Must Read Article: “What it is like to grow up in Hezbollah culture”

Enlightening, eye-opening, and extremely moving writing. Published in the superb blog, Between a Veil and a Dark Place, it’s called “What it is like to grow up in Hezbollah culture“. It’s a long article, but it’s worth your time, it’s also very hard to read at times but it’s worth your emotional investment too. You can read it as an excellent memoir, the author’s understanding of her own situation and description of events is so compelling that I would happily ask her to write a complete book about her memories. You can also read it as an eye-opener, to understand the situation and the historical context of Hezbollah in the Middle East, as all the necessary information is there. It’s the complete package.

Unfortunately, I haven’t read the rest of her articles myself – I’m still busy reading through Dan Finke’s and Kate Donovan’s blogs, and they both have proved a time consuming challenge together. But only looking at her titles, it seems we have some kind of common experience, in that both of us try to talk about the pain of living in Islamic world and then there are some people who have never set foot in Middle East who felt more qualified than us to explain to us about what has been an inseparable part of our lives. This is where the similarity ends though, my whole experiences don’t hold a candle to hers, her bravery, clarity, and depth of thought is something I can only be envious of.

Of course, I’m making it a priority to read everything, and judging by this one article I’m in it for a great ride. Read the article, bookmark the blog, and if you’d like, donate to keep her site going, which clearly comes at a great personal risk and cost.

The Ideology, the Believer, the Society, and the Text

The response to some of my earlier posts about Islam pointed out that there is some essentialism in my articles, and that I should simply say that Islam is “practiced” this way, or Muslims “believe” it this way, and to me all of this doesn’t necessarily point to a disagreement about Islam but a more fundamental disagreement about how ideology works. Without the intention to disprove the criticisms leveled at my previous posts, I simply want to express my own thoughts on this matter.

[Read more...]

Female Soccer Players Can Be Suspended for “Masculine” Behavior + Quality of Education and Religion in Iran

These are two posts from BBC Persian, the first dealing with Iranian female soccer players and the second with the negative way way religion affects education in Iran. The reports are of course in Persian, so here I present to you an English summary, as I find these issues worth reporting.

[Read more...]

So in Case You Were Wondering about the Names

What the hell On the Margin of Error is supposed to even mean? And do I have a reason for choosing Kaveh Mousavi as my pseudonym? Do these questions trouble your mind and haunt your dreams since this blog started yesterday?

What, no? OK then, I guess I’ll go ahead and answer them anyway.

[Read more...]

Is Islam a More Radical Religion? Part 2

Introduction: I am very excited and happy to be posting on Freethought Blogs, it is an honor and a great privilege. I want to thank everyone for providing this opportunity for me.


“There is no Islam except political Islam.” – Ruhollah Khomeini

This is a sequel to what I wrote previously and had appeared on Butterflies and Wheels and before that on The Proud Atheist. The responses and the reactions I got were very heartwarming. However, there was a valid criticism many people raised, and that was the fact that I had not touched upon the tenets and the philosophy of Islam itself. Point is, these two pieces were meant as one piece, but “it grew in the telling” and I decided to cut it there. The previous piece dealt with some difficulties associated with subjective fluid concepts such as radical and moderate, and it meant to prove that Muslims in Muslim-majority countries are more radical, and that a moderate Muslim in Iran is actually a radical Christian if he were transported to the United States.

[There’s also another valid criticism people raised, concerning the fact that Islamophobia is a real issue in the west and I might add to the arsenal of the bigots. I quite understand this objection. My article was retweeted by extreme right-wingers, and they used it to argue for things I completely opposed. This is something I will discuss later].

It brought up a legitimate question: is it the fault of the religion, really? Maybe Muslim countries are just poorer, maybe the tradition of tyranny prevails, maybe other socio-economic factors are involved. Maybe Islam is not intrinsically and inherently worse than Christianity or Buddhism.

But it is. In the following paragraphs, I’m going to enumerate the reasons that Islam is actually worse.

[Read more...]