Law and Policy

January 2018

Dr Lois Lee

The conundrum of how to prove you hold a nonreligious worldview

Published in The Conversation 26 January 2018

When a Pakistani humanist, Hamza bin Walayat, was denied asylum in Britain in mid January after failing to identify Plato and Aristotle as humanist philosophers, it drew international attention. The Home Office’s understanding of what it means to be a humanist and of humanism’s history is deeply flawed, and the potential consequences are very serious. Walayat’s application for asylum referred to death threats from members of his family for rejecting Islam, and fear for his life in Pakistan, which has strict blasphemy laws. But it is also just the latest indication that illiteracy about what it means to be nonreligious is widespread – even in relatively nonreligious societies such as the UK. Read more…