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Matt Healy, the lead singer from popular Manchester, United Kingdom pop-rock band the 1975, has long been known to be reckless in his activism and promotion of his personal brand of atheism. He’s back at it, essentially railing against Islam, or any organized religion, in a recent interview with Mexican outlet Brut Mexico.
“Nowadays, I honestly think, if you’re piously religious–if you’re dogmatically faithful–you should be kind of ashamed of yourself,” says Healy. “I’m bored with certain religions as well because certain racisms are aligned with them.”
“[You] can’t criticize Islam as a set of ideas…because you’re inherently criticizing people. But that’s a problem with society because Islamophobia does exist, people are bigoted. But what that really is is thick, scared people not liking brown people. Whereas I love people, I love brown people.”
He continues: “I just don’t know when I’m allowed to be offended. Religious people are always allowed to be offended: ‘Oh, we’re offended by this, I’m offended by that.’
“I have to get up every day and read some abhorrent that’s happened in the name of religion. And I never get a day. I never get a day where I’m allowed to be offended. … Where are my rights as an atheist?” the singer asks with a curious, ironic sincerity.
Of course, hundreds of opinions—both for and against Healy’s messaging—arrived in short order. Many claimed he was misunderstood, but most saw his rant as passive-aggressive Islamophobia.
matty healy is racist and islamophobic, he uses his activism as a performative platform to whine about religion that have no affect on his life, and to make money under the pretense of being diverse and inslusive, he wants to sell the 1975 hijab merch but shit on opressed muslims— nasrin🕊 (@myfriendnas) December 11, 2019
What beliefs are you even saying? He and the band have been very welcoming to all and have one of the most diverse fan bases I've ever seen. They are working on releasing a hijab for Pete's sake. I mean name another band that's this big that's doing that.— Mike Boucher (@mikeboucher21) December 11, 2019
Matty Healy doesn't care about anything or anyone else, he wants you to think he does but all he actually cares about is seeming "woke" when really he couldn't give a shit, he's so painfully performative and self indulgent please stop making excuses for him it's not worth it— ethan (@human_dis4ster) December 10, 2019
@CHUNGHJIN and @GeorgiaTeague4 challenged his use of privilege as a white male.
matty healy is the most annoying white boy who picked up a dictionary and spouted what sounded best https://t.co/DbxeGYGx9N— Georgia Teague (@GeorgiaTeague4) December 9, 2019
A number even opening accused Healy of hiding behind his atheist/humanist designation, to justify his distaste for Islam.
You’re a white cis het rich man .— part time neanderthal, part time viking (@sapphicteets) December 10, 2019
He’s actually forcing a struggle to justify his islamophobia, then masks it with a few hithers and thithers.
Just be xenophobic with your chest and keep it moving akh https://t.co/ZnETmYWTwx
he really said "where are my rights as an atheist" like he's someone in saudi arabia waiting to be executed for being an atheist and not just some white dude in the uk who feels entitled to criticizing a religion where its followers are already targeted at an all time high https://t.co/BXkv9BN7Un— ramona (@gothforbid) December 10, 2019
Even other atheists are openly questioning his intentions on Twitter.
Kahron Spearman is a music and film critic whose work can also regularly be regularly found in the Austin Chronicle.