Something that’s really been bothering me ever since I actually opened my eyes and looked out to discover what was happening in this world, is the issue of free speech. Some people clearly don’t understand what freedom of speech is all about. In my latest post I talked about how religious groups are treated differnetly than secular people, when given rights that others can’t have, and how sometimes taking away rights that others can’t have. This sensitivity towards religions, the fact that we should “respect” one’s religion, is totally unnecessary since we secular people don’t get any respect ourselves.
Free speech means that any individual is free to speak out about anything, however crazy or provocative his thoughs and ideas might be. This is why Christian groups can stand out in public, imposing threats of Hell on bypassers, screaming at gay people, and praise their heavenly father, without anyone having the right to say that they should go home and keep their dogma to themselves. This is also (ironically) the reason muslims could after the release of the “Innocence of Muslims”-movie, parade around the city with their signs “Death to your free speech!”. Islamic countries seldom get the idea of what free speech is. After the movie for example, Islamic countries started burning USA:s flags, and calling for the heads of USA officials. This is because they do not understand that free speech allows individual people of the western world to make for example a movie like this, without the government having any say in the matter. In Islamic countries, most or everything that comes out of the countries are governed by official authorities. So the movie wasn’t really USA:s doings, it was only one individual, who used his freedom of speech to make this movie. USA had nothing to do with the movie whatsoever.
Now to my main point. I took up Islamic countries, not because I enjoy mocking them, but because of recent events. This has been going on for a while, and the specific event I want to address is the case of Alber Saber. I wanted to talk about this earlier, but I wanted to see how his story progressed. Unfortunately, not much new has come up.
Alber Saber is an Egyptian blogger and computer science student. He is also the admin for the Egyptian Atheists Facebook page, which apparently has been taken down since I can no longer find it. He had posted the “Innocence of Muslims”-movie on the page the 10th of September, and no sooner than two days later, his neighbour found out that Saber was the Admin for the site. On Thursday 12th of September, a mob had formed outside his house, so his mother had to call the police. This is where everything takes a twist. Instead of giving them protection, the police arrested Saber. He is now facing charges for blasphemy.
See, as someone living in a country where this never could happen, I’m dumbfounded by the fact that someone can actually be arrested for NOT believing what the majority believes. If you can’t tolerate people ridiculing your faith, you shouldn’t believe such silly things. But I’m not here to bash faith, I merely want everybody to understand it is completely ridiculous to jail people for something so trivial as atheism. This is the 21st century people! I didn’t realize we had jumped back to the Dark Ages. Seriously, why, why on earth would you arrest someone for being an atheist? How big a crime is that really? I dare say that you are not very strong in your own faith if you have to arrest and jail (and even execute in some instances) people who disagree with you! If you are so sure that your god exists, then why should it bother you that someone doesn’t believe in him? I dare say that you somehow feel that your own faith is lacking, since only the most brainwashed of all people can say for 100% sure that their god is real. And the fact that people deny him makes you frightened, so you want to prove your devotion by locking them up and keeping them out of society. This is sad, to say the least.
But see this is the thing. People of intellect have always been shunned by society. Epicurus got his share of hatred a long time ago, and so has Nicolaus Copernicus and Charles Darwin. And the elephant in the room has always been religion. Religion never allows society to advance, I’m not even sure if it wants to. But mankind has always been afraid of what it doesn’t know. The unkown is frightening. And the future is the most unkown concept we have. But do we really want to miss out on all the great things we might have? If everyone would’ve followed some god all the way up until now, we wouldn’t have the internet, or computers, maybe not even indoor plumbing. Dare think! It’s not that hard or frightening once you are used to it.