Monday, April 23, 2012

Shaha's article, a Muslim atheist

I just read an interesting letter on Facebook from a Islamic atheist about why he is vocal about his atheism, particularly about the circumstances that allow him to be more safely and comfortably out. His parents are both dead. Well it's a bit unclear as to whether his dad is actually dead or just not a part of his life at all. At any rate, check it out. His name is Alom Shaha and though I saw this posted on Facebook it is actually from New Humanist magazine. Here's the article.

I think its an interesting point of view that people like me who didn't grow up in a particularly religious atmosphere or culture can learn something new from. Even though I didn't grow up in an Islamist culture, I too have sometimes seen myself tend to not be vocal about my atheistic beliefs, partly out of some habit of not upsetting people, so I can relate even though I come from a very different experience. It still resonates. I also found his discussion of whether or not being called 'brave' is accurate, helful or harmful. Hopefully I get a chance to pick up and read the book he's published. I'm particularly interested since he's a science teacher and I'm soon to go back to get my B.Ed, though not as a science teacher. Of course I have a big interest in science. I've been a bit worried if being vocal about my atheism will cause me any problems as a teacher. Of course I have been teaching English here in Korea for nine years now, but am quite careful with my treatment of this subject in class. I don't want to be too preachy, since my job  is to teach language, not to be an atheist missionary. I'm curious about other atheist teachers' experiences, philosophies, and thoughts about whether or not to disclose on the job, how much, and in what way. Any comments?

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