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In the Name of God بسم الله

Atheism on the rise in Iraq

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IRAQ PULSE

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Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the Iraqi National Alliance party, speaks during a news conference with Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani in Baghdad, Iraq, Sept. 29, 2016. (photo by REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily)

Islamic parties intimidate, fear atheists in Iraq

NAJAF, Iraq — Iraq's Islamic movements and political parties have intensified their rhetoric in recent weeks against atheism, warning Iraqis about its spread and the need to confront atheists. Such movements and parties worry that public sentiment is turning against Islamic parties in politics and that this could be reflected in upcoming elections, scheduled for the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018.

Summary Print Islamic parties in Iraq have intensified their rhetoric against atheists, with one prominent cleric calling for them to be confronted with an "iron fist."
Author Ali MamouriPosted June 22, 2017
TranslatorSahar Ghoussoub
 

In a lecture this month in Baghdad, Ammar al-Hakim — head of the mostly Shiite Iraqi National Alliance party, which holds the overwhelming political majority in parliament and government — warned against the prevalence of atheism.

“Some people resent Iraqi society’s adherence to religious principles and its connection to God Almighty,” he said. Hakim called for “confronting these extraneous atheistic ideas with good thinking and with an iron fist against the supporters of such ideas by exposing the methods they use in disseminating their ideas.”

Hakim’s message is contrary to the Iraqi Constitution, which guarantees freedom of belief and expression and criminalizes incitement against others and against compelling others to adopt or reject a specific faith.

During Ramadanreligious lectures in Shiite cities in Iraq's center and south — the main base of the Islamic parties — attacked the spread of secular and atheistic ideas, which are viewed as threats to Iraqi society.

Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has extensive influence among the politically ambitious pro-Iranian factions within the Popular Mobilization Units military organization. He warned May 30 of a supposed dangerous conspiracy by secular and nonreligious movements to take power from Islamic parties and gain control for themselves.

Atheism in Arab culture, as described by contemporary Egyptian philosopher Abdel Rahman Badawi in his book, “The History of Atheism,” covers a vast range of ideas and behaviors. To Badawi, atheism includes agnostics, emerging secular movements that reject the political role of religion, and those who criticize various aspects of religion. Secularism and atheism are thus often intertwined in the discourse of political Islam through the use of terms such as “secular atheist trends and ideas.” These ideas inspire fear in many politically-oriented Islamic movements.

According to Sayyid Qutb, a founder of political Islam who is widely studied by Islamists in Iraq, separating religion from political rule is tantamount to infidelity to God and denying divine governance.

Defunct Kurdish news agency AKnews conducted a nonscientific poll in 2011 about faith. When asked if they believed in God, 67% of respondents answered yes; 21%, probably yes; 4%, probably no; 7%, no; and 1% had no answer.

In a country that has not seen a national census for three decades, it's not possible to provide official numbers for members of different faiths and beliefs. It is especially difficult to know the size of those communities that hold taboo beliefs in a conservative society such as Iraq, which views these outsiders with disdain and where they are threatened by military groups and political leaders, some of whom demand they be beaten "with an iron fist." Much of what information can be gleaned comes in anecdotal form. Since 2014, after the Islamic State swept through Iraqi territory, many reports from various quarters have observed that more people are skeptical of Islamic beliefs and are rejecting Islam altogether, influenced by the negative image of Islam portrayed by extremist groups.

A prominent book store in Baghdad has seen more young people buying books on atheism from prominent nonbelievers such as Saudi writer Abdullah al-Qasemi and British philosopher Richard Dawkins. Even in a holy city like Najaf and within the Shiite religious establishments, Al-Monitor spoke to several religious students who not only have begun to question the fundamental beliefs of Islam, but the basic principles of religion in general. They would be ostracized by society in a heartbeat if they expressed their views freely.

Human rights activist, writer and satirist Faisal Saeed al-Mutar told Al-Monitor that atheists in Iraq face very difficult circumstances under a government with a majority of Islamic parties and with the dominance of Islamic militias over society.

Faisal, who follows Iraqi atheists' activities on social media, said, “I clearly see that the numbers of atheists is rising in different areas in Iraq.” Faisal recently founded the Ideas Beyond Borders organization, which defends Iraqi atheists and helps them organize and claim their rights.

