Stop the Jihadi Onslaught Against Atheists and Free Thinkers

Oct 14, 2015

The Daily Beast

By Maajid Nawaz

Fifty-one percent of Americans say they wouldn’t vote for a Muslim president. To be clear, that’s 51 percent too many. My fellow Muslims are naturally disturbed by the implications of this sentiment for everyday life, we rightly protest anti-Muslim remarks such as those made by presidential candidate Ben Carson, and we understandably expect solidarity from other communities in challenging such bigotry. But as 53 percent of Americans say that they wouldn’t vote for an atheist president, it must be accepted that no communities—not even my fellow Muslims—are as unpopular in America today as atheists.

Now imagine if you can, that you are a brown, ex-Muslim atheist with a Muslim name. This is perhaps the most persecuted minority-within-a-minority in the world today.

In 2013, atheist blogger Asif Mohiuddin was stabbed in the streets of Bangladesh by jihadist extremists. A month later, rather than his attackers, he was detained for making “derogatory remarks” about religion. His blog was banned. That same year, matters escalated as atheist blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider was hacked to death near his home in Dhaka. This year alone U.S.-Bangladeshi atheist blogger Avijit Roy was hacked to death in February, secular blogger Ananta Bijoy Das was killed in May, while Niloy Neel met his death at the hands of these fanatics in August.

As al Qaeda praised these attacks news broke that a jihadist group called Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) was working its way through an “atheist” hit list.


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23 comments on “Stop the Jihadi Onslaught Against Atheists and Free Thinkers

  • I’m loosing patience with this kind of argument.

    No one in their right mind criticizes individual people of faith; they have enough problems dealing with the nonsense that was inflicted on them along with their mother’s milk.

    To trace the source of a river it’s necessary to go to the spring whence it rises, and Islamism is the product of Islam; the clue’s in the name!

    The language employed by the members if IS is Qur’anique:

    “Strike at the neck of the unbeliever.” “Strike the fingers of the infidel.”
    “Strike off the head of the invader of Islamic lands.”

    It’s quite distinctive, and in some cases taken verbatim from the the Muslim holy book.

    As Jerry Coyne said: “If IS isn’t Muslim then the Inquisition wasn’t Catholic.”

    I sympathise with grass roots Muslims; they’re trapped between a rock and a hard place; if they say nothing they’re accused of being in sympathy with the murderous, destructive, rapist, history denying, theiving morons of IS;

    If they speak out they are likely to get it in the neck.

    Not an enviable predicament.

    And then of course the conflation of skin colour or race with Islam is a devious political ploy designed to intimidate anyone who criticizes the religion.

    Although in some cases it’s a revealing slip of the tongue which exposes the real attitude of the speaker.

    I heard Charles Moore, Margaret Thatcher’s official biographer, the other day talk about the Muslim woman who won The Great British Bake Off; he wondered why she had presented “a black man’s cake.”

    Very interesting!



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  • “a black man’s cake”

    Whaaaa?? Oh, bother Mr. Moore.

    All I see is an attractive, lemon-drizzle wedding cake winner – YUM. Are those poppies on top?



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  • Hi Stafford,

    Just finished his book with Sam Harris, it’s very good, I don’t think he would disagree with much you’ve said here, he was pretty frank about the problems with Islam. He is personally very brave to do so as he travels to countries like Pakistan to try to talk Islamic Extremists out of their extremism. And he is getting called a lapdog to Sam Harris for having a conversation with him by left wing pundents, he is in a very difficult place.



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  • Well put Stafford. Couldn’t agree with you more. Here in Australia, as in other first world democracies, our government is struggling to provide solutions to the “terrorism” that is sweeping the globe. Unfortunately here, as in the UK, they still don’t have the courage to face and address the fundamental problem – religious belief itself. The cognitive dissonance that believers go through to live in a modern, science based society, yet still cling to medieval, misogynistic belief systems must be enormous.
    Unfortunately the inmates are in charge of the asylum. How can a solution be found when the seekers themselves are believers, and therefore part of the problem?



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  • 6
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    And he is getting called a lapdog to Sam Harris for having a conversation with him by left wing pundents, he is in a very difficult place.

    And that’s not even the worst example of intolerance and prejudice towards Maajid. A writer from The Intercept, Murtaza Hussain called him a “porch monkey” in an article:

    http://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/intercept-writer-calls-maajid-nawaz-a-porch-monkey

    These holier-than-thou regressive leftists are just as despicable, if not more IMO, than all the right-wing crackpots out there, because at least the right-wingers don’t pretend to hold and defend liberal values.



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  • I suppose I could, but I now regret not having taken Latin more seriously; I’ve come to realise that it’s not a dead language at all, but forms the basis of our current one, and provides patterns and clues about the construction of modern words.

    Although I can’t claim to speak it at all well, it helps a bit to have become acquainted with French.

    Oh well, I’ll just have to shoulder on!



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  • What was that story about the man who was told his wife had been eaten by an alligator in Australia instead of being upset he had lost his wife said ‘there are no alligators in Australia only crocodiles’. (Sorry about my ignorance as to who or where it was said) (no not sorry. That is the point I am trying to make lol) if people are going to correct my spelling just to smirk instead of using their brains to understand what I am saying then…….



