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Erasing ex-Muslims and Muslims: How atheists harm us

Originally posted on The Burning Bush:

In the wake of the Chapel Hill shooting in North Carolina, where Craig Stephen Hicks turned himself in for murdering three, young Syrian-Americans (Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohamad Abu-Salha, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha), humanists, atheists and secular organizations  alike responded to the issue of Hicks’ anti-theism immediately.

As a former Muslim, as an Afghan-Canadian, and as a person with Muslim family, I deal with anti-Muslim bigotry outside of atheist circles as well as within them. Regarding the murders, I wrote last week not from the perspective as an atheist but as a person with a “Muslim name” from a “Muslim country”. I will continue to challenge anti-Muslim bigotry but I would like to take the opportunity to address how the secular movement and communities have failed me as an ex-Muslim.

I find that there is little talk and reflection of the harmful and unhelpful dialogues and approaches around Islam and Muslims within…

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Atheism, Humanism, and the Chapel Hill murders

Originally posted on The Shoops Roost:

Mohammad Abu-Salha was an artist.

Deah Shaddy Barakat worked to raise money to help Syrian refugees in Turkey to have access to dental care.

Yusor Mohammed was a bridge-builder, who sought to bring women in her community together, all while working on advancing her education.

Early today, their lives were taken in a horrific act of violence committed by this man, Craig Stephen Hicks:

Police said “an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking” might have been a factor in the shootings Tuesday evening but said they weren’t dismissing the possibility of a hate crime.

The victims — a newlywed couple and the bride’s younger sister — were shot in the head, sources told CNN affiliate WRAL.

Their families have said they believe the shootings were motivated by hate, and the suspect had threatened the three before, said family spokeswoman Linda Sarsour. The nature of the previous threats was unclear.


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Police Violence and the Discourse of (White) Fear

Originally posted on Media Diversified:

by Margarita Aragon

Last month, police in Cleveland shot a 12-year-old boy as he played in a park. Perhaps, you have seen the CCTV footage. In the silent stilted images, Tamir Rice wanders aimlessly, pointing a BB gun in various directions, before sitting by himself on a bench. A police car speeds into view and the boy stands up, before falling to the ground, our view of him then blocked by the police car.


After shooting Tamir within two seconds (literally) of arriving on the scene, the police then tackled and handcuffed his 14-year-old sister as she came running, having been told by other children that the police had shot her brother. When their mother arrived a few minutes later, again summoned by children who witnessed the shooting, she was threatened with arrest if she did not ‘calm down.’ In the seven minutes of grainy footage released by the city…

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When Christianity Became About the Opposite of Social Justice.

Originally posted on Roll to Disbelieve:

Love your neighbor as yourself. Give till it hurts.Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked and comfort the sick, imprisoned, and mourning. As you treat the least, you treat Jesus himself. Never fight back against persecution or resist the predations of those who mean you harm. If you’re hit in the face, turn the other cheek to your attacker’s hand. If you’re told to carry heavy stuff for a mile, carry it for two without complaint. If someone compels you to give them your coat, give them your shirt as well. Sell everything you own, if you’re convinced you’ve done everything else to keep the laws, and give the proceeds to the poor. Your King is a beggar, a stranger in his own land, who died the most humiliating death imaginable at the time, and a Prince of Peace rather than…

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The Deadly Self-Pity Of The Police

Originally posted on Samir Chopra:

In 1997, as a graduate teaching fellow, I began teaching two introductory classes in philosophy at the City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Many of my students were training for careers in criminology and law enforcement. Some hoped to join the FBI, yet others, the New York City police force. And, as I had been told (warned?) some of my students were serving NYPD officers, perhaps hoping to become detectives, gain added educational qualifications and so on. In my first semester, I did not meet any of these worthies.

A few weeks into my second semester, soon after I had finished teaching for the night, a student walked up to me, asked me a couple of questions about the material I had just covered and then introduced himself. He was a serving officer in the NYPD, working in a Brooklyn precinct. We chatted for…

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The Ferguson Masterpost: How To Argue Eloquently & Back Yourself Up With Facts

Originally posted on [smut & sensibility]:

We encourage you to share the link to this rather than reblogging the entire post (since this is frequently updated and we want to minimize the spread of outdated info!): bit.ly/FergusonAEM

Introduction From The Curator

Note (11/29/14 at 8:00 PM EST): Holy moly, this got a ton of traction. Thanks to all the folks sharing, commenting, and helping us correct typos, inaccuracies, and the like! Keep it coming! Also please note that comments are moderated to filter out spam & I’m not on my computer 24/7, so responses and updates will not be immediate. We’d love to hear what you’re doing with this information, so definitely let us know of success stories in talking to family-members, using it in lesson-plans, and the like.

The only kind of bombs I fully support are truth-bombs, and that’s why I’ve come together with a group of POC and select White allies to write…

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Moving Social Justice with People of Color Beyond Faith

Originally posted on Chocolate City Skeptics:


“There is no such thing as a single issue struggle because we do not live single issue lives.”
– Audre Lorde

The weekend of October 11th and 12th marked the first Moving Social Justice Conference presented by People of Color Beyond Faith, a project of Black Skeptics Group. The goal of the conference wasto address issues of social justice from a radical humanist perspective and brought together organizers, activists, community leaders, and thinkers from different walks of life to discuss topics ranging from feminism to the school to prison pipeline. So it was a real departure from the general topics addressed by mainstream secular/ humanists groups that narrowly focus on issues of visibility, anti-theism, and science education. This conference embodied, as Debbie Goddard stated during the conference, that “intersectionality is our lives”. And for those of us who stand at the various intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality those…

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