Not In My Name

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/may/25/woolwich-murder-attacks-on-muslims

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22664835

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/10080300/Woolwich-attack-provokes-anti-Muslim-backlash-across-UK.html

As the above links attest attacks on Mosques, other Muslim buildings and Muslims themselves have increased significantly since the Woolwich attacks. The people doing this are often trying to induce wider conflict between Muslims and everyone else. But they are not acting this atheist’s name. All communities and especially religious ones have extremists in them (and it is all too easy to dismiss people with the tag). If we let the extremists in the wider community goad us into conflict with ordinary Muslims then we all lose and only the extremists win.

I hold no candle for Islam or any other religion but that doesn’t mean I am against religious freedom. I cannot expect my freedom from religion to be maintained by trying to ban other people from following their religions. Education, reason and evidence and maintaining the secular space where all can meet and debate and atheists and humanists demonstrating they can live moral, contributory lives without religion are the ‘weapons’ we can and should use. With humour, generosity and humility (which comes hard to many atheists, but we must try. Where it’s warranted).

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