Skeptimus Prime » Islam One atheist's thoughts on politics, religion, and philsophy Mon, 11 May 2015 01:55:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Egyptian atheist arrested for posting ‘Innocence of Muslims’ on Facebook Mon, 17 Sep 2012 04:06:00 +0000 Continue reading ]]> So this happened:

The video in question that he posted, kinda silly, but has caused riots all over the Middle East.
 According to the article:
Alber Saber was arrested on Friday after his mother called the police out of fear of the crowd outside their home. Saber was arrested under the rarely used law that prohibits insulting religion

 Free speech doesn’t fly in Egypt either apparently.

A Facebook page has been created in support of freeing him, I don’t know how much good it will do but go click the “like” button if you have time.

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God doesn’t exist: Indonesian atheist faces 11 yrs in jail Wed, 09 May 2012 05:40:00 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Saw this today:
If you didn’t hear about it before, this guy said god didn’t exist on his Facebook page and now he could spend over a decade in jail for it.
Not really much one can say about this, its pretty ridiculous that there are still countries in the world who think it’s totally cool to put someone in jail for having an unpopular opinion on anything.  The fact that this person is an atheist just shows the kind of discrimination we have to face.
I often hear from people trying to explain away the more extreme behaviors of certain Muslim groups by saying it’s not Islam, it’s the middle eastern culture that is so despotic, anti-women, and xenophobic.  I’ve never understood exactly what this explanation was supposed to accomplish, but it is little better in Indonesia from what I can tell.  The government there still gives absolutely zero shits about the civil rights of it’s citizens.
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16-year-old girl who was forced to marry her rapist Thu, 15 Mar 2012 05:23:00 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

 Moroccans outraged over suicide of 16-year-old girl who was forced to marry her rapist

Some might remember a bit of friendly banter on my blog last month about this passage in the bible.

Deuteronomy 22:28-29, If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.

Also the Christian who argued on my blog that it wasn’t immoral to force a women to marry her rapist if she happens to live a culture where a woman’s worth is determined by her virginity.  It’s an easy thing to say I suppose when it is only a theoretical concept about a long dead culture.  Not quite as easy when it is happening somewhere today.

This girl, Amina Filali, was actually forced to marry her rapist and eventually committed suicide to get away from him.

Here is a few important parts of the article.

Article 475 of the Moroccan penal code allows for the “kidnapper” of a minor to marry his victim to escape prosecution, and it has been used to justify a traditional practice of making a rapist marry his victim to preserve the honor of the woman’s family.


The victim’s father said in an interview with an online Moroccan newspaper that it was the court officials who suggested from the beginning the marriage option when they reported the rape.

“The prosecutor advised my daughter to marry, he said ‘go and make the marriage contract,'” said Lahcen Filali in an interview that appeared on Tuesday night.

In many societies, the loss of a woman’s virginity outside of wedlock is a huge stain of honor on the family.

While the people involved in this story were Muslims not Christians it hardly makes any difference.  This behavior is sick, and anyone who suggests this OK is sick.  If women loose “value” in a culture because they are no longer a virgin then the culture is wrong.  Admit that the culture is wrong and fix it.  Luckily that is exactly what people are doing there as there have been protests in the country to end this law. 

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Muslim Chokes Atheist, Judge dismisses case. Mon, 27 Feb 2012 23:06:00 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
In case you haven’t read about this case yet, the picture above is a picture of Ernest Perce dressed as Zombie Muhammad in a Halloween parade where he was attacked by a Muslim by the name of Talag Elbayomy.  
Talag admitted to police at the scene that he had assaulted Ernest Perce in order to remove the sign from Ernest’s neck and defend Islam.
It seems like a fairly open and shut case.  One party exercising his free speech rights and another assaulting that party because he wanted to silence that.
However judge Mark Martin dismissed the charges against the Muslim and admonished the atheist that free speech didn’t give him the right “to piss off other people and other cultures.”
You can hear the entirety of the ruling here. 
The judge seems to admit that he is a Muslim himself while handing down the ruling, (something he has since denied) but irregardless he said several things which show that he does not understand the law nor should he be a judge.
Here in our society, we have a constitution that gives us many rights, specifically, First Amendment rights. It’s unfortunate that some people use the First Amendment to deliberately provoke others. I don’t think that’s what our forefathers really intended. I think our forefathers intended that we use the First Amendment so that we can speak our mind, not to piss off other people and other cultures, which is what you did.

This statement in particular is rather absurd, free speech must necessarily protect speech that someone finds offensive.  If people only said things that never offended anyone then we would not need a first amendment.  To “speak our mind” can potentially piss someone off.

He goes on to say:

I don’t think you’re aware, sir, there’s a big difference between how Americans practice Christianity – uh, I understand you’re an atheist. But, see, Islam is not just a religion, it’s their culture, their culture. It’s their very essence, their very being. They pray five times a day towards Mecca. To be a good Muslim, before you die, you have to make a pilgrimage to Mecca unless you are otherwise told you cannot because you are too ill, too elderly, whatever. But you must make the attempt.

