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chezzyd's Avatar Joined almost 7 years ago
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Go to: We are Iranians, Seculars, Non-theists, Atheists, Anti-Theists!!!

chezzyd's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by chezzyd

Please, please don't think that we all make these assumptions about Iranians, Arabs or anyone else. One of my favourite people is an Iranian immigrant - Kayvan Novak :-) I believe I speak for most when I say that yes, sometimes it is easy to talk in general terms about 'Muslims' or 'Arabs' or whatever but that does not mean that individuals are judged like that in reality. My impression of Iranian people has always been that of a very beautiful, proud people with a rich heritage who got a bit lost in a religious fog. I've always believed that the biggest victims of Islam and its dictators are Muslims themselves, ordinary people kept quiet through fear. But I also always imagine subversion in quiet conversations and private rooms. You have been given sanctuary in Australia, try to be understanding of them too. It is human nature to be a little wary at first - you must give people a chance to understand you better. Questions and ignorance are not attacks.

I don't believe the world watches with indifference - but it is hard to act especially when there was such opposition to action in Iraq and Afghanistan and the West is trying to balance local autonomy with threats to its own interests and limits to its own resources.

Tell us what the West can do to help? Should we declare war on Iran? Should we impose sanctions? Should we arm you so that you can fight the regime from within? All these things have been done and they have all been criticised and the West has been accused of imperialism or oil-mongering. What kind of society would you want to have? Is there a peaceful way to help that will actually work?

I admire all of you greatly and hope that your brave fight is successful. It is the young people who will change the world for the better. We DO care.

Thu, 09 Aug 2012 15:36:10 UTC | #950561

Go to: Countering Islam

chezzyd's Avatar Jump to comment 50 by chezzyd

I think if I were an ex-Muslim woman desperately trying to change the world to prevent the further suffering of others I would try any allies I could. Some of her choices may be ill-advised but all of us are on a journey with many twists and turns and our judgement is not always perfect at all times. Wafa Sultan is getting the same kind of criticism as I have seen aimed at Ayaan Hirsi Ali (who has also made no bones about her views and has also associated with people like Geert Wilders) and I personally don't like it. These women are risking their lives to take a stand against the spread of Islam and champion women's rights - they have lived it, we haven't.

I have not seen all her speeches but the ones I have seen have left me in no doubt that she is a highly intelligent, passionate woman who feels deeply. I have had no reason to disregard or doubt anything she says and I do not underestimate the specific creeping danger that Islam poses and the effect it is already having on our hard-won Western freedoms and institutions. With all due respect even groups as vile as the EDL are pussies next to the Islamists. As far as I am concerned the more people like Wafa stand up and show all the decent Muslims that they don't have to submit to this ideology the better.

Wafa Sultan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up3yuQDAWKQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XUHXu0gC4s&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1_aypp_5uI&feature=fvwrel

Thu, 09 Aug 2012 15:05:18 UTC | #950558

Go to: Prayer at a working lunch?

chezzyd's Avatar Jump to comment 53 by chezzyd

I thought you acted in the most reasonable manner available to you.
Perhaps it would have been different if the person had forced you to participate or implied they would not give you business if you did not? If he did try I might have responded 'I prefer to keep my personal beliefs and my work life separate' subtly shaming him and his public displays of piety into the bargain..

Tue, 10 Jul 2012 12:32:57 UTC | #948834

Go to: Primary school indoctrination (UK)

chezzyd's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by chezzyd

I went to a C of E Primary school (it was the local school - my parents are both non-believers) and was taught about Bible stories, sang hymns, said Grace etc etc. It was pushed a small amount simply by virtue of being the only religion taught. I do remember going through a short phase where I tried to say prayers at night because 'that's what good girls do'. I thought it vaguely silly but tried anyway and got the expected result. I was a voracious reader from a young age and loved the Narnian Chronicles, books about Greek and Roman mythology and the usual Enid Blyton stuff etc etc. I remember very clearly thinking how obvious it was that the Bible was made up in the same way. I wondered why God's appearances were so common back in Bible times but never seen now. I wondered why he only appeared to people in one part of the world. When I asked a teacher and she said all those other storiess aren't real but the ones in the Bible are I knew it didn't make sense and from then on I felt confident that all religions were made up. I cannot imagine a circumstance where I might have been a sincere believer - but then I wonder why it happens to so many others. I have always considered it might be a combination of things: a certain kind of mind, and a more intense immersion from a young age at school, at home and in the childs limited universe (i.e. church) where it could seem to the child that 'everyone else believes so it MUST be true and I must be wrong', coupled with fear of judgement, of punishment, of 'letting people down' - all the social aspects and pressures which come to bear when there is no alternative shown. Some people can shake it off as they get older, some cannot and retreat into an ever shrinking world of denial and single-minded fervour. The fear and the immersion need to be challenged. This is why I completely believe in religion being removed from schools - so there is at least one 'clear' space for children to learn and think away from parental control. However, where religion is involved, if my child came home with such a tale I would probably act as I would if it were any fairy story so the Bible had no more or less importance or credibility than them. No harm done. Kids are pretty smart.

Tue, 10 Jul 2012 12:26:39 UTC | #948833

Go to: Atheism IS Increasing at the Expense of Theism!

chezzyd's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by chezzyd

I can never understand how religion always seems to take the largest proportion of the figures in the UK. I don't know many people at all who give a stuff about religion and church attendance is almost non-existent. But I suppose those same people might also nominally describe themselves as 'Catholic' or some hippy wish-washy term like 'spiritual' or 'agnostic'. Are the questions skewed to count 'anything but self-declared militant atheist'? The recent RDFRS study of Census Christians was a far more realistic representation of my experience of religion here. The growth in the numbers probably isnt then an indication of actual irreligiosity, more a growing confidence in saying 'I don't believe' when before it might have seemed 'unseemly' or 'arrogant' to discount the idea of gods altogether. The US sticks out like a sore thumb in the Western world in this regard - but even here our ingrained cultural deference to religion still has a lot to answer for.

Sat, 02 Jun 2012 22:47:39 UTC | #945232

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