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Atheist to Muslim Convert
Posted: 03 August 2008 10:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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bhbs - 04 August 2008 12:15 AM

I think it’s interesting that some people have claimed that the conversion is to “fill a gap” in the lives of the previously non-believing type. I think the main gist of the question, however, was, “Why Islam?” as opposed to other religions.

I’m very, incredibly new to the site (almost to an embarrassing spot considering the number of posts by others here), and it fills me with some form of trepidation to throw my hat in this proverbial ring. However, Islam, to me, especially for women, is a rather surprising choice considering some of the central beliefs of that religion. If an atheist were to choose Islam to “fill the gap” over, say, Judaism or Christianity, then I would be rather surprised and can’t think of an explanation for it other than the sociological factors with which we are not familiar. Not to say that Judaism or Christianity are in any way legitimate, but they seem to be less aggressive, at least, in their anti-woman rhetoric (though, they clearly do have it to an alarming degree).

So, I’m not partial to the belief that it is simply to fill the gap. There either must be something about Islam that I, and many others, do not understand in terms of attractiveness. Or, there is something rather specific about the marketing (!) of Islam that is appealing to certain humans which is more effective than the marketing tools of other religions. The gap can be filled by anything, be it Cheetos or Buddhism. Why Islam? I can’t be sure, but I am not encouraged by this news if it is true.

Welcome to the forum.  You raise a good point here.  I recall several years ago watching a program abou women in Islam, and some of the women interviewed appreciated the constraints, in particular the dress code that let them avoid having men look at them.  In a book describing her experiences viting Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan during the mid-1080s (The Wind Blows Away Our Words), Doris Lessing spoke with a number of Afghan women.  “I have to report that sitting there with the women, all so friendly and sociable and gossipy, inside walls that shut out the world, with the big, brave armed men out there in front, I found myself thinking”‘Ah well, why not leave it all to them?’  It was exactly as I felt after five days in the Middlesex Hospital in London, cossetted and proteted.  Coming out I could not believe I’d ever deal with the traffic, the streets, the struggle of daily life.  This state of mind lasted for a day or two.  I am sure that it would be easy to fall victim to Purdah and soon begin to think that no other way of life was possible.”

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Posted: 03 August 2008 11:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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Fantastic reply, and it raises as many questions as it answers. Namely: is our society (and I speak from an American perspective) so incredibly sexist and objectifying regarding women that it is drawing them to Islam? If it is, and I hope this is not true, then our current society, theistic or not in its current state (regardless of its origins and the explanations for it) is insufficient.

Walking in Manhattan last night, the amount of catcalls and sexist comments that I heard all over the place was disconcerting. This has been the case for as long as I’ve been going to Manhattan (10 years), as well as for how long I’ve been conscious of the same behavior in my home town and other places on Long Island.

I hear this sexism all the time, but your comment brings to me a different perspective. Some women enjoy the ogling and depreciation. Others feel it to be repressive and ultimately unacceptable. Males are caught in between. Either the sexism works or it doesn’t. This is an unfortunate fact that precipitates more of the same disdainful behavior in males.

Is it possible that the constant objectification of women that is present in major Western cities is drawing those same women to Islam, a repressive religion that destroys the concept of personal female identity? Might those women find comfort in the anonymity of their new repressive religion? If this is true, then how terrible is, really, the objectification of western women? If it is so bad that it leads women to a religion in which they become systematically marginalized and made into property, then we need a serious re-evaluation of our current value system and our current political and commercial morality.

Most importantly, this re-evaluation should NOT come from religion, because we are witness right now to the paradigm which it has created.

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Posted: 04 August 2008 07:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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First off, and this is important:
The strongest form of sexism and objectivization of women occurs within ISLAM, to the point that you’re treated as nothing but a rapeable whore if you don’t hide yourself away (alternatively get killed by your own family if you don’t conform).

To let it all go, to become impotent and take glory in being weak and slavish “protected” by your male relatives is an understandable, but certainly not enviable life option.


This is proper background on which we are to judge the so-called sexist and objectivizing attitudes in the West.

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Posted: 07 August 2008 11:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Thanks to all for your excellent replies.

The most interesting of the points raised is, I think, “Why ISLAM” specifically, and I sincerely think that it is the latent new-age/hippy/experimentalist type of girls that are fooled by this shit. They initially explore it as a spectacle, and are captivated by the clothing and rituality, I think, and then the belief, or belief in belief, comes later.

Thanks again. Keep em coming.

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Posted: 15 August 2008 10:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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thepredatorhandshake - 01 August 2008 05:34 AM
Jack Shooter - 31 July 2008 07:42 PM

Funny how you don’t consider the possibility that Islam resonates with people as the truth.

The truth being that if I change my mind I should be killed, or that fucking 9yr old girls is ethical???

Hmm…don’t think so pal.

What do you know about ethics, pal?

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Posted: 15 August 2008 10:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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SkepticX - 01 August 2008 09:02 AM
Jack Shooter - 31 July 2008 07:42 PM

Funny how you don’t consider the possibility that Islam resonates with people as the truth.

That’s because the mind must be compromised in order to perceive it that way. That’s what religious faith is all about.

Byron

Sure, that makes a lot of sense, coming from an uncompromised mind such as yours.  Of course you were never dropped on your head, right?

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Posted: 15 August 2008 10:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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Nod - 03 August 2008 09:27 PM
Jack Shooter - 31 July 2008 07:42 PM

Funny how you don’t consider the possibility that Islam resonates with people as the truth.

