My name is Arshad from Pakistan. I am very pleased to know you and about your work. Do you know Urdu language? Or if you want some book in Urde language on atheism...
Then, I can send you its pdf file... I am the writer of this book..and it has no example in Musliim and Urdu literature of this kind of book...
I am too pleased to hear from a pakistani Atheist and your work towards a better society.That is the kind of work that i want to do and trying to do.I can read Urdu though couldn't understand typical urdu or arabic words.But it will be very useful if you send the links of urdu pdf books.I can use those in my thread and there are many pakistani friends of mine to whom i can give these books.
Though I'm not a fan of Taslima Nasrin, I appreciate her Poetry of rhythmic verses. Her stance against the religion-blinded colonizer-like race is respectable, too. But, in our country, none is free to express his/her feelings or beliefs. Humayun Azad was the bravest among the BANGALEE Atheists. He also was attacked severely. The most of the writers, poets, and intellectuals are nothing but the feet-suckers of the blind followers of religions and corruptions. A very little of them are free-thinkers and they are hated by almost all. BANGLA poetry is a rich stream now. Our best poet is now, methinks, Abu Hasan Shahriar, a free-thinker. (Though a blind sucker of the corruption and religion- Al Mahmud is now declared as the number-one poet, I find his poetry nothing but the bullshits. A 15 crossed Bangalee boy can compose far better than he does.) The stream of Plays and Dramas is not rich in our Literature now. The translated plays are beeing staged times and again. Our Films went to the condition like sucking a 95 crossed lady's breasts. One or Two of the films is/are really tolerable that come/s per year. Novels are being written as a whore satisfies her customers only for the sake of money. Hence, how can one expect something aesthetic? Only our poetry can have the rich stance now. It's my personal realization, of course, as a graduate student of literature. Science fiction is being a gorgeous stream now a days.
Thanks a lot.
Waiting for your realisation of URDU literature of our Time.
Arshad, thankyou for your note to me. I want to just clarify that Mr. Khan's essay is a VERY translated interpretation from Emerson's original "Self Reliance" essay to a more contemporary style. I had shared it with you because I gathered that you are in the place of freedom from any clubs or groups, that you're in a place of "Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind." (quote from the original Emerson Essay). In which I am thinking of the word "mind" as meaning deep connection with inner feelings, heart, compassion, thoughts... the depth of oneself rather than intellect alone.
Your thoughts about "exteme individualism" potentially being the risk to this way of thinking - well in my culture, I sure do see plenty of that! We are killing ourselves with extreme individualism here. But I think the rampant individualism is a strategy to feel valuable and powerful and a vain attempt to feel alive.... I think this way of thinking comes from not taking the inner journey to self awareness.
For me, the essay doesn't suggest the cultural outcome of exteme individualism. I think if we really had a deep enough connection and awareness to the fact that we are simply life... not a nurse or a plumber, or a mother or even an atheist or whatever "club" we identify with... just plain and simply an organism through which life is expressing itself, then at heart, for me that includes connection with life around us and for me that includes an innate sense of compassion and care for all the life around us...
how does that interpretation sound to you?
Arshad, your story gives me hope for a future time when
human beings choose to be free of the chains of religious beliefs. I am also greatly inspired by your bravery considering the culture you live in. I hope you enjoy the essay below.
Excerpt from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay, Self-Reliance; translated into modern English by Adam Khan
Do not join any crowd. Every club or group tries to make each member a “retained attorney,” locked into one perspective, chained to a set of beliefs that blind you to the truth. You can no longer just see. You are driven to justify a certain point of view, to uphold a fixed perspective, cutting away your freedom and cutting you off from a free expression of the immense intelligence you really are.
As a painful example of the sensation of being locked away from your own soul, consider the feeling you get when talking to people you don’t feel comfortable with, wearing a forced smile, a painful smile, while you converse on topics that don’t interest you. It makes your face hurt. The discomfort of it is a clear signal. In your dishonesty you have stuffed a towel into the tube through which your life and creative force flow, leaving you without power or comfort or peace or happiness.
