Interview with a Kuwaiti atheist

Kuwait FlagMideast Youth has an interview with a Kuwaiti atheist, Sara Sultan.

The interview is conducted by a Muslim on the basis that “Young atheists in the Arab world are extremely frowned upon and thus hardly ever given a voice, and if we really want to represent all kinds of people then we should include the voices of those we disagree with as well. ”

Likewise, Sara’s reason for being inteviewed is her belief that she has a right to express her opinions and has no fear from doing so. “People try to bully us into believing things… into being part of a “larger mass.” They kick us into buying anything from political opinions to religious beliefs. I refuse to be a product of such attempts at misleading us. They can call me what they want, at the end of the day I’m just an independent woman with a firm opinion.”

She distinguishes between Ex-Muslims and Aran atheists:

Those who dislike Islam are often agnostic, not atheist. Few convert to other religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism and the Baha’i Faith. Arab atheists should not be lumped with other ex-Muslim Arabs who embrace other religions. We do not have anything in common, especially not contempt for Islam. I turned my back on religion because the lengthy study of religions and their respective histories is what made me realize that atheism is the only right path for me. It has nothing to do with Islam itself or me being a former Muslim Kuwaiti. I would have arrived to the same conclusion if I was a former member of any other faith.”

She retains a level of respect and recognises some of the good individuals within religion:

“I try my best not to generalise when it comes to religious groups. All religions are diverse and have worldwide followers that interpret religious texts in very different ways. People are responsible for their own behavior. I know many Muslims who are extremely religious and yet they are very open minded and understanding as to why some of us reject religion in and of itself. Why should I disrespect these good people by ignoring they exist and complaining that only mullah extremists are the appropriate representatives of Islam? Where I live, many young Muslims are actively rising against religious extremism and are trying to represent what is good about their faith. I appreciate their struggles, I don’t ever discourage them by claiming that they’d only be right or successful if they reject Islam altogether and embrace a new philosophy. It’s not in my place to do that.”

And although  she thinks they are “completely misled and wrong” she does not impose her views on others: “That would be a very hypocritical thing for me to do since I’m the way I am mostly because I am anti-collectivism and I hate people who bully others into believing certain things or forcing them to live life a certain way. Like I said earlier, people are responsible for their own behavior and how they choose to live their life is none of my business just like my personal beliefs is none of theirs. The only thing I would encourage others to do is to think for themselves, to be free thinkers no matter how strict their societies are, to have educated and well-thought out opinions. It’s okay if that means you have to stand out from the crowd. And if some people independently chose their faith and strongly believe in it, all power to them. It’s still admirable and respectful as long as they don’t shove their beliefs in our faces and make us suffer the unnecessary consequences when we refuse to buy into their myths.”

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13 responses to “Interview with a Kuwaiti atheist

  1. Salam Alykom! 🙂

    I’m a Kuwaiti Muslim girl, and i loved reading this post.

    All i could say is may Allah be with my dear sister Sara!

    What I like the most in this interview is when she said “to have educated and well-thought out opinions”. Is this the education you’re talking about? 🙂

    I’m not here to disrespect anyone, no.. I respect everyone, all religions and also people with no religion. Its my personality but also my religion taught me how to respect others. Yet, i wish i can talk to this girl and know why she doesn’t believe in any religion and why she took this path? whats her reasons?

    So she doesn’t believe there’s a creator? we just appeared from no where?

    I use to work part time in one of the companies in Kuwait and my boss was atheist. When i asked him where did we come from and how did all this started? He told me .. “from energy” 🙂 wow..
    all i said to him.. “then who created this energy?”
    . . . no response?

    Just one thing to my dear sister, yes education is a very important tool in our lives and we really need it. Nobody is forcing you to change your believes or your opinions. Its just people wants to know more and why you changed!

    where is your facts? what did being atheist teach you? why you get fraustrated if anyone talks about religion? . . . are you actually educated about “religions”?

    yes anyone can do what he wants in life, and its your choice! but there good people in this world that wants the best for you! its not called forcing or changing your opinions but to give you a small hint that .. you should follow the path of “education” rather than just taking the path of your “opinion”

    Wish you the best and may Allah take you to the right path someday 🙂

  2. To the poster above me, just because we have not completely understood abiogenesis does not mean we should believe in myths.

