Shame on women!

Even educated women still practice various customs, cultures and traditions that are anti-women.

Mangalsutra
A woman wears Mangalsutra, a black beads necklace, for her husband’s health and well-being. Would a man wear a Mangalsutra for his wife’s health and well-being? Hell no!

Sindoor

Married women wear vermilion or Sindoor on the forehead and along the hair parting line. The Sindoor symbolizes the deep respect, devotion and dedication of a Hindu woman to her husband. Would a married man wear Sindoor on his forehead for the same purpose? Hell no!

Sankha Pola Loha

Married women wear bangles: Sankha, Pola and Loha for husband’s health. Did a man ever wear Sankha, Pola, or Loha for his wife’s health? Hell no!

Bhai Phota

‘Bhai Phota’ is performed by women. They fast and put an auspicious mark with sandal wood paste on their brothers’ foreheads, feed them sweets, give them gifts and pray for their health, happiness and prosperity. Is there a system that a man also fast and put an auspicious mark on his sister’s forehead and pray for her health, happiness and prosperity? Hell no!


Karwa Chauth

People still believe that abstaining from meals, or fasting, can prolong the life of a loved one. Women fast for 24 hours to ensure that their husbands live long lives. Do men do the same for their wives? Hell no!

Touching husband’s feet

A woman bows her head, touches her husband’s feet, takes the dust from the feet and put them on her head on her wedding day to show her submission to her husband. Would a man ever do this? Hell no!

Jamai Sasthi or Son-in-law Day

Jamai Sasthi ritual is celebrated for health and well-being of son-in-law. The son-in-law is invited to a grand celebration in the house of his in-laws. He is served delicious food. Is it possible to have a similar celebration for health and well-being of daughter-in-law? Hell no!

There are hundreds of anti-women rituals that Hindu women perform without questioning. It is alarming that women still perform these rituals in the 21st century. Throughout history sane people have made many misogynistic cultures go extinct. But in some countries, patriarchal traditions are celebrated more ceremoniously than ever. You may say only illiterate women do it, women’s education will solve all the problems. But the truth is, educated women perform anti-women patriarchal rituals more perfectly than illiterate women, because educated women have better learning capacity. They learn every small details of patriarchy that illiterate women can not learn.

Who will fight misogynistic tradition if modern women remain busy practicing it? A few reformist men in the 19th century fought for abolishing Suttee (widow burning), for women’s education, and for widows’ remarriage. In the 21st century, a new set of enlightened revolutionary men is probably needed to save women from the darkness.

The Living Dead

Once upon a time widows were burned alive on their dead husband’s funeral pyres. It was believed that if a widow burn herself to death soon after her husband died, her husband would go to heaven and all his sins would be gone with the wind. Suttee or sati (“good woman” or “chaste wife”) was the Indian tradition of a widow burning herself. The practice of Sutee was banned in 1829.

‘Suttee was sometimes committed voluntarily, but cases of compulsion, escape, and rescue are known. Scattered instances of it continue to occur, most notoriously in the case of Roop Kanwar, an 18-year-old widow who committed suttee in 1987. The incident was highly controversial, as groups throughout India either publicly defended Kanwar’s actions or declared that she had been murdered.’

Religion supports widow burning.

‘The most sacred of Hindu scriptures are the Vedas, and the Rig Veda, the oldest Veda, explicitly sanctions the custom of Sati. The following famous `Sati Hymn’ of the Rig Veda has been recited during the actual immolation of the widow . Rig Veda 10.18.7 : ” Let these women, whose husbands are worthy and are living, enter the house with ghee (applied) as corrylium ( to their eyes). Let these wives first step into the pyre, tearless without any affliction and well adorned.’

