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Best Friend Defends Islam, Bashes Christianity.

One of my longest friendships is with a religious person, and as I have become more open about my atheism, I feel less and less like I can relate to her. She is a Muslim from Bosnia, and when we first met she told me she doesn't really practice but just kind of identifies as one because her family does. However, over the past few years, I have seen her grow more and more defensive of Islam. She even said that there was no way that the Pulse nightclub shooter was really a Muslim, and there was no way religion was the motive in the shooting, which bothered me. She does this every time there is a terror attack in the news. She openly bashes Christianity and criticizes instances of Christian discrimination towards others but believes her religion is entirely peaceful. I find it really hard to bite my tongue for the sake of our friendship and I was just wondering if anyone else has found it difficult to maintain friendships with religious friends as an atheist. I am hesitant to let the friendship go because we have been through a lot together, but I just feel that if I ever expressed my true thoughts she would get defensive and end up hating me. Is there a way of possibly explaining Islam to her, and how its ideas can be extremely harmful, without sounding like I'm directing criticism towards her specifically? Any advice is welcome.

TaliaElizabeth92 5 Jan 3

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I'm often saddened by losing theist friends because of their ideology but I'd much rather lose them than deal with the friction they can cause in the most casual of moments.

If you're brave enough and feel its either worth the risk or if the friendship is doomed anyway try sharing the Skeptics Annotated Quran with her.



Distance yourself from this person. Physically, as well as emotionally. Do not leave a forwarding address.
Not everyone who comes into your life is meant to stay there.


If you want to keep your friendship avoid discussing religion with her. On the other hand if it bothers you that you can't have an honest discussion about her religion with her then let her go. I had to let one of my best friends of 30 years go when this wild and crazy girl lost everything and dove into the Catholic Church. Her whole life revolved around her church-she wanted me to come to see her minister-I couldn't do it.


Don't attack Islam in your criticisms. Attack religion generally, for its oft-abused power to blind adherents to obvious realities. Attack misguided believers who cloak obviously indefensible actions in the noble-seeming mantle of religion.

Also understand that your friend has been through experiences, both in Bosnia and the U.S., where her identification as a Muslim has resulted in receiving some very bad treatment. It's not surprising that she'd be defensive about it. Remind her that you accept her as a friend because of who she is as a person and the value you put on your shared experiences, and that this would remain true regardless of how she identifies religiously. Try to understand, in other words, the degree to which her attitude is a defensive reaction to bad treatment she's received in the past. Don't patronize her about that, but do understand and accept it because that's part of her story as a person.

Alternatively, if this doesn't work, then tell her that this is something that you and she simply don't agree on. You want to remain friends with her and to help make that happen, it's going to be important to avoid the subject of religion altogether. That's a last resort if she doesn't back down, of course, because from there your final step is to terminate the friendship and it doesn't sound like you're prepared to do that.

Kind of you... VERY πŸ™‚


All ridiculous ideas deserve ridicule. To bash another religion and call it out on its atrocities while ignoring the trespasses of her own religion is intellectually dishonest and hypocritical. Do show compassion for her, she's probably struggling with the cognitive dissonance that her situation causes, but don't pretend you don't have serious, well-founded issues with what she's espousing.


I have one friend. He is Seventh Day Adventist, which is a pretty crazy sect. I openly deride religion and call it silly. He in turn criticizes my thoughts. If we couldn't do that we couldn't be friends. I think you should express yourself in a to thing own self be true sort of way.


Talia, I suggest this book - A Manual for Creating Atheists [Peter Boghossian] - It helped me be less argumentative and learn to ask questions. This helps the people you love see the problems with their beliefs for themselves. I got the Audible version read by the author. Hope this helps.

Thanks I'll check it out!


I won't defend islam... same bucket.


I have the same problem with some of my friends as well as family. I think you should approach gradually, one step at a time, and if you care about her, be as respectful as possible. I was brought up Roman Catholic, and I didn't see the light all at once, and I imagine it's like that for most atheists. It was a very slow process of me reasoning and thinking. I find that chipping away a little at a time works, and I see a difference in my friends and family when they talk about religion. Don't expect an immediate change, but if she's fair minded and thoughtful, truth will eventually have an effect. Good luck!

Thank you!


