The brown Pandit's Brown, welcome to the Brown pundit's broadcast. I'm your host today, and I'm joined today by Abdullah Samir, an ex Muslim atheist who has his own YouTube channel. I think he's got a pretty pretty hefty following, maybe something like, you know, 20, 20, 30 thousand people.
Yeah, I hit I just hit fifty thousand actually on projections on that thing. So, I mean, Abdullah, welcome to the program. You know you know, one of the first questions we like to ask you on the program is, you know, he'd like to do this. What's your first? What's my what's your cast, my cast? So I'm going to follow that tradition, you know, that's kind of a funny question and actually it's a good it's a good actual thing to ask, because I'm going to make it clear that I'll tell you about my background, which will actually be kind of interesting.
Yeah, yeah. So I'm obviously of Indian ethnicity, but I was born in Kenya. My parents were born in Kenya, my grandparents were born in Kenya, and my great grandparents are from India. So Jum. So the connection and I don't speak or do Hindi any other Indian language. Unfortunately my parents do, they just never taught us for some reason. So dropping the speaker dropped my, my dad speaks, my dad spoke Gujarati, my mom speaks a dialect of some other.
It's like Gujarati but it's one of those local languages. I don't even know the name of it to be honest. But anyways. Yeah so they both speak Indian languages, obviously both speak English and even Swahili. So for some reason, me and my younger brother, we just never got it. So I'm, I'm brown, but like, I don't have a connection that much of a connection to my Indian head, as you could say, because we were gone from India for so long, first of all.
And then second of all, now I'm in Canada and I don't have I don't speak the language. My wife is a Canadian. She she was a Canadian. Convert to Islam is not really what you'd call religious anymore. But so, you know, I don't have that much of a connection to India, per say. But when it comes to like some of the values that my parents taught me, some of the traditions, you know, like respecting books, like, you know, my dad never put books on the floor.
He's like, yeah, yeah, stuff like that, you know, take care of your, you know, the importance of studying and knowledge and Hudd, all of that. I got the Indian food, of course I got as well. But in terms of the actual like like something like caste that's like so far removed from my life. Yeah. I don't have any sort of connection to that.
But I mean, within even the Muslim communities, there's like hour shifts and there's different like levels. Right.
So I was never exposed to any of that because I, I was born. My dad is a smiley. Oh, OK. So I never got exposed to any of that. So, yeah, so so Smiley's a very different and that's the very small community, maybe I don't know if it's 10 million in the world or something like that. Yeah. And the very modern, you could say, quite liberal progressive, the whole communities is is very slim compared to what you'd find in Sunnism among Sunnis.
Like when you find Smythe's in every community, they tend to be more in line with the values of the community.
They're not. Yeah. That community, because I've know a lot of smileys in college and stuff to write them. Most of them, interesting enough, probably had very similar background to you. They're either from Africa, like media, like your media background, or, you know, their larger once more. We're good dropzone. I mean, I have met a few Pakistani Somalis, but that's few and far between. And I think a lot of them escaped during the time the past few years because the persecution of Pakistan.
Yeah. And so so just to tell you a little bit more about myself.
Yeah, I, I converted to Sunni Islam when I was in high school around the age of 18.
So I guess. Yeah. Related to Sunni Islam. So I might even though my mom is Sunni, she was nevertheless practicing. And so when I converted to Sunni, it was like a new religion for me, like even though it's just changing of a sect, the Sunni and especially the very different. And so I became there's no weird boiling again, but I was like a born again Muslim and I dove deep into it. So I'm kind of like an outsider that came into Islam, Sunni Islam, and then I left it.
But like when I was in the I wasn't I was more aput. I mean, I was leaning towards Salafism. So the more hard line, you know, the kind of Wahhabi interpretation of Islam, not like. So when you say it is Ashraf's and Sayid's and there's none of that, you don't find any of that. That's more in the like Pakistani messages. You would see that. And everyone has a name that's either Sayed or whatever. I wasn't even exposed to that.
Like, I don't even know any of that stuff. OK, so what's the big difference between the Sunni and the basically smiley side? Oh, huge differences.
So it's Smiley's believe in a living imam. So it's Smileys, a sect of the Shia. So the Shias, the mainstream Shias, a 12 as this 12 imams, these imams, the basis of Shiism. So they believe these 12 imams are the source of all guidance and knowledge and truth. And they were selected by God, the first one being Ali, and then, of course, his descendants. So it's certainly, Neal, it's a family lineage.
The 12th imam is in hiding in a cave somewhere in Iraq or something, and he's going to come back on a day of judgment. He's Imam Mahdi, Ismailis and Borås bodies. They actually don't they didn't stop at number 12. They continued. So Ismailis went up to like now 49 of or 50. And the current imam is Aga Khan. Basically, that's his title shot, Cosimo Hosseiny. He's a living imam. So they have a living imam.
I don't know. I sometimes use the reference to a pope. Maybe that's a bad analogy, but there's a living imam and that living among them is the one that kind of guys, the community that determines that theology is still alive, right?
Yeah. And so when he dies, it'll be his, I guess, son would be the next one. I don't know what happens if he doesn't have a son, but anyways, it continues. So I guess they would take his brother or something. But it continues to the family. They and so it's my these are very, very different. They don't pray five times a day like Sunnis, do they? They have a different prayer actually from both Sunnis and Shias, like mainstream Shias.
They have their own prayer that Aga Khan made. It's called the Holy Duaa. They sing these things called Jennens. Guineans are like hymns and that actually some of them have Sanskrit in them. I think if I remember correctly, they say it's a very progressive, though. There's women and men sit side by side with a bit. There's some sort of gap in between. It's not like the Sunni masjids where the women in the back or you don't even see the women.
Women can lead the prayer in symbolism. It's very, very different. There's no such thing as Zakhar. You don't pay two point five percent of your wealth. You pay twelve point five percent of your gross income to Aghajan directly, which is a tenth like it's called dishonoured. OK, it's just so different. There's no like I said, there's no hijab. There's no facing the Kaaba for the mosques. There's there's no direction. They pray. It's just so different.
It's completely it's which is why I say it's like a different religion altogether. It's still under the umbrella of Islam.
Then why don't you join so progressive and so open and free? Why would you go to something that was more restrictive? It's a legit question. I just think it's a good question.
Why would it sounds funny and you ask it now, like, why would anyone want to do that? Like every Muslim? Why would you want to go to like and that like what is the appeal of fundamentalism? Let's just say that the appeal is, you know, when I started to read the Koran, I had a friend in high school that was Sunni and he was like, come pray with us. And I'm like, OK, I see my dad OK?
Yeah, you can pray. So anyways, my is just, OK, I'll do that. And as I was, I was exposed more to that religious belief and I started reading the Koran, I started to see that a lot of the things in a smileys didn't really they didn't seem to kind of match well with the Koran. Let's just say that, like, I'll give you an example. The biggest example, the most problematic thing is the fact that the Koran says those who call on other than Allah, they are committing the worst sin that's imaginable, which is called schook, which is what the Christians do.
It says, and the Jews and other people. And they worship a false God. And that's what Ismailis seem to be doing, because we pray to Aga Khan, we ask, we say Ali to Ramco Ali, have mercy on me. And, you know, you're praying to Allah and he has a intercessor between you and Allah. So I'm like, that's what the Koran is condemning. I mean is that I don't get it and ask my dad is it.
Yeah, that's what Sunnis accuse of. And now I had a problem because I'm like, I don't want to be on God's bad side. Right. I want to be on his good side. So I'm like, OK, I'm going to. And then as time went by, I started to feel that the symbolism was like a perversion of the true Islam. That's what I believe. Now, I don't I don't say that because I think that's that's not accurate.
But at that time, that's what I believed. I said that this is the true Islam. Now we can go into what I think about true Islam later. But and so I became Sunni Muslim. And as time went by, I convinced my younger brother as well. I have one one younger brother. He he became Sunni as well. And we became religious instead of praying five times a day. And eventually I made a Muslim woman. Did he?
And so I never dated anyone. I just had like a sort of like change marriage. But I met someone and we got married right away. We didn't date. Was she Muslim, too, at that time?
Yeah. Yeah, she was a Muslim. Yeah, exactly. So in this case, she actually became Muslim and she was looking for like a good Muslim husband and I was looking for some wife. So it worked out well. But she actually converted before she met me. So it wasn't because of me, OK, but it was because of me that she became more religious because I was way more religious than she was in. A way is kind of bad because she was a bit more liberal, she was OK.
