Tag Archives: Islam

I’m At a Loss

I’ve been finding it difficult to come up with ideas for blog posts, which is why this blog hasn’t been very active lately. As such, I’d like to leave it up to the readers: what would you like us to write about? Would you like to know something specific about our atheism? Do you have an argument that you’d like us to address? Would you like us to discuss a particular book? Do you have any questions about Philosophy, Biology, or History? Would you like to know our stance on a particular feminist issue? Is there something else you’d like us to write on? Let us know in the comment section.

Atheism 101: Atheism and the Koran

My last post discussed the Bible. This one will focus on the Koran. So what does the Koran have to say? And why don’t atheists agree with it? Please keep in mind, this post is about the Koran and not about how terrible Islam is. Please do not leave Islamaphobic comments. And, if you are a Muslim and are unwilling to read criticism of your Holy book, please do not read this post (though I’m assuming I’ll have a lot less people automatically jumping to the conclusion that I don’t know what I’m talking about with this post).

For one, non-believers are treated as criminals deserving of death simply for not believing. Sura 2:191 says “You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict thems whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Sacred Masjid, unless they attack you therein. If they attack you, you may kill them. This is the just retribution for those disbelievers.” Basically this is saying that it is okay to kill non-believers. Now, this isn’t exactly an odd thing for a religious book to say: Deuteronomy 17:2-5 says “If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the Lord thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.” However, the concept that a person is deserving of death simply for not believing is incredibly problematic. Sura 4:101 parrots the view that unbelievers deserve to be killed. It says “When ye travel through the earth, there is no blame on you if ye shorten your prayers, for fear the Unbelievers May attack you: For the Unbelievers are unto you open enemies.” The act of simply not agreeing with your religion makes us enemies? That’s a scary thought. Though, what’s even scarier is that some people actually agree with this passage. I can’t help but feel that any person who believes that my disagreeing with them makes me the enemy is dangerous, because I don’t know what they might do to me. Sura 5:33 says “Those who wage war against God and His Messenger and strive to spread corruption in the land should be punished by death, crucifixion, the amputation of an alternate hand and foot or banishment from the land: a disgrace for them in this world, and then a terrible punishment in the Hereafter.” What constitutes waging war? If this is referring to actual physical attacks, then, while I don’t agree with the methods, I do agree that defending oneself is acceptable. However, I do not agree that anything less than physical attack is deserving of this kind of treatment. The problem with this passage is that it doesn’t clarify what making war means, and earlier passages suggest that simple non-belief is enough to be considered the enemy. Sura 9:29 adds to this concern by stating that “Fight those who do not believe in Allah-until they pay the tax in acknowledgement of superiority and they are in a states of subjection with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.” Basically, attack non-believers for no better reason than because they are non believers, and make them submit to your will and become your slave. Apparently making people believe like this is easier than, I dunno, revealing yourself to the world? Sura 9.123 goes so far as to say “O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you.” Really? Kill your loved ones for no better reason than because they don’t agree with you? That seems a bit harsh.

The Koran also has some problematic things to say about the rights of women. In Sura 2:282 it says “Call in two male witnesses from among you, but if two men cannot be found, then one man and two women whom you judge fit to act as witnesses.” Basically, women are only half as trustworthy as men. And Sura 4:34 says “Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and forsake them in beds apart, and beat them.” This is saying that women are created to be the slaves of men. Women are not allowed to be self-sufficient and instead must rely on men, and they must do as the men bid them do. Again, this is not an odd concept for a Holy book. 1 Peter 3:1 says “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.” And 1 Corinthians 11:8-9 says “For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” The problem with this type of passage isn’t the context, it’s that people still believe it today. People still believe that women should be subservient to men. This is why these passages are a problem.

