Yes, me in this sad anonymous nickname, and just on this internet site, this is as far as i can call "coming out". Living in a country controlled by religious people and shari'a law, there is no "coming out", unless you want to be killed!.
If you "come out" here, your own family will beg you to keep it in the family, for you not to be killed, this is of-course the best scenario possible, even though they really believe that if you get killed you deserve it! their own son! and of-course you're going to hell.
The worst case scenario, you get disowned by you're family, they are the ones who report you so you can be punished by shari'a law, and the punishment for leaving your religion is death as many of you know.
So yes, Think Atheist is me coming out, to complete strangers, can't do anything else, whatever you put in videos. I cant even tell my best friend because I'm afraid i will push her away! And yes, DON'T come out if you're like me!.
I greatly admire your courage and look forward to your input here. I wish you peace, happiness and freedom but always remember... Atheism has no creed that you must obey and no ideology that you can betray so, if you need to; continue to put on the disguise of religion with a clear conscience, in the knowledge that you have the clarity of mind to see through their lies.
The top characteristics of a cult.
1. The group displays unwavering obedience to it's founder and accepts their word as law. Regardless if the leader is alive or dead.
2. Questioning, doubt, apostasy, dissent or disbelief in what the group professes is restrained by force or punished.
3. Mind altering practices such as fasting, chanting, ritualized group prayer, denunciation sessions, etc. are used frequently and used to suppress doubt.
4. Leadership dictates how members should think, act and feel and often how they dress, who they marry, where to live, whether or not to have children, etc.
5. The group claims a special exalted status for itself above others even to the point of denigrating people outside the group as unworthy or even subhuman.
6. The group has a Us Vs. Them mentality. Often demanding hostility or violent action against members of other groups or that another group is out to destroy them.
7. The leader or leaders is/are above any legal authority and answer or answers to no secular authority. They are the law.
8. The group believes that the ends justifies the means and will often deal unethically with members outside the group.
9. The group uses fear and shame tactics in order to influence or control specific members often under the guise of protecting them.
10. Members are required to bring new people into the group often selecting the poor, easily controlled and uneducated.
Now does any of this sound familiar? You could proscribe these traits to any fundamentalist religion but Islam especially seems to fit the bill.
It's a good list but I think it worth mentioning that, in relation to point three, it is very much about context. OK, ritual group prayer and denunciation is pretty off the mark but, fasting and chanting can be very grounding, mind clearing and self affirming and do not necessarily have to have any link to anything nasty or supernatural. Just a distinction that I think is worth making and considering.
I like this list. Where did you find it? Or did you write it?
Aw, I'm sorry.
I guess your situation makes me grateful that I'm able to be openly atheist, even if my family hates me and my friends leave me.
Yeah, we have it easy, relatively speaking.
I am sorry to hear about your family and former friends. I can understand. I went through the same sort of thing when I stopped believing while growing up in the South. Be careful around those theists. Some of them actually think your beliefs are their business.
I've been told by other ex-Muslims that, within their communities (one of them in Europe), there are men who will chastise or threaten those who wear "immodest" clothing or who display public affection or anything else they think is not orthodox. In Islamic countries, especially where Shariah law rules, a certain segment of society can be more accurately described as Islamist, rather than Muslim. An Islamist advocates and/or practices political Islam. It's not good enough for them to let Allah judge you. They anoint themselves judges. They believe they are in the service of Jihad by identifying and persecuting apostates. Those with the technical know-how take great pride in being an e-Jihadi, hacking apostate and heretic sites.
It would be completely stupid to "come out" in such places. Even in Europe, apostates are often anonymous, in hiding or surrounded by bodyguards. Islam is NOT a religion of peace and tolerance. The Quran does NOT emphasize peace and tolerance. It has a few verses that pay lip service to peace and tolerance but, overall, the Quran is a doctrine of dominance and submission.
So forget about the "thought police". The real threat is the "thought vigilantes". Fellow Muslims. When I think of Islam as practiced in Muslim communities around the world, I think of the Gestapo and the Mafia. They have a deal you can't refuse.
That is the problem. It is both a religion of peace AND a religion of of intolerance, violence and death. The holy Qur'an is self contradictory. The part written in Mecca, before Hijra, advocated peace and conciliation. After Muhammad escaped to Medina with his life, he advocated death and destruction to the infidel. After Muslims conquer a place, they give non Muslims 3 choices: first to convert to Islam. If you do not want to convert, you may keep your religion provided you pay the humiliating tax of half of all your income. If you will do neither, the third choice is death.
How do Mullahs and Islamic scholars explain this glaring contradiction? They say it is just a mater of application. The early part is to be applied where Muslims are weak and have to live with non Muslims. The later part shall be applied wherever It can be applied. Where Muslims are strong, as when they conquer a place, then they give all non Muslims the 3 choices: conversion, humiliating tax or death. Then, Sharia becomes the law of the land.
Sharia, since it comes from God, must never be contradicted by any man-made law. If there is a law-making parliament, they cannot prohibit honor killing, where any member of a family is duty bound to kill a female relative who dishonors the family by indecent acts like appearing in public without a veil. An adulteress must die by stoning. A thief must have his hand chopped off. These may appear barbaric, backward and medieval - but the government cannot do otherwise. It is God's law. There's no separation of church and state. Islam rules the state.
Once you become a Muslim you cannot leave. If you do you face death, maybe from those closest to you. So the number of Muslims keep growing, until the whole world is Muslim and ruled by the law of Sharia.
Atheists in America are so fortunate. Do not take your blessings for granted. Appreciate them, for many in the world can only dream about them. Perhaps it is about time to similarly give Muslims in America the same 3 choices they would give you if they gain the upper hand. But do you think this will work? They will deny Islam as their way of practicing Taqiyya, the doctrine of deception. They are duty bound to deceive non Muslims on their way to Muslim world domination.
It seems so medeival to me... Your post has really struck me. Sure, it's not exactly ideal as an atheist in America, but thus far, I have the RIGHT to be atheist. I can tell whomever I want. I might get ostracised or possibly beat up (and I suppose killed if I happened to be in the wrong circumstances at the wrong time), but I can retaliate against those people in the court of law.
I am so sorry you have to live as you do.
Glad you are here. I hope you are either able to leave your country or find some way of dealing with things there. I have some idea what you are going through. My experiences with intolerance in the U.S. have been quite alarming and maddening. I left the U.S. "bible belt" as soon as I was old enough, but even that wasn't enough. It seems like I have spent huge parts of my life trying to avoid or deal with intolerance and its consequences. I never had to worry about Shari'a law, but I have had a death threat or two, though I don't think they were serious.
I wish I could give you that great piece of advice that works like magic. Unfortunately, the best advice I can give is to trust no one where you are. The religious love to use spies to ferret out us non-believers. Someone who seems to be singing your song might not be sincere.
Once again thank you all for your advices, kind words and wishes.
And I'm sorry to hear the stories of social rejection by families and friends.