Funny how the truth is the same regardless of how you FEEL about it.

Agreed.  Just because you don’t accept the truth, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

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Posted: 15 August 2008 10:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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Jack Shooter - 16 August 2008 02:26 AM
Nod - 03 August 2008 09:27 PM
Jack Shooter - 31 July 2008 07:42 PM

Funny how you don’t consider the possibility that Islam resonates with people as the truth.

Funny how the truth is the same regardless of how you FEEL about it.

Agreed.  Just because you don’t accept the truth, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

But beware of anybody who claims to have the absolute truth.  Especially if they try to force it on you, or use force against those who disagree.  In this world of relative truth we live in, diversity is the desirable state.

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Posted: 17 August 2008 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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burt - 16 August 2008 02:50 AM
Jack Shooter - 16 August 2008 02:26 AM
Nod - 03 August 2008 09:27 PM
Jack Shooter - 31 July 2008 07:42 PM

Funny how you don’t consider the possibility that Islam resonates with people as the truth.

Funny how the truth is the same regardless of how you FEEL about it.

Agreed.  Just because you don’t accept the truth, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

But beware of anybody who claims to have the absolute truth.  Especially if they try to force it on you, or use force against those who disagree.  In this world of relative truth we live in, diversity is the desirable state.

We may not have ABSOLUTE truth in every case, nor do I believe this is possible in this world, but we have been shown the black, the white, and the grey.  It’s people who say the black is white, and the white is black, that I have a problem with.

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Posted: 18 August 2008 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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What exactly is the problem and how do you intend to fix it? 

Let me guess - the problem is people who don’t follow your religion, and you intend to fix it using a combination of violence and peer pressure.

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Posted: 18 August 2008 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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Skipshot - 18 August 2008 01:23 PM

What exactly is the problem and how do you intend to fix it? 

Let me guess - the problem is people who don’t follow your religion, and you intend to fix it using a combination of violence and peer pressure.

The problem is we need to have rules for the collective good, we can’t have anarchy, and we can’t have widespread godlessness because that is harmful to individuals, families, and communities.  So the question is figuring out which rules are best.  I submit the Abrahamic way is.

So you guessed wrong.  You don’t have to follow my religion, but don’t prevent others from following it either, and don’t insult what is dear to people, whatever that may be.

BTW, have you considered the actions of the US government?  Iraq and Afghanistan, and many other countries, give us a fine demonstration of what happens to “people who don’t follow your ‘religion’ (i.e. the American way)” - carpet bombing, and occupation.

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Posted: 18 August 2008 10:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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You forgot to explain how you intend to fix the problem.

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Posted: 19 August 2008 08:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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Jack Shooter - 19 August 2008 12:11 AM
Skipshot - 18 August 2008 01:23 PM

What exactly is the problem and how do you intend to fix it? 

Let me guess - the problem is people who don’t follow your religion, and you intend to fix it using a combination of violence and peer pressure.

The problem is we need to have rules for the collective good, we can’t have anarchy, and we can’t have widespread godlessness because that is harmful to individuals, families, and communities.  So the question is figuring out which rules are best.  I submit the Abrahamic way is.

So you guessed wrong.  You don’t have to follow my religion, but don’t prevent others from following it either, and don’t insult what is dear to people, whatever that may be.

BTW, have you considered the actions of the US government?  Iraq and Afghanistan, and many other countries, give us a fine demonstration of what happens to “people who don’t follow your ‘religion’ (i.e. the American way)” - carpet bombing, and occupation.

I am no fan of US foreign policy. I will say, nevertheless, that my godless family is getting along quite well. I have no intention of depriving anyone of their right of religious freedom. I only ask that religious people extend the same freedom to others.

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Real honesty is accepting the theories that best explain the actual data even if those explanations contradict our cherished beliefs.-Scotty

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Posted: 19 August 2008 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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Jack Shooter - 19 August 2008 12:11 AM

The problem is we need to have rules for the collective good, we can’t have anarchy, and we can’t have widespread godlessness because that is harmful to individuals, families, and communities.  So the question is figuring out which rules are best.  I submit the Abrahamic way is.

So you guessed wrong.

No I did not guess incorrectly.  Your statement says we need rules and the Abrahamic rules are the best, the implication is that not following Abrahamic rules leads to social problems, thus my guess is correct that your problem is that people aren’t following your religion.

I’ll agree with you that society needs agreed upon rules of behavior to run smoothly, however we seem able to agree upon only a few rules (don’t lie, cheat, steal, kill, etc.), and these rules are not unique to Islam.

I’m still waiting for your solution to the problem.

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Posted: 19 August 2008 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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Jack Shooter - 19 August 2008 12:11 AM

we can’t have widespread godlessness because that is harmful to individuals, families, and communities.

What do you mean when you say “can’t”?

Suppose you come across a godless community.  Do you say to them, “You can’t be godless anymore”?  What if they tell you, “Mind your own business; your theories of what is harmful to individuals, families, and communities is ludicrous and inapplicable.  We’re perfectly happy without god.”  What’s your reply to that community?

And what’s your reply to someone who tells you your belief in your religion is childish fantasy, thereby disrespecting that in which you believe?  What if they tell you that your god is a monster and sadistically evil, and they would never accept belief in such a creature?

What would be your response to that?

[ Edited: 19 August 2008 12:56 PM by Keep The Reason]
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Faith-free since 1985

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