Muslims are attacked constantly and ridiculously when you look at what other faiths have done throughout history. She likely feels defensive a lot. I feel badly for her and would say to please try to understand. I have some muslim pals and they feel attacked all the damn time. Wearing their hijab gets them nasty comments in someplace that should be inert like a grocery store. Perhaps try to direct comments at the injustice of the criticism of islam as evil in general. We all likely know good and bad from all faiths.

Yes but other faiths have evolved past the point of committing these violent acts of terrorism. I'm not saying there can't be Christian terrorists, but it's definitely a lot more prevalent in Islam.

they have evolved??? how so?? are xian terrorists not still attacking islam? are zionist nazis not still attacking peaceful palestinians?? my goodness.. you should reexamine your stance

I don't think anyone is saying that other religions are not guilty of wrong doing. It is important to remember that not all religions have exactly the same permutations on day to day life. I would say that Islam is one of the greatest evils in todays society. I do kind of agree with your point though. Its islamists that I have the problem with. I would argue that whilst every Islamist is a muslim, not every muslim is an islamist.
(an islamist is someone who thinks society should be dictated by the islamic faith. Not all muslims feel this way, and some are happy to be part of a secular society, where we can choose, if we want one, our religion)

@Ad4hubby "Peaceful Palestinians?" Just how would the USA react if rockets were regularly fired from Mexico into Texas?

@273kelvin, your analogy is mistaken. You are assuming that the palestinians are not just in defending their homes. So how about what you overlooked? Palestinians in Gaza are in an open air prison like the warsaw ghetto. They have no freedom of movement, get little supplies as the zionazis don't allow in enough food, medicine or even crayons and books, not to mention the building supplies they need after the zionazis level their schools and such. So if your family was starving, killed for going out to fish in their own waters and living in a tent, you might fire a few bottle rockets at your oppressors too. But... perhaps you think that genocide is a good thing, oppression is good, land theft is good and the oppressed should just quietly die and not speak up (or fire a rocket now and then). Perspective is everything and many do like the ongoing zionazi occupation. Usually they are ignorant of realities there though.

@Ad4hubby Perhaps the schools would not be flattened if they did not use them as a shield to fire rockets from. As for genocide and land theft I leave that to you. As a US citizen you would have much more experience of this or have you given your home back to the Algonquians?

@273kelvin, put a fence around Mexico, deny the population movement to leave for medical help or education, restrict their access to their own waters, deny their goods crossing into their territory and see if we don't see a few rockets πŸ˜‰

Try again πŸ˜›

@273kelvin, I find it interesting that you are defending a people who committed the first modern act of terrorism in massacring 92 of your fellow Brits in the King David Hotel. Odd...

@Ad4hubby I think terrorism go back further than that

@273kelvin, I did say "modern" πŸ™‚ and you neglected to comment on treating Mexico as the Palestinians were treated. Perhaps as you are a Brit we should opt for Wales or Scotland. Though I suppose there's plenty of history of oppressing the Scots that proves the point nicely. Have a great day.

@Ad4hubby Just as you ignored the question "what if rockets were fired from Mexico"? Also if the avowed aim was the total destitution of the USA? One only has to look toward Cuba for an answer. I tend to get very tired of all the perceived BS regurgitated online. The use of words like "genocide" negate some facts like over 20% of the population of Israel is Arab. They are the 3rd largest party in the Knesset and the head of the supreme court is an Arab. Anyway if they were that bad would your government give them 3 billion a year?

@Ad4hubby I think your original phrase was "peaceful Palestinians" not "oppressed and fighting". If you want use words like genocide. Look towards Syria or Yemen but I don`t see any campaigns to boycott Saudi. Both our countries are too intent on selling them arms.


Most so called terror attacks are government organised designed to scare and control primitive being's aka us! So i'd not go attacking people for defending their race there's most likely some truth in what she's saying! The war on terror is a creation to sell wars that's all! If you want a better understanding of her religion you'll have to do some reading! I was born christian and to date Christianity has a lot to answer for!...

Awake Level 3 Jan 3, 2018

I guess what she might be trying to say is that a person that bombs a nightclub/ flies planes into buildings etc.. is not a real muslim or a good muslim... more of a brain washed idiot? Islam in meant to be peaceful. Just a thought πŸ™‚

Sacha Level 7 Jan 3, 2018

@DonCoryon I agree. After reading the Quran I find it hard to understand why this is referred to as a religion of peace. Just as I do not understand why Christians think their God is a morally good character after reading the bible. I won't pretend otherwise so as not to offend someone.

