Freethought Today · May 2017

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

A meeting of the freethinking minds

FFRF proud co-sponsor of two-day event in London on July 22-23

Notable freethinkers from around the world will come together this summer in London for a weekend of discussions and debates on freedom of conscience and expression.

The International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression in the 21st Century will be held July 22-23 and is co-sponsored by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, among several other organizations.

FFRF Co-Presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker will among the more than 60 people scheduled to speak or perform during the conference. Discussions will include topics such as censorship and blasphemy laws, freedom of and from religion, apostasy, the limits of religion's role in society, LGBT and women's rights, atheism, secular values and more.

Other noted speakers include activist, blogger and writer Bonya Ahmed (who spoke at FFRF's 2016 convention in Pittsburgh), scientist and author Richard Dawkins, philosopher A.C. Grayling, singer Shelly Segal, columnist for Charlie Hebdo Zineb El Rhazoui (who was out the day of the massacre), and and Iranian-born rights activist Maryam Namazie, who organized the prestigious conference. Namazie will be receiving the Henry H. Zumach Freedom From Fundamentalist Religion Award at FFRF's 40th annual conference in Madison the weekend of Sept. 15-17. (See pages 23-24 for FFRF convention details and information.)

The conference will highlight the voices of people on the front lines of resistance ­— many of them persecuted and exiled — as well as address challenges faced by activists and freethinkers. It will also elaborate on the links between democratic politics and free expression and conscience, promote secular and rights-based alternatives, and establish priorities for collective action.

Speakers will come from dozens of countries around the world, including Algeria, Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, Ireland, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia, United Kingdom, Ukraine, United States and Yemen.

The conference is sponsored by FFRF, Atheist International Alliance, Bread and Roses TV, Centre for Secular Space, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, Culture Project, Euromind, Equal Rights Now, Fitnah, National Secular Society, One Law for All, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, Southall Black Sisters, and Secularism is a Women's Issue.

For more information or to sign up to attend the conference, go to secularconference.com.

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