Ex-Muslim becomes ‘Cultural Muslim’

May 7, 2013 at 1:50 pm (culture, Free Speech, humanism, Islam, islamism, reblogged, religion, secularism)

What’s a ‘Cultural Muslim’?

Above: Muslims for Secular Democracy demonstrate against fundamentalists

For years Saif Rahman has been an agnostic and an ex-Muslim activist. So why is he thinking of calling himself a ‘cultural Muslim’?

–   By Saif Rahman   – reblogged from the Rationalist Association website

For years I’ve been an ex-Muslim activist.

My transition from being a Muslim to ex-Muslim was sudden. After spending years frustratedly attempting to reconcile my personal and religious beliefs, I realised I was being intellectually dishonest and often bending Islam to fit with my personal ideals. My religious cousin from Pakistan crystallized this perfectly when he came to stay with us.

We would often get into long debates about Islam, lasting long into the night. They would often end on a heated note, where he would say something like “You are either Muslim or you are not” or “Either accept everything in Islam is right because it’s been produced by an infallible God, or don’t call yourself a Muslim.”

I can’t recall which contentious issue broke the camel’s back, but on one occasion I was not willing to compromise and called his bluff. I conceded that he was right, and that I was no longer a Muslim. His face registered his shock. In an effort to reverse the damage he asked me to write all my arguments down so he could take them to a learned scholar of Islam.

I did so in an eleven-page letter. I eagerly anticipated his response and even copied in each of my siblings. After three months my brother received a phone call from the cousin saying that he hadn’t forgotten and was still working on the reply. It’s been eight years, and I still haven’t heard back. I turned the letter into a blog post which has since been viewed 50,000 times. That post morphed into my book The Islamist Delusion.

I now run an online forum, Debating Islam, that has 7,300 members, evenly split between Muslims and ex-Muslims. I took over this group from moderate Muslims, who had originally set it up in support of the Imam of Leyton Mosque, Usama Hasan, on whom a fatwa had been declared for his defence of Darwinian evolution in a mosque lecture. When the forum became overrun with extremists trolls issuing death threats it was dissolved and I took over the carcass and repurposed it as a free speech site dedicated to hosting debates between current and former Muslims. The same extremists tried the trick again, and even hacked the site, but eventually with the help of other ex-Muslims, we chased them off. During these battles I collected 139 death threats, but, for me it’s worth it when I see yet another Muslim embracing humanism. I keep a public record of people who have renounced their faith on the site – the Murtad (Infidel) Register – and there is literally no more space for another name.

Yet, despite my busy life as an ex-Muslim activist I’m growing less convinced that “ex-Muslim” is always a useful description. It can come across as confrontational and overly simplistic, and has the tendency to close down debate before it starts.

Lately I’ve become more comfortable with another term, one which is equally unpopular on both sides of the debate: “cultural Muslim”. Muslims don’t like the term for obvious reason: asking why “Muslim” should need a qualifier or questioning the right of an atheist to use the word “Muslim” at all. For ex-Muslims it can sound too accommodating, like a prevarication about belief when a clear rejection is what is required.

Certainly it’s not perfect. I would much prefer the description “secular agnostic utilitarian rationalist reductionist humanist with cultural Muslim influences”, but that won’t fit on my business card.

The point I am trying to make is that merely describing yourself by your lack of belief in a particular religion does not do justice to the tapestry of different influences and experiences that go to make up a person. Nor to the fact that we are located in particular socio-cultural context.

I was raised in the UK and went to a Protestant primary school in Manchester where every morning during assembly I clasped my hands to the Lord’s Prayer. It always seemed alien to me. Yet, had the prayer been in Arabic, it would have felt perfectly natural. My early cultural life, like that of most people born of Muslim parentage, was saturated with Islam and Islamic idioms. Even now I still visit my family on religious festivals, greet elders in Arabic and still murmur “Alhamdolillah” subconsciously when I sneeze. My father recently passed away, and I went to his Janazah (Muslim funeral). I entered the mosque for the first time in years, and made my prayers in the usual way. What other way is there?

