The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.
Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.
In a well-functioning democracy, the state constitution is considered more important than God's holy book, whichever holy book that may be, and God matters only in your private life.
Infuriatingly stupid analysts - especially people who called themselves Arabists, yet who seemed to know next to nothing about the reality of the Islamic world - wrote reams of commentary [after 9/11]. Their articles were all about Islam saving Aristotle and the zero, which medieval Muslim scholars had done more than eight hundred years ago; about Islam being a religion of peace and tolerance, not the slightest bit violent. These were fairy tales, nothing to do with the real world I knew.
People ask me if I have some kind of death wish, to keep saying the things I do. The answer is no: I would like to keep living. However, some things must be said, and there are times when silence becomes an accomplice to injustice.
In 1985 as a teenager in Kenya, I was an adamant member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
I see no difference between Islam and Islamism. Islam is defined as submission to the will of Allah, as it is described in the Koran. Islamism is just Islam in its most pure form.
Americans have always welcomed people of all backgrounds, religions, and races. It's a spirit of tolerance, now energized and amplified by the cult of multiculturalism.
I'd like Muslims to look at their religion as a set of beliefs that they can appraise critically and pick and choose from.
My first experience in the Netherlands was very pleasant, extremely pleasant. I mean, I got my residence permit, refugee status, within four weeks of arrival. People treated me extremely well.
My conscience is informed by reason. It's like Kant's categorical imperative: behave to others as you would wish they behaved to you.
In Holland I have seen well-meaning, principled people blinded by multiculturalism, overwhelmed by the imperative to be sensitive and respectful of immigrant culture, while ignoring criminal abuse of women and girls.
I think of Canada, first and foremost, in terms of space. The amount of space available is breathtaking.
The people who believe themselves to be on the left, and who defend the agents of Islam in the name of tolerance and culture, are being rightwing. Not just rightwing. Extreme rightwing. I don't understand how you can be so upset about the Christian right and just ignore the Islamic right. I'm talking about equality.
I talk about a Christianity that is enlightened enough to separate spirituality from the rest of life. Not just church and state, but knowledge and church.
Christians - at least Christians in a liberal democracy - have accepted, after Thomas Hobbes, that they must obey the secular rule of law; that there must be a separation of church and state.
I assume the closest members of my family don't actually want to kill me, but the truth is that I have shamed and hurt them; they have to deal with the outrage that my public statements cause, and undoubtedly some members of my clan do want to kill me for that.
Young people, some of whom are not born into the faith, are being fired up by preachers using basic Islamic scripture and mobilized to wage jihad by radical imams who represent themselves as legitimate Muslim clergymen.
The liberal psyche wants to protect minorities, to apologize for imperialism, colonialism, slavery, and the appalling treatment of black people during the civil rights movement. At the same time, they want to continue to defend the rights of individuals.
With the first commandment, Mohammed tried to imprison common sense. And with the second commandment, the beautiful, romantic side of mankind was enslaved.