The new hotness in theocratic societies this season is beating, arresting, and prosecuting people for not believing in Allah. A few months back, freethinkers campaigned to free Indonesian atheist Alexander Aan, resulting in a failed petition and a lot of soul-searching from secular organizations trying to figure out how to do better next time. If you read the comments on that last link, you’ll see a whole bunch of atheists who were very angry that someone was pointing out that the atheist community completely failed to help someone in great need. I’m hoping those folks have as much energy to devote to getting angry over the arrest of yet another young atheist: Alber Saber, a 25-year old Egyptian blogger who ran the Egyptian Atheists Facebook group.

A “friend” of Saber figured out that he was running the Facebook page and spread the word. Soon an angry mob had formed outside his house, and Saber’s mother called the police, hoping that they’d disperse the people. Instead, in a turnaround we’ve seen happen again and again (I’ve ever read about it happening to 19th Century American freethinkers, like I think D.M. Bennett) the police arrested Saber instead. Here’s the scene:

That entire jolly party of deluded bigots was gathered due to one young man running a Facebook group. What. The. Fuck.

I “liked” the Free Alber Facebook page, but I wasn’t able to find any petition to get behind. So I made one! I’ve contacted the admin of the Free Alber page in the hopes that he can give me some more info, but in the meanwhile I plan to petition the Egyptian government as well as the United Nations and the US Department of State. Even if the Egyptian government doesn’t care about a petition, if we get enough traction then there’s a chance that this story could get picked up in the English-speaking media. If you have any suggested additions to the petition, please let me know.

But please, sign the petition and ask your friends to sign the petition. There’s a chance that we could help an innocent man who has been unjustly imprisoned for his atheistic views.

>>Sign the Petition to Free Alber Saber<<

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org and appears on the weekly Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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15 Comments

  1. Profile photo of scribe999
    September 17, 2012 at 3:26 pm —

    Signed

  2. Profile photo of dr. dr. professor
    September 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm —

    Stupid pieces of shit…

    Signed. Also, you should talk to Coptic Egyptian Christians sometime Rebecca, they have a lot to say on WHY this is happening.

  3. Profile photo of criticaldragon1177
    September 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm —

    Rebecca Watson,

    I not only signed your petition, I told everyone of my followers about it on twitter. Thanks for doing this.

    • Profile photo of Rebecca Watson
      September 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm —

      Thanks so much! The response so far has been great. Within 10 minutes I got an auto email from Change.org saying that it had 100 signers, and the first 100 signers are always the hardest part. That made me laugh and mentally high-five you all.

  4. Profile photo of gsjurseth
    September 17, 2012 at 5:07 pm —

    Signed! I’ve read some theories, for example here: http://www.examiner.com/article/egyptian-atheist-arrested-for-posting-innocence-of-muslim-on-facebook, that it’s because he posted the *evil* film trailer. That hardly seems legitimate, though, since I gather from numerous sources that it was posted on national media anyway.

    Let’s free this guy and make a stand. I am an atheist, but honestly, this is bigger than our [dis]belief in religion. This is about respect for freedom of thought, and that, I argue is the pinnacle of the freedom of speech.

  5. Profile photo of ufischer
    September 17, 2012 at 6:21 pm —

    Signed. Thanks for pointing out this latest outrage.

  6. Profile photo of Myoo
    September 17, 2012 at 8:11 pm —

    Signed it.

  7. Profile photo of KDoug
    September 17, 2012 at 8:40 pm —

    Signed! I appreciate the heads-up, thanks.

  8. Profile photo of angie
    September 17, 2012 at 10:23 pm —

    Signed it. I hope this helps. With parts of the world in an uproar about that anti-Islamic video that was put up on YouTube, getting any traction on freedom of religion and freedom of speech issues will be even more difficult, I’m afraid.

  9. Profile photo of Brian Fraser
    September 17, 2012 at 10:29 pm —

    Signed. This is depressing; Thank you for letting us know!

  10. Profile photo of bcmystery
    September 18, 2012 at 12:50 pm —

    Signed and tweeted.

  11. Profile photo of angryaztecprincess
    September 23, 2012 at 10:38 am —

    You could try to hook up with http://www.avaaz.org/en/, they have a pretty good infra structure and a lot of experience with petitioning governments.

    Also, signed! :)

  12. Profile photo of Amonymous
    September 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm —

    signed

  13. Profile photo of Franktheman
    September 23, 2012 at 8:56 pm —

    Truth is signing this petition will not change anything

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