My response to this poorly written opinion piece:
Marwan, your underlying point is valid, but you come across as an apologist for the violence in current Islam. You can’t have it both ways, acknowledging that Islam is going through “tough times” but denying that it’s responsible for a disproportionate amount of violence, particularly against innocents.
It’s certainly fair to say that other religions have gone through their own periods of violent intolerance, but that does nothing to minimize the scale and breadth of Islamic terror in today’s world. Islam is the most backward of the monotheistic religions right now, with its treatment of women in most nations closer to the bronze age than the modern era.
As a humanist and a person who’s lived in a moderate Muslim nation (Turkey) as well as a majority Christian one (United States), I have seen the good in everyday practitioners of all three major branches of western monotheism. But I also note that followers of these religions are more likely to mistreat those who don’t share their beliefs and to share a tribalistic worldview grossly unsuitable for the modern era.
Finally, you are intelligent enough to know that the “murderous atheists” card is a false one. Mao, Stalin, and others did not murder because they were atheists. They murdered because they were bad people who had made a god of themselves and their ideal of the state. It’s nonsensical to declare that a lack of belief in something causes someone to act strongly in a particular way, and I think you know that.
I would have agreed more if you’d acknowledged strongly that Islam (in many of its forms) is currently responsible for the majority of religious terror and violence in the world. Whether Islam is inherently prone to such regression and violence is another question. I’m not a fan of Bill Maher and think he’s obnoxious and often misses the mark, but because you did not fully acknowledge Islam’s current place in making this a violent world, I find your protest of Maher to be hollow.