Arab Atheists Magazine Flourishes Online

To my surprise, there’s a publication called “Arab Atheists Magazine” that’s been written and distributed (anonymously) for over a year now. Check out the cover of their latest issue:

Despite the Arabic, the Flying Spaghetti Monster comes through loud and clear.

All the issues are free and downloadable here.

Editor Ali Alnajafi (a pseudonym) and his team deserve a hell of a lot of credit for promoting rational thinking amidst a sea of dangerous superstition.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • diogeneslamp0

    Beautiful. But shouldn’t “Flying Falafel Monster” be more culture-appropriate?

    • Highlander

      The Arab world has traditional meat ball dishes as well as falafel (bean meal) balls. Kofta or kufteh come readily to mind. Although, neither Kofta nor falafel is served sauced over long noodles so trying to put the FSM into an Arab cultural reference in that way just does not make sense. And why try? The idea of the FSM is that it is a blatantly made up deity which is used to demonstrate the need for church/state separation. The idea doesn’t need to be culturally appropriate it just needs to demonstrate that government giving credence to one silly belief system will open the door for other, possibly sillier, belief systems.

  • Pepe

    They got balls, like the FSM

  • Matt Potter

    It’s a wonderful start. I applaud those people making the magazine happen as the reality is they are putting much at stake to bring reason, logic, and a healthy skepticism to many who have never had the chance to entertain those options.

    • nietzschesbreeches

      While I appreciate the goodwill in your statement, you are misinformed. This is not the start. Arab atheists have been writing, thinking, and organizing for decades. The names on the cover of this magazine, for instance, Nawal Saadawi and Wafa Sultan, are those of feminist atheist thinkers who have been contributing to the discourse for decades. If you would in fact like to support us, please try not to spread misconceptions that Arab atheists are just beginning to express themselves; we are already so stigmatized and overshadowed; viewing us as an anomaly or as underdeveloped does not help us achieve normalization. Thank you.

      • Matt Potter

        I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not well informed regarding the present Arab atheist writings. I did not mean to imply that this particular magazine represented the official start but only that this process is still in it’s beginning phase. You yourself write it has only been decades, so I still feel talking about it being a start is well within reason.

  • mlj11

    Awesome! This is great and inspiring all at once.

    To see such material being published in Arabic tells me that there is hope yet against childhood indoctrination; may it bring comfort to any Arab atheist over whom the specter of death as punishment for apostasy looms large.

  • TiltedHorizon

    To all my FSM Brethren and Sistren who have been touched by his noodly appendage. May pasta be upon you and may you one day enjoy the ability to speak your opinions without the need to do so anonymously.

    Ramen!

  • Miss_Beara

    I hope they stay safe.

  • Rain

    Doesn’t surprise me at all. Billions of people can’t all possibly believe the stupid crap. I never cease to be unsurprised by the existence of atheists lol.

  • Mark Rodgers

    Bravo and I support your efforts 100 %. Let’s all work together, and at some point everyone will be an atheist. Then we can stop calling ourselves this, and move towards a peaceful coexistence. Rational thinking will end war, greed, race difference, all that will end. Finely.

    • ufo42

      Except the psychopathic kleptocrats (aka the 99%) will then have to find other stooges in the 99% to vote against the interest of the 99% and man the armies of the oppressors. Without religion, finding such stooges will be a real challenge.

      • baal

        @ufo42:disqus, what?

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          He means the 1%.

  • Lauren Wiggins

    I’m currently studying Arabic, so this will make for a neat translation exercise! Very cool.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, TOWAN

    i have several friends from Islamic backgrounds. it was a wonderful and eye opening moment to realize that some folks with such a heritage can and do drink alcohol, listen to sexually charged music, don’t really believe Muhammed flew away on a horse to heaven when he died, etc.

    there’s a great deal of diversity in the Islamic world. to me, the story here is that it is “surprising” that there are Arab atheists.

    • DavidMHart

      If I remember rightly, it wasn’t when he died that he got the pegasus (or ‘buraq’) trip, it was when he went on a brief temporary visit to heaven, where, like a true travelling salesman, he managed to haggle God down over how many times a day his followers were expected to pray, agreeing a final offer of five. But my knowledge of Islamic legend is very sketchy, perhaps someone else can fill me in.

      • nietzschesbreeches

        You are correct. Muhammad supposedly rode the winged horse on a journey to view heaven and hell during his life and the tenure of his prophethood.

      • Camorris

        I think the requirement to pray five times per day originated in the early days as a police action designed to expose spies and non-believers in Mohammed’s camp.

  • ufo42

    Hmmm. I wonder if the “death to apostates” thing is an admission that Allah can’t do his own reputation management and needs real, non-imaginary thugs to do His Dirty Work?

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/TurboDally TurboDally

    Arab atheists get the most flack- their lives are genuinely at risk and they need as much support from us as possible. And yeah, they got BALLS!

    • Greg G.

      Five centuries ago, a Protestant could be killed for not being Catholic and a Catholic could be killed for not being Protestant. An atheist would be fair game for either side. We’re making progress. Neither side takes their religion seriously enough to kill neighbors on a massive scale.

    • Obazervazi

      MEATBALLS!

  • Stev84

    That’s a beautiful picture of the FSM :)

  • nietzschesbreeches

    I am saddened and a little disappointed at all the expressions of surprise at the existence of Arabs who publicly flout religious standards. A unilateral view of Arabs and the Middle East is really the last thing we Arab atheists need. It is an obstacle to our normalization to continue to view us as an anomaly, something to be surprised about.

    • nietzschesbreeches

      Also, the names on the front page of this magazine, Nawal Saadawi and Wafa Sultan, are Arab atheists who have already contributed decades of thought to the discourse.

      Google them for more info! ^^


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