Richard Dawkins Celebrated by Activists and Ex-Muslims at London Conference for Free Expression

Jul 27, 2017

written by Alison Bevege

When ex-Muslim Bonya Ahmed reached out her hand to accept an award in London on Sunday, it was missing her thumb.

Islamists hacked it off in Bangladesh, 2015.

She had thrown her arms in front of her husband Avijit Roy to shield him from machetes as a mob cut the life out of him for criticising Islam.

The attack happened in a crowded public street but the people – including police – stood by and did nothing.

The ceremony that recognised this brave woman had to be held in a secret location because London is no longer safe for ex-Muslims, atheists or even secular Muslim believers who dare to say that Islam should not be implemented as a system of laws.

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6 comments on “Richard Dawkins Celebrated by Activists and Ex-Muslims at London Conference for Free Expression

  • This is so horrible and shows how deep and broad ignorance is impregnated into a culture and people’s mind.
    It makes me think about the dark ages in Europe not so long ago! There is, it is going on, a revolution needed to root out the ignorance, will take a few generations!

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  • Those god-delusions really are TERRIFIED by rational thought or constructive criticism – so semantic adjustments are need to words to cover the irrational bigotry and attacks on scapegoats!!

    Atheists Classified As Terrorists Under New Saudi Arabian Laws
    02/04/2014 11:31 | Updated 02 April 2014

    “Saudi authorities have never tolerated criticism of their policies, but these recent laws and regulations turn almost any critical expression or independent association into crimes of terrorism,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at HRW.

    Regulations from the Interior Ministry cite “terrorism” provisions to include: “Calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based.”

    Those who swear allegiance to any party, organisation, current of thought, group or individual inside or outside the kingdom are also included in the provisions. The Muslim Brotherhood and various Al Qaeda factions are also among those on the list.

    Participation via forms of audio, written, visual media, social media, websites are all included in the definition.

    Blogging for Al-Bab, Brian Whitaker writes that while the new laws might seem bizarre, “in Saudi terms it does have a certain logic. Since the entire system of government is based on Wahhabi interpretations of Islam, non-believers are assumed to be enemies of the Saudi state.”

    He also cites a 2012 WIN/Gallup International poll which found that almost a quarter of people interviewed in Saudi Arabia described themselves as “not religious” and of those, five per cent declared themselves to be atheists.

    Whitaker adds: “Extrapolating that figure on a national scale suggests there around 1.4million atheist terrorists living in Saudi Arabia.”

    HRW describes the laws as having “serious flaws, including vague and overly broad provisions that allow authorities to criminalise free expression, and the creation of excessive police powers without judicial oversight.”

    While the law cites violence as an essential element only in reference to attacks carried out against Saudis outside the kingdom or aboard Saudi transportation carriers, crucially it states that inside its borders, “terrorism” can be non-violent.

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  • thanks for posting this. Richard Dawkins is brilliant – and, I think, under-appreciated. He is the steady light that grows brighter as intellectual night gathers. I hope we can fight it off, this appalling censorship.

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  • 6
    maria melo says:

    Totalitarism is not necessarly related to religion, of course, but religion becomes of an unquestionable authority if people get offense seriously on everything and don´t realise other people or peoples have different ways of thinking and doing things. besides it´s not a sophisticated thinking- our social intelligence made/makes us evolve in order to realise others may think and feel in different ways, not that others don´t have emotions and I do, nor the opposite of it, (perhaps not?).

    Saudi Arabia political leaders are imposing it´s rules on other countries that are still making political treatises with them, protocol visits- from US President, not imposing economic sanctions?

    Totalitarism in North Korea (a young woman reports,, not fake news from western enemies).

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