My Muslim Facebook Friends

I admit that I am fairly wanton in my acceptance of Facebook friends.  Since it’s my primary mode of communication and sharing with my friends and followers, I’m happy to pretty much accept anyone who isn’t harassing me.  More hits on my blog, more attention to me, etc.

While the vast majority of strangers who friend request me are atheists, I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting a lot of requests from strangers who are Muslims.  No other religious denomination, just Islam.  I didn’t think too much of it — they could be people who were curious about what I was saying or maybe were in the closet atheists in inhospitable areas or they were trying to convert me.  All of which were OK with me.  I did a little digging and discovered that these people have friended en masse a lot of other atheists that I am friends with.

The weird thing is that none of them really comment on my page or engage with anything I say.  I guess they just want their posts to show up in my News Feed, but I am pretty heavy with my “Don’t Show Me Posts” powers, so a lot of people disappear soon after friending me.  Yesterday I got a friend request from someone with over 100 friends in common with me and today she showed up in my News Feed:

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Uzma Rathore: I don’t want to come across as harsh but i request those of you who are Islamophobics to kindly remove yourselves from my friends list as being a practicing Muslim, i won’t allow anyone to disrespect my religion. I removed a particular individual from my friends list just now due to the same reason. Cheers.

What’s she doing going around friending all these atheists if she’s just going to tell us to unfriend her.  MAKES NO SENSE.

So, strangers, why are you friending me?

EDIT: Apparently asking why she friended so many atheists is islamophobic hate speech.  Fascinating.

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I have absolutely no idea how many atheistic Islamophobic mad hatters i have added to my friend’s list out of sheer ignorance since i don’t deem it necessary to confirm individual religious beliefs prior to sending out friend requests but i am getting negative vibes about this whole thing. I just removed two women from my friend’s list who were propagating religious hate speech on my wall notwithstanding my persistent requests to not disrespect my religion. I wonder how some people can be so unreasonably adamant !

My Muslim Facebook Friends

17 thoughts on “My Muslim Facebook Friends

  1. 2

    I’d be careful judging this person. The idea that she linked up with so many atheists, without ever asking or guessing their religion, is kind of implausible. So here’s an alternate scenario: she was exploring atheist sites because she was interested in it, but then got caught (i.e., had her browing history exposed) by someone who has power over her, so now she has to come back and play the good Muslim standing up for her faith against the enemies of Islam, otherwise she’ll be branded and ostracised as an apostate.

      1. So let her do what she apparently has to do, and quietly mark it down to a backward religion with totalitarian busybody enforcement. Wherever she is, it’s not a place where she can freely or honestly interact with infidels.

  2. 3

    I thought this site was called FREETHOUGHTBLOGS. I don’t see much in the way of free thought or understanding. As an Atheist, I respect everyone’s right to their beliefs, even the thumpers. I always warn people not to debate me because as a self taught person, I tend to make people angry. I DO NOT want to change others faiths, but when I’m questioned about my lack of faith, I respond with the truths I know.
    I don’t see much ‘free thought’ going on here. Getting rid of friends with alternate or no religion stifles your own thinking. Take it all in my friends, give it serious thought before you simplify others as being lacking in the understanding that is your religion.

    1. 3.2

      I always warn people not to debate me because as a self taught person, I tend to make people angry.

      Short answer: LOLWUT?!

      Did you teach yourself how to pack as many non-sequiturs as possible into a sentence?

  3. 4

    It just seems like some kind of scam. You get the sense of “who, little ‘ol me” and wonder who is really behind it. It doesn’t seem implausible that this was just a set up to show how mean and islamaphobic atheists are…there’s no way to even know if the picture and the name go together or if Uzma is the name of the person doing all the friending and commenting.

    Bottom line is there isn’t enough real information to figure out what she/they are up to, but it surely seems deceptive in nature.

  4. 5

    So it goes like this?

    Step 1: Friend a random stranger
    Step 2: Learn that that stranger says things that offend you, and insist they stop

    Ok, I’m off to friend some strangers from Focus on the Family, the Muslims Brotherhood and Golden Dawn.

  5. 6

    I’m confused by the “I’m asking you to unfriend me” bit. Does she not know how FB works? It takes far less time for her to unfriend a person than to post a request asking said person to unfriend her.

    Or she could just control her settings to stop seeing posts that offend her. Why has she made this your problem?

    Oh, and Al’s comment (#3) just seems weird in many ways. “Free thought” means “free thought.” It doesn’t mean “abstain from trying to convince others of the correctness of your beliefs.”

    1. 6.1

      That’s pretty much what I thought too.
      Plus why friend random people indiscriminately in the first place? How does she even pick those people to whom she’s sending out “friend requests in a haste” and what’s the point of doing so?

  6. 8

    Something tells me the whole thing may be a data-driven phishing scam, and Uzma has a better-than-even chance of being a bot or something. The answers she gave seem almost non-sequitur-ish and form-letter-like.

    I get weird linkedin reqs and emails all the time from people in weird places, usually it looks like Pakistan and India. They are always weird like pictures of someone’s trip to Mecca (really, I was like, “well, that’s nice, who the hell are you?”) And at one point some dude’s scan of his passport.

    This sounds suspicious to me but then I don’t get friend reqs (usually) from people I don’t know at all (some I haven’t spoken to in decades, but that’s FB for you).

    Assuming Uzma is a real person, the whole “disrespecting” thing, and judging by the info posted, might be a failure of communication. I can see how someone from a certain religious background might see things we would post as ordinary criticism as disrespectful.

    And, being charitable to Uzma here, I have seen more than one instance where atheists who criticize Islam fall into a lot of orientalist tropes and traps. Hell, I used to do that too. It’s easy. And if you are a minority in whatever place you are (say, the US) the whole situation gets rather complicated. I mean, I wasn’t raised religious at all, but I still bristle a bit when I hear non-Jews say stuff critical of religious practice or calling it silly. It’s just too close to some really ugly stuff sometimes, you know? (The situation here for Jews is also complicated by the conflation of the ethnic group with religion, and that’s a whole other topic). I’m not saying Ashley did that, but in a group of 100 FB friends the probability that someone says something that really is offensive (whether they mean it or not) fast approaches one.

    TL; DR: Uzma could be a bot/ scam or a really sincere person, but absent really getting into this and doing some meatspace investigative work there’s no way to tell.

    (Pro tip: if you want to know if our criticism of Islam is racist or bigoted, insert the words “black people” in place of “Muslims” and ask yourself if you’d say the same thing. If no, then rethink/ rephrase whatever it is. I find when I do that it makes me more conscious of what I am saying and how it sounds).

  7. 9

    What really makes no sense is that Fiona Summers repeats the favourite position of Bigots “Homophobe indicates irrational fear… I’m not *scared* of gays, I have a rational dislike of them”

    What a stupid thing to say. Islamophobia and Homophobia are bigotries, not phobias… despite the name. English is not a logical language, and things that look the same often mean very different things.

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