Much of this will be familiar to British humanists who at weddings, Easter and funerals revert to a default mode and become cultural Christians. Even Richard Dawkins proudly asserts that he is a cultural Christian and enjoys singing Carols along with everybody else. These patterns are comforting, familiar and a way to stay connected to your community. They are not so easily sloughed off when you renounce your belief in god. Nor should they be.

Of course I did not invent the concept of the Cultural Muslim, but I do maintain author rights to its Wikipedia entry. Here’s how I describe it there:

“Cultural Muslims are secular, religiously unobservant or irreligious individuals who still identify with Muslim culture due to family background, personal experiences or the social and cultural environment in which they grew up.”

The writer and Islam expert Malise Ruthven has compared this kind of cultural Muslim to a secular Jew, someone who “takes on his or her parents’ confessional identity without necessarily subscribing to the beliefs and practices associated with the faith.”

In my view most Muslims are against extremism and deep-down have much more in common with humanists, although they are practising a form of Pascal’s Wager, than they have with Islamists. Subconsciously, many question the traditional interpretations of the Islamic faith, yet remain proud of their religion’s architectural, literary and poetic heritage. They embrace the positive aspects of its culture – its camaraderie, charitability, hospitality and respect for elders – and still enjoy its cuisine, clothing and music. As one ex-Muslim joked to his wife, “I can give up God. I can give up Religion. But I can’t give up Sufi music.”

This raises the million dollar question: can you be a cultural Muslim and a Muslim at the same time? Traditionalist Salafists would scoff at the idea and boot you out of the mosque quicker than you could say “Allah hu Akbar”. Modernists entertain the idea, if only behind clenched teeth, because it still holds you within the throes of Islam.

For me the issue is about engagement. I believe we have an opportunity to explore, reflect and engage with our common heritage in a positive fashion, rather than focusing on the dissociative stigma of the ex-Muslim tag for which I am, rather unfortunately, well known. I find believers are more amenable that way, and more importantly, it yields results. For the first time this debate can bring two important and largely ignored groups together; the self-segregated irreligious and the forsaken Muslims liberals. Together they hold the key to lasting bottom-up reform within the Ummah, just as the same groups did with the Church’s Reformation.

We can each support and promote our common cause against Islamic extremism. If anything can bridge the existing impasse, negativity and inertia within the today’s Islamic World, I’m all for it.

43 Comments

  1. Jimmy Glesga said,

    ‘Debate Islam’ Debate the Nazis. Same thing.

  2. s4r4hbrown said,

    It’s a good piece – I found myself wondering, when I first read it, whether Saif might still consider himself a Christian – if he had been born a Christian and developed a roughly similar degree of uncertainty. Christianity (in some forms) is, or today is, more fluid than Islam, as generally practised, so the threshold for considering oneself a Christian might seem to be lower.

    @Jimmy Glesga – how can ‘debating Islam’ be the same as ‘debating the Nazis’? One’s an idea, religion – the other is a set of people. Do you think the follower of Islam holding the placard is a Nazi? Or perhaps she is not a proper Muslim? (I am sure the real extremists, Muslim ones I mean, might agree with you, if so.)

    • pinkagendist said,

      Nazism is an ideology, a belief system. I presume Jimmy means that Islam if followed to the letter is a comparably absurd belief system which also doesn’t tolerate or withstand questioning.

    • Jimmy Glesga said,

      Islam is an invented by man dictatorship not a religion. Same as the Nazi.
      Strange coincidence that Islamists would happily wipe out the Jews.

      • Babs said,

        Look we get it. Though your a trolling anti Muslim, ultra Zionist, your views are tolerated by the mods because it’s not anti-semitic but that doesn’t give you a right to talk shit. Islam is a religion. Like all religions it’s a pile of nonsensical bollocks but everything about it says it’s a religion not a fascist ideology. Belief in a god, prophets, miracles, holy books, way of life….sounds a lot more like Judaism than Nazism. In fact Islam has far more in common with Judaism and Christianity than Nazism. And if anything at a stretch Judaism not Islam has more in common with Nazi ideology (chosen people = racial superiority). Back to nursery school for you then.

