The Critics of Islam Were Right: An Apology to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sam Harris, Bill Maher and Other So-Called Islamophobes

“…The critics of Islam are right. Islam is intrinsically, alarmingly violent, hateful and oppressive on a scale greater than all other major religions combined. To say that radical Islamists are motivated to commit atrocities and embrace oppression based on religious doctrine is the understatement of the century.

I, like most defenders of Islam, was ignorant, naïve, and in denial. I wrongly assumed all holy books have enough good messages to offset the bad. I wrongly assumed that, like Jesus, Muhammad promoted peace, love, and non-violence. I wrongly assumed criticism of Islam equates to criticism of all Muslims.

While I apologize to those wrongly labeled Islamophobes, my biggest apology is owed to Muslims. Muslims have needlessly suffered under oppressive Islamic religious and political doctrines as thousands of uninformed smearests like myself rushed to judge and silence critics of Islam. By not acknowledging the Islamic link to radical violence and hate, smearests have unwittingly allowed it to spread. The smearests, denialists, and the naïve have, unknowingly, turned their back on moderate Muslims and a reformed, peaceful Islam.

We who have carelessly thrown around the Islamophobe label including Glen Greenwald, Reza Aslan, and Karen Armstrong should lower our heads in shame and guilt.

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