‘Smart’ Islamists!

Some Islamists are quite smart.
Tariq Ramadan is.
Mehdi Hasan is.
Mehdi Hasan looks smart, he sounds smart. He knows smart street-magician-tricks. He studied at smart universities. He is smart when he debates, he argues, he attacks. But his smartness ends here. Like any moron, he sincerely believes all the Islamic fictions as facts. For example, he believes Muhammad went to heaven on a winged horse. He can not be truly sharp and smart. He foolishly tried to be smart by revealing his beliefs in Islamic fairy tales and superstitions while interviewing Richard Dawkins.

I am surprised how the same Mehdi Hasan, the Islamist, the believers of buraq, the winged horse, won the oxford union debate on Islam is not a peaceful religion.

He says Islam is a peaceful religion because not all Muslims believe in violence, and once upon a time some Muslims were mathematicians. Nobody denies the facts that most Muslims do not commit violence and once upon a time some Muslims were mathematicians. We do not deny that Islam was a powerful force for change, expanding throughout the world and winning the hearts of the multitudes. Islamic civilization was the richest and most advanced civilization in the world during the early Middle Ages, particularly in the mid-eighth through the mid-eleventh centuries, and perhaps reached its peak during the ninth century. In comparison, the culture of Europe crept far behind. But it does not prove that Islam is a religion of peace. It does not delete the pages of the Quran that asks to kill infidels and non-Muslims. Now, even if 99.99% Muslims do not terrorize the world and o not kill infidels and non-Muslims, it is still not a proof of Islam being peaceful. The truth is, there is no difference between the Islam of the 7th century and the Islam the terrorists use today.

Mehdi Hasan said that some Muslim philosophers helped Europe to be enlightened. But he did not say why those philosophers did not help Muslim countries to be enlightened! The Bible teaches that the children of adulterous women should be killed ( (Revelation 2:22-23 ). But the truth is, the vast majority of Christians do not kill the children of adulterous women. It doesn’t mean that the Bible doesn’t teach that adulterous women’s children should be killed. It means that the vast majority of Christians do not think it is a good idea to kill the children of adulterous women. Similarly most Muslims do not think it is a good idea to terrorize the world and kill people. Most people of all religions just want to live their life comfortably and peacefully. Their wishes of not being involved in terrorist activities are not related to the teachings of the Quran and the Hadiths. The credit for most Muslims being non-evil, should not go to religions, but should go to the people who have been influenced by the golden rule and a century-long human rights movements, the credit should go to the people who have learned to restrain themselves from doing religious crimes.

Mehdi Hasan, the followers of a charlatan’s religion, does not deserve to win the Oxford Union debate. But we all know that shit happens.

Religion is like a bad virus!

Richard Dawkins wrote about sexual apartheid in UCL.

When he got to the meeting he discovered that actually the seating in the auditorium was indeed segregated by sex. There was a men’s section, a women’s section, and a “couples” section. Did the “couples” have to produce a marriage certificate, one can’t help wondering? And, while wondering such things, what would have been the reaction of the audience if they had been segregated, as in apartheid South Africa, into a black section, a white section and a “coloureds” section?

It was actually like Saudi Arabia, the audience was segregated into a men section and a women section. Lawrence Krauss took a good decision to leave. He should have refused to return to that auditorium of gender segregation.

University College, London is celebrated as an early haven of enlightened free thinking, the first university college in England to have a secular foundation, and the first to admit men and women on equal terms.

It is so sad to see that Islamization is not limited to Muslim majority countries, or Islamic republics –the vultures are spreading wings–Western secular countries are now targets. But not in the allies, or mosques, or Muslim neighbourhood, it is in the places of enlightenment, the places that educate students about the equal rights of women, and encourage them to fight against misogyny, sexual apartheid or gender segregation.

Richard Dawkins asked a very important question:

Isn’t it really about time we decent, nice, liberal people stopped being so pusillanimously terrified of being thought “Islamophobic” and stood up for decent, nice, liberal values?

Yes, it is time to revolt or it will be too late. We decent, nice, liberal people do not want to see that UK is having sharia laws, girls get whipped in public for wearing trousers, people get beheaded in car park, women get stoned to death in the middle of the Hyde Park.

‘Religion has no place in the 21st Century’

Do Cambridge students really believe that religion has a place in the 21st century? Or they liked what Rowan Williams said because he said nicely and softly? Cambridge students voted 324 versus 138 against the idea of having no place for religion in the 21st Century. Richard Dawkins may have been defeated in the debate, but it’s true what he said that ‘as the century goes by, religion has less and less place to exist. It’s high time to send it packing.”
Your victory has no value if you win a debate by denying the truth.

”As religion declines, we are becoming ever more civilized”.