      • Modernity's Ghost said,

        Jim,

        Why do you tolerate racists like Jimmy Glesga and Babs?

        You know, that clearly, it turns off otherwise thoughtful posters and this blog end up with just a bunch of cranks shouting at each others?

        Any chance you could “moderate” these bigots?

        WordPress has many fine tools for doing that, and if you are stuck with the technicalities I might be able to help out.

        Please Jim, do yourself a favour, purge these racists.

      • Babs said,

        Modernity’s Ghost – What’s so racist about my comment?

      • Jim Denham said,

        Mod: I find a lot of what Jimmy G writes pretty offensive but have decided, on balance, that he shouldn’t be banned (I notice Dave Osler evidently takes the same view). I honestly cannot see what your objection to Babs could possibly be or on what grounds you consider him (her?) a “racist.”

      • Modernity's Ghost said,

        As I said, Jim, if you keep the cranks you’ll lose intelligent and reasoned posters.

        Possibly that’s the arena that you prefer, a shouting match the ignoramuses rather an intelligent socialist debate on pertinent issues?

        I don’t know, but I can’t say I’m terribly surprised.

        It’s fairly obvious the terminology used by Babs is that of the Far Right.

        Perhaps he is merely an ignoramus, even an incredibly stupid Trot, but either way I think you should familiarise yourself with those telltale signs.

        That way you won’t be surprised when they turn out to be racists/bigots.

      • Jim Denham said,

        Mod: I think Babs’ comment “at a stretch Judaism not Islam has more in common with Nazi ideology (chosen people = racial superiority)” is pretty ignorant. Unfortunately (as anyone who’s ever been on a pro-Palestinian demo will know), this equation is very widely held amongst sections of the SWP-influenced anti-Semitic “left” and also the Islamist-influenced “left”. Banning people who hold such a view is not generally the way to deal with them, although with some hardened anti-Semites it may be appropriate. I don’t think Babs falls into that catagory.

      • Modernity's Ghost said,

        Jim,

        Okay, you don’t want to examine the implications now of whats happens when your blog is overrun by racists and bigots.

        Let’s put that aside for the moment.

        I need to ask a question as I’m trying to understand your thinking.

        It is a genuine question, because I don’t know how you see this issue

        Q: how do you, Jim, determine if something is racist or more specifically antisemitic?

        How ?

        Please, for my benefit, could explain your thought process and how you reach that determination?

        I know that is not easy but I’m trying to understand the way you see these issues.

      • Babs said,

        Modernity’s Ghost

        How come you haven’t answered my question? Do you think you’re too good for me you arrogant piece of shit? Take your holier than thou attitude and shove it where the sun don’t shine as evidently that’s where it belongs. Me a Trot? Ha! You’re a twat for making that very poor assumption. And it’s not my problem some of what I’ve said the far right use as a slur. I guess I shouldn’t criticise Islam either because then I’d be in the same boat as Melanie Phillips.

      • Modernity's Ghost said,

        Well, Jim, it wasn’t a trick question and I’m surprised at your reluctance to answer, but you have your own reasons.

        Anyway I think the point is, you and the AWL would benefit from a more sophisticated understanding of antisemitism and in particular the ideologies of the Extreme Right.

        I say this not as a rebuke, but as a suggestion to improve your methodology and not be foxed by obvious antisemitism.

        As the helpful contributor, Get Yourself an Education Babs, pointed out there are a number of glaring telltale indicators of racism within Babs remarks. Notably the ones relating to:

        1. Chosen people
        2. The vile comparison between Judaism and Nazism

        But not only that you will have seen the obvious Christian derivative thinking as shown in Babs comment about “Old Testament”

        These are not minor points, if you are serious about understanding the issue of antisemitism. They are indicators of a certain type of thinking which you and the AWL would do well to study, that way you can spot them from the outset and not be confused, as here.

        I do hope, Jim that you make the effort to read, re-read and think about what I’ve said.

        I mean it in the best possible way, as a helpful suggestion.

  3. Jim Denham said,

    The placard is a riposte to Hisb ut Tahir, whose slogans include “Behead Those Who Insult Islam.”

  4. Sue R said,

    That’s agreed then, there’s going to be a rational debate on basic Islamic precepts. No-one’s going to get hurt and we’ll all have a jolly good time.

  5. Sue R said,

    Given that Muslims come from many different cultures, wouldn’t it be better for them to say that ‘I am an Ottoman influenced lifestylist’ or ‘I follow the ways of my ancient Tunisian forebears’ or, maybe if they are Indonesian, they could say that they regard themselves as living a Malaysian way of life. What I mean is that there are many manifestations of Muslim culture, so it doesn’t really tell us what he means. I suppose, he could mean that he partcipates in the various Eids, and circumstition ceremonies and weddings etc without beliving in them. But, Christians have been doing that for centuries, so maybe the different religions could get together in their non-belief.

  6. Babs said,

    I can understand what the Saif Rahman is saying but there are those of us who really want nothing to do with Islam whatsoever. We just want to leave it all behind and still be on good terms with all our Muslim friends and family who can tolerate without any prejudice ex Muslims. I think that’s more important than being a cultural Muslim which in some ways is giving in to an irrational belief of others you no longer subscribe to. Preaching tolerance and understanding of those who want to leave Islam in Islamic communities is crucial to a healthier society.

  7. Get Yourself an Education Babs said,

    Just a quick note to anyone who doesn’t think Babs’ comment (May 8th, 10.52pm) isn’t disgustingly racist: you need to take a long hard look at yourselves and your attitudes towards Jews.

    This racism is of course parroted by the Guardian which had to apologise twice within the space of two months last year for the same “chosen people” slur – is there really still anyone who genuinely misunderstands what “the chosen people” means? I think that most people are aware that such a title refers to the burden of religious obligation rather than any sort of genetic superiority. The Guardian knew exactly what it was doing but since that paper has sympathetically interviewed and profiled Gilad Atzmon, sells his books through their website and has published four editorials written by HAMAS, only an idiot would pretend that they are something other than a thoroughly antisemitic newspaper (Steve Bell’s recent adventures copying cartoons from Der Steurmer are one of many, many more indicators).

    Those who consider themselves “antizionists” but insist over and over again that they don’t hate Jews, ask yourselves: don’t you think there’s a reason why you spend every day of your lives defending yourself and your organisations and publications against accusations of antisemitism? Do you really think the rest of the world believes, as you people are always suggesting, that Jews are always popping up to decry any reasonable criticism of Israel as antisemitism “in order to stifle debate”?

    I wouldn’t implore you to ban anyone from your blog – perish the thought – but it ought to be acknowledged when you have a regular commenter who holds such vile, hateful, racist views. Perhaps it is just stupidity, or ignorance, or both. It doesn’t sound like it to me though.

    To say that Judaism has something in common with Nazism is merely part of a wider attempt to diminish the Nazis’ crimes against Jews to the point where you can effectively compare Nazi treatment of Jews to Israeli treatment of the Palestinians. It will never be a reasonable comparison but you will keep shouting this filth regardless; maybe at some point you’ll even believe it yourself, Babs.

    Oh, and the Islam=Nazism comparison? In terms of Islam as a faith, no, of cuorse not. But in terms of Islamism as a political movement? There is similarity after similarity. Exhortation to rid the world of Jews, calling for the death penalty for homosexuals, abolition of wonen’s rights…every Islamic government and political organisation calls for these things. Yes, they are similar to Nazis. Face it and deal with it. Your “antizionist” ranks are heaving to bursting point with people who hold thse views. And the best you can do is call Jews Nazis?

    • Get Yourself an Education Babs said,

      Obviously the opening sentence should read “…anyone who thinks Babs’ comment isn’t disgustingly racist”

      Sorry for hasty typing (and for another pointless attempt at exposing another “antizionist” as the Nazi scumbag they are)

      • Babs said,

        I think you need to get yourself an education and use your real name you coward. It’s very telling how there’s a ‘but’ when confronting Islamic ideology but regarding Judaism (the religion, not Jews you dumbass) oh no, let’s not discuss it and throw the anti-semitism card about. Let’s (justifiably) criticise Islam but leave Judaism well alone because it’s a Jewish religion right? Have you even read the Old Testament? Bloody hypocrite.

        As for the ‘chosen people’ people comment, I said at a stretch it could be interpreted as belonging to a superior group of people just like verses from the Koran at a stretch could be interpreted to justify suicide bombings against ‘infidels’. There are ultra orthodox Jews who do believe they are superior to everyone else and cite verses from the Torah because that is how they’ve (rightly or wrongly) interpreted it. I was trying to show resident troll Jimmy Glesga (who you’ve left alone…unless you are him) any religion can quite easily be twisted in devious ways to suit an agenda. Get it?

        Lastly fuck you and fuck off for calling me a Nazi scumbag. I never said I was anti-Zionist either. If you’ve got a problem with my use of the word ‘ultra zionist’ take it up with Louis Theroux and the BBC.

    • Babs said,

      Another thing (since you believe it is I who needs an education). You said and I quote-

      “Oh, and the Islam=Nazism comparison? In terms of Islam as a faith, no, of cuorse not. But in terms of Islamism as a political movement? There is similarity after similarity.”

      Then you list some similarities. Do you know where the Islamists got those viewpoints from? The Koran. And who’s the founder of Islam? Muhammed. And where did Muhammed pinch many of these ideas? Judeo-Christian theology. Straight out of the Old Testament. So to take your argument to the logical conclusion…both Islam and Judaism are religions similar to Nazi ideology since they both call for deaths of the other, execution of homosexuals and treat women as baby machines with little human rights. But you can’t possibly believe that’s the case right?

      So….who’s in need of an education now?

      • Get Yourself an Education Babs said,

        Judaism calls for execution of homosexuals? Are you insane? No doubt if you look hard enough you can find some mad Rabbi calling for this, though you can be assured such a view would be rejected by 99% of Jews and certainly never implemented as law in Israel.

        Have a glance at the Islamic world. You will see that homosexuality is punishable by death more or less everywhere (in Gaza, for example, the HAMAS’s favoured method of dealing with gay people is to shoot them in the kneecaps, drag them to the top of a tall building and throw them off).

        I would point out that, in Israel, homosexuality is legal and on public display, and Tel Aviv is known as a great gay holiday destination, but then I might be accused of “pinkwashing”…

      • Get Yourself an Education Babs said,

        Oh and you’re right, “Babs”, it’s really cowardly of me not to use my name. Knowing you’re called Babs means I know exactly who you are. You’re so brave, putting yourself in such a position.

        FFS…

      • Get Yourself an Education Babs said,

        “Judaism not Islam has more in common with Nazi ideology (chosen people = racial superiority)”

        Still an utterly disgusting, indefensible comment, whichever way you look at it.

        You would be popular on the Guardian website; their commenters say this sort of thing every day (whether the article is about Israel or not).

        Who’s in need of an education now? Still you, “Babs”, still you. Racist filth.

      • Get Yourself an Education, Babs said,

        “I was trying to show resident troll Jimmy Glesga (who you’ve left alone…unless you are him) any religion can quite easily be twisted in devious ways to suit an agenda. Get it?”

        No you weren’t, you fucking liar. You explicitly compared Judaism to Nazism. There’s no way you can dress that one up, vile Nazi pig.

        As for this Glesa person – no, I’m not him. Mr Glesa, you’re an ignorant fuckpig with nothing to say. You bore me rigid and your poinless, spiteful comments are not worth replying to and never will be. Does that help you, Babs (gosh, it’s so daring of you to use your real name like that)?

  8. Sue R said,

    Has something been censored? The last two contributions don’dt appear to relate to what went before although one can forensically reconstruct what was said.

  9. Jim Denham said,

    Nothing’s been censored, Sue. The way comments arrange themselves can sometimes be a bit of a mystery (including to me): I think it has to do with whether people click on “reply” before commenting.

