So, it is Elections time in Jordan University again. It is a season that I used to love, maybe I still do love it, but not after I realized that it is always transformed into a silly parade of beliefs.
A student elections -in an ideal world- must have something to do with a students program, academic strategies, extra curriculum activities and delivering services for students. It should have nothing to do with how "religious" are you, how "God fearing" you are, or how atheist can you be.
It is just preposterous how students are designed in a way where the world is divided into two: wither they are members of the Muslim Brotherhood, or they are filthy atheists. While for the other party, the world is divided into two: Cool liberal people, and religious scumbags who are not worthy of life.
I don't even want to go deeper into the topic, because each time I go in a conversation with either parties it stuns how little they know about each other, as if each one of them is living in a separate continent. They are both full of prejudgments, stereotypical ideas and it does not stop there, but it goes to moral defaming: Both want to prove that the other is immoral, hypocrite and thoroughly dirty, and for this they use a scandalous tune where they want to socially cross out the other.
I used to be a religious person -"by the book" kind of person- and then I started thinking about things, and I started modifying my way of life based on what I came to understand, rather than what I was "raised to be", and this puts me in the very uncomfortable shoes of religious friends opening up to me, cursing and criticizing an atheist -or someone simply not as religious as they are- thinking that I have the same views as them.
So this last Thursday one of those friends, asked me to explain to her "what does an atheist person believe in, and what makes them strong in this battle in life". I paused, for different reasons, first because I always sensed some kind of inferior treatment towards me from this specific person based on the fact that the "so sacred things" for them are not that sacred for me, Second because I felt lie there is plenty of other people who could answer the question, and there is no need for her to shield herself with me if she actually wanted to get the answer for her alleged question.
Most importantly, what disgusted me, was that the question was a result of a conversation this friend had with other girls in the faculty who present themselves as atheists, and their only argument was: we are not voting for Muslim Brotherhood candidates because they are going to draft a law the obliges girls to wear a uniform to university, and headscarf will be obligatory even for christian female students!
It is those shitheads who bring bad name for atheism, where an atheist is perceived as someone who is scared of wearing long sleeves.
I know this is gonna sound cocky when I say it, but I am gonna say it anyway: I don't believe that it is acceptable for 20 years old people to go around saying: I am muslim and proud, or I am atheist and proud. Simply because they are toooo freaking young to have such an enormous question sorted out, and if I may add: it is even worse for the religious ones, because they are backed up by an entire culture, system, society that tells them that they are RIGHT, which makes it extremely hard for them to think one inch outside the box.
And to wrap this post up, and in spite of me not having to explain anything to anybody, but still I want to post this quotation from an Amin Maalouf book that simply describes what I believe in.
“لستُ من أتباع أي دين، ولا أشعر بالحاجة لأن أصبح كذلك
وموقفي من هذه المسألة غير مريح لا سيما وأنني لا أشعر بنفسي ملحدًا كذلك. لا أستطيع أن أؤمن بأن السماء فارغة، وبأنه لا يوجد بعد الموت سوى العدم. فماذا يوجد وراء ذلك؟ لا أدري. هل يوجد شيء ما؟ لا علم لي. أرجو ذلك، إنما لا أعرف؛ وأشعر بالريبة إزاء من يدعون المعرفة، سواء كانت أشكال يقينهم دينية أم ملحدة.
إنني في منزلة بين الإيمان وعدم الإيمان مثلما أنا في منزلة بين وطنين، ألاطف هذا وألاطف ذاك، ولا أنتمي لأي منهما. لا أشعر بنفسي غير مؤمن إلا حين أستمع إلى عظة رجل دين؛ ففي كل عظة، وكل إشارة إلى كتاب مقدس، يتمرد عقلي، ويتشتت انتباهي، وتتمتم شفتاي لعنات. غير أني أرتعش في أعماقي حين أحضر مأتمًا علمانيًا، وتتملكني الرغبة بدندنة تراتيل سريانية، أو بيزنطية، أو حتى ترتيلة القربان المقدس القديمة التي يقال إنها من تأليف توما الأكويني.
ذلك هو درب التيه الذي أسلكه في مجال الدين. وبالطبع، أسير فيه وحيدًا، بدون أن أتبع أحدًا، وبدون أن أدعو أحدًا لأن يتبعني
التائهون - أمين معلوف