[PDF / Epub] ⚣ The Atheist Muslim: A Journey from Religion to Reason ✈ Ali A. Rizvi – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk

The Atheist Muslim: A Journey from Religion to Reason In Much Of The Muslim World, Religion Is The Central Foundation Upon Which Family, Community, Morality, And Identity Are Built The Inextricable Embedment Of Religion In Muslim Culture Has Forced A New Generation Of Non Believing Muslims To Face The Heavy Costs Of Abandoning Their Parents Religion Disowned By Their Families, Marginalized From Their Communities, Imprisoned, Or Even Sentenced To Death By Their GovernmentsStruggling To Reconcile The Muslim Society He Was Living In As A Scientist And Physician And The Religion He Was Being Raised In, Ali A Rizvi Eventually Loses His Faith Discovering That He Is Not Alone In His Beliefs, He Moves To North America And Promises To Use His New Freedom Of Speech To Represent The Voices That Are Usually Quashed Before Reaching The Mainstream Media The Atheist MuslimIn The Atheist Muslim, We Follow Rizvi As He Finds Himself Caught Between Two Narrative Voices He Cannot Relate To Extreme Islam And Anti Muslim Bigotry In A Post World The Atheist Muslim Recounts The Journey That Allows Rizvi To Criticize Islam As One Should Be Able To Criticize Any Set Of Ideas Without Demonizing His Entire People Emotionally And Intellectually Compelling, His Personal Story Outlines The Challenges Of Modern Islam And The Factors That Could Help Lead It Toward A Substantive, Progressive Reformation


10 thoughts on “The Atheist Muslim: A Journey from Religion to Reason

  1. says:

    I am at a loss to say much about this book other than Wow It s brilliant and courageous It should generate a tremendous amount of healthy debate, but will likely generate some unfortunate negative reactions too From personal experience, historical research and careful reasoning, Rivki engages in a thoughtful reflection on what led him from his religious childhood to atheism as an adult Beyond the personal, he also makes suggestions for a path forward to a form of Muslim atheism His writin I am at a loss to say much about this book other than Wow It s brilliant and courageous It should generate a tremendous amount of healthy debate, but will likely generate some unfortunate negative reactions too From personal experience, historical research and careful reasoning, Rivki engages in a thoughtful reflection on what led him from his religious childhood to atheism as an adult Beyond the personal, he also makes suggestions for a path forward to a form of Muslim atheism His writing is direct but very respectful This is a powerful, readable and thought provoking book Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an opportunity to read an advance copy


  2. says:

