Atheist Republic Founder Deplatformed Again


Photo Credits:Wikimedia

Armin Navabi, the author of the 2014 book Why There Is No God and the founder of Atheist Republic, was supposed to give a talk at Mount Royal University (MRU) on March 20, 2019.  The event entitled The Case Against Islamic Reform was hosted as part of a speaker series organized by the Atheist Society of Calgary.

Only two days before the talk, however, a representative from the Calgary school decided to cancel the talk out of sensitivity to Muslims following the terrorist attack in New Zealand. The representative informed Atheist Society of Calgary that they were being denied space.  “In light of the shooting last week and the responses to the event we have received from students and staff, we are going to have to cancel hosting your event with Armin on campus on Thursday,” reads an email from the MRU interfaith coordinator. “We made this decision in light of that impact and we would absolutely have the speaker come to our campus at another time,” they wrote in a statement, later sent to CBC Calgary.

Armin says his goal is not to convert people, but to show them that people can disagree and still get along. "If I don't really don't like Islam that means I hate Muslims, that's what people think. But we show them, no we are very much against Islam but we get along with Muslims the same way they very much dislike atheism but they can get along with us. And by showing them that they say, like, 'Hey look, disagreements are just that disagreements,'" said Navabi.

“(Atheist Society of Calgary) feels that to cancel this event communicates to terrorists, in general, that these tactics will accomplish their objectives,” they wrote in an online post notifying attendees of the cancellation. Navabi’s talk was quickly moved to cSPACE, a South Calgary arts hub.

Navabi is disappointed he won't get a chance to engage in passionate discussions with staff and students, including those who still practice Islam, because of MRU's last-minute decision. “I’ve been deplatformed again,” wrote Navabi in a Wednesday tweet. “What do they want? Do you want to have less conversation? Isn’t less conversation exactly what leads to people having extreme radical positions?” said Navabi, “I mean the less words exchanged between us, the more fists and bullets are going to exchange between people. Having more conversations is exactly what you need in the face of some tragedy like this.“

That’s absolutely right, having better communication can help people overcome some differences and understand each other better. There’s obviously no good time for an atheist to give a talk about the problems with religion without some people getting upset about it. Atheism is so often criticized by the religious and nobody has to apologize for it; so when atheists criticize religions, should that be seen as hate speech?

If you like our posts, subscribe to the Atheist Republic newsletter to get exclusive content delivered weekly to your inbox. Also, get the book "Why There is No God" for free.

Click Here to Subscribe

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.