Religious, Atheist or Anti-theist? a tale of tragedy.

This is rather a long post, but bear with me, this post is well worth a thorough read, i tried to cut it down. But shorter versions didn’t sound right faced with the horribly tragedy of the tale.

It all started with tragic events surrounds an Iranian family, the tragic events stemmed directly from religion and religious culture

Had they earlier rejected their religious superstition it could have saved them, and perhaps even offered them some happiness. As things are they are divided and its far from certain if this family has any kind of future ahead of them.

I have over the last year engaged the suppressed worshipers and their imam at the local mosque. It hasn’t always been friendly, and on more than one occasion it has come to blows. Anyway long story short, lets just say the clergy didn’t really like me, the local Imam was even arrested for a period for death treats against me.

To clarify i see religion as dangerous, i think religion causes so much harm that i see it as my duty to combat it at every turn, even if it poses a risk to my person.

This active, up close and personal approach to combating religious superstition puts me in a position where i see first hand the ugly, ugly face of religion and thus i am able to bring you this horrific and tragic tale.

The Imam (the death treat guy) was up until recently a fervent observer and die hard follower or Islam. Today he virulently rejected Islam, Islamic doctrine, and religion including its culture in any shape way or form.

I was at the mosque to have a new round of dialogs as he held his last sermon today. And i have never heard anything like this before! Everybody in attendance where moved deeply and i seriously doubt anyone had any faith left at the end of it.

I recorded most of it on my mobile and here is the transcript, the imam, broke down in tears several times during the sermon it shook me to the core. I wish i had a video camera since my attempts to describe this to you will not be close to convey the collective feeling of horror, guilt, and sadness we all experienced.


(we can all see that the imam is horribly tormented, his faces is ash gray and contorted by pain, he just stares at us all for a long time before he starts)

Is god good? does god exist? Are religious people dangerous? Is believing in god harmful? ……

Latently we have all been repeatedly challenged on this, you all know our friend (smiles sadly and points at me) I am here today to deliver my final words to you in regards to this issue, I will not speak to you again from this podium.

Many of you already know that i have just lost my family,,,, (struggles to continue) what you don’t know is how this came to be.

From this very spot i have repeatedly praised, and made you praise, the goodness of god! but is god good??? like many of you, we still have friends and family in Iran. The abominable hell hole! that we are all so FUCKING proud of! (he collects himself, long pause)

My daughter where to be married in may, i had arranged everything. My daughter was never consulted of course. She is only a girl. After all she was MY daughter! Our culture, our religion,,,, (looks down and sobs for a few seconds),, everything told me i own her! i would do as i pleased,,,, God gave me that right! (long pause while his sad eyes accusingly stares at us)

A few weeks ago a friend of my daughter still in Iran was killed, she had been arrested last year during a demonstration, i don’t know what the demonstration was for. She was 17,,,, the same age as my daughter.

My daughter was totally distraught, not only was her best friend hanged simply for daring to speak up! But shortly before her execution she was married to one of her executioners, since Islam forbids the execution of a virgin!….

Is this the will of a great and good god? isn’t this very act, committed according to gods own commands evil? how is allowing the executioner to rape the condemned prior to killing her in any possible way an act of goodness? How can killing a young innocent woman ,for simply speaking, be deemed GOOD! (swallows hard several times)

My daughter asked me these questions! And i defended god of course. “Its gods will” – “he is testing the parents” – “he was testing my daughter” DO NOT QUESTION GODS WILL! (swallows hard again)

The next morning my own daughter was gone, she had fled, taken refuge in the emergency protection program! She is beyond my reach no matter what i do! (looks at us with painful eyes)

Now god was testing me! The pain is almost unbearable, i am worried for my daughter, all alone among strangers! What if she gets hurt? What would i say to the groom? His family? What would my family say? I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t rest! (the Imam shaking we can see he is in incredible pain)

Is god good? Can the suffering god was putting me through be described as an act of good? IS TESTING ME TO THE POINT WHERE MY HEART, MIND AND SPIRIT BREAKS IN ANY WAY GOOD! (long pause)

A few days later my daughter contacted my wife to say goodbye, she said she was safe and well cared for, she explained her reason to run away to my wife. She was no longer a virgin she had been with a Norwegian boy in secret. They had sex. Even though she was against marrying a person she knew nothing about she still wanted to please her parents and follow our wishes. But she didn’t dare to travel to Iran to be married fearing not only a lifetime of misery, she was scare Her new family in law would murder her, when they figured out she was no longer a virgin.

