Atheists and humanists are increasingly being targeted as distinct minorities in “hate campaigns” across the globe, according to a new report which found that religious and political leaders are ratcheting up rhetoric against those who believe there is no God.
By Adam Sherwin|The Independent
The report claims that the “hate speech” against atheists does not come exclusively from reactionary or radical religious leaders, but increasingly from political leaders, including heads of state.
The Freedom of Thought report, published by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), states: “In 2014, in addition to laws such as those targeting ‘apostasy’ and ‘blasphemy’, we have seen a marked increase in specific targeting of ‘atheists’ and ‘humanism’ as such, using these terms in a broadly correct way (the users know what they are saying) but with intent clearly borne of ignorance or intolerance toward these groups.”
The report singles out Najib Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, who has called “humanism and secularism as well as liberalism” a “deviant” threat to Islam and the state. In a speech to the Quran Recital Assembly Razak said: “We will not tolerate any demands or right to apostasy by Muslims.”