PROTECTING BLASPHEMERS (Panel Discussion)

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PROTECTING BLASPHEMERS:
Is blasphemy to be protected?
Is secular humanism the way for developing countries?

PANEL DISCUSSION SPEAKERS:
- Gail Miller: President of Atheist Alliance International (AAI). Canadian activist and author. Founder of The Critical Thinking Project which teaches basic critical thinking skills to students in developing countries. Former Atheist Asylum Project Director of AAI.
- Armin Navabi: Founder of the biggest online atheist platform Atheist Republic. Iranian Canadian ex-Muslim atheist activist. Author of 'Why there is No God', and podcaster. Cohost of Secular Jihadists.
- Onur Romano: Moderator representing Centre for Inquiry Canada Victoria Branch. Asylum Seeker. Former President of Atheist Alliance International. Turkish ex-Muslim.Atheist activist. Founder of the first atheist NGOs of MidEast in Rep. of Turkey and Georgia. Working on establishing the first atheist NGOs of Rep. of Azerbaijan and Cyprus.
- Robert Light: President of Victoria Secular Humanist Association and the former President of the BC Humanist Association. Writer, director, ​and producer.

Topics:
- Is blasphemy progressive for a society? Is it endangered?
-Are secularism and humanism the ways out of dark ages in developing countries of the Middle East?
- What are the major problems in asylum policies and programs of British
Columbia and the government of Canada towards atheist asylum seekers?
- Is there a need for more atheist/secular NGOs in British Columbia and throughout Canada?
- What are the latest efforts of the respective NGOs of the speakers in regards to helping atheist/humanist asylum seekers?
- Premier introduction of the incoming Atheist Refugee Asylum Program
coalition formed by Association of Atheism, Turkey.

A free-admission public event in memory of Andrew Guy Mulcahy. Donations are welcome!

Media Release:
Armin Navabi, an Iranian-born ex-Muslim author and secular activist, was due to speak at Mount Royal University in Calgary in March of this year. Hours before the talk, Navabi was informed that his talk would be cancelled due to concerns by staff and students.

The author of "Why There Is No God," founder of the Atheist Republic non-profit organization - the world's largest atheist network, and co-host of a podcast called "Secular Jihadists for a Muslim Enlightenment", Navabi is now based in Vancouver but speaks to groups around the globe.

Navabi was born in 1983 and raised as a Shia Muslim in Tehran. He briefly moved to Germany in 1985 and London in 1986, before returning to Tehran in 1988. His family was liberal and not particularly devout but in school he was taught to believe in a literal hell and that committing even the smallest sin would get him there. Navabi reasoned that if the afterlife was supposed to last for eternity then this should be everyone's top priority during their life on Earth. Yet he found that few of those around him, though claiming to believe this, did not act like it was of the utmost importance.[6] To avoid hell at all costs before reaching the "age of reason" at 15 (age 9 for girls), he considered suicide, since any sin (including suicide) committed before then supposedly did not 'count', even if this would only take him to the lowest part of heaven.[7] At age 12, Navabi attempted suicide by jumping out of his school window, but was unsuccessful. It left him in a wheelchair for 7 months, and he missed one year in school.

He will speak in Victoria, B.C. at CFIC-V panel discussion on September 18, 2019 and in Ottawa CFIC meeting on September 22, 2019.

Navabi states, "My goal is not to convert people, but to show them that people can disagree and still get along."

The Humanist Association of Ottawa and Atheist Republic Ottawa Consulate are organizing the talk at Sala San Marco, 215 Preston Street. Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for non-members on eventbrite.com, http://tiny.cc/navabi, or at the door.