    This is a high impact book The author is devastating on his former religion Until Muslims learn to stop equating the Quran as divine and inerrant there will continue to be problems worldwide.Page 95 my book The uncomfortable truth, however, is that the most dangerous are inevitably those who are most intimately familiar with these words in Holy texts , have studied them thoroughly, and actually take them seriously whether in the Torah, Quran, or any other holy book they consider to be divi This is a high impact book The author is devastating on his former religion Until Muslims learn to stop equating the Quran as divine and inerrant there will continue to be problems worldwide.Page 95 my book The uncomfortable truth, however, is that the most dangerous are inevitably those who are most intimately familiar with these words in Holy texts , have studied them thoroughly, and actually take them seriously whether in the Torah, Quran, or any other holy book they consider to be divinely sanctioned Those who read these passages, thinking, this is sacred and virtuous, this must be respected, are the ones to watch out for.The author takes on the over used term Islamophobia, making it quite clear that one should always be free to criticize and caricature a religion Many liberals and left wing pundits are so sensitive to this issue that anyone who dares to take on Islam is labeled by this phrase Politicians skate by the issue saying Islam is a religion of peace or that Islam is being falsified , even though terrorists constantly quote from the Quran Many Islamic scholars do acrobatics interpreting passages in the Quran.By lambasting those who critique Islam in Western democratic countries, the liberals in Muslim dominated countries are being hindered in their efforts to free their countries from the Sharia that suffocates them The liberals and the left wing who take offense at comments by the likes of Richard Dawkins, Ayaan Hirsi Ali should realize that those comments would result in imprisonment or worse in Muslim dominated countries.Page 44 Maybe the Islamic State is reacting to U.S foreign policy, but one wonders, what can this possibly have to do with enslaving underage Yazidi girls, killing Turkmen shias, throwing gays off rooftops, or executing apostates Page 45 Throughout history, religion has simply been an excuse looking for conflict.Why do women s rights take second place under the aura of religious right And as the author points out, there is a double standard at play here.Page 144 Why is it that homophobic rhetoric from evangelical Christians is widely denounced by liberals, but correctly stating that the deplorable treatment of gays by Saudi Arabia, Iran, or the Islamic State has basis in the Quran is considered anti Muslim bigotry There have been moves to either secularism or atheism among Muslims The author brings up a very active website ExMuslimBecause where numerous reasons some funny, some not are presented for abandoning the faith and finding a world of reason and tolerance Some Muslims in the West are trying to reform Islam from within one is the gay Canadian Muslim activist Irshad Manji I don t know how successful they are or will be There is a large mosque where I live and it, for example, does not seem open to gay people The author brings up how difficult it can be to abandon and leave the religion particularly in Muslim majority countries And in the West when the entire community and family life is Mosque centred there can also be enormous obstacles Plus leaving the faith can have physical consequences.Like the author I wonder why these texts in Holy Books Quran, Bible written so long ago are so revered We examine critically the message contained in current books, films, newscasts but not these texts Everything changes One hundred years ago women did not have the right to vote would any politician today run on a platform of disallowing women the right to vote We should look at these old words in these old books in the same light as being written in a context totally out of sync with our current level of knowledge and morality.This is a powerful examination of Islam and very convincing And truly, given the plight surrounding those who leave Islam, this guy s got guts Page 160This is my faith should not automatically confer immunity on the faithful for misogyny, bigotry, discriminationtolerance of intolerance isn t tolerance


  3. says:

    This highly anticipated debut work from writer, religious and political commentator, trained physician, and oncologic pathologist Ali Rizvi does not disappoint in the slightest His trademark wit, clarity, and erudition are on display throughout in a work of fascinating biography and engrossing commentary His focus here is on his own process of losing his religion, describing the circumstances around that process and also providing a compelling case for why this process of secularization is nee This highly anticipated debut work from writer, religious and political commentator, trained physician, and oncologic pathologist Ali Rizvi does not disappoint in the slightest His trademark wit, clarity, and erudition are on display throughout in a work of fascinating biography and engrossing commentary His focus here is on his own process of losing his religion, describing the circumstances around that process and also providing a compelling case for why this process of secularization is needed for Islam as a religion and achievable for those who shared his original faith What is most interesting at least to me is how much there is here for me to relate to mainly how we were argued out of our faith even though I was never part of any culture that discouraged me from it, unlike his upbringing in Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan which placed punishments on such apostasy Simplifiers and censorious BS artists from the left and right meet their match throughout this honest appraisal and two back to back chapters in particular, Choosing Atheism and Islamophobia Phobia and the Regressive Left, are an absolute tour de force of clarity and honesty, skewering several of the aforementioned bunk talking heads in the process Fans of Harris, Hitchens, Dawkins, and Dennett the world s most provocative law firm will find Rizvi to be one of the boys and those looking for a discussion of Islam that is free of superficiality and bigotry need look no further Everyone should read this


  4. says:

    I loved this book, this is the book that I have always wanted to write However, this one is written mucheloquently than the one I have imagined myself writing The book engages in detail the logical and emotional arguments against the divinity of the Islamic faith almost all the major problems are discussed Quran, Jurispudence, Politics, Islamism, Moderate Islam, Muhammad, and Terrorism this book is coming out during an ongoing debate about the reasonableness of faith so you will fin I loved this book, this is the book that I have always wanted to write However, this one is written mucheloquently than the one I have imagined myself writing The book engages in detail the logical and emotional arguments against the divinity of the Islamic faith almost all the major problems are discussed Quran, Jurispudence, Politics, Islamism, Moderate Islam, Muhammad, and Terrorism this book is coming out during an ongoing debate about the reasonableness of faith so you will find a lot of allusions to contemporary writers such as Dawkins, Aslan, Harris, Ayan Hirsi Ali, Hitchens, Maher, etc I have been a keen follower of this debate so it was the perfect book for me it would help a lot if you have an idea about this debate before you start reading this book the book is well written, has a whole lot of great ideas about the topic of faith and Islam I highly recommend it to fellow free thinkers


  5. says:

    The best of its admittedly limited genre and highly recommended to all seekers after truth and rationality.