    The creation myth you believe in exists in the Judeo-Christian text otherwise known as the Bible. So should Sara become a Christian?

    Evidence based beliefs!!!! Not ones based on books which require circular logic.

    It’s ok to say “I don’t know” and then pursue the answer to your question.

    Just remember, there are many Creation myths. Some are quite hilarious, I am refering to the ancient Egyptian one, look it up.

  3. Massive unintentional hypocrisy and short-sightedness from a well-intentioned Muslim yet again. Spawned by what I believe is murderous certainty coupled with poor inquisition. It sometimes even verges on arrogance, the shock you exhibit at how an Atheist peer missed a perfectly “logical” account of cosmogony – but arrogance and ignorance go hand in hand.

    Muslimah, rationalists of our time work using a self-modulating tool called science. Observations are made, hypotheses presented, ideas are tested and theories are formed. At no stage is belief required. For example, phenomena like evolution by natural selection do NOT require you to believe in them. One’s disbelief is absolutely irrelevant and of limited use to humanity. The evidence points in one direction, the theory passes every test and is continuously updated, consolidated and reinforced. It is a fully explained, working mechanism of how life came to be on this planet, without the invocation of the supernatural.

    The “obviousness” of creationism and the correctness of Islam are contending claims. The question you should ask yourself is, what is it that is actually so obvious? what is the hypothesis, once tested, returns a relevant expected outcome?

    If we want the truth, we must question everything: “knowing” based on faith, or believing in something rather than knowing it, are two ways of saying I DON’T KNOW. There may be a continuum of knowledge, but that is always due to the varying amount of Evidence.

    Humble yourself with uncertainty and don’t give up on the little-explored universe just yet. Otherwise, the onus is really on you to justify who and what your God is and where he/she came from (is this any different than saying there was “energy” at the start as your boss mentioned?) because atheists are not claiming such entity exists. Once you have succumbed this primary obstacle, you can move on to the minor problems of virus-riddled human genomes, bacteria within eukaryotic cells providing energy (mitochondria) and backward engineered retinas.

    Best Regards,
    Dissident (A Kuwaiti atheist medical student in the UK)

  4. It’s very refreshing to see fellow Kuwaitis embrace skepticism enough and reach conclusions regarding the metaphysical.

    God is a paradox yes, which is why I never argue one exists. Though I find comfort in the cosmological argument that there has to be a “first cause” – even if it was the FSM or a pair of magic socks, I’ll call it God.

    Religion? All man made nonsense. Those who think this is blasphemy should re-evaluate their convictions empirically.

  5. @Dissident:

    “Humble yourself with uncertainty and don’t give up on the little-explored universe just yet”

    – It is rather unfortunate that someone like yourself would give advice like that when you have given up on this universe as well.

    If you were a true scientist you would “humble yourself” and not consider yourself an atheist at such a young age (I am judging since you are a medical student you still have much to see and learn in life). A true scientist only believes an occurence as a fact if they can prove it. Can you prove their is no god? Can any scientist with our limited knowledge prove there is one? The answer to both is no.

    A true scientist would be closer to a deist or agnostic and definitely not an atheist. In fact, being a Muslim would technically be closer to a scientific view than being an atheist at the moment with our primitive knowledge of the universe. Please review the laws of physics and chemistry along with the Big Bang Theory and you would notice that they follow something quite similar to creation in the Quran. Matter could not have occured from nothing and something must have started all of this. God after all can just be a Being of energy.

    I understand that most medical students are quite weak in physics and chemistry and are relatively brilliant in biology (which explains why you mentioned evolution – a theory which does not necessarily go against Islam if taken in a broader sense), but you sound like a smart person so my advice to you would be to humble yourself before you give advice to others.

