Have Prominent Ex-Muslims of the West been consistent with open dialogue and challenging their views?

Note: This is Part 2 of 2 of my critique of people who I use to have more respect for. While many are accepting of my identity of Hindu Atheist/Hindu Anti-theist, there are those in the Western Atheist community who are not and there’s even worse problems on following through with their supposed beliefs and aims.

Shortly before writing this piece, I’ve found myself thrown out from yet another atheist discord server for “Islamophobia” for sharing Yasmine Mohammad’s tweets criticizing Islam. This is getting absolutely ridiculous. Some of these people identified as Anti-Theist, but refused to criticize Islam on the basis of it being “Islamophobic” to do so. Throughout my time there, discussions on criticizing Islam always devolved into accusations of personal bias on my part. I think I understand Sam Harris’s frustrations a bit better now and what he’s dealt with since 2006.

Perhaps beginning this blog post with the aforementioned paragraph seems to be in poor choice because I might be criticizing potential allies, but I really believed in the claims of prominent Western Ex-Muslims and I’ve been disappointed in the gap between the claims and the results. Now, I want to be clear that this isn’t the majority of them, but rather my favorite ones who inspired me. I’ve been assessing their activities after barely getting any meaningful response from them. I want to make it clear that I still absolutely support their activism insofar as support for human rights of people suffering from religious persecution in our contemporary time. Ex-Muslims are by far among the most thoughtful and intelligent people that I’ve met and it really is a shame that more people don’t support them or recognize their human rights. That being said, after seven months of trying to communicate and what felt like talking to a wall, I’ve become skeptical and pessimistic about their approach in their activism. Admittedly, some of it is varied; Armin Navabi and Ali A. Rizvi seem to be about promoting atheism completely, the organization Ex-Muslims of North America seems to have the same goal at least secondary to helping Ex-Muslims who have left the religion, and people like Imtiaz Shams seem more focused on reform while his organization Faith to Faithless is about supporting people who de-converted from their respective religious backgrounds. Sarah Haider recently stated on Twitter a few months back that she exclusively will focus on Ex-Muslim issues herself while being open to hearing Ex-religious stories of other backgrounds; she and non-Muslim atheist activists who escaped cult-like religions are forming a NYC conference in October 2019 to better inform people about how certain religions have cult-like behavior, and to better understand their dangers. Nevertheless, I think the approaches online, specifically on their Twitter interactions, need a re-examination.

My chief criticism are about either the inaccuracy of certain beliefs which when I challenge them on in Twitter (even bringing citations from historians via screenshot images) they never respond to them or when I challenge them on laughing off or ignoring historic abuses of the West, they never respond. It often feels like talking to a brick wall, especially when trying to communicate with the Ex-MNA Twitter account, Ali A. Rizvi, and Armin Navabi in particular. By comparison, Harris Sultan, Fay – the most Gracious, Zara Kay, Muhammad Syed, and sometimes Sarah Haider occasionally respond. However, when challenged on certain political topics that go into the realm of religion, it seems to be less often from a few of them. I want to be clear though: I’m frustrated and chose to write this because there has been no dialogue over issues they keep misconstruing and ignore my criticisms of their portrayal thereof. Over certain topics related to history or human rights, they just ignore my criticisms completely.

I have circumstantial evidence to believe that Armin Navabi and Ali A. Rizvi too often don’t even bother responding to my criticisms, but react with videos to some of them. I began noticing that whenever I brought up criticisms that thoroughly rebuked their views in long-form Tweet chains that I wrote, they would have a video up the next day on Secular Jihadists with a snippet referring to the topic. Whether Hinduism, Christopher Hitchens, or beliefs about pan-psychism; if this is the case and they made these videos in response to my Twitter comments, then why didn’t they just respond to my Tweets after reading them and just have a dialogue? Keep in mind that I criticized them for 7 months and only by the tail-end of the 7 months did I notice this oddity regarding the Secular Jihadist videos on Youtube. They weren’t trying to have conversations though. Armin would re-tweet stupid comments by other Hindus accusing him of the nonsense called Taqiyaa and Ali A. Rizvi would comment on ignorant Twitter comments. My questions on why Ali A. Rizvi can self-identify as an Atheist Muslim while Ex-Muslims like Armin say that Hindu Atheist is ridiculous or my criticisms of their Jai Shree Ram new article re-tweets when providing fact-finding research disproving most of them by OpIndia was just ignored. They stopped retweeting on those issues, but they never directly commented or had any conversation with me in any capacity. Most of these criticisms just seemed to result in unfollowing on Twitter from Armin over my criticisms of how Western academia portrays Hinduism and Zara Kay when I pointed out fact-checking by OpIndia. However, the worst of it was definitely Ex-Muslims of North America, I repeatedly shared a news article showing that the so-called secular party of India, the Indian National Congress party, supported Sharia Courts being implemented across India while Narendra Modi’s BJP (Indian People’s Party) supported a uniform civil code for all Indian citizens which would also support lesbian/gay marriage. They just ignored me and kept trotting along with anti-BJP propaganda. Many of the Ex-Muslims, like Harris Sultan and Armin Navabi, treated the very idea of Hindu Atheists as something laughable or seemed to show disdain for the concept — did they not realize this was a large part of their fanbase that they were mocking? Did they give no thought on cultural distinctions? It was quite clear that they assumed intent, Armin always refers to Hindus criticizing him as Hindu nationalist, and mocks the idea of whining about Great Britain seemingly not knowing that the British Parliament held a very serious debate about paying back reparations to India because what the British did could be classified as genocide since their rule led to a death toll of 70 – 75 million Indian people over approximately a 200 year period.

