I am honored and excited to join the Skeptic Blogs network, particularly at this very moment. I am thankful to John and Ed for having me here. This promises to be a wonderful chapter in the lives of those of us identifying ourselves as atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, secularists, religious skeptics and the like. It is absolutely amazing that in a mere seven years, the percentage of “convinced atheists” in the US has risen from 1% to 5%, while self identified “religious people” have gone down from 73% to 60%.

I was raised in the Islamic world. By accident of history, the plague that is entanglement of religion and government affects most Muslim majority nations a lot worse the many Christian majority (or post-Christian majority) nations. Hence, I am quite familiar with this plague. I started doubting the faith I was raised in during my teen years. After becoming familiar with the works of enlightenment philosophers, I identified myself as a deist. But it was not until a long time later, after I learned about evolutionary science, that I came to identify myself as an atheist. And only then, I came to know the religious right in the US. No need to say, that made me much more passionate about what I believe in and what I stand for.

My goal in writing this blog is going to be presenting science and skepticism. I hope to bring more of an international perspective to the table and expose religious doctrines for the harmful they are, and the suffering they cause way too often for women, gays, dissenters and religious minorities. I wish to bring to light the religious roots of some of violent conflicts around the world causing graves tragedies and loss of life, as I think that this is a very serious issue that gets next to no attention in the media. From the threat the rise of dominionist and christian reconstructionists poses to US democracy, to plight of women in Afghanistan accused of “sexual crimes” under Islamic Sharia, I hope to make the issues visible, as the traditional media have always been giving religion the kind of deference it doesn’t deserve and has never earned.