You may ask whether Tom Chivers has ever written a similar critical article on Richard Dawkins’ many attacks
on Christianity. The answer is - no.  (I’m referring to Chivers’ ‘Please be quiet, Richard Dawkins, I'm begging, as a fan’ in The Telegraph.)

I checked Tom Chivers’ back catalogue and found two articles on Richard Dawkins.  In one article Chivers makes similar points to the ones he makes in the one I'm going to discuss (though he does so less politically and polemically). In that earlier article he also calls Christian critics of Dawkins ‘boring’ – primarily because they claim that Dawkins doesn’t criticise Islam! (The other article is, less controversially, about Dawkins’ agnosticism.) So you could say that Chivers firstly attacks the ‘boring’ Christian critics of Dawkins, and then, lo and behold, he criticises Dawkins’ own criticisms of Islam and Muslims. 

Far more interesting and relevant than all that is this passage from Chivers’ earlier article:

“… it's ludicrous to say that criticism of the content of the Jewish holy book (or the Islamic or Christian ones which are based on it, for that matter) equates to dislike of Jewish people.”

Yet, as you will see, Chivers makes exactly the opposite claim when it comes to Islam and Muslims. (Yes, I know, he does use the word ‘Islamic’ in parenthesis… but read on.)

So the Criticism of Muslims and Islam is Racist?

You can mischievously conclude that Tom Chivers is himself a racist. (He hints at Dawkins’ racism towards Muslims but is wise and careful enough not to explicitly state it.) He is racist because he singles out Muslims - who mainly have a brownish skin colour (or at least they aren’t, usually, white) - for some extra special positive (or ‘inverted’) racism; which is a deplorable trait usually displayed by Leftists.

This is one passage in which Tom Chivers displays his (possible) racism and his clear fixation on race:

"…  would Dawkins have tweeted another fact, which is that Trinity [a College of Cambridge University] also has twice as many Nobel prizes as all black people put together? It's just as true, but presumably he doesn't believe that it's because black people aren't as clever. Yet he is willing to make the equivalent inference about Muslims, without further evidence." 

That's because Dawkins isn't a racist and Muslims do not constitute a single race anyway, Tom. Dawkins is making points about Islam: not blacks, browns or whites. Islam has been around for 1,400 years. Blacks, on the other hand, don't belong to a single religion or a single culture. So it wouldn't make sense for Dawkins to say that. Muslims do have a single religion. It's called Islam. So it’s almost as if Chivers wants Dawkins to make racial point about blacks in order to prove to the world that he’s also racist about Muslims.

I really do believe that Tom Chivers, for whatever reasons, does think that Dawkins is a racist. I said earlier that Chivers is wise and careful enough not to state, in precise and exact words, that Dawkins is a racist. So, instead, he comes out with this flagrant piece of dissimulation (possibly in order to cover his tracks lest Dawkins’ lawyers come knocking at his door):

“Is he being racist? Maybe not, depending on how narrowly you define it.”

Really! That’s terrible stuff! Clearly either Chivers hasn’t the courage of his own anti-racist convictions or he’s scared stiff of Dawkins’ lawyers (as I said). Is Dawkins racist? ‘Maybe not’, as Chivers puts it. This means that it is - admittedly and grudgingly - possible that he isn’t; but, nonetheless, he probably is

And now for Tom Chivers’ clinching anti-racist statement on Dawkins. Apparently, if Dawkins isn’t racist, it’s only because many people (all those racists?) have too narrow a definition of what racism really/actually is. Does that mean that being critical of Muslims - and even of Islam - is indeed racist after all (in Chivers’ piously anti-racist book)? In any case, Chivers certainly doesn’t define racism ‘narrowly’: he defines it widely. Far too widely in my own book!

Let’s see what Tom Chivers wide definition of racism actually is.
He says that anti-Islamic or anti-Muslim comments are often – or always? - expressed by racists and he also implies that they such comments are an excuse for pre-existing racism. (Actually, he mainly uses the words of Alex Gabriel to make these points.) The problem is - and it’s a huge problem! – that Islamophiles and Leftists rarely, if ever, make that distinction. They usually state - or sometimes imply - that all criticism of Islam or Muslims (as Muslims) is racist. In other words, I’ve rarely – if ever- heard any of the anti-racist finesse shown in the Alex Gabriel passage quoted by Chivers. 