Many atheists have been forced to flee Iraq because of harassment and threats. Jamal al-Bahadly, an atheist who is vocal about his views on social networking sites, said he received death threats from Shiite militias in Baghdad, forcing him to leave the country in 2015. He emigrated to Germany.

“As an atheist, I was deprived of the most basic civil rights in Iraq. I feel that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights does not include me and my fellow atheists in Iraq," Bahadly told Al-Monitor. Iraq voted in favor of the declaration in 1948 at the United Nations General Assembly.

Leaders of Islamic movements repeatedly say they've seen a rise in the number of atheists in Iraq. Their statements of concern fuel even more concern among the ruling Islamic parties, who fear a decline in their political power.



Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/06/iraq-atheism-political-islam-human-rights.html#ixzz4ksjn51FT

Source: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/06/iraq-atheism-political-islam-human-rights.html

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Salam Alykum brother,

I visited various bookstores in Iraq (even shady ones) I've never seen Richards books and all youth in Iraq are pretty religious still from what I've observed. The sermons from clerics when I heard never spoke of Atheism. Besides Atheism is always a thing there are I bet atheists that live meters away from the Kaaba in Mecca! You cant change it. I dunno about this article it seems too suspicious Hope other Iraqi brothers and sisters can comment on this article.

Salam

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I would’ve assumed religion has  grown to play a more important role in not just Iraqi society but politics. Many of the Shi’a in Iraq especially the youth look up to people like Ayatollah Sistani, while many of the Sunni who feel “subjugated” by the Iraqi Government are turning to extreme forms of worship and fundamentalism. I especially think whether Sunni or shia that the youth are more passionate about their faith in the region than the older generation of men and women in Iraq but nonetheless I hope we (the youth) are able to seriously find a strong bond to be united as Muslims regardless of which sect you’ve come from.

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Also guys dont forget, Al monitor has shady connections to powers, they keep acting as if they support Assad in Syria but have their website in Hebrew. This doesnt seem that trust worthy. 

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I don't mean to sound too pessimistic but... I believe that religiosity will only continue to decline with the advancement of technology post industrial revolution. Modern technology is not simply a tool or a means it is the message. “The conservatives are fools: They whine about the decay of traditional values, yet they enthusiastically support technological progress and economic growth. Apparently it never occurs to them that you can't make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society without causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapid changes inevitably break down traditional values.”

[Ikmal ad-Deen] as-Sakuni said that Abu `Abdillah علیھ السلام : The Messenger of Allah صلى لله علیھ وآلھ said: There will come a time upon my Umma in which naught will remain of the Quran but its writing, and naught of Islam but its name. They will be named by it while they are the furthest of mankind from it. Their mosques will be populated, while they are ruined of guidance. The fuqaha of that time are the evilest of fuqaha under the shade of Heaven. From them fitna will go out, and to them it will return.

[Ghayba an-Nu`mani] Abu Basir said: I said to Abu `Abdillah علیھ السلام : Inform me about the saying of Amir al-Mu’mineen علیھ السلام : Islam began as a stranger and it will go back to being a stranger as it began, so blessed are the strangers.
So he said: O Abu Muhammad, when the Qa’im علیھ السلام rises, he will recommence with a new calling as the Messenger of Allah صلى لله علیھ وآلھ called. He said: So I got up to him and kissed his head, and I said: I testify that you are my Imam in this world and the hereafter, I am loyal to your wali, and bear enmity to your enemy, and you are the wali of Allah. [So he said: May Allah have mercy on you.]

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2 minutes ago, Shi3i_jadeed said:

“The conservatives are fools: They whine about the decay of traditional values, yet they enthusiastically support technological progress and economic growth. Apparently it never occurs to them that you can't make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society without causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapid changes inevitably break down traditional values.”

Brother religion and science are not enemies as the media shows it, they can both prove and help each other hand in hand for some of the greatest scientists were religious Christians, Jews, and Muslims

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33 minutes ago, Forgottenthinker said:

Brother religion and science are not enemies as the media shows it, they can both prove and help each other hand in hand for some of the greatest scientists were religious Christians, Jews, and Muslims

I don't believe religion and science are natural "enemies". I commented on the growth of technology specifically post-industrial revolution. It inevitably leads to the breaking down of traditional social structures and centralization of the state. Modern technology is not merely a means of doing something. 

