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  #1  
Old 2nd January 2017, 06:14 PM
Life-Lover Life-Lover is offline
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Default The struggles of Middle Eastern Atheists at home and away from home

Hello everyone and happy new year. I am writing this thread to share with you some of the struggles Middle Eastern (ME) Atheists face at their home and away from their home. I came up with the idea of writing this thread after I recently visited for holiday a first world (free) country, where the topics of refugees/terrorism have been very intense and controversial in terms of the best ways to approach/manage them. I will talk first about the struggles I and other ME Atheists have at home then will mention the difficulties and struggles we face when we are away from home. I know this thread is not relevant to most of you but this is the only place I know of where I can vent and share such thoughts/experiences.

At home, ME Atheists are constantly worried of being discovered and detained. Apostasy there means long term imprisonment (10-20 years). Ordinary people wouldnít have a mercy on them and would demand the harshest punishment to be applied on atheists. I constantly read on Twitter (Saudi Arabia has the highest number of Twitter users in the world per capita) people demanding the execution of atheists and constantly asking the government to hire hackers so that the identity of atheists using VPN can be revealed.

Last year, I was in a gathering with several of my relatives. My cousin talked about how there are many people on the internet publish videos and advertise articles talking about atheism and evolution. He said the world is suffering these days from wars, natural disasters, diseases, famine and economic crises because of those who abandoned believing in so called god. He then went on and said Atheists shall be publically beheaded so that no one would dare doubting the existence of god. Almost everyone present nodded their head. At that time, I felt if he found out about my atheism he would kill me then I did my best to hide the fear feeling I got at that time.

Almost every time I visit a free country especially in the past two years, I get encountered with many unwelcoming, unpleasant incidents due to my look. From racial slurs to being called terrorist several times to once being egg thrown by a car passenger and asked to go back home (fortunately, the egg missed my clothes and body and hit a wall behind me). I honestly do understand why people are angry and I think there are Muslims who recently committed horrible and awful things in the name of their god (just like how many Christians in the past committed crimes in the name of their religion and to fulfil teachings of the bible).

It is true that racism and mistreatment of minorities and foreigners exists everywhere in the world (even in Saudi Arabia). However, minorities always find love, comfort and support among their fellows. In my case and other ME Atheists, we neither find acceptance among our fellow ethnic groups or families nor in other parts of the world. At some points and times, I get sad, depressed, frustrated and feel nobody likes me and accepts me for who I am. ME Atheists are always the biggest victims and hit hard the most by what is going on around the world. I donít think it is ok to harm or harass Muslims either. But at least they are accepted at some places.

Hope this thread can give you an idea of how it feels to being a ME Atheist.
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  #2  
Old 2nd January 2017, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: The struggles of Middle Eastern Atheists at home and away from home

That's fucked LL! Through no fault of your own you seem to be stuck in the worst of both worlds. I wish there was something i could do or say to help. The best i can do is to affirm to you that there are many many people in my community here in Melbourne, Australia who are not prejudiced against either atheists or Middle Easterners and that is true of thousands of communities around the world.

I hope you can get yourself to a safe place LL because there is most certainly many of them in the world.

Keep safe dude.
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Old 2nd January 2017, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: The struggles of Middle Eastern Atheists at home and away from home

Thanks for the insight, I hope you find some comfort on this web site and stay safe.
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Old 2nd January 2017, 07:56 PM
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Darwinsbulldog Darwinsbulldog is offline
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Default Re: The struggles of Middle Eastern Atheists at home and away from home

Of course, some would argue that as we are atheists, this is none of our concern. Atheism implies a lack of belief in gods, and nothing more.

Atheism PLUS got it wrong. Apathetic, non-involved atheism is not even wrong, it is catatonic.
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Old 2nd January 2017, 08:39 PM
wadaye wadaye is offline
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Default Re: The struggles of Middle Eastern Atheists at home and away from home

Thanks LL i was more familiar with the risks in Iran. That is a really dangerous and unbearable way to live.
Sorry you are going through that
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Old 2nd January 2017, 08:51 PM
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pipbarber pipbarber is offline
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Default Re: The struggles of Middle Eastern Atheists at home and away from home

Quote:
Darwinsbulldog said View Post
Of course, some would argue that as we are atheists, this is none of our concern. Atheism implies a lack of belief in gods, and nothing more.

Atheism PLUS got it wrong. Apathetic, non-involved atheism is not even wrong, it is catatonic.
Most thinking mature engaged atheists, as i'm quite certain you well know DB, get virtually nothing from their non-belief but a great deal from where the non-belief leads, which is the application of genuine rational inquiry into reality. And this, very often, leads to secular humanism and the constant challenge to be intellectually honest with ourselves, our ideas and to recognise our own prejudices.

