Religion is a man-made phenomenon. Religion is represented by a cross, a sword and a stone building. If we make atheism a religion, or if we allow religionists to convince us it is a religion, we will only be making a better symbol, a better weapon and a better building.
Islam represents religion in perhaps its purest, most primitive and most powerful form. Ibn Warraq quotes Ayatollah Khomeini saying:
Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled and incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of (other) countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world.
But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world. . . . Those who would know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those (who say this) are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by (the unbelievers)? Islam says: Kill them (the non-Muslims), put them to the sword and scatter (their armies). Does this mean sitting back until (non-Muslims) overcome us? Islam says: Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! Does this mean we should surrender to the enemy? Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other (Koranic) psalms and Hadiths (sayings of the Prophet) urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all that mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.
But the response of atheism should not be to build a stronger army or more virulent ideology, but rather to let truth erode the man-made structure of religion. Yes, we should try to help it along, but the erosion is inevitable.
Atheism is a natural phenomenon. It is a rising tide that will wash away religious symbols, weapons and structures. It will cleanse people of their man-made religion and leave them in their natural state--curious, rational and flawed. And once that natural state is achieved, there will be no more need for an imaginary god and the dangerous dogma that surrounds him.
The rising tide of atheism is inevitable. We should help it by building channels to erode religious structures. Religious violence makes this necessary. And hopefully the tide and our efforts will succeed before religionists bring about their imagined end times with nuclear destruction.
Religionists are not the enemies of atheists. Religionists are simply people who are mis-educated or mistaken. Because of indoctrination or desperation, they follow an inflexible code that hurts them as well as us. They have been prejudiced against atheists by their powerful institutions. It is up to us to educate them. We will not combat them with their own techniques, we will lead by example and convert by rational discourse.
Our action is necessary, but the rising tide of atheism is inevitable. When the tide recedes, both religion and atheism will recede with it. Man will continue. Wars will not end, hate will not end, but neither will they be assisted by religious dogma. When religion and atheism are gone, man will continue in a cleaner, more natural state.