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Atheism Shouldn't Be a Crime

By David Niose

Photo by Cdogstar, Flickr 

April 10, 2013

If you think it’s rough being an atheist in America, consider the situation in less open societies. In Bangladesh, for example, several atheist bloggers were recently arrested and dozens of others face possible charges. Their crime, although described in various ways (including “insulting religion”), appears to be nothing more than being openly atheist.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) via an action alert and other measures, is trying to raise public awareness of troubling anti-atheist developments in Bangladesh and elsewhere. Around the world, enforcement of blasphemy laws, sometimes described as “defamation of religion,” is threatening fundamental freedoms of conscience and expression, thereby making religious dissent, especially in the form of open atheist activism, very dangerous. (Some blasphemy laws call for the death penalty.) American secular groups are working with the IHEU, and plan to take steps, including possible protests and demonstrations, to call more attention to the issue. (Follow my Twitter feed for updates on these activities.)

Read the rest of this Psychology Today piece here.

David NioseDavid Niose is the immediate past president of the AHA Board of Directors and the author of Nonbeliever Nation.