Atheistophobia: It’s time to talk about the most persecuted minority in the world

While apologists create mendacious claims of the “New Atheist” threat that is persecuting Muslims – very little attention is given to how atheists have been a persecuted minority for centuries

When I wrote ‘Death to Infidels’ – I had two questions.

“How many more Avijit Roys, Washiqur Rahmans and Ananta Bijoy Das are required before the world accepts the issues with Islam? How much more should the body of proof weigh before society admits Islam is in need of reform in the most desperate way?”

The questions were based on the probability of the answer. So I wasn’t shocked to hear about the murder of Niloy Neel – although I was deeply saddened and I continue to remain in a place where I have no doubt these bloggers are targeted for their critique of Islam.

The Guardian also published details regarding the release of a global Islamist hitlist that vows violence on prominent Islam critics, atheists, secularists, non-Muslims and liberal Muslims. Remember, this is all emerging from Bangladesh – the same Bangladesh Reza Aslan had deceitful described as secular, 100% equal nation to suit his own dishonest narrative – but then again, I don’t expect much integrity from a privileged man living in the comforts of Western secularism while vilifying atheists, secularists and Islam-critics just to protect a cherry picked interpretation of Islamic scripture. As I had previously exposed – Reza Aslan is an apologist for Islamism – because he holds firm in the claim that Islamism is the antidote to Jihadism.

While apologists create mendacious claims of the “New Atheist” threat that is persecuting Muslims – very little attention is given to how atheists have been a persecuted minority for centuries. Both in historical and present-day context – atheists and secularists are scorned and dehumanised by society worldwide.

According to a 2012 report by Gallup, it was found that 58% of Americans will vote for a Muslim presidential candidate over an atheist candidate who received only 54% support. Although very close in number – the vast majority of Americans are more favourable towards Muslims than atheists. If a society has more trust towards a Muslim than an atheist to lead their country – it is safe to argue that Muslims are less persecuted than atheists. And could this discrimination towards atheists be a result of the dominant religions within the U.S.A. that vilify atheists in general?

Even prominent American figures like Oprah Winfrey are confused how an atheist can function as a compassionate human being without a belief in God in comparison to a Christian like herself who respects the savagery of a genocidal Biblical God who has no qualms about murdering newborns and punishing rapists with a payment of 50 shekels. How astonishing is a theist’s moral hypocrisy?

Maybe if theists actually read the scriptures of their faith, they can understand why atheists are intolerant of mainstream religions. But I doubt many would ever acknowledge the barbarism incited within their religious books – because that would mean having to admit how hateful and vicious their God is and deriving “morals” from him is galactic bigotry in comparison to an atheist who derives morals from the simple fact that everyone deserve human rights because it is fundamental to their survival as human beings.

What’s frightening about being an atheist in context to Islamism is the sheer volume of scripture that go a step further in disparaging atheists – it has numerous quotes that literally incite violence against them – and thus implying atheists are the most evil creatures in the kingdom of Allah that must be punished at all time. This is a well-respected sentiment held by a vast majority of Muslims – and it can be easily substantiated by all Islamic nations that have criminalised atheism and apostasy – where the resulting punishment is death.

The persecution of atheists doesn’t end with Islamic nations – it’s a global trend that testifies to how atheists are the most persecuted minority on Earth. Blasphemy laws also prevent atheists from expressing their atheism and challenging ideas that systematically abuse them. By logic, blasphemy is anything that questions theocracy – and as a result – even merely addressing how religion abuses atheists can be defined as a blasphemous act, leaving a person criminally charged, prosecuted and sentenced to death or imprisonment. This means an atheist is denied even the legal right to protect themselves from the tyranny of theists.

