In Which I “Mansplain” to Muslim Women What Changes They Need

Fatima Bhutto says “It should be perfectly obvious that only Muslim women are qualified to speak/act on the changes they need”, but my freedom as an atheist in an Islamic theocracy is threatened and limited by Muslim women on a daily basis. The well-being of me and all my loved ones is directly tied to a feminist revolution in Muslim countries and Islamic theology. [Read more...]

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E. L Doctorow (1931-2015): The Man Who Made Me Fall In Love with America

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Ragtime spoke to me on a deeper level than most other masterpieces. I was fascinated by the paradoxical complexities of the American society, of the strong role of popular culture, by the way racism was portrayed, by the strange mixture of socialism and capitalism in the mindset, and most of all by the bizarre ability of the American mind to be self-deprecating and extremely conceited of itself at the same time. [Read more...]

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Lies of the Opponents of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Debunked

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The opponents of the nuclear deal rely only on falsehoods. I have never felt so vindicated n in a position I have, because I haven’t seen a single honest disagreement based on facts, only fabrication and distortion. Here I enumerate some of the lies perpetuated by those who falsely claim that the Iran deal is a “bad deal”, and I compare their points with the text of the agreement to debunk them.. [Read more...]

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Iranian Nuclear Deal: What Will It Mean for Iran

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Back in 2013, we had less reasons to hope. What we faced was an extremely repressive political climate, an illegitimate president, a defeated uprising, the shadow of war, crippling sanctions, an economy on the verge of complete collapse, and an entirely conservative regime. But we did not lose hope and we campaigned and voted for Rouhani, and now our president is democratically elected, the regime is again divided and reformists and pragmatists have a voice, the shadow of war is lifted, the sanctions are about to go, and the economy has slightly improved. We hoped then, we will hope now, and our hope created real change, and it will. [Read more...]

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Is Alexis Tsipras the Mosaddegh of Our Time?

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As I’m writing this blogpost a referendum is undergoing in Greece which will determine the fate of the government of Alexis Tsipras and probably the future of the European Union and the Euro currency. There has been lots of discussion surrounding this, but what has really caught my attention in this is that how much Tsipras reminds me of my own national hero, Mohammad Mosaddegh, who fought for freedom and democracy domestically and for independence and nationalization of Iran’s oil with foreign adversaries and was removed in a coup by the CIA. [Read more...]

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The Irregular Symmetry

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Scott Alexander of the blog Slate Star Codex has written a post entitled Fearful Symmetry, in which he points out that the narrative of social justice advocates and conservatives are very similar in which both of them claim they are being persecuted and that feeling of persecution justifies them to act out in ways that are not ethical. But this “Fearful Symmetry” , and if the discourse of the two sides sound the same, doesn’t mean the reason behind this seeming similarity is the same thing. [Read more...]

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5 Ways To Help Human Rights Activists in Theocracies

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What is the best way to help people fighting for freedom and human rights in theocracies like Iran and Saudi Arabia? Diplomacy or war? Pressuring the governments or making friends with them? The answer is complicated. [Read more...]

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Link Roundup 6/7/2015

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From B. B. King passing away to Hillary Clinton being a true liberal, from the bullshit of Popes becoming saints to Catholics blaming anyone but themselves for the weakening of their religion, from Tariq Aziz to Leo Igwe’s article on what Buhari should do, from Mugabe’s scary probable successor to lots of good stuff about Saudi Arabia, this is the newest installment of link roundups. [Read more...]

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Guest-Post: Why A Nigerian Atheist Welcomes the Election of an Islamist

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Today Nigeria witnessed the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari, which signaled a peaceful transfer of power. Ovie Olori is a friend of mine and a Nigerian atheist, 25 years, male, mechanical engineering graduate from university of Port Harcourt. I asked him to share his thoughts on the results of the Nigerian election so that we in the rest of the world can have a better understanding, and he kindly enough agreed to my request. [Read more...]

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Answering Children: “Can I Draw Muhammad?”

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People like the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo are the vanguards of the battle for freedom. While here at Patheos we want to host a civil friendly conversation on faith, that conversation would never take place without people bravely pushing forward the boundary of “permissible” and “acceptable” speech, people bravely breaking taboos and defiling sacred idols. I welcome our civil discussion, but I never forget that our discussion takes place next to the corpses of those who have died for our freedom to have this discussion. And that’s why you should draw Muhammad. [Read more...]

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