More quality stuff from the NYTimes. See, all Muslims secretly want to be Western. Even in the heart of the most non-Western place on earth, people are pining to be free and being free means drinking, having a boyfriend, living without rules, etc. Religion forces you to give up these joys of life for the sake of God or piety, but why? Just have fun!

What is the response to this?

One approach is to just accept this framing and say: yes, give up the joys of life for the sake of God. That is the easy but completely ineffectual response. Yes, it is true in principle that one sacrifices certain things for the sake of God and that is a good thing. But that only makes sense in the internal logic of religion. Someone who is outside that framework who doesn’t really believe in something like organized religion or religious law will not find that very compelling. In fact, that response only reinforces their misconceptions.

The better response is to question why drinking, doing drugs, giving up your body for the cheap pleasure of whatever guy tells you you have pretty eyes is joyful. Who put these ideas into your head? Where do they come from? Putting those questions aside, even if you don’t believe in religious morality, are you not aware of all the harms and risks involved with these activities? The most thought that a typical Iranian youth gives to these issues is, this is what they do in America and they are free and we are not because alcohol is illegal blah blah barf.

This is what Muslim society has become.