Our existence is an offense to moderate Muslims!

I’m really not incredibly invested in these internecine BP conversations, but this kind of comment honestly convinces me of deep incommensurability:

Perhaps if you don’t go around publicly announcing that you are an ex-Muslim, you will face less problems.

There are lots of “Muslims” who barely practice the religion. But for form’s sake, we say that we believe in Allah and in the Prophet of God. Especially if we have family in Muslim countries.

First, I don’t face problems. But I sympathize with people who are being murdered on account of their irreligion in Muslim countries. I have friends who are Bangladeshi immigrants who were friends with people who were murdered for their lack of belief. It’s pretty disturbing.

So why do I announce my atheism? Because in this country I can. I’m an ex-Muslim only from the perspective of Muslims and anti-Muslim racists. The two groups actually agree on a lot. Because Muslims and anti-Muslims assume I’m a Muslim theist of some sort, of course, I have to announce it so they won’t be confused.

It’s my own conceit and privilege to be wedded more to substance than forms. Now, there are American Muslims like Omar Ali who seems at peace with the substance as well as privileges of Western liberalism (I believe the above individual is an American Muslim?). So I’m not going to full Islamophobe, but these sorts of attitudes suggesting it’s more seemly that we irtidads go back into the closet so preserve public sensitivities really make me suspicious of the Submitters.

I guess this sort of exchange has actually made me more sympathetic to “internet Hindus.” When judgment day comes, go with the side less likely to kill you!

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36 thoughts on “Our existence is an offense to moderate Muslims!”

  1. You started it with your “Are you going to kill us?” comment. That was disgusting and completely below the belt.

    In Islam, if one’s father is Muslim, one is Muslim. If you opt out, you are an apostate. These are not my personal opinions. This is reality. Poor Barack Obama had to keep saying he is a practicing Christian, because his father was Muslim and his middle name is Hussain. Of course, you live in the United States. Nothing is going to happen to you.

    Some of us have to live in Pakistan.

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  2. bro, u r taking a break!

    In Islam, if one’s father is Muslim, one is Muslim.

    yeah, in islam. in islam god also exists and muhammad is his prophet. both those are false 😉

    also, i’m just stating the mainstream muslim position re: apostasy and you know that. you muslims need to effect more of a cultural change so that radicals don’t use that to persecute people.

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    1. Religious beliefs are never false to those who believe them.

      You are seriously an obnoxious person. You may be a great “geneticist”, but you are seriously obnoxious.

      I am not your “bro” as I believe I have already mentioned. Never condescend to me again.

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      1. I am not your “bro” as I believe I have already mentioned. Never condescend to me again.

        bro, in islam all are brothers, even the kufar! 🙂 allah knows best, you don’t know if i’m going to hell or not. it’s preordained.

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        1. I don’t care if you go to hell. I am not judging you. God will.

          “bro” is a seriously condescending term. I have a name and you can use it.

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          1. Now, you are just pissing me off. “Bro” is so disrespectful and condescending.

            I am neither your employee (though this is “your” blog) nor your “bro”. If you prefer I delete all my posts and go, just say the word “bro”. You are a bully. That is exactly how one should describe “atheists” like you.

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  3. I really could not care less about you and your issues. Allah will judge. And I am confident that His judgement is far superior to mine, yours, or anyone else’s.

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  4. br* the day to day operation of the blog i pretty much leave to omar and zach. i only took interest due to zach’s distress. i have no interest in deleting your stuff.

    honestly i assumed i would take your side against the asshole internet hindus, whom i have tussled with. but i’ve updated my posterior probability a bit on that 😉

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  5. One final thing: “Moderate Muslim” is a stupid term. One is either a Muslim or one isn’t.

    We don’t speak of “Moderate Christians” or “Moderate Jews”. Why is it assumed that all Muslims are extremists and the one’s who aren’t have to preface “Moderate” before our religion so everyone knows that we aren’t going to go off the deep end?

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    1. Kabir you are dialoging with people who have studied Islam carefully for much of their lives. I use “moderate” as short hand for muslims who disagree with certain but not all ideas of Ibn Taymiyyah. [And yes we know that Ibn Taymiyyah at times flirted with aspects of what people today might call Sufism.]

      One reason that everything is not spelled out is because many nonmuslims are pretty atrocious. Muslims and pro muslim nonmuslims are often accused of sectarianism by nonmuslims. Many nonmuslims also accuse leading muslims and pro muslim nonmuslims of Islamaphobia–albeit less often. Under these circumstances it is much safer to say “moderate muslim” than risk politically correct mind control police. Or threats of violence. I have heard people accuse Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Sistani of Islamaphobia. If even he–who I think you would acknowledge is far greater than either of us–can be accused of such things . . . can you understand the incredible fear most muslims live under?

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      1. i dislike the term “moderate muslim”…but i don’t know anything about your religion kabir aside from the fact you are unlikely to be deboandi/salafi/etc. (if you are friends with zach). so i used it as a catchall. (also, though i dislike the term personally it’s pretty useful to communicate to other people who seem to have accepted it).

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        1. I am a Cultural Muslim. I sing Hindustani Classical Music. No “Islamist” would do that.

          Probably lots of people more Orthodox than me think I am going straight to hell. But again, Allah is the only judge.

          I am simply more inclined to be publicly respectful of the views of the Orthodox. Probably an effect of living in Pakistan, a country where one has to be careful what one says if one doesn’t want a blasphemy charge against one.

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          1. I hope the Lord of the MultiVerse is a pretty flexible deity. Would rather follow my atheist spouse into the dark gates of Hell than the pearly gates..