To record – there has been no confirmed cases where atheists have persecuted theists in the name of a disbelief in a personal god (atheism). People like Cenk Uyger and Reza Aslan have made a career out of equating the criticism and intolerance for Islam to “attacking” 1.6 billion Muslims and portraying them as a singular group of worshippers. Uyger and Aslan claim the entirety of the Ummah are persecuted by atheists – while conveniently forgetting how much the Ummah propagate hatred and violence towards vocal atheists worldwide which is precisely the cause of so many attacks on Bangladeshi atheist/secular bloggers’ and the impending violence vowed upon more atheists and secularists around the globe.

Terrorists such as the Islamic State consist of a multi-national identity and their only common ground is Islam and their Muslim identity. But according to Uyger and Aslan – these are people who are persecuted by atheists. It wasn’t enough for these men to romanticise the abuse Muslims perpetuate on atheists, non-Muslims and liberal Muslims – they had to maximise the slur against them. Prominent vocal atheists such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, et al are now being described as “New Atheists” – a pejorative that attacks their character for being unapologetically intolerant towards religious bigotry – but more specifically – Islamic bigotry.

“New Atheism” isn’t reserved only for famous atheists but also vocal atheists in general – which explains why people as Eiynah (Nicemangoes), Ali A. Rizvi, Taslima Nasreen, Sarah Haider, Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, and even I, Aki Muthali, etc., are called everything from “New Atheist” to “native informant” and “white supremacist”.  Apparently, we brown people are not entitled to a decent standard of human rights, therefore by exposing the religious and cultural abuse of our native lands, we are committing treachery against our own. Another implication is that brown people cannot behave rationally, therefore we must be pacified with white-guilt and tolerance for the racism, sexism and misogyny we commit in the name of religion and tradition.

Recently, a so-called “journalist” by the name of Murtaza Hussain who works for The Intercept, the online publication co-founded by Glenn Greenwald and company, publicly shamed Maajid Nawaz, a prominent Muslim figure in the U.K. for criticising Islamism and then went on to racially attack Nawaz as a “porch monkey”. Hussain’s anti-black sentiments was really telling but devout Muslims and pseudo liberals all defended Hussain’s racism and nodded their heads in agreement. Ironically, Nawaz is also labeled a “New Atheist” for his work with Sam Harris. Nawaz then addressed the issue with a brilliant report via The Daily Beast, titled “Don’t Call Me ‘Porch Monkey’”.

This is only one example pertaining to how people react to the criticism of religious abuse. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from and what your belief is – as long as you dare to criticise the tyranny of religion, you are immediately apostatised by theists – and especially, Islamists and their pseudo liberal allies. But for the lads at The Intercept, it’s not enough to just racially belittle people – they went further by doxxing me for criticising Islam then doubled down and justified their behaviour.

The second doxxer, repeated the abuse by using one of his three confirmed sockpuppet accounts which exclusively retweets and favourites his posts on Twitter. Ultimately, I concluded The Intercept as a mediocre publication that has no qualms using racism and threats to silence vocal atheists and secularists. If men with room temperature IQ who resort to doxxing and racial slurs are the brains behind The Intercept – it’s easier to sum up the quality of the reports it releases.

Atheist bloggers who are critical of Islam are being threatened universally and yet, a publication that prides itself in being transparent and pro-whistleblowers continue to employ racists and those who insinuate threats by exposing personal information of atheist bloggers. How could “journalists” make a conscious decision to publicise real names of bloggers who are obviously using pseudonyms? If they believed their implied threat through such exposure will confine or limit me in any way – they clearly displayed their intellectual degeneracy that is no different from the psychopathy of corporate/Wallstreet brass. My passion for human rights will not be crippled by Islamist-fanboys and fangirls – so be prepared – because free speech is coming to town.

And speaking of ‘free speech’ – atheists and secularists are also systematically denied the right to speak in educational institutions because of theistic rage over criticism of religion. Recently, Maryam Namazie, an ex-Muslim feminist and secularist, was blocked from speaking at Warwick University because the university feared Namazie’s anti-Islamism stance would offend Muslims. Namazie has proactively rejected Islamism and denounced Islamic misogyny. Yet her lecture was considered dangerous because Muslims would have hurt feelings over their privilege and abuse being intellectually challenged. How many other atheists and ex-Muslims have faced this same scheme of discrimination? This is neither the first time nor the last. Sadly, for universities that succumb to fascism – it seems they are maintained by juvenile bigots with no respect for the foundation of Education.

