CJ Werleman’s Racist, Anti-Muslim Bigotry Exposed.

Image Credit: https://atheistsunited.org/

Image Credit: https://atheistsunited.org/

You may wonder what’s left to write about CJ Werleman – already exposed for misrepresentation, serial plagiarism, probable sockpuppetry, outright lies and a suspicious Twitter follower count – not to mention public humiliation at the hands of Sam Harris. Both Salon and Alternet have since dropped Werleman from their pages, the latter completely removing his articles from their archives altogether. The only platform still willing to publish him is the propagandist outfit ‘Middle East Eye’.

It would seem that he holds ‘new atheists’ responsible for this career nosedive, so spends his days demonizing them via his twitter feed – desperately trying to link them to any atrocity or topical ill-deed he can, such as Anders Breivik‘s terrorism, White Supremacy, and The Chapel Hill Shootings.

The latest in this catalogue of bitter vindictiveness comes by way of  associating prominent atheist authors with the horrific crimes of the Charleston Shooter.

This kind of malicious dishonesty gets the better of me and I can’t resist digging a little deeper on Werleman to see what other inexcusable behaviour he is capable of. And the results of my curiosity are not good news.

Werleman bemoans the period he identified as a ‘new atheist’, and now claims to have seen the light – seeing it, coincidentally, around the same time he was offered a gig with atheist smear-merchants Salon and started cosying up with popular Islamopologists such as Glenn Greenwald. That’s where all the clicks are you see.

So, what of Werleman’s previous views on Islam and Muslims then? Well, they fall into categories ranging from hypocrisy, anti-Muslim bigotry to outright racism. Below is a sample. This is clearly not mere anti-theistic sentiment:


21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1These tweets are a few years old of course, but keep in mind that Werleman is a 42-year-old man – this isn’t some college journal we have unearthed, but the thoughts of an adult male approaching middle age. This kind of rhetoric and prejudice had no place in the atheist movement back then, and it certainly has no place in the atheist movement now.

Indeed, nothing as abhorrent as his worst comments can be found in the works of any of the ‘new atheist’ authors he persistently smears. Werleman is clearly projecting the prejudices he espoused onto anyone who dares to criticise him, or Islamic ideology.

It’s clear Werleman has simply swapped out extreme anti-Muslim bigotry for extreme anti-atheist bigotry. This isn’t some tame progression from critic of Islam to liberal apologist, but a childish bigot hitching his wagon to a new extreme after deeming it a more lucrative option.

UPDATE 25 June 2015 – In response to this article, CJ Werleman has released what he understands to be an ‘apology’ via his Facebook page. Of course, it takes mere moments to realise it is anything but. He completely misses the point when he says ‘You see, New Atheists aren’t upset I was an anti-Muslim bigot, probable racist, in 2009. They’re upset that I’m not that now‘.

Firstly, there is an inability to accept responsibility for blatant racism, describing it as ‘probable’ – reminding me of the time he failed to take full responsibility for blatant plagiarism in this ‘apology‘. And most importantly –  people aren’t ‘upset’ because he is no longer a racist bigot, they are annoyed because he applies those abhorrent traits to ‘new atheists’ as a whole.

CJ Werleman once again reiterates that he no longer stands by his published ‘new atheist’ books, and urges people not to buy them – yet they conspicuously remain available to purchase via his official website.

The targets held up as the worst of this imagined ‘new atheist’ evil are Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins. I’d like Werleman to note which of those individuals promoted such bigoted views as ‘Arab =Terrorist’ and ‘Muslims should be banned from flying’. Who knows? Perhaps as I awake in April 2021 at the tender, impressionable age of 37 – I too may suddenly forget that racism is wrong – although I had always assumed memory loss came to one a little later in life.

If one thing is clear from this entire episode it’s this; The profile CJ Werleman has concocted in order to denigrate all ‘new atheists’ is based not on a reality, but solely on his own past transgressions. Werleman can’t seem to grasp that just because he was an appalling racist bigot when critical of Islam, it doesn’t mean everyone is.

