Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Reason Review 1-3

The Reason Review - Volume 1 Issue 3


Editorial Message

Dear Readers,

Thanks to those of you who helped organize and who attended the first ever Out And Out event hosted by SSOMIT. The event has become the talk of the ex-Muslim and secular community, thanks to many who retweeted posts about it and the video.

Speaking of retweets, we now have a Twitter account too. Please follow us at @SecularMIT for live updates and notifications.

We have a bunch of fascinating news bites this issue, including a conspiracy by neo-Crusaders to murder Muslims door-to-door, a celebration of the 10th anniversary of Dawkins' The God Delusion, the release of a Deeyah Khan (this is a big deal) documentary on ex-Muslims, and Hindus and Muslims ganging up on atheists organizing in India (ah, to bring people of different religions together is so rewarding). Also check out Bonya Ahmed's take on feminism in Bangladesh in Opinion, and Dillahunty's debates in Media. Finally, there's the brilliant Dr Dennett on the evolution of belief, featured as this issue's Classic.  

Looking forward to our next Out And Out event on Nov 1st, and to seeing you there.

Hope you enjoy the issue.


Sohan Dsouza
Editor of The Reason Review

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Out And Out of Hinduism coming soon!

After the success of the Out And Out of Islam event, we're looking forward to the next event in the series -- this time, approaching Hinduism and Dharmic religions in general from a secular perspective. Timed around the Hindu festival of Diwali, the main feature is particularly relevant: a screening of Nina Paley's Sita Sings the Blues, which is an alternative and slightly blasphemous look at the Hindu epic known as the Ramayana. The film will be followed by a moderated discussion about themes related to irreverence, feminism, euhemerism, mythology, and tradition, as they relate to the Dharmic religions of South and Southest Asia. More details to come in a special announcement.


Out And Out of Islam

The Secular Society of MIT held it's first Out and Out event ( on October 3rd. Attendees were treated to a live keynote speech by's secularism advocate Faisal Saeed al Mutar, recorded messages of support by ex-Muslim bloggers/podcasters/authors Eiynah "NiceMangos" and Yasmine "Confessions of an Ex-Muslim", and a live panel discussion with Karim and Muna from Ex-Muslims of North America. Plenty of great discussion, questioning, networking, and laughter. Congratulations to the one extra-lucky attendee for winning a hardcover copy of Ali A Rizvi's The Atheist Muslim in the Javascript-powered raffle. Video at (1hr 55 min long)

Kansas militia men calling themselves ‘Crusaders’ charged in terror plot targeting Somali Muslim immigrants

According to the complaint, the investigation was prompted by a paid confidential informant who had attended meetings with a group of individuals calling themselves “the Crusaders,” and heard plans to attack Muslims, whom they called “cockroaches”.

Top Evangelical College Group to Dismiss Employees Who Support Gay Marriage

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA says it will start a process for “involuntary terminations” for any staffer who comes forward to disagree with its positions on human sexuality, which hold that any sexual activity outside of a husband and wife is immoral.

Louie Gohmert: Christians Will ‘Literally’ End Up In Shackles Because Of Hate Crime Laws 

When Loesch asked Gohmert about Trump’s “shackles” comment, the Texas congressman went off on a bizarre tangent about how the 2009 hate crimes law will result in Christians in America literally ending up in shackles.

Preacher on UGA campus arrested after reportedly elbowing student in the face

The man, his wife and two children preached outside the Tate Student Center near Lumpkin Street, holding signs reading "You deserve hell" and reportedly telling passing students they were "sinners" and "whores." The student who was hit, Keaton Law, said it was his "personal mission" to remove the preachers from campus.

Atheists Reflect on the Impact of The God Delusion Ten Years After Its Release

It was 10 years ago today when Richard Dawkins‘ book The God Delusion was first published in the UK. The book went on to sell more than 3 million copies and, anecdotally, led countless people away from the religions of their youth. In fact, you could argue that The God Delusion has created more atheists than any other book in history… with the sole exception being the Bible.

