Created on Friday, 23 January 2015 07:10
Beginning on Saturday, January 3, 2015, Boko Haram engaged in a series of violent attacks after occupying a key military base. In what Amnesty International has declared âpossibly [the] deadliest [massacre] in Boko Haramâs history,â the terrorist organization razed the fishing village and surrounding areas of Baga, Borno, slaughtering as many as 2000 of its inhabitants. On Saturday, January 10, 2015, a further attack on a market in the city of Maiduguri injured 18 people and killed twenty, among them the 10-year-old girl to whom the fatal bomb was strapped. The sordid history of this terrorist organization includes other crimes against humanity, including the enslavement and sacrifice of children. In April of 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls in Chibok, 219 of whom remain missing.
Atheist Alliance International joins the international community in mourning the loss of these innocent lives, and expresses our heartfelt condolences to their survivors. AAI will hold a special edition of its magazine, Secular World, in memory of the newest victims of radical Islam, to help raise awareness of the dangerous and violent expansionism of terrorist groups like Boko Haram.
âThese cowardly acts are dastardly deeds, crimes against humanity perpetrated by barbaric monsters whose pernicious ideology is driven by a mandate to enact violence on all who disagree with them and to expand their âCaliphateâ by any means possible. Violent ideologies like those held by Boko Haram have no place in civilized society, and Atheist Alliance International harshly condemns their acts,â said AAI President Christine Shellska.
âViolence is a cowardly means to assert an ideology that fails under rational scrutiny,â says Shellska. âWe must adamantly strive to stop the ongoing expansion of radical Islamist groups and the religious-based acts of violence that inform their strategy, not by retaliating with violence, but by continuing to challenge and confront dangerous and harmful religious and superstitious beliefs with reason, advocacy and education.â
Atheist Alliance International (AAI) is a global alliance of atheist/freethought groups and individuals, committed to educating its members and the public about atheism, secularism and related issues.
Atheist Alliance International's vision is a secular world where public policy, scientific inquiry and education are not influenced by religious beliefs, but based upon sound reasoning, rationality and evidence.Â Atheist Alliance International's mission is to challenge and confront religious faith, to strengthen global atheism by promoting the growth and interaction of atheist/freethought organisations around the world and to undertake international educational and advocacy projects.
Created on Monday, 19 January 2015 17:01
In light of the recent terrorist attack in which twelve French journalists were executed by a group of religiousÂ zealots, Atheist Alliance International (AAI) wishes to express its sincere and heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased journalists and staff at Charlie HÃ©bdo.
âThese types of attacks are the most extreme expression of the global anti-blasphemy movement. They are trying to suppress criticism of religion by any means necessary,â said AAI president Christine Shellska. âSince they werenât able to suppress the editorial staff at Charlie HÃ©bdoâs right to free speech via legal harassment, they instead used violence.â
AAI will hold a special edition of its magazine, Secular World, in memory of the newest victims of Islam and to help raise awareness of the dangerous trend that seeks to suppress criticism of Islam by legal (or violent) means in the whole world.
âAAI will keep working against the current line of blasphemy laws that are promoted by different groups around the world that try to use the legal system to silence secular citizens, as is the case in most of the developing worldâ.
AAI stands in solidarity with CharlieÂ HÃ©bdo,Â and moreÂ broadly,Â withÂ cartoonists, satirists, comedians, journalists and others who endorse freedom of expression â heroes who identify social injustices, uphold human rights via the power of words, and speak truth to power via their art. In the spirit of upholding thebasic human right to freedom of speech, AAI wishes to endorse the Center for Inquiryâs (CFI) initiative to publish one of the images, and invites you to visit their page to view it. Further, the Huffington Post has also published some heartbreaking responses from cartoonists, and we encourage you toÂ view them here.
âParaphrasing the words that the French people have taken as their banner,â says Shellska, âlet me say, âWe all are Charlie HÃ©bdoâ â.
AtheistÂ AllianceÂ InternationalÂ (AAI)Â isÂ aÂ globalÂ allianceÂ ofÂ atheist/freethoughtÂ groupsÂ andÂ individuals,committed to educating its members and the public about atheism, secularism and related issues.
AtheistÂ AllianceÂ International'sÂ visionÂ isÂ aÂ secularÂ worldÂ whereÂ publicÂ policy,Â scientificÂ inquiryÂ and educationÂ areÂ notÂ influencedÂ byÂ religiousÂ beliefs,Â butÂ basedÂ uponÂ soundÂ reasoning,Â rationalityÂ and evidence.Â Atheist Alliance International's mission is to challenge and confront religious faith, to strengthen global atheism by promoting the growth and interaction of atheist/freethought organisations around the world and to undertake international educational and advocacy projects.
Created on Sunday, 18 January 2015 01:42
According to Sputbick News, the Vatican had to step into after the Pope caused a furore on Twitter by saying there are limits to freedom of speech when it comes to faith â effectively giving some backing to the Paris attacks last week which killed 17 people.
Asked byÂ reporters aboutÂ the first attack onÂ the headquarters ofÂ Charlie HebdoÂ â inÂ which 12 people diedÂ â the Pope said (video): "One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people's faith, one cannot make fun ofÂ faith. There is a limit. Every religion has its dignityâ¦ inÂ freedom ofÂ expression there are limits.
Created on Monday, 12 January 2015 04:04
Je pense donc je suis Charlie â I think therefore I am Charlie.
Nous sommes TOUS Charlie â We are ALL Charlie.
These taglines identify supporters of freedom of expression and resisters of religious threats. In this context, AAI est Charlie.