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  • Olgun
    Oct 16, 2015 at 4:57 am

    That is the point I am trying to make lol) if people are going to correct my spelling just to smirk instead of using their brains to understand what I am saying then…….

    I’m sure we can think of examples (some in discussions not very far from here), – particularly with theists or denialists, who are desperately looking for distracting diversionary replies in place of answers, to avoid looking at evidence or thinking about questions and issues in places where their god-delusions don’t want them to look!



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  • Presumably the same Charles Moore, who supposedly caught out Richard Dawkins on the BBC’s Today programme by asking him , out of the blue, the full title of Origin of Species. Although a second or two passed before Richard got the title out, Moore had scored his ‘killer’ blow. Charles Moore needs no more “dumbing down”. Yet another reactionary Christian. No doubt he enjoys a gin and tonic before sneering at Islam ? A pissquick by any other name would smell as foul.



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  • Your comments are usually well received by me, whose typos are numerous ! When as a kid I learnt some Latin, I must say it gave me more of an understanding of the English language, even though it was all still double Dutch. Hell, I can remember trying to read about how Caesar conquered this and that, and battlements were reinforced at wherever, ditches dug, weapons sharpened against the monstrous Gauls. That together with the poetry of Ovid made me certain that I would never be a master of any bloody language ! A German friend cautioned me against trying to learn German. “No stick to English !” she said.

    As for the Koran, as I have no hope of learning Arabic, so that piece of fiction will be off my reading list, as apparently you have to read it in the original language. Too bad the Bible was mostly written in Hebrew and Greek and yet Jesus spoke Aramaic. God certainly moves in mysterious ways !



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  • Agreed, religion is the root of the problem but the biggest problem is that people are too scared to admit it and the religiots in power have their own fairytales to protect so everyone sidesteps the issue and calls it racism, how fucking ridiculous!



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  • 18
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    I suppose I could, but I now regret not having taken Latin more seriously; I’ve come to realise that it’s not a dead language at all, but forms the basis of our current one…

    Hmmm, not to sound pedantic here but I think you are mistaken Stafford. Latin doesn’t form any of the basis of English. And I mean not AT ALL. English is a Germanic language and has no etymological roots in Latin.

    A short excerpt from Wikipedia’s page on the English language:

    “By the seventh century, the Germanic language of the Anglo-Saxons became dominant in Britain, replacing the languages of Roman Britain (43–409 CE): Common Brittonic, a Celtic language, and Latin, brought to Britain by the Roman occupation”

    The sole remnant of Latin influence after the Romans left Britain was the Latin script (the Roman alphabet). Now we both know that in the English language, there are many words that are borrowed from or inspired by French, Spanish or Italian words but this attribute doesn’t mean it has actual etymological roots from Latin.

    It just means that all languages adopt words from several other languages for many reasons which aren’t always clear. This has been going on for centuries, at least for European based languages.



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  • @OP – In 2013, atheist blogger Asif Mohiuddin was stabbed in the streets of Bangladesh by jihadist extremists. A month later, rather than his attackers, he was detained for making “derogatory remarks” about religion.

    It seems that Xtians sects in New York also teat apostates with violence!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-34553332

    Church members accused of beating to death a 19-year-old have told police they had been discussing his desire to leave the New York congregation.

    .Lucas Leonard died and his younger brother was seriously injured after both were beaten for hours on Sunday.

    New Hartford’s police chief said the six church members arrested over the death said the meeting was called to talk about Leonard’s plans to leave.

    His parents deny manslaughter and four other church members deny assault.

    Police have described is as a “spiritual counselling session to urge [the boys] to confess sins and seek forgiveness”.

    On Friday, New Hartford Police Chief Michael Inserra said the congregants under arrest revealed the victim wanted to leave.

    But the police “still have not concluded why the session turned so violent”, he added.

    Leonard’s father Bruce, who founded the secretive Word of Life church in New Hartford, New York, has said it was a family meeting that had nothing to do with the church.

    He and his wife Deborah deny inflicting the fatal blows.

    Their daughter is among the four other people charged with assault.

    Some of the defendants appeared in court on Friday afternoon and the case was postponed until Leonard’s brother Christopher is able to testify.



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  • 20
    old-toy-boy says:

    Much as I admire Maajid Nawaz, I suspect the flaw in his argument is that his term “my fellow muslims”. The muslims in this country (Britain), are OK and I am assuming that he is refering to them. Unfortunatly they do not representative of the majority of muslims world wide. They can’t be trusted.



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  • I see the “religion of peace” marches on!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-34688245
    A Bangladeshi publisher of secular books has been hacked to death in the capital Dhaka in the second attack of its kind on Saturday, police say.

    Faisal Arefin Dipon, 43, was killed at his office in the city centre, hours after another publisher and two secular writers were injured in an attack.

    They are the latest victims in a series of deadly attacks on secularists since blogger Avijit Roy was hacked to death by suspected Islamists in February.

    Both publishers published Roy’s work.



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