(took some time to collect himself, he is boiling with pain and hate)

Upon hearing this news i exploded with rage! i repeatedly struck my wife, i guess a neighbor called the police, and before the hour was over i was incarcerated at the police station. I have never before really struck my wife, i have slapped her with my flat hand and the koran commands but this time i really struck my wife, i am drowning in my own shame. (looks down so we cant see his face)

When i was released i returned to an empty house! my wife had also moved into protective care and my remaining children are in forster care.

When i last spoke with my bellowed wife she said she wants a divorce…. (sobs)




(long pause with crying)

I hate to admit it, but all my life i have been wrong! Our friend here is right! i have searched myself and i must admit that!

I refuse to be one of those traffic wictims you see, sitting paralysed in their wheelchair: ” the accident left me paraplegic, but i was right! it was the other guy thet didnt follow the rules! never mind that i saw he was traveling to fast to stop! i was right!”

I will not be that guy! i will not be that GUY!,,,, I denounce god, I denounce our culture,i denounce and cancel my daughters pre-arranged marriage!

I will never again speak to you here, never again will i step inside a holy house! I AM LEAVING GOD! I am leaving Islamic culture! I am leaving the koran and all the other oppressive lies and garbage behind.

– —- I WILL NOT BE THAT GUY!. ———- (screams the words)

I am leaving you now to try to save my family,,,, my future,,,, their future,,,, my own life! I cannot bear it without the love of my family! I am ready to pay the price for having believed in god…. My only hope is that its not to late……

Change before its to late.

(struggles with his tears bows his head and walks out)

End of sermon:

The silence in the room was deafening, people just sat there for maybe 5 minutes, suddenly a woman stands up, takes off her head scarf, utters “he’s right” shoots out of the room, a few murmurs ripple across the crowd and everyone shoots out.

in what seams like an instant i am the only one left there, i was shocked to the core. It was, to put it mildly, a powerful experiences. For a long time i just stood there letting it sink inn.

I went to the Imams house to offer my support, he was grateful but this was something he just had to work out on his own.

It cant be easy to go from the deeply religious camp streight into the far right anti-theist camp in less than a week.

I really hope he and his family comes out of this on top, and now that religious and cultural dogma is out of the equation they might actually have a chance….


151 Responses to Religious, Atheist or Anti-theist? a tale of tragedy.

  1. Of course some people loose their withs and find solace in ancient fables, but i dont think that is a good thing for them. Quite the contrary

  2. Mathew Philip Mattathu says:

    Of course, you are spot on . I did not miss the point . However, I had some more points too . You probably did not pay attention to those points . About how people change their views at the drop of a hat at times. It is basic human nature

  3. You miss the point he wouldn’t have lost everything had he rejected his superstition in the first place

  4. Mathew Philip Mattathu says:

    near to death *

  5. Mathew Philip Mattathu says:

    See, this works two ways . I know of atheists who became religious after they were all alone and had no one in life . I also know of people who became atheists after they lost everything . So ,their faith was only based on well being .The moment people feel vulnerable or lose everything they have ,they look for revenge or a change. One of my chums lost his grandfather .His grandfather was one of the most well known atheists in his town . When he was naar to death ,he said that there was a God .

  6. This situation was nothing but tragic, it was just a tragedy for the entire family.

    Nothing good came of this incident for me them the congregation or atheism in fact i havent talked to any of the people from the congregation since this event some of them where almost friends, but now its even akward meeting them at the store.

    I really wish he would have said what you suggest in your last paragraph, it would have been better. Bt i think he was so filled with anger that he really couldnt contain himself.

  7. Megan says:

    I read this, sort of thinking all the time that it seemed a little too good to be true. I am an atheist, and I feel similarly about religion, and especially religions like Islam. However, as I said, it seems too good to be true that this Imam would be so moved by his situation that he would reject God, even if you were planting seeds all the while.

