How Islamist networks silence critical voices on Facebook

It is 13 July 2019 when Aida (name changed) calls me and says: “Facebook has blocked my page again. I don’t have access anymore”. It is now already the twentieth time that this happened to her. This time it’s about the accusation of hate speech and nudity. The entire Facebook page is now no longer accessible. Not even for her. Everything is gone. All her work, the critical discussions with the subscribers. Everything lost.

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Social work free of religion – collaboration with the Brighter Brains Institute

We are excited to announce our collaboration with the Brighter Brains Institute! More and more secular organizations are recognizing the need to make a contribution to the accomplishment of social tasks through humanitarian commitment. Because it is a problem that the emergency in certain regions of the world is used to spread religious dogma.

Clinic for Disease Prevention
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Atheist Refugee Relief speaks in EU Parliament

On 20.06.2019 the European Humanist Federation invited the Atheist Refugee Relief to the EU Parliament to a meeting with the headline “Are you a true humanist”. Together with two other humanistic organisations (humanism.org.uk and humanistischverbond.nl) we were able to point out the special situation of non-religious refugees. Representatives of the Dutch government and the European EASO were also present.

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It’s like taking off a very old and dusty mask – leaving Islam in Yemen

More and more people in the Islamic world are leaving their religion. Many do this in silence, but some write about it. A particularly fascinating example is the blog of a young woman from Yemen. It takes a lot of courage from this conservative country, which has also been at war for almost four years, to express criticism of Islam.

We have succeeded in making contact with this extraordinarily courageous woman. We were interested in who was behind this Facebook page. However, when we questioned her, we were anxious to preserve her identity and did not ask any personal questions.

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Shiite Islamists threaten human rights activist in Germany

Islamist terrorism has dominated the headlines in the European media for many years. The attacks in the Bataclan, in Brussels, at Charlie Hebdo, to name but a few. They show the cruel face of religious extremism. All these attacks were committed by Sunni Muslims, who were incited on the Internet by the ideas of the Islamic State, or in mosques by corresponding sermons. What is forgotten here is that the same extremism also exists on the part of Shiite Muslims. We remember the death fatwa which was pronounced against the British author Salman Rushdie in 1989. Even the well-known musician Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) supported these threats. Rushdie had to go into hiding for many years. After the attack of the USA on Iraq a Shiite militia has formed there, which represents similar extreme views as the Sunni IS. Only the strategy they are pursuing is different.

Worood Zuhair

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Escaping from religion

Unfortunately, religion is a reason for many people to leave their homeland and apply for asylum in Germany. When it comes to religious persecution, most people think of religious minorities threatened by the majority in their countries. In the current refugee crisis, these are mainly Jesids and Christians fleeing from predominantly Islamic countries.
But one group is often completely ignored in the media: the atheists. In many religions (e. g. in Islam) apostasy is considered a punishable offence. And even those who do not belong to any religious community from birth are unfortunately all too often persecuted as “infidels”.

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The right to self-determination in religious societies

Open apostasy is only the tip of the iceberg. In strictly religious societies, self-determination rights are curtailed in many ways. Thus, religious-critical expressions can lead to social ostracism, even if they do not contain any commitment to atheism.

Drastic invasions of privacy are commonplace in many Islamic countries. Although Western criticism of archaic practices such as forced marriage and forced circumcision is often fought off in a culturally relativistic manner with reference to the supposed “equivalence of all cultures”, it is regularly overlooked that there is massive resistance within the various societies to religious virtue terrorism.

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Secular Refugees in Germany

Atheist Refugee Relief
(Säkulare Flüchtlingshilfe e.V. – Atheisten helfen)

Rebellious women
Rebellious women

Atheistic refugees are a particular group of people looking for shelter. Most of them are very active, politically thinking people who oppose the dogmatic ideology of the dominant religion of their home countries. Since there are supporters of fundamental interpretations of religions worldwide, they are never really safe from persecution – even here, in Germany.

We offer these refugees appropriate care, as many people who have also fled from the religious constraints of their home countries work with us.

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