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Salam Al-Monitor is a media that supports by KSA the KSA supports Atheism among studied nation of Iraq in Universities to weaken religion ties of Iraqis to make a secular gov in Iraq that will be their ally against Iran & shia societies specially the Maraji such as Ayt Sistani & other great scholars because they have sympathy with Sunni muslims they can also control them easily but their main problem is with shia Islam that through Atheism are trying to weaken it.

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This is relevant.. Honestly it is really depressing. 
https://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21730899-they-are-consolidating-their-own-power-process-despots-are-pushing

According to Arab Barometer, a pollster, much of the region is growing less religious. Voters who backed Islamists after the upheaval of the Arab spring in 2011 have grown disillusioned with their performance and changed their minds. In Egypt support for imposing sharia (Islamic law) fell from 84% in 2011 to 34% in 2016. Egyptians are praying less, too (see chart). In places such as Lebanon and Morocco only half as many Muslims listen to recitals of the Koran today, compared with 2011. Gender equality in education and the workplace, long hindered by Muslim tradition, is widely accepted. “Society is driving change,” says Michael Robbins, an American who heads Barometer.

...

20171104_MAC131.png

In Egypt President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has not only banned the Muslim Brotherhood, the region’s pre-eminent Islamist movement, but denounced al-Azhar, the Muslim world’s oldest seat of learning, for “intolerance”. He has closed thousands of mosques and said that Muslims must not sacrifice sheep in their homes during festivals without a licence. On some beaches burkinis—body-covering swimwear for conservative women—are banned. In a break from his predecessors, Mr Sisi has attended Christmas mass in Cairo’s Coptic cathedral three years in a row (though he doesn’t stay long). “We’re becoming more European,” explains an Egyptian official.
....

All of the change is bittersweet for the region’s liberals, who want more political openness, too. But Arab leaders are acting much like Kemal Ataturk, Turkey’s dictator in the early 20th century, who abolished the caliphate and sharia, and banned traditional garb, all while consolidating his own power.

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On 12/30/2017 at 12:07 PM, Shi3i_jadeed said:

This is relevant.. Honestly it is really depressing. 
https://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21730899-they-are-consolidating-their-own-power-process-despots-are-pushing

According to Arab Barometer, a pollster, much of the region is growing less religious. Voters who backed Islamists after the upheaval of the Arab spring in 2011 have grown disillusioned with their performance and changed their minds. In Egypt support for imposing sharia (Islamic law) fell from 84% in 2011 to 34% in 2016. Egyptians are praying less, too (see chart). In places such as Lebanon and Morocco only half as many Muslims listen to recitals of the Koran today, compared with 2011. Gender equality in education and the workplace, long hindered by Muslim tradition, is widely accepted. “Society is driving change,” says Michael Robbins, an American who heads Barometer.

...

20171104_MAC131.png

In Egypt President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has not only banned the Muslim Brotherhood, the region’s pre-eminent Islamist movement, but denounced al-Azhar, the Muslim world’s oldest seat of learning, for “intolerance”. He has closed thousands of mosques and said that Muslims must not sacrifice sheep in their homes during festivals without a licence. On some beaches burkinis—body-covering swimwear for conservative women—are banned. In a break from his predecessors, Mr Sisi has attended Christmas mass in Cairo’s Coptic cathedral three years in a row (though he doesn’t stay long). “We’re becoming more European,” explains an Egyptian official.
....

All of the change is bittersweet for the region’s liberals, who want more political openness, too. But Arab leaders are acting much like Kemal Ataturk, Turkey’s dictator in the early 20th century, who abolished the caliphate and sharia, and banned traditional garb, all while consolidating his own power.

