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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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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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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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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Introduction From The Curator
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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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“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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