We are Iranians, Seculars, Non-theists, Atheists, Anti-Theists!!!
What has prompted me to write this is a new Fatwa issued by Iranian's clergy calling for the murder of an Iranian singer (Shahin Najafi) for a song about the new Iranian's atheist movement is questioning the historical religious figures. Apparently they have found it offensive just as Ayatollah Khomeini found Salman Rushdie's book offensive. Anyway that's not my main point. I am from the generation born in the years after the hideous Islamic revolution in Iran and I believe I am speaking on behalf of at least half of fellow young Iranians. We are not Muslim. We've been fighting against the theocracy from the day we reached the age of reason despite all the pressure from the oppressive regime and despite the fact that they did their best to educate us in the fanatical Islamic tradition throughout the school education system, but that's not the point either.
"I am offended by the way people in western societies treat us presuming we are Muslims because our parents chose to give us Arabic names" - and no, there's no way for us to change the name if we want to go back to the country to visit our families (you know the punishment for apostasy).
I've been living in Australia for about a year now after surviving terrifying assaults of regime's militia several times. I was left to die in a remote desert near Tehran after printing a few copies of a book I'd spent two years on, for some literature professors in my university. The book was immediately reported to the supreme leader's observatory in the university, I was expelled, tortured and nearly killed by the hands of brutal intelligence agents. I got away and was later pardoned on the condition that I hand over all the copies and keep my mouth shut. But many of my friends didn't. Some of them were shot dead in the streets in the protests after the 2009 presidential election (some of you may have seen the videos) and some were tortured to death in the regime's prisons. Many are still in there.
Just like many of my friends, I've never been religious, not since the day I found out about the fact that according to the Islamic law, a husband can kill his wife in order to clear his name if he simply suspects unfaithfulness and he only has to pay a small fine to the Mullahs; that day I became a non-Muslim (and that was the age of nine - I was forced to learn Arabic and to recite the Qur'an however, and I know every single word that is written in that book as well as many other religious texts).
Later we got the guts to step forward and go against the Islamic rule and we've payed for it with many lives. That is why I am offended with the common western approach towards Iranians, especially those with Arabic names. Not only we don't get enough support from western countries and human rights groups in our struggle against the religious insanity, but we are considered as part of that system.
I am an atheist and I'm fighting this war alongside many others who are just a wrong turn away from getting exposed and being sentenced to death. The recent death sentence against Shahin Najafi is just another sad incident while the world is just watching with indifference.