Music I was like, no, music is haram. I don't want no music in my house. She was willing to wear the hijab. That was one of the things we discussed at University Jobs Guy I can relate to. I'm going to get a job. And then because of me and my Muslim circle, she just dug deep into it with me as well. And we became, you know, we became part of this community of like very I don't know if the word ultra orthodox is really correct, but that's the best word that comes to mind.
Like very, very strict Muslims that pray five times a day, they put their kids in Islamic school that didn't they didn't want the kids in public school. They didn't listen to music. Most of them didn't have a TV in the house. You know, like it was a very, very it was a subculture among the bigger Muslim community. The biggest Muslim community is not like that. The big Muslim community is chill. They have mortgages. You know, they listen to music, they watch movies, their kids in public school.
We were in the sub community, a subculture that was very like we were hard liners, you know? I mean, like we were like like the UK Muslim gang, you see, like those type of people, those guys.
So so let me ask you, did it matter? Does it matter what type of Muslim what I mean by this is this does it matter if you were like Arab Muslim or or Persian Muslim or. No Central Asian or Indian Muslim? Does it does that change in how? I guess religious you are or communities, you know? I mean, I'm just asking generally how you how I'm treated. You mean by well, not just how you're treated like.
So when you became more hard line, were you hard line and hanging out with only, like, for example, South Asian hardline Muslims. Where you hanging out with Arab Muslims? Were you thinking up with just like any type of Muslim that was the same thought process? Because, I mean, part of me thinks like does at this level, does culture matter at all or is it just like the overwhelming culture of what is considered Islam or pure Islam in that sense, take over everything else?
Yeah, that's exactly what it is, especially with Salafis. What you're looking at is a culture that's created that's unique and that's that that spans the racial boundaries. So right. There was a lot a lot of Christian convert friends like white, black, not so many Chinese. And that's an interesting thing is the very few Hindu converts to Islam, which is something I was talking about on one of my one of my videos that I made on my YouTube channel is there is definitely a bias in that it tends to be Christians that convert to Islam.
I mean, Islam is kind of engineered in a way to appeal to Christian Christians like very, very well. So I knew a lot of Christian converts a lot. I knew two Hindu converts, but in my community and both the Hindu converts ended up being more like Sufi ish. So even in my like Salafi, they weren't Salafis that they ended up being was Sufis, which makes sense, actually. It actually makes perfect sense. That's what happened.
But in my community, no, there was blacks, whites, everything. And it wasn't you know, I didn't even go like to the Dacey masjids, you know? I mean, I did. I did. But it didn't really appeal to me because I felt like they did a lot of things that were what Salafis call Bida. I mean, Muslims use that word in general, but specifically Salafis love that word, which is innovation in the religion.
So, you know, the Sufi community or the the South Asian community, they tend to celebrate the birthday of the prophet. You motivate them to be they tend to do they have this thing where they celebrate the Mirage Isurava, the Mirage when he went to heaven. Yeah, I love don't do that. They consider all of these things innovations. They say this is not part of pure Islam. And so I wasn't I wasn't in that community. That community tends to be more ethnocentric, if that's the right word.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, ethnically based, like all day. And even you go to the messages in the speaking Urdu and I'm like, I don't speak with you. I'm like sitting there like what's going on here.
But like the other masjids, the more like it's a Canadian Salafi culture. That's what it is. It's these guys that some of them I wasn't I wasn't to this level, but some of them will go out in public wearing the thobe, the long white gown, the guys, I mean, and the women, a lot of them with niqab, too, like not just hijab. I mean, my wife was hijab. Not anymore, but she was a hijab.
But some of them with the niqab, you say. So that was a subculture. And it wasn't ethnically based. It was very diverse.
OK, and like we became more Salafi. Did you, like, start learning the Koran in Arabic in terms of like being able to memorize it or because I think that's one of the big important things that you have to know, the Koran as like backwards and forwards.
So so the interesting thing is you'd find, you know, the funny thing is I think that's actually bigger than a DC community. So you can find a lot of Pakistani Muslims have memorized the Quran more than EBR, Muslims, maybe, maybe. And among my friends, like I can even X Muslims. I know I like I know a lot more Asian X Muslims that have memorized the Koran than AAB, which is weird because they don't understand the language.
So how did that happen?
But there's a hard truth to prove how Muslim they are, right?
No, I don't I don't think it's I know I don't think it's I think what it is, is it's it's a different culture. So, again, in the Dacey community, in a Muslim community, the Koran is read as barracker as Blaesing. So you're reading the Koran in your house for the blessing. You want your kids to memorize the Koran as a source of pride. You want them to leave the mosque. You know, the prayers in the mosque in Ramadan.
It's not really a competition, but it's it's like it's a different sort of thinking process with a mother. And I don't know if it's like that, because when they're reading it, they want to understand it, too. And so you find a bit of differences in the culture that I don't know if they're trying to prove that in one Muslim, I don't think they see it like that. I think it's just that that's just the way it is.
And, oh, looks like we have Omar omertà.
Hilmar, good morning. Good morning. So we're in the midst of a similar telling us about the difference between B.C. Muslim experience and other general Muslim experience.
Okay, sorry I missed this entire thread yesterday and didn't even know that you're recording right now, so I just jumped in.
Oh, it's fine. You're always welcome here, but it's all good. Please go ahead.
I'll see if I can catch up and see what.
Yeah, I just I just give a quick summary. I'll just quickly repeat it. So I'm obviously I grew up in Canada. I was born as an it's not born, but I was Glazer's and a smiley Muslim. My dad was is a smiley and he passed away and then I converted to Islam. Thank you. I come into Sunni Islam when I was in my teens and I became like a hard line. Basically, I became Salafi at some point.
I wasn't Salafi for the wall. Fifteen years I was Muslim. But somewhere in between that I studied inclining to this hard line sort of Wahhabi interpretation of Islam. You can call it Wahhabi. I used to call Salafi and we would just talk about the differences in among like how among Desai's you actually find I found there's more Desai's. I had memorized the Koran than like other other communities. And what's the reason for that, I think, is because they see it as barracker and blessing and they want to.
And even even I had a one of my cousins who was his dad, didn't pray, didn't care about Islam, really, except like culturally. And he made his kids memorize a Quran as kids are like, I don't like this. You're making me go to read the Koran at Madrassa on the weekend and you're watching basketball. The Raptors game is on. And so it didn't really work in that case because he wasn't implementing it himself. But but still, the funny thing is even non-religious, you know, South Asians want the kids to memorize the Koran.
It's just a thing. Everyone knows that these guys, almost all Desai's, have a Koran teacher that they talk to on Skype nowadays. I mean, almost anyone and even my name is like, if you talk to my my one of my kids, one of my kid's neighbors and one of my neighbor's, my kids play his plays with like he has Skype lessons. He's he's South Asian as well. And he has Skype lessons online. It's just it's just everybody knows that Desai's love to do this is just part of the culture of Muslim culture for whatever.
Yeah, yeah. I mean, it's not something I find really in the Hindu culture. It's a little different. Yeah. I don't know if people. Well, I actually think what's most interesting thing about Hinduism as like a textual source and much more in practice, you know, temples, you know, some strokers or some there, they don't really know the textual stuff.
That's pretty much universal human experience. I mean, Muslim, same question, same thing. I mean, you tend to find religious people always in a minority like.
Well well, the difference, I would say is actually like, you know, I mean, when you go to Masjid or even go to church, you guys actually use the text to talk about. Yeah. Like story or whatever. Much of Hindu experience is not we don't go to church, we don't go to mosque, we go to temple.
But that temple is different. Is also very poignant. It's not a community thing. You go there individually, you go get a version of God, you know, or whatever, and then you leave. There's no there's no sermon. There's no conversation. It's like a community location where you just come hang out and then you leave. And so at home you have certain PUGIN'S practices you might do. But depending on whether your parents know anything or not, you know something.
Right. And because it's not a very it's a very practice oriented. It's it's Praksis, not doxy. So it's not it's not based on any sort of like belief necessarily or or idea of conceptions of God or whatever, just kind of do the things you're told when you move on with your life. So, I mean, that's kind of been the general consensus. So I want to now jump to the big, big hoopla that's going on right now.
Right. So one of the issues that we actually had were having Garonne is in the past week and a half, I think there's just been this I mean, Twitter storm of nonsense, basically with between a lot of ex Muslim atheists primarily, and then their engagement with now, I guess, like the Indic religions of Hinduism, mostly Hinduism have the same thing on Buddhism or Jainism. But I also don't think people don't know much about that either. That's just been kind of similar tactics that's been done with how they approach Islam, with what they do with Hinduism.
So, you know, can you tell us what's going on right now on the world of Twitter? I don't know. Overbuy, are you part of this? Have you been observing what's going on to. Well, your audio's off or my immediate. Sorry about that. You know, I only saw it briefly, but I saw on Twitter there was something going on with that means he posted something, an image of Carly, I think that caused a lot of people to get upset.
