The Danger of Books

Alexander Aan is currently serving 2.5 years in Muaro Sijunjung Penitentiary for asking for proof of God’s existence on Facebook. At the moment, he’s in the process of appealing his case to the Indonesian Supreme Court.

Of all the information in this news article, this may be the most heartbreaking:

The prison officers took away some of the books given by Alexander’s supporters and handed them over to the police,” [Aan] said. “The seized books include a book about the revolution in China and a book on Buddha’s spiritual journey. They were afraid that Alexander would remain an atheist [if he reads the books], whereas the books are widely available at bookstores.”

“There’s nothing I can do [in prison] aside from read books with light content. I can no longer enjoy quality books,” he told The Jakarta Post prior to his trial at the district court in June.

Books?! They won’t let him read certain books because they’re afraid they’ll open his mind up too much?

I’m sure they have a library full of Bibles. But Alexander tries to read books that will actually make him think and they pull the plug on him.

That’s not the only heartbreak:

Aan’s case has received attention from international human rights organizations, which argue that even though Aan has no belief in religion, he should still be protected under religious freedom laws.

Although the Office of Public Policy at the Center for Inquiry attempted to have a petition signed in order to warrant an official response from the U.S. government, the petition fell short of its required signatures.

*Sigh*

We’re thinking of you, Alexander. We wish for your safety. And when you are freed, we’re sending a metric shitload of awesome books your way.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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