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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Heard

Guest Post: An Update From Mubarak Bala #FreeMubarak

GM Note: Happy sacrilege Sunday, heathens! Since the #FreeMubarak campaign, I’ve been asked by many people how Mubarak is doing. It bothers me that so many people talk about him to me and the others who worked on the campaign rather than talking to Mubarak, himself. So, I asked him to tell us how he’s doing in how own words. Today’s blog post is his response. If you want to follow him and keep up with his new life as an out atheist in Nigeria, you can find him here: @mubarakbala. Mubarak is one of the friendliest, most intelligent people you’ll ever meet, so I highly suggest clicking that follow button. Hi everyone, this is Mubarak Bala.

I can only write to you today because of the goodwill & support you all gave me. I would have been in a psych ward right now being drugged and laughed at for saying I’m an atheist, I still recover from their effects, among which was a drug for psychos, another drug for people with epilepsy, a combination that another doctor said could cause permanent nerve damage, or death in older people, all for saying I no longer follow trodden paths, for forging my own path, free from superstition, bigotry, hate and fear… Thanks to you all, I’m sane and safe.

A further special thanks to the @IHEU, the only organization that was involved from the beginning, of which Bob Churchill, BamiDele and Courtney Heard stood out as the neo-crusaders of our times, for justice, for reason, and for freedom… I wish to further convey my special gratitude to the team that were at the forefront of it all; @alldatjas, @Naradee12, @bobchurchill, @virtuarat, @NancyDrewPI, @crispysea, @mogleeone, @quranifyme, and a lot more that were online, on TV, on Podcasts and offline only to see @mubarakbala #free, I am now, thanks to you all. I love you.

Now that I’m free to say what I want, I wish to clarify that I meant it when I said I’ll make peace with my family, most of whom were already not in support of what was done to me, the few that were involved, I forgave and put it behind me, for sake of tolerance and for the peace that I wish to inculcate in the minds that fear godlessness as monstrosity. We are humanists, we atheists are for peace and secularism, and in our agenda, we wish to see a better world, where bloodletting in the name of God(as imagined) is stopped, where delusions will be cured by reason, where arguments are resolved with facts & rational thinking…a world where knowledge is not longer treated with ridicule or feared, where science is not hijacked by age-old religions to further ensnare young fertile brains from the freedom to think. This we can achieve in our lifetimes.

This blog is supposed to focus on me, so let me update you so far… Freedom ain’t so easy to earn so far, because where I am, you can get killed for blasphemy, for apostasy, for being different, many were, many still are, not necessarily by the govt, but by the mob, or terrorists, or via a sermon by a mullah or sheikh, I am not so special but I heard I’m now a topic of discourse by scholars, and I still receive threats to my life. My life could be snuffed out if many had the chance. I’m still hiding. I still get threats, some may be on my trail any moment. I still shuttle and scramble my location for fear of the mob, and especially the terrorists, since their leader (Sheqau) mentioned and cursed me in his last video. The Nigerian govt. had not yet reached out to me, not to even ask my well-being or offer some relief, even as foreign governments and organizations are aware of my plight. I’m still jobless and now homeless in my own country. However, I met a few humanist friends here and they have been a source of relief and comfort that I’m not all lonely.

I’m currently scrambling to be away for studies in a free country, for things die-down, until when it’s safe, this is why I turn down many TV/Radio and paper interviews and programs, as well as podcasts, lest many more see my face, not until I feel safe. I now have an admission with Clark University in the US, which was offered to me at 40% discount, based on humanitarian grounds, even as I’m late for admission, they left the window open for me, for now, I’m still reaching out to organizations, scholarship bodies and people, to see how I can fill-out the gap. It is due this fall (of 2014). So If you know any link, or know any humanist or scholarship organizations I’ll be glad if you alert me or @godless_mom for it.

Back to freethought; many of you have not yet known if I’m an atheist or just agnostic, I still get those questions daily. To be sincere, I as well do not know, not that I care to know, all I know is I left religion behind, for it is glaring that religion came from human pre-history, when no one had an idea what was going on, and that imaginations took form as guess work in societies. Consequently, I realised that I am not a Theist, making me an ATHEIST. But to further delve down in the spectrum, I realised I’m to some degree an agnostic, where I do not believe in any God or gods. Far as I know, I know all these gods are only imagined, and I know I’ll die as this. So experts can make me know which I am, atheist or agnostic? I heard that an agnostic is a type of atheist so I’m agnostic-atheist. I’d also love to know more.

Now let me give you a little story of my society and you’ll know why I had to break my silence from our dreams. Where I grew up (Northern Nigeria), we are all innocent minds with dreams and hopes, but many are not our co-religionists, so we see them as lost, as hell-dwellers, as such, few care if they are in trouble, if calamity befell them or if they were attacked. They also suffer the same diseases. I grew to see things differently, that we both are human and the same race, so why the division, why hate? Why kill or love to see killed? Why fear delusion of cultures? Why hate to see the others in exalted offices? All this we suffer, because we know little, we are wired to hate, and my people, especially in the North suffer most from such diseases, both Muslim and Christian, either side seeing the other as the villain. I chose to love all…

Nigeria had been through a lot, but not on this front, the religious front, we have been through civil wars, tribal wars, communal wars, some are still going on, to some degree, others have vanished, but not religious intra and inter wars, not at this scale of casualties and time. We live in the 16th century methinks. So I wondered, why hide? Why allow this to happen if the answer is secularism, we love religion and God so much that we kill our neighbors and they kill us too in a cycle of violence all to please this imagined being that no one saw, no one sees and none will ever see? I thought this madness will have to end, if Nigeria can heal itself, then we can have hope on the world, the larger scale of the religious delusion, mainly the mideast.

The Middle East is the most dangerous place to be, even in the future, for they hold onto belief in God(as imagined) so serious that they care less who dies due to that, and I feel if the God is really there then we can blame him for silence, for in one sentence he could shout them down, like ‘stop killing in my name…’ Or is it too hard for him to speak audibly from the sky? For millennia? Every death of a child is worth this, I always wonder…

Finally, I have hope that we will inherit the world, reason will not be silenced, hate will vaporise and many will overcome their fear to reveal themselves, I have met many, some old enough to be my parents, living in fear, for what? Edmund Burke says your silence is also as abysmal and appalling as those perpetrating the crime… We are all culpable, if we allow the near 5billion religious people of this earth roll our planet to doom. That is their imagined god’s will, not our voices nor will, but mirror our inaction. So come out, be open, say it out loud, be vocal, be an activist, for the ship is near the cliffs!!!

Thank you all, and goodnight.





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