IHEU report on atheists in danger

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IHEU report on atheists in danger

#1  Postby Wortfish » Oct 31, 2018 10:34 pm

The International and Ethical Humanist Union has published its 7th annual report on the treatment of atheists across the globe: https://freethoughtreport.com/download-the-report/

The report focuses mostly on Muslim countries as places where atheists are most in danger, even for their lives, and it has a distinctly Islamophobic tone. One bizarre testimony is from an atheist woman living in Iran who claims atheism is punishable by death. She also claims that the majority of Iranians are atheists despite polling showing that they constitute only 3-5%.

“I only came out as an atheist with my closest friends. Being an atheist and saying this in public is considered as big crime and is being sentenced to death. Nobody says that he or she is an atheist so easily in Iran, although the majority of the population is in fact. That’s the reason I never had to fear bad consequences in my family and with my friends.They all think like me. It would even be more disturbing to them if I say I am a believer. Sepideh


Human rights groups do claim that certain religious and non-religious people in Iran are discriminated against, but there are no credible reports of atheists being prosecuted, let alone being put to death, for publicly admitting that they are atheists. Is this report yet another spurious attempt by humanists and atheists to claim that they are being severely repressed and persecuted in Muslim countries when this is not the case at all?
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Re: IHEU report on atheists in danger

#2  Postby Sendraks » Oct 31, 2018 10:40 pm

There are plenty of credible reports. People are dying because of religious oppressiobln but, as ever the religious would rather pretend it's not happening than take responsibility.
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Re: IHEU report on atheists in danger

#3  Postby Wortfish » Oct 31, 2018 10:46 pm

Sendraks wrote:There are plenty of credible reports. People are dying because of religious oppressiobln but, as ever the religious would rather pretend it's not happening than take responsibility.


Where are there reports of atheists being put to death in Iran for publicly admitting that they are atheists? Just one will do.
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Re: IHEU report on atheists in danger

#4  Postby Animavore » Oct 31, 2018 11:28 pm

Wortfish wrote:yet another


What was the first one?
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Re: IHEU report on atheists in danger

#5  Postby Sendraks » Oct 31, 2018 11:35 pm

Wortfish wrote:
Where are there reports of atheists being put to death in Iran for publicly admitting that they are atheists? Just one will do.


Why just Iran? Why not Saudi Arabia? Bangladesh? Afghanistan? Sudan? To name but a few.
If you were genuinely interested in this subject and not feigning it as part of your ongoing apologetics, you'd not be asking such asinine questions.
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Re: IHEU report on atheists in danger

#6  Postby Wortfish » Oct 31, 2018 11:55 pm

Sendraks wrote:
Wortfish wrote:
Where are there reports of atheists being put to death in Iran for publicly admitting that they are atheists? Just one will do.


Why just Iran? Why not Saudi Arabia? Bangladesh? Afghanistan? Sudan? To name but a few.
If you were genuinely interested in this subject and not feigning it as part of your ongoing apologetics, you'd not be asking such asinine questions.


Because that is the one they focus on. But you are right, according to the liberal humanist newspaper, "The Independent", in 13 Muslims countries, atheism is punishable by death: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-styl ... 60561.html Trouble is, there are no actual reports of any atheist in those countries (which includes Malaysia) being sentenced to death for being an atheist. They just assume that "apostacy laws" mean that this is the case.
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Re: IHEU report on atheists in danger

#7  Postby Rumraket » Nov 01, 2018 12:39 am

Wortfish wrote: Is this report yet another spurious attempt by humanists and atheists to claim that they are being severely repressed and persecuted in Muslim countries when this is not the case at all?

Nice bait and switch.

While this woman's account of things does sound quite exaggerated (I too seriously doubt her claim that most Iranians are atheists), and Iran does not strictly have the death penalty merely for being an atheist afaiw, that putative fact can't be used as a lever for establishing that atheists and humanists in general aren't subject to disproportionate persecution and discrimination.
And I doubt that this woman's testimony forms the sole basis for a report on the general life experiences and actual living conditions of atheists.

You say "when this is not the case at all" to the claim by atheists from Muslim countries that "they are being severely repressed and persecuted in Muslim countries" but you do no work to establish your claim. And in fact the only data you seem to invoke to "refute" the claim that atheists are being "severely repressed and persecuated in Muslim countries" is to point out this woman's probably exaggerated account about the proportion of atheists and the law in Iran.

There's also a point to be made about what exactly the laws of different countries are, and what their interpretations and effects on society are.

Blasphemy laws are for example some times used to persecute atheists, who merely declare their atheism and state their reasons for being atheists (like there's no evidence for theism, the claims of religious scriptures are absurd etc), which are then found "blasphemous" and then they are sentenced according to the laws of the country. So it is true that it was not strictly the fact that they merely ARE atheists that got them sentenced, but that they spoke about it publicly and "offended the religious sensibilities" of butthurt religionutters.