Although Werleman’s target has changed, his bigotry remains – tarring ‘New Atheists’ with the same broad strokes he once reserved for Muslims and Arabs.

Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.


  • I’ve not heard the phrase “Islamopologist” before, I might have to start using it!

  • Great work. I genuinely think that’s the last time anyone can take him seriously. Have bookmarked this in case someone does.

  • Thank you for the exposé. He’s a regular Katie Hopkins.

    I’m just a little curious about the inclusion of the “Islam = Peace?” tweet. While the others are unfair/racist generalizations or outright racist attacks, this observation of the violent rhetoric in the Quran seems reasonable; a criticism of religious dogma, not Muslim people.

    In any case, it seems of little relevance when you have “I think it’s the Arab part of your name that scares people… I mean me!” :-0

    • Stephen Knight

      Thank you. I noted at the start of the piece that the tweets fell into a few categories. I place the ‘Islam = Peace’ ones you mention into the ‘hypocrisy’ category, given be now spends his days claiming there is no link between doctrine and behaviour. Seems CJ is evidence that some things can in fact be ‘unseen’. Thanks for your comments

      • Thanks for the clarification. I read again, and the statement “This is clearly not _mere_ anti-theistic sentiment” [emphasis mine] was indeed clear. Cheers!

  • Seriously though, great detective work uncovering this hidden mine of venom. I expect we’ll be waiting a long time for an honest admission from Werleman that he’s said far more reprehensible things than anyone he currently smears.

  • Wonderful, Godless Sleuth! However, I doubt Werleman is projecting. Rather, he’s a talentless hack desperately trying to be a writer/commentator of note. When it became obvious that he had nothing to contribute to mainstream atheist thought and critiques of religion, he spotted a niche in the “atheists criticising atheists” market. Sadly lacking in intelligence, he made that transition in a comically incompetent manner, as you’ve expertly revealed. His comments used to be annoying. Now I see him as nothing but a tragic figure. For his own sake, I think he should quit the internet.

    • Spot on, Gareth. It is a cut-throat business, professional journalism, thanks to the advent of the internet and the proliferation of sites like salon, huffpost and so forth. Werleman had got a toe on the bottom rung, somehow, and believed he could get a whole foot on, never mind ascending to the next echelon. He was wrong, and now we see the fall from any slight ‘grace’ he may have gained for himself. Shooting erstwhile friends in the back is par for the course.

    • Fantastic work again GS, bravo! As for whether or not he’s projecting, I completely agree with Gareth: I think he’s just a shameless opportunist who couldn’t cut it as an atheist commentator and then found a profitable clickbaiting niche claiming “non-vanilla” (whatever that might mean) “New” (idem) atheists are the unreasonable party in the debate. I don’t think he really believes this by projection, I feel he just says these things because he knows it’ll garner an audience. It is incredibly ironic that this has the (superficial, but of course that’s all he needs to his sympathetic new audience) appearance of yielding him the moral high ground, as though he’d seen the light (rather than just the money).

      Anyway, what irritates and frustrates me more than anything about this is that he’ll probably get away with it, and will continue to make a living as an unscrupulous hack. By rights, we shouldn’t have heard more from him since the plagiarism you unearthed, but this is the internet: wait long enough (like, two days), the dust settles and plenty of new people will come around who missed the debacle and won’t know any better but to take him seriously again. (Of course it helps to be as proficient with the Delete button as he is, both when it comes to his own embarrassing tweets and critical comments from informed readers.)

      In this regard, I feel he should continue to be exposed, so that potential new supporters get a proper measure of the guy’s moral character. But then again, he probably basks in all the attention, as in a sense it only makes his clickbaiting stock go up. So a good case could be made for ignoring him completely. But he’s rather like the sore tooth you can’t stop touching: fiendishly tempting and strangely rewarding in a painful and rather disgusting sort of way. I can completely relate to both your and Professor Ceiling Cat’s failed resolutions to stop engaging him.

