Created on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 01:34
Abdel Aziz Mohamed Albaz, also known as "Ben Baz," has been released from prison in Kuwait where he was held (but never tried) on charges of blasphemy for over a year.
Albaz, a 27-year-old Egyptian atheist blogger, was arrested in early January 2013 by Kuwaiti authorities. While Albaz had been known for posting on his blog stories of the relationship between religion, the State and secularism. The Constitution of Kuwait makes Islam the state religion, and considers
Sharia a primary source of legislation. The Kuwaiti parliament passed a law in 2012 introducing the death
penalty for Muslims who blaspheme against Islam, while non-Muslims who
blaspheme faced ten years or more in prison. The law provides that any
Muslim(!) citizen may file a complaint against an author if the citizen
believes that the author has defamed Islam, the ruling family, or public
A hearing on Albaz' case had been scheduled for last February 28, but it's unclear what was decided at the hearing or even whether the hearing actually occurred. After a year, Kuwaiti authorities have apparently let him out on his own recognizance - of course, long after he would have lost his job and probably his residence, and without any due process
Created on Monday, 03 February 2014 18:21
Religious Prisoner Alexander Aan Released From Indonesian Prison
The Jakarta News reported on 31 January that atheist Alexander Aan had been released early from his prison sentence of 2-1/2 years for "inciting religious hostility" for posting on his personal Facebook page that "there is no god."
According to the article, Aan was released "on license" (probation), which means that he is required to report regularly and frequently to Indonesian authorities for the foreseeable future. He also still remains liable for a Rp 100 million rupiah (US$8,190) fine imposed as part of his sentence.
Created on Tuesday, 31 December 2013 17:49
continued to wield undue influence in world culture and politics, with a number
of seismic shifts felt throughout 2013. Here are the top stories of 2013 noted
by Atheist Alliance International:
Created on Saturday, 28 December 2013 23:54
On 25 December 2013, a Saudi judge recommended that a liberal activist and blogger Raef Badawi be tried again in a higher court for apostasy - a charge that could carry the death penalty, rights campaigners say.
Raef Badawi was already convicted and sentenced in the ultra-conservative kingdom in July to seven years in jail and 600 lashes for setting up a "liberal" network and for allegedly insulting Islam.
Created on Monday, 25 November 2013 08:00
Christian Zealots within the Republican Party
WRITTEN BY R. CLEVENGER, AAI NEWS
The Christian zealots, who gained control of
many government seats with the Tea Party push back in 2010, are taking stands
and actively impeding progress toward acceptance and tolerance across the U.S.
and replacing it with biblical-based intolerance.
In my home state of Pennsylvania,
there is a bill that has
been brought forth by Rep. Rick Saccone, a republican from Allegheny County,
that would force every public school in the state to display “In God We Trust”
upon a plaque or through the display of student artwork on school property.
This is an obvious attempt to propagate their religious beliefs onto young,
developing minds before they reach the age of reason. Just as churches target
youth and those who are vulnerable and in need, the Republicans are misusing
their offices to further their religious views.
Created on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 02:30
In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, the largest typhoon on record, barrelling through the Philippines, Atheist Alliance International and our Philippines affiliate, Philippines Atheists and Agnostics Society, have teamed up to provide disaster relief to the typhoon-stricken communities on the islands of Leyta and Cebu.
For more information on the program as well as donating, visit this page.
Created on Thursday, 07 November 2013 04:40
within the Catholic Church
By M.J., AAI NEWS TEAM
Recent activities in and by the Catholic
Church indicate significant challenges for and struggles within its leadership,
as the Church attempts to define a way forward in the modern world, which is often
at odds with many of the traditional messages of the Church. Sexual and
financial scandals have eroded confidence in the Church and contributed to the
tide of people leaving the faith. These and other issues of concern to the
Church will be discussed here in light of recent events.
