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Kenya:Declare February 17 a national holiday-Atheists lobby

August 22, 2018

By Samuel Ouma

Atheists In Kenya president Harrison Mumia speaks at a Nairobi court on November 1, 2017 concerning the deregistration of the society. Religious leaders called for its disbandment. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Atheists In Kenya president Harrison Mumia speaks at a Nairobi court on November 1, 2017 concerning the deregistration of the society. Religious leaders called for its disbandment. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Attempts by a group of atheists in Kenya to promote their godless agenda are on the rise. On Monday  August 20, 2018 the lobby urged the Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to officially declare February 17 a public holiday for non-believers.

On response to the declaration of August 21 as a public holiday to Mark Idd ul Aidha, Atheists Society of Kenya (ASK) vice chairman Ms. Siongok said the group needs a special day too to teach people about non-existence of God.

The lobby criticized the government for religious biasness. They claimed their pleas are easily ignored by the government unlike other religious groups like Christians and muslims. Ms. Siongok challenged the government to obey the constitution.

Ms. Siongok said, “Article 27 (4) of the constitution says the state shall not discriminate directly or indirectly against any person on any ground including race, sex, pregnancy, marital status , health status , ethnic, social origin, colour, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, dress, language or birth”.

This comes barely five days after the lobby castigated the ministry of culture for sponsoring 46 gospel musicians to a trip in Europe without considering atheists. According to the President of Atheists in Kenya Harrison Mumina, Christians are being favoured.  He has called Culture and Heritage Principal Secretary Josephta Mukobe to reconstitute the team which will leave the country tomorrow (August 21, 2018).

“We are concerned at how the state has in recent past treated Christianity with privilege and made the Christian belief a social norm in Kenya. The state should end marginalization of atheists and members of other religions through institutional religious discrimination,” said Mr. Mumina.

The tour which is meant to showcase Kenya’s culture includes the country’s renowned gospel artistes Gloria Muliro, Janet Otieno, Anastacia Mukabwa among others. They will tour Sweden, Germany, France and Switzerland for ten days.

The group had also organized a seminar in September 2016 to promote Godless parenting. They lambasted religious parenting saying it produces children who are narrow minded, lacking intellectual, curiosity and compassion. About 200 atheists who attended the event maintained that rational, humanistic parenting is needed to give a child chance to be well-adjusted, caring, moral, ethical and responsible.

“The whole God concept is problematic because it limits children, for example, to the story of creation, when they should be questioning,” said one of the atheists.

The lobby has faced opposition since its inception. Two weeks after its inauguration, the group was deregistered by the then Attorney General Githu Muigai after a group of clergy launched an attack against for registering a group who does not believe in God. However, the decision was overturned by the High Court.

“Following receipt of representations made to the State Law Office by various religious and other organizations regarding the registration of the Atheists Society of Kenya, the Attorney General has directed the Registrar of Societies to suspend with immediate effect the said registration under section 12 (1) (b) of the Societies Act until the propriety, legality and Constitutionality of the registration is determined by the Supreme Court,” read the AG’s statement.

Atheist Society of Kenya was registered in February 17, 2106.

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