In a way you are right brother. But they must also remember the sectarian , bigoted backlash which a now-rearguard Kemalist fundamentalism has generated in Turkey. Just look at the previous year's anti-Erdogan coup and the numbers which came out in his support, practically sticking out their tongues at the army, that old bastion of Kemalism. See how hugely popular the AKP continues to be, and how the nasibi takfiris are using it as a wiggle-room to creep into the Turkish youths' lives. The Kemalists tried to make Turkey into the French 5th Republic, and failed miserably, and understandably.
Have you read Mustafa Akyol's 'Islam Beyond Extremes'? He captures this situation very succinctly.
I just hope the Arab world does not tread the same path.

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1 hour ago, AbdusSibtayn said:

In a way you are right brother. But they must also remember the sectarian , bigoted backlash which a now-rearguard Kemalist fundamentalism has generated in Turkey. Just look at the previous year's anti-Erdogan coup and the numbers which came out in his support, practically sticking out their tongues at the army, that old bastion of Kemalism. See how hugely popular the AKP continues to be, and how the nasibi takfiris are using it as a wiggle-room to creep into the Turkish youths' lives. The Kemalists tried to make Turkey into the French 5th Republic, and failed miserably, and understandably.
Have you read Mustafa Akyol's 'Islam Beyond Extremes'? He captures this situation very succinctly.
I just hope the Arab world does not tread the same path.

I haven't read the book but I've read a little bit about it. The entire premise of the book, an "Islamic" liberalism, seems like a complete oxymoron to be honest. Can you give me a synopsis of what he discusses? 

Edited by Shi3i_jadeed
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58 minutes ago, Shi3i_jadeed said:

I haven't read the book but I've read a little bit about it. The entire premise of the book, an "Islamic" liberalism, seems like a complete oxymoron to be honest. Can you give me a synopsis of what he discusses? 

Yes brother, for sure. His central argument is about an intolerant, non-inclusive form of secularism under the Kemalist setup, which quashes all open display of religion and seeks to banish it from all aspects of the citizens' lives, generating this radical sectarian bigoted 'Islamist' backlash exemplified by Erdogan's AKP, which, in his opinion, will take Turkey in the direction of countries like the KSA and Qatar, and the dangerous lumpen elements like the ISIS will use the situation to their advantage. He argues that Turkey should take a more 'moderate' position, something of a compromise between an Islamic government and the roughshod secularism of the French, an essentially secular country, but the one which does not stifle the people's religious sentiments. Expected response. Once a liberal, always a liberal.
Needless to say, I do not subscribe to his solution at all, but I found his formulation about a noninclusive secularism, breeding a reaction of religious extremism worthwhile to cite. It is something which the secular dictators like al-Sisi can take a cue from.

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You start to have youth on social media, which Iran has rightfully banned even though there are people on Shiachat who have claimed Sayed Ali Khamanei is a Munafiq for having a facebook account (Even though that is western made and only used to promote Haq, and is strictly run and he himself doesn't do anything on it nor go on it!) you will inevitably get some Arabs/Middle Eastern folk copying other misguided youth in the region. You have women going in music videos imitating filthy things done in the US/Europe/South America/Canada. You have poverty and inequality growing and youth become rebellious, turn to drugs, and the like. Music is now rife and common place even among 'religious' Shias in these regions, dancing in weddings with music, wearing a lot of make up and the like.

I sincerely think if it takes anything to make you an Atheist, you were never truly a believer in God. If hardship befalls on you, you can lose your way, sin, be weak, but you will always remain believing in God. If your belief in God is based on having a life without challenges , that is not belief at all.  Saying 'well, we had ISIS, bombings, a terrible economy, so therefore God doesn't exist' is absolutely pathetic. You never believed in the first place.

"And as for man, when his Lord tries him and [thus] is generous to him and favors him, he says, "My Lord has honored me." But when He tries him and restricts his provision, he says, "My Lord has humiliated me." [89; 15:16]

Edited by Intellectual Resistance
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"Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has extensive influence among the politically ambitious pro-Iranian factions within the Popular Mobilization Units military organization. He warned May 30 of a supposed dangerous conspiracy by secular and nonreligious movements to take power from Islamic parties and gain control for themselves."

Got to always bring in Iran somewhere and somehow, to start to scare Iraqis who have been brainwashed into thinking Iran is going to mount a take over, and that Iran are the cause of their terrible economy, rampant terrorist infiltrations wa Kadha wa Kadha.

