Saturday, April 26, 2014

Facing Islam

I have read something about a comment on atheism and Islam. Someone was asking if why some atheists seem to be silent on Islamic issues. What? I don't think so... everyday I see a lot of anti-Islamic quotes and photos in my Facebook wall from different atheists/humanist organization that I have liked so far. But OK, let us concentrate here in the Philippines.

According to the post, attacking Islam is a test of a real atheist. What? It will be quite unfair to judge someone's atheism just because he doesn't engage with Islam. Remember that an atheist is not duty bound to debate or argue about religion. Some atheists prefer a normal, quiet life, yet still they are atheist because they don't believe in the existence of god or gods. 

OK, so let's make the list shorter. Now, why those Filipino atheists who are active in debates seems to ignore Islam?

Here in Manila, if you want to engage a debate with some Muslim, then go to Rizal Park every Sunday evening. Join me in stirring up the hornet's nest of the Balik-Islam and confront their religious belief, their Holy Book and their god. For some atheist, what I'm doing is considered suicide. Nah! Muslims can be civil in a discussion. Try it sometimes.

But be careful, there are fanatics out there.

Now, going back... why do some Filipino atheists seem to ignore Islam? There are a few reasons.

1. Some find debating a Muslim a futile cause. Have a life! You just can't win on a person who already closed his head and have thrown away the keys.

2. You didn't become an atheist just to get hurt. Sorry, but bad publicity and stereotyping have made its toll. Some atheists have already imagined a Muslim as a fanatic bomb-hiding, knife back-stabbing bunch of fanatic loonies. You don't want to debate with such characters, do you? 

Frankly, I won't advise debating them alone. Yes, there are those Muslims that are well educated and will talk to you in an educated manner, but there are those who are not and might hurt you physically ( I have my share of experience). 

3. The majority of atheists living in Luzon has no idea about Islam. You don't see Muslim often here in Manila (unless you're going to buy some pirated DVD in Quiapo or some Chinese bootlegs in Greenhills). They seem to be quite ignorant on the issues surrounding Islam; like the Qur'an, Allah and Muhammad. They are more familiar with Christians.

4. Tribal Issues: Filipinos are quite tribal. Folks here in Manila seem to ignore issues far away in Mindanao. Therefore, they don't talk about it. That is also true here in Philippine atheism. That is why some don't care about the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

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