Evolutionary science shows we do not need religion to have order and even courtesy in relationships. True. But the statement like ‘male generally provides protection and food. Male and female have very different genetic interests. Male persuades lots of female to mate with him. Female persuades one male to be loyal and faithful to her and to provide for economic upbringing of her offspring’ sounds outdated. Is it to justify patriarchy?

Why I am a Feminist – Aron Ra

Warning: I’m about to voice my opinion on feminism and misogyny in the freethought community. Get out while you can. I know I should keep my mouth shut like I have done for the whole last year, but I’ve I decided not to take my own advice anymore.

When I was a little boy, (we’re talking 1971 here) my deeply religious babysitters told me that women could never fly fighter jets because of alleged differences in their depth perception, or their physical center of gravity altering their sense of balance, or the ways in which female brains reportedly processed information differently than the brain of a male.

This is just one example of sexual inequality being alleged as a biological fact. While I concede there are a few things most women can’t do as well as some men -owing to a proportion of upper body strength, that just might be the limit of justifiable reasons for gender restrictions. That is as much credence as I can give to that. So women shouldn’t be expected have fair odds against men of equal weight in a boxing ring. What about beyond that?

I knew a woman who was six feet tall and could bench 270lbs. She could be an ambulance paramedic because she could meet the criteria -where a lot of men could not. That’s what matters. Maybe that’s how my metric differs from the norm of earlier generations. Now what if the job is not physically demanding in that specific area? How could there be any difference then? I don’t think there is.

I know of one case where a female pilot killed 20 people in a helicopter crash. I doubt her gender could have played any role in that at all. If it was her fault, I would sooner blame the fact that the military put a difficult and dangerous multi-million-dollar aircraft in the hands of a teenager. Perhaps any pilot who was old enough to qualify for commercial insurance should have done better?

My wife often laughs at me for being “roaringly heterosexual”, but I am also one of those atypical freaks who finds intelligence sexy. Cute cannot compensate for dumb, and one certainly is not the other. If a woman shows that she is actually smarter than I am, oh honey! I know; there are not many other men like that.

It’s not about sex either. There are many women in the secular movement with commercial-grade comeliness, and I am proud that they count me among their peers, but that’s not the criteria by which we are associated, obviously. Some of my favorite heroes are women; Boadicca, Hypatia, Ruslana. When I say that I respect a woman for her mind, I actually mean it, and not in the same tongue-in-cheek fashion as saying that I read Playboy for the articles.

At the same time, I can’t simply turn off hard-wired hormonal responses to sexual stimuli. For example, it has often happened that I may be amongst a number of sharp-witted women intellectually analyzing subjects of scientific substance with profound perspective, and there I am, suddenly –helplessly- focused on some elegant lass who casually passed with a fabulous ass, and befuddled my brilliance, rebooting my brain in mid-debate. I don’t always possess the necessary class to conceal such embarrassing distractions discretely.

Still I won’t support or defend a policy prohibiting or inhibiting women from wearing ‘sexualized’ clothing at skeptics conferences; vendors or not, doesn’t matter. I know it’s mostly nerds at these sorts of things, but it still doesn’t take that much research for anyone to figure out how to blend in or stand out appropriately. I wouldn’t dictate how someone else dresses. Speaking personally, even having such a rule seems unnecessarily prudish.

I have even heard a suggestion that speakers in skeptical events should be prohibited from engaging in carnal liaisons with any attendees who were not also on stage. This is just absurd. The excuse is that there is supposedly some unequal power issue which leaves those in the audience being treated like doe-eyed sycophants –not by the expectedly exploitive speakers, but by the policy itself. I know from experience that occurrences of adulation are relatively rare, and typically concern only legally responsible adults. So why should there even be a rule like that one?

Mind you, while I have been on stage a few times myself, I have no bias on this point to influence my objectivity. I am married, and my wife and I prefer not to ‘swing’. Another reason I might avoid such judgments is that I have the advantage of sufficient social skills that I know there are behavioral boundaries. Even if I’ve had a few drinks, I still know there’s a line there, and I don’t always need to venture toward it. A lot of other people aren’t aware there should even be a line, and that’s only part of the problem.

Even though I’m neither popular nor important enough to be invited to TAM or Skepticon, it sometimes happens that I am asked to participate at atheist events. Once I even shared the stage with Richard Dawkins and Rebecca Watson at the same time. That was a stunning revelation. Watson was supposed to talk about ‘communicating atheism’, but instead she used her time to explain how uncomfortable feminism is in the secular movement. What was shocking about that were the comments on the video once it was uploaded to my channel. Anyone who thinks she exaggerated, or who doesn’t believe there is a problem with sexism in secularism need only read a few of those posts, especially the early ones; they vindicated all the horrible things she listed about the vile sexist threats she spoke of.

