A prominent ex-Muslim talks about his heretical life and work on the latest episode of the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s “Freethought Matters“ TV show.
Ibn Warraq, who was raised Muslim but is a nonbeliever, is the founder of the Institute for the Secularization of Islamic Society. He’s the author of the 1995 classic Why I Am Not a Muslim. His other pioneering works include The Origins of the Koran, The Quest for the Historical Muhammad and What the Koran Really Says. His upcoming book is called The Mysterious Treatise of the Three Impostors — Moses, Christ and Muhammad. He’s also working on a book called The Allah Delusion — Why Millions Are Leaving Islam. Ibn Warraq (his pen name) has degrees in Arabic and philosophy.
“I think you would have to begin a long process of reasoning, of showing the contradictions in the book, showing them the violence, showing them the shaky foundations of the historical religions — the three monotheistic religions — that tend to depend a lot on historical facts, and these facts are in fact incredibly shaky,” Warraq replies when asked as to how best to convince a believing Muslim to leave the faith. “But if you show them that, then you’re beginning the process of creating an agnostic.”
As an antidote to religion on the airwaves and Sunday morning sermonizing, the half-hour show airs Sunday mornings in 11 cities and Sunday evening in FFRF’s hometown of Madison, Wis. And this week’s show is already available on FFRF’s YouTube channel. (Look for the Freethought Matters playlist to watch previous shows.)
The first guest in the new season was U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, founder of the Congressional Freethought Caucus. Huffman’s appearance on the show made media waves due to his remarks about his colleague Rep. Liz Cheney’s dogmatic stance on the religious oath. U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin and world-renowned philosopher Daniel Dennett have appeared on the show in recent weeks. U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan will be on the show next month.
The cities where “Freethought Matters” broadcasts, along with the channels and timings, are listed below:
- Chicago, WPWR-CW (Ch. 50), Sundays at 9 a.m.
- Denver, KWGN-CW (Ch. 2), Sundays at 7 a.m.
- Houston, KUBE-IND (Ch. 57), Sundays at 9 a.m.
- Los Angeles, KCOP-MY (Ch. 13), Sundays at 8:30 a.m.
- Madison, Wis., WISC-TV (Ch. 3), Sundays at 11 p.m.
- Minneapolis, KSTC-IND (Ch. 45), Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
- New York City, WPIX-IND (Ch. 11), Sundays at 8:30 a.m.
- Phoenix, KASW-CW (Ch. 61, or 6 or 1006 for HD), Sundays at 8:30 a.m.
- Portland, Ore., KRCW-CW (Ch. 32), Sundays at 9 a.m. Comcast channel 703 for High Def, or Channel 3.
- Sacramento, KQCA-MY (Ch. 58), Sundays at 8:30 a.m.
- Seattle, KONG-IND (Ch. 16 or Ch. 106 on Comcast). Sundays at 8:00 a.m.
- Washington, D.C., WDCW-CW (Ch. 50), Sundays at 8 a.m.
FFRF Co-Presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and her husband, Dan Barker, a former evangelical minister and well-known atheist author, are creators and co-hosts of the show.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is the nation’s largest association of freethinkers (atheists and agnostics), with more than 30,000 members nationwide. FFRF also works as a watchdog guarding the constitutional separation between religion and government.
The show is produced in the Stephen Uhl Friendly Atheist Studio at Freethought Hall in Madison, Wis., by FFRF’s videographer Bruce Johnson, a public television veteran. Crew includes staff members Bailey Nachreiner-Mackesey, Kristina Daleiden, Lauryn Seering and Chris Line, plus various floor managers, with sound production provided by Audio for the Arts.
Please tune in to “Freethought Matters” . . . because freethought matters.
P.S. Please tune in or record according to the times given above regardless of what is listed in your TV guide (it may be listed simply as “paid programming” or even be misidentified). To set up an automatic weekly recording, try taping manually by time or channel. And spread the word to freethinking friends, family or colleagues about a TV show, finally, that is dedicated to providing programming for freethinkers!