And then there was arguing back and forth about these ex Muslims are at heart still Muslim, which I find sort of funny. I think that that's not a good explanation. No, it's not that they are attacking Hinduism because secretly they are still Muslim and Hindus. They're just like.
So I mean I mean, I want Abdullah to, you know, to explain what like.
Yes, let's ask him what he thinks. Yeah.
Yeah. So just to recap the I mean, this actually goes back a little bit further than that. Even what happened was I I don't know. Was it six months ago when when Javadoc won the Dawkins' award? Yeah. I never heard of Javadoc again. I don't have that connection to India, but I heard about him because of Dawkins. And then I started seeing a lot of Hindus telling me this guy is a fake, he's a fake atheist.
OK, so I'm like, well, what is this fake atheist? And I like, looked it up and I said, why is he a fake atheist? And the main reason somebody sent me a clip, I watched it. And the main reason was because there's a couple of things he did. One was he condemned Salman Rushdie. He said that Salman Rushdie is a basically a provocateur and he's being offensive and this and that and something like that.
And then this upset people. And then the second thing is he he supported this artist by the name of M.F. Hussain. Yeah, yeah. I've had this God painting. It was just a stick painting, just lines. And it wasn't and it had it was a naked Gaudry.
I don't I don't even remember which ghazaleh OK.
Yeah. So, yeah, I don't even know which God it was. And so he supported this painter, but he didn't support Salman Rushdie. So people were asking me and then there's something else he did. So I'll let's just talk about that first and then we'll talk about so people ask me what do I think about that? And I said, well, I watched this clip and I'm like, I don't agree with him on the Salman Rushdie thing.
I do think that Salman Rushdie, what he there's nothing wrong with what Salman Rushdie did. He made a story that nobody would have even heard about it if it wasn't for this Iranian fatwa that they put a death warrant on his head or whatever.
This is 1990's, by the way, to this. Yeah, twenty years. Exactly. And so I read The Satanic Verses. I wasn't I couldn't even read it. It was I don't know, I, I couldn't even get to the book. It was just hard to read. So I'm like I don't think anyone would have even known about this if it wasn't for the fact that they just Barbra Streisand effect, you know, like making it a big deal and so everybody knows about it.
So he condemned Salman Rushdie and he said, you shouldn't have done that. And I'm like, well, I don't agree with him on that. And then but he's supporting this this this painter. And I'm like. I see nothing wrong with what he did with the painting either. Why is that? Why is that offensive? Why is that problematic? And so now people with mad at me and then what happened was this is what happened, OK, back then.
And then the issue just dropped and then it got escalated again because I got into a bit of an online. Argument with Robert Spencer about basically anti-Muslim bigotry and some of the things he was saying, and so he he kind of amplified he has a lot of Hindu followers and one of the Hindu followers brought up this thing from back then. And so he amplified that. He retweeted it, and then they started calling it anti Hindu bigot. And then I said, why am I bigoted?
They said, because you're posting images of the God. So I posted another picture, which I just Googled. And it was a picture of it was supposedly a painting of Kali. It wasn't Kaldi because she didn't have six hands six times, but she was laying on. It was a blue woman laying on a bed, just like laying on a bed, looking, I guess you could say seductively. And this was very offensive. And they said, you're a bigot for posting this.
So that's what happened. And then. Because of Rob Spencer, again, because he exploded this whole thing, he has a lot of Hindu followers, then Ayman Navabi decided to jump in as well, and he posted another picture, which was sort of like a pin up what you call a pin up, like a woman looking kind of beautiful. So this artist and the artist moved it. He removed it from his page. He has a bunch of other paintings as well of like Wonder Woman.
Sure. All these beautiful comic women, he draws them and he makes them look really sexy. And so he moved this painting almost right away. As soon as Iman tweeted it, it started getting so much attention that he just moved it. And I guess he didn't want to he didn't want to be part of this drama. And then so basically, that's when this whole thing started. And then OP India wrote to pieces about me. People started calling me a closet Islamists.
And of course, Iman got the brunt of the abuse. And we can talk about that as well. They said, I'm a closet jihadi, closet Islamist, basically, I'm still Muslim. And that's kind of like what Lavis Spence's father was saying. And then off India said, I was distracting from the Sweeden riots because I support Muslim rioting and burning cities. And there is I do I do have some fault in this as well. And there's some self reflection here that we can talk about.
I kind of did the same thing that Javadoc did. I said. They shouldn't have been I said they shouldn't have burned the Koran in Sweden because of the reaction they got from I said, the exact same thing that Javadoc said. I said the exact same thing. Yet I also supported Hindu blasphemy. So blasphemy against Hindu God. So I made the same mistake because of and the reason why I made the same mistake of being kind of hypocritical and having different standards for the Muslims and and Hindus is because.
I didn't expect so what I what I saw was people getting hurt. People are getting killed in Sweden. I'm like, this is bad. Why are we antagonizing these people? Because this is a bad thing that's happening. And we're not we're not achieving any good effect out of it. So.
Well, I think it's the bigotry of low expectations is actually exactly what it is, exactly what it is.
So I'm kind of stuck in the middle because what happened is I I've tried my best to be a sort of respectful critic of Islam, but because of this whole thing, I've now been forced to kind of evaluate and become sort of pro bros blasphemy across the board. Now to Islam and to I mean, I am I'm a blasphemy from beginning to end my blog, my YouTube. All I do is attack Islamic dogma, attack the prophet, you know, attack the companions, attack everything that Islam is about.
Islam is garbage. I say that all the time. But apparently, even though I did all this because I said something about the consequences of burning the Quran in Sweden, I was looked at as a sort of enabler of jihad, terrorism. And so this is kind of and then, of course, there's even more happened with women and people.
So, yeah. I mean, so my thing here is, first of all, I think like to be honest, a large when I've noticed a large following, a lot of these Muslim atheists like yourself and are going to Bobbit and, you know, across the board, there's a huge amount of Hindus, her followers, who just do it because they hate Muslims. And let's just be very frank with that. Right. There is a large contingent, and I'm sure some people listen to this podcast have the same view, right?
It is really some base. First of all, it's infantile thinking by a lot of these people, it's this conflation of Islam and Muslims together as if they're one homogenous entity. And I think that's, first of all, terrible. Islam is a different set of ideas. Muslims are people. But the problem with a lot of these hard core Hindu people is, first of all, they have no sense. They've got they've bought into the same idiotic notion of identity that's been playing across the world now for for a few decades.
This is really a core of what I find to be the issue is identity has become just about what you align with and not what you know or not what you've experienced. Just I, I have my my group by tribe versus your tribe. So I'm just going to stick with my tribe and anyone to talk shit on your tribe. I'm going to jump in bed with I don't even care. I don't care what that consequence is. I don't care who says it until you start talking to my tribe.
It's terrible tribalism across the board, but I feel like everyone's playing into it. Like in some ways you guys are, too. You guys are playing it, too, because you guys want to subscriber's you guys want the people listening in and you get you get it's the same mental hacking that's being done across the board on social media that's playing on your guys money to you like the likes you like the the comments like oh good job Samir. From you know, like, like Hindu hater or whatever will put that nonsense.
It's the same crap. And I feel like we're in this maelstrom of shit of social media, like a toilet work where you do some good work, you absolutely do conversations that are needed to be talked about. But these these morons focus really on the fact that you said Islam is trash. Instead of saying, OK, why no one looks at why you're talking about it or where you come from. They're just looking at what you're saying in terms of these clips.
So, I mean, what are your thoughts on that? Yeah, there's that over, too. Please jump in whenever you want.
There's definitely a tendency to want to sound bite people and they do seem to 30 second clips.
I, I don't know if I do things to get likes on Twitter or anything like that in that sense, because I do I think the same letter, but YouTube or whatever subscribers or fans or patrons or whatever.
I do think I do actually. I mean, that is part of my activism. So being an activist, you know, in my case, I do have a full time job. I work in the software industry. So this thing is not my bread and butter. But, you know, more and more it's become I spent a lot more time on this thing, evenings and weekends and I don't know, maybe one day I'll become a full time author and podcasts and all that.
So that that is a reason why I'm building the income. But in terms of like where I find myself today with fifty thousand subscribers on YouTube, whatever, thirteen thousand followers on Twitter, you know, that that just happened on its own. I think without me, of course, there's definitely personal branding, like I call myself your friendly, neighborhood friendly neighborhood. Some of the less and I try, I try to do because whenever you want to give any if I'm going to spend time doing this, I want to be as effective as possible and I want to have the most impact as possible and the life that I have in the few hours that I have.
