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Apr 16 2014

“Coming Out Atheist” by Greta Christina: A Must-Read Book

Today Greta Christina’s book, Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why came out. I have read the book and I absolutely loved it. I want to tell you why I loved it, my thoughts about coming out as an atheist in Iran (as a theocratic country).

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Apr 16 2014

Make Sure to Check Out Steve Zara’s Videos

Steve Zara is a British scientist and atheist. I follow him on Twitter and Facebook. His take on matters is always thought-provoking and deeply ethical, and you can never disregard his reasoning and positions even if you disagree (and we sometimes do). He also writes a blog which is equally thought-provoking and I have learned a lot from it. Now, he has started a vblog, that is, a video blog on YouTube, and I strongly recommend you all to subscribe and to watch every video. You will learn something, whether you agree or not. Here is his first video:

Apr 15 2014

Iranian Conservatives Threaten Riots If Richard Nelson Frye Buried in Isfahan

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This is another story that shows how vapid and inhumane the Iranian conservatives are. Richard N. Frye passed away few week ago, and he had left a will asking to be buried in Isfahan, on the bank of Zayandeh River. Now the Iranian conservatives are throwing a sissy fit.

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Apr 14 2014

Update on UN Appointee Controversy

If you remember, I already covered the controversy over Iran’s envoy to the UN. The controversy is that Aboutalebi was allegedly among the students who raided the US embassy in Iran in 1979, taking hostages for 444 days, which caused the two countries to have their relationships sour which has caused most of the problems Iranians face until today. Aboutalebi has denied having a role in the hostage taking and he says he was merely an interpreter. Now, the story has considerably developed. Aboutalebi has been formally named the Iran’s envoy to the UN, Congress has overwhelmingly joined the Senate and the bill to deny him the US visa has passed, and the White House has announced that the US will not grant him a visa. Iran has formally complained to the UN saying that withholding visa is against the international laws.

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Apr 13 2014

An Open Letter To James Croft About How to Criticize Islam

James Croft has written this article, called “Responsible Religious Criticism: Part One – Questions of Power” back in May 2013, but he has reposted it on his Facebook wall because of the recent controversy over Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I give my own reply to it here. I’m personally a huge fan of James Croft, I love his work. In this post I disagree with what he says, and I’m going to address him – it feels more comfortable. I’m not going to quote him here, I’ll write with a supposition that you have already read his piece.

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Apr 12 2014

Link Round-Up #2

First off, I didn’t know siblings day existed. Happy siblings day! I don’t have any siblings, so I’ll celebrate with this picture instead:

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Now on to the links!

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Apr 11 2014

A Thought Experiment

I have a thought experiment! Take a look at these sentences.

A: “I’m a libertarian. I believe in free market. I think free market only happens when everybody is taxed at least 90%, and the government owns everything and there is no private sector. That’s what Ayn Rand really meant.”

B: “I’m a Marxist. I believe that the correct interpretation of Socialism is to make sure workers have no right and that profit is more important. Like what happens in China. That’s what Karl Marx really meant.”

C: “I’m a feminist, but I believe work place equality is wrong and women should remain at home and only raise children. That’s what Mary Wollstonecraft really meant.”

D: “I’m a Muslim. I think Islam is a religion of peace and jihad is actually peaceful struggle, and that men and women are equal in the Quran. That’s what the Prophet Mohammad really meant.”

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Apr 10 2014

More Thoughts on Ayaan Hirsi Ali

I posted this originally on James Croft’s Facebook page. It included other people too, but I’m only posting my own thoughts. Might be an asshole move, but I feel what I said is important and I want to share it. Sorry for the one-sided conversation.

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Apr 09 2014

Brandeis Snubs Ayaan Hirsi Ali

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This is simply outrageous. Via The Times of Israel (thanks to Colnago80 for sharing the link):

After taking heat from some of its own over a decision to grant an honorary degree to an advocate for Muslim women who has made comments critical of Islam, Brandeis University withdrew the planned honor Tuesday night.

The university said in a statement that Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali would no longer receive the honor at the May 18 commencement.

Ali, a member of the Dutch Parliament from 2003 to 2006, has been quoted as making comments critical of Islam. That includes a 2007 interview with Reason Magazine in which she said of the religion, “Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace. I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars.”

Brandeis, outside Boston in Waltham, Mass., said it was not aware of Ali’s statements earlier.

This is only another sign of how tough it is for ex-Muslims – I can’t believe anyone would have cared if an ex-Christian or an ex-Jew had said these about those religions. She is a brave and outspoken defender of women’s rights – but I guess fighting FGMs is less important than making sure that the tender hearts of Muslims is not hurt by criticism. Brandeis University is cowardly, lying, (how the hell could they not know Ali was critical of Islam?), and pathetic.

You know what, Brandeis? Your loss. She would give more credit to your lousy doctorate than you would give her.

I’m angry.

Apr 09 2014

Ex-Muslim Iranian Interview #1: Shayan

This weblog is some kind of megaphone for me, a single Iranian ex-Muslim atheist. I thought I could use it to tell the story and amplify the voice of other Iranian ex-Muslims, so from now on I’m going to interview some Iranian atheists anonymously and ask them to tell their story. This is the first one, Shayan, a friend of mine. I have asked the questions and he has answered them.

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