A brainwashed idiot? That'd be all religious people then. And a true muslim is told in the koran to kill non-believers, so that's ok then.

@DonCoryon You are absolutely right, Muhammad was a Military man. There are very violent versus in the Quran, and people with evil minds pick those interpret them how they wish for their own evil cause. Other Muslims interpret them in another way, these must be all the muslims I know, as they wouldn't hurt a fly, and they must go to mosque and get preached to by a man with the same way of thinking, as I say they see their religion as one of peace.
Though to me, all wars seem to start about religion so, weather you are Christian, Jewish or Muslim, thats where the fighting begins.That's where the hate begins. To be honest I see it most in Christians in America.
All I have seen in modern day hateful Islam is some brainwashed poor kids and some money hungry old fucktards on a power trip.
And yes I think all religion is kinda brainwashing. Though most people get brainwashed to be good than to be bad.
I hope I explained myself ok and make sense, Im terrible at getting my opinion across.

@GoldenDoll brainwashed idiot... I am going to use it πŸ™‚

@DonCoryon Yes exactly. Whenever someone says that islam is a religion of peace I'm like no islam's main prophet was a brutal conqueror! At least Jesus was a chill dude.

@Sacha - most people are brainwashed TO DO WHAT THEY'RE TOLD. That's the danger.

@RoboGraham Jesus wasn't that chilled - Matthew 10:34, Numbers 31:17, and lots more references of an uncool jeebus if you like.

@GoldenDoll I understand that

@GoldenDoll Oh word, I haven't read about him all that much. Just have a general perception of him being a peace and love hippie type. If he was even a real person at all.

@RoboGraham That's what they want you to think. If you ever want to reinforce your atheism, just read the bible. Not just the bits they tell you about. My favourites are Deuteronomy and Leviticus, and of course Job's daughters seducing him and having rampant sex with him, and luckily both got pregnant! - Genesis 19, 30-36.


Islam is a dangerous religion and the most problematic one out there today as it advocates hate and terrior. My advice would be not to confront her about her religion if you want to keep her as a friend because unfortunately if you do confront her it will likely be the end of your friendship.


Obviously she feels very defensive about this faith that her family , if not she also, belongs to. If you want to keep her friendship, stop talking about religion. If she brings it up, tell her kindly, that talking religion makes both of you upset, and that it is eroding your relationship. If she wants to keep your friendship she will stop.

PEGUS Level 5 Jan 6, 2018

I don't think you should have to bite your tongue with her. As long as you are explaining how you feel without being arrogant or degrading she should be willing to hear you out and respect your opinion. If she is so thin skinned that she gets upset then good riddance.


This person is a denier of the first order. She sounds like she is becoming further and further indoctrinated through some means. I would maintain distance. I would make distance and silence permanent.


I told a friend of many years to sling his hook because he kept preaching


Seems like you're between a rock and a hard place


Hi Talia, it's been quite some time after this post of yours. How's your relationship now with this friend?


Explain the "no-true-scotsman" fallacy to your friend.


My daughter is Jewish. This is not a question of belief but of race. The mum is Jewish and thats how it goes. She 21 and an atheist. Whilst she respects her culture and history, she rejects the religious part of it. This is mostly due to its subjugation of women.
You could explain to her that whist you respect her roots and insights into Islam. It is historically at the same age as Christianity was in the 16th century. With all it`s inherent sectarianism and violence and that you totally reject any doctrine that automatically makes you (as a woman) a 2nd class citizen.


Just be real with her. Be cool about it, and don't use a dick time. If y'all are really friends, then it'll survive any differences of opinion.


Just be real with her. Be cool about it, and don't use a dick time. If y'all are really friends, then it'll survive any differences of opinion.


I have family who converted to Islam and the rest of my family is southern baptists (imagine how fun get together are when you’re non heterosexual, agnostic, Poly, and covered in tattoos ????) and they say similar things like about terror attacks. I realize their religion can be pretty harmful if interpreted wrong but to me Christianity is the same way. If she brings up religion to you just ask that it be a topic to avoid. I hate religious debates because I see so many harmful ideas in both Christianity and Islam so I avoid it like the plague.


If she cannot handle you expressing your beliefs truthfully she is not a true friend.


If she was a true friend you could let her know about your feelings... so tell her and see how strong your friendship is.

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