Letter from a Turkish Reader

I received the following email from a Turkish reader of The Young Atheist’s Handbook. She has kindly let me share it here:

Dear Mr. Shaha

I read your book in Turkish some time ago. When I read your statement that you don’t know if your book can translate into your mother tongue or not, I feel sorry for you and feel myself lucky at the same time. I’m a Turkish Republic citizen and this kind of books can translate into my language. Unfortunately Islamist movements are getting stronger in Turkey day by day. We can’t even announce that we are atheists. Otherwise no one give a chance to us in social life or for employment. Sometimes we are lucky just to keep alive.

Recently we experience a new kind of Islamist pressure. Islamist groups started a campaign against atheism pages on Facebook. They invite Muslims to some kind of jihad (a version for social network) and want them to inform atheist groups to Facebook administration with outrages insults. They are so crowded so Facebook shut atheism pages based on that false reports.

Lots of atheism pages shut down or force to hide. After that, some Turkish atheism groups started opposite campaign. All atheists inform that page for hate crime. It was a meaningless online war but it was Islamists fault and atheists had to defend themselves. I read some of messages on that their page. A man said, “I feel like to take my gun and go to war.” Religious people acted like they are in a real war against atheists. Most popular message was, “…until no ateist exists.”

You said, “My Turkish brothers/sisters stories must be like my story” in your book. You were right. So I just want you to learn these incidents.

Best regards
An atheist from Turkey

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