For example, you know, just to make a ten minute video like the last video I made a long time, it takes like, you know, five to ten hours to make that video because you have to research and all that. So that five to ten hours it goes into a ten minute video. I mean, if I, I expect to make some return on that, whether it's financial, whether it's impact on the world, you know, satisfaction.
And I do think I've had the impact not just in subscribers, but I have a list. I said I kept getting messages from people saying I'm sure you have. So I started keeping track of them. And so I have like 50 messages I just saved. I put on my blog to show people that Muslims appreciate what I'm doing and a lot of them, that they are so grateful that they're able to kind of see the way to Islam. So I've I've had this when I first started, I was completely against mocking satire, you know, any sort of, you know, abuse of Muhammad, let's say.
And I'm like, no, we have to be like we have to be we have to stick to just arguments and not mocking. And what happened was I actually got introduced to Ali this we in navabi I was on secular jihadist and we actually had a conversation where they were able to make me reconsider because some of the things they have done, for example, allows where they had this, they kind of gay, they had this Iman was building the Quran.
Some of the things they've done have actually reached a different audience that you never would have reached with my sort of things that I was doing, apostate prophet and his sort of, you know, attacking the Koran or whatever, eating the Koran.
I don't know about eating the Quran, but but the thing is that is like definitely getting to the point of, like, kind of crazy sort of things to do. And like I said, I used to be totally against all that. I still would never do it myself, because I think I do think it feels infantile and. If you put it in perspective of if you have a sort of if you're not just doing it for the sake of like, you know, provoking people, then I think it has a point.
For example, possibly a prophet. When he left the Koran, he made a video saying why I'm ripping the Koran. And he had he had he had a point. His point was, if you are offended about me ripping the Koran, then the fact that according to these same guys, for example, Oliver and mainstream Sunni Islam apostates deserve to be killed according to Sunni Islam, this is a mainstream opinion of all four schools of thought that if you leave Islam, not someone like me living in Canada should be killed.
But if I was in an Islamic state, if I'm in a Muslim country that has a law against apostasy, I it's morally and ethically justifiable that I should be killed because I'm spreading fitna and façade and corruption in the land and I'm ruining people's chances of going to heaven. So I deserve to die. So the prophet was saying if this offends you more lipping the Koran compared to the fact that most Muslims are supposed to be killed, then there's a problem there.
And so that was his context. I mean, now, having had a context as well, which was, you know, if if you think it's like, you know, basically, like you said, a lot of people were following him because he was because the anti-Muslim and the like cheering him on the same people that were cheering him on for ripping the Koran. And he did more than ripping the Quran, by the way. He read the Koran.
He said he said all sorts of stuff. I don't even want I don't I don't even want to repeat what he said. Right. And after he did all that, he was basically cheered on by the same people that now got angry at him when he started posting these offensive. I mean, they were seen as offensive pictures of Caylee, right? I mean, the pin up picture. And he was sexy and, you know, put a hijab on her if you don't like that.
She's sexy and sexy, like all of the things he did. They were they were actually attacking him for. So his point was, we need to be consistent. And I'm not just I'm not just going to attack people, that I'm going to attack all the liberals. I'm going to be consistent. Right. That was that was all I don't think it was. I don't know. Ullman's iman has his own way.
And I'm here to defend him because I'm not asking you to you know, you're not a lawyer to defend him. And he's he can speak for himself.
But I do think what he did I mean, it you know, we need we need the Martin Luther King and we need the Malcolm X. We need all types of people. There's all types of people in the world and different people will have different impact. I do think that as as an atheist, yes, it is going to upset people. Some of the things that that he did. And I wouldn't personally do a lot of those things, although I did.
And I like I said, I'm in this position now. I have to be consistent. If I'm if I'm saying that it's OK to post pictures of Hindu goddesses in ways and formats that people won't like, then I also need to support Quran burning and the rest of it, even though it's not really in my taste. So I have to be consistent then and I will be consistent. So that's why I've kind of reconsidered some of my positions, I'm sure.
Homebake but I wanted to ask a very different question. I know you guys started a little earlier and I don't know if this was discussed, but I know Abdullah was born smiling, right? Yeah. Yeah. And then became a Salafi and then became a Muslim. And I was just wondering, do you ever think if you had remained an Israeli, would that have been even necessary? It's a strange question, but I'm trying to get it. Do you know Israeli Muslims and is that in the community and what have they sort of rebelling against?
Yeah, that's a good question. I actually know a couple of actually there is a community of excess smileys. You know, Ismailis, um, I think it's Milsom is far better for the world than Sunnism in general because it's far more progressive and reformed. And, you know, all of the things I was praising it. But I do think that at the end of the day, symbolism is another man made religion. You know, you're paying this guy twelve point five percent of your wealth for I don't know what I don't know for what reason.
You're basically praying to him for guidance and support and this and that. And at the end of the day, as an atheist, I don't believe any of that does anything, you know, and it's a waste of effort. There's some benefits in the community. I wouldn't mind being. I sometimes thought about what if I was like an agnostic smiley? That would be cool. I still get the benefits of being in the community and all that. You know, if you go to gymkhana, they have this yummy food that they auctioned off at the end of the koney.
They give it they sell the food that is donated to the konnie and you get to buy and delicious food made by anti's in the community and uncles, you know. And so I would love that. But like, I just can't do it because at the end of the day, I do think that whatever religion you have, there's different pros and cons and benefits and homes. But I think overall, I think that Ismailis is still something that I cannot stand behind because of the fact that it appeals to the supernatural.
And I don't believe in supernatural. If if it was just a. Of like minded people, unionists working for a better world. That's something I can get behind. But in terms of like what it is, what it is today, I don't I can't get behind that. I just I just can't do that. You made it clear by your muted. I was going to say, do you meet Ismailis who are sort of cultural Ismailis, who are very easily open to saying that they actually don't believe in any of the supernatural aspects, but they're still smiling?
Yeah, definitely. Very much so. Yeah, there's people like that. Yeah. It seems from a distance I just just a distant observer here, but it seems from a distance that that is something of an option in an Ismaili community, as you know, in a Sunni community, that would still be hard to be a cultural Sunni, but then you would have to be a very quiet cultural Sunni. You couldn't just sort of joke about it or say things that, like, you don't believe in the supernatural, but with the Smileys, it seems sort of possible.
I don't know why it seems sort of possible from a distance. Yeah. Tell us from inside the community.
I don't know, because I left a Somali community fifteen years ago, more than 15 years ago now. And so I, I asked one of my one of the guys that's sort of a prominent and smiley and I don't want to say his name, but I asked him and he said, no, you can't go to Jomana if you're not if you don't believe in the symbolism, he's like even if you're smiley by name, unless you actually smile, you're not allowed in.
And that's just the way it is. So I do know someone else that's an agnostic smiley. And he he told me it's chill. You can go there. You should come with me to the konnie and I'll be fine and all that. But I never tried. I never went. And right now everything's closed anyways. But I always wondered what would happen if I went back like, well, nobody knows me in the community. It's not like I'm famous.
I'm famous, so to speak, in the Sunni community, but not in the Somali community. Nobody knows why I am. I think they wouldn't care. I think they'd be fine with me, honestly. And my my step mom is especially my dad passed away. My mom got married to a Somali woman, and she's a wonderful lady. She goes to Koney. I don't think she would take me to Connie knowing I don't believe in it. So I don't think I think of it like an actual non atheist.
You wouldn't be accepted if you were just like you don't talk. I don't know. I can't. I'm just guessing.
So there in that way, then they're still closer to Muslims than they are to Hindus. I mean, the community doesn't seem to be a big deal at all.
No, no, no.
Yeah, there's Gnostic Hindus. The Yeah. Gnostic. I mean, Gnostic just means like doesn't believe in that.
But people who don't have any level at all, they, they don't think of themselves as I think Gnostic or whatever, they just are non, you know, non interested in the theological aspect. Yeah. Just don't care at all.
So I mean and this just touches on the point I want to jump into because this connects to our earlier conversation about the Twitter storm. So you just you also started recently and this is where I think you and I start talking, is you started you know, you and a few other people started quoting basic text or Indian texts, not Hindu texts, in the context of blasphemy, of showing equivalence between Hinduism and Islam in terms of understanding of women or what I guess.
Right. So I had a I have a pretty big problem with that. And I think the reason my big problem comes from, you know, as an atheist and this is where I think Kushel also discusses this, your atheist and much of the Muslim or Christian ism comes from a fundamental philosophical basis of the Abrahamic faiths, which is very much a rebelling against a single God who has control of the entire universe and is behaving in a certain way that you find abhorrent.
