Turtles all the way down

Is atheism rampant in the Middle East?

Posted by doctore0 on April 28, 2015

Humanity must break away from the imaginary tyrant/man made tool in the sky, it is happening.

Just recently Ahmed Harqan, an Egyptian human rights activist, stunned television audiences all over Egypt and rest of the Arab Middle East, by claiming his non-belief in the existence of God and his profound disdain to religious scriptures and ideology.

Following this astonishing revelation, a raging debate sparked all over the Middle East, since religion has been the most sacred form of thought in these parts of the world. It was very uncommon to discuss faith and scriptures, as it was considered blasphemous to question the doctrines of religion, and was even punishable legally. But over the last few years, things have taken new dimensions; largely influenced by social media, blogosphere and YouTube, many young people have started to openly raise questions and criticise faiths and ideologies worldwide.

India and Pakistan are no exception to such scenarios. Although both countries are facing a serious crisis of religious extremism and the growth of right-wing narratives notably in the middle-class section, it has also triggered a tremendous rise of sceptics and critical thinkers. Many bloggers have started questioning myths, dogmas, doctrines and sacred texts that have been forced on to them as benign faith.

In Pakistan, people haven’t showed up in the open as any form of dissent is retaliated by bullets. But, despite threats, Pakistan has hundreds of atheism and anti-religious groups and pages mushrooming on social media. The wave of religious fascism and violence carried out in its name, which has martyred over 50,000 lives including the dire dreadful Peshawar school attack that claimed 145 lives, has pushed many in Pakistan away from the fold of religion. The pace of the communication revolution in the last decade has liberated populations from the caged mind-set.
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