Here is my piece for this month’s The Freethinker:

It’s insidious how the Islamist narrative has become mainstream everywhere – in the media, in social policies, in discussions around minority communities and human rights, in ‘progressive’ politics … it’s also very much part and parcel of how some freethinkers view ‘Muslims’ – homogenised masses whose default is always the Islamist no matter how many refuse and resist – often at great risk to their lives.

Identity politics ignores this dissent and plurality (even vilifies it – to the extent that ex-Muslims, for example, are considered “native informants”).

But Islamic rules and Islamism are so antithetical to 21st century living that you don’t need to draw a cartoon of Mohammad, Islam’s prophet, or be an atheist and blaspheme to be at loggerheads with the theocrats.

Take Valentine’s Day. In 2014 in Saudi Arabia, 5 Saudi men arrested sentenced to 32 years in prison and 4,500 lashes for holding a Valentine’s Day party with “unrelated women, drinking and dancing.” In Islamic schools here in Europe, Valentine’s Day is frowned upon as un-Islamic.

Read the rest of the piece on the Freethinker.



  1. Is the distinction between Muslims and Islamists such a useful one to make? All Muslims are carriers of a mind virus which turns some individuals into terrorists, and we know that violence can emerge from the most peaceful of Muslim families at any time – it only takes an autistic reading of the Qur’an and a desire to do things by the book to turn someone ernest into an Islamist who takes it upon himself to kill for God. It isn’t only Islam that suffers from this problem, for there are also Christian and Jewish terrorists who come out of peaceful families in the exact same way. The problem is the hate speech in holy texts (and in the manifestos of other ideologies) – all hate speech has the capacity to generate abuse, murder and terrorism, and all those who endorse those ideologies and religions with vicious hate speech tied to them are carriers of terrorism. It only takes a small proportion of violent individuals in any society to stir up enough of the lesser violent ones to cause mayhem, to the point that they can turn entire countries upside down with slaughter on a colossal scale and send millions fleeing. By mixing Muslims into non-Muslim countries, we are loading more and more places up with carriers of a terrorism which will lead inevitably lead to future conflict once there are enough of them in place to believe that they can take over. What are we doing to stop this? Nothing – we will just let it get to the point where millions are slaughtered, wait for peace to return, then let the naive masses set us up for the next round of killing. The only way out of this cycle of violence is to ban all hate speech and get it removed from all holy texts, physically cutting it out and burning it while leaving only the peaceful parts in place.

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