I had let it go for 7 months, but after awhile it felt as if I was just talking to a wall. After Ex-Muslims of North America showed an article about Nehru which perpetuated a complete falsehood about Indian history and seemed to justify the genocide of India by Great Britain, I got livid and demanded to know if Ex-Muslims of North America and prominent Ex-Muslims really care about human rights. After all, how can they support human rights while mocking, downplaying, or ignoring the historic abuses perpetuated by the West upon the rest of the world? All I got was some Ex-Muslim scientist mocking the genocides, even liking my retweets showing his comments with my demand to know whether Ex-Muslims of North America and other Ex-Muslims actually care about human rights, and that Ex-Muslim scientist liked the comments as an intended insult and mocked me further about how genocide by Great Britain upon India was entirely justified. Ex-MNA often comments on responses to their Twitter page, but this had no response at all, and so I wrote the blog about distancing myself. Ex-MNA or people like Muhammad Syed only seem to respond to comments specifically about Ex-Muslim human rights or human rights abuses happening in contemporary time. So, they will absolutely re-tweet and defend the human rights of Hindus that are being abused or killed in contemporary times, but the historic abuses? They seem to just ignore, which is strange given that the Co-Founder of Ex-MNA Sarah Haider explicitly condemned Great Britain’s Imperialism of India as horrific in an interview with Dave Rubin. When talking to Muhammad Syed, the other Co-Founder, he seems to honestly get my point about Islam’s sheer stupidity instantly and seems to understand a lot of my views, so I’m really confused by why the main twitter account is so . . . different in its approach. The best I can surmise, from my own conversations with Ex-MNA, is that many Ex-Muslims just seem to have a very negative opinion of India and seem too biased in assessing the BJP objectively even when Muslim women likely voted in overwhelming support of them. Ex-MNA, Armin Navabi, and Ali A. Rizvi don’t seem to understand they’re conflating bullies and gangs in the streets with policymakers implementation of laws. India’s vaccine drive – which saved the lives of Indian children and pregnant Indian women of all religious backgrounds – was one of the 12 best in world history under the Modi government. Even that doesn’t seem to change their negative disposition of the BJP when I repeatedly brought it up. My last message to them was a rather negative one pointing out that I’ve been told repeatedly across Discord, Facebook, Twitter, and many other social media platforms by Muslims whom I debate that they want to kill and rape me when they find out I’m from a Hindu background. Doesn’t matter the country, most non-Western Muslims immediately go to this or accuse me of being synonymous with poop and cow piss as my level of value as a human being. They likely read those messages given their over 70 views, but didn’t respond. Muhammad Syed responded to my criticism of Pakistan with a clever Green Lantern quote about hope, but I shot him down by arguing its best if Pakistan splits apart and the nuclear weapons are removed so terrorists don’t potentially acquire them.

Finally, regarding inaccuracies, I posted this before but never got a response, this is why Pakistani media’s portrayal of ancient Indian civilization perpetuates a falsehood; India was the first recorded instance of atheism in world history, even approximately a 100-years before the Ancient Greeks:

            “Indeed, as scholarship unearths some of the less respectable figures in Indian philosophy before Buddha, a picture takes form in which, along with saints meditating on Brahman, we find a variety of persons who despised all priests, doubted all gods, and bore without trepidition the name of Nastiks, No-sayers, Nihilists. Sangaya, the agnostic, would neither admit nor deny life after death; he questioned the possibility of knowledge, and limited philosophy to the pursuit of peace. Purana Kashyapa refused to accept moral distinctions, and taught that the soul is a passive slave to chance. Maskarin Gosala held that fate determines everything, regardless of the merits of men. Ajita Kasakambalin reduced man to earth, water, fire and wind, and said: “Fools and wise alike, on the dissolution of the body, are cut off, annihilated, and after death they are not.”4 The author of the Ramayana draws a typical sceptic in Jabali, who ridicules Rama for rejecting a kingdom in order to keep a vow.”