And they don't have to be sentenced to death for there to still be a significant trend towards atheist prosecution and discrimination. The very existence of blasphemy laws is of course one of the ways in which atheists will invariably be disproportionally targeted for propsecution because butthurt religionutters are so ridiculously sensitive to statements to the effect that their bronze-age fables have no basis in fact or logic.
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Re: IHEU report on atheists in danger

#8  Postby Rumraket » Nov 01, 2018 12:42 am

Wortfish wrote:
Sendraks wrote:
Wortfish wrote:
Where are there reports of atheists being put to death in Iran for publicly admitting that they are atheists? Just one will do.


Why just Iran? Why not Saudi Arabia? Bangladesh? Afghanistan? Sudan? To name but a few.
If you were genuinely interested in this subject and not feigning it as part of your ongoing apologetics, you'd not be asking such asinine questions.


Because that is the one they focus on. But you are right, according to the liberal humanist newspaper, "The Independent", in 13 Muslims countries, atheism is punishable by death: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-styl ... 60561.html Trouble is, there are no actual reports of any atheist in those countries (which includes Malaysia) being sentenced to death for being an atheist. They just assume that "apostacy laws" mean that this is the case.

No, that's one of the things that it means. There's two forms of apostacy. The abandoning of religion entirely, aka becoming an atheist. And abandoning one religion and switching to another, for example switching to Judaism from Islam.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy#Contemporary_criminalization_of_apostasy

Note also the INHERENTLY discriminatory fact that it is legal to convert FROM other religions TO islam, but not the other way around in these countries.

Don't give us your bullshit apologetics.
Last edited by Rumraket on Nov 01, 2018 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: IHEU report on atheists in danger

#9  Postby Animavore » Nov 01, 2018 12:44 am

Speaking of blasphemy laws; another referendum win for Ireland this week.

https://m.independent.ie/irish-news/new ... 78068.html

I never thought I'd see the day Ireland gets progressive as fuck while the rest of the West is determined to go backwards.
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Re: IHEU report on atheists in danger

#10  Postby laklak » Nov 01, 2018 12:46 am

Lucky for me I live in a secular society with a 2nd Amendment, which I take full advantage of. All I have to say to the religious police is bring it, Godboy.
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Re: IHEU report on atheists in danger

#11  Postby Hermit » Nov 01, 2018 5:00 am

Wortfish wrote:...according to the liberal humanist newspaper, "The Independent", in 13 Muslims countries, atheism is punishable by death: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-styl ... 60561.html Trouble is, there are no actual reports of any atheist in those countries (which includes Malaysia) being sentenced to death for being an atheist. They just assume that "apostacy laws" mean that this is the case.

The Independent's report is inaccurate to the point of being worthless. The laws in the 13 countries it mentions do not define atheism as a capital crime, nor do they define believing in a religion other than the Islamic one as one. The capital offence is apostasy.
Apostasy in Islam (Arabic: ردة‎ riddah or ارتداد irtidād) is commonly defined as the conscious abandonment of Islam by a Muslim in word or through deed. It includes the act of converting to another religion or non-acceptance of faith to be irreligious, by a person who was born in a Muslim family or who had previously accepted Islam.

In short, the capital crime of unbelief applies only to people who were Muslims to begin with. This is why the tens of thousands of atheists and believers in religions other than Islam, who work in any of those 13 countries are in no fear of being sentenced to death for not being Muslims.
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Re: IHEU report on atheists in danger

#12  Postby Greyman » Nov 01, 2018 7:56 am

Hermit wrote:In short, the capital crime of unbelief applies only to people who were Muslims to begin with.
Define "Muslim to begin with" as pertains to those laws.
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Re: IHEU report on atheists in danger

#13  Postby hackenslash » Nov 01, 2018 10:37 am

Wortfish wrote:
Sendraks wrote:
Wortfish wrote:
Where are there reports of atheists being put to death in Iran for publicly admitting that they are atheists? Just one will do.


Why just Iran? Why not Saudi Arabia? Bangladesh? Afghanistan? Sudan? To name but a few.
If you were genuinely interested in this subject and not feigning it as part of your ongoing apologetics, you'd not be asking such asinine questions.


Because that is the one they focus on. But you are right, according to the liberal humanist newspaper, "The Independent", in 13 Muslims countries, atheism is punishable by death: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-styl ... 60561.html Trouble is, there are no actual reports of any atheist in those countries (which includes Malaysia) being sentenced to death for being an atheist. They just assume that "apostacy laws" mean that this is the case.


My friend, and friend to others here, Avijit Roy, was hacked to death in Bangladesh for promoting secular values, while local police watched on. His wife barely escaped with her life.

Meanwhile, Raif Badawi is in prison on a sentence of 10 years and 1000 lashes, while prosecutors are still trying to retry him for apostasy for the third time, despite having been acquitted on this charge multiple times.

There's something I really would like to say every time people raise this credibility bullshit. It begins with 'F' and ends with 'uck off'. This is not a troll's plaything.
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Re: IHEU report on atheists in danger

#14  Postby hackenslash » Nov 01, 2018 10:42 am

Animavore wrote:Speaking of blasphemy laws; another referendum win for Ireland this week.

https://m.independent.ie/irish-news/new ... 78068.html

I never thought I'd see the day Ireland gets progressive as fuck while the rest of the West is determined to go backwards.


