We read the Quran so you don’t have to.

Friday already? WTF?

with 32 comments

Hurray for Fridays!  I’m in such desperate need for a weekend.  It’s been one of those weeks where I can hardly drag myself out of bed, and then it’s go go go until bedtime.  Yiish.  It’s a bad sign when I have 2 cups of coffee at home and then grab another one on my way to the office.  And then another one at lunch.  Mommy’s medicine, I like to call it.

Anyway, it’s practically the weekend now, and the last thing I need to be obsessing over is my little addiction or my insane week at work.  A lot of stuff has been going on.

  • Just in case you didn’t already know waaaay too much info about my life, there’s an interview of me in the October issue of the Nontheist Nexus Zine.  (Shout out to Steve WellsYour site is the most entertaining thing on the web, sir.)
  • How about that McPain-Failin’ campaign, huh?  I can’t remember where I read this, and I’m paraphrasing:  if you have to remind people that Obama’s black, things are not going well for you.
  • I’m pretty psyched to see what Tina Fey dishes out tomorrow.
  • This Salon.com article was a pretty interesting read.  Call me ig’nant, but I thought secessionists went the way of the dodo bird a long time ago.  (Neo-confederates?  Adam and Steve?  Seriously?)
  • Speaking of elections, I just found out that my parents are voting for Nader this year.  Nader! My dad said, “Obama’s a little too conservative for me, but I’d rather have him win than McStupid.”  I could have died.  The good news is that they live in a solidly Obama state, and their vote won’t make a difference anyway.  …wait, is that good news?  Either way, my parents are getting kind of awesome now that their babies have grown up and moved away.

Want to read about my doctor’s appointment?  Sure you do!

I’m in love with my doctor.

OK, maybe love is too strong a word.  Dr. X is one of the top specialists in the country, and I can totally see why there’s a 4 month wait to get an appointment with the guy.  He’s that good.  My thyroid works only thanks to this guy.  I went in to see him today because I haven’t been feeling too great.

When I go see Dr. X, he doesn’t take me into some cold, sterile room with a steel table.  We sit in his office — in cozy chairs — and we talk for a while before the exam.  He’s got all his degrees and awards and thank you letters from patients spread out through the room.  And little Buddha statues on his desk.  It’s got quite a homey feel to it.

Dr. X ran through his list of questions about various symptoms.  There was a very long pause before he asked me the final question.  He dropped his head, peered at me above his reading glasses and asked, “Did you fast during ramadan?”  I said, “Nope,” and he quickly replied with, “Now I feel foolish for assuming your name is Muslim.”  This guy lived and worked in South Asia and the Middle East for a number of years.  He would know a Muslim name if he saw one.

“Oh, you shouldn’t.  My parents are Muslim, but I’m not.”

He smiled at this and asked, “I assume you’re not Jewish either?  I know some Jews fast tomorrow.”

“No, I’m not any religion.  I’m an atheist.”

The smile didn’t leave his face.  “And your husband?  Is he the fasting sort?”  I swear I detected a twinkle in his eye.

I shook my head.  “Atheist.”

He went into a story about how he was working in a certain Middle Eastern country a few years ago.  He had to go in and beg the local imams to announce that diabetics are not allowed to fast.  He asked them to lie, because his diabetic patients were fasting themselves to the point of dying.  And they wouldn’t listen to him.

“If you ask me,” he said, “they should abolish the whole lot of them.  Religions, I mean.”

“Me too, doc.  Me too.”  And we sat there laughing at the absurdity of it all.

Here is this brilliant guy.  He’s nice as can be.  Judging by all the thank you plaques and cards and pictures hanging on the walls, he’s helped thousands of people.  People like me, who went to him because no other doctor could figure out what was wrong.  People suffering from diabetes or thyroid cancer or autoimmune disease.  And most of those people would never suspect that he’s a godless heathen. Some of them might not think so highly of him if they found out.  And he doesn’t give a damn.  He helps them anyway.  Dr. X is someone I’ve respected ever since I met him — and then I found out he’s an atheist, and it makes me respect the guy even more.

We finished up the exam and he walked me to the exit.  “A pleasure, as always,” he said.  “It was great talking to you.”  And you know what?  It was great.


