Get to know an Atheist Blogger Moiz Khan Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself. Where did you come from? What are you doing now? Where you're going?
Hello, thank you for this opportunity. I am Moiz Khan and I was born in
Q. What made you decide to blog about atheism of all things?
I actually began my blog while I still was a religious person. The original purpose of my blog was just politics (I was always very liberal) and to have a little fun writing. It was never intended to become what it did, though I am quite glad it has. From December 2006 to September 2007, it was mostly inactive. I was just too busy with schoolwork to give it much time. I then posted "My 'Spiritual' Journey" on October 5th, 2007 (that is actually around the time when I abandoned my Muslim faith for the Atheistic worldview). By November, I had wrote the second part of "My 'Spiritual' Journey." Almost right after posting these two blogs, I received an overwhelmingly positive response via email. People told me of their similar journeys, and this gave me the reason to continue. From that point on, I posted about my personal Atheism, Politics (as it effects all of us) and my other love, Music.
Q. How long have you known that you are an atheist?
I can't actually pinpoint the exact date, as it was a gradual process. However, for much of 2007 I was an agnostic and somewhat on the fence. I think around mid 2007 is when I became an anti-theist and atheist. So I suppose I have been an atheist for a little over a year.
Q. Having gone through a difficult and slow progression from a young Muslim to a blogging atheist, what advice would you give those that are afraid of coming out, or aren't sure what they really believe?
The first step is to actually understand the faith. When I was growing up, I could recite the Quran in Arabic, but knew nothing of what those Arabic words actually meant. We were told to accept it because it was true by our parents and other elders. For the millions of Muslims who don't actually know Arabic, I would suggest reading the Quran in their language. It contains certain material that can make any reasonable person sick to their stomach. Don't cherry pick which parts you like and which you don't either. If it is the supposed word of an all-powerful god, I doubt god would put in useless material. Then, read on the incompatibility between modern science and religion. Once you understand that science and religion simply can't coexist in an intellectually satisfying way, read about evolution. So in that process you will have, first rejected religion, second understood that religion and what we now know about the world can't be combined. Finally you will learn of the beautiful alternative (evolution by natural selection) that is far more intellectual satisfying.
Q. You actively speak out against Islam on your blog. What do you think the biggest problem with Islam is, and what do you think the atheist community can do to help stem the tide of the worlds fastest growing religion?
The major problem with the Islamic world is its
clash with modernity. When Muslims move to Western countries, they rarely
assimilate into the culture. Rather, they stay far away from it. They are
essentially living in their own worlds even when they are in modern societies.
The children grow without understanding the other culture, and they continue
the cycle with their children. In
Partially due to the British and now American
imperialism of the Middle East, most of those countries are in a state similar
to most Western Countries were 100-200 years ago. So I believe the best course
of action for Atheists at a national level in the Western world is to urge
their governments to end their grapple hold over Middle Eastern politics. Such
as support for the tyrannical kings in
Q. What excites you most about the current state of atheism? What are you optimistic about?
The level to which we are beginning to get
organized. We currently are a rather large minority (and probably larger than
the statistics due to folks in the closet) and we are growing quickly. I am
helping start a club at my university called, "SBU Freethinkers" and we already have
somewhere around 60 members. Many of these members are incoming freshman and
sophomores. It seems that atheism is growing quickly amongst the younger
generation. With regards to optimism, in
Q. How has your blogging affected your life?
It has made me gain interest in the Atheist and
Secular cause. In
Q. What advice would you give those that are new to the idea of atheism, that aren't quite sure what they believe, and could use some direction?
Don't be afraid to let it all go. Fear is one of the main reasons why many
stay with religion. Of course, the fear comes in many different shapes and
forms. Some are afraid of a possible community backlash, or their family, or
death. But fear is pointless for it only restricts us. This is the only life
that you will get, and you might as well make the most of it. Socrates said it
best,"The pursuit of truth can only begin once you start to question
and analyze every belief that you ever held dear. If a certain belief passes
the tests of evidence, deduction, and logic, it should be kept and defended.
….If it doesn't, the belief should not only be discarded, but you must also
then question why you were led to believe the erroneous information in the
first place." I believe that the pursuit of truth is the only road to
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