“Islamic belief, however simply or modestly it may be stated, is an extreme position to begin with. No human being can possibly claim to know that there is a God at all, or that there are, or were, any other gods to be repudiated…. it is even further beyond the cognitive capacity of any person to claim without embarrassment that the lord of creation spoke his ultimate words to an unlettered merchant in seventh-century Arabia. Those who utter such fantastic braggings, however many times a day they do so, can by definition have no idea what they are talking about….
“Why, then, should we be commanded to ‘respect’ those who insist that they alone know something that is both unknowable and unfalsifiable? Something, furthermore, that can turn in an instant into a license for murder and rape?”
Christopher Hitchens in Slate, 30 July 2007
Hitchens would of course claim that he is hostile to all religions, not just Islam. Somehow, though, I can’t see him putting his name to a piece subtitled “Why are we so scared of offending Jews?”