Written by kafirgirl

October 10, 2008 at 8:55 am

Posted in Quran

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32 Responses

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  1. From the interview: “In fact, I’m planning on reading the Bible when I’m done with the Quran.”

    Yes! That only leaves one question: KJ, NI, or Brick?


    October 10, 2008 at 10:00 am

  2. Teehee, I love the Brick Testament, but I think I’m going with KJV. That or whatever I find in the next hotel room I happen to stay at.


    October 10, 2008 at 1:34 pm

  3. Lovely interview, also the one with Steve Wells. His site was the first I visited on the subject of atheism and silly bible stuff. Mighty site! There I found a link to this one. Also great, thumbs up! b:)d

    Dr. X! The man is right, of course. About abolishing religion and being a godless heathen.

    Not to be mistaken with Queensryche’s Dr. X:

    Religion and sex are power plays
    Manipulate the people for the money they pay
    Selling skin, selling God
    The numbers look the same on their credit cards

    (Yep, it’s weekend, so I can’t resist the urge to quote some rock lyrics. Mostly happens when the moon is full…)


    October 10, 2008 at 2:28 pm

  4. “I’m pretty psyched to see what Tina Fey dishes out tomorrow”

    Not to spoil your Saturday, KF, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a re-run. So, no Feylin sketch for at least a week.


    October 10, 2008 at 2:36 pm

  5. Way cool story about your doctor. Props!

    sukseshunists, we haz them

    How can there be heaven without pork chops?

    Manigen, what about the lolcat bible, you heretic you?


    October 10, 2008 at 2:41 pm

  6. Speaking of McPalin : check out this 82yr old’s blog. Biting humor and sparkling wit!


    Check out her earlier posts about Palin. She’s da girl!


    October 10, 2008 at 3:42 pm

  7. Please take your ridiculous hair, your over lipstick-smacking mouth, your Lenscrafter look smarter glasses and your poorly fitted designer jackets back to Alaska. And when you get there, shove a piece of the pipeline up your considerable ass. I’ll be damned if we’ll put our children’s future in your hands. And the same thing goes for McCain – the ass wipe who gave her this national platform effectively pushing the woman’s movement back into the dark ages – knowing McCain that might have been his plan all along.

    Oh em effing gee. I do believe I’m in love. Pretty sure I just glimpsed into my own future ans saw what I’ll be like when I’m 82. Thanks for that, Rahul.


    October 10, 2008 at 4:05 pm

  8. “Manigen, what about the lolcat bible, you heretic you?”



    October 10, 2008 at 4:36 pm

  9. KG,
    That’s exactly what I thought. Now how’s that for a “revelation”??

    The woman is awe-fucking-some. I even asked her to marry me.


    October 10, 2008 at 5:06 pm

  10. On a separate note; Check out this article from one of the foremost Islamic apologists.

    In India, in recent weeks jihadi lunatics have planted and detonated several bombs in crowded cities resulting in huge loss of life, limb and property.

    So along comes this self-described Islamic-scholar and he presents a “sophisticated” interpretation of “Jihad” and its meaning in Islam.


    Me thinks the emperor has no clothes and now that his ass is showing, Mr. Scholar tells us that it is actually an all-merciful, all-benevolent ass. The problem is that such losers actually are considered “enlightened moderates” and given airtime.

    What such “moderates” do (albeit inadvertently) is that they “excuse” Islam and effectively remove it from scrutiny.



    October 10, 2008 at 5:28 pm

  11. I don’t see why you’re bashing this Asghar dude. Lacking a pope like the cataholics, guys like him are the authorities, and the more they speak out the better.

    You’re just pissing into the wind if you expect all believers to totally reject their religions. Their books only allow them to be hypocrites or terrorists, and he’s urging stupid over evil, which is a big improvement. Sure they’re deluded, but since they won’t throw the book away, at least they can re-interpret it, so I see the guy as an ally.