And on top of it, you find the nature of your text as divine to be abhorrent. How how does that correlate to an entirely different civilization and the way its history as viewed their text, and if you haven't even read the text and being able to just quote from lines without knowing context, not even knowing how they view the text, how they interpret the text revenue, UNIX or exegesis, I mean, yeah, that is true.
And that is probably a blunder on my part in terms of finding something that looked so far from the surface. It looked quite the dickless.
It was a quote from was it a leg, whether it was a conversation between four of us and basically where she said, you know, women cannot be friends with men because they have hearts of hyenas.
And yet, yeah, you cannot add something to the effect of, you know, you cannot trust women because they have herds of hyenas. So on the surface, that seemed like to me and overgeneralizing sort of negative misogynistic comment about women. So now the way I was looking at it, yes, I was looking at it from my previous an Islamic perspective that this is a bad quote without looking at the context of what is now I could be wrong that maybe that quote is perfectly fine.
And so, so and I should really look more into Hinduism to understand, you know, what I'm talking about. And I think what I what I'm going to have to do at this point is to to get people that a Hindu or Xingdou to to basically guide me and share some of the worst things about Hinduism, that that's the way to go about it.
That's the most terrible thing to do. Right. It's like saying, hey, hey, doctor, I want to know about medicine. Just tell me the shit that happens. I don't need to know about the how the body works. Just tell me the problems. So, I mean, it's just a terrible method of doing any sort of inquiry. Your point then becomes intellectual dishonesty fundamentally because you're not trying to learn anything. You're just trying to find problems within our people, see them.
I mean, the first the first basis to learn anything you want to learn is coming to learn from Ground Zero as they think about themselves. Otherwise, what you're doing is that same thing every other coloniser came and done has done the dawn of time, which is, hey, how do I how do I find the shit that happens in this community so I can I can round them up?
It's not try to understand. Like there is the only way you can have dialogue in this world is to have an understanding of both sides of a basis of conversation. So if your point is dialogue, then the way you're going about it is entirely incorrect. If your point is to come with a sledgehammer, yeah, that's a different story.
So so the overbuy would you would be it would be difficult to for me to ever gain and a good enough understanding of Hinduism. To ever be able to critique it, according to some people and frankly speaking, that's what I hear from Muslims as well. I hear that you don't know anybody like you, you were a Muslim, you never studied under Sheik, you know, you don't have a degree in Islam. So would you to talk about Islam, you have no right to talk about Islam and actually say, well, in my case, I'm I'm coming at it from the perspective of a former religious believer, not an imam, not whatever.
I'm just of someone that was like a believing Muslim, a sincere, devout Muslim. And so when I come at Islam and I'm saying these are the things that that were bad from my perspective. And so if I'm talking about any any set of ideas, whether I talk about Wolke ism, whether we're talking about the progressive left, whether we're talking about Donald Trump, whether we're talking about some of the things in Hinduism, I don't think I'll ever get to the point where I can engage at a scholarly level.
I'm asking what I'm going to do is I'm going to point out the things which I think are bad for humanity coming from a humanistic perspective. I see that what I believe, what I believe from humanistic perspective, from an atheist, as an atheist or whatever, all of these old ancient books, we can look at them as wisdom. We can look at them as, for example, like the Greek philosophers. But at the end of the day, we need to treat them, evaluate them at the level of every other book when when you place of bad does or the Koran or the Torah at a higher epistemological level.
And you're saying this is divine, that's where the problem comes. So if someone has a book and because of that book or because of the teachings they got from the parents or the religious beliefs, I keep saying book and I know in Hinduism is not just a book, but there is some scriptural authority there. That to me is a basis of and, you know, people will tell me, even with Christianity, I have no right to talk about Christianity.
And Christianity is good for the world. Christianity is good for progress and humanity. And, you know, but I think that that's totally wrong.
I think all of the religious beliefs, they have the place in history. But at the end of the day, we need to evaluate them all on the same level. And that's my point. So if someone has a quote from a book. Yeah. That says women are like hyenas, to me, that sounds bad. Now, maybe I misunderstood. And if I did misunderstand and maybe it wasn't fair for me to post that without going into a little bit more context, asking some Hindus, what does this mean, trying to get a better understanding, which would have been much better than just posting in and, you know, kind of like saying but I wasn't saying Islam is as Hinduism is not as if.
No, I'm saying that. I didn't say that at all. My point to this is so I think a part of this is. Is your your flipping the goalposts by saying, because all I'm saying is, you know something, I didn't say be a scholar, right? I'm not saying scholarship, but because I don't require that of anyone, because that's just stupid. I otherwise I can't criticize an idea. But for me to even criticize an idea, like for me to even talk about Trump, maybe I should know a little bit about Trump.
Maybe I should know a little bit about what he's done in the past, or maybe a little bit about his positions before I decide to go down that route. All I'm saying is what the what I have been seeing is that the assumptions you make when you came from the east, from the Muslim or Christian world, what those assumptions you became an atheist. You kept those assumptions and applying it to something else that's entirely different in the way they look at even something like a tax, like we talk about epistemology.
Right. We have entire philosophies built around. Why should anyone even listen to the Vedas like there is epistemological discussion within these Orthodox schools will be like, why is that even a source? We should listen. It's taken as if it is God's word, therefore we can to listen to it. They spent. So this is what I'm saying is a lot of people don't even know the philosophical traditions within India, not even close like they think. It's like this superstitious, backward world of of Mumbo-Jumbo, of Indiana Jones.
And I feel that way that people approach even Hindu texts, even Hindus in India, by the way, who are very ignorant, the people that come on your part, not your podcast, but comment about Calima or this or how terrible you have been, blasphemy against Hinduism. I don't wanna say that they're morons are literal morons because they don't know even the basics of this stuff. Right. Like, I'm not commenting on Islam or Christianity. I can't comment on Christianity.
I have quite a bit of experience there. I don't have much on Islam, but at least I spent some time reading the text. And whether or not my my reading is right or wrong, that's secondary, that you can address me there. But I'm about you have a comment.
I was just going to say that one issue that you may run into when you are saying read about it is that what has been written about it is written overwhelmingly in if you were going to read in a Western library, you would get overwhelmingly things written by outsiders. Yeah, by interested outsiders. I think it has become now traditional in sort of Hindu right-wing circles. To say anything written by any non Hindu person is just completely that somehow they are on a mission to destroy paganism, which is no longer true.
But the interesting thing is that it was true actually at one point. And it was, you know, to an extent that I myself, I think I realised it very gradually. It sort of sank in that if you go back into the 80s and 90s, the 1920s for that matter, and you see books written by Western people about India, they are they are actually interested in getting rid of pagans and then making sure they bring the word of God to these people.
And they do think of them as very strange and very weird and and very primitive, deserving of being looked down upon and so on. So some of that is obviously going to be still in the in the mix and people are going to get that information as well. No, a hundred percent. Right. Like if you look objections are not are not unjustified.
No. Like for example, like you even say, I mean the person you cited using a villa was Ralph Griffith. Griffith was 18th century, 19th century writer. So even if you look at his translations, you'll you'll see the word infidel. You'll see the word like, you know, heathens. We don't have words for that.
We don't have the closest thing to jump in and say that with Ralph, that he was very empathetic, he was empathetic. But it's even the choice of Hinduism. He was given the choice of words here plays a role in how you think about a civilization. Right. Like like when when you read the the Bible Vicent debate or whatever it is, like we don't have most by the way, when you when people say the beat us, it really doesn't save much of these things.
People don't know what a lot of the stuff says. It's it's so archaic right now. Some of the Sanskrit is so archaic, Vedic Sanskrit that people don't know what it needs. Right. So they're making approximations because it's, oh, at least three or four thousand years old is country now to get closer. Parodic sounds good. You'll have a different story. But my larger point of it is. But if you even have read like something like the Geetha or even have an understanding of the basic text, what these things are you talking about in that context?
It's basically you're just throwing darts to attack something to show false equivalence. And that, to me, is some sense intellectually dishonest.
Right. So so I'm just writing this down so I don't forget.
So I do have a problem with you using the analogy of Colonizes, because just to just to go back there, I've been told us Muslims have been told as well by Muslims like Ali, al Qaeda was a big one, that you guys, the white doing the white colonizes job of attacking Islam. You guys are basically Poetsch monkeys and you guys are terrible. And so to me, I find this is sort of an argument to do deflect criticism and to to make, you know, the idea of discussing, engaging or criticizing, unapproachable by using identity politics.
So I do have a problem with that. I do think that, you know, whatever the Muslims did, you know, five hundred years ago, you know, the terrible things they did to Hindus, I don't think you can look at what Muslims in Canada.
