A few weeks ago, someone asked me: Why do you care about what religious people think? Why can’t you just go on living your life, letting people believe what they want to? Why must you attack and fight against religion?
About five or six years ago, while I was still a student at Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada), I attended an exhibition and talk on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) at the university. I can’t recall the details of the event – the date or the organizers – but there was something I could never forget. There was this one photo of a young girl, probably aged 9 or 10 years old, sitting in a pool of blood and urine, with a discarded razor not far away. What bothered me was that the girl wasn’t crying, the salt lines of dried tears were visible on her face, but there was something horrifying in her eyes – they were dead and hollow.
I wasn’t vocal about my anti-religious stance back then, and neither did I become one right after that experience. As the years passed, I began rationalizing the world around me, coming to the conclusion that I am an Anti-Theist and a Humanist. Throughout this journey of discovery, I never forgot that horrifying image of that little girl. The eyes, those morbid eyes, never left me.
I am no hero or saviour, nor do I intend to be one. However, if there’s even one person in this world being subjected to such abhorrent evil, we must care. We must fight against it, we must annihilate the source of this injustice. There are many more malfeasance being perpetrated by religion – rape, murder, slavery, oppression, homophobia, and genocide, to name a few. I must oppose these moral crimes, not because I hate religion, but because I cherish humanity. If we don’t care for the weak and the innocent, the helpless and the oppressed, who will then? God? I don’t think so.