Durant, Will. Chapter XV: The Buddha: I. The Heretics (9581 – 9656). Our Oriental Heritage: Being a History of Civilization in Egypt and the Near East to the Death of Alexander, and in India, China and Japan from the Beginning to Our Own Day. Simon and Schuster, 1935.


            “When Buddha grew to manhood he found the halls, the streets, the very woods of northern India ringing with philosophic disputation, mostly of an atheistic and materialistic trend. The later Upanishads and the oldest Buddhist books are full of references to these heretics.6 A large class of traveling Sophists—the Paribbajaka, or Wanderers—spent the better part of every year in passing from locality to locality, seeking pupils, or antagonists, in philosophy. Some of them taught logic as the art of proving anything, and earned for themselves the titles of “Hair-splitters” and “Eelwrigglers”; others demonstrated the non-existence of God, and the inexpediency of virtue. Large audiences gathered to hear such lectures and debates; great halls were built to accommodate them; and sometimes princes offered rewards for those who should emerge victorious from these intellectual jousts.7 It was an age of amazingly free thought, and of a thousand experiments in philosophy. Not much has come down to us from these sceptics, and their memory has been preserved almost exclusively through the diatribes of their enemies.8 The oldest name among them is Brihaspati, but his nihilistic Sutras have perished, and all that remains of him is a poem denouncing the priests in language free from all metaphysical obscurity:

No heaven exists, no final liberation,
No soul, no other world, no rites of caste. . . .
The triple Veda, triple self-command,
And all the dust and ashes of repentance—
These yield a means of livelihood for men
Devoid of intellect and manliness. . . .
How can this body when reduced to dust
Revisit earth?
And if a ghost can pass
To other worlds, why does not strong affection
For those he leaves behind attract him back?
The costly rites enjoined for those who die
Are but a means of livelihood devised
By sacerdotal cunning—nothing more. . . .
While life endures let life be spent in ease
And merriment; let a man borrow money
From all his friends, and feast on melted butter.9


            “Out of the aphorisms of Brihaspati came a whole school of Hindu materialists, named, after one of them, Charvakas. They laughed at the notion that the Vedas were divinely revealed truth; truth, they argued, can never be known, except through the senses. Even reason is not to be trusted, for every inference depends for its validity not only upon accurate observation and correct reasoning, but also upon the assumption that the future will behave like the past; and of this, as Hume was to say, there can be no certainty.10 What is not perceived by the senses, said the Charvakas, does not exist; therefore the soul is a delusion, and Atman is humbug. We do not observe, in experience or history, any interposition of supernatural forces in the world. All phenomena are natural; only simpletons trace them to demons or gods.11 Matter is the one reality; the body is a combination of atoms;12 the mind is merely matter thinking; the body, not the soul, feels, sees, hears, thinks.13 “Who has seen the soul existing in a state separate from the body?” There is no immortality, no rebirth. Religion is an aberration, a disease, or a chicanery; the hypothesis of a god is useless for explaining or understanding the world. Men think religion necessary only because, being accustomed to it, they feel a sense of loss, and an uncomfortable void, when the growth of knowledge destroys this faith.14 Morality, too, is natural; it is a social convention and convenience, not a divine command. Nature is indifferent to good and bad, virtue and vice, and lets the sun shine indiscriminately upon knaves and saints; if nature has any ethical quality at all it is that of transcendent immorality. There is no need to control instinct and passion, for these are the instructions of nature to men. Virtue is a mistake; the purpose of life is living, and the only wisdom is happiness.15 This revolutionary philosophy of the Charvakas put an end to the age of the Vedas and the Upanishads. It weakened the hold of the Brahmans on the mind of India, and left in Hindu society a vacuum which almost compelled the growth of a new religion. But the materialists had done their work so thoroughly that both of the new religions which arose to replace the old Vedic faith were, anomalous though it may sound, atheistic religions, devotions without a god. Both belonged to the Nastika or Nihilistic movement; and both were originated not by the Brahman priests but by members of the Kshatriya warrior caste, in a reaction against sacerdotal ceremonialism and theology. With the coming of Jainism and Buddhism a new epoch began in the history of India.

Durant, Will. Chapter XV: The Buddha: I. The Heretics (9581 – 9656). Our Oriental Heritage: Being a History of Civilization in Egypt and the Near East to the Death of Alexander, and in India, China and Japan from the Beginning to Our Own Day. Simon and Schuster, 1935.

These views were later adapted into the Vedic tradition under Samkhya and remain a strong part of Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism traditions in particular, although not so much for Sikhism). I wish more people would just listen or read the material I take time to research and share.

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