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Richard Dawkins, Or, The Credulous Skeptic
It may be dawning on Dawkins that his equal-opportunity dismissal of all religions was naive, and dangerous. Islam is a menace unlike any other, and Dawkins' belief that all religions are essentially the same in their message and in their goodness or badness puts him right smack in the same camp as George Bush, right in the same galere. Does he want that?
Dawkins may, if he now starts to find out about Islam -- perhaps has a little chat with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan, Ibn Warraq (whose first book he claims to admire), even come to regret his stupid and unsympathetic and ahistorical remarks about Israel and the attempts, sometimes maladroit, and always misunderstood, of that tiny state to resist the steady diplomatic, economic, propagandistic, and when possible military attacks and pressure on it, part of a Lesser Jihad. -- based on his credulous acceptance of what has been daily dripping from the BBC and The Guardian and The Independent and from the lips of "everyone" he knows in Oxford and London, during the last few decades. He might exercise a bit more of that skepticism on which he prides himself, start learning about Islam, really learning, and then about the history of non-Arab and non-Muslim peoples in the Middle East, and then even study such things as the cadastraland demographic records, and travellers' accounts, of that part of the Ottoman Empire that later became Mandatory Palestine. And then he might study that Mandate itself, and what it was set up to accomplish, and why. And then further he might start asking himself when the phrase "Palestinian people" started so suddenly to be used, and why.
Oh, there are lots of questions that Richard Dawkins, with his remarks about "the Jews" to a recent "Humanists Convention," might begin to ask himself, perhaps beginning to understand that if skepticism is good, then it should even be applied to the BBC, the Guardian, Robert Fisk, and so on.
Or is he limited in the areas to which he will apply such skepticism, and in which he is willing to inquire further, and then further still?
One waits, and wonders.