Two ex-Muslims join us for this episode. Iranian-born Armin Navabi is the founder of the Atheist Republic (http://www NULL.atheistrepublic NULL.com/), and author of “Why There Is No God”. Yasmine Mohammed has penned her own memoirs titled “From Al Qaeda to Atheism”, and writes the blog “Confessions of an Ex-Muslim (http://www NULL.confessionsofanexmuslim NULL.com/)“. Both are voices behind the Secular Jihadists podcast, along with Ali Rizvi and Faisal Saeed Al Mutar. Hopefully we can cover a few topics, including radicalization (and I have a hypothesis on who is most vulnerable that I’d like to run by our guests), Linda Sarsour and CAIR, the fetishization of tools of oppression (the hijab in particular) and the popularizing of so-called “modesty fashion”.
This episode’s topics include: Richard Dawkins has been deplatformed from speaking at UC Berkeley because of speech hurtful to Muslims; Dan Arel’s journey to demented delusion takes him beyond CJ Werleman in nuthattery in a new article claiming the so-called “new atheists” are “white nationalists”; death threats are the norm du jour for a new liberal mosque in Berlin; in Britain, the NHS makes plans to scrap coverage of useless homeopathic prescriptions; Women’s March wishes terrorist Assata Shakur a happy birthday; In Catholic Watch, a new report claims that 547 children were physically abused at the Catholic Regensburger Domspatzen choir school in Bavaria and a pair of officials at a children’s hospital in will be in a Vatican court as defendants on charges of embezzling donated funds to finance the renovation of a senior cardinal’s apartment; the new Doctor Who has changed genders, and not all fans are pleased.
In the 199th episode Feisty Twyla, Incorrigible Kris and yours truly, the Supreme Irreverend Doctor Randy Tyson bring you another potpourri of religious absurdity and even some science. First, researchers at the University of British Columbia put another nail in the coffin of liberation therapy for MS; Singaporean Amos Yee is granted asylum in the United States; In Catholic Watch, forget Ghostbusters! When there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Exorcists! At least according to the Pope. More papal poppycock, this time Frank begs forgiveness yet again, this time for the Church’s involvement in the Rwandan genocide; forget the others that died in a natural disaster in Peru… the Catholic Register declares the survival of one woman a miracle! Staying with the Catholic Register, we give you their best headline of the year so far. And in Islam Inquiry, Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei claims feminism is a Zionist plot. Of course it is. All those orthodox Jews are really empowering women by refusing to sit next to them on flights. In Pakistan, more atheist bloggers are arrested for blasphemy. And finally, University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson’s invited speech at McMaster University was disrupted by regressive leftists, and we all know where we’ll find that – in the Regressive Left Files…
Tonight’s mashup of stories includes events surrounding Motion 103 put forward by a Liberal MP in the House of Commons; the chair of the Edmonton public school board’s idea of cost-saving measures is to offer Catholic faith programming; A website promoting a Muslim conference in Melbourne, Australia does the magic trick of making women speakers disappear; animal rights activists storm church demanding pets be treated like Christians; Cardinal Raymond Burke tells attendees of medical ethics conference in Columbus, Ohio that the need for Catholic health care has never been greater; police investigate anti-Muslim rally outside Toronto mosque as possible hate crime.
Kevin Francis from Left At The Valley (http://www NULL.leftatthevalley NULL.com/) joins us in discussing issues du jour: More religious interference in assisted dying; a human rights complaint over court-mandated attendance in Alcoholics Anonymous; Islam: The Tour; and From the Regressive Left Files: Black Lives Matter demands Vancouver Pride ban police from participation.
In this, the 161st episode join Christine and me, the Supreme Irreverend Doctor Randy Tyson, in welcoming Dr. Ali Rizvi to our humble periodical. Ali is Pakistan-born Canadian physician/writer residing in Toronto who grew up in a number of locales, including Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, as part of a progressive Muslim family. Ali’s writings advocate for secularism, science, and reform, particularly in the Muslim community, and is a regular contributor to The
Huffington Post. His new book, scheduled to come out later this year, is called The Atheist Muslim (https://www NULL.amazon NULL.ca/Atheist-Muslim-Journey-Religion-Reason/dp/1250094445).