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Re: IHEU report on atheists in danger

#15  Postby Wortfish » Nov 01, 2018 10:47 am

laklak wrote:Lucky for me I live in a secular society with a 2nd Amendment, which I take full advantage of. All I have to say to the religious police is bring it, Godboy.

If Mike Pence becomes president, you might not be so smug. There are still libel and defamation laws in the U.S. The SC could also become a 7-2 conservative body in the next 2 years. These people interpret the constitution as they like.
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Re: IHEU report on atheists in danger

#16  Postby zulumoose » Nov 01, 2018 10:52 am

Wortfish wrote:
laklak wrote:Lucky for me I live in a secular society with a 2nd Amendment, which I take full advantage of. All I have to say to the religious police is bring it, Godboy.

If Mike Pence becomes president, you might not be so smug. There are still libel and defamation laws in the U.S. The SC could also become a 7-2 conservative body in the next 2 years. These people interpret the constitution as they like.


From all accounts it appears that the U.S. is a de-facto religious society with guns although legally secular.
The U.K. though, is the complete opposite, having an official religion whilst being a de-facto secular society without guns.

I know which one I prefer.
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Re: IHEU report on atheists in danger

#17  Postby Wortfish » Nov 01, 2018 11:02 am

Rumraket wrote:
While this woman's account of things does sound quite exaggerated (I too seriously doubt her claim that most Iranians are atheists), and Iran does not strictly have the death penalty merely for being an atheist afaiw, that putative fact can't be used as a lever for establishing that atheists and humanists in general aren't subject to disproportionate persecution and discrimination. And I doubt that this woman's testimony forms the sole basis for a report on the general life experiences and actual living conditions of atheists.

I never claimed atheists do not face discrimination in Muslims countries like Iran and elsewhere. But there is a big difference between not getting a government job or entering university on account of admitting your atheism, and being locked up or even put to death for it.

You say "when this is not the case at all" to the claim by atheists from Muslim countries that "they are being severely repressed and persecuted in Muslim countries" but you do no work to establish your claim. And in fact the only data you seem to invoke to "refute" the claim that atheists are being "severely repressed and persecuated in Muslim countries" is to point out this woman's probably exaggerated account about the proportion of atheists and the law in Iran. There's also a point to be made about what exactly the laws of different countries are, and what their interpretations and effects on society are.

I checked Iran's constitution and found this: Article 23: "The investigation of individuals' beliefs is forbidden, and no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief." http://www.iranchamber.com/government/l ... tution.php So, being an atheist and admitting this is not a crime.

Blasphemy laws are for example some times used to persecute atheists, who merely declare their atheism and state their reasons for being atheists (like there's no evidence for theism, the claims of religious scriptures are absurd etc), which are then found "blasphemous" and then they are sentenced according to the laws of the country. So it is true that it was not strictly the fact that they merely ARE atheists that got them sentenced, but that they spoke about it publicly and "offended the religious sensibilities" of butthurt religionutters.

Blasphemy laws can apply both to Muslims and atheists alike, as well as those of other religions.

And they don't have to be sentenced to death for there to still be a significant trend towards atheist prosecution and discrimination. The very existence of blasphemy laws is of course one of the ways in which atheists will invariably be disproportionally targeted for propsecution because butthurt religionutters are so ridiculously sensitive to statements to the effect that their bronze-age fables have no basis in fact or logic.

It may be hard or even impossible to set up an atheist NGO in Iran or Saudi Arabia, which would be seen as subversive, but that doesn't mean that atheists are being severely persecuted for their non-belief.
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Re: IHEU report on atheists in danger

#18  Postby Hermit » Nov 01, 2018 11:14 am

Greyman wrote:
Hermit wrote:In short, the capital crime of unbelief applies only to people who were Muslims to begin with.
Define "Muslim to begin with" as pertains to those laws.
I quoted the definition in the post above yours.
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Re: IHEU report on atheists in danger

#19  Postby zulumoose » Nov 01, 2018 11:18 am

So if you were born to Muslim parents, who were defined as Muslim because their parents were Muslim etc etc ad infinitum, and none of you have ever believed as far back as anyone can remember, you are all still guilty of a capital crime.
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Re: IHEU report on atheists in danger

#20  Postby Alan B » Nov 01, 2018 11:33 am

Wortfish wrote:Trouble is, there are no actual reports of any atheist in those countries (which includes Malaysia) being sentenced to death for being an atheist.

Could be that the average atheist is a lot brighter than the average theist by keeping their mouth shut since their non-belief is of no concern to anyone else. Unlike the theist nutjob who will insist on pushing their religion down anyone's throat, regardless.

Wortfish wrote:I checked Iran's constitution and found this: Article 23: "The investigation of individuals' beliefs is forbidden, and no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief." http://www.iranchamber.com/government/l ... tution.php So, being an atheist and admitting this is not a crime.


Ah-ha! I can see the religious 'legal eagles' getting around this one - 'Atheism' is a NON-belief, so they are 'fair game'.
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