Hassan A. Khalifeh
Hassan A. Khalifeh is the group leader of the Secular Student Alliance and is a Business management major at Wayne State University. He is the creator and main contributer to the blog Opium of the Smart Asses, and occasionally writes about Secularism and Atheism in the university newspaper.
There are many wonderful accomplishments and services that the secular movement has provided. From taking action on policy issues, raising awareness, and dispelling myths surrounding secular people. One the most important is the tremendous support that it has provided for other secularists. Throughout my involvement in the movement, I have met many people who were questioning or thinking about leaving their religions, but who had no idea that there were others thinking the same thing they were. They sure as hell didn’t know that there were organizations that provided them with a place for non-judgmental discussion and support. Some of these people had been cut off financially or even forced out of their homes, and their discovery of secular organizations changed their lives. There is a group within secularism, however, that requires some extra attention: questioning and ex-Muslims.
Recently, I was asked to participate in an interview to talk about my journey from Islam to Atheism by someone who has had a lot of interest in my group, the Wayne State Secular Student Alliance. I've done interviews before, but it seems a little surreal that people care about what I have to say.
Earlier this summer, I attended the 2011 Center for Inquiry Leadership Conference in Amherst, NY. During this conference, the question arose of whether Atheists should participate in Interfaith events. Many people said yes, because we should put our differences aside and work towards a greater goal. Few said no, because, as CFI intern Cody Hashman said, “we need to preserve our own resources and focus on building our own architecture.” Is this a yes or no question, though? I think not.