The Washington Post‘s Max Fisher posted this map highlighting the seven countries in which you can be executed for being an atheist (Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan). Also on the map are countries where atheists can be imprisoned for their beliefs or have certain rights taken away:
The countries in red are, at least in theory, committed to killing people for blasphemy or “thought crimes.” In all seven countries, Islam is the state religion. Six of the countries are run by a dictator, while Pakistan is (kind of) a democracy.
And in all seven countries, there are undoubtedly a large number of atheists pretending to be religious — or discussing their atheism only in the most discreet of ways — so they can live without fear of being captured and executed.
Well, they can forget MY tourist dollars!
Well, they can forget MY tourist dollars
Really .... Maybe we should have an atheist boycott!
Somehow I suspect that an atheist boycott of Egypt or Sudan isn't going to have a whole lot of impact on their revenues. I think a general effort to educate the public about the overall barbarism of those countries would be far more effective in creating a backlash against their policies, including those against atheists.
That's right, but there are some of atheists or new atheists
That are at executed risk, what they do? secret Life, escape How long?
There is no way to learn from inside(is very dangerous). And they sensor any knowledge from abroad.
I don't know how aggressive the Saudis or the Sudanese government would be in pursuing visiting atheists. My suspicion is that atheist citizens, however, would be well-advised to keep a VERY low profile.
As to censorship, it may be effective to a degree, but word does get out, whether through organizations like Amnesty, International or private citizens relating their experiences once outside of the influence of those governments.
In any case, secrets like that in the 21st century don't stay secrets for very long.
I wonder if people's lives are in danger in those countries simply for saying they don't have a religious belief (rather than actually saying things against the prevalent religion).
If so, a lot of people who don't have a religious belief would realize that they themselves would be in danger in those countries - not some abstract atheist who they don't identify with.
I wouldn't doubt it. Saudi Arabia has already been noted for executing a man accused of sorcery (!!!) and the BBC News in that story notes reports of at least two other people also executed for the same "crime."
If they're serious about that, I have no reason to believe they would equally serious about dealing with an atheist. As I value my skin, the Saudis can forget a visit from me in the foreseeable future.
I wouldn't either, as a woman. The persecution of women in places like Saudi Arabia seems very intense.
Even more friendly-seeming countries like Italy might be risky for women. What Amanda Knox went through illustrates that - she was accused of murder, actually sentenced to 26 yrs in jail, and in fall of 2011 I think, finally found innocent on appeal (whoop of joy!).
It looked a lot like a modern-day witch trial - like the Italians were very prejudiced against her sexually-liberated, marijuana-using lifestyle. Huge amounts of very personal vilification against her. Maybe a symptom of Catholicism.
I didn't know about this, thanks.
secular or bust!
Thanks, Morty. I hadn't had a clear idea which countries systematically exterminated atheists through law.