  • Good work. But, racism? I don’t really see that.

  • The one about any Muslim claiming to be a moderate hasnt read the text I can go along with. After all they all believe the Koran is the actual word of God do they not? If youve taken the trouble to read it it is full of incitement to hatred of non muslims and undoubtedly inspires terrorist acts.

    • Stephen Knight

      Some are included merely to highlight his hypocrisy, given he now refuses to accept any link whatsoever between literal interpretation of doctrine, and bad behaviour – and indeed smears anyone who makes that suggestion as the worst people imaginable, ‘white supremacists’ etc…

  • you surely see that the majority of these were (lame) jokes, right? so the only thing left to blame him for is that he changed his mind/agenda, but this isn’t necessarily bad in itself (maybe he had an “epiphany”)

    so all this proves is that the guy is not very competent, not that he is dishonest (that was proven by his plagiarism)

    • Stephen Knight

      Jokes about race are not necessarily racist – context is important – however these jokes are irredeemably racist unfortunately. Also, there is no way to pin any of his views in this regard on ‘new atheist authors’ given none of them talk remotely in comparable terms.

    • Poplar, CJ himself has admitted to a “new atheist” past of racism and bigotry. So either he was joking and his excuse is a lie, or he meant it and his excuse (for once) is honest. Only the second option is consistent with the current incarnation of CJ. In either case, he still comes out as a serial plagiarist, liar, and hatemongering bigot. Only his target has changed.

      • Stephen Knight

        Has CJ admitted racism though? I don’t recall any ‘I used to be racist, now I’m not’ sentiments. He only seemed to have announced he is distancing himself from/renouncing ‘new atheism’. Given none of the ‘new atheists’ he so frequently smears speak in comparable terms about Muslims and Arabs, I’d submit this is a separate issue altogether. One that needs addressing by Werleman in a statement, not simply a post buried on his Facebook page, as I suspect we may see.

        • Isn’t CJ’s whole point supposedly that “New Atheist = Racist Bigot”, so that in his decrepit worldview, apologising for the former equals admitting to having been the latter? (Nevermind that Harris, Dawkins et al. would never actually spout such embarrassing bigotry as shown in these tweets of Werleman’s: in his perception/representation of the world, they do.)

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  • GS, what an exposé! I think the crux here is how he willingly conflates legitimate criticism of Islam from so-called New Atheists (Harris, Dawkins, Hitchens, etc.) with the type of bigotry and plain-old racism that he displays in these tweets. I’ll take him at his word that he has renounced these views; I’ll even commend him on his honesty (in this instance) and the fact that he hasn’t deleted the tweets. But what makes it so despicable is the sleight of hand he employs to smear his targets with *his own* bigotry and racism, as if they used to run in the same circles and shared the same point of view. ie. He was a racist, so they must be. I guess his ‘New Atheist’ days were more Pamela Gellar than Sam Harris.

    • When did Pamela Geller ever say anything remotely like those racist tweets in first part of the article?

      • You’re probably right. At first I thought the comparison to Geller may be unfair to Werleman, but it’s likely more unfair to Geller.

  • Delicious, absolutely delicious

  • Well, if CJ doesn’t want me to buy his books then I’m sure I can accommodate him. That will be the only thing I accommodate him on though. I don’t even follow his tweets anymore and only see them when someone else is bantering with him.

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  • Werleman reminds me of PZ Myers’ “evolution” from K*r*n-tearing hardliner to someone who claims that we should be ‘racially sensitive’ when it comes to criticizing Islam. This is inauthenticity, and you can’t trust a single word they say.

  • Wow Stephen, this is positive brilliant. While I’m inclined to follow Sam Harris’ sentiment that CJ and the rest of his ilk aren’t worth giving any time or attention, this material you’ve compiled surely shows everyone exactly why that’s the case. Especially given all the other intellectual atrocities he commits on a near-daily basis. Thanks for your work here!

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