Armin Navabi, an Iranian Canadian ex-Muslim atheist and secular activist has become the latest target by Hindu Twitter for tweeting a Goddess Kali cartoon and calling it 'sexy'.
“Okay! I'm in love with Hinduism. I never knew you had sexy goddesses like these. Why would anyone pick any other religion?” wrote Navabi.
A complaint was also filed against Navabi by two individuals on Twitter, under IPC section 504 (intentionally insulting, provocation to break public peace), 505 (incite class community), 153, 153A (attacking religion), and 67 and 67A of the Information and Technology Act.
Eventually, the post invited the wrath of several Hindus on Twitter.
Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut also slammed him for the same. She wrote, “Ha ha for you to use the power of art to sexualise purity of Mahakali, Bharavi, wife of Kala Bhairav, mother of death simply depicts your suppressed sexuality, you must be getting wet nights thinking of your mother breast feeding you and pushing you out of her womb, grow up kid.”
One user wrote, “What if he posted such a pic of your mother on social media? You would have felt triggered, right? But if you would be cool with even that, then it proves you have no respect for your mother! Goddess Kali is considered mother in Hinduism!! SHE IS our mother!!”
“1 crore for those who will behead u,” wrote another.
Here are some more reactions.
In his defence, Navabi in his livestream addressed the outrage on social media and said the tweet was meant on a “positive note” and despite the portrayal of the Goddess in the cartoon, he maintained that “you wouldn’t slut shame your own Goddess, they too have sexual desires.”
Navabi added that when it came to consent, the Goddess can deal with it herself because if anyone messes with her she is powerful enough to behead them.
Who is Armin Navabi?
Armin Navabi is an author and podcaster based in Canada. He is the founder of online freethought community Atheist Republic, a Canada-based non-profit organisation.
The NGO has branches around the world such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
According to reports, Navabi was born and brought up in Tehran. He strongly believed in the afterlife and that hell is real. To stop himself from sinning, Navabi tried to commit suicide by jumping out his school window, which was unsuccessful.
It left him in a wheelchair for 7 months, during which he missed a year of school.
He went on to be a devout Muslim and graduated from the University of Tehran in molecular biology.
Navabi eventually lost his faith in God and became an atheist. He moved to Columbia to study finance, after which he obtained Canadian citizenship in 2004.
As an author, he debuted with the book Why There Is No God (2014).
What is the Atheist Republic?
It can be traced back to an Orkut group called ‘Iranian Atheists’, which Navabi founded in 2003, while he was in Tehran.
After discovering other nonbelievers, Navabi made a Facebook page called ‘Atheist Republic’ in 2012, and subsequently made a website of the same name.
The community fights for others with similar schools of thought, including issues faced by the LGBTQ clan and women’s rights.