Rise, come unto the world of life, O woman — come, he is lifeless by whose side thou liest. Wifehood with this thy husband was thy portion, who took thy hand and wooed thee as a lover. (RV 10.18.8)

The Garudapurana favourably mentions the immolation of a widow on the funeral pyre, and states that women of all castes, even the Candalla woman, must perform Sati. The only exceptions allowed by this benevolent author is for pregnant women or those who have young children. If women do not perform sati, then they will be reborn into the lowly body of a woman again and again till they perform Sati. [ Garuda.Purana. II.4.91-100 ]

* A sati who dies on the funeral pyre of her husband enjoys an eternal bliss in heaven [ Daksa Smrti IV.18-19 ] [ Sm.Samu p.30 ] [ 1200, p.65 ]

* According to Vasishta’s Padma-Purana, a woman must, on the death of her husband, allow herself to be burnt alive on the same funeral pyre

* Yajnavalkya, the most important law-giver after Manu, states that sati is the only way for a chaste widow [ Apastamba.I.87 ] [ 1200, p.65 ]

* The Yogini Tantra enjoins upon Brahmana widows to burn themselves on the funeral pyre of their husbands [ Yog.T. II.303-308 ]. Vaisya and Sudra widows were also allowed to do it. It was prohibited to unchaste women and those having many children. [ 1200, p.67 ]

* The Vyasa Smrti gives one of the two alternatives for a Brahmana widow, ie. either to become a sati or to take up ascetism after her tonsure [ Vyasa Sm. II.53 ] [ Sm.S. p.362 ]

Further, the Vishnusmirti gives only two choices for the widow:

Vishnu Smirti.XXV.14 : “If a woman’s husband dies, let her lead a life of chastity, or else mount his pyre”

– [ Vis.Sm. xxv.14 ] [ Clay.13 ]

Brahma is one of the main Aryan gods, being the creator of the world ( later he was identified as an incarnation of Vishnu ). One of the Puranas is named after him, the Brahma Purana. Like other Puranas, it was composed after the Vedas ( Pandits hold 4000 B.C., Indologists 700 B.C.) This scripture also sanctions sati:

Brahma Purana.80.75 : ” It is the highest duty of the woman to immolate herself after her husband “.

Long life is promised to the sati:

Brahma Purana.80.76, 80.77 : ” She [ the sati ] lives with her husband in heaven for as many years as there are pores in the human body, ie. for 35 million years.”

– [ Br.P. 80.76, 80.77 ] [ Sheth 103 ]

Vishnu Dharmasutra XXV.14 contains the statement: ” On her husband’s death, the widow should observe celibacy or should ascend the funeral pyre after him.”

Remember Rudyard Kipling’s poem The Last Suttee?

Widows are excluded from society.
There is a ceremony during the funeral of husband. Widows smash their bangles, remove their vermilion, colorful clothes and all jewelries they have been wearing. Widows have to wear simple white clothes. They are forced to shave their heads. They are not allowed to eat fish, meat, eggs, milk, onions, garlic and many different kinds of vegetable, animal products and spices. They have to fast many times a month. Widows are not thrown on the funeral pyres these days, but they are thrown on some other kinds of pyres. That is not any less traumatic.

There are more than 40 million widows in India. Most of them are ‘living dead’.

A widow’s family members would be excluded from the society if they didn’t respect to the restrictions society impose on widows. A widow is considered a bad omen, she is excluded from all auspicious events. In some cases even her shadow is considered polluting or offensive to society.

‘In India, widows are an invisible community. Although many widows are treated less harshly nowadays, they still face discrimination and neglect. People treat widowhood not as a natural stage in the life cycle of a woman, they treat it as some kind of an aberration. People accept death but do not accept widowhood. “Because somewhere in the Indian psyche, the woman’s identity is with the man and the minute he’s not there, it’s something that cannot be accepted.” Women are not considered as separate human beings. Your husband is dead, you are dead. The suffering of widows is one of the brutal consequences of patriarchy.