    I am sorry to say that even if it is true, I don’t think that it is a major help to atheism, or even a small step towards it. This is because this man was moved to his choice by loss. Hatred for god is rampant in his supposed sermon, but hatred doesn’t make much more than an emotional impact, which is really novel at best.

    As an atheist, and a very vocal one, I am constantly asked “Why don’t you believe in God? Did something happen to make you hate God? Was there some sort of tragedy?”

    The answer, of course, is no. I’m an atheist because it is the most reasonable and logical way to be. Any tragedies that have occured in my life are a non sequitur. They have little to do with my decision to become an atheist.

    While the story is moving, and emotionally satisfying, especially for me because I feel so passionately that religion is a very dangerous thing, I just wish he had simply said “What you are doing here doesn’t make any sense. Go home. Go do good things for the world because YOU want to do good and stop worrying about the virgins in heaven. Learn, become educated, make civilized life available to more people, stop making your fellow human beings suffer with the blood on your own hands in the name of the invisible sky-daddy. It is the only logical thing to do. It is useful, and it is the only hope our species has to survive. Stop rejecting reason and start rejecting violence. Stop advocating submission and start teaching truth. Not religious “truth”, but honest, scientific truth.”

  8. Mathew Philip Mattathu says:

    I do not have a bias against Palestinians but I have some bad experiences. It was Palestinians who picked on me as a kid for me being Christian though eventually ,we became good friends .

    Palestinians were helped by the Kuwaitis and allowed to live there . However, when Iraq invaded Kuwait ,these same people joined hands with the occupiers. I am not saying all of them are like that but the fact remains that many of them are barbaric and cannot be trusted. They may have their reasons for being so .For example ,not having an identity ,no country et al but the fact remains that many of them are barbaric.

    What the Israelis are doing is in no way justifiable ( by making life difficult for civilians by charging a lot for water et al ) . However, let me ask you one thing . What did the world do when 6 million Jews got slaughtered ? Nothing .The USA still carries that guilt that now they are too sympathetic towards the Jews. You cannot blame the Jews for not trust anybody anymore than their own like .They take any slight threat to their existence seriously .You or me would have done the same .What makes the Israeli air force pilots the best in the world ?What makes the Mossad one of the best if not the best spy agencies in the world ?

    Well ,no one said all Jews are innocent .Far from that . However, they have their reasons for being so reactive when anybody threatens their existence. They did come and live in a land where the Palestinians lived but then again ,they had to return back eventually to their land given the global hatred towards them .Even in the USA, many people hate the Jews just for being Jew.

    How threatening is a radical Jew when compared to a radical Muslim ? Both are radicals but one would kill while the other would more often than not only rave and rant .There are 3 radical Jews who tried to kill innocent Palestinian civilians .There are umpteen Palestinians who tried to kill innocent Israeli civilians.

  9. Muzolf says:

    Matt thank you for pointing out that backward people who are religious can be dangerous. We seem to be getting somewhere finally.

    You seem to still have some bias against the palestinians. There is a great difference between kidnapping soldiers, and kidnapping doctors, and you know the isrealeis arrast all pelaestinian doctors and they are never seen again, right?

    Provoked? Maybe. Overreacting? Abosultly. But tell me matt, how doeas charing tree times the price for water when palestinians buy it, and prohibiting the digging of wells, fights terrorsm? Hmm? Te truth is, jews hate plestinians just as much as palestinians hate jews, and both sides give nuff about inconent victims. The difference is, Israel has the upper hand, and they do anything to choke the civil population of lebanon to death. They are literally about to beat the entire populus, not just hamas, not the terrorists, anbody there into submission. Two wrongs dont give a right my friend.

    Or would you agree with the concept of collective guilt? Punishing an entire nation, jung and old, man and woman, enyobdy, becouse of the wrongs of some extrimists? You cant be serious.

    This isnt about fighting terrosism. The first bombing werent done in interest of any palestinians, but it was a nice diversion for syrya and egypt, and the jews use it an exuse, to take their promised land. If it wasnt for terorrists, than they would have found another exuse. The goal is simple, the eradication of the people who live on their “promised land” and this concept directly comes from religion. Israelites are doing the same moses dit with the munnites, just in this case, they need an exuse, becouse the world is watching, and “god gave us this land” is not a good exuse for non-jews.

