by Nico Raj Rahm
I know! I know! I must stand for what I believe. But, some situations are more complicated than others. Sometimes, it is not your honor, or safety that is at stake, but your family's.
I love collecting antique books, love reading, and have established a great little library at my home. While my collecting focus is not books on atheism, I do have a formidable collection.
Here is my confession; I hide my atheist books whenever a family member, or distant relative visits my home. Why? It is not that I am scared of the Repercussions but rather do not care for the inconvenience of a long and tiring conversational debate about why I am an atheist, and do not believe in Allah any longer.
I can see it now; my uber religious aunt shocked as she describes her disappointment in me, or the look of concern on my mother's face saying nothing. But the worst of them all are the repercussions brought upon my family by the closely knit network of friends and acquaintances in the community. The repercussions do not bother me, nor my wife, but for my parents it would be an embarrassment.
While I am aware that millions of people, especially teens and young adults are going through similar dilemmas all around the world, my situation is rather trivial. Or at least I believe it is. All I need to do is remove a few books off the shelves of my study and the potential problem is averted.
Am I a coward? Maybe. But at least my family is spared the hassle and trouble brought upon by a characteristicly vindictive religious society. My turn will come one day. For now, let my family live in peace.