I think many atheists are well aware that Islam is joined at the hip with a lot of the cultures especially in the middle east, we just don’t care.  Just like Christianity or any other religion one could name, Islam is simply unproven.  Beliefs, no matter how ardently believed, deserve no respect except that they can earn that respect through evidence, something that every religion I have ever investigated has lacked.  However, in this case it doesn’t even matter, even if Islam had been proven to be the true religion it was still the right of Perce to criticize any view he wishes without fear of physical reprisal.  As a skeptic I find this right to be invaluable, how can find the truth of things if we censor peoples ideas?

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James Dobson and Daniel Lapin get together and say crazy things. Wed, 22 Feb 2012 05:38:00 +0000 Continue reading ]]>  Dobson and Lapin Blame Feminism for Everything, Scold Bill Clinton and ‘Womanizer’ Newt Gingrich

Rabbi Lapin

I ran across this article on earlier and saw something worth noting.  You can listen to Dobson’s full program here if you can manage to make it through the whole thing.  Anyway I noted this particular quote from Rabbi Lapin with my own comments interspersed.

Once you remove the religious restraints to rampant sexuality, and all you got to do is relax those religious restraints and male nature will take care of the rest and bring about the decline of a civilization,

Fundamentalists no matter the religion have a big drive to control people’s sexuality with fear tactics like this.  Of course he also makes a jab at men, who apparently are just beasts who can’t keep in in their pants without the fear of god in them.

one of the mechanisms is of course as we’ve discussed economic because in a sense it requires the same kind of control and self-discipline to get up every single morning and go to work whether you like it or not as it takes to restrain various appetites.

Amazingly many cultures and people who have not restrained themselves sexually in the way Dobson or Lapin’s religion requires have still been able to manage to go to work.  I wonder if Lapin has ever read a history book, no civilization in the history of the world, including Victorian era England has ever been as puritanical as Christianity or Judaism requires. 

So when you weaken one muscle you weaken everything else as well and not only do we have a tendency on the part of a society that has relaxed all form of sexual restraint to also go into free fall economically but what also happens is such a society tends towards becoming a more feminine society in a sense.

More feminine? I’m not exactly sure what he means here but no matter how you interpret this it sounds sexist.  It also seems to contradict what he said earlier about “male nature.”

Islam, fundamentalist Islam, which is essentially a brutal and violent culture is seducing a somewhat effeminized American culture because there is no other way to explain the love affair that America’s leftwing and secularized elites have with Islam.

Yes because us liberals just LOVE us some fundamentalist religion, nothing we like better than to have our liberty taken away by some crazy religious zealot.  That was sarcasm in case you were wondering.

I really am not even sure where he is getting this from, he seems to believe that we, “secularists,” who have fought tooth and nail to wrest our civil liberties from the hands of fundamentalist Christians in this country would just hand it over to another group who is even more extreme than they are.

Islam has at least as bad if not a worse track record on women’s rights, sexuality, free speech, and many other issues.  Why would he think that secularists would just turn over our rights to them?  If there is anyone who would it is most certainly not me or any of the members of skeptical/atheist movement.  The idea that any of the feminists in our movement, the likes of Greta Christinea or Jen McCreight have some love affair with fundamentalist Islam is ridiculous.

It also strikes me a rather funny that he talks about Islam as being a “brutal and violent culture” when historically Judaism and Christianity have been very bad too.  Indeed the world Dobson and Lapin want to create in America doesn’t look any better than the ones fundamentalist Muslims want to create.

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Let’s convert Muslims at the point of the sword…hey it worked for them right? Wed, 26 Jan 2011 06:20:00 +0000 Continue reading ]]>   Nation-building? No, Christian-building
                Ok, anyone who has been around the interwebs for a while knows that World Net Daily isn’t so much a news organization as a large mill for pseudo-science, conspiracy theories, and blatant bigotry against anyone who thinks differently than them, I.E. not members of  the extremely religious right.
                I have typically stayed away from such “news organizations,” but thanks to my blog I have had to change my reading habits so that I can have things to write about.  Having said this, you should all thank me for being willing to wade through this “wretched hive of scum and villainy.”  
                In any case, while perusing the site today I ran across an article published on January, 22 in which the author, Ellis Washington, is arguing that the United States should quite literally begin another crusade against Muslim nations.  Ellis, from what I gather, seems to be a dominionist.  Politically these Christians believe that the United States is a Christian country and that we should implement Old Testament laws into our legal system.
                His article starts off by making the following assertion:
          “America must use its military to go to every Muslim nation in the world and convert them to Christianity; it is the only way to end the Muslim jihad against the West, against Christianity and against civilization.”
Apparently he is too ignorant of history to know that this has been tried before, and it failed quite miserably.  Furthermore, this entire line of thinking is hypocritical, while I would actually agree with his assessment of radical Islam, what makes them so dangerous is their belief that they must convert or kill all every other human on the planet.  
His advice for combating them is essentially to engage in the same behavior that makes radical Islam such an immoral set of teachings.  He then asks the question of what the world would look like under Shariah law.   I can assure you it wouldn’t be pretty, but a world under Old Testament law would not look any better.  If anyone doubts this simply look at countries like Uganda which are fairly close to this reality, witch burnings are common and they are trying to make a law making Homosexuality punishable with life imprisonment.
He then makes the absurdly false claim that when people are allowed to freely choose their religion most people choose Christianity before descending into a conspiratorial rant. He continues:
“It is that sublime, voluntary choice of people choosing Christianity that makes the Democratic Party and the legions of progressives, socialists and humanist academics that populate the federal government literally apoplectic. This explains the radical policies directed toward undermining the military:”