    Peace. And God (or whatever that energy being that created all this is called) bless you.

  6. Dear Sara, just make sure that we, as muslims, respect your belief and we strongly encourage critical thinking about this universe and its contents. I am sure that converting to atheism was a difficult decision for you and I hope that you exerted all efforts to find the answers, yet, do not stop thinking and searching. Think deeper about this universe, logically and scientifically. Wish you the best.

  7. >>>>>>>>>>I use to work part time in one of the companies in Kuwait and my boss was atheist. When i asked him where did we come from and how did all this started? He told me .. “from energy” wow..
    all i said to him.. “then who created this energy?”
    . . . no response?

    Well you tell us who created this energy? Allah? Then who created Allah would be the next logical question. Look Atheists don’t claim to have have all the answers, but yes scietists are trying to come closer to the truth.
    Yes we don’t understand all the facts about evolution and and how life came in the first but the certainly does not mean that you replace scietific enquiry with superstition.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>where is your facts? what did being atheist teach you? why you get fraustrated if anyone talks about religion? . . . are you actually educated about “religions”?

    Atheism is not like believing in something, nor does atheism some kind of religion that it should teach you something. Look Atheist say that there is no objective proof that god exists and there has been no subjective argument that proves the existance of god. Can you tell me a single moral deed or word that can be done or uttered by a believer that can’t be done or uttered by an athsit. Also think of an immoral action that could only be done by a believer, I suppose you already have the answer!

    >>>>>>>>If we want the truth, we must question everything: “knowing” based on faith, or believing in something rather than knowing it, are two ways of saying I DON’T KNOW. There may be a continuum of knowledge, but that is always due to the varying amount of Evidence.

    “Faith” exactly that is what we are talking about. It is good that you accept things on faith and not on evidence. You faith solely depends on various social factors, for example the family you were born in. Had you been born in India you would propbably have been a Hindu, had you been born in Japan then you would have been a Shinto.
    Do you get the drift.
    Plus let us assume for a second that there is a galatic dictator who created this world and watches you all througout your life, reads all your thoughs and then does not leave you even after you die (that is when the real fun begins, isn’t it), then how do you come from the position of deism to the position of theism and specifically Islamic theism.
    How can you prove that your god allah is the true god. It is possible that Ra is that divine god or how about Visnu. In that case you should be worshipping all the deities, ins’t it.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>yes anyone can do what he wants in life, and its your choice! but there good people in this world that wants the best for you! its not called forcing or changing your opinions but to give you a small hint that .. you should follow the path of “education” rather than just taking the path of your “opinion”

    Exactly who are these good people and what are you talking about your “Opinion’. I mean look who is talking, would you rather have it out of your opinion or that of your mullahs. What are you even taling about?
    Which education are you talking about, studying texts written in the bronze ages which are fit only to be resigned to warehouses where they can shrink and sod slowly or maybe they could be used to produce organic farm manure.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>Wish you the best and may Allah take you to the right path someday

    Prove that allah exists!

  8. Abdulrhman Al-Ali

    What is the point of being an atheist ? you have no point or goal in life .. we produce cars to make our lives easier.. if the car is not working (we worshipping) then what is the point of the car? will anyone buys it ?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    it is useless.. it`s the same with human-beings, we have to worship Allah for creating us and for giving us health,wealth and many countless privileges.. it`s impossible that no one created the sea, mountains, rivers, the sky and so on ..
    Atheists are nobodies because they make no vaule for themselves in life .. astray

  9. Jaber..
    Atheism is not a belief system.
    “Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color.”
    –Don Hirschberg

  10. Abdulrahman..

    “You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?”
    — Dan Barker, Losing Faith in Faith

  11. Calling atheists no bodies? really? The majority of atheists I’ve met compared to Religious people, actually have a greater concern for humanity as a whole. I have friends with all sorts of backgrounds and religions. To me there are good people and there are bad people, period. As for a “God”.. I shall leave you with this argument by Epicurus- “Is [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil?”

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