Pakistan’s secret atheists

Jul 21, 2017

By Mobeen Azhar

Omar, named after one of Islam’s most revered caliphs, has rejected the faith of his forefathers. He is one of the founding members of an online group – a meeting point for the atheists of Pakistan.

But even there he must stay on his guard. Members use fake identities.

“You have to be careful who you are befriending,” he says.

One man contacted Omar to say he had visited his Facebook profile and printed out pictures of him with his family. “You cannot be safe,” Omar says.

In Pakistan, posting about atheism online can have serious consequences.

Under a recently passed cyber-crime law, it is now illegal to post content online – even in a private forum – that could be deemed blasphemous.

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