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Atheists ‘terrorists’ face death threats

Atheists ‘terrorists’ face death threats

Pictured above are a happy group of Turkish atheists enjoying a fraternal day out in the sun. It was taken before the authorities decided to equate non-believers with terrorism – and the Facebook page on which the photo first appeared has disappeared.

Furthermore, the Turkish Atheism Association’s webpage can no longer be accessed in Turkey. It was blocked in March. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan warned people to beware of “atheist terrorists”, accusing them of conspiring to overthrow his government.

The Atheism Association, the first of its kind in any Muslim-majority country, was officially founded in Istanbul in April 2014. It was upbeat when it launched, saying:

Now, there are finally civil rights organisations in Turkey for atheists and non-theists. It was to everybody’s surprise that these organisations were founded with virtually no legal or bureaucratic problems.

People speculate that Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s current government may have seen this as an opportunity to demonstrate that they are actually not a totalitarian and anti-democratic government as they are often accused of being, and they even allow official atheist organizations. This may have been an easy way for them to try to polish their image.

Then it turned sour. And dangerous.

In this report, Onur Romano, a founding member of the Atheism Association, tells of harrassment and death threats.

Sometimes they send photos of some al-Qaida members chopping people off heads and putting all the heads in a bucket. They tell us your head is going to be in one of the buckets, that’s how you are going to leave your office, stuff like that.

Turkish atheists having fun? Outrageous!

Turkish atheists having fun? Outrageous!

He added:

Through Facebook, Twitter, emails, and to our call center, we have received a couple of hundred death threats already. We have a total of three security cameras, and we have two panic buttons hooked up to the nearest police precinct. But we are determined.

On Turkish TV channels where growing numbers of Islamic clerics espouse their beliefs, atheists are a popular target. Romano says much of his group’s work involves countering such views.

We don’t insult religion, we don’t insult people’s values. All we are trying to [do] is to tell people what atheism is, because our people think that atheists are people who have orgies every night, rape animals [and] have no ethical values. For them, ethics is equal to religion.

Over the past year, Turkey has people jailed for questioning God’s existence on Twitter. They were prosecuted under a law against inciting religious hatred. Last month, that same law was used to ban 48 websites, including one belonging to the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, as well as the Atheist Association’s webpage.

Last month, the head of a fringe Sharia society directed a death threat at the Atheism Association’s president, Tolga Incir, vowing to cut off his hands and head.

Stepping outside the atheist group’s office, Incir says the threat is more serious than usual, but that there’s little he can do.

This threat is very open. When we founded this association, we were aware that we were risking things, especially in a country like this. I will not be surprised if thousands of people are thinking the same – that atheists should be killed. I carry on with my life and if it happens, it happens.

Incir says his group’s biggest concern is not Turks but jihadists, many of whom he says spend time in Istanbul en route to Syria. But he says his society refuses to be intimidated and is planning to celebrate its first anniversary with a march through the center of Istanbul.

16 responses to “Atheists ‘terrorists’ face death threats”

  1. TrickyDicky says:

    And they are considering letting Turkey join the EU!

  2. TrickyDicky says:

    I have no religion, and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea. He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government; it is as if he would catch his people in a trap. My people are going to learn the principles of democracy, the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go. Let them worship as they will; every man can follow his own conscience, provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him against the liberty of his fellow-men.

    Kemal Ataturk, Founder of the Republic of Turkey

  3. Me says:

    Keep the EU a Turkey Free Zone.

  4. Har Davids says:

    Funny, I don’t think I can remember (recent) incidents of Atheist terror-acts. As for those people in Turkey who equate ethics with religion: just give a good look at the Islamic State right next door. And if you don’t agree with someone’s faith of lack of it: just shrug your shoulders and move on.

  5. David Anderson says:

    “Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan warned people to beware of “atheist terrorists”, accusing them of conspiring to overthrow his government.”

    Erdogan is a megalomaniac, but not a very secure one. How many atheists does he think are in his country and how many does he think it would take to defeat his armed forces?

    The people who describe Turkey as a secular islamic country and want them in the EU must be blind to the abuses of civil rights committed by his government and fucking islam.

  6. L.Long says:

    Some say that it is not the fault of isLame, but I find it strange that all the countries that have high levels of violence, poverty, STDs, misery, etc have isLame or some other form of dogmatic BS in charge.

  7. AgentCormac says:

    @TrickyDicky

    Given anyone in Turkey who says pretty much anything against Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is in violation of national law and can face imprisonment ‘with a heavy sentence of between one and three years’, you’d think that the authorities might want to take heed of his statements relating to church and state. Sadly, however, the current Turkish rulers seem hell-bent on returning their country to the loving embrace of islam.