Nevertheless, if Islamophiles and Leftists do make that distinction between the genuine criticism of Islam (or Muslims) and criticism which is simply an excuse for pre-existing racism, then they should state it more often or be more explicit about it. Islamophile groups, and the other enablers of Islam, should say: 

Yes, I agree, not all the people who have a problem with Islam are racists. But, nonetheless, some [many?] are. 


Generalising About Islam and Muslims?

I suppose that at the heart of Tom Chivers’ article on Richard Dawkins is the alleged fact that the latter generalises about Muslims and that he also generalises about Islam. 


I’ve heard that argument countless times before. In fact the point that critics of Islam or Muslims ‘generalise’ about these things can be found in almost every article in the Islamophiliac literature. More relevantly, it is itself a generalisation about all the critics of Islam and/or Muslims! Consequently, yes, that’s right, most of these Muslim/Islam-friendly articles contain many (positive of course!) generalisations about Islam and Muslims. And they also contain many generalisations about the critics of Islam (they are all ‘fascists’ and/or ‘racists’)! Tom Chivers article on Dawkins displays that hypocrisy about generalisations perfectly.

In any case, why does Tom Chivers keep on saying that Dawkins singles out ‘all Muslims’ when he clearly he doesn’t? It may seem that way to some because it’s hard not to use language in that way. If you're too careful, you stop speaking altogether. 

What often happens is that if a critic’s political aversion to a person is strong enough, and he can’t offer more – or any! - good arguments against him, he’ll may well resort to what can only be called pedantry. For example, even when I’ve posted critical stuff on Islam on Facebook, Leftists have responded by saying the post ‘lacks structure’. And sometimes people have picked up on obvious typos rather than genuine grammatical or spelling mistakes. The same is true in Tom Chivers’ case. 

Say someone states: ‘Muslims are nice people, just like Tom Chivers.’ I’m damned sure that Chivers wouldn’t pick them up on that and say: ‘No, not all Muslims are nice people. I once met a very bad tempered taxi driver who was a Muslim. And some of those  Al-Shabaab are not too nice either.’
When most people say ‘Muslims’ (or ‘Conservatives’, 'plumbers’, 'cats', etc. for that matter), whether what they say is positive or negative, they categorically don’t mean: every Muslim only the planet and every Muslim who has ever existed. They don’t even mean: every Pakistani Muslim or every Muslim in Alum Rock. The single word ‘Muslims’ is used - perfectly grammatically - instead of all its various circumlocutory alternatives.

It’s All About Tom Chivers
The bottom line is that Tom Chivers’ article is really mainly about Tom Chivers. It’s not all about Islam or even about racism. For example, Chivers says that Dawkins is not ‘being nice’ about Islam and Muslims. This must mean that Chivers thinks he is ‘nice’ about Islam and Muslims (even if he disagrees with it on some counts). Actually, it’s probably more a case of people like Tom Chivers displaying their niceness about Islam and Muslims - even if they aren’t that nice in reality! 

Tom Chivers also says that Dawkins’ non-niceness, as it were, ‘isn’t advancing the various causes of secularism [and] atheism’.  Nonetheless, the article is about Dawkins’ attitude to Muslims. So what if Chivers only really cares about ‘advancing the various causes of secularism [and] atheism’ to white middle-class people like himself – or to (white) Christians? What if he doesn’t care in the slightest if these things aren’t advanced to Muslims? More worryingly, what if, politically, Tom Chivers actually thinks it’s a bad thing to do so because it’s just 'yet another example of cultural imperialism’ (not Chivers' words)?

The problem is that the UK - and certainly the Muslim world – is not a Chelsea dinner party for Telegraph journalists. The niceness of Tom Chivers and his professional chums will not somehow spread itself out into the Muslim world. That niceness won’t even rub off on Muslims in the UK. Most Muslims, even the nice middle-class/professional Muslims Chivers may well know (if he knows any), will be supremely indifferent to The Niceness of Infidels. In fact many Muslims – though not all! – will utilise and abuse that niceness. 

In the end, then, we may have this nightmarish scenario in the future. In one corner there’s Tom Chivers and his middle-class chums grandstanding their supreme niceness and piety to all Muslims; while, in the other corner, there’s far more sharia law in the UK and a growing stack of dead kuffar bodies. Nice!