10 Nov 2015

Turkey's only atheist group launches petition to stop automatically registering all babies as Muslim

A Turkish atheist organisation has launched a petition calling for babies to no longer be registered as Muslim at birth.
The Atheist Association – which claims to the first of its kind in Turkey – hopes to get 5,000 signatures to also call on the government to remove the religious affiliation category on national identity cards, the Middle East Eye reports.
It is hoped the petition will draw attention to, and eventually help to end, what the group feels is widespread discrimination against atheists in the country.
“We want politicians to restrain themselves when tempted to make discriminatory statements starting with ‘even the atheists,” the petition read. 
“We want equal treatment before the law. We do not want to be treated as though we have ‘insulted religious values’ when we express our faithlessness,” it continued.
The group was founded in Istanbul’s Asian-side district of Kadıköy in April 2014 but just three weeks after its creation was forced to install a panic button to nearby police station after they received death threats, turkish newspaper the Hurriyet Daily News reported.
Index Mundi found last year 99 per cent identified as Sunni Muslim, with just 0.2 per cent identifying as either Christian, Jewish or ‘other’ – although some dispute this assessment.

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