Hello from a Kafir

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Hello from a Kafir

Hello, I am a junior in college and have had doubts about religion since late high school. I have told a couple of people that I am an now an atheist but am effectively still in the closet due to financial concerns. My family are devout Muslims and raised me as such to the point where I was a creationist, 9/11 conspiracy theorist, Holocaust denier, etc up until the 10th grade! I am studying Biology and Philosophy with the intent to go to Medical school. 


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Welcome to the forum - are

Welcome to the forum - are you in Kafir now or studying in another country?


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 I am in the US, I was

 I am in the US, I was using the Arabic/Islamic word Kafir=Infidel as joke referring to the fact that I used to be muslim. Smiling


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lalib wrote:Hello, I am a

lalib wrote:

Hello, I am a junior in college and have had doubts about religion since late high school. I have told a couple of people that I am an now an atheist but am effectively still in the closet due to financial concerns. My family are devout Muslims and raised me as such to the point where I was a creationist, 9/11 conspiracy theorist, Holocaust denier, etc up until the 10th grade! I am studying Biology and Philosophy with the intent to go to Medical school. 

Welcome aboard. It takes alot of courage and intelligence to overcome indoctrination like that. Hats off to you. Good to have you on board.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Welcome.

 

 

 

                   I am in Canada near Toronto.  Where in the states are you from?  Where did your parents originate from?

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lalib wrote: I am in the

lalib wrote:

 I am in the US, I was using the Arabic/Islamic word Kafir=Infidel as joke referring to the fact that I used to be muslim. Smiling

 

Ah, shows how much Arabic I know. 

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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Welcome lalib

 

Pleased to meet you. How are you finding the philosophy studies?

 

 

 

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 Thanks for the welcome

 Thanks for the welcome everyone. I'm in Missouri right now and my parents are from Syria. 

Philosophy is quite fun right now. 

As to how I came to my senses, well, that's quite the story. I went to a small private religious school up to the 8th grade, however my mother passed away at the end of the 5th grade, 9/11 happened shortly thereafter, and I acquired a stepmother who pushed our family to a more fundamentalist position.

Prior to these events, I was your typical, moderately religious child with a love of science. The earliest show I remember watching was the magic school bus/Bill Nye and I honestly didn't learn anything in science class until the 6th grade because I had already learned it elsewhere. My mother's death naturally raised the question 'why?'especially concerning why god would do such a thing. 9/11 made me question the actual religious teachings instilled in my, I wondered how anyone could take the Quran and use it to promote violence (of course I hadn't actually read the thing yet), I eventually concluded 9/11 was a conspiracy to justify hatred against muslims. The third event was the real kicker, instead of the previous two events pushing me out of religion, my fundamentalist stepmother pushed me back into religion. I was never truly sincere, but I 'protected' myself by doing everything a 'good' muslim was supposed to do. 

High school really opened my eyes (especially since my 8th grade class had 7 students and my high school class had 500) to other world views. I had stopped denying evolution by 10th grade (ie, when I actually learned about it in school, my religious school had conveniently skipped over it). By the 12th grade, I was no longer a fundie, nor was I sincere in my belief but it hadn't truly occured to me to believe in nothing. By my last semester in high school I had only met one openly agnostic fellow (and by openly I mean he shared his view when asked, but otherwise was just a normal guy). Come freshman year in college, I suddenly began noticing how religious the world was, granted I was attending a Jesuit university, but I also noticed Facebook Friends with religious statuses who I didn't realize were very religious. Ironically, the final push to atheism came from the required theology classes at my Jesuit university. The classes were academic in nature, but required reading the OT, NT, and bits of the Quran. Imagine my surprise when after taking a theology class or two I was taught by Christians that the Bible is indeed written down by men and was indeed originally an oral tradition. My professor also traced the evolution of judaism based on important events in their history and after that very class I confronted my professor "If we can so easily trace the evolution of religion, why bother following it?" His response was that there was still truth in them, even if they changed. From that day I internally identified as an atheist, it became clear that the whole damn thing was a mass self inflicted delusions, and the fact that the religious know it's all hogwash but don't give a damn surprised me the most. 

Now I'm trying to perfect the art of the HitchSlap. Eye-wink


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Hey, Welcome.Quite impressed

Hey, Welcome.

Quite impressed with your account of your path to Reason.

Actually quite interested in your story about what they teach in Theology class. And how they teach it.

