Christopher Hitchens, the late author and atheist extraordinaire, made a career out of bashing religions. If it believed in a god, then he had no use for it, except to make a career out of lampooning it and dealing out the harshest of criticisms.
But when it came to all the religions of the world, “Hitch” had a special place in his anger for Islam.
On Wednesday, following news of the Charlie Hebdo shootings, those thoughts came back to the forefront from beyond the grave.
A YouTube video, posted in October 2014, shows Christopher Hitchens addressing Islam in unflattering terms. The video did not go viral until hitting the front page of Reddit on Wednesday, quickly amassing more than 104,000 views.
In it, Hitchens calls Islam “the most depraved” of religions.
While he admits that he believes “all religions are wrong in the same way” — that is, privileging “faith over reason” — he did not believe all were “equally bad in the same way all the time.”
In the 1930s, Hitch believed that the Roman Catholic church’s ties to anti-Semitism made it the most dangerous of religions.
“But at the moment, it’s very clear to me the most toxic form that religion takes is the Islamic form… The whole idea of wanting to end up with Sharia with a religion-governed state — a state of religious law — and the best means of getting there is Jihad, Holy War, that Muslims have a special right to feel aggrieved enough to demand this is absolute obscene wickedness and I think their religion is nonsense, in its entirety.”
“The idea that God speaks to some illiterate merchant warlord in Arabia, and he’s able to write this down perfectly and it contains the answers to all — don’t waste my time with that bulls**t. Also, the archangel Gabriel speaks only Arabic, it seems? Crap.”
While Islam, like “all religions,” claims “to be revealed truth and are founded by divine revelation,” he clarifies that Islam has a special distinction.
“… Islam rather dangerously says, ‘Ours is the last and final one. There can’t be any more after this. This is God’s last word. That is straightaway a temptation to violence and intolerance and if you will note, it’s a temptation they seem quite willing to fall for.”
The views on Islam have amassed several hundred comments on both Reddit and YouTube platforms, with many agreeing. Here’s the full video.
In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings, what do you think about the comments of Christopher Hitchens? Sound off below.