Ralph Dumain has concluded that Sam Harris is an ignoramus. Be this a conclusion based on his own personal judgment, more power to him. But one wonders.
All of the "Four Horsemen" are steadily establishing themselves as independent thinkers, i.e., their ties to any ideology are tenuous at best. This is especially evident in Harris's lambasting of the left-wing ideology for its venomous lynching of anyone (in this case, Dutch politician Geert Wilders) who criticizes Islam. Daniel Dennett stated that a great deal of the criticism he receives is from left-wing ideologues, who feel he's being too strident and should capitulate and placate to religion like everyone else. And Christopher Hitchens may as well be the antichrist to the left for his support of the Iraq war. Hitch is labeled a right-wing lackey, despite that almost every other opinion of his aligns itself with liberalism. But that doesn't matter, does it? He dissented! *GASP* Blasphemy! I don't concur with Hitchens on the war myself, but that's one issue. ONE. Should he be cast out from the pantheon of rational thinkers because he has his own opinion?
While it's irrefutable that most atheists/secularists are liberal/left-wing, that fact tends to over shadow another: that most left-wing liberals are NOT atheists. Proposition 8 in California was passed by a demographic (minorities) that predominantly votes left-wing, and it isn't a stretch to conclude that bigotry toward homosexuals is rooted primarily in religion. The American-bashing Rev. Wright's political sympathies were obvious, and polls have shown most Americans (not conservatives, mind you, but most AMERICANS, which includes liberals) support the teaching of creationism in public schools.
The political left is just as infused with religion as is the right, rendering the "religious right" perception misleading. Alas, this is the state of social debate: ideological lemmings locked in a paradigm of polar politics (yeah, ok, the alliteration is a bit much).
Dumain's only tenable quibble is with Harris's lack of meticulous citation and his rather ineloquent approach, which anyone who reads Harris can already deduce. Dumain concedes, though, Harris's salient points (Islam as a totalitarian and destructive force, the dangers of leftist moral relativism in the face of Islam), if only reluctantly. So why the conflict?
Well, because Sam is being MEAN to leftists.
Like all ideologues, Dumain berates Harris for not utilizing the shield of euphemism. The same thing happens with right-wing dissenters, such as Kathleen Parker, who received scores of hate mail from her conservative readers when she dared to criticize McCain/Palin political strategy. To call a spade a spade (or what you in your conviction feel to be a spade), why, that's sacrilege. For me to point out the dangerously placatory intent behind our president's comment of "We're not at war with Islam" makes me a traitor, doesn't it? A right-wing sympathizer.
Shhhh, now, shhh. Not so loud. And don't look them directly in the eye, it's a sign of aggression. Doesn't matter that they've no respect for you, it's procedure that you kiss their asses. That's just the way it's done.