London Doctor Takes His Own Life After His Muslim Family Insists He’s Mentally Ill For Being Gay

The Islamic holiday Eid al-Fitr is supposed to be a day of unity. For Nazim Mahmood, a British doctor, it appears to have been the day when his family rejected his being gay — with fatal consequences:

A Harley Street doctor killed himself by jumping from his luxury penthouse apartment after his mother asked him to seek “a cure” for being gay, an inquest heard. Dr Nazim Mahmood, fell four storeys to his death from the balcony of his £700,000 flat in a mansion block in West Hampstead, London, in July. An inquest at St. Pancras Coroners’ Court heard Dr Mahmood had told his mother he was gay and was in a 13-year relationship with his fiancée, Matthew Ogston, just days before his death.



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Atheist Poet Laureate Mark Strand Died This Weekend

Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet Laureate Mark Strand (below) died on Saturday at the age of 80:

Even if you weren’t familiar with his work, the obituaries about him mention how seriously he took his atheism:

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A Refreshingly No-Bullshit Take on Christian Opponents of the Death-With-Dignity Movement

Stripped of Biblical bromides and circumspect syllogisms, but infused with glorious sarcasm, here is the core belief of conservative Christians when they assail the Brittany Maynards of this world.

No One Should Have The Right To Die Until God Is Done Toying With Them

Who are we to say that our suffering has become too unbearable to go on living when God — who’s just looking for a little amusement — has weeks, months, or even years of agony lined up for us? Seriously, what kind of person ends his life before God’s batted him around a bit? He made us. He deserves a little fun.



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Atheist Soldier Dies, Ten Years After Getting Paralyzed During Iraq War

In a really moving story on CNN this week, we learned about Tomas Young, an Iraq War veteran who was paralyzed during combat.



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The Dying of DNA Pioneer Francis Crick: Dealing With Death When You Don’t Believe in an Afterlife

Ten summers ago, Francis Crick, the famed molecular biologist and neuroscientist who won a Nobel Prize for co-discovering DNA, died after a years-long battle with colon cancer. One of his closest friends and collaborators, Kristof Koch, remembers Crick’s demise — and especially his unflappability in the face of death – in this funny and moving 16-minute presentation, recorded before an appreciative audience at the World Science Festival.

We feature it here because, unlike Koch, who remained a practicing Catholic (more on that later), Crick didn’t believe in an afterlife. In fact, he was often profoundly irritated by religion, especially Christianity:

“I do not respect Christian beliefs. I think they are ridiculous. If we could get rid of them we could more easily get down to the serious problem of trying to find out what the world is all about.”



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