As an atheist I am also careful not to paint all religions with the same broad strokes, but the only way out of Islamic or indeed all religious extremism and its fallouts and collateral damage is to fight for secular societies and universal humanistic values. Only then can we guarantee pluralism and religious freedom. As an atheist I believe that we must arrive at a critical mass of the world population accepting that lives can be had free of illusion (or delusion), that ethical lives can be had free of religious dogma, that we can develop a code of conduct that is essentially humane. We must not run away from engaging Islam, for fear of reprisal. We must also not become apologists for it. We must support the moderate Muslim, whom I classify regretfully as deviant or apostate, whose worldview is gradually less fundamentalistically Islamic and more universal. Only then do we have hope for peace for most of humanity.
As an atheist I will not pray to the same God as the terrorists for Paris, but je suis parisien today

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