So here's the final segment of our email conversation. I asked CJ one important question that he never did answer:
"I'm hoping at this point you don't really think I'm evil or a threat to the world...right?"
Many have written to me saying that it was a very frustrating task I undertook, and asked why. Well, I wanted it to be on record that 'New Atheists' are not what we are described as being. We are knowledgable, nuanced, and too often misrepresented as being unreasonable. We are often speaking from lived experience, and disregarding our voices is a terrible injustice.
CJ brought up his friend Mubin Shaikh, an ex-jihadist....How truly wonderful that he is not a jihadist any longer. However, in my interactions with Mubin, he has been quite unreasonable and unwilling to admit any fault with Islam. A particular conversation about a troubling prayer in mosques, was carried out in the most disingenuous way by him, where he refused to admit it's 'problematicness', and downplayed the risks to apostates like myself. If people who think 'disbelievers are hostile' are supposed to help with deradicalization, I'm not sure how comforted we should feel.
One can 'contextualize' this prayer in terms of 'war' all they like, but they should also take note of how such prayers and verses are used to justify violence. Groups like ISIS are at war with everyone who doesn't believe they are right. Extremists are perpetually at war, these verses then... provide great justification for barbaric acts carried out in the name of religion. Why utter them in mosques? Why let them influence young children?
There was also the time Mubin decided to focus on how drawing offensive Mo cartoons, was not the 'smartest' way to do things - The day the Charlie Hebdo massacre happened. This was his focus, that its not 'smart' ....because Muslims will react violently if offended. Apart from having really low expectations of Muslims, it's appalling that the actual shooting was not his main focus. Like how could people be killed for drawing? When instead of straight up condemning this horrible act, he said "The rules of Islam don't apply to non-muslim countries" So it's ok to do this in a Muslim country? These are the people helping us against Islamists? Well then.
(weirdly his previous twitter account and tweets are gone, replaced by a random egg account that hasn't tweeted yet)
. @CaliphateCop on CNN , the nerve to say 'this is not the smartest way to do things' on the day they r killed? This is ur focus?— Eiynah -- (@NiceMangos) January 7, 2015
CJ ends our conversation speaking about 'secular wars', and claiming that when the religious are dehumanized slaughter has followed. As if there is some link between secularism and slaughter of the religious? This line of thinking is just...twisted...for the lack of a better word. The religious constantly leave theocracies and jump at the chance to move to secular countries, where their own rights are better protected, as is demonstrated by the current refugee crisis. Secularism doesn't dehumanize the religious, it in fact values everyone equally. States may dehumanize the religious, for various reasons of control. How is this 'motivated' by a lack of belief in gods?
Hitler was a Christian btw, often invoking god and claiming inspiration from Christianity
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