Everything you wanted to know about Islam ... and what they wouldn't tell you, anyway.
Funded! $8K -- Mini book tour: I will be able to attend Freedom from Religion in Portland. In addition, I will sign up for book tables wherever available at the conferences I will be attending.
$10K -- Bigger book tour: I will be able to travel all over the United States to hold events and procure book tables to promote the book. This will likely be occurring sometime early next year, given my publishing timeline.
- There's a girl at my school who wears skin-tight clothing but tops it off with a headscarf -- what's the point?
- Are Muslims really obliged to kill all disbelievers?
- 72 virgins -- need I say more?
- What is a Cupid's Muslim?
- Is there such a thing as a gay Muslim?
- What's the real difference between a Shiite and a Sunni Muslim?
- Why would anyone convert to Islam? Bacon, amirite?
- How can I get that attractive Muslim to go out with me? (Note: I assume no responsibility from injuries you might sustain by asking a Muslim out.)
- I'm not a racist, but there's some kind of difference between Black Muslims and other Muslims, isn't there?
- Does Islamic law cover pubic hair maintenance?
- Why do they keep calling it a religion of peace when it doesn't seem that way to me?
- What was it like to be a Muslim right after 9/11?
That saying is how people who share my Desi Muslim background would share their enthusiasm for the beginning of the month of fasting and penance that is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar (see, you're already catching on). For those of us who have left the faith, it's a month of awkwardly not eating in front of your family from sunrise to sunset. I would like to make it a month where people who aren't fasting (and maybe the more open-minded among those who are) help to make a much-needed resource available to the public: A Skeptic's Guide to Islam.
The Project Itself
On Skepchick, I write conversationally, informally, and with (more than) occasional silliness. I also cite the heck out of what I say. I will be bringing that same style, tone, and rigorous approach to the book. In terms of perspective, I was an American Muslim born-and-raised believer until I left the religion for philosophical, rather than political, reasons. In other words, while I know that not all Muslims are terrorists, I don't believe that none of them are, either.
The book will mostly cover what non-Muslims who lack an Islamic background need to know about Islam and Muslims from a non-pandering perspective, along with a glossary of terms that aren't easily Google-able and an annotated bibliography for further informed study.
All funds will cover access to research materials (both online databases and any book purchases I might end up needing to make); proper cover art and graphic design for the digital and print versions; ISBNs and barcodes; editing, creating and maintaining a website for the book; conference costs to promote the book to skeptics and atheists all over the country and the world; and, of course, writing time. I also currently have free access to lots of obscure Islamic books that only Muslims would bother to buy; quite soon, that access will become limited.
In addition to my writing on Skepchick, I have been an active participant in atheist and skeptical organizations and events since 2007. See my bio page for more.
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