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On 12/30/2017 at 10:23 AM, shiaman14 said:

This could be a natural reaction to the turmoil over the past few years and the zeal brought on by ISIS.

Yes, and it can be seen in various Muslim countries. Atheism in youth is on the rise if anecdotal evidence is anything to go by. If the only way to be a practicing Muslims is to be a bigoted hater as preached by hardliners and to fight for non-issues like the fundamentalists do, it is not surprising that saner, educated people don't want to be part of that worldview. While some find balance or a middle way, others resolve it by abandoning it altogether. Since it remains extremely dangerous for atheists to come out publicly, majority of them keep to themselves for fear of reprisals. 

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Sayed kamal al hayadari is doing a serie nd it is called : " Dialogue with the Atheists "  in arabic
I did see some of it. He has shown many mistakes or lies by Richard Dawkings , who is like the marja of many atheists. And also the name Stephen Hawking is mentioned more than once. 
Another name of someone from the west was John C Lennox ( A christian believer ) 

The Sayyid on my profile picture  also did mention Dawkings when he spoke about effects of prayer / dua. 

Edited by Mohammed-Mehdi
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8 minutes ago, Mohammed-Mehdi said:

Sayed kamal al hayadari is doing a serie nd it is called : " Dialogue with the Atheists "  in arabic
I did see some of it. He has shown many mistakes or lies by Richard Dawkings , who is like the marja of many atheists. And also the name Stephen Hawking is mentioned more than once. 
Another name of someone from the west was John C Lennox ( A christian believer ) 

The Sayyid on my profile picture  also did mention Dawkings when he spoke about effects of prayer / dua. 

Brother, is it Sayyid Muneer al-Khabaz (ha) in your dp?

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FYI

http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235052378-the-delusions-of-atheists/?page=4&tab=comments#comment-3105592

Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris some of the many leading the Neo Darwisism/Atheisism Agenda.

In the Link posted above, page 4 has few debates(Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens)  that are very informative in a sense to understand their arguments. And as a layman, i can tell you, at best its Great Marketing and Psychological warfare. Just good enough to create doubts. And that is all they have to do.

 

https://www.al-islam.org/tradition-myrobalan-fruit-hadith-al-halila-imam-jafar-al-sadiq

https://www.al-islam.org/akhlaq-al-aimma-morals-manners-holy-imams-maulana-sayyid-zafar-hasan-amrohi/knowledge-ahl-ul-bayt#another-debate-abu-shakir

https://www.al-islam.org/principles-faith-usul-al-din-husayn-vahid-khorasani/ways-attaining-faith-Allah#first-way

Another Thread on Atheism. 

http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235051040-atheism-everywhere/?page=8&tab=comments#comment-3065892

 

Edited by S.M.H.A.
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12 hours ago, Mohammed-Mehdi said:

In my profilepicture ? ( I don't know what dp is ) but yes that is him

Yes. An alternate word for profile picture (dp= display picture).
Ma'ashallah, he's a great scholar in-the-making and a great orator as well. I am sure that he will be greatly respected in the years to come. May Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى bless him!

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On 01/01/2018 at 7:09 AM, Ayuoobi said:

Not to worry everyone. Sayyid Kamaal Al-Haidari has a youtube series called "Dialogue with the Atheists" in which he addresses atheism. InshaAllah this will stem the tide of atheism in Iraq.

This sounds promising. How good would you say these lectures are, and do they go deep into philosophy and address many of the contentions we hear from Atheists?

EDIT: Found them, there's about 20+ lectures in this series.

 

Edited by Intellectual Resistance
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1 hour ago, Intellectual Resistance said:

This sounds promising. How good would you say these lectures are, and do they go deep into philosophy and address many of the contentions we hear from Atheists?

EDIT: Found them, there's about 20+ lectures in this series.

 

I advice you to chek it out through his official website alhaydari.com or his official youtube account wich you also can find through the website. then you get it how they present it and from the source. 

In my opinion this serie is great as far as I can understand. No doubt if someone really wants to see the truth, they will find it. I also learned from these video's something quite interesting that is ; most " atheists " are actually not atheists, but believers in an everlasting unlimited power , maybe material or something else but still.

Edited by Mohammed-Mehdi
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