Sam Harris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and other vocal critics of Islam have frequently been called bigots by those who say the atheists unfairly lump all Muslims together as extremists. Of course, anyone who actually listens to them knows that’s not the case. The atheists have acknowledged the importance of moderate Muslims in this conversation since they have more power to create change. But cherry-picking sound bites is what lazy critics do. They’re the ones who say Harris wants to “profile Muslims,” even though what he’s actually calling for is far more nuanced than that. They’re the ones who claim to know what’s in Harris’ heart and mind even when he’s right there to tell them otherwise.
The latest example of this was a conversation on CNN between Harris and comedian/commentator Dean Obeidallah, ostensibly about Ben Carson‘s statement that Muslims should not be President.
At one point (2:50), Harris brings up how Sharia Law dictates cutting off the hands of thieves and throwing gay people off of rooftops. Obeidallah interrupts to point out that the latter punishment isn’t in the Qur’an, as if Harris is making it all up: