DEFENDING THE RIGHTS OF ATHEISTS
I received an odd question today at the Center for Pluralism, asking me to send material against Atheism. Here was my response.
Atheists, once we’re belligerent, and persecuting others, so they got a wrong label. But Atheists of today are as humanistic as Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, and others.
Indeed, there is 1% of belligerent extremists among all groups from Atheist to Zoroastrians – not because of their religions but because they did not get their religions right.
I was an atheist once, then learned firsthand about Islam by rejecting all that was said in the market place. Finding the truth was essential to me as it brings relief to the soul. I chose to be a Muslim, and I have nothing against Atheists and defend their right to be who they are.
I firmly believe in one of the oft-cited verses of the Quran’ that your faith is dear to you as my belief is dear to me and follow the emphasis on free-will insisted 4 times in Islam.
We do workshops on understanding each one of the traditions from Atheists to Zoroastrians, and last year, a Christian man posted hateful messages on my Facebook for talking about Atheism.
I don’t have any material against Atheism, nor will I support ridiculing Atheism. On the other hand, I have defended their right and will continue to do so. As a Pluralist, I will stand up for the rights of all individuals, and as a Muslim, I consider it my sacred duty to stand up for the rights of all humans. However, I will stand against those who hurt, harass, rape, lynch, murder, beat, burn, and destroy others’ right to be who they are.
You want to learn more about the Quran – please come to the workshop on the Quran on Sunday, 3/29 between 1:30 and 4:30 at the Arlington Central Library. You can RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/qurans-troublesome-verses-tickets-97458915239
Center for Pluralism.