Shunned from society, widows flock to Vrindaban and Varanasi, pilgrimage towns to die. Young widows are often sexually exploited. Older women beg at temple gates. Some go to Ashrams where they chant prayers. For a four hour chant they can earn a cup of rice and 7 rupees( 12 cents).’

‘Hindu widows are not supposed to remarry. With little social or economic status, many become destitute. The truth is, women do not lose their dignity and basic rights when they lose their husbands. But our anti-women society do not like to think about women’s basic human rights.

What happens when a man’s wife dies? Is he treated as a bad omen? Is he excluded from all auspicious events? Does he stop eating certain food and stop wearing colorful clothes? Is he sent to a lonely place where he has nothing to do but to wait for his death? No. Men don’t get abandoned, they remarry young women and start a new life.

You can always watch Water, a great movie. The story of an eight-year-old widow.

Resistance against intolerance

For ages, nobody drew Muhammad. Artists freely drew the Virgin Mary, Jesus the Christ, Gautama the Buddha, Hindu gods and goddesses, and whoever else that they liked. But Muhammad, fanatics have objected to his being drawn even though Muslim artists drew him in the Middle Ages. Recently someone broke the rule. A Danish cartoonist drew Muhammad. It was obvious he was angry with Muhammad’s followers who were terrorizing the world.

And then the whole world witnessed madness. The followers burned down everything and killed people. The artist had to go into hiding to save his life. The world was shocked. People became angry with the followers who were issuing fatwas and death threats against people whoever criticized Islam. They were behaving like a bunch of monsters. Monsters do not believe in democracy, human rights and freedom of expression.

Resistance against violation of freedom of expression grew. As a protest, people who believe in freedom of expression started drawing Muhammad. They even created a ‘Everybody Draw Muhammad Day.’ Muhammad was portrayed as a wise man or a saint in medieval times, but he is portrayed as a crooked man or a terrorist today even by peace-loving people who did not hate the prophet before, not even after 9/11. All artists are not peace-loving. There are some artists in the crowd who praise their own religion but criticize Islam. They draw Muhammad and pretend to be believers of freedom of expression.
It is true that if Muslim fanatics did not show their intolerance towards the Danish cartoonist, nobody would have started drawing Muhammad.

Let’s see Muhammad through the eyes of medieval artists.

Today’s pictures about Muhammad are almost all offensive, for freedom of expression encourages variety, and this has resulted in the prophet’s followers ruining his reputation.

The Internet is now flooded with Muhammad cartoons. Large numbers of professional and amateur artists have been drawing Muhammad since 20 May 2010. So how many artists do the fanatics hope to kill? Are they ignorant of the fact that throughout history whenever there is intolerance there is a resistance? When Christian churches ruled, they terrorized the world and killed those who committed blasphemy. Resistance grew, however, and the churches lost their power. In a free society today, Christian fanatics cannot harm those who loudly say, “Fuck you, Jesus!”

Therefore, God exists.

 

I asked my mother, ‘How do you know God exists?’

My mother could not answer immediately. After thinking about it for a while, she told me, ‘Look at the butterflies, how did they get  so many beautiful colors? Look at the flowers, how do they get their fragrances? What about jackfruits? Who put all the small pieces so nicely inside the fruits? How did they become sweet? Who put water inside coconut?  These prove that God exists.’

I was twelve years old.  I was laughing at my mother.  Yes, I  know well that  there are  hundreds of proofs of God’s existence.

 

A group of  believers  showed  me a tomato and a carrot as proof of God.

 

Another group of believers showed  the pair of  radish as a proof of God.

 

People find Jesus in everything.  Virgin Mary cries.   They see the name of Allah everywhere.  Hindu God drinks milk. So, God has to exist.

 

There are evidences for evolution. And those evidences are the proofs of God’s non-existence. We really do not need any watermelon miracle to prove that there is no God. Believers need miracles to defend their stupidity.

 

 

”Islam gives women freedom!”

Most people say, women choose to wear the burqa. Why hasn’t a single man ever chosen to wear the burqa if it is a matter of choice?

