The Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) is disappointed to advise that Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of Heretic and Infidel, has withdrawn from the 2018 Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne.

However, MCs for the event – the largest gathering of its kind in the southern hemisphere – have been announced: Robin Ince and Jane Caro.

Ms Hirsi Ali authorised the following statement by the AFA on her behalf:

“Due to personal circumstances, I regret that I am no longer able to attend the 2018 Global Atheist Convention. I applaud your work in defence of freedom of expression and wish you the absolute best for Reason to Hope. I would like to visit Australia again and join the AFA for other events in the future.”

Reason to Hope, from 9 – 11 February 2018, is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy world-class speakers and entertainers, and will challenge attendees’ thoughts about atheism and the role of the godless in the current political and social climate.

Sir Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses is the keynote speaker for the convention, which will be hosted by Ince – a British science comedian and co-host of The Infinite Monkey Cage and Cosmic Shambles LIVE, and Caro – a social commentator, writer and regular panellist on The Gruen Transfer.

In addition Greta Christina, a prominent atheist blogger and author of books including Why Are You Atheists So Angry? and Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing To Do With God will speak at the convention.

Further speaker announcements will follow.

The last two Global Atheist Conventions (The Rise of Atheism in 2010 and A Celebration of Reason in 2012) attracted thousands of people from Melbourne, Australia and around the world to an eclectic mix of speakers, comedy acts, panel debates, book signings and a gala dinner.

Information on the 2018 Global Atheist Convention can be found at:

Tickets go on sale in June 2017, and will initially be offered to AFA members at 2012 prices. Tickets will be sold for the full convention weekend (Friday night, Saturday and Sunday), with the Saturday Night Gala Dinner ticketed separately.



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