Fellow nontheists, I will just make sure to tell you that this is my first post. The chief reason for my registration, besides me being very fond of Sam’s books and essays, was that his blog post “Christian Terrorism and Islamophobia” really struck a chord with me. As a lot of you may know, Norway was a victim of an atrocity not matched since WWII. If you are not aware of this, I suggest you go and read Sam’s blog post, and then, I’m sure, we can be on the same page. In this post I also want to address Norway’s atheism, something I think a lot of people are curious about.
First, I think I should inform you of my standpoint to prevent any confusion from arising: I am best described as the Christopher Hitchens-esque anti-theist: I have been a non-believer pretty much all my life, but after reading his books in addition to Dawkins’s and Harris’s books, I found myself to be an anti-theist.
Onwards to Norway’s atheism: There are, as you have heard, a lot of secularists in Norway; however, there are not as many atheists and agnostics as people are purporting there to be. One finds the predominant views here to be liberal religious, or non-believers with a tedious habit of defending religion like the most avid of the fundamentalists. In fact, the people I have encountered most criticism of my religious views from, have all come from the latter. I am rarely “blessed” to meet people who share my view points, but I have no trouble being a lone wolf. If anybody wants to know anything else about this subject, just ask and I will try to address the matter as best as I can.
Now to the terrorist attacks: At first, I, like so many others, had my suspicions of a terrorist attack by Al Qaida because of their strenuous promise to revenge Osama Bin Laden’s death; nevertheless, I did not want to draw hasty conclusions based on mere suspicions, so I decided to wait for the data to come in. After Andreas Behring Breivik was caught, it really came as a shock to hear that he had, in the span of only 1-2 hours, killed over 80 young, political active people. A bomb attack on Norway I have actually thought was just a matter of time, but I did not foresee the severity of this callous, appalling tragedy.
Like the anti-theist I am, I reject all religion, but I think we can say that, for the time being, Islam is the one religion that poses the biggest threats. Now, I have to clarify that I am NOT a racist, at all. Nor do I have anything against Muslims personally; I have some Muslim friends – liberals and fundamentals. The aftermath of this, I fear, is going to severely restrict my ability to not get labeled as an Islamophobic person. And it is for this reason I find it hard to, like Sam said, be open and candid about the truth.
Nevertheless, all kinds of different people over the ages, who have had controversial and subsequently accepted view points, so I think that this is just an even more important reason for me to make my case, and I know, judged by my own merits, I am not a racist, or anything remotely of the kind.