“There is a reason why I feel such intellectual empathy for atheists. I was one. ‘Atheist,’ however, is probably too weak a word. By the time I entered my teen years, I had already finished devouring the written works of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens, and I had become what Hitchens liked to call an Anti-Theist. Not only did I laugh at the idea of God, I believed that religiosity was akin to a Schizoid delusion. It was a bitter phase in my life. I bumped Rage Against the Machine, and I couldn’t stand George W. Bush—raging against religion seemed to fit the package.
I’m an older, wiser man now. Not yet old, and not yet wise—but more so of both than I once was. I still bump Rage Against the Machine, and I still dislike George W. Bush (though my feelings have transformed over the years into something closer to pity). But I am now a Muslim. Alhamdulillah. Be that as it may, I remember what it was like to not believe. I remember the feelings of distrust, of caginess. I remember what it was like to have heard only one side of the discussion.
This is the reason that I felt compelled to write this article. Most young people today have heard the name of at least one of the Anti-Theist writers that I listed above. A lot have probably been exposed to their arguments through lectures or debates on YouTube, or shows like Real Time With Bill Maher. And even if they’ve never even been in the same state as a copy of The God Delusion, they’ve probably nurtured their own gnawing questions and understandable doubts about their faith, and been disturbed by a seeming lack of answers. If they’re anything like I was, they’re probably thinking to themselves one (or more) of the following things…”