Half a world away, a battle for religious freedom is taking place- that is, a battle for freedom FROM religion and for the most basic of human rights, freedom of thought.
Indonesia is a supposedly "modernized" nation... yet, earlier this year a man named Alexander Aan was arrested for blasphemy, a "crime" that belongs in the year 1572 instead of 2012. Prior to being taken into custody, Alexander was beaten by a mob of angry Islamists. Among Alexander's "crimes" was posting on Facebook that "God does not exist".
In June Alexander was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for "insulting the prophet Mohammed" and "inciting religious hatred" (read: blasphemy).
Join us as group member Rafiq- who was for 40 years a practicing Muslim, and is now a freethinker in a land unfriendly to freethinkers- is "beamed in" from his hometown in Indonesia for some "spirited" discussion! Rafiq visited with Alexander Aan while Aan was awaiting trial at a remote location... he will tell us about that, and much much more. For those who haven't had the pleasure of chatting with Rafiq via Skype, etc., he is a delight!
*UPDATE - Extra-special guest Carlos Diaz, President of Atheist Alliance International, will be joining us as well!
7pm to 7:45pm - eat, drink, hobnob
7:45 to 9:45pm - interactive discussion with Rafiq
10pm to ? - we often continue these meetups a bit further west at Applebees' or similar
See You there :)
Update 12 July 2012 Rafiq writes:
I'm just on my way back from visiting Alex in prison. He is feeling lonely because although he is very popular and much liked by fellow prisoners, he doesn't have anyone he can really talk with in depth, there is no one who really understands him. When he feels really really depressed he finds that pondering mathematical problems helps him to keep balance.
He gave me a note in which he says to his many friends in the "outside world": Thanks for support and love, without this I feel alone.
[masked] C [ode]
I miss all my brother and sister. I can't move from my mind and always fight infiltration.
I need to clarify that; I always concern in Humanity and Science. Forever.
Thank for support and love, without this i feel alone.
So i hope my code can be documented because I affraid misinformation about who I'm.
My facebook and email was gone, but I still have id; i write about science (my [idea and scheme] of science, mathematic too) at: iluvboy.blogspot.com (with other email).
Happyness for All
We are trying to arrange to rent some rooms in Muaro Sijunjung so that his family and I can stay and visit more often. LBH are also arranging for a psychiatric assessment of Alex next week.
I will send a fuller report before the meeting.
This is a view of a live conference starting at 7:30PM