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Atheism Is Punishable By Death In These 13 Countries

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by AroundTheWorld, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. AroundTheWorld

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    Atheists living in 13 countries risk being condemned to death, just for the beliefs (or non-belief) according to a new, comprehensive report from the International Humanist and Ethical Union out on Tuesday. All 13 countries identified by the study are Muslim majority.

    The countries that impose these penalties are Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. With the exception of Pakistan, those countries all allow for capital punishment against apostasy, i.e., the renunciation of a particular religion. Pakistan, meanwhile, imposes the death penalty for blasphemy, which can obviously include disbelief in God.

    [​IMG]

    The study's interactive map gives a good, broad, overview of which countries punish apostasy and blasphemy by death (black), with prison time (red), or place legal restrictions on (non-)religious speech and thought (yellow):

    The report is a more comprehensive version of a similar study released last year that identified just seven countries where atheists faced capital punishment, only half of this year's total. It also found much more widespread discrimination against atheists around the world. "Our results show that the overwhelming majority of countries fail to respect the rights of atheists and freethinkers," the study explains, noting that laws in some countries prevent atheists from marrying, attending public school, participating as a citizen, holding public office, or just existing at all. The authors, citing a Gallup study, estimate that about 13 percent of the world's population is atheist, while 23 percent identify as simply "not religious."

    Although not on the list of 13, Bangladesh receives some special attention in the report as a particular low-light. Several non-religious and atheist bloggers and journalists in the country have faced death threats and harassment this year in the wake of a series of government prosecutions for blasphemy. One blogger, Ahmed Rajib Haider, was murdered with a machete outside of his home. The report also incorporates assessment of general free speech protections in each country. Russia earned significant criticism in part because of its anti-LGBT "propaganda" laws. And North Korea, an aggressively secular state, received the report's lowest rating of "Grave Violations."

    Because of the U.S.'s strong constitutional free speech protections and lack of an official state religion, the country fared moderately well in the report, earning a "mostly satisfactory" rating. But the IHEU had some cautionary notes on how atheists are actually treated in the U.S., criticizing "a range of laws that limit the role of atheists in regards to public duties, or else entangle the government with religion to the degree that being religious is equated with being an American, and vice versa." Those laws include constitutional provisions still on the books in seven states (Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas) barring atheists from holding public office. The authors add:

    While there is some legal remedy for clear religious discrimination by the government, it can often go unchallenged in situations where it is difficult, or personally disadvantageous or hazardous, to take a stand against authority, for example in prisons, the military, and even some administrative contexts.
    So, which countries earned a somewhat elusive "free and equal" rating from the IHEU? The best-ranked countries included Jamaica, Uruguay, Japan, Taiwan, and Belgium.


    http://www.thewire.com/global/2013/12/13-countries-where-atheism-punishable-death/355961/

    ------------------------------

    So let me get this straight: There is one religious ideology as the common theme in the 13 countries which punish not believing in what they want to force everyone to believe in by death - but if someone criticizes said religious ideology, one is "intolerant", a "bigot", an "Islamophobe".

    The reality is that if you oppose religious intolerance...you are an "intolerantophobe", and in favor of freedom. That's my position.

    Those who defend this kind of stuff and, like Pavlov's dog, try to shout down anyone who criticizes these things - they are idiots, because they don't realize that opposing intolerance - in an ideology, as long as that does not lead to unfair hostility towards people - is not intolerance.
     
  2. Baba Booey

    Baba Booey Contributing Member

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    This makes me wonder why all the atheists are constantly attacking Christianity while promoting Islam.

    Oh, wait...
     
  3. AroundTheWorld

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    The alliance between leftists and Islamists is puzzling. The gullible leftists don't even understand what they are doing.
     
  4. Baba Booey

    Baba Booey Contributing Member

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    Don't call people gullible when you buy into some sort of atheism/Islamic alliance.

    This is one of the most ridiculous things that crazy Christians like to spew. Christmas is under attack too, isn't it?
     
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  5. Major

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    According to the map, Germany and New Zealand put people in jail for this?
     
  6. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    I voted for the Taliban because I'm against the notion that drones extrajudicially killing civilians, the survaillance state gone mad, and the extrajudicial detainment of suspects violating rule of law are good responses to Islamic extremism.

    I'm sure a bunch of same-sex marriage advocate athiests rooted in plurialism feel the same way, but I'll go check as they're filling out their Islam Party votes.

    Is it possible, really, to argue for groups and legitimate greivances, and against unproportional responses, and still not support the views of the group that the response is being applied to?

    I guess it's just easier sometimes to imagine the world in black and white.
     
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  7. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    i think it was more about highlighting which countries have general blasphemy laws (though Germany has a lot of curious things about its' free speech laws)

    theoretically, I suppose you could be jailed for being Dawkins-like in your approach, but that's probably streching the actual enforcement of the law if not the interpretation of it.
     
  8. SexyButIgnorant

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    crazy stuff. I have a friend who became a missionary in Mauritania. He's told me of the horrible stuff that's happened to them, how they have to meet in secret, very quietly. Really unfortunate stuff that's made him lose friends.

    That said, I don't think any verses in the Qu'ran allow for these things. The verses I've seen used as the basis for punishable apostasy are all taken out of context. At the end of the day, it's all terribly political.
     
  9. AroundTheWorld

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    Just wanted to point out that that wasn't me :eek:.
     
  10. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    Astute observation.

    As with many topics, it's a case of the left not thinking critically. They use the weak logic of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", with their enemy being Christianity and the state of Israel.
     
  11. Major

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    So is it possible this is the same for the 13 countries listed also? That instead of "atheism being punishable by death", it is certain other activities? Still not good, obviously, but slightly different than what is suggested.

