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.