People lie! Oh sorry, I mean we lie. We lie to avoid facing problems. We lie in our resumes to get the job we want or call in sick to our manager just to hang out with our friends. We lie to our families because we want to be the good kids who always make them proud. We have sex while we’re not married, and many people get married just because they can’t say the truth! Some pretend they are straight and love the female body. We put a lot of thought, energy and management into keeping it secret, because we do not want to be sinners in everyone’s eyes. We hide so we are not killed just because of sexual orientation.

Religion has made lying an essential behavior in the Middle Eastern society. The Islamic holy book (Quran) states in one of its verses:

لقد خلقنا الانسن في أحسن تقويم (٤)

We have certainly created man in the best of stature (5:4)

It drove the people to show only the most perfect, nice or respectful image of themselves. I was raised in an Islamic society. In public schools, they taught us that human beings are the best of god’s creation. These thoughts mixed with the local culture confused us. For example, there are two kids in primary school. One is nice-looking, from a wealthy family and able-bodied while the other is less attractive, poor and handicapped. Both are from religious Islamic families. According to the Quran, god made people in the best form, but why not in this case? I know the typical religious answer for my question: god brought us to life, life is nothing but a test and to get to heaven you have to succeed this test… blah blah blah blah……. Of course, this poor child would start to lie. Honestly, if he only becomes a liar, he has done great work on himself. He could become a thief or go with ISIS to gain the eternal honor in heaven.

Changing society begins by changing the teaching system in schools and removing religious classes. Only then will we have better, more honest, non-racist and open-minded generations!

Badr Kamoona

April, 6, 2015

Member of Atheist Alliance Of Iraq

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