And but I'm not making that claim. So some people some some people, I mean, because let them make that claim. That's not like we're having a discussion. I'm not talking about Ali, though. I'm not talking about any of these other people. Right. Their position is what their position is. We can discuss it. But that's not my claim. I'm not saying you're coming in like the white man. That's not my point.
Don't you mentioned colonizes. So, yeah, but coloniser just doesn't mean it doesn't mean anything more coming in, imposing even Muslim colonizes wonder. What did you mean?
I'm not even just meaning anyone coming here to impose their worldview upon upon you. Right.
OK, let's talk about that. Yeah. So so imposing a world view. So obviously I'm an avowed evangelist. I'm an evangelist for humanism, for atheism. And I do believe that this worldview, if you want to call it a religion, atheism is not a religion. But in my opinion, humanism is a sort of religious belief because you are treating humans as sacred, for example. So that's that's a belief. That's a system that I'm not imposing it on anybody, but it's all opt in.
At the end of the day, my YouTube channel is opt in. My Twitter is opt in. What happens is people get offended. Now, you got you got this thing in your feed. How? Because some prominent Hindus shall follow you.
I thought, OK. And some other some other people got it from the feds because they you know, they know they have nothing to do with me. They don't even know who I am. And suddenly there's this ex Muslim guy talking about Rigveda and he doesn't even know what the hell is the matter is or whatever. And so obviously, I do agree that was a misstep and maybe I shouldn't have done that. That was kind of dumb. But there's no imposition of anything.
At the end of the day, it's just sharing of ideas. I'm not coming with a guy in a sweat. I'm not colonizing India as a Muslim, Conca. I'm not even Muslim. I don't even believe in Allah. I don't even believe in Muhammad. I mean, I think that Muhammad was a terrible person. I like the idea of Muhammad. So to make that analogy, I don't know if you're not making that analogy, but you did say imposing ideas.
I'm not imposing anything.
You are no imposition is what you're imposing. Is this idea of equivalence between attacks and attacks, right?
I'm not equal. And that's what I was trying to say. I'm not saying Hinduism is as bad, but I'm not saying I'm not saying.
You say that. What I am saying you're saying is this text and the way we view this text is exactly the way the Muslims view the Koran. Because what you're saying is, look at this text. It's a holy book within the Hindu tradition. It's saying this, therefore, it must be wrong. This is that's the argument.
That must be wrong. No, I'm saying it's a it's a holy book, but it's not a holy book. Whether Shakespeare said it or some Indian ancient Vedic sage, all women are hyena's. To me, that sounded bad when I read it. So maybe I'm wrong about the interpretation or whatever. But it seems that to me, and that's all I'm saying, what am I imposing on anybody when I say this is my opinion that I don't agree with the statement?
So so that to me it's fine.
Like, there's a lot of statements within a lot of Hindu texts are terrible. Like there are statements like without a doubt. Right. There are statements that are terrible across the board, whether it's about a caste, sometimes a woman, sometimes it's about a lot of different things. Right. But again, what I'm saying is there are ways to when you look at the text, you know, like, for example, it's not like word of God in any way.
Like Maha Batho has a lot of stuff on both sides where it says women are the source of all problems in some place. Then in the next in some other place, the same character will say, you know, women are goddesses and they're they should be worshipped and they're amazing. Do you find these dichotomies playing out? Because the world view within Hinduism in large part is about the dichotomy and everything in between. So there is no sense of pure like anything or anyone is purely one way or the other.
So my point and larger point is you can point out, for example, hey, this is what the text says about, you know, women. But in this particular context, it was a conversation. And one woman said that about women to a man that she was about to break up with. So that is the classic, hey, it's not you, it's me. And this is why it's me. It's like it's this way of preventing him from killing us.
When you read the text, that's what you come away with. So what I'm saying, again, here is it's perfectly valid for you to point out in a verses and stanzas things that are terrible because we should have to prove that, you know, Hindus, Muslims, James, whatever, have to deal with anything wrong with your traditions. But the you have to do it in a in a way that makes. Since you've both within and outside the tradition, absolutely, I agree with you that that was a very let's say I was a very stereotypical atheist dumb move to make.
Well, it's not your fault.
What I'm saying is this is my larger thing. It's it's and I think people should be if they want to be atheists in the atheists and whatever the you want to be, I don't that's not my concern. It's like for us to actually have true dialogue and true interaction, understand each other. We have to just do work. We all have to do, whether it's not whether if I want to talk to a Muslim, like I need to learn about what they believe, how they believe it, why they believe and their systems like otherwise.
I'm just talking about you. And this is the problem we're having right now in this war. Right. Liberals are talking about conservatives. You know, no one understands each other. You're evil, you're evil. And this is a problem. And we're just playing more into it across all of us by doing this by Twitter doesn't help us, by the way, any way, shape or form. Right. So it's the medium is terrible for us.
Omeri, you know, you're, you're waiting for say something. Got a before the jumps in.
Just about anything anyone just want to say about getting rid of Hinduism or paganism. That's another thing I did hit online too that you guys are trying to get the Hinduism. I actually, I don't think that Hinduism and Islam is equivalent in any way whatsoever. I do think they both have different, both different sets of ideas and very different Eastern religions. And the West, so-called Western religion and Eastern religion is a very different and I do think that a lot of good things in Hinduism as well.
One of the one of the things you mentioned multiple times is the fact that you don't really have to believe in a God. You know, Buddhism, there's no idea of God, even the fact that sexuality is more it's not an issue like it is, you know, sexual prettily, although you probably would find these issues in India and at the ground level. I think a lot of these things are still problematic because I agree with the villages. But in terms of in terms of Hinduism versus Islam or even the the religions in general, the idea obviously, I think there's no such thing as Chima.
But when you talk about, you know, I find a lot of beauty and the idea of mindfulness meditation, my dad used to meditate. And so I do think there's a lot of good ideas and even the idea of, you know, trying to train your mind to become still and all of that stuff, you know, Sam has talked about that as well. I'm a big fan of him. This wall thing you don't find this in in Islam like Islam doesn't have this concept of mindfulness when it's toughies.
You, by the way, Sufis. They do. And they do. And they don't. It's different because it's still you know, you're still looking at it as as a there's a duality still between God and you and Rumi.
Not at all. Yeah. Rumi is like now like kind of out of almost pretty much out of a slot like what you come here to.
By the way, Kabir was also he moves between Hindu, Muslim. His stuff is beautiful, amazing poetry. Right. Like just magnificent. Yeah. Sufi Sufi means a lot of things. And the examples of Sufis you gave, I would not be considered like Sunni Muslims anymore because they're so far out there with what they're saying. Like Ibn Arabi said, you know, I'm God, I'm God. So God is my servant and I'm not like those type of things to consider blasphemous.
So it's that's like the outer edge of like what would be allowed probably wouldn't even be allowed in Islam. And some of these people were conditioned. Right. To be considered apostates. So anyways, yeah. In terms of getting rid of Hinduism and paganism, I do think that, you know, whatever they're doing, it's it's opt in. At the end of the day, you know, we're talking about ideas. And if people want to be Hindu, if people want to be Muslim, it's up to them.
No one's going to force anyone to leave the religion. We're just talking about ideas at the end of the day.
Yeah, no, I just like I actually I love the work you guys are all doing. It's important because you need to have these dichotomies between, you know, full belief and no belief and everything in between because people need options. And this is important to have that. But nonetheless, I mean, my larger point is let's do it in a way that we understand each other. Some of Omer Bikila sorry. I know.
I was just going to say earlier, Abdullah mentioned that he would like to see a world where people no longer believe in these religions. Right.
And I just want to say, let me clarify. I'm not against religion in general. I'm not the type of person who believes that if we got rid of all of the religions, everything would be perfect and life would be, you know, we'd be in paradise. Now, I don't have I don't hold. Yeah, I don't I don't hold that position. I do think that religions are here. And they they they had a they had the place in society and they had the benefits.
And it was because of religion. I mean Yuval Harari and sapiens, he talks about how belief in a in a in a God in a spirit is probably what helped Homo sapiens to outdo Neanderthals, the fact that we were able to unite on a common idea. Emperor Constantine also united all of the all of his empire on Christianity, monotheisms, a monotheisms being useful in that sense as well. So in terms of practicality, in terms of big of the families, you know, Muslims and tend to have big families.
