Special Event: Leo Igwe
Boko Haram and the Threat of Islamic Extremism in Africa - Leo Igwe
The abduction of over 200 school girls in Nigeria by the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram has demonstrated to the world the threat posed by religious extremism in the region. The sentencing to death of a Sudanese woman for apostasy and the religious bloodletting of islamic militants in Mali and the Al Shabab group in East Africa are ominous signs of a looming dark age in Africa. While some military action is necessary to rescue the girls and defeat these militants groups, we will need more than bombs and drones to realise the much needed secular society and dispel the fundamentalist, nihilist ideologies of Islamists and other fanatics in the region. My presentation is a call to arms for all humanists, skeptics, and secularists in the US to support efforts to promote human rights, secular education and separation of religion and state in the region.
Leo Igwe was the Western and Southern African representative to IHEU, the International Humanist and Ethical Union. He has bravely worked to end a variety of human rights violations, including anti-gay hate, sorcery, witchcraft, ritual killing, human sacrifice, “untouchability”, caste discrimination, “child witch” superstition, and anti-blasphemy laws. He is presently enrolled in a three year research programme on “Witchcraft accusations in Africa” at the University of Bayreuth, in Germany.