    October 10, 2008 at 6:30 pm

  12. I got health problems and stuff, like me overdose in 2004 done like some bad stuff and of course me ocd’s also which is why i had psychotherapy. Last year i got TB and now what’s happened to me? Me hand, this is me right hand, it will not stop trembling involuntarily and I been to the Specialist Hospital here and first they was telling that it’s not enough calcium, then now they done tests and stuff and think maybe it’s neuroligical, like nerve damage. But me, no, i think it’s stress related (i got enough of that to last a life time).
    Anyhow, all me times since me age 15 crack up I never have had a male doctor, really, never. Me family will not even allow it, this is our system, our system is another totally.


    October 10, 2008 at 7:11 pm

  13. Hurray to Dr. X! \o/

    And speaking of bibles in hotels, I’m in Cancun right now, and guess whats’s on the drawer by the bed? A freaking Gideon’s bible, and in Spanish AND English to make things worse! You can’t get away from those people.


    October 10, 2008 at 10:04 pm

  14. Watercat,

    Here’s my problem with Asghar and his ilk:

    He offers to be the the “good-cop”. The truth is that he is a slick attorney making the criminal (Islam) look like a victim.

    He is re-casting religious doctrine in glorious terms. Does that impress/sway the jihadi? No. But it deflects attention of the average observer from the religion or its demands. As a result, religion (in this case, Islam/Koran) gets a pass from serious scrutiny. In fact it survives as a noble spiritual pursuit.

    The guys that are blowing bombs are NOT “mis-guided”. They are acting *exactly* upon the commandments of their book. They are following the edict that permits (indeed demands) the slaughter of infidels (Kafirs).

    It is people like Asghar that are (if you’ll permit the phrase) putting lipstick on the pig by trotting out the kind and gentle phrases every time some jihadi blows up a bus-station. They dig up some obscure verse that sounds “noble”.

    Now avg folks like you and me start seeing this dude and saying … “He’s kinda moderate and let’s not offend him by saying nasty things about his faith… We don’t want to alienate the moderate-middleground….”.

    What we do not realize is that this exemption creates a firewall in the public discourse. Religion is not dis-credited and hence it survives as a legitimate defense or justification for anything from wife-beating to murder.

    I understand and agree that it is pointless to expect everyone to just renounce their faiths. I’m not advocating that faith should be ‘banned’. I’m advocating that faith should not get a free pass. And choosing to be tolerant of an idiot and his idiotic excuses gives religion a free pass.

    The tendency to tolerate an idiot v/s a psychopath inadvertently creates a safe-zone for “religion” and hence we have these excuses that “Islam has been hijacked by the mis-guided few”.


    Islam has not been “hijacked”. The bastards who are blowing up bazaars and malls are deriving their moral justification precisely from ISLAM and this basic fact needs to be FRONT AND CENTER.

    By choosing an idiot over a villain we have not made the discourse more meaningful. We have simply chosen to legitimize if not elevate idocy.



    October 10, 2008 at 10:08 pm

  15. Rahul, I’m down with that!


    October 10, 2008 at 11:30 pm

  16. Rahul, you’re right.

    Part of me wanted to stop at that; but then I think it’s a slightly ivory tower position. Speaking Politically, I’m willing to compromise for survival. Atheists don’t have a pot to piss in, and we need allies. By allying with the ‘moderates’ we increase the split between them and the bombers, our common enemy. If he renounced Islam, they’d just say he’s an apostate, and bomb him. But as long as he’s a respected muslim leader, he has far more influence than we’ll ever have.

    He didn’t trot out some obscure verse, he re-interpreted “kill people” as “seek inner harmony”. The way he describes it, it is a noble spiritual pursuit. The bible also says to kill, yet somehow most Jews and christstains manage to read that as meaning love! If muslims do the same I can live with it. The rank and file can fall in behind him and turn their backs on the bombers, do the right things for an idiotic reason, and won’t have to strain their little brains. Sure it’s stupid, but if I couldn’t tolerate idiots I couldn’t leave my own house. I never said I wouldn’t say nasty things.

    Realistically, if we’re confrontational they join ranks with the bombers who are their co-religionists; but I think we can find common ground with them without endorsing their bullshit. Survival demands it.


