Read This Poem to Understand How Living Under a Theocracy Feels


“The Garden of Love” is a poem written by William Blake some two centuries ago. There are very few poems that speak to me so directly and it seems he had experience living in Iran. I love it and share it here. [Read more...]

OK, I’m an Atheist Fundamentalist. Now What?

Sounds like, if I were a Muslim rather than a fundamentalist atheist, I would be considered a moderate. That is why ultimately “fundamentalist” is such an empty and meaningless buzzword and insult here, and such a glaringly false equivalence. I’m proud of the fundamentals of my own ideology. My fundamentals are liberty and truth. Because of that I have never pulled punches or softened my criticism when it comes to religion and its destructive effect on society. If that makes me an atheist fundamentalist, then I’m proud to be an atheist fundamentalist, and I believe that will be the best argument against religion. Just compare me with Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. If this is the difference between the fundamentalists of atheism and Islam, if these people are the two ends of the spectrum, then you know which one is better for human society. [Read more...]

Sexual Liberation: Work in Progress

The effects of living in a theocracy are much stronger and more lasting than you wish them to be. Simply because you stop ascribing to the hegemonic religion of your culture, it doesn’t mean you are able to break free from all the taboos and prohibitions and barriers of your society. It is a myth that breaking away from religion is an instant moment of liberation from all the prejudices. Even if you know that they are wrong. In addition to that, living in a theocracy forces you to assume everyone follows these rules, so they still preoccupy a large part of your life. That is why I don’t think I’m sexually liberated. [Read more...]

Kaveh Mousavi’s Top 12 Music Albums of 2014


Kaveh Mousavi selects his top 12 music albums of the year. From the loudest to the slowest, from the angry ones to mellow ones, from nostalgic albums to the futuristic ones, from those that defy their own genre to those which celebrate them, they all have one thing in common: great music. [Read more...]

Rouhani Attacks the Revolutionary Guards In Speeches


If you have followed my reports on Iranian politics so far, you already know that the reformist/moderate Rouhani administration and the conservative/fundamentalist military wing of the regime, the Revolutionary Guards, are now almost openly at each other’s throats. Indeed, we now know that the Revolutionary Guards are secretly attempting a “cold coup” against Rouhani, which [Read More...]

6 Reasons To Be a Firebrand Atheist Even If It Doesn’t Help Convince Religious People

Many people argue against firebrand atheism, stating that it’s misguided and doesn’t deconvert religious people. Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t really care either way. I’m going to remain a firebrand atheist anyway. I really don’t care if my firebrand atheism is a turn on or a turn off to most religious people. That’s mainly because I have not devoted my life to deconverting religious people. It could be nice if it happened, but it’s not mandatory or even that much of a high priority. I have reasons for being a firebrand atheist that don’t involve religious people at all, which I list in this article. But this is the gist of it: Ultimately, my atheism is about me, not religious people. [Read more...]

Link Roundup 12/9/2014

From welcoming the new Patheos bloggers, to IS, to Mark Strand and P. D. James, from Roko’s Basilisk to Erdogan, this is the new installment of link roundup. Click to see why most online dating advice is terrible, if polygraphs help, and why Dan Fincke writes long posts. [Read more...]

Check Out Heina Dadabhoy’s Speech on Islam and Taboos

Heina Dadabhoy’s talk at Skepticon7 covers Islam and taboos and it’s awesome. [Read more...]

Will the Tyrants Ever Stop Playing Dick Measuring Contests with Their People’s Livelihoods?

Russian economy is tanking and Iranian nuclear talks have faced obstacles because of the “pride” of their rulers. It seems all these tyrants have one thing in common and that is that their version of “national pride” and “resistance” completely excludes all concern for people actually living in those nations. [Read more...]

Middle East Needs All Kinds of Feminism

There’s usually a rather unconvincing argument leveled against certain feminist arguments and it involves comparing the experience of Western women to that of Middle Eastern women. One of the most famous examples is Richard Dawkins. The basic argument is that western feminists are prioritizing in a wrong way, since there are larger problems in the world. But Dawkins is wrong because Middle Eastern women also face the same kinds of problems. So when feminists, whether American or Middle Eastern, try to raise awareness of these issues, try to make sure everyone understands consent and private space and personal boundaries, they are not distracting from the fight against Islamists, a very necessary fight, and it doesn’t mean it’s solely a “first world problem”, it is our problem too – we just lack the awareness, and we need much more activism to get where west is now today, even considering those “lesser” problems. Middle East needs feminism, all kinds of it. [Read more...]