  10. Sue R said,

    You’re right, Babs, you’re not a Trotskyist. You’re not even a Marxist. If you were you would know that a religion expresses social and political realities as they exist and is not just the marks on a piece of paper or the mindnumbing rituals that surround it. I think if you compare the actual existing reality of Judaism, Christianity and Islam that you will see there is actually a big difference between them all. I know which one(s) I would rather live under.

    • Babs said,

      Sue

      And you should know it wasn’t always like that. Just look at the last 3000 years for real historical evidence and not just the past 100 years or so.

      • Sue R said,

        I don’t understand what you mean. Real historical evidence of what? Only Judaism has been around 3,000 years (rather more actually but I’ll settle for 3,000). Christianity and Islam are the new kids on teh block. Christianity has been around circa 2,000 years and Islam a mere 1,200. Incidentally, have you read Tom Hollands book of Islam? He clearly sets out how Islam was an opportunistic religion stitched together from Judaism and Christianity to take advantage of the crumbling of the Roman Empire.

        All three Abrahamic religions (and probably a few non-Abrahamistic ones as well) had many more core holy books and doctrines that were left behind on the ‘cutting room’ floor when the autorised versions of the HOly Writ were put together. Islam includes many old semitic legends and rejected Christian tales that the Church decided against including. Whoever thought up Islam had access to Gnostic gospels.

      • Babs said,

        Yes I said 3000 years to include Judaism. You said the three major monotheistic religions ‘express social and political realities as they exist’ and then said to compare the actual existing realities of societies where each of the major faiths has taken root noting the more liberal attitudes of Judeo-Christian countries. Now evidently for the past few centuries there has been a great deal of enlightenment in the Western world in relation to the Islamic world for which I imagine you know the reason why (of which religion plays a small part). I was merely pointing out that for the majority of the time when Christianity dominated such societies it wasn’t the liberal society we have today in fact it was pretty horrendous with vast human rights abuses throughout the many centuries of which I’m sure needs no comments. I’m sure you can agree to that.

        Now if you just want to look at recent and present history because you know you’re alive during this period and that’s all the matters to you then sure your argument stands. But your argument would make more sense if the swinging 60′s era liberalism actually happened when Constantine converted to Christianity back in the 4th century.

    • Get Yourself an Education Babs said,

      Ah, Babs with the Ken Livingstone defence. We mustn’t criticise Islamists because Christians used to get up to the same things. A long time ago. Pathetic.

      Islamic government is destroying the lives of millions and millions NOW, today, this moment. But what’s really important is to say that Jews are the same as Nazis, isn’t it?

      Utterly, utterly disgusting hypocricy, “Babs”…

  11. Sue R said,

    That’s not my argument at all. My argument is that religion does not express eternal verities (truths), is no immutable but instead changes, develops, alters as society and history changes. As far as the swinging 60s go, the Ancient Romans knew a thing or two about having orgies, so it very much did happen back then!

    I’m sorry, if you want to argue that religion does not change, why are there so many different intrepretations or sects of a religion? In Islam, to take an example, as you are well aware there is the split between the Sunni and the Shia, and then other smaller splits come into play, the Drouze, the Alevi, the alawites (that’s just the shia lot).

    To be honest, as far as enlightenment in the Western world goes towards Islam, don’t kid yourself. It’s only because you are sitting on a massive reservoir of black gold (oil) that anyone puts up with you, but you knew that already didn’t you?

    • Babs said,

      I don’t need an education in Pagan Roman pleasures nor various Islamic sects thank you very much. Yes Judeo-Christian societies became more civilised as the religions were browbeaten into submission by secularism and progressive forces we can agree on that. Don’t understand the last paragraph though.

  12. Rosie said,

    A nice piece, and a Muslim take on the old Belfast joke:- Are you a Protestant atheist or a Catholic atheist?

    “For the first time this debate can bring two important and largely ignored groups together; the self-segregated irreligious and the forsaken Muslims liberals. Together they hold the key to lasting bottom-up reform within the Ummah, just as the same groups did with the Church’s Reformation.”

    Which Reformation? Not the Protestant one presumably, which wasn’t the work of liberals and atheists and agnostics , but Bible literalists. Not to mention its extreme bloodiness. Does he mean the later liberalising of Christianity post Enlightenment via historical study of biblical texts and Darwinism? That may happen to Muslims in Europe, but in Islamic countries – Iran, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Egypt – a harder line Islam is taking political control. In fact a kind of counter Reformation is taking place.

