Sam Harris had some harsh words for President Obama after his speech last week, the one in which he declared, "ISIL is not Islamic." Harris, one of the outspoken new atheists, wonders when, if ever, the truth about Islam will be spoken by our leaders.
As an atheist, I cannot help wondering when this scrim of pretense and
delusion will be finally burned away—either by the clear light of reason
or by a surfeit of horror meted out to innocents by the parties of God.
Which will come first, flying cars and vacations to Mars, or a simple
acknowledgment that beliefs guide behavior and that certain religious
ideas—jihad, martyrdom, blasphemy, apostasy—reliably lead to oppression
and murder? It may be true that no faith teaches people to massacre innocents
exactly—but innocence, as the President surely knows, is in the eye of
the beholder. Are apostates “innocent”? Blasphemers? Polytheists? Islam
has the answer, and the answer is “no.”