Islamists’ and pseudo liberals’ attack on free speech is just another form of theistic hypocrisy. All the vile scriptures of religion remain a juggernaut of a problem that cannot be reformed by logic – which explains the century upon century of debating human rights. And while the debate remains in gridlock – it is women, girls, LGBTQ, atheists and secularists who pay with their life and dignity – that is what God is built on. And that is the God theists worship. If you want to limit free-speech – then come prepared to have religious scriptures banned as hate-speech too – if not, quit meddling with atheists’ right to express their ideas and beliefs.  

While the world exclusively scrutinises Western secular nations for slavery, racism, imperialism and colonialism – they turn an intentional blind eye on the same abuses sanctioned under theocratic nations, mainly in the Middle East. Slavery is still alive there. Where is the outrage?

The kafala-system once had a different meaning. Today it is bound by a more sinister definition – it is used in the 21st century to enforce the Islamic “tradition” of slavery where mainly Africans and south and east Asian migrants are lured in with a decent job only to be beaten and raped while doing forced domestic labour and eventually murdered – and if they can’t escape, they commit suicide or die trying to escape. This isn’t “modern slavery” or “domestic slavery” – it is the same slavery the Westerners have long disposed of. I hear no #IStandWithMigrantWorkers trending for the plight of these people being systematically used as slaves by rich Arab Muslims of the East – yet the bleating of how much evil Western secular nations are is a ceaseless banner of pseudo-liberalism being utilised to deflect and deter any conversation regarding this Arab slave crisis – because as you know, as well as I – any form of concerns raised is shut down by the shrieking of “Islamophobia”, followed by “Western foreign policy” and “colonial feminism”. Slavery is rampant in the Middle East – so I ask again – where is your outrage?

The pseudo liberals demand tolerance for theocratic sentiments while it is the embodiment of rape-culture, misogyny and phobias – providing the perfect platform for violent opportunism, especially when it comes to enforcing gender-apartheid, sexual dominance, racism and anti-atheism. In mainstream religion, the only concept of “consent” for women and girls is the predetermined vows of marriage – and even that is given by force through cultural submission that breaks their spirit to preserve the twisted sense of patriarchal “honour” which ironically dwells inside female sexuality. The same scriptures that make males violent religious fanatics, also indoctrinates females to submit to the misogyny and sexism that dehumanise them.

The only thing religion has materialised is the abuse on those it discriminates. Everything else it claims to be or do is yet to be confirmed as fact. No evidence has surfaced to validate religion. However, evidence has arrived to denounce it a hundred times over and lampooned until kingdom comes.  

Intellectual dishonesty becomes mechanical to theists as a result of cognitive dissonance. They expect empty flattery for their religion. It’s even more shocking to theists when they are told fundamental human rights of individuals is not at their disposal to redefine in accordance to their “religious liberty”. Surely – the Satan is amongst us now!

It is the systemic contempt that continuously establishes systematic structures of abuse and if you're unwilling to eliminate systemic contempt cultivated by Islam or any other religions – you're part of the problem.

The monstrosity of religion wants to dictate and mold human rights and create slaves to wash its feet under the guise of liberalism – which is why pretending to be shocked by vocal atheism will not be appreciated in 2015. Oh, that Atheistophobia is truly damaging religion’s divine reputation – and not a single hyperbolic tirade, false equivalency and evasive answers will save it from the wrath of every person it dehumanises.

Aki Muthali

Aki Muthali is a freelance writer, who's a feminist. Born and raised in Sri Lanka, she currently lives in Canada. She’s also an illustrator and a painter. Follow her on Twitter 

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