In solidarity we stand proudly with the people of France and her cartoonists who worked for Charlie Hebdo magazine and who were victims of religion-inspired terrorism on the 7th January 2015. Organised religion has always had a great deal on its conscience and now it has even more to answer for. In the case of Charlie Hebdo, seventeen people have been shot and killed and eleven more wounded. Minutes after this following cartoon that lampooned religion was published and tweeted from Charlie Hebdo magazine, religious terrorists stormed the magazine office and opened fire.
This is the last cartoon published by Charlie Hebdo before the gunmen stormed the office. It depicts ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, and the caption reads âBest wishes and good health.â
After murdering Charlie Hebdo staff, the gunmen shouted âAllahu akbarâ and âThe Prophet is avenged!â. But the pen always has and always will be mightier than the Kalishnakov. We at AAI â like Charlie Hebdo â stand up for our right to free expression and a life without pandering to fear-mongering and censorship. We will not be silenced by brutal, savage threats from censorious fanatics. Our tribute to Charlie Hebdo is to re-publish the cartoons for which their publisher Stephane Charbonnier (âIâd rather die on my feet than live on my kneesâ) gave his life.
In some interpretations of the Islamic religion there is a ban on illustrating Mohammed, a view that satirizing or critiquing Islam is âblasphemyâ, and that defaming Mohammed is a crime punishable by death.
We believe that drawings â no matter how offensiveÂ â do not justify death. To think otherwise is an insane ideology.
Noted for its irreverence, the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine has been the target of two terrorist attacks â in 2011, and now in 2015 â because of lampooning Islam in their cartoons. In 2006 they controversially re-published the Danish Jyllands-Posten depictions of Mohammed.
Here is the issue with the re-published Jyllands-Posten cartoons. The headline states âMohammed overwhelmed by fundamentalistsâ. The Prophet is saying, âItâs hard being loved by idiots.â
Â Here are some of the controversial depictions ofÂ Mohammed published by Jyllands-Posten and again by Charlie Hebdo:
The following are other controversial Charlie Hebdo covers from past years:
This one from 2001 translates as "Love is stronger than hate".
Charlie Hebdoâs offices were firebombed in 2011. This 2011 cover states that this issue is âguest edited by Mohammedâ (calling the magazine âCharia Hebdoâ). Mohammed is depicted saying, âOne hundred lashes if you donât die of laughter."
Â Christianity gets its fair share of satire and mockery too. Here is the birth of Jesus...
Â This cover is particularly apt in light of the recent tragedy. "Charlie Hebdo must be veiled!â
they all shout.
Media responses to the terrorist attack have been varied but cartoonists around the world have lead the way, brandishing their pencils. Here are five of AAI's favourites:
Albert Uderzo of Asterix fame came out of retirement to publish this response.
Â By David Pope.
By R. Crumb.
By Lucille Clerc.
Â Liberty leading the people!
Created on Tuesday, 23 December 2014 14:33
According to DW, In Egypt and other Arab states, societies are heavily influenced by religion. Even so, many people evidently regard themselves as atheists, and both governments and religious institutions see this as a threat.
There are exactly 866 atheists living along the Nile - at least according to a recent survey by the government-run Egyptian institution "Dar al-Ifta," which keeps tabs on religious issues in the country. How exactly that number was determined is unclear, but the institution's verdict on the threat is surprising: according Dar al-Ifta, the fact that 0.001 percent of the Egyptian population does not believe in God is a reason to sound the alarm bells. After all, no country in the Arab world apparently has a higher number of "godless" people - Morocco being the runner-up with a purported 325 atheists.
Created on Thursday, 18 December 2014 16:08
Harsh penalties for sodomy, theft, drinking alcohol
According to The Washington Free Bacon, the Islamic State (IS) has published it own penal code, which harshly penalizes actions such as sodomy and blasphemy with punishments including execution, crucifixion, lashing, and the severing of limbs, among other penalties.
IS (also known as ISIL or ISIS) issued the detailed document as a âwarning and a reminder to people living under its ruleâ that any behavior not in accordance with strict Islamic law will be cruelly punished, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which translated a copy of the penal code posted at a radical online depot known as the Jihadi Media Platform.
Created on Saturday, 17 January 2015 17:53
According to The Daily Beast, the attacks, which also include the stoning of an adulterer, appear to have taken place in Mosul and were distributed by ISIS social media accounts.
These are obscene images. They depict two men thrown from the roof of a building as a crowd watches them fall to their deaths, and they purport to show the Islamic State (or ISIS) carrying out public executions before an audience in Iraqâs Nineveh province.
Created on Tuesday, 23 December 2014 15:11
According to BBC, France is to step up police and military patrols in areas frequented by the public following recent attacks, Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said.
He said up to 300 soldiers would be deployed around the country to boost security over the Christmas period.
The attacks, seemingly unrelated, in Nantes, Dijon and Tours have left more than 20 people injured.
Created on Tuesday, 23 December 2014 14:21
According to AFP, Pakistan plans to execute around 500 militants in coming weeks, officials said Monday, after the government lifted a moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases following a Taliban school massacre.
Six militants have been hanged since Friday amid rising public anger over Tuesdayâs slaughter in the northwestern city of Peshawar, which left 149 people dead including 133 children.
After the deadliest terror attack in Pakistani history, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ended the six-year moratorium on the death penalty, reinstating it for terrorism-related cases.
Created on Thursday, 18 December 2014 00:09
According to Reuters, the self-styled sheikh behind a siege at a Sydney cafe had been charged as an accessory to murder and with multiple sexual offences. He also harbored deep grievances against the Australian government and had found little kinship in the city's large Muslim community, where he was seen as deeply troubled.
Man Haron Monis, an Iranian refugee described by those who knew him as a loner, was killed early on Tuesday after heavily armed police stormed the Lindt Chocolate Cafe to end a 16-hour hostage drama that made global headlines.