A post on Facebook became his undoing. Now the 22-year-old Egyptian Abd el Rahman is in the high-security prison in Gamasa. This is among the worst prisons in Egypt.
Abd el Rahman is in his early 20s and is studying computer science at an Egyptian university. In addition to his studies, he is an avid reader and enjoys learning about other countries and cultures. Like many young people, he is also active on Facebook and posts regularly. But on November 12, 2020, he makes a post which will change his life forever:
“He never expected his post to trend like this. Just after a day he found more than 20 people from his neighborhood trying to find and attack him” says Ibrahim, a friend of Abd el Rahman.
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.
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.
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.
When Yahya Ekhou began the day in his room in northern Germany on the morning of March 1, he had no idea what wave of hatred had come over him on the Internet. Many people demanded his death. Among them was a representative of parliament.
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”.
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.
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.