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Ex-Muslim to give talk on living without God

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 13, 2012

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FILM-MAKER Alom Shaha will be speaking in Cheltenham about his journey from growing up a Muslim to becoming an atheist.

Alom wrote The Young Atheist's Handbook, an account of his journey from being raised in a Bangladeshi Muslim community to becoming an outspoken atheist.

Along the way, Alom also attempts to share his ideas for how to live a good and happy life without God.

He will be giving his talk to the Cheltenham Skeptics on March 27 at the D-Fly pub in the town's Clarence Street.

As one of only a handful of high-profile public ex-Muslim atheists, Alom believes that atheism should be a way of life that should be available to all, regardless of their background.

He said The Young Atheist's Handbook was a celebration of atheism rather than an attack on religion and presented ideas from science, philosophy and theology in a way that was accessible to a wide audience.

His talk will be held from 7.30pm.

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  • L_escalier  |  January 16 2012, 4:02PM

    I had a reply from the Charity Commission. Despite what it says on their shopfront, the Beacon Of Light Foundation isn't a registered charity (well, not with the Commission). They have,however, made an application.

  • TIMONLINE2010  |  January 16 2012, 3:08PM

    taxidave1 - you hit the nail on the head when you said that many problems were caused by religion, however your error is laying the blame with God! charlie2times - everyone 'indoctinates' their children abotu something if you want to look at it that way. However, Christianity encourages people to decide for themselves. pingu61 - every system of belief, whether religous of otherwise, has an element of intolerance by definition but doesn't mean you shouldn't respect other people's views.

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  • tommadeit  |  January 16 2012, 1:07PM

    Faith is up to the individual and in my book a good thing. But the more I hear and see of religion the more I despair.

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  • Ms_Superstar  |  January 16 2012, 12:53PM

    His choice I suppose, same as it's my choice to be a Christian. But I don't see the need to give a talk about it, or the need to have this talk promoted in the press - even to sell a book.

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  • Judy_Bloom  |  January 15 2012, 6:28PM

    Pingu, I very much agreed with your post. However at the same time I can't help thinking that it's all well and good us being moderate and understanding from the comfort of our living rooms and work desks, but as Kay alluded to, unless violence is challenged out there in the real world no good will come of it. It IS concerning that the author seems to be preaching atheism in a way that hints at rules and structure. Do we need to be guided into the 'right' way of being an atheist?

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  • TimGlos  |  January 15 2012, 3:13PM

    Lol Andrew the only reason Christian fundamentalism isn't a force in Europe is because we exported them to America.  Before then we did have a policy of Burning women alive because they were thought to be Witches.  In the US a fair amount of military foreign policy is still driven by religious belief and people working at abortion clinics are routinely targeted with threats and violence by far-right Christian groups.  Like many systems of belief no religion is necessarily bad in itself, unfortunately humans have a tendency to twist any system to justify their own negative thoughts and behaviours.  It is said by the Bible that the meek shall inherit the Earth, the meek probably should be those that try to live as good people, with morality and ethics not prescribed by dusty books or others despite living in a world where many find it preferable to subscribe to belief systems that have historically been used as methods of control and indoctrination into ways of living that are not relevant to the world today...

  • L_escalier  |  January 15 2012, 10:59AM

    Yes, but George Bush would say 'God Bless America' before eating a pretzel...

  • Desenchanter  |  January 14 2012, 7:27PM

    Don't forget the words uttered by - George.W.Bush before he and Tony Blair went looking for Saddam's WMD's . I think they went something like 'God Bless America' !

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  • Andrew_Powell  |  January 14 2012, 6:59PM

    There are rabid fundamentalists in every religion. As a Christian the worst result would be getting slapped with a prayer book.

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  • pingu61  |  January 14 2012, 5:42PM

    What worries me is that I don't see much difference between fundamentalist believers in one or more deities which fails to tolerate any other religion, and fundamentalist atheisists that don't tolerate any other religion. Intolerence is generated by incompatible cultures, and intollerent individuals, not by differences in religious beliefs. So rejecting your intollerent religious upbringing to become an intollerent speaker against that religion isn't a change at all, it's just rebelion. When he's saying that atheism shoud be a "way of life", alarm bells should be ringing. Atheism is a belief system which, when described as a "way of life", becomes a religion.

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