I wish I’d watched Cristina Rad‘s video Raping Islam before posting about how little attention atheists direct towards Islam. (My only defense is that there’s so much amazing content out there, and so little time!)
In the comments of my previous post, many mentioned their fears of being lumped in with the extremist bigots who hate Muslims because they’re dark-skinned fer’ners or that we’ll inadvertently lend credence to what they’re saying. But if we don’t speak up for fear of being associated with bigots, we leave the bigoted voices to be the only ones being heard in opposition to the damage done in the name of Islam. While Cristina acknowledges this concern in her video, she doesn’t let that stop her from ripping into the Koran’s allowance of rape. At best, the Islamic holy book prohibits raping the widow of relatives, but makes it clear that raping captured slaves is perfectly allowable.
Another theme for holding back was that Christianity plays a much bigger role in our lives here in the US (where I expect most Friendly Atheist readers live) than Islam does. As Claudia eloquently put it:
Jupiter is far more massive than the moon, but the moon is much closer and thus creates the tides. While Muslim fundamentalists are clearly dangerous, the average American or European atheist will be far more affected by laws and attitudes stemming from the much tamer but much closer Christian fundamentalists. Please understand that people relate more strongly to those things that affect them personally.
I imagine that’s how many people in the UK felt before large numbers of Muslim immigrants moved in and set up sharia courts and fundamentalist religious schools. We shouldn’t wait until Muslims are affecting Americans because who knows when they might…. wait… didn’t… didn’t Muslim extremists already affect American lives…? Oh yeah, that’s right, they did. On September 11th, 2001. Yes, Jupiter is farther away but what if it were to change course and head straight our way? It would demand our attention, just as Islam does today.
Do not think that I’m suggesting all Muslims are terrorists; I’m not. I’m saying Islam affects us, here in these United States. And, yes, all of the things fundamentalist Christians are doing in the US right now are serious and cannot be ignored. I’m not asking you to pay less attention to those issues. I’m ask those of you who are engaged in the atheist/humanist/secular/skeptic movement, those of you who are activists at any level, to take this as one of your issues, to pay attention to what is done in the name of Islam. Pop into r/exmuslim now & again and share interesting threads on your Twitter or FB feeds. Read the Koran and Hadith so you can know more about the what the texts actually say. Watch more of ZOMGCriss‘ videos on Islam. Speak up for reformist Muslims when you see them. Encourage “moderate” Muslims to speak out against fundamentalist interpretations of Islam.
And if you want to help ex-Muslims specifically (while learning more about Islam), donate to Heina Dadabhoy‘s Kickstarter “A Skeptics Guide to Islam.” All remaining proceeds will go into an emergency fund for ex-Muslims in crisis.