Sort of confirms my impression of the double-think involved, in clinging on to the idea of there still being some 'truth' in it, even when they are honest enough to recognize its very human origins.

Hell, even Harry Potter has some truth in it, in that sense.

They just can't bring themselves to go that extra step and admit that the supernatural bit is simply a decoration, a metaphor at best.

Of course, some people, even after getting to be established Theologians, finally see thru the crap, and give up on it.

I wish I could find a good reference, but I remember a case some years back about a guy doing just that, and writing a public letter to his Church (RC I think), describing just why he could no longer stomach the lies and hypocrisy of the church leaders. It was in the days when the internet was not quite so established as a source of news, so I only heard about it on our national radio network.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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lalib wrote: I am in the

lalib wrote:

 I am in the US, I was using the Arabic/Islamic word Kafir=Infidel as joke referring to the fact that I used to be muslim. Smiling

Welcome

 

I was wondering the choice of words. I mean kafir is a racial slur in south africa (where I live). Its long since lost its meaning though. Now its just a racist slur against black people. Black people didn't believe in god and the afrikaaners in the past were deeply religous, stil are to some extent but not nearly so much. The rest im sure you can guess.

 

 

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Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
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No animal shall sleep in a bed.
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No animal shall kill any other animal.
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lalib wrote:Hello, I am a

lalib wrote:

Hello, I am a junior in college and have had doubts about religion since late high school. I have told a couple of people that I am an now an atheist but am effectively still in the closet due to financial concerns. My family are devout Muslims and raised me as such to the point where I was a creationist, 9/11 conspiracy theorist, Holocaust denier, etc up until the 10th grade! I am studying Biology and Philosophy with the intent to go to Medical school. 

That sucks. At least you have an online community to talk to. Maybe you could also find some atheist groups on campus, or in closest major city to you.

I think there is a website called x-Muslim.org or com.

And if you haven't read it, "Infidel" by Ayaan Hersi Ali, is the story of a woman who escaped Islam. She is one of my heros. I am not a Muslim, never was. But when I hear stories like her taking on the bullies, I feel like a complete wimp.

You are not alone. We are here anytime you want to talk.

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 Welcome. Nice avatar. In

 Welcome. Nice avatar. In fact, it was my Halloween costume in 2009.

 

Here, I would tell you that it was a somewhat subtle joke. I wore it to a huge kegger with my guitarist who happens to also be named Richard. I have no idea how many people were there but certainly not less than 300. Probably about 50 of them have known Richard for over 20 years. Probably half a dozen of them got the joke and had a laugh at his expense.

 

The fact is that Richard (the guitarist) is an agent of chaos. It is essentially impossible to hold a band together with him in it as nobody will play with him for more than a few months. He really is an insufferable jerk. However, he is a great teacher and he has the stage presence to get any room moving. So I deal with his crap.

 

Past that, I would love to know how a Muslim 9/11 conspiracy theory works. Really, we have had plenty of threads around here and on other forums about general western viewed 9/11 conspiracies. So how does it work from the opposite side?

 

Let's go over what evidence is simply not in any way possible controversial:

 

We know that there were 20 young Muslim men who wished us ill. One of them was arrested ahead of time for trying to learn how to crash planes into buildings.

 

Of the remaining 19, they all boarded four flights early that morning, intentionally evading security in the process.

 

All four airplanes never got to where they were supposed to.

 

We have film of one of them hitting one of the towers. Twenty or so minutes after something hit the other tower.

 

We have bits of one in and around the pentagon right in front of a huge airplane shaped hole in the building.

 

We have dozens of security cameras from every ATM, bank and convenience store in the area showing a plane going in towards the pentagon at a daisy clipping altitude.

 

We have bits of flight 93 all over the ground in Pennsylvania.

 

We have dozens of reports of people who were ordered by the hijackers of flight 93 to call home and say that middle eastern terrorists had taken the plane and that they intended to crash it somewhere in Washington DC.

 

We have radar tracks of all four planes going off course and ending up going pretty much where they seem to have ended up.

 

OK, so what manner of cognitive dissonance is needed to get into a head space where that all adds up to, well, I don't even see how that could possibly discredit muslims.

 

Sure, it fails to deal with the idea that Saddam Hussein is a bad dude who needs to be taken out. Other evidence points to that much and yet we were sold a bill of goods on that one. Whatever, that much is history.

