I am the atheist Seyyed

Since I remember I have always had problems with my name! Particularly since I have become an atheist! Not my first name though, but the religious title of “Seyed” which follows me everywhere I go in all official documents!

My first name is Maziar. I kinda like it! I prefer Maz though! Maziar originally belongs to a rebellion Persian freedom fighter in the 9th century AD who fought the spread of Islam (the spears wasn’t a peaceful one as you know) and the Islamic regime and eventually was killed by Abbasid soldiers. However, in my birth certificate “Maziar” is always preceded by “Seyed”. Seyed ( Sayyid, سید) is an honorific title given to people who are accepted as descendants of the prophet, Muhammad, through his grandsons Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali, who were the sons of Muhammad’s daughter Fatimah and his son-in-law/cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib. So, the title is common in Shia but not in Sunni, hence its popularity in Iran. So, as I have been told, my family tree shows that my ancestor was Hasan ibn Ali, although I have never seen this family tree. And Come on!… the sons of Fatima (12 Imams as they call them in Shia) fucked and created offsprings until they died and had trillions wives, they were worst than hamsters! Wherever they went, took a wife for a week, made a baby and left! How can you actually make a family tree? You will run out of paper and ink!

Now let’s see why I have had problems! Well…The problems began when my parents named me! As I was born in Islamic Republic of Iran, and my father had this title in his documents, it was mandatory to write it in my birth certificate! Then I became Seyed Maziar. Do you see the paradox too? Seyed a religious title, Maziar a man who died fighting the religion. After naming me, my grandfather went batshit crazy and had a quarrel with my father that “Maziar was a muslim killer, why have you named him Maziar?” And apparently he didn’t talk to my parents for a while. He was strictly Muslim you see! And I remember him calling me MuhammadAli or sth similar, instead of my own freaking name!

The problems didn’t end in the family though! When I was in school, I was bullied by teachers and students. My religion studies teacher always tried to avoid my first name, they either called me Seyed or by my family name! It wasn’t all bad! Once, a history teacher gave me extra mark because I was a Seyed! (Stupidity has no limit!)

When I was 19, I decided to remove the title, but I couldn’t as that would have been considered as apostasy! (WTF indeed!). Later, I moved to Australia, and guess what!?…the problem persisted in a different way! Now as the damn title is in my passport, everyone thinks that my first name is Seyed and Maziar is my middle name!! I was in VicRoads the other day, and the poor receptionist was looking for Seyed for 5 minutes, walking around yelling “SEYED” until I realised I was Seyed! She was a bit suspicious then, asked me a few tricky questions to see if I am actually the person in that passport! Seyed is everywhere, in my driver’s license, my insurance card, my bank card :(. Yep… I am the atheist Seyed! (Actually the atheist Seyed was my 2nd choice for the blog’s name). 😀

P.S. I couldn’t find a funny image for this post, if you have any idea please shoot!

“Like pearls in shells”

On my last post, The Common Atheist left a comment about pedophilia in Islam and the book and movie Kite runner. It reminded me of two words in Quran. (Thank you Jim!). The two words are Qelmaan (غلمان، plural of Qolaam which means male servant) and Veldaan (ولدن، boys). Both words are synonymous in Quran and refer to teenage boys who have not gone through puberty yet. These boys are offered to special believers in heaven and they are described as beautiful like pearls in shells, well protected!!! WHAT THE FUCK! What kind of sick god would offer such a thing!? Abrahamic god.

Qelman is used only once:

Veldaan is used more than once as follows. The followings reminded me of a scene from Kite runner.

As you can see, the boys are compared to pearls in shells. The other instance of such comparison is with Huris (beautiful young virgin girls). The young virgins are also compared to “pearls in shells”.

As you can see, boys and girls sex slaves are promised to believers in heaven! They are numerous, young and virgin. They obey and don’t say anything against the believers’ will.

I feel sick and angry after writing this post. I am sorry if it makes you feel the same. I just have one question from believers. How can you read the “holy books” and still believe???

Coming out as an Iranian atheist

My deconversion was not an overnight process, just like others. However, I reached a point in my life which I could not tolerate Islam or any other religion anymore. So I started my deconversion.

When I was a child I was exposed to a paradox. On one side were my parents, siblings and relatives, and on the other side was the outside world, the government, media, school, common people. Islam almost had no place in our home. My mom never wore hijab at home, although she had to wear it outside. My family never said prayers or read Quran, except for occasions during Ramadan when my mom used to do the rituals.  However, in the outside world, everything was different. I was exposed to Islam indoctrination. At school, they gave us prizes for saying prayers, and frightened us from Hell and God’s wrath. So I grew up believing the outside world and seeing that my family were going to Hell. So I prayed every night! to save my parents! I was a 9 year old boy, and not that bright.

Anyway, I grew up and my faith out of fear started to fade. I started reading Kafka and Camus, and started listening to Metallica! Then, faith became an unfamiliar word for me. I doubted everything. By 18, I was a total agnostic atheist, although nobody knew.

Later in the university, I felt like a rebel. I needed to go against everything. And I did! I educated myself. So that you know, in Iran, even in undergraduate years, we study Islamic subjects as general subjects which must be passed and have a great impact on our overall. I failed most of them at least one. I remember failing Islamic Ethics twice! just because I didn’t believe in what they believed. Later, I was arrested and in the prison I lost my last drops of faith. When I came out, I was a new man. A man who has never again believed in a supreme being. I felt anew, I felt free and I improved in every aspect of my life.

Although, I had never come out as an atheist only until recently. The only reason was fear! I was afraid of Iranian Government. As you probably already know, deconversion/conversion is treated by capital punishment in Islamic Republic of Iran. You’ll be fine as long as no one knows but stating it publicly and writing about it as I am now, would get me in trouble.

Coming out feels great! I am telling everyone, and I get mixed responses, but that only motivates me to go forward.

So, if anybody is out there who is doubtful of coming out. I would highly recommend you to come out and state it publicly. However, if it puts you in risk, be patient. You will find your window of opportunity.