    October 11, 2008 at 1:04 am

  17. Do u think suicide bombers are religious?
    The 911 hijackers were sleazebags, they lived in a world of strippers and grunge.
    Khalid Sheikh Muhammad who planned 911 was known for his sex tours of the Phillippines.
    So why the emphasis on theology and stuff- these guys don’t give a toss. What they are motivated by is Islamic fundamentalism- which sounds sort of ‘holy’, but is simply a species of fascism.

    Kafir Girl, Sooooooryyyyyyy!


    October 11, 2008 at 9:05 am

  18. It’s statics. For every x number of believers you get Y number of bombers. So if some one preaching the glory and peace of the quran expands it’s believers by x they also get a y.


    October 11, 2008 at 12:00 pm

  19. Has it occured to u that all civilizations whether Christian, Muslim, Shinto or enlightened go through a fascistic phase?
    Probably not.
    Ure linkage with between terrorism and the Holy Qu’ran is as realistic as that between the generals of the Imperial Japanease Army in the Shinto texts, or Mussolini and the Bible.
    Although i am not supposed to argue and stuff- with ‘the guys’, ure algebra doesn’t add up Gad cos the Z equation is out there- it’s called “power”- that’s what it’s all about, not religion, not being shaheed, not going to Jennah with black eyed virgins- it’s about seizing political power and keeping it, islam is just the vehicle, not the goal.
    Islam is evil, as religions go, but what we are actually fighting against in the main is a struggle where ordinary muslims are usually the principal victims and where ordinary muslims will be the final victors.
    So sorry if i offended u ‘GUYS’ by speaking out, being rude, and just being generally annoying.
    Duuh, funny, General Patraeus, Dr. Rice, Director Gates, General Kayani and Robert Fisk all say the same as me (maybe they’re annoying Paki girls also?).


    October 11, 2008 at 12:37 pm

  20. Seriously, i really would welcome a SERIOUS discussion on political islam given that i am a member of a nation being torn apart by it as well as a minority (Ahmadis) who are its enemy number 1, not to mention a feminist.


    October 11, 2008 at 12:44 pm

  21. “Islam has not been “hijacked”. The bastards who are blowing up bazaars and malls are deriving their moral justification precisely from ISLAM and this basic fact needs to be FRONT AND CENTER.”

    So what if they are? Hitler derived his maniacal hate from Luther and anti semitism inherent in the bible, does that mean the Bible is TOTALLY responsible. And what about all those millions of nice and kind Christians like Sophie Scholl and Pastor Niemuller who didn’t go along- it’s their bible too remember.
    Why do u guys always want to give the terrorists a monopoly on intellectual onwership of the Holy Qu’ran when all u are doing is empowering them. Silly.
    See u guys are blaming the Holy Qu’ran and I, although i got more reason to hate it than anyone, also understand that it’s pointless to focus solely upon a text, ure just providing a alibi for murderers and terrorists while tarring normal Muslims with the same brush, silly- on both counts. I dunno if i can explain it any clearer actually.


    October 11, 2008 at 1:32 pm

  22. I’m not your enemy, Jasmine. Even though I am just a dumb guy I do understand what your saying, but your taking some things to the extreme.


    October 11, 2008 at 1:38 pm

  23. can u do me a favor please, just stick with me points cos we all know who gets the blame, pity no one here has the mental resilience to fight me off- they just got to role over like they’re hurt and wait for kg to ban me.
    that’s the only way u can challenge me, ha.
    i done more to fight fucking islam than anyone, i done it up close- with me fists and hands.


    October 11, 2008 at 2:10 pm

  24. u never all understood, everyone, all of YOU, watercat, gad, rahul, mangigen, kg, all of u, ure all me starship troopers, front line fighters against the bugs, HEROES,
    this war….. u got to understand, this is what i live for, fighting with Muslims, but to liberate, not to enslave. U get me soldiers?
    Saddle up, we’re moving out, we got more bugs to kill, it’s going to keep us busy for a while.


    October 11, 2008 at 2:46 pm

  25. ure all me starship troopers, front line fighters against the bugs, HEROES

    Then it’s probably best not put us down and tell us we are stupid.


    October 11, 2008 at 4:05 pm

  26. And another thread goes down the drain. A pity.


    October 11, 2008 at 5:23 pm

  27. Gad said: “For every x number of believers you get Y number of bombers. So if some one preaching the glory and peace of the quran expands it’s believers by x they also get a y.”