Islamic communities contain 'tsunamis of atheism' that are being suppressed, says leading ex-Muslim

Speaking ahead of the release of Exposure, an ITV documentary that explores the lives of ex-Muslims faced with abuse and discrimination, Ms Namazie told The Independent: “There is a large group of people who are not seen and heard. Many young people living in Britain have left Islam and are facing huge ostracisation and isolation from their communities as a result.

Final hearing for Christian woman facing execution for blasphemy in Pakistan

Pakistan’s supreme court will hear the case of Asia Bibi, a mother-of-five from the rural village of Ittan Wali in Punjab, eastern Pakistan, who was convicted of blasphemy in 2010 after allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhamed during a row with other women over water.

Hindu, Muslim groups come together in violent protest against meeting of atheists in Mathura

A private meeting of atheists dubbed “Nasthik Sammelan” was called off in Mathura district’s Vrindavan on Friday after both Hindu and Muslim religious groups staged a violent protest outside the ashram of Swami Balendu. Balendu, a self-style “atheist guru” who was once a spiritual leader, had called for a two-day conclave on atheism. However, on Friday morning, hundreds of protestors arrived armed with sticks, with police officials backing them.

Cairo University Abolishes ‘Religious Identity’ from All Official Paperwork

Students and both academic and administrative staff at Cairo University, one of Egypt’s top universities, will no longer be required to disclose their religious identity on any paperwork. According to Cairo University’s President Gaber Nassar, the move is aimed at eliminating any potential discrimination arising from the disclosure of religious identity.


Riaz Osmani -- Penal Code 377: The bane of Bangladesh’s LGBTQI population

After the murder of gay rights activist Xulhaz and gay cultural activist Tonoy by Islamic militants earlier this year, gays in Bangladesh are now in hiding, fearful of their lives. Those who are able to are leaving the country. This is a sorry state of affairs and needs to change soon.

Bill Maher -- Atheists Suck at Voting

You’d think not believing in God would free up more time for civic engagement, but apparently not. According to The Washington Post, atheists and assorted nonbelievers make up a growing percentage of the population, but a constant and small portion of the electorate.

Bonya Ahmed -- Talk in Women in Secularism 2016

In Bangladesh, though we have a secular constitution, a secular criminal law, and a secular civil law…the Family law continues to follow religious rules. As a Muslim girl, I was allowed to receive 1/2 of the property that my fictitious unborn brother would receive. Since we did not have a brother, 1/4 of my parents property would go to my uncles.


SSOMIT Out And Out Of Islam -- event for ex-Muslim atheists and secular supporters

The audio track from the Secular Society of MIT's (@SecularMIT) first event in the Out And Out series, a set of events for atheists coming from specific religious communities and backgrounds to share their unique experiences with one another, with other secular people, and with religious guests.

ITV -- Exposure: Islam's Non-Believers

Current affairs series. Award-winning filmmaker Deeyah Khan investigates the lives of people who have left Islam as they face discrimination from within their own communities.

Polite Conversations -- PC Panel Discussion 4 - Australian Hate Speech Laws (Part 2)

A continuation of last week's episode on Australian hate speech laws. In this part we discuss the Cronulla Riots, and how our backgrounds shape our views on this subject.

Friendly Atheist Podcast -- Ep. 130 - Janet Heimlich, Founder of the Child-Friendly Faith Project 

Janet Heimlich is the founder of the Child-Friendly Faith Project, and author of Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment, both of which examine child abuse and neglect that is enabled by religious belief in the United States. I spoke with her about the way children suffer at the hands of religion, whether teaching kids about Hell constitutes abuse, and what atheists can do to help.

ScathingAtheist 190: Vulgarity for Charity 4 Edition

In this week’s 90 minute special edition, Deepak Chopra will yell into a mirror while crying. Iran asks Salem, Massachusetts for advice on how to deal with lady chess players, and Tom and Cecil from the Cognitive Dissonance podcast will join us for the extended conclusion of Vulgarity for Charity.

ScathingAtheist 191: Snatch Snatch Edition

In this week’s episode, Lucinda brings us a special this Roast in misogyny, Donald Trump does some attention grabbing, and the Quran will get repetitive for the Quran.