  6. says:

    The Atheist Muslim A Journey from Religion to Reason by Ali A Rizvi The Atheist Muslim is an excellent and a refreshing new take on atheism Author, medical communications professional, and trained physician Dr Rizvi provides the public with his personal journey to atheism and it s a real treat This captivating 256 page book includes the following nine chapters 1 Smoke Break, 2 Root Causes, 3 Letting Go Part I The Born Again Skeptic, 4 A Tale of Two Identities, 5 Choosing AtheismFi The Atheist Muslim A Journey from Religion to Reason by Ali A Rizvi The Atheist Muslim is an excellent and a refreshing new take on atheism Author, medical communications professional, and trained physician Dr Rizvi provides the public with his personal journey to atheism and it s a real treat This captivating 256 page book includes the following nine chapters 1 Smoke Break, 2 Root Causes, 3 Letting Go Part I The Born Again Skeptic, 4 A Tale of Two Identities, 5 Choosing AtheismFive Choosing Atheism, 6 Islamophobia Phobia and the Regressive Left , 7 The Quran Misinterpretation, Metaphor, and Misunderstanding, 8 Reformation and Secularism, and 9 Letting Go Part II The Silver Lining.Positives 1 An engaging, well written book that captivates the reader 2 The fascinating topic of journey to atheism from an ex Muslim s perspective.3 Great use of logic, reason and facts to persuade the audience at an accessible level 4 Dr Rizvi took me to world I know very little about he excels at painting a clear backdrop while driving his persuasive deconversion story 5 A fascinating look into his childhood They were liberal Muslims who valued pluralism and quality education that went beyond the textbook and they wanted to instill that in us, their four children This was a key reason they sent us to this expensive, private school 6 Interesting perspectives and not just on the Muslim culture consider his take of the medical field For the most part, medicine ispublic service than science In medicine, you have to follow protocols In science, you help create them In science, trying out new things and being creative is encouraged In medicine, getting too creative could get you sued, or worse 7 I enjoyed learning of the different Muslim sects and how they came about The word Salafi comes from salaf, meaning ancestor and refers specifically to the earliest generations of Muslims, from the time of Muhammad himself Salafism is a rigid doctrine prescribing the revival of this early Islam, believed by its adherents to be the religion s purest form 8 Provocative This book touches upon many fascinating topics beyond the deconversion from religion to reason 9 Provides a basic explanation of the Quran for non Muslims In other words, accessible reading The Quran is a single book, consisting of 114 chapters, called surahs Each surah is composed of ayahs, or verses He also makes very good use of the Quran to make compelling and sensitive points I found endorsement for almost all of the Saudis actions in the Quran The beheading of disbelievers used interchangeably with nonbelievers was right there in verses 8 12 13 the amputation of hands for theft in verse 5 38 domestic violence in 4 34 the killing of polytheists in 9 5 and so on 10 The politics of religion Hitchens was right on this The religion politics dichotomy is a false one It isn t that politics has no role it s that politics is simply inseparable from the Abrahamic religions Religion is politics 11 The impact of religion captured beautifully, Cultures are dynamic by nature, continuously evolving Religion dogmatizes them It cements them in their place, freezes them in time, and prevents them from moving forward By locking culture up into a time warp, religion makes it look like the bad guy, absolving itself of blame Cultures carry potential for change Religionizing them effectively kills off that potential 12 The topic of violence Unlike religious scriptures, there is simply no atheist doctrine that prescribes or commands violence 13 A fascinating segment of tweets from ex Muslims ExMuslimBecause Misogyny, homophobia, stoning people to death, and killing apostates don t suddenly become respectable when put in a holy book LibMuslim 14 This book is a quote fest, Dr Rizvi provides and shares plenty of noteworthy quotes This one from the late great George Carlin, Pride should be reserved for something you achieved or attained on your own, not something that happens by accident of birth, he said Being Irish isn t a skill It s a blanking genetic accident If you re happy with it, that s fine do that, put that on your car Happy to be an American Be happy Don t be proud Here s a good one from Dr Rizvi, To start with, religion doesn t provide answers it makes them up 15 The problem with faith It s not radicalization It s increased faith Faith is not a virtue Faith means to believe outlandish things without any evidence, simply because someone centuries ago told us to It fetters the intellect and taints the conscience You know deep down, that your faith is really just an accident of birth 16 The power of evolution Today, DNA sequencing has not only revealed to us the evolutionary relationships among living species, but also confirmed beyond a doubt that all living things arose from a single, common ancestor that lived about 4 billion years ago 17 A fascinating chapter on the regressive left Your right to believe what you want must be respected, yes but the beliefs themselves need not be This is unsurprisingly effective, but flat out wrong The number one reason that terrorism is linked with Islam is not Islamophobes or the media It is that jihadi terrorists link themselves with Islam This is a difficult problem to solve But denying any link between the religious doctrine and the violence only makes matters worse And my favorite, Criticizing the monotheisms, including Islam, is an inextricable component of standing up for liberal values Misogyny, for instance, doesn t suddenly get a pass the moment it appears in a holy book If you want to fight patriarchy but won t fight religion, you re not fighting patriarchy 18 A fascinating chapter on the misinterpretations and misunderstandings of the Quran And herein lies the problem if there were a book that talked about Muslims the way the Quran talks about disbelievers, heads would roll Literally 19 The need for reformation The notion that this life on Earth is secondary to the afterlife a fundamental tenet of many religious faiths is deadly when it is genuinely and sincerely believed from the heart I also believe this to be true of many other elements of religious belief 20 Excellent notes.Negatives 1 I wanted , I know a little self serving but I just wanted to hearstories particularly on the Islamic culture he was brought up in.2 For the benefit of many readers, I would have added supplementary materials such as tables, timelines or diagrams that described the different Muslim sects.3 No formal bibliography.In summary, some books are justenjoyable and stimulating than others and this is one of them This book is worthy of five stars because I didn t want it to end Dr Rizvi takes the reader on a fascinating journey into his world, one in which he struggles to reconcile his scientific background with the religion of Islam Along the way, he presents provocative topics worthy of discussion An excellent book, I highly recommend it Further suggestions Heretic and Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Radical by Maajid Nawaz, Islam and the Future of Tolerance A Dialogue by Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz, Why I Am Not a Muslim and Leaving Islam by Ibn Warraq, Faith vs Fact and Why Evolution Is True by Jerry A Coyne, Undeniable by Bill Nye, God The Failed Hypothesis and God and the Folly of Faith by Victor J Stenger, Science and Religion by Daniel C Dennett, The Soul Fallacy by Julien Musolino, God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens, Nonbeliever Nation by David Niose, Freethinkers by Susan Jacoby, Nailed by David Fitzgerald, and Think by Guy P Harrison


