Posts Tagged ‘ Religion ’

An Open Letter to “Good” Atheists who Respect Religion

Dear Conformists,

Hi. Are you rolling your eyes at me for calling you a conformist? I know I shouldn’t insinuate that your admiration for religion and its beauty is a way of appeasing roughly 89% of the world population which you know is religious; that it is just a way of getting a cheap nod, because let’s face it, even if you sweep every atheist reading your book, essay, column or blog off her/his feet, the world’s applause-o-meter barely registers a sound. Make the theists happy, and that is what gets you likes on Facebook.

It could just be that you genuinely believe in religion as, not an absurdity or a pernicious force, but something benign; something we can easily coexist with. That’s your opinion, and it’s fine.

Then there are those who believe that it’s okay to be an anti-theist who criticizes religion, but we should be still be respectful towards other people’s beliefs. No argument there. That is ideally how it should be done.

Unfortunately, anti-theists cannot be expected to act more “ideally” than any other group indulging in activism, online or otherwise. What’s more unfortunate is that most theists, with their inordinately thin skin, are more likely to find the idea of anti-theism itself pretty provocative. You’re just very likely to be labelled “smug”, “arrogant” and a “troll” if you’re not diplomatically starting off every sentence of your criticism with, “Yes, religion is great and I deeply admire some of your religious personalities, but….”

Brendan O’Neil, in a recent article on The Telegraph, wonders how atheists have become “the most colossally smug and annoying people on the planet”. History is not his strong suit, because atheists have always been regarded as the “most colossally smug and annoying people on the planet”. Islam calls them, “the worst of all beasts” and the bible refers to them as “corrupt fools”. And that’s how its followers have treated the godless for the past…I don’t know…about 2000 years.

That is why it is necessary to salute the valor and courage of our theists and “good-guy” atheists, defending us all against the rise of smug atheists who make disrespectful internet memes. Actually, no. You are an embarrassing redundancy, right up there with the white activists fighting for men’s rights.

In any kind of activism, there will always be a minority that resorts to tactics that may be considered distasteful. Like vegans calling you “murderers”. Socialists calling you “thieves”. Feminists calling you “misogynistic assholes”. Anti-theist atheists – those claiming (not unreasonably) that religion is a malignant force – are expected to act far more diplomatic and civilized than all other kinds of activism. It is because the subject they deal in is still considered so sensitive, the slightest pinch induces massive butt-hurt.

Atheist debaters are expected to work with teaspoons where all other activists are allowed to work with spades. And it is because of this, that atheists come off as more acerbic and abrasive than than those who criticize any other ideology or system they find harmful.

I don’t need to apologize for atheist trolls any more than feminists, Occupy folk, Democrats, liberals, LGBT and human rights activists have to apologize for the dicks they contribute to the internet.

And as for respecting religion, I don’t need to respect any religion claiming that I, as an atheist, am so vile that I deserve eternal torture. That’s like you calling me a “prick”, and demanding that I respect your belief. Sorry, can’t do; especially when you’re passing on their hateful ideas to your kids, and then scratching your heads when they grow up to be bigots.

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Western Liberals Hate Persecuted Minorities in Islamic Countries

The title says it all. I’ll elaborate..

Ayaan Hisri Ali was only 5 years old when she had her clitoris snipped off in the name of a certain religion. A self-made woman, she pulls herself out of a trouble existence in Somalia, and blooms as an activist and a writer in America. She became a politician in Holland, and dedicates her life to exposing the misogyny inspired by religion, as well as other human rights violations.

The white feminist brigade now regard her as an Islamophobe. It’s a pity because, really, what has Islam ever done to her to deserve such ‘irrational hate’?

In fact, the greatest Islamophobes known to Western liberals are not just hicks from the bible belt, but the same ex-Muslims, those persecuted dissidents, who sawed off their feet to run to the more enlightened parts of the world; places where Islam would no longer be used against them. All “blasphemers” of the East with bounties on their heads, eventually become “Islamophobes” in the West.

Islamophobia is conceived as a form of racism, which is easily among the daftest ideas anyone has ever come up with. Islam is not a race. It is an idea, or a set of ideas, that has no rights.

Muslims deserve respect as people, as one can never truly deduce from one’s “Muslim” label what he/she believes. Muslims are, like everybody else, an extremely diverse group with a diverse set of beliefs.

Western liberals have already adorned the Holy Pope with a thorny crown, due to Christianity’s propensity to inspire racism, homophobia and misogynism. No liberal’s heart aches for this blatant Christophobia because many years ago, they decided that Christianity is not immune from criticism and must be called out for all the nonsense it inspires.

How American liberals and secularists deal with Christianity, is how Pakistani liberals and secularists deal with Islam; with eye-rolls, impatience, skepticism. The mention of the word leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of many a non-Muslim here, as they recall the injustices they’ve suffered in its name.

Every effort by activists against minority abuses in Tunisia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran – any Islamic country – is effectively thwarted by quoting scripture. In Pakistan national assembly, a Domestic Violence Bill was shelved because it contradicted Islamic values, earlier in 2012. The bill was sent into a coma as women activists screamed for justice outside the Parliament.

