There has been an inevitable backlash against the new atheism in recent years with quite a lot coming from the left but I have yet to hear any of these critics cite the most likely cause of the new atheism. Peter Hitchens absurdly seeks to blame it on a desire for hedonism but there is a fundamental elephant in the room cause which I have not heard him or anyone else address: the rise of militant Islamism in the last few decades.
The global Islamist threat must be the number one cause of the new atheism. Up to its emergence everyone more or less thought faith and organised religion had been pretty much consigned to the rubbish bin of history until it came back again with a vengeance. Up till that point religion was putting on a respectable front particularly Christianity which had been neutered and defanged by the reformation and enlightenment when this old monolithic relic of Islam burst back on the scene in all its unreformed primitive literalist blood curdling horror.
Aping barbaric Christianity before it was civilized by modernity Islam has come back like a bad dream to remind people of just how evil unreformed religion is in its fundamentalist original incarnation when wedded to the State in theocratic unholy union. Far from being an aberration of a religion gone bad the true nature and essence of faith is manifested in present day Islamism for all to see and hence the reaction against it in the new atheism.The latter's opponents should at least have the humility to recognise the cause of this phenomena.