    @ Babs –

    “I can understand what the Saif Rahman is saying but there are those of us who really want nothing to do with Islam whatsoever. We just want to leave it all behind and still be on good terms with all our Muslim friends and family who can tolerate without any prejudice ex Muslims. I think that’s more important than being a cultural Muslim which in some ways is giving in to an irrational belief of others you no longer subscribe to. ”

    Different people break with the religion they were brought up in different ways. Most drift away, I would imagine, though they may attend religious services and events with their parents. In a generation or two Muslims in the UK may be as agnostic as those whose grandparents were Church attending Christians.

    • Babs said,

      I really hope so but Islamism is really gaining momentum around the Muslim world as well as in Islamic communities in none majority Muslim countries. Islamists aren’t going away without a fight just look at recent events such as the massive Islamist protests in Bangladesh and the popular support they enjoy in countries that got rid of their long time dictators during the Arab spring and even the opinions of British Muslims in recent polls. I hope it’s just a generational (or less) political fad and like fascism and stalinism before it, it will become a marginal force in the not too distant future.

      • Jimmy Glesga said,

        Mod’s Ghost seems to be saying he/she is intelligent. Now that is an ego.
        Babs is an erse. The Islamists will not go away. They like killing it is part of their package.

      • Get Yourself an Education Babs said,

        “…it will become a marginal force in the not too distant future”

        I’m sure that’s a great comfort to the millions living under Islamist dictatorships. “You’ll be killed when your government finds out you’re homosexual/you’re a Christian/you’ve done business with a Jew/you don’t reckon Islam is that great, but it’s just a fad, so don’t worry. In the meantime let’s get on with spreading hatred towards Jews and lying about their religion”.

  13. Jimmy Glesga said,

    And for good measure they blow themselves up. Which is a good thing as they can only do it once.

  14. Sue R said,

    Islamism is filling the space that politics should fill. The only thng that keeps England and America relatively corruption free is a mobilized workingclass and middleclass public opinion. Take away those things and we will be no better than Pakistan, India or Brazil. The vast mass of population in Islamic countries (and not just Islamic) need to be made self-conscious and mobilized, to start demanding services and a decent standard of living. Unfortunately, the social structure of these societies make that very difficult. While it is true that in the battle to kick out the European imperialists the population was mobilized, unfortunately it is the case that the self-serving elites who took over are not interested in helping their societies develop. I tlhink this is where Egypt may prove crucial, the Muslim Brotherhood will not be able to come up with the policies to feed and clothe, educate and house the burgeoning Egyptian population and the Arab trillionaires do not appear keen to help out their co-religionists except in limited ways. Egypt is also one of the most industrialised Arab nations and has a firmly established union movement. If anything is going to get better, it will start in Egypt.

    • Jimmy Glesga said,

      Mein Gott SueR. Islamism is politics and dictatorship.

  15. Ghazala Noreen said,

    Why cant people just ‘Live and let Live’ ?
    Why is there a need for anyone religious or not to force their opinions upon others?
    No religion is better than any other and neither is any person better than any other, we all live, eat, sleep and will die the same.

    Lets just get on and make the most of life with good morals and a good heart.

    For those who believe in heaven then may they end up in heaven and for those who don’t well I pray you have a fulfilled and happy life.

    Most importantly lets all seek freedom through the light of knowledge :)

  16. Freethinker Javed said,

    Ex-Muslims Forums & Groups like Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB), Ex-Muslims of North America, Ex-Muslims of French council, Former Muslims United, Apostates of Islam, Atheists who were Muslims, Ex-Muslim Meetup Groups, etc. have their presence worldwide.
    Ex-Muslims: INDIA is an online platform for Atheist/Agnostics/Humanist/Rationalist brought up in or Converted to Islam. We stand for democracy, free speech, education, and the right of individuals to leave their faith freely and without persecution from their communities.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/exmuslims.india/ (Share this Link)

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