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Comment by Harlem Humanists on July 9, 2013 at 8:21pm

Human Rights Activists Defends "Witchcraft" Children: Speaks - July 15th

After almost 4 years of trying, we finally get the chance to host the heroic human rights and child advocate Leo Igwe. Leo will be speaking on July 15th. The program will offer us the chance to hear harrowing challenges and on-going success stories. We'll also have the opportunity to understand our own part in "what's next?". 

 

Who:

Leo Igwe's work covers key areas of interest to us all. He's been doing social justice work for almost 15 years. He'll speak on the link between human rights, civil liberties, health, education and development. The link between skeptical reason, practical activism and social justice is an ongoing project you’re invited to join in. He's in NYC for only one day. Let's turn out to welcome him.

 

Details & RSVP - CFI-NYCFaceBookAtheist Nexus

 

What:

The problems of child abuse, neglect, trafficking and suffering are well known. What is less well known is one of the causes is superstition, irrational tradition and a lack of science-based health care and education. This cripples communities and costs lives.

 

Now there is action that changes lives; rescuing these children from abandonment, stigmatization, mind-numbing abuse, and even murder. They are children (and adults, mostly women, often widows) who’ve been accused of witchcraft and demon possession. They suffer a loss of human rights, human dignity and hope. 

 

Secular Humanist, skeptic and child advocate Leo Igwe is changing things. He has survived slander, harassment by politicians and police, multiple assaults, imprisonment, home invasions and hospitalizing attacks on his family members. His property has been stolen. His father was blinded, losing an eye. He lives under ongoing threats. Yet he continues to risk all and tell the truth for those who's stories would otherwise have no rational witness.  

black(dot)beyond(dot)belief(at)gmail.com. Or 646-820-CFIH (2344)

Comment by Richard C Brown on August 10, 2012 at 8:10am

Friendly Atheist make the Difference!!

Comment by Richard ∑wald on April 4, 2012 at 6:31am

Hemant - Thanks for featuring my blog here on Atheist Nexus at your website, you can't begin to understand how thrilled I was to see that. Thanks man...

Comment by Joe Zamecki on April 2, 2012 at 7:52am

Hemant - Thanks for posting about the memorial brick for the Murray-O'Hairs. Teamwork! :o)

Comment by Harlem Humanists on February 24, 2012 at 12:24pm

The NYC event for the Day of Solidarity for Black Non-Believers will be in Harlem. In fact the next closes promoted events are in D.C and Philadelphia. So this is serving the whole Tri-State (NY,NY & CT) area.

 

We're putting a special twist on our usual Mind Food + "Soul Food" combo. The details will interest you!

CFI-Harlem/Harlem Humanists will be gathering on Sunday February 26th to celebrate Day of Solidarity for Black Non-believers. This is a time to get together and enjoy bright minds and warm personalities. There's a noble story of freethought from within the African American and Pan-African tradition. This is a chance to connect with this tradition and each other. We'll begin at 1pm. The place is 583 Riverside Dr. in the "Brick Room". It's free. Just e-mail (harlem@centerforinquiry.net) or call (646-820-CFIH) for all the details." RSVP if you can.

See you there. Regardless, please share this in the next two days with all you think will be interested. 

Comment by Natalie A Sera on February 23, 2012 at 7:57pm

Thanks for understanding, Steph. All I'm trying to express is that I want to be able to be an atheist and still maintain a close and joyous connection to my ancestral heritage, just like people of other backgrounds can.

Comment by Marc Draco on February 21, 2012 at 7:00am

We can't afford to mix the religion with ethnicity - this is largely what starts the fights in the first damn place. Religion and ethnicity MUST be kept separate if we're all going to live together.

The actress Felicity Kendal is as white British as I am, but she's a Jew (Jewish convert - I don't know if there's a name for that.)

I worked with a guy a couple of years ago who had converted to Islam - and taken a muslim name. Quite crazy in my opinion and the muslims who worked with him didn't trust him either; they were comparatively easy going whilst he was verging on the extremist.

