He has morphed these years into one with stridently islamoskeptic positions--e.g. that liberals in the west are willfully idiotic in their enthusiasm to capitulate to every Muslim whim, etc.
I reply mentioning I live in a community with a noticeable Muslim minority and toil closely alongside Muslim co-workers--and don't much get the feeling that these people have it in for western liberalism to the extent you seem to fear, if my audience will allow me to indulge in the second person.
A rational, reasonable atheist, I know not all religions are equally menacing; the historical claims made by mainstream Muslims are dubious in the extreme; to base one's morality upon a text so clogged with known errors is a move I implore Islamic friends and neighbors to ponder, within the context of mutual politeness and respect.
With a friendly Muslim co-worker I get across that my criticism of Christianity is also--in its gentlemanly way--blunt. The degree of female subordination within local Muslim social life cannot help but shock the conscience--but we join hands in our shared awareness of many of suburban Christianity's absurdities.
I speak as one who believes ludicrous ways of thinking and behaving are daily paid obeisance, within his very own local Catholic parish.
Somewhat dispiritingly I see you expose your vulnerability to that most vapid and discredited criticism of moi--that there is something prurient, wrong or unhinged expressed, in my membership at a local Catholic parish, despite my atheism.
Over the years I have articulated a large number of sound reasons in favor of attending religious services, irrespective of one's affinity for magic-based thinking. If you would like me to briefly review some of the strongest of these, just say so--otherwise I will assume we all know my position exceedingly clear and unwavering.
I mind-read: A person prone to the above-noted ideological error harbors this riposte: But there are strong reasons against atheists attending Catholic Mass!
To which I have a standing offer: Give me one good reason. Not a taker yet.
You end with this ejaculation:
...we the HP people have proudly and truculently opposed gender segregation in universities, hate preachers from Muslim backwaters visiting the UK on lecture tours, university authorities chastising atheist societies for ‘offending’ religious [i.e. Muslim] students. For all this we were attacked by a Muslim group [Loonwatch] in the US, accused by them of being obscurantist neocon Zionists.In fact I don't know Harry's Place at all well and don't now have time to perform an assessment of it. That said, you very avoidably err when you pretend to perceive mainstream liberalism as having hitched its saddle to Loonwatch. There has in fact been no mainstream liberal embrace of Loonwatch; please correct me if you are aware of evidence to the contrary.
The energetically progressive, strongly liberal, high-traffic blog Daily Kos denounces Loonwatch as a fundamentally illiberal splinter fringe front. Loonwatch does not have mainstream liberalism's esteem.