In 2013, American Atheists President David Silverman announced that he would be writing a book called I, Atheist. But a few months later, that book was off the table. What happened? Silverman explained in a now-deleted Facebook post that there had been a disagreement with his publisher: “We parted ways amicable over a smiley face, labeled ‘Muhammad of Islam’, which I refused to remove.”
Now, a different version of that book is finally seeing the light of day. (And the smiley face is in it.)
It’s called Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015). And if you thought Richard Dawkins was “aggressive” in The God Delusion, just wait till you read this. Unlike Dawkins, who wanted readers to shed their faith, Silverman wants those of us who are already atheists to be much more vocal about it.
In the excerpt below, Silverman discusses the idea of “Islamophobia” and why we must push back against the faith-based rules others demand we follow. (I have removed footnotes for ease of reading.)