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Austin Cline

Sabri Husibi: Atheist Gets Death Threats Over Criticism of Islam

By October 18, 2009

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Muslims who criticize atheism and atheists don't get death threats in the name of Darwin, but ex-Muslim atheists who criticize Islam do get death threats. Do you suppose that's an important difference worth considering when evaluating the relative worth or reasonableness of Islam versus scientific, secular, skeptical atheism in contemporary America?

Perhaps Sabri Husibi should bring this up the next time he gives a public talk about Islam. When his recent lecture to the Tulsa Atheists was announced, he received a number of threats from Muslims who objected to his criticism of religion generally and Islam in particular. What stronger criticism can one offer than the fact that a group has to threaten violence in reaction to criticism?

One caller, whom Husibi would not identify, said that if he spoke at the meeting and said anything against Shariah (Islamic law), he would be killed.

Another caller offered Husibi's young Muslim wife $10,000 to leave him and return to her native Syria, he said.

"Someone from Tulsa called my 76-year-old mother in Syria and said, 'You're not going to see your son anymore,' " he said. ...

Bill Dusenberry of the Tulsa Coalition of Reason, of which Tulsa Atheists is a member, said he offered Saturday afternoon to cancel the Sunday talk, but Husibi wanted to go ahead with it.

Source: Tulsa World

Atheists aren't morally perfect, there's no question about it, but their failure to engage in the sort of violence, thuggery, and intimidation we so often see from religious believers can't be dismissed. Such behavior is, sadly, only to be expected from many traditional religions because of their totalitarian nature. A totalitarian system can't abide competition, dissent, or critique, whether that system is religious, political, or economic in nature.

Of course, even within any religion not everyone agrees with totalitarian, thuggish behavior and not every tradition supports such behavior. Technically, Islam teaches that there should be "no compulsion in religion," but in reality Islam has frequently practiced forced and even violent compulsion in religious matters. That is undeniable and, in fact, even unavoidable when it comes to a religion that also teaches that it has the only truth directly from the ultimately, only, absolute authority over all existence.

October 18, 2009 at 1:41 pm
(1) Neal O says:

Austin, I think your analysis is spot on.

I can’t help but think that all Muslims, including the supposed peace loving ones, are guilty of condoning by association this hate and insecurity which inspires people to issue death threats at the slightest criticism.

Thanks for your blog.

October 18, 2009 at 3:48 pm
(2) gg says:

Religion: to be in bondage to. So God or not you are in bondage, yours is atheist. To follow and quote someone who says their a christian, Karl Marx and then not. Isn’t someone I would encourage to follow, unless you desire to leave not knowing where you come from or where you’re going. Marx & Satan, by Richard Wurmbrand.

October 18, 2009 at 4:16 pm
(3) PManitok says:

@ (2) gg

What you have written has nothing to do with the topic.
What are you trying to say?

October 18, 2009 at 6:45 pm
(4) ChuckA says:

For more OT about what the ‘heil’ “gg” is evidently referring to…check this link:
Was Marx a Satanist?.

Sorry ‘guys’, if my first attempt at ‘embedding’ a link didn’t work.
Alternatively; copy/paste the bracket contents:

Ummm…(2) “gg”?…
IMNSHO, for us atheists…the totally imaginary and outrageous Abrahamic “God” who, according to the Bible, Koran, and Book of Morons, is ultimately responsible for his alleged favorite scapegoat, and obvious favorite power agendized, and “Energizer Buddy”, Satan [alias: Lucifer, Beelzedork (Beelzeschmuck?), Baal, etc.]…doesn’t exist.
And, as a necessary corollary(?), neither does that rather grotesque, “DOWNstanding” example of that monstrous god’s ill-tempered, demonstrably and blatantly unjust, extremely nasty and totally insidious notions of inept divine creativity.

[Or perhaps...ala the old "Earl Scheib" car painting Ad:
"No ups (your arse?), no extras (like loitering there?)"] ;)

October 19, 2009 at 2:45 pm
(5) D.M. Murdock says:

Hi Austin -

I have written an article about this subject for Examiner.com, mentioning and quoting you.

Death threats against ex-Muslims

Thanks for having the cajones to broach this subject. Keep up the great work.

D.M. Murdock/Acharya S
Freethought Examiner

October 19, 2009 at 2:47 pm
(6) D.M. Murdock says:

Hi Austin -

I have written an article about this subject for Examiner.com, mentioning and quoting you.

Death threats against ex-Muslims

Thanks for having the cajones to broach this subject.

D.M. Murdock/Acharya S
Freethought Examiner

October 20, 2009 at 10:16 am
(7) jill says:

Actually I have many friends that are Muslim, the people I know are loving people that care, like a laugh and a joke, they are just as good as anyone, however, just like the German people got the flack for the Nazi, Most peace loving genuine Muslims do not tolerate violence, shame on those that do not understand this from both sides.
Extremists give people a bad name and I am proud to know my Muslim friends and they will be forever welcome at my door, but, I dont tolerate fools that are racist, save it for the Governments of the UK and the USA for starting all this in the first place.
If people cannot see what the governments are doing they are blind. We are fed incorrect information by media such as the BBC, and most believe it becuase they do not educate themselves to the doctrines of another culture, therefore they cannot understand.
I saw a documentary about South Mead Bristol and how one estate there treats Muslim people, they dont even know them but they walk up to them and fight them.
What kind of upbrining did these awful people have to even want to do this to another human being, it was shocking behaviour.
Racism has to be stopped now!

September 28, 2010 at 3:48 am
(8) Tom says:

Dear Jill,

I have also muslim friends, which allows me to talk to you as it is the criteria you seem to think is important.

The question about peaceful religious people is a non-argument for me. There are peaceful and good catholic parents, that doesn’t mean that the Pope didn’t cover up the rape of children and that it is now being said publicly.

The same way, the silent majority or those who didn’t know are no excuse at all, like a silent German during the Holocaust, or a silent catholic that doesn’t consider leaving the Catholic Church because he didn’t know about the rape. Silent majority are collateral damage in that kind of stories, and those who speak out the most become representative. If the silent majority doesn’t agree and are peace loving, why are they not trying to speak out against their own barbaric ass wholes?

Because what happens with my muslim friends is that each time I talk about muslim misbehaviors or cruel rules, they AVOID the subject, talk about Bush, about colonialism, say it’s only a minority, etc. They simply pose as the eternal victim and that bullshit is helping fanatics to continue to send death threats to arabs, non arabs from muslim or non muslim families to be threaten and killed for their thoughts.

Nothing can justify that. Denouncing racism in the Western world does not imply that we have to overshadow racism and hatred elsewhere. In the UK, you can say whatever you want generally speaking, you can have citizenship and vote whatever your religion or race is, you can be anglican, catholic, atheist or muslim, try that in Saudi Arabia or Iran.

October 24, 2009 at 12:19 am
(9) John Hanks says:

Death threats should be publicized and brought out into the open.

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