Raihan Abir is a Bangaldeshi academic and biomedical engineer and for the last five years Abir has been working in the Department of Biomedical Physics and Technology at Dhaka University. He is a recipient of a International Science Program Fellowship from Uppsala University Sweden and is a science writer, human rights activist, freelance journalist and respected blogger in the Bangladeshi community. He is the author of two published books, including ‘The Philosophy of Disbelief” which he co-authored with murdered writer Avijit Roy. Before and after the killing of Ananta Bijoy Das, Abir was followed, threatened and extremists demanded The Philosophy of Disbelief be removed from publication. He came to Toronto for a biomedical conference in June of last year and extended his stay in the hopes that the situation in Bangledesh would improve. When his friend and fellow Mukto-Mona blogger Niloy Neel was attacked and killed in his own home, Abir decided to apply for refugee status for himself and his family. The violence in Bangladesh against secularists continued when in October of last year Abir’s publisher was seriously injured and fellow writer Faisal Arefeen Dipon was killed.
Abir, his wife Samia and their daughter Sophie now reside in Canada.
Thanks to Eric Adriaans of CFI Canada for helping Raihan and his family obtain refugee status and for facilitating getting in touch with him for the interview.
Later on in this installment, Christine, Twyla and yours truly, the Very Irreverend Dr Randy Tyson give kudos to CBC Marketplace (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/marketplace/episodes/2014-2015/drugstore-remedies-licence-to-deceive) demonstrates how ridiculously easy it is to obtain a license from Health Canada to sell a natural remedy; yet another Conservative MP comes out of the creationist closet (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/player/News/TV+Shows/ID/2656936485/?page=3) and we get to listen to former leader of the Canadian Reform Alliance Party (which, by the way, in Freudian manner spells out ‘CRAP’) confuses the right to hold a belief with demanding respect for beliefs; Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the House of Commons calls the niqab “anti-women” (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/politics/harper-says-overwhelming-majority-agrees-with-tories-on-niqabs-1 NULL.2990439); and finally while Islam needs its Voltaire, the town of Taber, Alberta needs its Kevin Bacon (http://www NULL.taber NULL.ca/DocumentCenter/View/1006, http://www NULL.calgarysun NULL.com/2015/03/10/town-of-taber-alberta-moves-to-ban-swearing) to Footloose away the anti-swearing and anti-assembly provision of its “Community Standards” bylaw. But first, our very own Christine Shellska read a statement to the Commission for Social Development (https://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=Eok1jRSsBtc&feature=youtu NULL.be) promoting secular values (as well as some unfinished business involving a bottle of Johnny Walker).
Later, Kris, Twyla and I, the Very Reverend Dr. Randy Tyson, discuss happenings a-transpirin’ in Pennsylvania, where a teen is facing two years (http://news NULL.kron4 NULL.com/news/teen-could-get-two-years-for-facebook-photos-with-jesus-statue/) in juvie hall for a Facebook photo of himself saying ‘hello’ to Jesus in a special way; another mockumentary is coming out, this time it’s Nick Cage in a remake of that classic comedy Left Behind (http://www NULL.leftbehindmovie NULL.com/) trying to scare us in to conversion with fictional threats of the rapture; a US cardinal warns (http://www NULL.rightwingwatch NULL.org/content/cardinal-francis-george-says-american-catholics-are-being-forced-live-under-pro-gay-sharia-l) that America is under pro-gay Sharia law (say that without doing a spit-take). But first, local Imam Syed Soharwardy was threatened (http://calgary NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/calgary-imam-attacked-1 NULL.2005185) in very red-neck fashion and I reveal a recent exchange I’ve had with him.
There are many Muslims who feel the need to remain in the closet when they stop believing. Apostasy in Islam is a taboo with serious consequences. We are pleased to have with us to day Canadian representatives of EXMNA (http://www NULL.exmna NULL.org/) (Ex-Muslims of North America), a group dedicated to supporting and helping ex-Muslims through outreach and advocacy. Nas Ishmael (a pseudonym) is Director of Media Relations at the Ex-Muslims of North America. Sadaf, a local Torontonian, became an ex-Muslim in 2009. Sadaf is the Director of Community Development for EXMNA. Out of their and others’ desire for a safe space for those leaving Islam, Sadaf and Nas Ishmael (among others) founded EXMNA and join Christine, Haysn, Nate and Randy from Toronto for a discussion of the issues involving Islam in North America, and share their stories of how they left the faith.