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          2. “I sing Hindustani Classical Music”

            Lots of Pakistani Muslims sing or listen to such music but still hold illiberal views.

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          3. I am simply more inclined to be publicly respectful of the views of the Orthodox. Probably an effect of living in Pakistan, a country where one has to be careful what one says if one doesn’t want a blasphemy charge against one.

            yeah. that’s reasonable. but there’s no reason you have to make a big deal of it online where authorities can’t blame you for not policing everyone. your comments make it sound like you agree with these norms/laws.

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    2. We don’t speak of “Moderate Christians” or “Moderate Jews”.

      in israel people do talk about jews in the same way. eg secular, religious nationalist or haredi (there are variants in btwn the three). the reason in the west you don’t talk about “moderate christians” or “god jews” is that they’re gelded religions, thank god.

      mormons for example don’t flip out over the “book of mormon” play, which is pretty blasphemous or funny depending on how you look at it. fundamentalist mormons are the inbred sex abusing sectarians, but they are a tiny minority.

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      1. It is assumed in the West that all Christians and Jews are “moderate” unless stated otherwise. You say “Evangelical Christians” to distinguish them from “moderate” Christians. All Muslims are “extremists” unless proven otherwise. That is a blatant double standard.

        There was a play some years ago called “Corpus Christi” in which Jesus was depicted as gay. Many American Christians lost their minds.

        Personally, I am even OK with “The Satanic Verses”. It’s a novel, after all. Yes, naming prostitutes after Rasul-e-Akram’s wives was offensive and gratuitous–but that is the author’s right.It just reflects his bad taste. I don’t think there should have been a fatwa against him or that he was “wajib ul qatal”. Rushdie is a great writer despite his obnoxious politics (and that the literary quality of his novels seems to get progressively worse each time). Though I can understand why someone would hate “Islam” after what he had to go through. However, it was not the fault of “Islam” but of the regime in Iran.

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        1. by happenstance i was in bangladesh when the satanic verses stuff happened. it was pretty wild. what i heard/saw is a different post.

          but you can look social survey results (you are a big fan of social science according to your comments), and see that western christians and jews are very secular on average. i grew up with lots of evangelicals. they didn’t like gays and they were creationists, but even they stopped short of violence. many muslims, even moderate ones, are quite proud that they defend their religion with violence. to be fair, this is a primitive behavior in general, as african christians do so, and so do hindus and sikhs. but muslims have the unfortunate reality of being concentrated in the violent 10-40 corridor.

          some of these views are why our prior is to assume muslims are not so moderate:
          http://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/2011/02/02/egypt-vs-indonesia-in-attitudes/

          (though i use moderate muslim to define ppl who are not fundamentalist, though many of these people are still quite illiberal)

          There was a play some years ago called “Corpus Christi” in which Jesus was depicted as gay. Many American Christians lost their minds.

          their “red line” is to say a lot of mean things. i’m fine with that. i say mean things too. though i believe the playright received death threats…though unfortunately that’s a dime a dozen.

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  6. I am violating my policy of not arguing with kabir, but I can’t help it.. What is so offensive about “bro”?

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    1. It is extremely condescending, especially when I have repeatedly asked him not to do it. As we say in Urdu, “Main apka naukar nahi hoon aur apka bhai bhi nahee hoon”.

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      1. Kabir, this is not a criticism in any way. I really don’t understand you. Life is short. Enjoy mystery. Why waste life feeling offended? If someone tried to offend me; that has nothing to do with me and should not affect me.

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  7. /@razib
    I guess this sort of exchange has actually made me more sympathetic to “internet Hindus.” When judgment day comes, go with the side less likely to kill you!/

    The most successful tactic used to convince people to join Hindutva is not theological, it is to point at others, especially Islam. However, Indian right wing is not evolved, has missed out on enlightenment, has no conservative principles like in west. They are dumber than one could hope for and they dont realize this , nor do they accept this even when pointed to. They have a serious competence problem. That means, eventually things might go really bad. In absence of competence, its just tribal war all around. what good is democracy in absence of competence to sort out the fundamental problems?. Eventually, “safety over freedoms” trade will happen , and it wont work in the way I hope for either. I realize that now, so I have given up on hope.

    My own journey began as a liberal who joined internet to convince fellow Hindus to turn liberal, I was instead turned into becoming conservative until I left. That is not who I am personally and not who I intended or intend to be. My reasoning was exactly the same. “pick the side less likely to kill you.”

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  8. Oh! some of the references to god here has opened my mouth quite wide. I am unable to properly close it still!

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  9. I agree with Kabir that Razib Khan is quite offensive. But then, I like it that way; shows me he has very little to hide.

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    1. I agree with Kabir that Razib Khan is quite offensive.

      bro, if i was a crier, i’d have a tear in my eye. thanks for the compliment. #dirtyKuffar

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    2. That is a good point – for instance in my personal experience I have always had trouble with my ethnic communities; Persian Bahais & Pakistanis.

      PBs are very silky and Paks are super-friendly initially but then relationships can be very rocky because then one discovers what is behind the face.

      It was interesting at my wedding on my side; the Persian Bahá’í & Pakistani combined quotient was much lower. However the non-Bahá’í Persian was very high, I have wanted to write on this but when I can Structure my thoughts..

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  10. Razib, I have encountered some Sufi Deobandi. There are many sects within Deobandi. But then you probably know a heck of a lot about the Deobandi. A question for you; have you met Bengali Deobandi?

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