Do you have any idea what it feels like, to live in a country where Islam is a constant bane for women’s freedom and equality…..and then listen to Western liberals being apologists for the ideology that’s used to rubbish all our struggles for minority rights, women rights and even social justice in general?

To come home defeated from a protest, as a mullah-ridden parliament shoots down another bill for social equality in Islam’s name….and then hear some white feminist say dumb shit like, “Islam is not the problem! Patriarchy is!”

Yes, but what of the systems, the ideologies that are reinforcing and inspiring this patriarchy? Patriarchy is not some mystical dark energy that oozes out from soil, it is a social setup maintained and upheld by certain engines. Old, organized religion is, beyond a reasonable doubt, one of those engines.

As for the Muslims, it is incorrect to stereotype them all as oppressed. But it should be noted that a large number of them have been stripped of some basic rights, including the freedom of belief and self-expression.

Most Muslims do not feel oppressed, because they never use this right anyway. What they believe and express is already in line with what the Islamic societies demand. It is the non-Muslims, the ex-Muslims, the secularists, dissidents, who feel the true sting of not having this right. And when they complain, they have their voices drowned out…every…single…fucking…time, by the Muslim majority dismissing the notion of any unusual oppression in their society.

Western Liberals, as a courtesy to the Muslim minorities in their countries, have fallen in bed with an ideology that is the complete antithesis of their own secular ideas and liberal agenda.

You don’t have to be a “Mussie-hater” to be critical of the Islamic ideology and its effects on our world. No more than you have to hate smokers to acknowledge the risks of cigarettes to our health.

Random Offensive Idea #2

17/4/13. 5:19 pm Random-offensive-idea-that-I’m-not-proud-of-but-makes-sense

In the spirit of equality, Islamic nations must implement death penalty for insult to Charles Darwin, Huxley, Dawkins and other atheist heroes, as a way of protecting atheists from being gravely offended. This shall be in acknowledgment of the fact that religious people do not have All Rights Reserved to being offended.

Furthermore, a Belieber bill must be passed to protect the sentiments of Justin Bieber fans by immunizing him from serious insult.

Should the above propositions be denied, a ‘Grow The Fuck Up’ bill must be introduced to the floor, which calls for the government to be relieved of the responsibility of safeguarding the sentiments of emotionally unstable citizens.

Inspiration: Turkish pianist convicted of blasphemy

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Note: The author neither attempts to implement, nor endorses the implementation of a ‘Random Offensive Idea’. These dramatic/violent posts are purely satirical in nature.

United We Stand

Coexist

Calm Down, Angry Atheists

“Calm down? CALM DOWN? The whole planet’s being bombed back to the stone age, and there’s no stop to anti-science campaigning, and the women are being oppressed, and the people are dying, and money’s being wasted and..”

There, I got that out of your system for you. Now huddle up and listen..

This is an angry blog by an angry atheist. Most, if not all, posts here include detailed explanations of how religion’s messing up the world. But that’s not all I do. I publish a maximum of two or three blog posts a month, and then go hang out with my Muslim friends either in person or online. I haven’t had a God debate with them in ages, even though we often disagree on things because of our markedly different perspectives. Continue reading

The Muslim Feminist, and Other Mythical Beings

Calling oneself a feminist is an easy way to show the world how progressive and modern one is. It doesn’t require any real credentials either. If you say, “I’m a scientist”, you may be questioned about the nature of your research, and the degrees you hold. But granting yourself the title of a “feminist’ wins you a cheap nod, without any real inquiry to confirm if your claim is true.

A Muslim feminist does not exist. Trying to be one creates a kind of cognitive dissonance that can only be settled by:

a) Making extremely twisted and convoluted interpretations of straight-forward verses from the scripture

b) Drawing yourself away from the religion, or establish “separate magisteria” protocol, where your religious beliefs do not influence your social dealings. In other words, the word “Muslim” fades away until it becomes unreadable, and you’re left behind with just “feminist”. Continue reading

Gods that are made of Glass

I’m not a Hindu, nor do I have any real admiration for the philosophies of Vedanta. There is one story, however, that I’m quite fond of.

Swami Vivekananda during his journey through Kashmir, described as the “Earthly paradise”, came across a number of temples burnt to the ground by invaders. Countless images of the gods and goddesses, and other sacred relics, forever lost. It was at the temple of the Divine Mother Kali, that he fell down on his knees, overwhelmed by anguish. Anguish over his inability to prevent such desecration, and confusion over how the Goddess had allowed this sacrilege.

The Divine Mother Herself appeared before him and whispered, “Why does it it worry you, Vivekananda, if the invaders break my images? Do you protect me or do I protect you?”

In recent years, this story has gained immense popularity due to its relevancy to the raging debate on how to deal with blasphemers. I do not expect practising Muslims to be easily swayed by Hindu philosophies, but I do hope they’d  meditate on the message it bears. Continue reading