  8. AgentCormac says:

    Apologies for going OT, but here’s yet another heart-warming news story that only goes to show how the followers of the religion of peace love everybody and simply want the best for absolutely everyone.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-32337725

  9. Robster says:

    Ha! Gotta love the work of L.Long above. He’s offering the first ever “religious truth”: isLame! Fan bloody tastic.

  10. Clive says:

    Turkey is already in NATO.

    ISIS entered Syria through Turkey, with the full backing of the Turkish government. An Iranian Press TV reporter was murdered after she reported that ISIS mercenaries and arms were crossing the Turkish border in trucks with markings of “humanitarian aid” convoys. There have been many other confirmations of this (although not widely publicised in the establishment media).

    The Turkish government is acting with the full backing of US and UK governments in supporting ISIS and other jihadis. There are no “moderate rebels” in Syria. ISIS entered Syria and Iraq in Toyota trucks paid for by US tax-payers.

    The first jihadist group in Syria were the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group who had, before that, been backed by the US and UK governments to bring down the Libyan government, under cover of a ‘no-fly-zone’, enforced by NATO air-forces, including the RAF. A US ambassador was killed by jihadists, in Libya, while he was organising the transfer of jihadist mercenaries and weapons from Libya to Syria, via Turkey.

    The jihadists are funded by the Saudi and Qatari governments, and they are given safe-haven in Turkey, Jordan (where they are trained by the SAS and other ‘special forces’, and mercenaries) and Israel. The Israeli government has built field hospitals for islamist terrorists in the, illegally Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

    They are backing sunni islamists to topple President Assad of Syria, as a step towards undermining Shia Iran, Hezbollah and, ultimately, Russia.

    The British government has been supporting islamists to topple secular governments since the 1950s, when they promoted the Muslim Brotherhood to try to topple the secular pan-Arab nationalist government of President Nasser of Egypt, who had nationalised the Suez Canal and forced the British Army Egyptian middle-east spy base to relocate to Cyprus.

    The Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda are followers of the racist, islamist ideology of Sayyid Qtub, who was executed for plotting to assassinate Nasser.

    Saudi funding has also been poured into reactionary sunni mosques, madrassas (which created the Taliban) and, more recently, they have been giving billions to Israel to fund illegal, zionist, West Bank settlements.

    They do this because they know that the zionist lobby is more influential in the US than the Saudi lobby (despite the Saudi-Bush connection etc). But, basically, it is a US-Saudi-Israeli axis against Iran, Syria and Russia.

    That is why the worst aspects of Muslim fundamentalism have been increasing in power and influence in recent years – because our governments use them to create sectarian conflict in the Middle East and to undermine secular and shia governments.

  11. TrickyDicky says:

    @AgentCormac

    Since when did the law apply to the Erdogan and his stooges, didn’t he recently describe Atatürk as a drunkard.

  12. Clive says:

    Turkey may not yet be in the EU, but they are in NATO. This fact is closely related to the reason why those Turkish atheists are now being threatened, whereas they felt more secure a year ago.

    I tried to explain this before, but my post was deleted from this website. Well, it was a bit long and perhaps it was seen as ‘off-topic’. If so, I apologise.

    But if anyone really wants to understand the root causes of why there has been a recent upsurge of sunni islamist sectarianism throughout the Middle East and North Africa, (and in Europe) threatening those atheists, as well as christians, shia, alawites, kurds, and even moderate sunnis, you should check out who is arming, training and funding the jihadists, and why they are doing so.

    A good place to start is a book called “Secret Afairs: Britains Collusion with Radical Islam” by Mark Curtis.

  13. Clive says:

    Apologies again. I now see that my previous post wasn’t deleted. It is still there. It seemed to have been lost in cyberspace when I looked before.

  14. Me says:

    I went to Turkey once for a holiday…..in a rather remote part … And I have to say the attitude of some of the locals was what I can best describe as coercive and threatening .. And these were muslims….they just wanted to separate you from your money by incorrect inflated billing backed up by the conscription of a bearded sweaty unkempt troop of thugs. Pay up kuffar or get a good kicking. And I am the terrorist….yeah right.

  15. sailor1031 says:

    Saddening that while Obama criticises many nations for their lack of civil liberties and persecution (or simply distaste for) religious minorities, oppression of atheists is quite below his radar.

    As for Turkey joining the EU what part of “european” union is hard to understand? Turkey is not a european country. That’s all.

  16. […] What are the other challenges that Turkish atheists face? […]