Like the Bible, the Koran also has some issues with its scientific accuracy. In Sura 12:4 Joseph apparently saw eleven planets in a dream he had. There aren’t 11 planets in our solar system. There are 8 planets and possibly as many as 100 dwarf planets (though there are at least 5). Sura 21:33 claims that the sun floats in an orbit around the earth. We know that this is not true. And Sura 27:61 says that the earth is fixed and does not move. Again, we know this is not true. The earth revolves around the sun. Like the Bible, these are only issues for those who take the Koran literally. However, there seem to be a larger percent of Muslims who claim that the Koran is scientifically accurate then there are Christians who say the same of the Bible.

All of the problems I presented are reasons why atheists don’t agree with the Koran. Thugh the biggest reason is simply that we don’t find the god claim compelling. We do not believe that there is enough evidence to support believing in Allah, just like we don’t believe the Bible provides enough evidence to believe in God.


Do Prayer Spaces Belong on Secular University Campuses?

If so, what should they look like (ie. should they be multifaith or for an individual faith)? And who should pay for them? And what rights issues might be violated by providing them?

If not, why not? What should the religious do if they find they must pray while on campus? And what rights might be violated by not providing them?

Are Atheists More Misogynistic Than the Religious?

As atheists, we often criticize the sexism found within religion. I think it is important to point out sexism when we see it. However, I think atheists can be quite unfair when it comes to accusing the religious of sexist.

Atheists often criticize religions for sexism because of the sexism in the religion’s holy book. This sexism is problematic, and does need to be pointed out, but we also need to realize that a lot of religious people don’t accept the sexism within their holy book. Most religious people are far more progressive than we give them credit for. As such, we should criticize the sexism in the book without telling people that they must be complicit in the sexism of their religion because of the sexism within the holy book.

Atheists also often complain about entire religions being sexist because of the sexism of an outspoken minority. Yes, there are loud groups that openly spew sexism, but that doesn’t mean the entire religion is sexist. I think we need to be willing to accept that being religious doesn’t make one a misogynist.

However, my biggest concern is how willing so many atheists are to ignore the misogyny within our own circles. Again, we should call out misogyny when we see it. That means we should call it out regardless of who has said it. Enough of the double standards. Yes, the Duggar family is misogynistic. Yes, Pat Robertson is sexist, as is Bryan Fisher. Yes, the Phelps family is also misogynistic. But so are a number of atheists. Thunderf00t doesn’t get a pass when he attacks women simply for being feminists because he’s an atheist. Richard Dawkins doesn’t get to brush off rape allegations (that weren’t even against him) because he’s an atheist. Why is it that so many atheists who are willing to criticize Islam for the sexism in Islamic countries are willing to then turn around and troll Free Thought Blogs with sexist and hateful language simply because Free Thought Blogs is willing to promote Feminism? Does that scream double standard to anyone else? It’s not okay for Muslims to be sexist because they’re religious, but it’s okay for atheists to be sexist because atheists aren’t religious and you’re just fighting off the evil feminazis, right? Sexism is sexism regardless of who says it, and for what reason.

This is one reason I stopped going on YouTube. The atheist community of YouTube is largely misogynistic, with a large number of them supporting A Voice For Men (if you haven’t heard of them, I envy you). When I find a good atheist video on YouTube, I find the comments full of sexism and trolling, and the likes have usually suffered as a result of the trolling. This disappoints me greatly, and it makes me feel unwelcome within a community that I used to enjoy greatly. In fact, the online atheist community has gotten so bad that I pretty much ignore it altogether. The infighting over feminism has made it not worth even bothering with. And when I read the comments that atheists have written, they are often worse than anything I’ve heard a religious person say. Hell, I’ve heard atheist women say that they know they’ve made it big when they get their first rape threat. Seriously? Women within the atheist community are threatened with rape when they get too outspoken? But the Bible is terrible and sexist because it says that women shouldn’t speak in church? WTF?

I’m tired of these double standards. I’m tired of the atheists who give the religious such easy fodder when they want to say atheists can’t be moral. And I am done with the misogyny. Something needs to be done, and atheists need to stop giving excuses for the atheists who spew sexism. We need to stop ignoring the issue and start dealing with it.

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