Atheist Afghan Granted Religious Asylum in UK

BBC News, January 14, 2014

An Afghan citizen has been granted asylum in the UK for religious reasons–because he is an atheist.

The man fled to the UK from a conflict involving his family in Afghanistan in 2007, aged 16, and was allowed to stay in the UK until 2013.

He was brought up a Muslim, but during his time in the UK became an atheist, his legal team said.

They said he would face persecution and possibly a death sentence if he was returned to Afghanistan.

The team was from the University of Kent’s Law School which offers legal services through its Kent Law Clinic.

‘Entitled to protection’

They believe it is the first time a person has been granted asylum in the UK on the basis of their atheism.

Lawyers lodged a submission to the Home Office under the 1951 Refugee Convention which aims to protect people from persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.

They said the man’s return to Afghanistan could result in a death sentence under Sharia law as an apostate–someone who has abandoned their religious faith–unless he remained discreet about his atheist beliefs.

But because every aspect of daily life and culture in Afghanistan is permeated by Islam living discreetly would be virtually impossible, they said.

The case was prepared by second-year law student Claire Splawn under the supervision of clinic solicitor Sheona York.

Ms Splawn said: “We argued that an atheist should be entitled to protection from persecution on the grounds of their belief in the same way as a religious person is protected.”

‘Proud history’

Ms York added: “The decision represents an important recognition that a lack of religious belief is in itself a thoughtful and seriously-held philosophical position.”

The British Humanist Association said the case may well have a claim to be a first in being based on non-religious beliefs.

Chief executive Andrew Copson said: “Freedom of belief for humanists, atheists and other non-religious people is as important as freedom of belief for the religious but it is too often neglected by Western governments who focus too narrowly on the rights of Christians abroad, as we have seen recently.

“It is great to see Britain showing a lead in defending the human rights of the non-religious in the same way.

“Increasingly in the last two years our Foreign Office is speaking up for the rights of non-religious people abroad – to now see the Home Office extending the UK’s protection to non-religious refugees within our borders is something we can all be proud of.”

The Home Office said: “The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need it and we consider every application on a case-by-case basis.”

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  • Pro_Whitey

    Worrying about the rights of Christians abroad! Good one, Copson! Like that happens. Christians in Syria, Egypt, Iraq, just how much official concern has been spared for them?
    That said, this guy might have a legitimate claim. On the other hand, I think all refugees should be held in camps with the bare minimum to live, so we can be sure they really want to stay away from their home countries, as opposed to leaching off welfare.

    • Spartacus

      Speaking of Christians in Syria, here’s a pic of one decapitated by Jabhat al-Nusra, a terrorist organization supported by US tax dollars :

      • Alexandra1973

        That image isn’t going to go away any time soon…good thing I’m not the kind that gets nightmares from this stuff!

        • dd121

          Welcome to the internet. You must be new here. 🙂

          • Alexandra1973

            Yeah, a complete n00b since around 1996. 🙂

      • The Verdict of History

        And this is precisely why we need mass immigration from Near Eastern countries.

        We can only hope that we’re lucky enough to be blessed with this sort of theocratic zeal in Western countries.

        Open the flood gates of blood-soaked enrichment!

        *sarcasm off*

      • Jesse James

        I am not usually a fan of graphic death photos but perhaps we have been too sheltered by the US media. This is the reality of what is happening in Syria. Strange is it not that the Christian sects of the Middle East survived over two thousand years but are now teetering on the edge of annihilation in no small part thanks to chaos created by the global elites manipulation of the United States. Nothing portrays the reality of the fact that the west is no longer governed by Christians than the utter indifference with which the global slaughter of Christians is received by our political masters.

        • Spartacus

          That picture is a joke compared to others I have, also about Syrian Christians. Just go to google images and type in “christians killed in Syria”, and look at all the dead and mutilated children…

        • dd121

          When I was in Peru it was the custom for TV stations to rush to all the horrific car accidents and be the first to post it on the evening news. Most gore wins. I guess that’s just a cultural difference.

    • Truth Teller

      If you don’t want to give people welfare, don’t give them welfare. Don’t put people in camps like a Nazi would. Asylum is not necessary. It’s better to just put puppet governments in place to keep stability and freedom.

  • Spartacus

    Couldn’t help but notice the comments…

    • Jesse James

      “All religions can be dangerous”, yup that is what scares the hell out of me about secular progressives being allowed to create a theocratic police state in the Dis-United States. Already equality under the law has been abrogated so that the chosen ones blessed by the state receive special protections and immunities. Already the press parrots Politically Correct approved talking points. Already the spineless academics trip over each other trying to impress their masters with their religious zealotry. Already dissenters are forced from their jobs, harassed by the government, denied equal rights and sometimes imprisoned for failure to honor the dictates of the secular progressive Cathedral. Already the Federal Inquisition spies on all citizens and collects the evidence of their transgressions against the revealed truth of socialist progressivism.

      • Spartacus

        And the worst part of it isn’t the religious aspect, but the racial one. Christians in the middle-east are much Whiter than muslims, due primarily to not having black slaves and mixing with them, and the ones in Syria are particularly pure, probably more than 80% of them are White. And they’re getting butchered on a large scale right now, without the vast majority of us having a clue about it…

        • Anna Tree

          They are Levantine whites (with the Nordic, Alpine, Mediterranean and Slav).

          Some Muslim countries statistics:
          in 10 the muslim population is 100%, in 9 nations it is 99%, in 15
          nations the muslim population is between 90 and 98% and in another nine nations it is between 80 and 89%. In seven nations it is between 70 and 79%…

          They just want Syria to be 100% muslim… and our politicians are helping them to genocide the Christians and other Non-muslims.. like the Muslims did in Croatia and Bosnia and many other places, and eventually here…

          • Spartacus

            Muslims are less than 2% of the population of Croatia… Agreed with everything else tho .

          • Anna Tree

            Yes, I was writing about the jihadis from the Middle East etc who joined the Bosnian muslims to kill Croatians Christians.

  • dd121

    I guess those muzzies don’t like to celebrate diversity. They don’t seem very tolerant of us.

  • DailyKenn

    Actually, the Muslims would lop off his head.

  • ncpride

    Question is, who ISN’T granted ‘asylum’ in the UK? I’m pretty sure the government will take any third world person that stubs their toe.

  • He doubtless is afraid for his life. The punishment for apostasy or heresy in Islam is just what Spartacus showed us here above.

    • Spartacus

      He wasn’t a heretic, actually. If the site I got the image from is accurate, he was a shop owner who refused to pay protection money to that terrorist organization. The site said they killed his children too, shortly after that picture was taken .

  • bigone4u

    If you don’t want lying Afghans claiming asylum, don’t let them in to begin with. No one would want to go back after experiencing Western hospitality, free housing, food, medical care, and a shot at white women. DUH! Of course, they’ll lie to stay.

  • Frank_DeScushin

    This certainly sets a precedent to open the door to waves of refugees into the UK. What sane Pakistani would wait in line to immigrate when he can just claim to be an atheist? What Nigerian or Ugandan would wait in line to immigrate when they can seek asylum if they claim to be gay?

  • John K

    Sounds like a new way to get in; not for a second do I believe he is not a Muslim.

  • Truth Teller

    Instead of granting Asylum, I think dictators should be set up in Afghanistan to counter the Islamists IMO