Of course you do. And it won’t cost you a thing.
Alexander Aan, who was jailed for blasphemy last month in Indonesia, has sent a message from prison thanking his supporters around the world, saying that he would feel alone without our support and love. He says that he is always concerned with science and humanity, and that he is also concerned about misinformation about him.
Alexander is a 31 year old atheist civil servant from Indonesia. In January 2012, he wrote on Facebook that God does not exist, he debated online with Muslims, and he posted pages from a comic-book story of the life of Muhammad. In response, he was beaten up by a mob, after which he (and not the mob) was arrested by the police. In June 2012, he was jailed for two and a half years. Alexander was originally charged with blasphemy and persuading others to embrace atheism, but was instead convicted under the Electronic Information and Transactions Law of deliberately spreading information inciting religious hatred and animosity. This shows the dangers of mixing the ideas of blasphemy and incitement to religious hatred, as prosectors can easily interchange one with the other. His defense team is appealing the sentence, while astonishingly the prosecution is appealing the leniency of the sentence!
What you can do to help
- Promote the Atheist Alliance International campaign for Alexander
- Contact the Indonesian authorities
- Contact your politicians and your Indonesian embassy
- Send a message of support for Alex to info [at] atheistalliance [dot] org with “Message for Alex” in the subject line
- Post “God Does Not Exist” on your Facebook wall
- Tweet a message of support with hashtag #goddoesnotexist
- Ask your friends to speak out about the case
I wrote him a message:
I hope you stay positive, knowing that so many good people stand with you. Blasphemy is a victimless crime — but religion sure isn’t.
-Iris Vander Pluym
New York, NY
And I tweeted this:
Your turn: go forth and show Alexander some love. BONUS: you might piss off a few religious conservatives while you’re at it.