian Serbs shouldn't get a pass on this either. With this in mind, Islamophoba is simply a term created to belittle those who would criticize and attempt to make us look intolerant.
I'm not so much afraid to criticize Islam, I just don't live around enough of them to get a chance, and the few who I do get to interact with merely follow Islam in a tradition sense. Same way some Atheists still celebrate Christmas due to traditions.
I have no quarrel with putting a pushy Christian in his place. I doubt I'd have issue with doing the same with Islamics. They're all religious, they're all the same to me.
I won't criticize on ignorance and I'm afraid I don't know enough about the religion to know what's truth and what's hype, or what's culture versus in the Koran. I do know, though, there is a debate on whether one word in Arabic means to beat or leave, meaning entirely different consequences for disobedient wives. But because what little I do know seems to contradict the culture itself, I'm not entirely sure which I would be attacking, or if I'd be going off inaccurate information entirely.
I wouldn't step into any other debate without knowing both sides of the arguments well. The same goes for any religion I don't know well.
Maybe you really don't know much about Islam, but it is a common tactic of Muslims and Islamic apologists to claim that people who speak disfavorably about Islam don't know what they're talking about. (It's not possible to have an educated dislike--to know Islam is to love it!) If you haven't read the Quran from cover to cover, you don't know anything (apparently). If you have, you've just read the wrong version (there's a "cleaned up for Westerners" version that says don't beat your wife). If you've read that, you just don't know anything about it because you haven't read it in original Arabic. There might be some errors in translation, but the problem is that a large fraction of Muslims have also read the "wrong" version or read the errors in translation, too. Learning about the religious theory is fine but I say the behavior of Muslims around the world is what really matters, and says a lot about the religion too.
The behaviors we see are just as likely the culture as the religion. While the religion has highly affected their cultures, it can also be vice versa. That their culture affected the religion and changed it from whatever Muhammed originally intended. That's what I'm saying. I also can't speak bad of Jainism, Sikhism, and the thousands of other religions for the same reason. Best I can do is not condone a behavior I see as harmful to others, without attributing it to either, unless I'm certain it comes from one source but not the other.