    Of course pointing this out, i can imagine many people call me an anti-semite. Typical tactic, to point out crimes done against them, as a defense for crimes they themselves do now.

  10. Mathew Philip Mattathu says:

    Of course ,the world would be safer with no nuclear arms with any idiots .

    I agree that some leaders of the USA blow things out of proportion for their own vested interests. However, as you said ,Iran is a local power and there is no way they can harm the USA directly .You know what is the problem with some idiots in the USA ? They have not really seen a war .No war has been fought on their soil . I mean Pearl Harbour was attacked but never have their cities been bombed by airplanes from other countries .Never has some country invaded them .They only have fought wars in other countries ( modern times )

    Iran ? Well ,most crazy Iranian leaders won’t think twice before nuking Israel if they had the nukes . That is how it is mate . You know what their leader said about Israel ,right ?

    Well ,I am not saying that whatever Israel did to the Palestinians is right .They are guilty of atrocities too but my point is that it is always the Palestinians who start the problems .The whole war in Lebanon was started after some idiots from Hamas kidnapped two Israeli soldiers. I have seen some pictures of Palestinians rejoicing holding the entrails of Jews they had just butchered.

    Christian charity ? Well ,heard of Mother Theresa .If there was a saint in Modern times ,it was her . There are many Christian people doing good things for the downtrodden .There are many atheists too who do the same .

    Well ,I agree with your theory that people who do not have tanks and airplanes have to use other tactics . But ,have you thought why they don’t have all this ? Because,they can’t make their own .They are not as technologically advanced. Middle eastern countries do not even make their own cars . All they have is oil . Most of them are dumbos and dumbos who are religious can be really dangerous .

    Well ,Israel in a way kills innocent people when they are going after militants because these militants deliberately place themselves where civilians are and then can come up with propaganda .

    The whole world knows how barbaric Arabs can be .

    I have not heard of Jewish people burying a woman waist deep in sand and then stoning her with cries of God is great .I have heard of Muslims doing that .

    There lies the difference…………

  11. Muzolf says:

    I would be safer with no nuclear power in the hands of any of these idiots.

    If Iran was powerful az the USA? The point is, its not, and the idea that they could or would even by interested in taking ower europe is ridiculous at best. How about a country where an actor can become a president?

    The truth is, its the USA wich is the greatest threat to stability on the world, not IRAN. They are a local power, and only threat to the plans of the bush administration ant the oil companies who support him.

    Yes muslems are jerks, so are christians in general. I have heard enough how christians treat atheist in the USA, and as a matter of fact, the same can be felt somethimes here too. Christian pastors and taxcollectors look at you like your something scraped off their boot if you confess that your an atheist. However, thay cant do anything about it, becouse they are the minority now. If was the other way around, im pretty sure it would come to open discrimination. Even today, tax money, wich is collected from atheists too, goes to institutions hold up by the church. And frankly im not too happy about christans boasing about christian charity, and how great their religion is becouse of this, when the money for it came from my purse as well.

    Symphatise with palestinians. Yes, in the same way i simphatyse with anybody whos homes are taken away, who are persecuted for fabricated reasons. Yes i know israels claim that what they do is self defense. And i know it to be a lie. Occupation of palestinian settlemets, killing of civilians is not self defense. Tell me how shooting an 8 year old child who “gotten to close to the fence” is self defense. They may be jerks, but that doesnt gives anybody te right to butcher them.

    You are right, jews dont strap bombs on themselves, you know why? Becoue they got planes and big guns to hurl those bombs. A hoplessly outnumbered and technologicly backward army has no other choice, as to use gerilla tactics. Belive me, the iraqi resisters and the palestinians would love to use planes and tanks themselves. They would be the first to stop the suicide bombings, and go to strategic bombings if they could. Would that make it ok for you?

    I guess Stalin was right when he said “If you kill one, its a tragedy, if you kill ten milliion, its a statistic.” You are outraged about a few individuals blowing themselves up, but invading armies, illegal occupation, and systematic eradication of an entire populus commanded by a legally elected regime is ok, right?

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