The FAQ section is always in progress.
Have any questions for me? Leave ‘em in a comment & I’ll answer every relevant one.
Who are you?
I’m Kafir Girl, your everyday Pakistani American ex-Muslim twenty-something atheist. How’s that for a mouthful?
What does kafir mean?
Kafir is the Arabic word for infidel or unbeliever. It literally translates to rejecter or ingrate. Check out the Wikipedia entry for more info.
What are you doing?
I’m reading the Quran in English from cover to cover for the first time ever. And I’m blogging all about it.
Why are you doing this?
There are so many reasons. Here are a few:
1. I’m a glutton for punishment.
2. I grew up in a Muslim household, and it’s important for me to understand how so many people (including my own family) can be duped by this religion.
3. I think Islam escapes a lot of the scrutiny that the Bible gets, and that’s really unfortunate, because it’s just as fucked up as Christianity and Judaism are.
4. I was really inspired by the guys who do The Non-Prophets podcast and The Atheist Experience TV show. (If you haven’t heard of either, definitely check them out.) These guys know the Bible better than most of the Bible thumpers who call in to the show. Know thy enemy, right? That’s what I’m trying to do. I thought I’d start with the Quran since it’s the one that hits closest to home.
What translation are you reading? Why’d you pick that one?
Al-Qur’an, A Contemporary Translation by Ahmed Ali. There’s no real reason why I picked this translation over all the others, except that I had to buy it for a History of Islam college course, and it’s been sitting around on my bookshelf for years. I refuse to pay for a Quran, so this is the version I’m using. (I also refuse to pay for the Bible and any other “holy” book.)
When and why did you become an atheist?
It’s a long story. So long, in fact, that I gave it its own page. Check it out here.
Where are you from? Where do you live now?
My parents are from Pakistan. I’ve lived in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. I live in the U.S. now.
Why are you picking on Islam?
I’m not picking on Islam — I’m studying it. Like most Muslims, I’ve read the book in Arabic several times, which didn’t really do much for me as I’m not an Arabic speaker. A lot of people have no idea what exactly is in the Quran, but they believe in it anyway. They’ll swallow whatever their imam / parents / peers tell them to believe. I’m reading the book for myself, and I’m reading it in a language I understand.
P.S. Suck it up, Muslims. If your religion is the true and infallible word of God, a little scrutiny should be of no consequence, right?
What do your parents think about your views now?
Once they realized I was “straying away” from the religion, my parents tried their damnedest to guilt me into praying. Obviously that didn’t work. I couldn’t really talk to my parents about being an atheist because things got tense quickly. I’ve just now gotten to the point where I can joke about it a little with my mom — she feels that as long as I’m happy, it’s all that matters. My dad, on the other hand, is in denial. He once said, “The worst mistake I ever made was teaching you to think.” I don’t think he’ll be joking about God anytime soon.
Are you making a point of remaining anonymous? How afraid are you of being attacked in some way?
The reason for my anonymity is that I am definitely concerned about my safety, and to an even greater extent, the safety of my husband and my parents. Being an apostate of Islam is a dangerous thing. I’m not really afraid of being attacked (and anyone who tries should be aware that I’m, like, 6’9″ and 900 lbs of pure muscle). I’m more afraid of damaging my relationship with my family. I don’t want to see them ostracized from their community or shunned by their friends because of my disbelief. It happens. Maybe some day we’ll live in a world where I won’t have to hide behind a pseudonym to speak my mind, but until then, I’m Kafir Girl.
Why do you use profanities? It’s really disrespectful.
You say tomato, I say go fuck yourself. Words are words. Get over it. I write the way I talk. If that’s not OK with you, there’s plenty of other shit to read online.
Is there a comment policy?
Yup. You can find it here.