The Church knows something needs to be
done. Recent meetings held by the Catholic Church in Europe highlight issues of
high concern to the Church in the region, issues which greatly affect the
influence and the future of the Church: Secularization, Youth and Islam.
Europe is largely secular, and as the
Church seeks to maintain a strong influence on politics and society it knows
that is has to learn to deal with that fact. A meeting was held by the Council of
European Bishops (CCEE) in Bratislava, Slovakia to discuss the issue of
secularization, the separation of Church and State, how these threaten the
church, and how the church should move ahead.
are of course of immense importance to society, for they will be the future
leaders, voters, consumers, and in the case of the Church, they will either be
followers, or they won’t. The Church knows full well that if the young do not
accept religious teachings then the church will fail. The meeting in Bratislava
highlighted that evangelizing and winning the youth into the religion is both a
high priority and a significant challenge.
Created on Thursday, 28 November 2013 02:08
PRIMATE PRIDE DAY –
With great pleasure we celebrated the Primate Pride Day, as a latinoamerican initiative proposed by the web Sindioses since 2010. 24th of November was chosen as the date in which we remember the 154th anniversary of the official release of “On the Origin of the Species” and the 39th anniversary of the discovery of Lucy, the Australopithecus: two landmarks that not only changed our view of the world but gave way to a thought revolution that continues to our days, both admired and criticized.
The Asociación de Ateos y Agnósticos del Atlántico (and the Fundación Bacanería Planetaria) decided to organize an event this Saturday 23th with a divulgation conference showing the pride we feel about our evolutive origins, looking to share the facts with the general public and state our disagreement with the creacionist explanations that wish to belittle the scientific view, trying to put themselves at the same level.
Our celebration was a pleasant afternoon in which we reflected about our nature and place in society through the talks of Juan Torres Castellar (The evidence of evolution), Luis Felipe Zapata (Homosexuality: A evolutionist and psychobiologic view) and Jorge Senior (Science, Religion and Democracy), to whom we are grateful for sharing their knowledge with us. We also gave away some prizes and ate some bananas at coffee break!
See you again next year!
Created on Monday, 18 November 2013 08:00
Circumcision and the
rights of the child
Circumcision has long been a cultural and health related
practice, possibly dating back 15,000 years. Theories as to its origin include
identifying slaves, hygiene, a rite of passage to adulthood and a sign of
membership within a group. In recent times it has been suggested as an aid to
preventing the spread of HIV in adult men, and in Victorian times as a cure for
almost any illness, including epilepsy and insanity. The most widespread reason
for circumcision now is a child or infant’s rite of passage into a religion.
One person who opposes circumcision for children and infants
is Fredrik Malmberg, Sweden’s Ombudsman for Children. According to Malmberg, circumcision
violates the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child, and there
is no sound basis for it to be carried out on children. His argument is based
on the lack of medical justification, the suffering of the child and their
inability to consent.
Created on Thursday, 07 November 2013 04:45
It's that time of the year
again when the streets are bloody and meat is eaten like there's no tomorrow.
It's Eid ul Adha - the Islamic
festival of animal sacrifice.
The ritual has its origin in
the Koran when Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his most beloved son, Ismael.
When Ismael was about 13, God tried to test Abraham's faith. He showed up in
Abraham's dream and commanded him to sacrifice Ismael, who was born after many
years of prayers.
Created on Tuesday, 05 November 2013 03:47
Originally published November 4, 2013 by Hemant Mehta, The Friendly Atheist
Over the weekend, the Convention on the Constitution held meetings in Ireland to discuss changes to the nation’s Constitution and then make recommendations to the government.
Relevant to us is the need to repeal the blasphemy law, which currently states:
The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious,
or indecent matter is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance
Atheist Ireland has been fighting for the law’s repeal for a while now and the group’s Chairperson Michael Nugent spoke at this weekend’s convention alongside fellow advocates for the law’s repeal, Professor David Nash of Oxford Brookes University and Human Rights Officer of Atheist Ireland Jane Donnelly.