Understand that I do not say any of this to fit in or be popular. I don’t think it is possible to comment on this topic at all and still be popular in this movement anymore. But I sincerely do not understand hate, nor why other people fixate on negativity. It’s just not the way I think. There is a positive aspect to nearly all our experiences. If you can’t find something good, at least allow yourself to be impressed, because sharing the things you love is what will endear you to others. Seriously, nobody cares about what you hate, and you shouldn’t either.

So I don’t get the sort of mindset which sets any demographic as being superior or inferior to another in vague general terms. Specific arguments of that sort are at least possible, though I can’t remember ever seeing one. Being a white male from a fairly insular upbringing, I may not be very observant of that sort of thing. There were a lot of bigots in my own family once upon a time, but now my more-ethnic friends have to tell me about the prejudice they’ve encountered, or else I wouldn’t know that still goes on.

I was equally unaware of misogyny, and by that I mean REAL misogyny, not just guys being heterosexual. There has to be socially acceptable means of having a healthy sex-life, of seeking and inviting partners to pursue such basic biological drives with mutual benefits. No, a misogynist is not simply responding to his hormones; he is making a hate claim, portraying women as subordinate, subservient, insufficient, and somehow deserving of disrespect or even abuse. I honestly do not understand how even the most hateful bigots can take that stance.

The shocking part of all these recent controversies to me is not that misogyny exists outside the world and works of Martin Luther, but that it somehow thrives today, and that it still exists in the freethought community of all places. How could it? Who else has a more progressive perspective, with the most tolerant attitudes, and the most advanced ideas? How could such a despicable disposition, so repugnant, so medieval, remain at all in any group that includes so many Star Trek fans? Have we learned nothing from the next gen?

My atheist cat

She is Minu the philosopher. A 7-year-old cat. She was born in India. She does not believe in god. She laughs at humans when they practice religion. She gets angry with humans because they practice a cruel, disgusting, dehumanizing, unjust caste system.

She believes in evolution.

Minu used to believe that cats were first domesticated in ancient Egypt around 4000 years ago. But she recently started believing that cats were domesticated in Asia 10,000 years ago around the time of the development of agriculture. She learned that a 9,500 years old Neolithic grave was excavated in Cyprus that contained the skeletons of a human and a cat.

I have no idea why she thinks that Himalayan snow leopard is her ancestor.

What about Bast or Bastet, Egyptian Cat-Goddess? I asked her.
She told me that throughout history ignorance encouraged people to worship things. She thinks every human and animal should live with head held high, with dignity and honor. I said, ‘What about me, some of my friends say I worship my adopted daughter!’ Minu smiled, ‘They are so jealous of you! I know you treat me like your boss. It is alright. But I will never let you worship me. I am no Goddess. Actually there is no such thing as God or Goddess!’

Minu the philosopher loves to study physics. I sleep but she would stay up late at night studying. Her favorite physicists are Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, Lawrence Krauss.

She likes to read Richard Dawkins. She has just finished reading The Magic of Reality.I met Richard Dawkins at Reason Rally in Washington DC in April this year. We both were invited at American Atheist convention. After his lecture he signed his Magic book for Minu the philosopher. Minu was so happy! She sent Dawkins an email, ‘Uncle Richard, Many thanks for the autograph. You help me to open my eyes to the wonderfulness of the truth and the poetry of the universe.’

She is now having a Twitter account . But she is too busy studying and thinking and writing. She doesn’t get much time to tweet.

She doesn’t study all day long. Sometimes she likes to do other things too. After reading newspapers in the morning or after having her lunch, she takes a nap.

She is against war and bloodshed. She believes if humans did not spend their enormous amount of money to make weapons of mass destruction, they could provide food,shelter,education, health care, job for every human in the world including cats and other domestic animals.

Minu is so worried about me. When Mullahs issue fatwas or demand for my execution by hanging, she desperately tries to find me a hiding place.

She shared her bed with her aunt who came to visit her a few months ago. She slept exactly the way her aunt slept.

Minu could not accept the idea that she would live with humans who kill each other everyday because of their belief in God. She was so sick and tired with human society that she decided to leave. She left for jungle but came back after a couple of days because she realized that she loved me very much and she wouldn’t be able to live without me.

She has recently visited President Obama. It’s an interesting story. She paid $5 dollar to buy a ticket for a chance to attend the fund-raising dinner at George Clooney’s house in LA. She was so lucky! she got an invitation letter and flight tickets. They did not know that she was a cat. The brave girl flew to LA but was kept in quarantine at the airport.
She is a cat from a 3rd world country! It was not easy for her to enter a rich country! Animal rights organizations wrote letters to Obama. She was then released and joined the party. She bought a nice black dress to dance with Obama and Clooney. BTW, She almost fell in love with Clooney.

She is now busy in preparation for writing her memoir. She doesn’t have time to chat with me or watch TV or talk with her friends on her iPhone or tweet or facebook. She needs to read some of the autobiographical works before writing her memoir. One of the books she has chosen to read is my ‘My Girlhood’.