Or logical, if you think that word makes more sense for you.
I have already talked about why the claim that fundamentalist Islam is actually the true Islam makes sense. There were few comments on that post, and the objections raised were already answered in the post itself. So here’ I’ll move on and explain how the politics behind such a claim works. The main reason, to which I’ll come to later, is selfish – it is meant to protect my interests as an ex-Muslim living in a theocracy. But there is also a more noble reason, which I’ll deal with first.
1) The noble reason: It helps people deconvert.
Seriously, it does. I don’t know enough about western culture and environments, I’m not talking about Jews or Christians. But to me, the mission of moderate Muslims doesn’t seem to be 100% progressive. One of their top priorities is saving Islam. I’m an ordinary nobody, I have no idea how many Iranians are actually irreligious or atheists, but I do know that we’re growing at an alarming degree. But, more importantly, both fundamental and moderate practitioners of Islam are also losing ground to people who are Muslim but in a very weird liberal way, only in name. And moderate Muslims are worried, this much I can tell. In every – EVERY – discussion they take it upon themselves to say “This is not the fault of Islam”, “This is not real Islam”, and “The real harm of our regime is that our youth are turning away from religion”.
To me, to prove that fundamentalist version of Islam is the true version of Islam is the front-line, the most crucial part of the battle, where the real stuff happens. To give this up is to give up 80% of the battle. Because, the main thing that is keeping these “youth” inside Islam is the false promise of the moderate that the real Islam is the fine kind nice Islam. Prove to them that they are spewing crap, and they become atheists.
I have deconverted many people to atheism. I have done so more than most of my friends with the exception of maybe one of them. Usually any social circle I get into has become majority atheist when I walk out. It doesn’t happen suddenly, but sometimes it does. Now, as a professional deconverter, I testify that about 70% of those deconversions happened solely by proving that moderate Muslims are wrong about Islam, and 100% of them ended with that.
Let me put it this way: if I agreed that fundamentalists are wrong about their version of Islam, it’d be, to my deconversion attempts, the equivalent of admitting there is a god. In both cases, I have kissed atheism goodbye.
2) The Selfish Reason: It introduces some anti-Islamic discourse and we seriously need that.
We are being suffocated here by Islam. Fundamentalist and moderate Muslims are united in defending Islam. Criticism of Islam is 100% absent from internal media (no wonder) and 95% absent from external ones. BBC Persian has a debate program. The viewers kept asking for a debate on god, and the host simply replied “We wanted to but we couldn’t find anyone willing to stand for atheism”.
Fundamentalist Muslims do not take part in the democratic media. Our opposition pro-democratic media is simply a forum for moderate Muslims to talk about how awesome real Islam is.
We need people who will simply stand up and say “No, Islam is crap and responsible for all of this shit”. There ARE atheists on the shows, I know some of them personally, and they say “Yes, there are many interpretations of Islam and yours is as valid as theirs”, and that means the criticism against the religion itself never gets aired.
I’m not saying moderate Muslims should not have a voice, but can we ant-theists who think the problem is Islam itself get – like – 10% of the voice?
When you say “don’t say fundamentalists are right about Islam”, it means to us “be utterly silent”. I know that’s the opposite of you mean, but in our context, when the stakes are so high, this is what it ultimately means.
Plus, I have been abused by Islam my whole life. I want to name my abuser. I think my abuser is Islam, not fundamentalist Islam. I genuinely, after years of research and hard work, after years of hard work, have come to a series of conclusions, and I’m going to defend them. This last part is no rational argument, but I’m giving you my personal bias and selfish reason.
Let me put it as candidly as possible: I’m too full of spite and anger against Islam to want to give it the befit of the doubt. I don’t mind disclosing this, because I’m also right.
But you ask: “Kaveh, shouldn’t we be allies to moderate Muslims”?
Yes, we should. I am. Politically my whole life has been devoted to defending reformists, who are less moderate than some moderates out there. I have written posts staunchly defending President Rouhani and our foreign minister Javad Zarif. I have campaigned for reformist candidates before I was old enough to vote. I have had friends thrown into prison and because of supporting reformists. I have put myself into more danger for reformists than for atheism. Blogging about atheism is the safest thing I have done and all those other dangerous things were for reformists. Hell, I’m not moderate Muslims’ ally, I’m their lackey.
What I mean is, I’ve paid my dues.
Now, why can’t we do both? Why can’t we say that moderates are right about almost everything so we’re their allies and stuff, but they’re not right about this one thing.
Am I wrong?