I have enormous respect for someone who is able to approach these things from within a society where it is mortally dangerous to do so. Stay positive everyone, we're an awesome species.
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  #7  
Old 2nd January 2017, 10:05 PM
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Strato Strato is online now
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Default Re: The struggles of Middle Eastern Atheists at home and away from home

Hi Life Lover,

I have been reading pieces by George Monbiot on the Guardian online, in the Opinion section.

I certainly get concerned for how the world is, seen through Monbiot's insightful, educated and humanist eyes.

He has become vegan to make less impact on the planet.

He has also dedicated himself to address the loneliness everywhere and to actively work to alleviate it. His Guardian articles are rather compelling reading. Could it be dangerous for you to even read that secular progressive news site?

We humans are a highly social mammal. We need contact and empathy. You are now isolated because of what you have come to understand, dared to think about. In a free country you are suspected and persecuted because of racism and uneducated reaction against authoritarian religion. When you are not even religious.

If you feel it's safe to continue to do so, stay in contact here, among friends and comrades.

You write excellent English. Surely there must be some way and some country you can legally emigrate to?

I suggest you must try and remain empathic toward others in your isolation and your need to be concerned with self preservation. Giving feels good. It would be hard not to become insular, since you are alienated.

Always good journalism here...

https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...-society-apart
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Old 2nd January 2017, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: The struggles of Middle Eastern Atheists at home and away from home

Could you go to an embassy of an English speaking country, as you speak English well, and plead for asylum as your life is in danger because of your rejection of religion, Islam and Christianity also, that you put religion behind you?

Tell them you have to live a double life and the danger you are in.

Request an interview. You could get them to read your surreptitious posts here as evidence of your credibility, authenticity.

That's all I can offer.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 05:28 AM
Spearthrower Spearthrower is offline
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Default Re: The struggles of Middle Eastern Atheists at home and away from home

Quote:
Life-Lover said View Post
Almost every time I visit a free country especially in the past two years, I get encountered with many unwelcoming, unpleasant incidents due to my look. From racial slurs to being called terrorist several times to once being egg thrown by a car passenger and asked to go back home (fortunately, the egg missed my clothes and body and hit a wall behind me). I honestly do understand why people are angry and I think there are Muslims who recently committed horrible and awful things in the name of their god (just like how many Christians in the past committed crimes in the name of their religion and to fulfil teachings of the bible).

It is true that racism and mistreatment of minorities and foreigners exists everywhere in the world (even in Saudi Arabia). However, minorities always find love, comfort and support among their fellows. In my case and other ME Atheists, we neither find acceptance among our fellow ethnic groups or families nor in other parts of the world. At some points and times, I get sad, depressed, frustrated and feel nobody likes me and accepts me for who I am. ME Atheists are always the biggest victims and hit hard the most by what is going on around the world. I donít think it is ok to harm or harass Muslims either. But at least they are accepted at some places.
Your acceptance is here! Doesn't matter how much melanin you have in your skin, or which silly antiquated god you don't believe in - here you be who the fuck you want to be!
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Old 6th January 2017, 01:51 AM
Life-Lover Life-Lover is offline
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Default Re: The struggles of Middle Eastern Atheists at home and away from home

Thanks everyone for your nice and encouraging words.

Pipbarber,
Yes, I have heard a lot about how great and accepting Melbourne is. I also have read that it was considered as the most liveable city in the world for the past few years.

bruce1937,
I appreciate your warm wishes. I will always do my best to be safe.

Wadaye,
I have always said that there is no difference in terms of freedom between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia was ranked as 156th country in the world in terms of freedom of expression index while Iran was ranked 158th. So not that much of a difference.

Strato,
Thanks for your support. Fortunately, the guardians website is not blocked in Saudi Arabia and it is ok to visit it.
Great article and I agree with the article that we need constantly social support and empathy. I have read an article a few years ago saying one of the main reasons women have a longer life expectancy than men because women usually share their problems and vent with their peers frequently unlike men who usually hide their feelings and emotions from others.
I honestly don't know if I can legally emigrate to another country. I have only a Bachelor Degree from a U.S. university plus four years of experience. It is harder nowadays to immigrate than it used to be and if you are a Middle Easterner then it is extra harder.
I really appreciate all of your advices though. They really mean a lot for me.

Spearthrower,
Thanks for your kind words. They are really appreciated.
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