Saturday, July 17, 2010

Death of an Atheist

The following post from the Freethinker web site is distressing.

"A young muslim, who had been investigated by his employers at Male International Airport in the Maldives for apostasy, was found hanged from the airport’s control tower yesterday (14 July 2010).

In two emails sent to an international humanitarian organisation on June 23 and 25, Ismail admitted he was an atheist and desperately requested assistance for a UK asylum application. He claimed to have received several anonymous threats on June  22.

In the emails, he said:

“I foolishly admitted my stance on religion to work colleagues, word of which had “spread like wildfire.” A lot of my close friends and girlfriend have been prohibited from seeing me by their parents. I have even received a couple of anonymous phone calls threatening violence if I do not repent and start practicing Islam … I cannot bring myself to pretend to be I am something I am not, as I am a staunch believer in human rights. I am afraid for my life here and know no one inside the country who can help me."

This sad news brings back the question of how much religious fundamentalism should be tolerated in secular societies.

In secular democratic societies people with strong religious convictions enjoy and share the freedom of expression and civil rights with other citizens who may not necessarily share their faith.

Islamists cried for 'freedom of expression' when French banned 'burka' recently, but when they have the numbers religious fundamentalists act like monsters who would not tolerate opinions other than the bigoted preaching dictated by their faith.

Source: The Freethinker

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