I have heard that under the burqa it’s an Italian woman who recently converted to Islam.

How can they bear such a humiliation! Is it because they, too, believe that women are born with the wrong gender!

They are women, inferior beings. They are slaves, men’s private properties. They have to feel ashamed of their bodies. They have to hide their bodies because they are objects who can stir men’s sexual thoughts. Every woman is a potential inducement to sin. Women are filthy, faceless. They are mobile prisons. Islamists, apologists for Islam, and some human rights organizations including Amnesty International are against burqa ban. They think women’s prisons are women’s freedom.

Let’s help women who are forced to wear the burqa, a symbol of oppression. Let’s help massively brainwashed women who wear the burqa for different silly reasons: Religious obligation, cultural tradition, religious freedom, exhibition of political Islam.

Are you an atheist? Better be a humanist.

Dear Alom Shaha,

Thank you for sending me your ‘The Young Atheist’s Handbook’. I haven’t started reading the book. But I’ve listened to your interview today. I understand what you have said.

I was thinking of Sam Harris’s recent article while listening to you. You probably have read the article. Sam Harris said TSA screeners at airports should not waste time screening old people, children, and others who do not look like Muslims and they should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim and they should be honest about it. Sam Harris’s Muslim-profile-program is more dangerous than the notorious Homeland Security program in the Bush era!

I never feel bad when I am asked to take my shoes, my belts, my jewelry, my scarves, my coats etc. off and to go through metal detectors repeatedly. I feel safe when I see people of all ages, of all colors, of all ethnicities, of all nationalities,of all genders, and of all beliefs get screened. I feel safe when I see a 2-year-old baby’s sandals and an 85-year-old wheelchair lady’s orthopedic footwear are removed for screening, for these are the things terrorists would think of using as shoe-bombs because these are the things people would not be suspicious about. It will scare the crap out of me if I see only ‘Muslims and Muslim-looking people’ are going through security screening and others are free to board a plane. If I see that Sam Harris without being properly screened is going to board the plane I am supposed to board, I would most likely decide to cancel my flight because I would be afraid of him. I would think that he accidentally carried a gun, and he would accidentally shoot people on the plane and I would accidentally die. I do not want to take any risk. Who knows, for he might get suddenly mentally sick and start thinking that all ‘Muslim looking people‘ are terrorists or they all are Osama Bin Laden and it is better to finish them off. I would not trust Muslim looking people, and I would also not trust Christian looking people, Jewish looking people, Hindu looking people, Jain looking people, Buddhist looking people, or any other religious looking people! How would I know about their plans!They may have some secret plans! Muslims have been terrorizing and killing people in many parts of the world. It is Muslims who become suicide bombers these days, but faith-heads of any religion can become suicide bombers. I would not trust even die hard atheists and die hard atheist looking people. They might think of blowing up the plane, because the plane is full of fucking believers! You never know.

We both look like South Asian. South Asian Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs,Parsis, Jews, Bahá’ís, Bramhas, Animists as well as atheists look more or less the same. How would Sam Harris identify Muslims? It will really be a tough job for him or anyone else. If we are identified as ‘Muslim looking people’, then we will have to spend more time going through rigid security checks than Sam Harris inasmuch as he does not look Muslim. But we are not any less godless than Sam Harris! The question of identification of Muslims is very much related to the color of skin.

It is true that fear, hatred, and hostility of some Western people toward Islam and Muslims helped to make Muslims all over the world more religious, more fundamentalists, and more terrorists. We who were born into Muslim families but became atheists and have been fighting Muslim fundamentalism for decades know very well how difficult this fight has become.

We know there is a conflict. But the conflict is not between the West and Islam. Or West and East, or Christianity/Judaism/Hinduism and Islam. The conflict is between secularism and fundamentalism, between rational logical minds and irrational blind faith, between innovation and tradition, between humanism and barbarism, between the future and the past, between the people who value freedom and the people who do not.