Follow your deep whim. Do what you truly want to do—not your superficial, thoughtless impulses, but when you are here, now, being as nakedly honest with yourself as you can, speak and act from that unmasked honesty and your perceptions will strike a chord in the hearts of others, for the center of their Self converges with the center of yours.
People do and say things much of the time in the spirit of someone trying to make amends or to atone for a sin. They take actions as if to justify or excuse themselves. Their whole demeanor reeks of apology.
But I need no excuse. I’m not here to please the world. I’m here to live. My life exists as an end in itself, without needing justification. My life is for itself and not for a show.
If my motivations are base, so be it. Better that they are base and honest than lofty and phony.
Excerpt from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay, Self-Reliance; translated into modern English by Adam Khan
From your biography, I think that you are a very honorable and courageous man. If there was a god I would pray for you. As it is, I can only admire you for your integrity and courage. Thank you for joining Atheist Nexis.
hello Mr Arshad. I am also happy to see an open minded person in that part of the world; I think people like you who have an independent thinking in spite of all that aggressive religious influence ("aggressive" here means "pushy" and not "violent") are really special people. Not only that you have an independent thinking but you are very couragerous to be an open atheist living among Muslims. Are you aware that your name can be googled and people from your country can see what do you write?
To Arshad, you are to be congratulated on your well-expressed writing in English and your accurate understanding of religion and the horrors it can and does commit. You are right to say that in the west holding discussions about atheism and theism can look like “a playful intellectual matter” in the sense that it is not dangerous to life; and to say, by contrast, that “when religion is politicized, it turns into a monster ... a direct threat to human civilization process”. One laments how this has come about, in which the brains of religious fanatics operate at such a low level of intelligence whether christian or muslim. And still worse, that Mohammed was likely no more than a smart epileptic, having visions during his fits of near-unconsciousness, and that he and his followers succeeded in fitting his narrow knowledge of a patriarchal desert world into a grander scheme that became a fighting desert religion.
You then say: “I salute to the Western thinkers who have given light to all human beings. The whole literature and whole knowledge is coming from West. It has been a question, how Western mind became curious, logical, pluralistic, and why so called "South" Third World remained intellectually primitive minded... While before few hundred years, Western nations were also in the same conditions.”
Yes, the evil establishment that was pope-led christianity and protestant christianity in medieval times suppressed independent thought for centuries, although gradually a few brave thinkers made small breakthroughs. One of the turning points was the establishment of the Royal Society in Britain in the seventeenth century, supported by the curiosity of the king. Simultaneously, and earlier too, some great minds were at work in France, Germany and Italy, etc. Advances were being made in many sciences, but against some sciences (medicine, cosmology, geology, ‘ORIGINS’ generally) the church held firm. There was no progress in the Muslim countries, for most Muslim states were theocratic states. I need not go on. The know the story well.
I end this brief note by appending a little good news, about the brave Taslima Nasreen. I expect you know this already.
France comes to the rescue of Taslima Nasreen
National Secular Society Honorary Associate Taslima Nasreen is to live in Paris, it has been reported. The Bangladeshi writer has been under threat of death from Islamist extremists who accuse her of blasphemy in her writings.
Municipal authorities in Paris will provide her with a large studio in an artists' residence in the French capital, and initially pay her rent. Nasreen, who was made an honorary citizen of Paris in July 2008, put in an application for housing six weeks ago.
"You are at home here, in the city where it was proclaimed that men are born and remain free and equal and nobody can be condemned for their beliefs," Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe said when she was given honorary citizenship.
Thank you Arshad. I am glad to see that there are free-thinking atheists in the middle of the Islamic world, as well. In the West, the only pictures we get of that part of the world deal with unreasonable extremists and homicidal maniacs. I look forward to your contributions here.
You are doing well at a difficult time. Congratulations.
Welcome to Atheist Nexus and the world of common sense.
Do join groups when you can, and follow or contribute to their discussions and rational debate, like the busy group "ORIGINS: Universe, Life, Humankind, Darwin..." which has fine discussion, good writing, and seeks to understand the mysteries of the universe and how life and everything began. Terry Meaden