    Not really commenting on the merits of the article, but it suggests:

    13 countries = atheism punishable by death
    a bunch of other countries = atheism punishable by jail

    If the 2nd one is a bit of an overstatement, would that suggest the first is also?
     
  12. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    Possible. You'd have to take the time to look through, though.

    If you're curious: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law
     
  13. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    yeah, classical American architype liberals are so simple and cute, they can reason through and provide the material for amicus briefs that legalize same-sex marriage and cement all sorts of civil rights, but meanwhile, they can't seem to figure out that certain Islamic adherents have more extreme views than their "enemies" on those topics. Because, you know, the world is about the "enemy types" you have, and has nothing to do with the ideas themselves, or looking beyond simple black and white descriptions of entire groups.

    I'm sure somewhere in there is utter puzzlement about how the ACLU can, for example, defend neo-Nazis in Skokie, but I'll let it slide, and defer to: http://www.kansaspress.ku.edu/strwhe.html
     
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  14. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    That was my suspicion as well. Citing US state laws that are 'still on the books' barring atheists from holding public office also hurts their credibility. Even if the laws are still on the books, I know they would not be enforced and would not pass Constitutional review if an atheist did win office and was then challenged on this basis. Voters might not vote for an avowed atheist, but there's no law here keeping them out. It seems like nitpicking to point it out. (To their credit, they didn't put a pin on the US in their map as a result.)
     
  15. AroundTheWorld

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    Maybe you should ask this man?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7833621.stm

    Somali executed for 'apostasy'

    Abdirahman Ahmed was a prominent politician in Kismayo
    An Islamist militia has executed a Somali politician who they accused of betraying his religion by working with non-Muslim Ethiopian forces.
    An Islamist spokesman in the port of Kismayo told the BBC that Abdirahman Ahmed was shot dead on Thursday.

    Or this one:

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/01/31/uk-iran-execution-apostasy-idUKTRE70U41D20110131

    Iran hangs man convicted of apostasy

    (Reuters) - An Iranian man who attracted several disciples after claiming to be God was hanged for apostasy in the southwest of the country, the semi-official Fars news agency reported Monday.

    Apostasy, murder, adultery, rape, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Iran's sharia law, in practice since the country's 1979 Islamic revolution.

    Or this one:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Mohammed_Taha

    On Jan 5, 1985 Taha was arrested for distributing pamphlets calling for an end to Shari'a law in Sudan. Brought to trial on January 7 he refused to participate. The trial lasted 2 hours with the main evidence being confessions that the defendants were opposed to Sudan's interpretation of Islamic law.[3] The next day he was sentenced to death along with 4 other followers (who later recanted and were pardoned) for "heresy, opposing application of Islamic law, disturbing public security, provoking opposition against the government, and reestablishing a banned political party."[4] The government forbade his unorthodox views on Islam to be discussed in public because it would "create religious turmoil" or fitnah (sedition). A special court of appeal approved the sentence on January 15. Two days later president Nimeiry directed the execution for January 18. Despite the smallness of his group thousands of demonstrators protested his execution and police on horseback used bullwhips to drive back the crowd.[3] The body was secretly buried.[5]
     
  16. Major

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    Why would I use anecdotal data of 2 people in 2 countries to make conclusions about 13 countries? Based on that, this:

    In 2006, the application of this article received much media attention when a Manfred van H. (also known as "Mahavo") was prosecuted for blasphemy for distributing rolls of toilet paper with the words "Koran, the Holy Koran" stamped on them.

    Would tell me Germany is insane.
     
  17. AroundTheWorld

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    The guy never went to jail or anything. I think that statute is a relict, ridiculous and should be abolished, and I believe that it has never been applied since that stupid case. But in any case, the threat of the death penalty is a totally different animal, and you trying to relativize that is just typical.

    You also fail to take into account that that (stupid) law in Germany protects any religion, whereas the laws in these 13 countries only "protect" Islam and sanction believing in anything else with the death penalty.
     
  18. Major

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    Agreed.

    No - what I'm saying is that the article doesn't make this clear at all. We kno it stretches the definition of apostasy and blasphemy as it did in the case of Germany, and that makes me wonder what it has stretched in the other 13 countries, whether in the writing of the laws or the specifict terms of the laws or the application of the laws. I'm not claiming its right or wrong - I'm saying that article has credibility questions because of how they include things like what Germany has, which is silly. They are still obviously bad laws and bad policies regardless, but the article seems to overstate things in some countries, so I have no reason to believe it wouldn't in others.
     
  19. AroundTheWorld

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    ...also with the part that it's typical? :grin:


    Well, Germany still has that idiotic law, so they are technically correct, not silly.

    And the article doesn't really stretch any definition. Yeah, most of the time you will not get executed for being an atheist in these 13 countries, as long as you do not openly oppose Islam, but the fact of the matter is that these laws are designed to intimidate people, and these laws - by the reasoning of those who passed them - have their roots in the religious ideology itself.

    To me, that is another one of many data points why one should question - and oppose - political Islam, and why opposing it does not make one an intolerant bigot, but the contrary is true.
     
  20. Mathloom

    Mathloom Consumption is a waste of time.
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    Let's say, for example, there was a country with an atheist dictator who posed as a Muslim and enforced a (by the typical American's definition) a Sharia based law which makes atheism a capital punishment crime.

    Would we then assign responsibility for the outcome to the absence of religion, or to the particular dictator?

    The sad thing is, the citizens of such a country would never be able to argue for/against this topic because of other laws which tend to exist alongside such a law. Yet you have right wing nuts toasting to each other as if they have come up with an iron-clad argument for a theory that's flimsy to begin with.

    [​IMG]
     

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