Atheists need more enlightenment to become humanists. I dream of a day when all atheists will be free from racism, misogyny,homophobia,megalomania and other silly things.

Humanistically

Taslima

All great feminists are atheists

‘The church is a terrible engine of oppression, especially as concerns women.’–Elizabeth Cady Stanton

‘I have endeavored to dissipate these religious superstitions from the minds of women, and base their faith on science and reason, where I found for myself at last that peace and comfort I could never find in the Bible and the church…The less they believe, the better for their own happiness and development…

For fifty years the women of this nation have tried to dam up this deadly stream that poisons all their lives, but thus far they have lacked the insight or courage to follow it back to its source and there strike the blow at the fountain of all tyranny, religious superstition, priestly power, and the cannon law.’ –Elizabeth Cady Stanton

”We would be 1,500 years ahead if it hadn’t been for the church dragging science back by its coattails and burning our best mids at the stake.”–Catherine Fahringer

”The tragedy is that every brain cell devoted to belief in the supernatural is a brain cell one cannot use to make life richer or easier or happier.” –Kay Nolte Smith

”It is impossible to exaggerate the evil work theology has done in the world.”–Lydia Maria Child

”There is yet another consideration which is fatal to the Christian religion, and that is its persecuting spirit. It calls in the aid of Ecclesiastical and civil laws, and the iron hand of custom to condemn, and if possible to punish those who may express different opinions to its own…Perish the cause which has no more rational argument in its favour than that which the stake or prison can supply.” –Emma Martin

”Christianity is an insult to the wisdom of the nineteenth century. To place before its progress and development a leader, ruler, king, saviour, god, whose knowledge was less than a modern five year old school girl, is an outrage upon humanity.”–Ella E. Gibson

”Possessing no proof of its (God’s) existence, the church has ever fostered unintelligent belief. To doubt her “unverified” assertion has even been declared an unpardonable sin.”–Matilda Joslyn Gage

”There is no book which tells of a more infamous monster than the Old Testament, with its Jehovah of murder and cruelty and revenge, unless it be the New Testament, which arms its God with hell, and extends his outrages throughout all eternity.” –Helen H. Gardener

”Less power to religion, the greater power to knowledge.”–Hypatia Bradlaugh Bonner

”Let us inquire what glory there was in an omnipotent being torturing forever a puny little creature who could in no way defend himself? Would it be to the glory of man to fry ants?”-Charlotte Perkins Gilman

”A believer is not a thinker and a thinker is not a believer .”–Marian Noel Sherman

”Ethical teaching is weakened if it is tied up with dogmas that will not bear examination.”–Margaret Knigh

”The greatest contribution nonbelievers have made to the world has been the Constitution of the United States. Consider how very heretical to a religious world was the idea of a Constitution predicated on “We the People.”‘-Siver Queen

“The religious scriptures are nothing but rules and laws made by men. Whatever you hear from the priest, may have been the opposite to what a woman priest would say. No one can say the religious Scriptures are really the revelation of God. Men has advertised them as the revelation of God to keep the womankind in dark.”–Begum Rokeya

”There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as the Dark Ages.”-Ruth Hurmence Green

”It’s an incredible con job when you think about it, to believe something now in exchange for something after death. Even corporations with their reward systems don’t try to make it posthumous.”–Gloria Steinem

The great feminist Robin Morgan is talking about the importance of separation of church and state.

