It might be prudent to note, given the recent events in France, that I do have a Muslim last name and was born into a majority-Muslim ethnicity. However, I am *emphatically NOT* a Muslim. I have consciously rejected the faith of my parents.
I’ve gotten a lotta new followers on my tumblr and wordpress (well over 50 on both so far), and while I haven’t really brought it up, I figure at this point, and again, due to the terror attack in France, it might be good for you folks to know that about me. I also hope it reminds people, whether they’re my tumblr buddies or new folks just happening on this blog, my Tumblr, or whatever, that race and religion are NOT synonymous. Yes, I’m a “brown” person with the most Muslim last name you could possibly get. My appearance, however, does not determine my beliefs, and I beg your understanding for that.
I don’t want to go into too much detail, as I don’t have the time or energy at the moment to launch a sustained critique of a religion, Suffice it to say, then, that while I’m not the stereotypical atheist who waxes on about “euphoric rationality” and all that, I very strongly wish to distance myself from Islam in particular. My reasons for doing so are out of principle, not any desire to avoid prejudice (though I’d understand someone of my background doing so). Simply put, while most criticism of Islam does, unfortunately, come from right-wing reactionaries little better than the fanatics they fight, I find personally find the religion (for the most part—I confess to liking Sufism a bit) abhorrent, and have come to this conclusion based on study and my own experiences over the last couple of years. I have rejected the faith of my parents not just because of all the (deserved) bad press it’s been getting recently, but because of my own thinking and personal development. I will, therefore, find most offensive any implication I’m trying to win points with Non-Muslims or “betraying my heritage” or any such silliness due to my rejection of what my logic tells me is a terrible religion in and of itself.
Of course, I remain quite solidly on the political Left (as defined in the U.S., at least), and find even more offensive any attempt by any neo-reactionary or right-winger to use me as an exemplar for their cause as well. I believe such tinpot, half-rate ideological hand-me-downs from the Third Reich are every single bit as noxious as Islamic religious totalitarianism, and for many of the same reasons, too. If any such people coming across me and my writing thinks they’ve found a convenient non-white shill to hide behind, they had very best think again.
I beg my friends and readers here for the longest entry I’ve yet posted on my Tumblr (though not the longest I’ve posted on my WP blog), and what may perhaps be my most self-indulgent. If you’ve deep sympathies for Islam, or are Muslim yourselves, I won’t begrudge you if you unfollow me. On the other hand, I do welcome any new followers I might receive as a result of this little rant—at least as long as you understand I hate white supremacists and Christian Talibanis too.