Christopher Hitchens


Christopher Hitchens is well known for a plethora of reasons, many of these involving the controversial views he had on a number of public and well known figures. However, his most controversial views may well be the ones he held on religion, particularly the religion of Islam. Hitchens believed that all organized religion is the basis of evil in the world, but that Islam is a particularly extreme belief, as he says "No human being can possibly claim to know that there is a God at all, or that there are, or were, any other Gods to be repudiated. And when these ontological claims have collided, as they must, with their logical limits, it is even further beyond the cognitive capacity of any person to claim without embarrassment that the lord of creation spoke his ultimate words to an unlettered merchant in seventh-century Arabia." While Hitchens often spoke against the mere absurdity of believing in a God in the first place, it is the extreme lengths to which believers in Islam go to present their religion as an absolute one that must be obeyed by everyone or punished to the full extent of the law by anyone that does not obey that frustrated Hitchens the most.

This is displayed quite succinctly in one of Hitchens quotes where he states "The prohibition of picturing the prophet is apparently absolute. So is the prohibition on pork or alcohol or, in some Muslim societies, music or dancing. Very well then, let a good Muslim abstain rigorously from all of these. But if he claims the right to make me abstain as well, he offers the clearest possible warning and proof of an aggressive intent." It is this absolutism that Hitchens believed to be so dangerous, due primarily to the fact that Muslim authors and even authors of other nationalities and religions would often be threatened with injury or even death for speaking out against Islam.