An open letter to atheists, Christians, and Muslims about working together to condemn ISIS

My criticism of religion must take a back seat for a moment. Lately I’ve been writing a lot more about ISIS — and with good cause. The Islamic State is the perfect example of what happens when religion goes horribly wrong. And for that reason I find it difficult to convince myself to write about bible contradictions.

My challenge to burn ISIS flags has been mostly met with approval (sometimes with an asterisk). Even followers of Christ agree with me that burning the ISIS flag is a satisfying response to the murder and terror carried out by members of the Islamic State party. Muslims too have offered their support; however, some have also criticized me for burning the ISIS flag because it contains the Shahada. This post stands as a call to temporarily reconcile the contradictions between our religious beliefs (or lack thereof) in order to stand in solidarity against the Islamic State.

(I highly recommend this collection of images showing what ISIS does. These are relatively not graphic. One picture contains a nail in a man’s hand).

To Christians

IS is a terrifying organization. For those of you in the US or some other non-Levantine country, they may seem a far away nuisance with little threat to non-Muslim countries. While IS might be of little concern to the general state of US security, you should wholeheartedly condemn them for torturing and murdering Christians. This is a group that is willing to slaughter everyone who stands in the way of their goal to restore the caliphate, and Christians are no exception.

I’m usually against war, but I hope that — no matter what side of the political spectrum you lean — you will support any policy aimed at crushing ISIS. I hope we can do this while mitigating civilian casualties. I’m willing to cross the isle here and team up with Democrats, Republicans, and everyone else who condemns IS. I hope you will see anti-IS atheists (I would assume all atheists detest IS) and anti-IS Muslims as your friends and vocalize your resistance to IS tactics.

To Muslims

IS has stolen your flag. Once a symbol of Islamic faith containing the Seal of Muhammad, IS now uses this flag in their terror campaigns. For those of you who criticized me for burning the Shahada: I would’ve burned any flag IS used, even if it had a picture of Christopher Hitchens on it. By standing against IS and vocally supporting direct action against them, you will have the opportunity to cleanse the blood from the Seal of Muhammad.

Don’t be fooled into thinking IS doesn’t give Islam a bad name. Remember how al-Qaeda gave Islam a bad name following the 2001 terror attacks in the US? The same thing is happening right now. If you’re angry at me for burning the Shahada, I hope you are a thousandfold angrier at IS for murdering innocent people and terrorizing thousands. IS is precisely why some people find it difficult to believe there are moderate Muslims. Prove them wrong.

Please see anti-IS Christians and anti-IS atheists as your friends. We all want the same thing here: the defeat of arguably the most dangerous Islamist organization ever.

To atheists

If you haven’t already condemned IS using the strongest words possible, shame on you. This is precisely what we’ve been upset about. We can bitch and moan all we want about people putting up the 10 Commandments in courthouses, but we better not do that before we’ve condemned IS.

Many of you are against military action because it tramples sovereignty and catches innocent lives in the crossfire. But I think there are times when we should make an exception. And this is one of those times.

And I think it is our ethical duty to spend a little less time criticizing Christianity and a little more time supporting the complete annihilation of the Islamic State. Remember, even Christopher Hitchens supported the wars against Saddam Hussein and the Taliban.


Atheists, Christians, and Muslims rarely see eye-to-eye on issues. But this is one where we can all work together in hopes of returning stability to the Levant. We all want the same thing, and I hope we can all work together to unequivocally and multilaterally condemn ISIS to the furthest extent possible.

About Rayan Zehn

I'm a political scientist.
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11 Responses to An open letter to atheists, Christians, and Muslims about working together to condemn ISIS

  1. ISIS is a descendent of Hitler’s Nazis.

    To associate mainstream fascist, genocidal iSLAM with Christianity is raw, malignant ignorance.

    • Rayan Zehn says:

      I think you misunderstood this post. I’m writing about Christians, Muslims, and atheists supporting a military action to wipe ISIS from the face of the earth. I’m not comparing Christians to ISIS. It’s quite the opposite.

      • Zehn,

        You criticize God for annihilating evil in the ancient world, but you don’t hesitate to wish the annihilation of the modern evil, ISIS.

        Only this time the God you summon is the same military might that annihilated the Nazis and Imperial Japan a lifetime ago, the US military.

        What’s wrong with that picture?

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        I think we’re in agreement here. Would you support military action against ISIS, as I would support it?

        You can call me a hypocrite if you wish. When a group of terrorists kill innocent people in the name of god (in this case Allah), I must morally put my foot down, and I might assume you’d do the same. If you do wish to see them annihilated, let’s focus on that and not our previous disagreements. I’m taking a break from criticizing religion until I’m satisfied that ISIS is universally condemned.

      • Zehn,

        President George Bush turned Iraq and Afghanistan into meat grinders for Islamic extremists. The Islamic extremists would go there to engage in terror and US forces would chew them into hamburger.

        You hated George Bush who did exactly what you are demanding now.

        Baraq Obama who you supported with all your heart and soul enabled the resurgence of genocidal Islamic fascism throughout the Middle East.

        Why was it a crime for George Bush to annihilate the Islamists but now it’s okay because your hero Baraq Obama has let ISIS run wild?

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        You’re misrepresenting my political affiliation. I made it clear in my post that “I’m willing to cross the isle here and team up with Democrats…” meaning I don’t support Obama.

        I still don’t understand why you’re beating up on me when we clearly agree on this issue. Can’t we agree that we agree?

  2. Pingback: An open letter to atheists, Christians, and Muslims about working together to condemn ISIS | Christians Anonymous

  3. Pingback: An open letter to atheists, Christians, and Muslims about working together to condemn ISIS

  4. Pingback: ISIS: Fascism With An Islamic Twist | Amusing Nonsense

  5. This atheist is in complete agreement. IS exemplifies how terrifying fanatical religion of any sort can become.

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