6th February, 06

Western democracies are under ideological attack. The slowly eroding rights and privileges wrought from the hands of corrupt theocracies over the centuries need vigilant protection by all levels of society. Autonomy of expression, including the satirical, is the most valued asset a forward thinking civilisation has in its protective arsenal.

Religions must be brought to heel if they wish to live under the shielding umbrella of pluralism. To set up sacred cows and then complain about pertinent comment from free society is nonsense.

Religions are suppressing ordinary rights in highly theocratic and even democratic states and use violence in many instances. Half the population of the planet, females, are victims of oppression with numerous others vilified. All forced to bend to individual interpretations of dogmatic rules invented by ancient, nomadic and ignorant desert tribesmen.

Atheist Foundation of Australia President, David Nicholls said: “Unevidenced supernatural ‘beliefs,’ the result of infant indoctrination, threaten governing stability worldwide and show promise of planetary upheaval. Exposing the dangers by all non-violent methods is not only imperative, but journalists, artists and the media in general are duty bound to humanity in this regard.

As Salman Rushdie stated: “Religions play ‘bare-knuckle rough’ all the time, but demand kid-glove treatment in return.” ”