If freedom of religious belief is a fundamental human right, then surely no people is more deserving of universal sympathy and support than the persecuted Yazidis. With a long history behind them of victimization and oppression under Ottoman rule – more than 70 genocidal massacres are on record – in recent years their maltreatment has, if anything, intensified.
For their beliefs, they have been the target of hatred for centuries. Considered heretical devil worshippers by many Muslims—including the advancing militants overrunning Iraq—the Yazidis have faced the possibility of genocide many times over.
Common complaints about atheism go like this: How could you think that all this is for no reason? Who are you to say that you know there is no God/plan/divine order? How much hubris are you filled with to make such a claim?
A Jordanian writer, accused of sharing a cartoon considered offensive to Islam, killed two weeks after his release from prison on bail. A perfect assassination starts with demonising a person and ends with a condemnation of the assassin. On 25 September 2016, the prominent Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar, 56, was shot dead ahead of a trial before the courthouse in Jordan’s capital Amman. He was accused of sharing a caricature deemed offensive to Islam on his Facebook page. Hattar was an outspoken leftist, secular writer and a self-described Christian atheist, known for his controversial views on issues regarding refugees, his…
Apostasy and blasphemy may seem to many like artifacts of history. But in dozens of countries around the world, laws against apostasy and blasphemy remain on the books and often are enforced. Last December, for instance, authorities in Sudan charged 25 men for apostasy – the act of abandoning one’s faith — including by converting to another religion. The men face the death penalty for following a different interpretation of Islam than the one sanctioned by the government. And, in Pakistan, police are currently pursuing a Christian accused of sending an allegedly blasphemous poem to a friend. Blasphemy – defined as speech or…
Researchers found humans suppress the analytical areas of their brain in order to believe in god. Humans suppress areas of the brain used for analytical thinking and engage the parts responsible for empathy in order to believe in god, research suggests. They do the opposite when thinking about the physical world, according to the study. “When there’s a question of faith, from the analytic point of view, it may seem absurd,” said Professor Tony Jack, who led the research.