Converts, Tue, Jan 29 2013 #(1846)

Jan 29, 2013

Dear Professor Dawkins,
I read so many of the letters here that I thought mine does not perhaps matter any more. However, i thought that perhaps this letter will bring new ideas how to tackle religion.

First though, I want to tell you that I am from Kosovo. A small nation where the majority of people are Albanian – muslim. I was one of them, but I must admit that my family was never hard on us, and never forced us to believe, nor talked about it at home. As a result, i grew up knowing very little and religion was not part of my life. I learned about Islam through many Muslim clerics that I happened to encounter during funerals, and because of tradition, clerics stay with the family during the day when people visit and the cleric is usually seated on the main place (center of the room) and talk about religion at all times. I always wondered and wanted to question him sometimes, but I was told you are too young and you do not know anything.

As time passed by, in 1999, Kosovo was involved in a very bloody war and I managed to survive the atrocities. It was during the conflict that, for the first time in my life, got into a major argument with my cousin. His father happened to be stopped by Serbian forces and to everyone’s surprise, him and three other men were released. My cousin, excited of course, told me that you see my father prayed and therefore god saved him. Somehow my intelligence got insulted and I took him on (this is without ever reading any of your works) and yelled my lungs out asking “where is god that does not save everyone here, but somehow he seems to favor only few.” I was very frustrated because I didn’t know much of the fate of my own family. I ran before because I was a “potential threat” to the regime as an 18yr old, and therefore had to flee before things got really bad.

Since then, I always wanted to learn more and after many years of trying to begin my education, I managed to enroll in a college in the U.S. and about to graduate ten years after I finished my high school. I minored in philosophy and read most of your work. I bought “God Delusion” and prefer to as many people as I can because I think that book has the answers to the long lasting epidemic of religion. I tell people, you cannot vote Democrat if you have not heard what Republicans have to say for those who refuse to read your book. I ask people please hear both sides and only then decide. I am very happy and grateful to have brilliant minds like you to come forth and explain the other side of the story in such a scientific compelling way.

I am a father of an adorable son, and work hard to fight religious extremism. The likes of you and Mr. Hitchens have helped me tackle issues. I have since written articles that I publish back home – Kosovo – and argue against many religious clerics who have recently (after conflict) tried to gain power through political parties.

However, I realized that Christian and many other monotheist religions have been disseminated through rich oligarchs. Now, many people do not know about your book and have no idea that the other side of the story is there. I wish you could help translate your book in as many languages as you can. For instance, I would be the most happiest person in the world if we can have your book in Albanian. Not much money is needed to get the book translated and the publishing in my country is not as expensive. I am sure you know the importance of this, but I want to remind you that many youth in Kosovo and Albania are open minded but still lack the compelling arguments that you provide. Please help Mr. Dawkins, I will be more than happy to assist for that matter.

Thank you professor Dawkins,

Iliri – Kosovo

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