And Atheist and a Muslim Discuss Reforming Islam

This is the new installment in my new collaborative project, conversations with Farouk A. Peru of Personal Al Islam. This week we talk about reforming in Islam. This is the opening: Today let’s talk about the idea of reform in Islam. I’m an anti-theist, which means that I disagree with the interpretations of Islam as [Read More…]


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Check Out My Guest Appearance at Naked Diner Podcast

I was on the Naked Diner Podcast with Andrew Hall and his friend Jack. I had a really great time chatting with these guys. I really enjoyed it. You should definitely listen! I talk about Iranian elections, Iranian politics, the experience as an atheist in Iran, an interesting anecdote about my involvement with Iranian Satanists, [Read More…]


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The Unbearable Toxicity of “Native Informant”

Anti-colonialist activists must avoid a pitfall. If they want to stand against colonialism and Islamophobia, they should refrain from creating a black and white image in which the Islamic culture is the absolute good guy, and the internal dissidents and critiques become a blind spot of such a worldview, and brushed aside as “Native Informants”. This will ignore the multitudes of people oppressed within those cultures – women, LGBT, apostates, minority religions, etc – and instead of a liberating movement, this type of post-colonialism ends up being the first line of defense in favor of totalitarianism. [Read more…]


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If IS Wants War, Then We Should Give IS Precisely What It Wants

A policy position should be accepted or rejected based on its own merits, and “This is precisely what IS wants” is fallacious reasoning, and irrelevant to the validity of a policy. There is no guarantee that IS wants things that are in its best interest. We should make our decisions based on reason, not the mentality of a terrorist theocratic cult. [Read more…]


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Another Terrorist Attack, the Same Faulty Arguments

“In case of a terrorist attack, pick up the nearest simplistic argument and drop nuance immediately.” That must be in some safety guidebook based on how quick people act on this advice. [Read more…]


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Rick Santorum is Factually Wrong about What Iranians Believe

Santorum claims that two thirds of Iranian Shiites believe something that is a minority opinion within another minority opinion, and vast majority of Shiite clerics consider it so blasphemous that they would ex-communicate you for holding that opinion. [Read more…]


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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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Answering Children: “Can I Draw Muhammad?”

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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Pilgrim’s Regress: An Anti-Theist Visits a Holy Shia Shrine

Many of my friends, Muslims and atheists friendlier towards religion than me, had told me “if you just go to a holy place of worship, like Imam Reza’s shrine, you’ll see why people value religion, and your stance towards religion will be softened and you’ll understand some of its value.” So, why not and go see for myself? [Read more…]


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Iran’s Sexist Women’s Day

The representative of women has absolutely no contribution of her own to history, no claim to fame but her connection to her male relatives, she was married off at nine and died at 18, did nothing but serve men and their purposes. Women’s day is named after someone who in Shiite narrative plays only a secondary role in men’s stories. [Read more…]


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