  7. says:

    I wasn t sure on this book at the beginning, but it turned out to be very persuasive and well written Rizvi describes his own journey of questioning his faith and trying to understand what that means for his identity as a Muslim I was amazed how much I related to this book I grew up in evangelical Christianity and yet there was so much that I recognized of myself in Rizvi s story and questioning He also brings up the difficulties of losing a cultural identity when you lose your faith, someth I wasn t sure on this book at the beginning, but it turned out to be very persuasive and well written Rizvi describes his own journey of questioning his faith and trying to understand what that means for his identity as a Muslim I was amazed how much I related to this book I grew up in evangelical Christianity and yet there was so much that I recognized of myself in Rizvi s story and questioning He also brings up the difficulties of losing a cultural identity when you lose your faith, something which I don t think the new atheist style movement often gives enough consideration to That said, I m not convinced that his solution of embracing a cultural identity even after you lose your faith is one which is possible for a lot of people You can t continue to be part of a community that doesn t want you there and I don t think he really addressed that point I mainly gave this book 5 stars because it really challenged my thinking I found Rizvi makes a very convincing argument for why we can and should be criticizing and condemning aspects of Islamic belief while simultaneously condemning attacks on Muslim identity itself In fact, he argues, we are doing a disservice to many Muslims around the world when we protect Islam itself in an attempt to protect Muslims The separation he makes between a religion and its adherents is an important one and gave me plenty of food for thought