The Thinking Atheist -- Buddhism

 Is Buddhism a religion?  A philosophy?  Both?  Something else?  Many Buddhist organizations - physical and online - promote it as a way of "finding peace within oneself.   What about atheists who are Buddhists?  Is this a spiritual journey, or a method for framing a physical one?

The Thinking Atheist -- Health, Woo-trition, and The Food Babe

How do we separate "nutrition" from "woo-trition?"  This show is about the science (and pseudoscience) of food.   We also spend time on nutrition celebrity "The Food Babe," Vani Hari, a best-selling author and activist named by Time Magazine as one of the 30 most influential people on the internet, despite the fact that she has no degree or expertise in the field of health and nutrition. Joining our discussion are actual health and science educators

#GSPodcast -- Ep#91 – Terry McDermott – Perfect Soldiers 

Terry McDermott (@TerryMcdermott) is an American author and Journalist. He joins me on The #GSPodcast to discuss his book Perfect Soldiers. Who were the 9/11 hijackers and why did they do what they did? We also talk about the intelligence services, journalism, 9/11 truthers, Al- Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden and much more.

#GSPodcast -- Taking The Myth – 14 Oct 2016 Edition

This week on Taking The Myth, Stephen Knight (@Gspellchecker) and Iram Ramzan (@Iram_Ramzan) discuss the big topics. We talk about Louis Theroux’s ‘My Scientology Movie’, CAGE, 9/11 Conspiracy theories, ‘No Hijab Day’, Iranian chess competitions and Ascotsman Abroad (@AScotsmanAbroad) joins us to put the Catholic Church in their place. And of course, the ASLAN Awards!

Atheistically Speaking -- AS284: Vaccines Are Not Killing Us! with Ken Camargo

My guest today is Dr. Ken Camargo. We discuss the anti-vaccination movement, the facts about vaccination, and what is behind all the misinformation out there.

Atheist Debates - Dillahunty vs Slick - Is Secular Humanism superior to Christianity? 

Dallas, TX, October 2nd, 2016 - Matt Dillahunty and Matt Slick debate the question "Is Secular Humanism superior to Christianity?"

Atheist Debates - Discussion - Is there evidence for God? Matt Dillahunty and Satyan Devadoss 

Recorded in San Jose, in conjunction with The Village Forum and the Saratoga Federated Church - I sit down with mathematician Satyan Devadoss to discuss whether or not there's sufficient, good evidence to warrant belief in the Christian god.

Atheist Experience 20.39 with Russell Glasser and Jen Peeples

The Atheist Experience episode 20.39 for October 2, 2016, with Russell Glasser and Jen Peeples. Vaccinations. Jen addresses some misconceptions about vaccines.

Atheist Experience 20.40 with Matt Dillahunty and John Iacoletti

The Atheist Experience episode 20.40 for October 9, 2016, with Matt Dillahunty and John Iacoletti. Viewer Calls. Matt and John take callers.

Point of Inquiry -- Godless Infidels: Leigh Eric Schmidt on Atheism in the 19th Century

Point of Inquiry welcomes Leigh Eric Schmidt, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis and author of the new book, Village Atheists: How America’s Unbelievers Made Their Way in a Godly Nation. Schmidt gives a detailed account of what it was like to be secular in a society where God was considered to be the sole source of all morality.

Mythicist Milwaukee -- African Americans for Humanism w/ Norm Allen Jr.

Norm R. Allen Jr. was the first and only full-time African American secular humanist activist traveling the world promoting secular humanism and skepticism. Norm Allen is also the president of NP Solutions, a writing business headquartered in Buffalo, NY. In Africa, he helped establish and/or strengthen 72 humanist groups in 30 African nations.


Is Religion Man Made? Evolution of Belief | Daniel Dennett 

Daniel Dennett gives a lecture about the evolution of belief. Get a religious friend to watch this. Maybe they'll learn a thing or two. This is an old video so I tried to clean it up a bit and also cut out all the fat (introductions and questions) that didn't contribute much. This lets you get right to the point.

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