Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:49 PM
Nye Bevan (14,767 posts)
Atheists and Islam: Ex-Muslim atheists are becoming more outspoken, but tolerance is still rare.
A MOB attacked Alexander Aan even before an Indonesian court in June jailed him for two and a half years for “inciting religious hatred”. His crime was to write “God does not exist” on a Facebook group he had founded for atheists in Minang, a province of the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Like most non-believers in Islamic regions, he was brought up as a Muslim. And like many who profess godlessness openly, he has been punished.
In a handful of majority-Muslim countries atheists can live safely, if quietly; Turkey is one example, Lebanon another. None makes atheism a specific crime. But none gives atheists legal protection or recognition. Indonesia, for example, demands that people declare themselves as one of six religions; atheism and agnosticism do not count. Egypt’s draft constitution makes room for only three faiths: Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
Sharia law, which covers only Muslims unless incorporated into national law, assumes people are born into their parents’ religion. Thus ex-Muslim atheists are guilty of apostasy—a hudud crime against God, like adultery and drinking alcohol. Potential sanctions can be severe: eight states, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania and Sudan have the death penalty on their statute books for such offences.
In reality such punishments are rarely meted out. Most atheists are prosecuted for blasphemy or for inciting hatred. (Atheists born to non-Muslim families are not considered apostates, but they can still be prosecuted for other crimes against religion.) Even in places where laws are lenient, religious authorities and social attitudes can be harsh, with vigilantes inflicting beatings or beheadings.
2 replies, 510 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Atheists and Islam: Ex-Muslim atheists are becoming more outspoken, but tolerance is still rare. (Original post)
|Nye Bevan||Nov 2012||OP|
Response to Nye Bevan (Original post)
Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:04 PM
Warpy (74,895 posts)
2. The first truly outspoken atheist I ever knew in real life
was an Arab kid in my high school. He was Palestinian, raised a Muslim, knew there was no god, and didn't give a shit who he told. This was in the south in a sea of Southern Baptists, so of course he joined me in being as popular as anthrax. A few months later we were joined by a Jewish kid from NYC who didn't believe a word of it, either. That's all any of us had in common but it was nice to know we weren't total freaks.