Thursday, December 21, 2017

Egypt to Criminalize Atheism

Recently, a 29-year-old computer science graduate named Ibrahim Khalil was arrested by Dokki police. His crime was promoting atheism via a Facebook page. Khalil comes from a Christian family.  However, he confessed to being an atheist and using the Facebook page to discuss religion. He is being charged with blasphemy for defaming religion. Because of this, Egyptian officials believe there is a large atheist population growing in Egypt. They are now planning to ban atheism in the nation. Any activity that attacks religion is interpreted as an affront to the nation and social peace. Atheism is a threat in this regard. If religion is questioned, deep cultural ties are severed which may lead to dissension and civil unrest.

Egyptian officials want to prevent any further divisions and dissent such as those experienced in 2013. Moreover, the religion commission of the Egyptian parliament believes that atheism causes mental imbalances which lead to homosexuality, debauchery, sexual deviancy and other immoral concepts. The push to ban atheism was introduced by Amr Hamroush and supported by Riyad Abdel Sattar who believes that those who identify with the LGBTQ community have a mental disease. Atheism is considered a mental disease as well and the cause of immorality.

I think Egyptian officials are overreacting. Atheism is really not a threat to anyone or any nation. It is void of facts and substance. Strong religious instruction, science, and philosophy will undo the negative effects of atheism. Atheism is just a phase in many atheists, especially the youth. Young people crave rebellion. Atheism on the internet presents itself as the ultimate rebellion. This is why it attracts many ignorant young people and uneducated adults. Freedom is very important. Egypt needs to grant it to all, including gays and atheists. If God Himself does not interfere with man's freedom, why should the government? Atheists must be allowed to express themselves and engage in discourse. If Egypt is facing an increase in atheism, then its religions must ask why. They must reach out to atheists and inquire why they have abandoned faith. This is the charitable thing to do, not ban different ideas. Again, God made man free. If man wants to do stupid things or think stupid things, that is his/her choice and he/she will face the consequence for those stupid things. Atheism is not a threat. Atheists should not be arrested, jailed or tortured. This is immoral. It goes against any sane religious belief.


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