Originally published in the Daily Times
Nigeria’s most deadly Islamist sect, Boko Haram, has just detonated mutiple
bombs in the city of Kano. Curfew has been imposed and the city, the
state and the entire nation is engulfed in tension, fear and
uncertainty. Several lives have reportedly been lost. This group appears
unrelenting in its murderous campaign.
Kano has joined the ranks of northern states -Borno, Yobe,
Adamawa, Plateau, Niger where the terror of Boko Haram holds sway.
Religious crisis orchestrated by Muslim fundamentalists is not new to
this northern city but these attacks have brought a frightening
dimension to Islamic militancy in the region.
The Spokesperson of Boko Haram, Abdul Qaqa, told journalists
that they carried out the attacks on the city because the authorities
had refused to release their members arrested and detained by the
police. So with these attacks, Boko Haram has sent very clear signals to
the authorities in Kano and beyond- “Capitulate”, “Surrender”, “Do our
Bidding”, “Join forces with us”, “Embrace our cause” or “Be destroyed”.
Since last year, Boko Haram has carried out bomb attacks on several
institutions including the UN building and police headquarters in Abuja.
This militant group has targeted churches and southerners or anyone
they percieved to be opposed to their cause of implementing sharia and
enthroning political islam. It has declared a war on anybody, muslims
as well as non muslims, opposed to or critical of its cause. This is
characteristic of the totalitarian nature of political Islam- a social
political and economic order based on Sharia.
A fringe movement that started with a group of Islamic
preachers on the streets of Maiduguri a few years ago, has turned to a
real threat to Nigeria’s corporate existence and a terror to the world.
Thanks to generous donations from many AAI members and supporters
renovations at the Kasese Humanist Primary School in Uganda are going
AAI received a report from the school today noting that the kitchen
and new toilets have been finished, and renovations are underway on a
school dormitory so that children can board at the school - beds have
been ordered and fencing of the area is in progress. Also, 20 class
desks have been purchased for the new P.7 class.
Ply-woods being fixed as partitions of the rooms. Bwambale Robert, the school Project Director is seen in the photo above supervising the renovations exercise.
All donations to support the Kasese Humanist Primary School are greatly appreciated! You can donate through AAI's Directed Donations option here.
The One Law for All 11 February rally for Free Expression is being held in London from 14:00-16:00 hours at the Old Palace Yard opposite the House of Lords. The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain fully supports the action. Speakers are: Richard Dawkins (Scientist); A C Grayling (Philosopher); Alex Gabriel (Blogger); Anne Marie Waters (One Law for All); Caroline Cox (Peer); Derek Lennard (Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association); Faisal Gazi (Spittoon.org); Gita Sahgal, (Centre for Secular Space); Hasan Afzal (Stand for Peace); Jennifer Hardy (Queen Mary Atheism Humanism and Secularism Society); Jenny Bartle (National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies); Jim Fitzpatrick (MP); Kate Smurthwaite (Comedian); Kenan Malik (Writer); Lilith (Poet, Anti-Injustice Movement) ; Marco Tranchino (Central London Humanist Group); Mark Embleton (Atheism UK); Maryam Namazie (One Law for All and Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain); Nick Cohen (Writer); Nick Doody (Comedian); Pragna Patel (Southall Black Sisters); Rashid Ali (Centri); Rhys Morgan (Student activist); Roy Brown (International Humanist and Ethical Union); Rupert Sutton (Student Rights); Sohaila Sharifi (Equal Rights Now); Sue Cox (Survivors Voice Europe); Sundas Hoorain (London School of Economics Atheist, Secularist, and Humanist Society); Susan Zhuang (University College London Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society); Terry Sanderson/Keith Porteous Wood (National Secular Society); and Yasmin Rehman (Campaigner). There will also be messages from Jesus and Mo creator and Richard Dawkins. Iranian Secular Society’s Fariborz Pooya will be the Master of Ceremonies.
Taslima Nasrin - writer, feminist, atheist and a speaker at the upcoming 2012 European Atheist Convention - has attacked the "growing cancer" of censorship in Indian society.
"Writers and artists have become the soft targets of religious extremists," she said. "The authority tries to appease either Hindu fanatics or Muslim fanatics in India. All the political parties have different agendas, but they have no agenda or intention to value freedom of expression. It's a dangerous race, who can violate free speech more."
The relevant article in the The Guardian is here.
Recently Brazil has experienced how organization through social networks
is resulting in protest and events in the real world. The first big event that
comes to mind is the “March for the laic Government” that took place in August
2011. Since then, we have had public events against corruption, for feminism,
and the latest - to gather atheists.
The idea of the event, according to Stiphanie Silva, is to meet each
other and organize. “We need to get out of the closet, show we are good sons
and daughters, parents, that morality is independent of faith” says Silva, who
is a member of Sociedade Racionalista, the association responsible for the event
On February 12th (Charles Darwin’s birthday) several States held
atheist meetings, each one organized by local atheists. The places were usually
public parks, and in most of the cases the activities were decided during the meeting.
Among them, speeches from participants and debates were the most common. Atheist
meetings have happened before, however, this was the first time coordinated
meetings occurred all over the nation on the same date - and it was mentioned
in the press.
Atheist Alliance International is grateful to Mary Davis for contributing an excellent reading of Centennial Oration by
Robert G. Ingersoll. You can hear a sample of the piece by clicking here. The full version, along with other historical
freethought pieces in podcast format, is available to AAI members.
Click here for more information on the Freethought Audio Library.
the US, representatives in state Senates and Houses of Representatives are
attempting to legislate curriculum that would substitute mythology for science in
biology classes by teaching creation instead of evolution. By mandating curriculum in this way,
Christian representatives could circumvent state boards of education, comprised
of experts who set scholastic standards in our public schools. The Christian base, preaching to their
representatives, chant, “Teach the controversy,” demanding our schools be
forced to teach creationism alongside evolution because they believe that their
disagreement with experts is
equivalent to a disagreement among
experts. It isn’t, of course. No more than a high school classroom is the
place to discuss scientific controversies (assuming, for the sake of the
argument, a controversy existed). It
should be obvious—though it isn’t to everyone—that the place for that kind of
discussion is in the field, or a dissertation, or a peer-reviewed journal, where
cases are judged by experts on the quality of the evidence, not by laypeople on
the circuity of the reasoning.