Worldwide Violence Against Non- & Ex-Muslims: A News Round-Up

I try to take a nuanced and careful approach to criticism of Islam and ensure that I’m humanizing Muslims in the process, but it’s hard not to be disturbed and angry about the recent news about people who are critical of and/or have left Islam — or even who simply aren’t Muslim but live in a Muslim-majority country

Content Notice for brutal violence.

In Bangladesh, we have Avijit Roy and Rafida Ahmed Banna. The former, an author of religion-critical works, was hacked to death. The latter, in addition to now being a widow, was also injured in the attack.

In Saudi Arabia, we have Raif Badawi, who has been so injured by his first round of lashes that doctors under the employ of the Saudi government have deemed him unfit to take any more for the time being. Another man was sentenced to death for apostasy.

In Pakistan, Christians like Asia Bibi continue to face persecution under blasphemy laws and from their fellow citizens alike. It has gotten so bad that the Punjabi local government has decided to defend citizens accused under the laws.

In Denmark, the shooter behind the free speech event murders earlier this month has been confirmed to have considered himself ISIL-affiliated.

Through it all, some Western Muslim leaders continue to defend the death penalty as the appropriate punishment for apostates.

Worldwide Violence Against Non- & Ex-Muslims: A News Round-Up

6 thoughts on “Worldwide Violence Against Non- & Ex-Muslims: A News Round-Up

  1. 1

    Sorry to make this about my feelz since there are people for whom this is life & death, and that ain’t me. But I don’t think the discourse in organized atheism has reached a place I’m satisfied with in regards to these issues. Even within FtB there are people that identify as conservative and people who – while sometimes extremist progressives – deny islamophobia is even a thing. Anyhoo,

    Tumblr is always a mixed bag, but sometimes u need content to fill your brain and it’s good for that. I was reading someone’s page that’s mostly coo, but there’s atheism bashing at times (even tho the person is an atheist, thanks for fucking up the label for nonbelievin’ kids RD), and the muslim defense just occasionally goes too far for my comfort.

    There was a post about draw mo day which made it out to be exclusively about islamophobia. While I’ll admit I’ve been islamophobic, I don’t buy that assertion at all. Because blasphemy is very important to me, and news items like those you list above compel me to it in a big way. My lower-casing of islam and muslim is always intentional & the same thing I give xtians when I bother to spell their shit out at all.

    I’m open to asking why I feel so passionately about blasphemy and whether it’s a good thing. My starting point would be something like this: Theism is fundamentally offensive to me, because it abdicates reason and moral agency to an imaginary friend originally conceived of by pre-medieval scumbags. Blasphemy, to me, is necessary to feel like my devout beliefs can be expressed in a world dominated by shit that really bothers me.

    And right now, having read the above article, I can’t even think of a counterpoint. šŸ™ I’d rather not be someone who contributes to the oppression of a religious minority, but fwaaaakkkkkkkk i hate the abrahamic faiths soooo hard. *sigh*

    1. 1.1

      but thereā€™s atheism bashing at times (even tho the person is an atheist, thanks for fucking up the label for nonbelievinā€™ kids RD), and the muslim defense just occasionally goes too far for my comfort.

      Ya I’ve had the same experience on Tumblr.

  2. 2

    There is much to be critical of Islam but I do wonder how easy it is to be cultural self critical when you are literally under attack on so many other fronts. Granted not all places are under attack but when a lot of people are saying its all about Islam it’s pretty hard not for many Muslims to get defensive and dig their heels in. Secondly concentrating on Islam at least to my mind, diverts attention away from both geopolitical and patriarchal issues.

    1. 2.1

      “I do wonder how easy it is to be cultural self critical when you are literally under attack on so many other fronts. ”
      White, straight, male, first worlders seem to be able to do it. Everybody keeps telling me that white, straight males are responsible for all sorts or horrible things, but I don’t see us shutting down the capacity for self-examination.

      Muslims have been threatening and killing authors for saying things they don’t like for DECADES. Including authors that weren’t even in Muslim countries. Muslims feel they are under attack because saying bad things about them is considered an actual attack, but actual attacks by them they feel are justified. While of course most muslims don’t support violence, they don’t stand up to those that do.

      1. Michael could you tell me how many countries of predominately Caucasian ethnicity are under occupation, have been invaded recently, had democratically elected governments overturned or had autocratic regimes supported by Muslim counties? You think that if whites males were coping the short end of the stick they would have spare time to be self critical or get defensive? & nor does one have to shut down discussion to make it ineffective, Chomsky talks about different ways the US and the West marginalize and censor their mainstream discourse while maintaining the illusion of critical debate.

        & given how poor US media is, do you really feel justified to say that moderate Muslims don’t in fact confront and denounce extremest violence? Spend much time watching Al Jazeera or listening or reading moderate Muslim writers or activists? Talking about Muslims without acknowledging the large differences within the religion and cultural groups is as flawed as talking about Christians as all being the same.

  3. 3

    It has been devastating and infuriating to read about Roy’s murder and the attack on his wife.

    Being ex-Muslim in Muslim countries and conservative Muslim societies has to be among the most stifling experience. And if you’re a vocal ex-Muslim, well, we know what sort of existence that is.

    A good part of the blame for this does fall on the Muslim masses in that they foster a generation that considers the image and position of Islam and Muhammad to be more important than anything I already know for sure that when this topic comes up in my family and acquaintances, there will be a heavy dose of “those aren’t true Muslims” and “didn’t this blogger know this would happen” and worse of all, “these murderers are just ruining Islam’s reputation”.

    There are too many Muslims out there who play the exact same part that apathetic and racist white people played after Michael Brown’s murder. No, they’re not directly responsible for it. But the environment they create and the way they raise their children are what causes these incidents down the line.

    I really hope Taslima stays safe. It’d be foolish to think there aren’t people planning against her all the time.

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