Secular Europe and the UK thanks to its mongrel heritage are way ahead of the rest of the world in this regard; yet even now the interested parties are trying to confuse being a white/brit with automatically being a Christian - and by that, they mean god-fearing, bible thumping Christian - not the wooly "do good for everyone" sort.

Comment by Marc Draco on February 21, 2012 at 6:37am
I think you may be oversimplifying that a bit, Natalie. We have the records of the winners, not the losers. I don't know much of modern Judaism, but in the ancient world,if the Bile is to be trusted, they were a nasty bunch; and this is by their own account.
Comment by Natalie A Sera on February 20, 2012 at 8:01pm

Oh, another example: people condemn the "Abrahamic" faiths because of the damage that Christians and Muslims have done to the other peoples of the world. Well, Judaism is an Abrahamic faith, but Jews were decidedly NOT involved in the persecutions, murders, inquisitions or forced conversion, except as victiims. An example is that, in the entire history of slavery in the US, there exactly 3, count 'em THREE Jewish slaveholders. There were a significant number of Jews in the country at the time, but the majority didn't go in for slavery. The word "Abrahamic religion" paints with too broad a brush.

Comment by Natalie A Sera on February 20, 2012 at 7:56pm

I need to talk about something that is bothering me, and I finally figured out that this might be the best place, because I've been reading Hemant's blog for quite a while, and he is truly the most "Positive Atheist" I've seen.

I've been appalled by the extreme hostility I've seen expressed, mostly toward Christians, but also toward Muslims and Jews, based on a limited, rigid, hide-bound reading of their scriptures. The authors of this nastiness don't distinguish between Islamists and Muslims, Christianists and Christians, nor Judaists and Jews. They view religious scriptures as if these ancient documents which were written in their own cultural context, and in the metaphors and language of their own time, are the literal codex of how modern practitioners of these faiths think and behave. I thought only Fundies did that!

I am going to concentrate on the antisemitism I've witnessed, because I'm most knowledgeable about Judaism, having been born into that ethnic group and having been fairly well educated in its history as well as modern Reform Jewish beliefs.

There have been a number of offensive things pushed HARD by several members of AN. One is that the early Jews were genocidal (and by implication, that they still are). They ignore the fact that there were LOTS of tribes in that land at that time, and they were ALL duking it out, and when history was written by the winners, it tended to be exaggerated. Jews were no more genocidal than anyone else in the area at the time, and there are different reasons for why those tribes are no longer with us, the primary one being Christian and Muslim forced conversion. And Jews are not genocidal at this time, either. Yes, there IS a war going on in the middle east, but it is 2-sided, which these authors conveniently ignore. For example, one of them made an analogy to the immigrants who came to the US and took Native American land. But the difference is that it is well proven archaeologically, linguistically and genetically that the Jews originated in that land, and it was not THEIR fault that they were driven out or killed by the Romans, and those who were left were ALSO subject to the pressure of Islamic forced conversion. Even so, there was always a small Jewish presence in the land.

Another offensive argument is that Judaism is merely a religion, and to be scorned along with the rest of them. Well, I and many other born Jews do not believe in the god of the Jewish writings, but that does not make us any less Jews. Our community regards us as Jews, and we regard ourselves as Jews. Hemant was born into the Jain community of India -- I'm sure he still has connections with it, if only to enjoy the food and music and dancing, while still not believing in their religious ideas. But the authors of the extremist posts do not want to grant to Jews the same right that they grant to other ethnicities. It's OK to go to a Japanese Obon dance while not believing in Amaterasu Omikami; it's OK to celebrate Las Posadas while not believing in Jesus, but it's NOT OK to celebrate the New Year of the Trees (Tu b'Shvat) because it's a Jewish, and therefore "religious" holiday?

The antisemitism that I've seen expressed (those are only the 2 examples that come to mind at the moment), makes me not want to be here -- I had hoped that the AN would be a community that I could feel like a part of, but I just don't see it that way. Please tell me I'm wrong!

 

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