The Philippine Atheist and Agnostics Society (PATAS) will host its first convention, Filipino non-belief - are you ready for this? this Saturday 21 April at the Bayview Hotel, Manila.
Filipino non-belief - are you ready for this? will be the first atheists/agnostics convention in Asia and represents a significant step for non-believers in Asia. John Paraiso, Executive Director of PATAS said "This convention is a wake-up call for the Filipino non-believer that he or she is not alone. A call to come out of the closet and recognize that non-belief in a deity is neither a mental illness nor a desire to do wrong. The convention is also to call the attention of the Filipino pious, so that they can learn the truth about our stand as non-believers. It may be only a day event, but the impact of this convention will be felt for many days to come."
Atheist Alliance International, a sponsor of the Convention, will be represented at the event by Tanya Smith, President. Tanya Smith said "It is magnificent to see atheists in the Philippines being organised and active. After A Celebration of Reason in Australia last week and with conventions in Germany and Canada in May this is a fantastic period of atheist activism around the world."
Atheist Alliance International congratulates the 2012 Global Atheist Convention, A Celebration of Reason
The 2012 Global Atheist Convention, A Celebration of Reason will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre this weekend, 13 - 15 April.
Arranged and hosted by the Atheist Foundation of Australia, A Celebration of Reason will feature some of the world's leading atheist speakers including Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Elton and Eugenie Scott.
Atheist Alliance International will be represented at the Convention by Tanya Smith, President, and Victor Franco, Director. Tanya Smith said "With thousands attending, this will be the largest atheist convention ever, anywhere. Followed by atheist conventions in the Philippines, Canada and Germany over the next month or so, A Celebration of Reason is a leading example of atheists being visible, organised and saying 'the damage done to our society by religion has got to stop'. It will be a fantastic weekend of rational thought and a unique opportunity to hear from this group of world-class speakers."
Atheist Alliance International launches new branding
Atheist Alliance International (AAI) is pleased to launch its new branding today, a further step in AAI's evolution after the 2011restructure to separate its former US-focused activities and re-launch as a genuinely global alliance.
The new branding was created by Jake Stollery of Stollery creative company in Australia, who said "The logo is a visual unification of the characters A, A, and I, represented by the two apexes, single line and circle at the base. Elegant typography balances the strong, crimson logo - a colour chosen for its association with the atheist 'Out Campaign'. The new branding is the culmination of several months of close work with the AAI Board and represents the bold, progressive direction of AAI's goals."
Tanya Smith, AAI President, said "We are thrilled with the new branding. It is the result of Stollery's creativity and input from the many AAI members and supporters who took the time to review options and provide their feedback."
Podras encontrar una version en espanol despues de la version en ingles
Atheist Alliance International strongly condemns violence in Afghanistan after Quran burning
Atheist Alliance International strongly condemns the violent protests in Afghanistan, which erupted after copies of the Quran were burnt in error at a US base. It has been reported that more than 30 people have died, including protesters and US troops.
Tanya Smith, President of Atheist Alliance International said "We oppose the burning of the Quran. Burning books - regardless of their content - is an affront to freedom of expression, and a particularly insensitive action in this case. The mistake was quickly acknowledged and apologised for, as it should have been. However, the response to the burning of the Quran has been far worse than the burning itself - real people have died and Afghanistan has been destabilised further. Those who protest violently and commit murder deserve far stronger condemnation than those who accidentally burn a book, no matter how sacred some people consider that book to be."
Indonesian authorities must support freedom of speech and conscience
Atheist Alliance International launches appeal to support Alexander Aan
Atheist Alliance International (AAI) demands that the Indonesian government support freedom of speech and freedom of conscience by immediately releasing Alexander Aan from custody and dropping all charges against him, pursuing the perpetrators of the physical attack against Aan and repealing the country’s oppressive anti-blasphemy legislation.
“Alexander simply expressed his view that there is no god. In contrast, his attackers assaulted a real person and must be brought to justice,” said AAI President Tanya Smith.
“Indonesia’s anti-blasphemy laws are an appalling relic from the country’s period of dictatorship. They should be repealed as an essential step towards the freedom of Indonesia's people and the country's participation in the modern world,” Smith said.
Karl Karnadi, an Indonesian atheist associated with AAI said "Any religious person would say that gods of other religions do not exist. Why should Alex be arrested for effectively saying the same? Just because he is an atheist doesn't mean that he should be jailed. Religious and non-religious people are going to disagree and that may offend some, but that's a natural outcome from people having different views. Such an absurd law should not exist in Indonesia or in any other place."
Police in Dharmasraya, western Sumatra, on Friday (20 January) said that Aan had been charged with blasphemy for postings he made on a 1,200-member Facebook group.
Aan had initially been taken into ‘protective custody’ after he was beaten by a mob of religious zealots. There have been no indications that his assailants will face prosecution. Aan, a civil servant, has also been threatened with the loss of his job.
Muslim-majority Indonesia officially recognizes only six faith traditions: Islam, protestant Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism. Citizens are forced to choose from one of these traditions when applying for identification cards.
Atheist Alliance International has launched an appeal for donations to help pay for Aan's legal costs and to support the Aan family's living expenses while he is in jail, at www.atheistalliance.org/support-aai/donate (Legal/Support Fund for Alex Aan).
UPDATE: Please sign the petition to support Alexander Aan here.
UPDATE: Please contact the Indonesian authorities to call for Alex Aan's release and express your concern about Indonesia's blasphemy laws.