Yep. All of them. So if you’re reading this and you’re autistic and somehow religiously confused, let Turkish sociologist Fehmi Kaya (pictured above) settle that once and for all: you’re an atheist. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Done. The reasoning of Mr. Kaya, who is somehow the head of Health and Education Associations for Autistic Children in Turkey, is that auties have “a lack of a section for faith in their brains.”
“That is why they don’t know how to pray, how to believe in God. It is necessary to create awareness in these children through methods of therapy.”
Not only does he say that all auties are atheists, he also says that all atheists are auties:
“Researchers in the USA and Canada say that atheism is a different form of autism.”
Disregarding the many things that are wrong with that statement (such as factual inaccuracy, weasel words, etc.) for a minute, let’s analyze these two statements in tandem. He’s, in essence, saying two different things and clumsily passing them off as similar. First, he says that all auties are within the larger group of atheists. Then, by calling atheism an alternative form of autism, he forgets the implication of the last thing he said and implies that atheists are within the larger group of auties. Therefore, in Fehmi’s mind, the autistic population is in a quantum state of being the smaller group AND the larger group in comparison to atheists.
Here’s a picture of me and Fehmi after I interviewed him:
They had to escort me out of the building.
“We cannot expect a child who cannot recognise a picture to recognize God. We need to help the autistic child recognise objects through therapy by targeting areas of senses in the brain.” [sic]
Because recognizing a picture is exactly like recognizing God, amirite?
But it turns out that some Turks hate him as much as we do. One Turk in a Reddit thread even said that he’s basically the Turkish Todd Akin.
UPDATE: Apparently, Mr. Kaya didn’t mean to imply that all autistic children were a bunch of little Christopher Hitchenses:
“The message I wished to give was not about autism and atheism, but to highlight that these children cannot communicate, cannot form empathy, live in their own worlds and are isolated.”
So instead of saying “these children cannot communicate, cannot form empathy, live in their own worlds and are isolated,” he originally decided to make his point by calling us atheists, a term that is remotely, if at all, related to what he was trying to say. He expected us to do a creative interpretation of the word “atheist.” He might as well have made his point by performing contemporary interpretive dance for the press.