why an atheist cares about islamophobia

posted by ellephanta

Inspired by and in response to and shamelessly following missmsian’s amazing post.

I care about Islamophobia:

Because I’m a humanist. Because not believing in a god certainly doesn’t excuse me from being a decent and loving human being. In fact, because I believe that we are solely responsible for our actions and consequences, our collective and individual lives, I am more pressed than ever to be a decent and loving human being that gives a lot of crap about people. Because I don’t believe in a god that cares about us, I can’t help but believe that we must care for each other. This means I must get off my couch and speak up when there is systemic hate against members of my global community. And yes, the human race includes the ones I passionately disagree with too.

Because if you know anything about the human race at all, it should be glaringly obvious that Islamophobia is not about disagreeing with someone else’s theological beliefs. It’s about race and hatred and scapegoating and ignorance. It’s about all that’s ugly in people – irrationality, stupidity, cowardice, smallness of heart – and not about this god or that god or god’s absence. That’s just a diversionary narrative to weave a story that sells. One’s relationship/non-relationship with god is an individual’s incredibly personal, intimate, and often traumatic experience – which is now being exploited everywhere to feed human ugliness that inevitably rears its head during difficult times. If you are a thinking person, this should be farcically obvious.

Because – as is any form of bigotry – Islamophobia is not only violent in its sentiment, but its actions. How can you say nothing against violence committed against human beings based on one’s religious beliefs, especially if you believe what is taught by religions to be unreal anyway? For a humanist, a real person’s well-being and freedom trumps ideas – every time, always.


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