Jinnah Maachu: “I want to rescue people from religion” Interview by Julia Magaud
Source: https://humanistglobal.charity/india-jinnah-maachuJuly 14, 2020
*Question: How did you become an atheist? *
Answer: Many things led me here:
- My mother was a pious Muslim, but from my childhood, I witnessed how she was fooled by the faith and how she was financially exploited regularly.
- When I was a small boy, I knew two good friends - one was Hindu, the other one Muslim. One day I saw them fighting each other vigorously, the reason was religion. The elders separated them; one sat on the right and the other on the left. They were quiet for a while and then one said to the other “Buddy, let’s go, this is why Periyar (E. V. Ramasamy) said there is no God.” He put his arm around his friend’s shoulder and they walked away together.This incident made me read a lot about Periyar, I got to know about his campaigns and struggles.
- A few years later, in 1998, bomb blasts and religious riots happened in my city, Coimbatore, between Muslims and Hindus. It made me distressed. I felt it was disgusting to kill each other for religion.
- I decided to leave religion, but I didn’t talk about it with anyone, I just kept it inside me till 2002. Then I wrote my ideas and views in Facebook. I wrote that I wanted not only to leave religion, I want to rescue people from religion. My Facebook posts paved way for me to get to know a few ex-Muslims. They became my friends, H. Farook was one of them.
Q: H. Farook was assassinated, correct?
A: Yes, Islamic extremists plotted to kill us, we were not aware of their plans. The police found some information, but not the entire plan; they identified only me and only advised me for my safety. It is so sad, within a week Farook was assassinated. Police were not aware that Farook was also on their list. One of the assassins was pretending to be an ex-Muslim to befriend Farook. Farook trusted him. We got to know this few days later after police found the details through investigation and interrogation.
Q: It is dangerous to be an atheist in your city?
A: I can’t say it’s not dangerous, it’s still dangerous and I survived from the danger once, but we lost Farook.
Q: What is your goal? A: My goal is to rescue people from the religion.
Q: Do you think many people in India will leave religion, with the current strong feelings on all sides? Do you think there will be a religious schism in India?
A: It’s difficult to tell whether India would religiously divide or not, but there are possibilities for religious riots, violence, killings and attacks within the country, I fear a large number of lives, and the peaceful life of innocents and children would be causalities.
My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jinna.machu
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