Dear Mara, thanks for writing.
If you read my work you know I am totally opposed to Guantanamo and similar violations of human rights. I am not a defender of US imperialism. I don’t see why attacking “blasphemy,” “defamation of religion” and similar concepts makes me an imperialist. And just because the fatwas I mentioned are well-known doesn’t make them the less horrible and ridiculous. I think you are being a bit defensive there.
It’s true that in general I don’t see religion as a force for good in the world. Most of the time I discuss religion in my column I attack the Christian right, including for its intolerance toward other religions and of course its patriarchal views of women, something it shares with the other major faiths! But it would be inconsistent to attack the James Dobsons, Jerry Falwells, and Rick Warrens week in week out and never say a word about political Islam, which is imo a similar phenomenon.
my comments: although i’m glad that ms pollitt took the time to answer my letter, i think that she didn’t really address the gist of it.