Unheard Voices in the Mubarak Bala case

By Robert Hamilton

The dangerous circumstances surrounding atheist and President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, Mubarak Bala, have risen to broader levels of international attention. Major organizations like the United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner and Amnesty International have been contacted about this case, but, at this point, they have not made any definitive public statements. Amnesty International has stated monitoring of the situation.

Arising out of the controversy and vitriol hurled around social media, we don’t want those in favour of the actions against Bala to conclude that by releasing him Muslims lose, and so atheists and humanists win. This is the thinking that will most likely see him harmed, if not killed.

Instead, you want them to warm to the idea that holding Mubarak Bala is un-Islamic. It makes fundamentalist and extremist Muslims look bad, ‘Mohammed himself would want to see Mubarak released.’ It’s more trouble than it’s worth. In other words, the most credible voice that the devout fundamentalist Muslims driving this situation would listen to, comes from elsewhere within the Muslim world. Make no mistake. There are moderate, progressive and even secular Muslims who are appalled by this. They need to step forward, as they have in the past.

Robert Hamilton is Administrator of Atheist Republic Ottawa Consulate.

Canadian Atheist Associates: Godless Mom, Nice Mangoes, Sandwalk, Brainstorm Podcast, Left at the Valley, Life, the Universe & Everything Else, The Reality Check, Bad Science Watch, British Columbia Humanist Association, Dying With Dignity Canada, Canadian Secular AllianceCentre for Inquiry CanadaKelowna Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists Association.

Other National/Local Resources: Association humaniste du QuébecAtheist FreethinkersCentral Ontario Humanist AssociationComox Valley HumanistsGrey Bruce HumanistsHalton-Peel Humanist CommunityHamilton HumanistsHumanist Association of LondonHumanist Association of OttawaHumanist Association of TorontoHumanists, Atheists and Agnostics of ManitobaOntario Humanist SocietySecular Connextions SeculaireSecular Humanists in CalgarySociety of Free Thinkers (Kitchener-Waterloo/Cambridge/Guelph)Thunder Bay HumanistsToronto OasisVictoria Secular Humanist Association.

Other International/Outside Canada Resources: Allianz vun Humanisten, Atheisten an AgnostikerAmerican AtheistsAmerican Humanist AssociationAssociação Brasileira de Ateus e AgnósticoséééBrazilian Association of Atheists and AgnosticsAtheist Alliance InternationalAtheist Alliance of AmericaAtheist CentreAtheist Foundation of AustraliaThe Brights MovementCenter for Inquiry (including Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science), Atheist IrelandCamp Quest, Inc.Council for Secular HumanismDe Vrije GedachteEuropean Humanist FederationFederation of Indian Rationalist AssociationsFoundation Beyond BeliefFreedom From Religion FoundationHumanist Association of IrelandHumanist InternationalHumanist Association of GermanyHumanist Association of IrelandHumanist Society of ScotlandHumanists UKHumanisterna/Humanists SwedenInternet InfidelsInternational League of Non-Religious and AtheistsJames Randi Educational FoundationLeague of Militant AtheistsMilitary Association of Atheists and FreethinkersNational Secular SocietyRationalist InternationalRecovering From ReligionReligion News ServiceSecular Coalition for AmericaSecular Student AllianceThe Clergy ProjectThe Rational Response SquadThe Satanic TempleThe Sunday AssemblyUnited Coalition of ReasonUnion of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics.

Photo by Colton Duke on Unsplash

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