 

However, how can it possibly run to the idea of Moslems being discredited? Seriously, I just don't get it.

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Wow, now that's pretty

Wow, now that's pretty impressive. Welcome to the forum.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Well, the theology classes

Well, the theology classes were academic in nature. There was no preaching, no prostylizing, no assuming that Christianity was The One True Faith. Mainly, I learned that the OT was probably an oral tradition for centuries before being written down (likely after they left Babylon) by numerous authors over centuries. The NT was written by unknown authors probably 80 years after Jesus died and wasn't canonized until about 300 CE. The fact that we learned this doesn't seem to faze any of the christians in the class, just about everyone were 'feel good' modern christians.

 

I was not aware of racist connotations to the word kafir, now I know. Thanks for cluing me in Tapey.

 

Thank you Answers, did anyone ever tell him why it was funny?

As for how 9/11 works in the Muslim world they'd stop you at your first point. Muslim: "How can they be Muslim? Suicide is forbidden in Islam and they killed themselves, therefore they are not Muslims!" 

They grab onto other conspiracies such as controlled demolition, etc. But many will tell you that after 9/11 the supposed 'terrorists' called news programs to tell them that they were not dead but alive and well! (there is some truth to this, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijackers_in_the_September_11_attacks#Cases_of_mistaken_identity)  Others will tell you that Jews did it and point to the 'fact' that every Jew who worked at the WTC took a sick day. Others point to it as an inside job to justify the War in Iraq/Afganistan and not as a war on terror but a war on Islam. 

 

I'll see if I can get my hand's on Ali's book. 


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......

Hey Lalib,

 

Welcome to the forum, if you've got any tips for other moslems looking to become 'murtadd' (apostate, punishable by death) I'd like to hear them.

 

You're very brave. Stay safe.

 

Differing types of KUFR according to islam.

How can not believing in something that is backed up with no empirical evidence be less scientific than believing in something that not only has no empirical evidence but actually goes against the laws of the universe and in many cases actually contradicts itself? - Ricky Gervais


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Tapey wrote:I mean kafir is

Tapey wrote:

I mean kafir is a racial slur in south africa (where I live). Its long since lost its meaning though.

 

From Wikipedia, but accurate and validated according to me:

The word kaffir, sometimes spelled kaffer or kafir, is an offensive term for a black person, most common in South Africa and other African countries. Generally considered a racial or ethnic slur in modern usage, it was previously a neutral term for black southern African people.

The original meaning of the word is 'heathen', 'unbeliever' or 'infidel', from the Arabic 'kafir' and is still being used with this meaning by Muslims.[1] The Arabic term Kafir (arab كافر) is, however, also applied to simply anyone who is not a Muslim. Portuguese explorers used the term generally to describe tribes they encountered in southern Africa, probably having misunderstood its etymology from Muslim traders along the coast. European colonists subsequently continued its use.[2] Although it was in wide use between the 16th and 19th centuries, and not generally seen as an offensive term, as racial tensions increased in 20th century South Africa and the surrounding countries, it became a term of abuse.

The word was used in English, Dutch and, later, Afrikaans, from the 16th century to the early 20th century as a general term for several different peoples of southern Africa. In Portuguese the equivalent cafre was used.

In South Africa today, the term is used both as an insult, and by some, as a common word for a black person. In any case, the term is regarded by most as derogatory (in the same way as "nigger" in other countries). Use of the word has been actionable in South African courts since at least 1976 under the offense of crimen injuria: "the unlawful, intentional and serious violation of the dignity of another".

 

How can not believing in something that is backed up with no empirical evidence be less scientific than believing in something that not only has no empirical evidence but actually goes against the laws of the universe and in many cases actually contradicts itself? - Ricky Gervais


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Abu Lahab wrote:Welcome to

Abu Lahab wrote:

Welcome to the forum, if you've got any tips for other moslems looking to become 'murtadd' (apostate, punishable by death) I'd like to hear them.

 

It depends on what country they live in. In more modern countries, just expose them to the hadith. There are numerous hadith that explicitly state that women are stupid and my favorite hadith quotes Muhammad proclaiming that camel's piss is a good cure for illness! If you can demonstrate a clash between modern values (that they presumably hold by the mere fact of living in America) and what Islam teaches, hopefully they will began to question their beliefs. 

If they are from a very Islamic country such as Syria or Pakistan the best way is exposure to other ideas. They will taste knowledge and hopefully begin to desire it.