Atheists taking pot shots at feminism ?

Many a time I had seen this, both online and offline, in the West and in the East. I never understood the logic and reason behind it. It seems some atheists just hate feminism, though they claim themselves to be feminists.

I just happened to see this tweet this morning.


What did he mean ?  His tweet is addressing feminists. He is implying that ALL feminists will criticise patriarchal religious values only if it is from Christianity. He is of the firm opinion that feminists do not and will not criticise patriarchal values seen in other religions, especially Islam.

He is supposed to be a rationalist, so before forming an opinion people will expect him to have solid evidence for his claim that feminists as a class do not criticise misogyny of Islam. But it seems he is selectively blind.  I can’t believe that he has not seen this picture.

I can’t also believe that he has not heard and read atheist feminists Ophelia Benson, Maryam Namazie , Taslima Nasreen and countless others who are vocally critical of misogyny in Islam.

So why he is generalising and branding all feminists with the same brush?  May be he wants people to think bad about feminism. May be he want people to think ALL feminists are hypocrites and are afraid of criticising Islam. What ever the motive, for me it is in very bad taste.

Chennai Rainbow Pride parade

Though homosexuality is still illegal in India under its oppressive colonial period law, there has been increasing acceptance and support for homosexuals in the civil society, at least in major cities.

Credit: Arun Sanker, AFP Getty images

Credit: Arun Sanker, AFP Getty images

On this Sunday  the South Indian city of Chennai witnessed  the annual Rainbow pride march of the LGBTQ community belonging to the Tamilnadu state.

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A fatwa in support for transgender rights

Homosexuality is legally disallowed in all countries of Indian subcontinent. But transgender people, though abused and pushed into sex trade, have some legal provisions to protect their rights. Now we have an Islamic fatwa too, supporting transgender rights, from Pakistan.

A man offers money to Sonia, 26, a transgender Pakistani, while dancing at a birthday party in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

A man offers money to Sonia, 26, a transgender Pakistani, while dancing at a birthday party in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

At least 50 clerics affiliated with a little known Tanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat have issued a fatwa (religious decree) that marriage with a transgender person is lawful.

The fatwa, released on Sunday, said a transgender person having “visible signs of being a male” may marry a woman or a transgender with “visible signs of being a female” and vice versa.

But, the fatwa added, a transgender person carrying “visible signs of both genders” may not marry anyone.

It declared that robbing transgender people of their share in inheritance was unlawful and that parents who deprive their transgender sons/daughters of inheritance were “inviting the wrath of God”.

The clerics called upon the government to take action against such parents.

The decree also dwelt upon societal attitudes towards transgenders. It went to the extent of terming ‘haraam’ any act intended to “humiliate, insult or tease” them.

The fatwa ended with a word on last rites, declaring that all funeral rituals for a transgender person will be the same as for any other Muslim man or woman.

So if a devout Muslim abuse a transgender person, he can be at least told that what he is doing is haraam ( against Islam). No such fatwa for homosexuals though. They remain haraam.

A petition to stop training in homeopathy !

Most people in India think homeopathy is accepted as science because Government is strongly promoting it.

Students in India who want to become a doctor write a tough entrance exam. Those who get top ranks usually choose  Scientific medicine while those who miss out by a mark or two choose to become a doctor in Ayurveda or Homeopathy. The students and their parents are made to believe that all are valid scientific ways of treatment. Once they become homeopathy doctors they will have to practice and defend homeopathy.


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Professor in jail for criticising Hindu “god” !

Theists want their “gods”to be perfect in all counts. Not only gods but prophets too.

Most gods/prophets are real life characters on whom divinity is imposed. Some may be fictitious also.They are depicted as following a perfect path of life as per the prevailing societal values.

After their creation, after the godly tales are put into verses, it becomes difficult to edit it. Thus when the societal values change, gods/prophets look primitive. So they have to be defended by interpretations and reinterpretations and reminding of contexts.

Ram, the Hindu god, a character of the epic Ramayana is suffering from this change in values. Ram sent his pregnant wife Sita to the forest heeding to rumours of suspicion on her chastity. Ram did not believe in the rumours. But thinking that a King’s wife should be above any suspicion he abandoned her. At that time it was considered as an unselfish act of deciding to give away the most loved and precious “thing” ( yes, women = commodity) he had to be an ideal ruler.

Image credit Flipkart

Image credit Flipkart

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Our ethics committee announcement

Here is an important announcement from this blog network’s ethics committee :

Freethought Blogs unequivocally condemns any behavior that threatens the safety of atheist community members, including particularly marginalized groups. Freethought Blogs also recognizes the role of sexual harassment as one of numerous barriers for women that limits access to and participation within atheist conferences and spaces.

When the recent allegations against Richard Carrier were made public, Freethought Blogs initiated a process to investigate these claims and formalize its policy concerning the conduct of its members. The FtB Ethics Committee received several reports of Carrier’s behavior and was in the process of reviewing them when Carrier chose to leave the network. A thorough review of the allegations against Carrier cannot be completed by Freethought Blogs without his cooperation.

As part of our commitment to equitable access to freethinking spaces for all, Freethought Blogs members who violate our commitment to social justice by creating or maintaining barriers to participation will be removed from the network as a matter of policy. All reports submitted to us in furtherance of this policy will be kept in the strictest of confidence, unless the accusation was made publicly or in the event we have express permission to reproduce the complaint.

-The FtB Ethics Committee

At FtB there is zero tolerance to harassment of any sort, especially sexual harassment.

Islamists kill a famous singer for blasphemous songs

Fundamentalists belonging to “Religion of Peace” are at it again. Killing for protecting their mythical god from music !

Image credit

Image credit

One of Pakistan’s most famous and respected musicians, celebrated for devotional songs from a centuries-old mystic tradition, has been shot dead by Taliban gunmen in Karachi.

Amjad Sabri, 45, was shot by two men on a motorbike as he drove through a congested area of the port city on Wednesday, Allah Dino Khawaja, the regional police chief, told Reuters. A relative travelling with the musician was injured but survived.

A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Qari Saifullah Mehsud, claimed responsibility for the killing and said Sabri was targeted because the group considered his music blasphemous, local media reported.

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