    That’s a really interesting idea. But I think that there’s a clearer relationship between the levels of belief and the number of bombers. The extremist muslims have a lot of belief; they take the quran literally and follow it to the letter. Moderate muslims have only a little belief; they largely live their lives independent of the quran. So the question is, is Asghar increasing the amount of belief in the world? Is he making extremists more moderate? Or is he helping to mask a process with makes moderates more extreme?

    And of course there’s all the other factors, political, social etc which contribute to the bombing. But they’re not directly relevant to anyone’s opinion about Asghar.

    Personally, I haven’t made up my mind yet.


    October 11, 2008 at 6:10 pm

  28. Watercat,

    I truly see where you are coming from but the refrain that “by allying with the ‘moderates’ we increase the split between them and the bombers, our common enemy” is sadly just wishful thinking. There is really no reason to believe that Jihadis are seeking “sanction” or approval from the moderates before continuing their genocide.

    So, getting a whole lot of “moderates” to view Islam in some kind of benign way does not alter the Jihadi world-view and hence the threat we collectively face.

    Asghar’s audience is not the average muslim. It is the wider public who is outraged at this mass-murder (serial bombings in crowded city-centers) . To this general public, he is saying Islam is not the culprit, but that some mischief-mongers prey upon the misguided and get them to commit such atrocity.

    Sub-text: Islam is a religion of peace that has been hijacked by a few miscreants.

    We are seduced by the notion that atleast there are a few moderates and denounce such acts and not grant it legitimacy. We make the mistake of presuming that these kind folks will attract a following and this will stem the tide of Jihadis.

    I do not find this a credible position or even a plausible hope.

    But I have every reason to say that by not denouncing the source (i.e. Islam and the Koran) its legitimacy is unscathed. And therefore, it remains a reasonable justification for any and everything.

    I concede that Asghar is not alone in this tendency but the reason I am pointing to him in particular over here is because of the gross imbalance between the villainy of such bombings and the softness he is expecting us to view Islam with.

    I find this vulgar untruthfulness and hence my distaste for his position.



    October 11, 2008 at 7:35 pm

  29. What do the extremist muslims want? To be left alone in their caves? Or power to dictate over the Moderate muslims.


    October 11, 2008 at 8:08 pm

  30. KafirGirl: Re. bible translations. How about the NASB version? I support points 1 and 2 of their translation philosophy (literal translation and grammatical correctness :-). Here’s an online version.


    October 13, 2008 at 12:29 am

  31. Ki, I’ll have to check it out. I was at a bookstore yesterday and I poked my head in to the Bible aisle. There must have been a thousand different ones. I got a little dizzy and left. In good news, though, “Atheism & Agnosticism” has its own shelf now. In bad news — it’s poorly organized and some of the books I would have put there were in other sections. Meh.


    October 13, 2008 at 8:07 am

  32. It might be wishful thinking that we cannot ally with the majority of religious people, but it’s not a practical position to give up on it and just let ourselves be wiped out. Nor to deny that most people are happy to be deluded fuckwits who cling to some vague notion of religion, tangentially related to some book they have never actually read.

    True, we are not going to eliminate violent radicals, but they fade away when the wider society views them with derision and disgust; they are emboldened and active when they see society pay attention to them—witness John McCain’s campaign. So in that sense they do seek approval.

    I’m not seduced by the notion of a few moderate muslims, but by the notion that the wider public consists mostly of decent people. Possibly wishful thinking but better than the alternative.

    It’s a fallacy to think denouncing something means denouncing its source. We need to address the source, but to equate that with denouncing limits our options and just handicaps us. Asghar addresses one of the links in the chain between source and final outcome, in a way that makes the outcome acceptable.

    A religions “is” whatever its practitioners define it to be. Asghar agrees with you that [islam as you define it] is villainy. He redefines it, and asks us to view [islam as he defines it] with softness. I’m down with that: its still dumber than cat turds, but I believe he speaks for the wider public in his part of India, and is a positive influence.


    October 14, 2008 at 9:43 pm

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