Mary Wollstonecraft, Simone de Beauvoir, Anne Royall, Harriet Martineau, Lydia Maria Child, Ernestine L. Rose, Margaret Fuller, Emma Martin, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy N. Colman, George Eliot, Susan B. Anthony, Ella E. Gibson, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Lucretia Mott, Frances Wright, Betty Friedan, kate millett, Germaine Greer, Katherine Hepburn, Sonia Johnson, Lois Waisbrooker, Elmina D. Slenker, Lillie Devereux Blake, Marilla Ricker, Annie Besant, Susan H. Wixon, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Helen Gardener, Ellen Battelle Dietrick, Josephine K. Henry, Clara Zetkin, Etta Semple, Hypatia Bradlaugh Bonner, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Voltairine de Cleyre, Emma Goldman, Zona Gale, Margaret Sanger, Marian Sherman, Dora Russell, Meridel Le Sueur, Margaret Knight,Katha Pollitt, Barbara Smoker,Polly Toynbee,Joan Smith, Jennifer Hecht, Queen Silver, Vashti McCollum, Ruth Hurmence Green, Catherine Fahringer, Susan Jacoby, Meg Bowman, Barbara G. Walker, Rosalind Franklin, Sherry Matulis, Kay Nolte Smith, Sonia Johnson, Louise Antony, Meera Nanda, Gisèle Halimi, Barbara Ehrenreich, Ayn Rand, George Sand, Gloria Steinem, Robin Morgan, Andrea Dworkin, Nawal El Saadawi, Lucy Parsons, Antoinette Fouque, Eve Ensler, Meredith Tax, Begum Rokeya, Sukumari Bhattacharji, Maitreyi Chatterjee are among tens of thousands of atheist feminists and female atheist writers/philosophers/playwrights/actresses/artists/astronomers/physicists/scholars etc.

Obama should end National Day of Prayer. God & government are a dangerous mix.

”You know who I pray to? Joe Pesci. Two reasons; first of all, I think he’s a good actor. Ok. To me, that counts. Second; he looks like a guy who can get things done. Joe Pesci doesn’t fuck around. In fact, Joe Pesci came through on a couple of things that god was having trouble with. For years I asked god to do something about my noisy neighbor with the barking dog. Joe Pesci straightened that cock-sucker out with one visit. ” — George Carlin

The USA has a bizarre thing called National Day of Prayer. It is an annual day of observance held on the first Thursday of May, designated by the United States Congress. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Its  constitutionality  is being challenged in court by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

“The Freedom From Religion Foundation is urging President Obama to protect freedom of conscience by ending the unconstitutional National Day of Prayer. The  Foundation needs 25,000 signatures before May 31.

Please sign  ‘We the People’ petition.   ‘We the People’ is set up by the White House to offer the public a way to petition the President.

 

End the unconstitutional National Day of Prayer, which violates the 1st Amendment. God and government are a dangerous mix.

Congress, in 1952, abridged freedom of conscience when, at the instigation of Rev. Billy Graham, it designated a National Day of Prayer, ordering the President to proclaim “a National Day of Prayer, on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.”

The U.S. President has neither the moral nor the constitutional authority to dictate to Americans to pray, much less to tell citizens what to pray about or set aside an entire day for prayer.

Whether to pray, or believe in a god who answers prayer, is an intensely precious, personal decision protected under our First Amendment as a paramount matter of conscience.

Don’t let Christian evangelicals hijack our secular Constitution.

 

A globalized stupidity. It’s  called  ‘World Day of Prayer’.  The sad thing is, it is organized by women.  Prayers are contagious.    There is a  Global Day of Prayer too. They have funny  prayer alert.  If the USA continues to celebrate National Day of Prayer, many countries will be influenced by the USA and will start celebrating  prayer day by violating constitution.

Many  countries  mix gods and governments.  But the separation of religion and state is urgently necessary.  We do not need god’s inhuman, barbaric, unethical laws.  We do not want  anyone  to  say  that god created some people rich and some people poor, to justify the gap between rich and poor. We do not want anyone to   justify women’s oppression  by saying  men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other.

 

I respect  Jessica Ahlquist for her fight to get a prayer banner removed from her  school.   We need more Jessica. We need  organizations like  Freedom From Religion Foundation in every country. We need to fight ignorance. We need to secularize the world.  No  sane person wants a National Day of Superstition.