Those they deem the "obvious villains" being non-Atheists that make pretty much the same criticisms. I know. These are grown-ups, supposedly. Usually very intelligent grown-ups. But somehow they seem to lose the power of reason and even the ability to read when truths they fully support are voiced by people they have deemed to be unworthy of a hearing.
Look I know we all tend to do this sort of thing, but such Tribalism is just plain stoopid. Post-modern Tribalism has us divided up into our own "right thinking" groups and we hardly ever venture outside the group as we're so sure we've got everything sussed. Those outside the group are stigmatised and dismissed - often even before we hear what they have to say. And we're supposed to be grown-ups. Having dethroned the old voices of Authority (such as the Church, the Government) we have enthroned our own little champions of authority and divided off into self segregating Tribes.
Evidence. Reason. Discussion. Enquiry. We only pursue these among people who think as we do these days. Boy that is frustrating.
Part of what I see as my job is to highlight some useful contributions made by people of all different backgrounds. From your "far Right" to your "far Left". I include Muslims, Jews, Agnostics, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Atheists, Gays - anyone as long as they deal with reality (and hopefully do so charitably).
I do so because we need to be aware that we have very real friends everywhere as well as some very real enemies. I do so because we need to pull together to face an existential threat.
I don't mean to be flippant, but we can chat about all that other stuff once we've survived the great assault against freedom presented by Sharia law. It would be quite nice if everybody pulled together and remembered that listening to new or different ideas and scrutinising them, has a rich history in the West. This is how we put a man on the Moon. This is how we cured Polio and invented the steam engine. It’s OK guys! We’re not fighting, we’re just talking. (Oh, I think I just channelled Stefan Molyneux).
Below is an article from the Christian Post on the response of noted Atheists to the attempt of the Southern Poverty Law Centre to turn some of their number into pariahs.
I just wish they realised we're all on the same side.
Atheists Outraged by SPLC Branding Atheist Critics of Radical Islam 'Anti-Muslim Extremists'
Sam Harris and several other prominent members of the atheist community have condemned the Southern Poverty Law Centre’s recent decision to brand atheist authors critical of radical Islam as "anti-Muslim Extremists."
Harris, who himself has written books, articles, and made numerous commentaries on the dangers of Islamic extremism, described the SPLC's move as "unbelievable," and retweeted several messages by other atheists and supporters who also could not understand why Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Maajid Nawaz have found themselves of the "extremist" list.
As the SPLC notes in its report, Hirsi Ali is a Somali-born activist who says that she suffered female genital mutilation and fled civil war in Africa, but questions key parts of her persecution story, and argues that "she now positions herself as an ex-Muslim champion of women's rights, her anti-Muslim rhetoric is remarkably toxic."
SPLC also brands Nawaz as a former radical who uses his experience to "savage Islam," and also accuses him of fabricating parts of his experience in order to present a negative image of Islam.
Hemant Mehta of The Friendly Atheist blog noted that both Nawz and Hirsi Ali believe that Islam is "uniquely problematic compared to other religions," and have encouraged moderate Muslims to help steer the religion in the right direction.
Mehta wrote that the SPLC's decision to brand the authors as "anti-Muslim Extremists" makes him wonder "why anyone should take the SPLC seriously at this point."
He added: "If criticizing religious beliefs makes them extremists, then it won't be long before other vocal atheists end up on that list too. And make no mistake, that's what Nawaz and Hirsi Ali are doing. That's all they're doing. They're not anti-Muslim; they work with moderate Muslims. They're critical of the worst aspects of Islam." [Graeme: That's all that the rest of us are doing too]
Sarah Haider of Ex-Muslims of North America noted that both Nawaz and Hirsi Ali have been targeted by radicals and threatened with violence for speaking out against real extremists, and warned that the SPLC's decision will make it even harder for critics to speak out.
"Already, too few are willing to stand up to religious privilege for the sake of human rights. When that privilege belongs to a religion whose followers include some ready to die (and kill) for the honour of their faith, activists face devastating costs," Haider wrote.
"This report is an example of the careless, reactionary response by the American media (on both the right and the left) to the challenge posed by this religion."
Several Christian conservatives have also found themselves on the SPLC's lists, particularly for speaking out against gay marriage, such as the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council.
George Yancey, professor of sociology at the University of North Texas, has accused the SPLC of failing to use objective criteria in determining which organizations should be labelled a "hate group," however.
"The subjective nature of the criteria for determining a hate group provides a conceptual structure more vulnerable to social bias than an objective criteria applying to groups across a wide political, cultural, and religious spectrum," Yancey wrote in a 2014 study.