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Posted by on Jun 9, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Response to an Exhausted Muslim Woman

At Atheist Revolution, Vjack posted about the personal impact of negative attitudes toward Islam, commenting on Melody Moezzi‘s post on CNN Belief Blog about her being an exhausted Muslim woman pleading to give her a break when it comes to treating Islam as a totalitarian idea.

Sorry, no can do:

I wasn’t surprised by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s recent statement about a “problem within Islam.”

It’s not as though I’ve never heard anything like it before. I hear it all the time.

Still, his words  in response to a recent attack in London that left a British soldier dead  made me wonder: How might the public have reacted in a different context, had Blair replaced the word “Islam” with “Christianity” or “Judaism”?

I’m guessing not well.

Well, that’s the public’s problem. Any person who understands and respects reason should make statements about problems within irrational ideologies.

But Muslims are used to having their faith openly denigrated by public officials.

And I hope public officials start denigrating all of the other faiths. Irrational ideologies don’t deserve respect. I think Moezzi is right: this is religious privilege for all the other forms of irrationality – what Blair did should be standard treatment for any faith.

Today, I’m tired. So tired that I’m going to do something I’ve never done before. Not because I seek pity or sympathy, but because I think people should understand. Because maybe if they really understood, they’d stop.

Fallacy: appealing to emotion.

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to turn on the news and hear people repeatedly call your faith hateful and violent.

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to wait at a subway station next to an advertisement calling you a barbarian.

But your faith is hateful, violent and barbaric – it’s in the word: “faith”, rejecting evidence, accepting whatever they tell you, just because. It’s taking any premise for granted just because a so called holy man said so, it’s the basis for authoritarism, not questioning the authority, doing whatever it says, it’s abject obedience. How does anyone expect this not to be hateful, violent and barbaric? It’s bound to be so!

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to be vilified any time a man named Mohammed commits a crime.

If you don’t want to be vilified and lumped in with fundamentalists, here’s an easy fix to that: get a new holy book and a new imaginary friend.

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to find a death threat in your inbox.

Atheists know a lot about this – it’s a crime. You should report it to authorities!

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to be told that you can’t be a feminist and that so many of your gentlest brothers are misogynists, criminals or worse.

It’s not that you can’t, and it’s not that they are misogynists; it’s just that it’s incoherent. You can, and they’re not, but I woulnd’t like to be in any of your shoes when the cognitive dissonance starts!

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to see your people being slaughtered in the hundreds of thousands by state-sponsored terrorists, only to be called terrorists themselves for the crimes of a handful among them.

Finally, we agree on something: state-sponsored terrorism should stop!

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to have your own people call you a heretic when you’re fighting to defend their rights, while others call you a heretic for doing so.

Yeaah… that’s something you probably should talk with “your own people”. Or check your holy book. What do you consider to be a heresy, anyway?

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to be told to go back to your country when you’re in your country.

Islam is not a race, nor a nationality. What does these people’s ignorance has to do with anything?

I think Moezzi is wrong: she wants her faith to get special treatment, she wants it to get the benefits of saying “Religion” when someone is criticizing a terrible idea. She’s wrong. We’re on the right path: religions shouldn’t get free passes just because someone finds them sacred. They shouldn’t get any special treatment. All we gotta do now is start treating all the other religions the way we do with Islam.