  8. says:

    This book is excellent Like millions around the world, I ve paid close attention the lamentably thread bare dialogue surrounding the integration and compatibility of Islam and the modern world From one side you get apologetics, denial, and obscurantism From the other you get intolerance, fear, and hatred There has always been a better path, already followed by millions of nominally Muslim Americans reject scriptural inerrancy, supernatural claims, and myth Retain useful traditions Embra This book is excellent Like millions around the world, I ve paid close attention the lamentably thread bare dialogue surrounding the integration and compatibility of Islam and the modern world From one side you get apologetics, denial, and obscurantism From the other you get intolerance, fear, and hatred There has always been a better path, already followed by millions of nominally Muslim Americans reject scriptural inerrancy, supernatural claims, and myth Retain useful traditions Embrace a morality based on reason and compassion Ali Rizvi deftly navigates this better path, bringing readers along for a nuanced and illuminating ride that closely tracks his own lived experience as an ex Muslim growing up in Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan The Atheist Muslim is the book that Muslims, Atheists, believers, skeptics, and anybody concerned about Islam whatever shape that concern takes needs to read.5 5


  9. says:

    This book is fantastic Just as Rizvi illustrates his own journey from obedient Muslim to freethinking atheist, he articulates solid arguments to bridge the gap between the two realms He rebuts common counterarguments to his assertions, drawing from the works of many so called new atheists such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Sam Harris Rizvi is never demeaning, but rather sympathetic to the quagmire that the religious find themselves in I also appreciate that he takes a strong stand against well me This book is fantastic Just as Rizvi illustrates his own journey from obedient Muslim to freethinking atheist, he articulates solid arguments to bridge the gap between the two realms He rebuts common counterarguments to his assertions, drawing from the works of many so called new atheists such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Sam Harris Rizvi is never demeaning, but rather sympathetic to the quagmire that the religious find themselves in I also appreciate that he takes a strong stand against well meaning but misguided leftist thinkers who are unwilling to criticize Islam for fear that they are being bigoted and racist, as well as Muslim apologists like Reza Aslan, whose arguments don t pass thorough inspection An essential read for these times


  10. says:

    Since this is a book about Islam and religion in general I feel I should fully disclose my background So, I ve been all over the map with religion, although I could never personally get into anything that required a literal reading of some ancient text I like the idea of some sort of Joseph Campbell ish approach to religion, which is strange because I never took a liking to Campbell s myth stuff Condensed conclusion is I m skeptical but suspect there may be something about religion that mig Since this is a book about Islam and religion in general I feel I should fully disclose my background So, I ve been all over the map with religion, although I could never personally get into anything that required a literal reading of some ancient text I like the idea of some sort of Joseph Campbell ish approach to religion, which is strange because I never took a liking to Campbell s myth stuff Condensed conclusion is I m skeptical but suspect there may be something about religion that might be helpful Over the last year I ve read two books about ISIS and in general I am fascinated with why and what people believe Anyway, I don t really know a whole bunch about Islam so here goes anyway I think it is fair, and probably not unexpected, to say Rizvi s book basically says all religion is wrong Well maybe just the monotheistic ones, as he doesn t mention Buddhism or Hinduism at all There is a tiny bit of sympathy of religious people from the big 3 Islam, Judaism and Christianity who reject the literal interpretations of their texts, for the most part he seems to assume most people are not that way I guess he could be write, but even he says most believers have never read much of the crazy stuff in their books Again, it is not surprising given the title but Islam gets the most coverage, and he opens by talking about Religious education in Saudi Arabia The Saudi Ministry of Educationdon t just do spot checks in his school to see if everything s running as it should They actually write his school s curriculum, and significantly influence what goes int his text book Pg 3 I don t know if he follows the textbook wars for Texas schools but there are certainly parallels between that world and ours when religious politicians here manage to downplay evolution and leave a window open for intelligent design.Thankful we are not near the point of the example he had for a current yet supposedly modernized text book from Saudi ArabiaEvery religion other than Islam is _________.Whosoever dies outside of Islam enters _____ The correct answers false and hellfire respectively Pg.4I think his premise is the Atheist life is the natural result of an honest search for the truth of any mature adult And he start to delve into the psychology of why not everybody ends up there And it has good stuff that I want to follow up on myself He mention Erik Erikson and James Marcia.Erik Erikson The central conflict of the adolescent, thought Erickson, was a contest between the formation of a strong identity and what he called role confusion, a state of not knowing who you are or what you believe Pg 88James Marcia Identity achievement successful identity after exploration , Identity foreclosure passive adoption of beliefs and values high commitment but low exploration , Identity moratorium state of continued unresolved crisis high exploration, low commitment , Identity diffusion never attempt to explore or choose pg 88And there is somebut then that line of investigation peters out and he off to recount his love of science And that is cool, but I wish he had fleshed out the psychology of why people end up grounding their identity in a religion with very strict interpretations I wanted , but maybe that should be another book.As for science he says Science answers the how questions Religion answers the why questionsTo start with, religion doesn t provide answers, it makes them up. Pg 125And to quibble just a bit I would quibble that Science answers the how and Religion is a search for meaning, not answers And the meaning is a moving target, and even that is probably the wrong metaphor But I grant you that my view of religion would be looked on as heresy by any fundamentalist and maybe most mainstream religions.And that may be another quibble, since so much depend on how you define Religion But that also may be another book.The further along the book goes thestrident he becomes To the point you can t say well I think you are crazy but whatever floats your boat, as long as it don t hurt me Criticizing the monotheisms, including Islam, is an inextricable component of standing up for liberal valuesPg 157I see his point when talking about Christianity or Islam trying to replace science with scripture And certainly if your reading of the Koran or Bible causes anybody to hurt or restrict a non believer But what about somebody who sees something in their church, and their church does none of those things I guess it is just my feeling that theworked up he got the less I was interested in what he was saying Hey, I m all on board when criticizing any actions that are misogynistic, homophobic, or restrictive in any way But sometimes it felt like his emotions were getting away from him.Like when a friend wrote him about her father dying and asked that he play along with her hope he was in a better place He wrote back that he always found itinteresting to be truthful His proposed consolation letter to the grieving daughter pg 218 I dub it the The worse consolation letter, Ever Aside from using it merely as a vehicle to preach about how awesome his atheistic outlook it, it is also bringing an analytical bazooka to an emotional knife fight Basically it is not fair to to use a father s death as an opportunity to tell the grieving daughter that they are stupid for hoping there is an afterlife for their recently departed father.THAT is the battle you choose to fight Part of that letterAdmitting ignorance is humbling It reminds us that as fleeting inhabitants of the vast universe, we are part of something much bigger Pg 220But he is not admitting ignorance at all, he is admitting confidence on how stupid the bereaved daughter is And for all the talk about the mystery of life he super sure of himself.OK, why does this last bit bug me so much Because I suspect he is right and thoughts of pearly gates or 70 virgins awaiting is wrong I guess it is because he brings up a friend s painfully emotional and confusing experience to further is own views Basically in this instance he lacks compassion.I think I read once that the Dali Lama once said something about the mark of a true religion was one that encouraged compassion I have not been able to verify this, but it makes my point I am probably making too much of his tone, but it seems like in his absolutely correct listing of the cruel examples in monotheistic sacred texts he isupset by illogic than the actual pain and suffering that flows from it Of course if you are one of the victims you don t care, you just want it to stop So my impression of this probably isn t a really solid criticism.Once again I come to the end of a book where I largely agree with the author s conclusions but feel the delivery is somehow flawed That said, he make a lot of really good points One of them is this observation about Reza Aslan who has made been an itinerant pundit about religion the last few years Reza Aslan gave Harris some unsolicited advice If you re constantly having to explain away horrid things you ve written, don t write them in the first place Note this is from a man who has partly made a career out of constantly explaining to people why violent passages in the Scripture don t really mean what they say. Pg 2017 12 15After scanning my review just now I think I can say I actually liked the bookthan my sloppy review seems to say


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