And so this Muslim community is growing and growing despite the apostasy. So there is definitely things that help the religion survive and help you survive that come from the religious belief. I'm not saying that the world would be better if you get rid of religion or even want to get rid of religion. What I want is a world where people can choose for themselves whether they want to believe or disbelieve. I want a world where it's OK to disbelieve, where dissent is accepted, whether it's normalized that you're a Muslim, but you drink alcohol or you don't drink alcohol, you don't believe you don't really believe in a law, but you still call yourself Muslim.
You can still go to the mosque if you want to. Kind of like the Jews, like Jews are secular for the most part, unless you're like an ultra orthodox Israel. But I hear from many Jews that they are OK with being you know what? Many of my friends are atheist Jews. I mean, you ask them, they're like, yeah, I tell other people I'm atheist. I'm not at all. You're still Jewish. They're OK with that.
You know, like you said, in the Hindu community, people don't really that's not an issue. And that's the world I want. I want a world where if you want to leave Islam, you leave Islam and no one has an issue with it. You don't need to call yourself a Muslim deus ex Muslim thing. I'm hoping eventually there'll be no need for that. There won't be any X Muslim because nobody cares what you believe.
You know, that's that's what I want. So go ahead. But the question was that if you are not going to take these particular identities that seriously, will that does that have to be replaced by some other identity that people have to believe in something and have a common kind of set of beliefs that they identify with? Or you think that it can be a complete sort of free for all in some way? And that's what it looked like. Mm hmm.
That's a good question. It's a really good question. I mean, and this is something I heard from Hindus as well they mentioned. And most funny thing is a lot of the things I'm hearing now is exactly the same things that Muslims have been saying. They bring up atheist communist China. And they said, look out. And this was an op ed article as well. They said, look what they're doing to Muslims over there. They're putting them in prison camps and this and that.
Is this the world you want to live in and know? I'm so so I'm I'm coming with unionism. I think humanism is basically the the the system that I'm preaching, the religion I'm preaching, if you want to call it that.
Well, I think that we look at which we we work for we work for a world where people thrive, but people have better lives that people are able to. And if they want to be if they want to be religious, that's not the end of that's not a problem if people want to as long as they don't force it on others. But yes, that's an amazing question. Obviously has to do something, has to be a place of religion.
Otherwise, you know, like you get you get all sorts of other things come up. Like Wokingham has become like a religion now where it's, you know. So, yeah, of course, it has to be something we just that's just the way we evolve. You evolve to have some sort of beliefs and something. And if you don't have if you don't have humanism, if you don't have religion, then you need something else, whether it's going to be communism, fascism, you know, humanism, a religious belief that nationalism is another one.
Right. People become hyper nationalistic. That becomes like a religion for them. So there's definitely needs to be something else. And these are all competing ideas. Obviously, communism, I think, is very bad for the world. I think ultra nationalism is also bad for the world. It's good for this own country. But it's and for the whole humanity as a whole. I think nationalism is bad. We need we need a group. We need to look at each other as a tool set in the new earth.
We need to evolve past these tribalistic tendencies and live for all of humanity, kind of like you see in Star Trek. You know, humans are now in space. You know, life is no longer about tribalism. Of course, they have aliens fighting them. But that's a different story. But it's the world is based on good values and people care about each other and all work together to improve improve the world. That's what we need, I think.
I don't know. I don't know how that's possible, if it's even possible, but the best thing I what I'm preaching right now is humanist, humanist enlightenment values. Basically, they and I and I understand that came out of a certain context in in in the Western world, maybe in India and in Thailand. And those places will be something different that will end up with the same result. I don't know. But so far that's what the best thing I found is.
Yeah, I mean, everybody had you got to admit, I was doing this because I'm sitting outside and there's planes flying overhead, so sometimes there's a lot of noise.
Yeah, but anyway, I don't know. There's fires, as you know, in Central Park, you know, the whole place. It's like dark outside in the middle of it's red where I am.
It's it's like there's there's layers of smoke down to like, you know, it's just crazy. It feels like Delhi or something like, you know, like smog.
But then the somebody might say that these religions also are if they are human products, the humans are going to use them for their ends and humans. And if they work, they were right. Islam has. And it's always going to be you win some, you lose some. You you get more of one thing, you may get less of the other. Islam is has very hard boundaries and people who become ex Muslims tend to be thrown out of it and tend to them that get very viciously.
That's not the case in Hinduism or in Chinese folk, religion or whatever. People continue to live in that same community. They don't really care that much, but then they don't have the same level of solidarity either. Muslims care other people because they have a somewhat higher level of internal solidarity. They tend to clap together and beat up other people.
That's there are, you know, like there are losses and gains and this world may not change. It may be that there will be new names for it and new versions of it, but it'll still be people fighting each other in groups.
But that's exactly the Star Trek thing he brought up. It's you know, there are still going on. All right. They're not part of your your tribe, right? It's always I mean, this tribalism, I think, is like so it's built into our court, you know, hundreds of millions of years of know not just human beings, but our ape like ancestors, human our ancestors have this built in for us to expect this to go away within two or three hundred years of, like, evolution.
You know, like we're not even evolving that fast. Right. Technology's already being used to manipulate our brains to a point. We're like we're not able to keep up with it. I mean, so I do I do hope that I do hope you're right that we get to a place where we can move back the past some of this tribalism. But I don't know how we as a community can I think individuals can definitely do it. And I think a lot of it has to do with, like moving meditation helps with that, because a lot of it helps to practice these practices.
Helped being transhuman.
Yeah, that's a good that's a good term. Transhuman transhumanism in terms of what you said, in terms. Well, I'll just point out the clubbing together of Muslims is very selective. When China is persecuting the ugly Muslims. You don't hear anything from the Arab world, even what was it, Saudi Qatar even praised China or some some shit like that. It doesn't. That's terrible. It's so messed up, right? It is terrible. But on the other hand, there is there is some logic even behind that.
I have heard this personally from Pakistani nationalists that, you know, two, three, five million, whatever leaders are being badly oppressed in China. But China is our only support against eight hundred million Hindus. China is keeping the West out of our you know, from conquering us. We have to wait. It's the interests of eight hundred million Muslims versus the million Muslims. They'll have to sort of take one for the team. My God.
Anyways, yeah, that's tribalism again. Well, that's that's not tribalism. That's just doing what's best for myself. No.
One, that it's very calculated and very it's even though you may say it's evil, but but it is an argument in terms of in terms of I don't have any response to that in terms of losses and gains.
I think with when it comes to Islam, at least what you said about, you know, Chinese folklore religions, by the way, I wish I could have got this. There was a Chinese Muslim that he posted on examinee Muslims in North America when they were talking about the Iguazu Muslim issue. And he said, I'm Muslim. I drink alcohol, I eat pork, and nobody cares. Like that is like the level of and I'm like, I want to have you on my show.
I want to show people like this is where we want Islam to get in. Of course, Muslims will hate that. They don't want to see that. They they want, you know, conformity inside the group because you go into group. Conformity is a way of of proving your loyalty to the group. So they don't want that because, you know, as Jonathan Haidt said, in the righteous mind, there's tests that you have to pass. And Hajj is another one of those tests, like why is it so difficult while it's to prove your loyalty to the group like it's a no point to be extra difficult, but like Shias, especially Shias.
They'll go and they won't wear the hat. They'll be like in the hot sun and, you know, they'll they'll, like, torture themselves even more. It's all part of this sort of proving your loyalty to the group thing. So we don't I don't want that. I want the opposite. I want it so that you can be a Muslim and do whatever you want. Nobody cares. And that's what we want in terms of losses and gains.
I think religion in general, let's say Islam, I don't want all religions, but specifically Islam. I think it's a net loss. That's my problem with I think that overall there's more to lose. And that's why I created the blog. I my life has improved so much since I left Islam. I was. And I think sometimes people that are cultural Muslims, they don't get that because, you know, people that you whether you call them Muslims or cultural Muslims or they're not really religious Muslims like the majority, they don't understand why someone like me.
And it shocked me that one of my even cousins that was is not religious at all. He goes clubbing as a girlfriend. I think he drinks alcohol, all of this stuff. When I told him I left Islam, he was disappointed. I couldn't believe it. I thought he'd be like, good for you, buddy. Like I'm next. But no, it was like stuck for the law tobacco.
But I love zeal. And he was he used to look up to me. The funny thing is he used to look up to me being the religious guy, say, I'm going to be like you, I'm going to get married, I'm going to have kids, I'm going to settle down. I'm going to pray five times a day. I'm going to grow my beard. I'm going to be that this mullah type guy that you are. But when I left.
But he didn't do that himself, which is to me, it boggles my mind how someone can be believe in Islam, yet they don't actually do the Islamic stuff. So they don't do they really believe? I don't even know. I don't understand the cognitive dissonance there with someone that believes and doesn't practice fully, because if you believe you would be like Ayman Navabi, where he was told the story is extreme, but this is an example of if you're going to be rational about things, it makes sense what he did.
