May 4, 2019

THE DARWINIST RIGHT:

The resurrection of 'new atheism': As white supremacy reigns supreme in the US, a new book seeks to bring back to the fore one of its ideological branches. (Hamid Dabashi , 5/04/19, Al Jazeera)

In March this year, a new volume called, The Four Horsemen, hit the book market in the United States. The book boasts an introduction by British comedian Stephen Fry, three essays and the transcript of the 2007 recorded discussion among four proponents of the so-called "new atheism" - Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens. 

Prior to this encounter, all four had authored books arguing that religion and "holy war" pose the greatest threat to human civilisation and therefore, religiosity should not be tolerated in "Western societies".

Their works - Dawkins's, The God Delusion, Harris's, The End of Faith, Dennett's, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, and Hitchens's, God Is Not Great - were all essentially written as a blind reaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and all zoomed in on Islam and the Muslim world, demonstrating a remarkable ignorance of both. 

Needless to say, neither of the four was able to offer any serious historical understanding of this terror act, why it happened, what it meant, or how to prevent similar acts of wanton violence in the future. Nor did they make any intellectually challenging or noteworthy contribution to the millennia-old debate on belief and disbelief in God. 

That publishers have chosen to resurrect, today, this 12-year-old Islamophobic backslapping session advertised as a "landmark discussion about modern atheism" is indeed quite telling. With white supremacy currently flourishing in the US and elsewhere, a book on "new atheism" - a pseudo-intellectual movement that has heavily contributed to its rise - would surely sell. [...]

[I]t is quite clear from the writings of the "four horsemen" that "new atheism" has little to do with atheism or any serious intellectual examination of the belief in God and everything to do with hatred and power.  

Indeed, "new atheism" is the ideological foregrounding of liberal imperialism whose fanatical secularism extends the racist logic of white supremacy. It purports to be areligious, but it is not. It is, in fact, the twin brother of the rabid Christian conservatism which currently feeds the Trump administration's destructive policies at home and abroad - minus all the biblical references. 

While the right-wing conservatives favour the "Judeo-Christian" canard (the idea that the "Judeo-Christian civilisation" is superior to all others), the liberals opt for "new atheism" (or the idea that "secular" Western societies are superior to all others). Both, however, are in perfect agreement about their perceived white supremacy, which supposedly gives them the right to wreak havoc across the world as they please. That is - they are the two faces of that same cheap imperialist coin.

And just as religious white supremacy encourages individual and state-sponsored violence against those perceived as "inferior", so does its "new atheist" version. Historically, the "liberal atheists" have always eagerly joined their "Christian conservative" brethren in the battle call in advance of any US aggression anywhere in the world. 

However, this is, not to say that such deadly fanaticism occurs only in the US (and by extension Europe). Militant Islamism and extremist Zionism have the same exact roots. If Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Osama bin Laden are the symbols of Muslim fanaticism, Meir Kahane, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ayelet Shaked, and Naftali Bennett are the prime examples of the Zionist equivalent, while the "four horsemen", along with Steve Bannon, Mike Pompeo et al are the flag bearers of secular-Christian imperialism in full power.  

In the raging battle between these hateful, toxic ideologies, they thrive and feed off of each other. Caught in the crossfire of this clash of ignorance and barbarity, are billions of human beings - Jews, Christians, Muslims and atheists - who pay the price with their lives. 

Posted by at May 4, 2019 8:15 AM

  

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