            These statements are rather laughable considering that most Democrats are actually Christians, and unlike me would encourage people to believe in said religion, and even they were hardened atheists I very much doubt they would be “literally” apoplectic.  Ellis goes on to give three examples of things the Democrats are doing to destroy the military.

“Repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy”
Is anyone surprised by this one?  There is no reason, beyond bigotry against homosexuals, to think that gay people are any less capable of fighting wars that straight people.
“Military chaplains can no longer mention the name “Jesus” or “Christ” in a prayer, causing Christian chaplains to resign while the numbers of Muslim chaplains have increased in record numbers;”
This, while not an obvious lie, is misleading.  It seems to suggest that chaplains cannot mention Christianity but can speak about Islam.  This is false; the military is asking chaplains to refrain from ANY sectarian religious statements in an effort to avoid a violation of the church state separation clause.  Though, personally, I think the position of military chaplain is a violation of church state separation, in itself, and should be eliminated entirely. 
“The Obama administration plans to allow women to fight on the front lines. This concession to the feminist movement will only further erode military readiness, cohesion and morale.”
It is not enough to say homosexuals can’t wage war, now women can’t either.  The ignorance of this man is staggering.  Can he provide one bit of evidence for this bald assertion?  People made the same claims when women were allowed to serve in other capacities in the military and yet women have served in these other areas without issue.  Why should this be any different? 
If male soldiers are seriously going to have a drop in morale because the soldiers next to them don’t have a penis I respectfully suggest that the problem is with them, not the women they are serving with.
He goes on to quote a YouTube video where it is submitted that six million Muslims convert to Christianity every year, he says this as if it is certainly true, though the quote is not backed up by any real data, so I very much doubt the figures are exact, and they may well be made up entirely. 
He ends by saying:
“We must invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. PC (perversity correctness) means keeping Christianity, America and the West on the road to dhimmitude.”
Ellis’ beliefs are scary to me, and they should be scary to anyone.  In Ellis Washington’s America I would one of the first against the wall for my blasphemous beliefs right along with, Muslims, homosexuals, and those women who have the gall to demand equality.  While I disagree with much of the Islamic belief system I support their right to believe it and practice it provided it does not interfere with the freedom of others.  Ellis, however, seems to believe that he has a right, nay a duty to force others to conform at the point of a sword, and that the U.S. military should be that sword.  What is really disturbing about Ellis’ views is that he thinks he is in the right, that he is better than the Muslims, and that he is a moral crusader fighting against the evils of Islam when he is, in fact, not better in the slightest.

 He is exactly the same as Muslim terrorists in all the important ways, save one.  He lacks the power and backing of the government in this country makes it happen.  I say this because we cannot be complacent; it is not enough to say these people are a minority in our country.  It is often noted that radical Muslims make up a minority in many Islamic countries, yet they wield almost absolute power over people there.  The religious and social freedoms that our country gives us could and would be taken away if people like Ellis had the chance, we have to work to make sure they never get that chance.
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Pakistan, land of the not so free. Tue, 11 Jan 2011 05:31:00 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

            Currently Pakistan is dealing with tens of thousands of protesters.  What are they protesting for, freedom, for women to be given equal rights?  Not at all, they are protesting against a suggestion that Pakistan amend its very strict blasphemy laws to be only slightly less strict.  

This is only the tip of the iceberg.  Governor Salmaan Taseer was assassinated on January 4th for spearheading this effort, shot by one of his own bodyguards.
            Taseer certainly did not deserve this, but he was not even advocating getting rid of the blasphemy laws, merely softening the punishment to something less than the current punishment, death.  That’s right, suggesting that people not be killed for blasphemy is enough to get you killed in Pakistan. 
            Groups within Pakistan who dare to take a more moderate stance have been quiet since the assassination, no doubt because they are all afraid of being killed themselves.  Many religious leaders have stated that anyone interfering with the protesters or continuing the fight for amending the blasphemy laws will be killed.  
            There is a lesson to be learned here, if the only way to maintain belief in your religion is to threaten death of anyone who questions even the smallest aspect of it, then get a new religion….or preferably none at all.
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