His he was taught as a Muslim kid that kids that die before the age of puberty don't go to hell, that all the sins are forgiven. A Muslim that dies is sinless as Muslim kid who tried to kill himself. He jumped out of a building. It makes sense. Logically speaking, he is just doing what what he could to protect himself from hell, which is this horrible, terrible thing, you know, would be that he's just an unusually logical person.
This is a matter of personalities, not any like ideology. It's just that we have different personalities.
Yeah, but I'm just saying that that personality doesn't fit well with Sunni Islam. But other than that, a lot of people can coexist.
But what I mean is what I'm what I'm trying to say is that I don't understand how if you truly believe that hell is real, how can you be half hearted about your Islam? How can you just say, I'm not going to pray? You don't care that Allah is going to throw you in hell if you don't pray.
Well, then maybe the idea is you have a different experience of God. You have a different experience of you.
The different than the people are not logically compatible. Yeah, I think that's what it is that the other person is. Yeah, I think that's what it is at the end of the day. So for me, being this religious Muslim, I feel like Islam is bad for the world because it wasn't just me. I saw this big group of people that all made huge sacrifices for something that at the end of the day is not going to give them anything.
I mean, yes, there's some sort of peace and happiness or whatever that comes from it. But in my opinion, it's a net loss for the world. I had a friend. I sometimes tell the story of this guy. I know that was making six figures working in Toronto and he could couldn't afford to buy a house. He lived in downtown Toronto. He grew his kids grew up in Toronto. He he became attached to the city, but he can never buy a house he was renting.
Finally, he saved up enough money to buy a house. He ended up going in the frickin boonies like 100 kilometers away from Toronto. He has to commute now is one and a half hour commute by train. And the house he has is not even worth that much. He would have had a multimillion dollar property now living where he wanted to live, all because of Islamic dogma. He couldn't buy a house because of mortgage and because he wanted to be pure to his religion.
Now, you could say he's happy and whatever, but in my opinion, it's a loss for the whole family. It's just it's just pointless, which is why I'm against dogma in general. I think Obama is bad for the world. And that's that's why I think that, you know, overall, I think it's a net loss. That's that's my opinion.
That's why that may be the human condition. I mean, how how do you tell other people what is better for them?
You tell them you share what I mean by having dialogue. I mean, people know for themselves what's better. So if I if I tell someone that Islam is false, at the end of the day, I believe it's going to be an emotional calculation to determine whether they want to leave Islam. That's what I truly believe. At the end of the day, it's an emotional thing. Most of us in a hyper rational or even rational in general with a rational a little bit.
But at the end of the day, the rationality is a small part of the emotional component or the the I don't I don't know if emotional is the right word, but like there's a book called The Elephant in the Brain where he talks about how, you know, there's basically two forces in all humans that there's a psychological component and the emotional or the you know, the part that that that Jonathan Haidt, he talks about, he talks about it as well.
Yeah. Yeah. And and also everything is fucked by Mark Manson. He talks about and he gives this analogy of this clown, the clown. You have a clown that's driving your car and you're the guy on the side in the little seat on the side of the car. That's like telling the clown, no, no, no, turn, turn, turn. And the clowns just like doing what he thinks is right. You're trying to influence it just like an elephant in the brain.
There's this analogy of an elephant and the elephant is your is your emotionality, your your instincts, your feelings, your chimp brain. And the rationality is the guy on the elephant saying, go this way, go this way.
But elephants not is he might go that way. So this analogy, by the way, you know, is super ancient. It's from the Buddhist Hindu texts. It's the five horses, you know, your five senses running. There's a church here, which is your mind trying to control it. Can't really control it being around. And the guy behind was intellect trying to guide. Right. So it's the it's ancient. It's about the nature of what the mind is.
Right. So this is what I mean at this point.
In fact, you can say the whole religion or the whole tradition, not just Hindu religion, but Buddhism, there are all sort of built on some notion around this that the mind is a is a very difficult thing to control and that it's much deeper and mysterious than we think. And to get a handle on it is a lifelong project. It takes a long, long time and effort and guidance and whatever. And then you get to your gurus.
And that's exactly right. The entire idea is psychological. How do I control. How do I control my irrationality some ways, and because we are fundamentally irrational beings have moments of rationality, Ahmed might have little more moments here and there, but most of us are pretty irrational all the time because we're just we're just run by impulses.
And that's, again, just to emphasize this point, because I found that to be a big difference between Islam and, you know, like I said, Buddhism, Hinduism and all of this belief in Islam. You know, I love the example of this. There's a Hadith that says whatever restrains his anger, Allah will give him any of the hotel. And he wants any of the women of teddies that he wants on the day of judgment. And it's hilarious because it's always Riverwood and punishment.
It's never restrain your anger and to become in charge of your mind and to to control your it's a totally different paradigm altogether. But Islam is always avoided punishment.
And it's so infantile, I mean, so infantile compared to what you find these days. Like you said, this is five thousand year old tradition about the mind and the five chilliest. I mean, that's amazing. That's impressive.
When I hear things like that, I'm like, wow, this is because, well, we have a reward and punishment, too. But it's not from God. It's the nature of of cause and effect. So the larger idea is karma. I mean, karma you use this way. But it's actually the more interesting part is all we are are who our mind is, is entirely cause and effect. We're not even we're not even decider. We're not actors.
We are entirely cause and effect change history. Well, yeah. So there's a dialogue inherent to our entire tradition is, is this are we actually found or are we in fact just automatons of our previous decisions?
That's amazing because I mean, that's what I believe to I do believe that there is no free will and you know, it's all a causal link chain. But in Islam, there is is a free will thing as well. But it's totally different. It's more like God has decreed what's going to happen. And so it creates other theological dilemmas, because if God has decided already, then why would he send anyone to hell? Why would he intentionally? And it's like, no, no, you have free will.
I have free will. But God decide it. And it's just weird. And I don't know, it's hard to end it. And because of this, Wolf, free dilemma, there's been a lot of different schools of thought, you know, the cut of the eyes and the jambiya eyes and they all all fighting over how to resolve this conflict of free will, which is God's Cawdor.
Absolutely. So, I mean, we've been ticking up like an hour and a half your time. And and, you know, like, thank you for joining us on this podcast. And I know are spending some time with us. Is there any last things you want to say to our viewers or listeners before we log off? Yeah, that's a good point, good question, I wish I would have planned this ahead of time. Yeah, so this will this will, you know, Muslim, Hindu, Muslim, Hindu thing that's going on.
You know, I do agree that it's caused a lot of offense and a lot of pain. And I think even as an overreaction, I do see that many, many, many Hindus have agreed that this was the response to this whole thing was also overblown. And and so we want to keep working together for better dialogue and to improve the quality of discourse. I know that talking to people like you and olma, it's a totally different experience. And then what you're going to see in the comments, the comments always like, you know, totally different thing.
But I hope that we can continue working to understanding each other and better than each other. And you know that my my contribution to this, the space will will not be seen as I'm just trying to provoke or whatever. But, yeah, thank you for the invitation. And, you know, if I can just plug my YouTube comment and I have a YouTube channel, so just check it out if you're interested. And Twitter is mainly where I'm active now just because the audience is bigger then.
So I have more people to talk to other than like Facebook and I tend to get banned on Facebook a lot. Twitter tends to respect freedom of speech a lot more. So I've never got banned. I think once I got like a warning on Twitter. But for the most part, it's it's much it's a much better platform to to get your ideas across, from my perspective, the type of things I'm doing, I think. But yeah. Thank you.
And I want to ask you, have you thought about putting your YouTube as a, like, audio format? Only also because I like listening to some of these interviews and stuff, but it's difficult to always have the screen in front of me, like work out or drive or whatever. That's who you thought about doing cross pollination here?
I have done that. And I've launched the Ğabdulla Simular podcast. I'm on the platform. Yeah. So all of the longest one. So like obviously a ten minute videos I do, they end up on YouTube, but like the longest interviews, like the one I'm having tomorrow. So I'm having a conversation to all of us. Farhan Qureshi was an ex Muslim Hindu, kind of introverted smiles who ex Muslim, like myself, Salafi. And we're going to be talking about some of these things.
So, yeah, that'll end up on the podcast. So, yeah, there is a podcast, actually. Thanks for mentioning this. I can plug that as well. The Abdul, listen to the podcast. Check it out. It's mostly interviews of Muslims, but we do have conversations as well. So, yeah, thanks for mentioning that.
Our thanks, everyone. Thank you so much and thank you. Tune in next week for Brownell's.