Is Islam a More Radical Religion? An Inside View 

Would you consider Rick Santorum radical enough? OK. Now, what if he had the exact same beliefs but he was a Muslim? Then, he would be a moderate. 

How do you define radical, when it comes to an Islamic context? Do you define a radical Muslim the same way you define a radical Jew or a radical Christian? 

Kaveh Mousavi

”Kaveh Mousavi” is the pseudonym of an Iranian atheist. He is a student of English Literature, a part-time English teacher, an aspiring author and an avid video gamer.  He still lives inside Iran and therefore would like to keep his identity a secret.  What follows is a necessary examination of Islam’s place in the gamut of radical religions from a unique perspective.  Enjoy.  If you’d like to leave a comment for Kaveh personally, please send it to me and I will certainly pass it along.

– Kyle Van Son
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Is Islam a More Radical Religion? An Inside View

When it comes to Islam, there is a controversy among the atheists regarding how they should deal with it. There are those like Sam Harris and Bill Maher who say not all religions are the same, and some are worse than the others, and then there are those who say that it is wrong to single out Islam as all religions are equally bad. There are those who even accuse people like Maher and Harris of racism. Now, in this controversy former Muslims rarely speak up. The dialogue is usually between Muslims – or their defenders – and people who have been born and raised in a different culture. That is understandable to some degree, because being a former Muslim somehow doesn’t improve your resume when you live under a theocracy. But I believe someone with a more intimate knowledge of the religion should weigh in.

I believe I have the right to do so. I am familiar with the faith more than other people, because once I planned to be a “perfect Muslim”, and I studied the religion in depth. I was not pleased with the result and ended up an atheist instead. I am an Iranian living inside Iran. I have been the victim of a theoretical totalitarian regime which bases its laws on Shiite sharia law. I have seen Islam from every angle – from the inside as the firm believer, and from the outside as the non-believer. So this is the question: is Islam more radical than other religions? Is it particularly violent?

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