A Turkish Imam Is Under Investigation and Could Be Fired For Singing in a Rock Band

42-year-old Ahmet Muhsin Tüzer is a Turkish imam who likes rock music. In his spare time, he sings in a band, and it isn’t exactly death metal – more like the Islamic equivalent of Christian rock, and more pap pop than rock at that:

Mr Tüzer … is planning to bring out an album with his band next month. One song is titled Mevlaya gel, or Come to God. “I want to celebrate Allah in every place,” he told Turkey’s Anadolu news agency. “I don’t think I have caused the slightest damage to my institution.”

But the Turkish government — officially secular, but deeply entangled with Islam — recently launched an investigation against Tüzer, because being an imam “is not just like any other job,” a spokesman explained. “Things that are viewed as normal when it comes to other civil servants are viewed differently with respect to imams.”

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A Musical Ode to Starfish

Sally Le Page sings the most scientifically-literate song about starfish you’ll ever hear:

When was the last time you heard a song with lyrics like these?

Hey, like all the vertebrates you can name us
They started off with an anus
As a little embryo
‘Cos we’re all deuterostomes

But unlike their vertebrate brothers
Their legs grow back with no problem
And several can from just one hand
Make a body fresh and new

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Brother Jed Smock Will Soon Star in His Own Reality TV Show

Longtime nomadic campus preacher Brother Jed Smock just announced on Facebook that he and his family will soon be starring in their own reality TV show on Country Music Television (CMT) tentatively titled “Brother Jed & Company”:

The producer, Roger Nygard, may be better known as the director of the 1997 documentary Trekkies.

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Comedian Ricky Gervais: Atheists ‘Have Nothing to Die For… We Have Everything to Live For’

Last night, Ricky Gervais appeared on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live” to talk about his new Netflix series “Derek” but the conversation — as it always seems to do when someone interviews Gervais — moved to religion.

Fine by me, though, because Gervais got in a wonderful line about why the lack of an afterlife drives him to do even more in this life (beginning at the 2:44 mark):

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Today in San Francisco, the 5th Atheist Film Festival

Today, in San Francisco, the 5th Atheist Film Festival is taking place at the Roxie Theater. (Tickets are still available at the theater if you haven’t purchased them already.)

While most of the movies have been seen in other venues before, there’s one film making its premiere today that I’m particular excited about (only in part because I was interviewed for it). It’s called Hug an Atheist:

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