Monthly Archives: May 2010

Dear Muslims: It’s not you – it’s me.

So there’s been fuss in the atheist community about how a message was conveyed. (Shock, amazement, surprise!) And I’ve got an opinion about it. (Further astonishment!)

Everybody Draw Muhammad Day was met with mixed results. Commenters on several blogs have tried to compare the activities to throwing around racist slurs – an analogy which falls flat when one considers the fact that religious belief is something that can be consciously chosen, and that death and violence were threatened as a means of intimidating the participants.
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Ex-Christians have it easy…

Thoughts from a Godless Heathen has been added to The Atheist Blogroll. You can see the blogroll in my sidebar. The Atheist blogroll is a community building service provided free of charge to Atheist bloggers from around the world. If you would like to join, visit Mojoey at Deep Thoughts for more information. That said, let’s continue!

If you’ve got some time, I recommend perusing The Lens, a blog by my twitter friend Ali. Ali, a former Muslim, lends an interesting perspective on the intersection of religion and culture that I and many former Christians have likely never seen.

From what I’ve seen, Islam seems to be more deeply embedded in the culture of its followers than the beliefs of most Christians are embedded in theirs. This is something I’m only just coming to recognize, but it’s an important point. When I tell people I’m an atheist, they tend to get a little freaked out by it, but it doesn’t shake their world off of its foundations. When an ex-Muslim tells other Muslims that they’re an atheist, it’s not so simple. The Godless Monster related it this way over on Hemant Mehta’s blog:

I get sick and tired of running into other Arabs and have them ask me if I am Muslim and then hear them respond to my declaration of non-belief by saying, “No!!! Once a Muslim, always a Muslim! You can NEVER go back! Never say that!”
I had to fake I was a believer at a cousin’s funeral when I was in southern Lebanon last month. How humiliating. It just wears you down emotionally after awhile. The entire culture and religion is obsessed with compliance and subordination and woe be to those who rock the boat or betray their own kind as I have. You former Christians and Jews have no idea how lucky you are.

I agree, and the more horror stories I read from former Muslims, the more I realize how smoothly my ‘coming out’ has gone.