Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Halal Certification link to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Dee Ellis was a NSW Senate Candidate for the Secular Party of Australia at the last election. Dee is particularly concerned that religious organisations continue to receive government funding and tax breaks, despite the fact that many discriminate against women, gays and other groups. Furthermore, some of these religions also commit human rights violations. Dee would prefer such funding instead to be channelled into more scientifically proven areas and worthy causes such as secular education and health. This would benefit all Australians regardless of their background. Dee is dedicated to exposing and speaking out about all oppressive religious practices.
Synopsis:
The majority of Australian meat, and other groceries, are now halal certified. A significant proportion of Australian halal certified fees go to the World Halal Food Council in Indonesia, run by Indonesia’s most senior Islamic organisation, MUI. MUI have in the past released a fatwa endorsing female genital mutilation (FGM) and also managed to get an FGM ban overturned. UNICEF figures show that at least 49% of Indonesian girls have undergone FGM. Furthermore, as reported in the Guardian, an Islamic foundation, subordinate to MUI, pay and organise for mass FGM ceremonies to be performed on Indonesian schoolgirls.
Dee will expose further the links between Islam, female genital mutilation and halal certification. This event is not about demonising cultural or progressive Muslims, but discussing what we can do to stop funding the genital mutilation of young girls.
Entry to this event will be $5.00 for supporter members of Sydney Atheists and $10.00 for non supporter attendees. Annual Supporter membership is only $20. To become a supporter member, please go to:http://www.sydneyatheists.org/p/donations-and-membership.html

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Letter to Coopers Brewery

Dear Sir / Madam,

Sydney Atheists have been very supportive of Coopers beers as a local producer of beer. We are an organisation with thousands of members and associates. 

We are a non-profit organisation that provides a sanctuary and fellowship for people who have escaped from religions that include Judaism; Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox Christianity; Jehovah's Witnesses; Mormonism; Sunni, Shiite and Wahhabi Islam; Hinduism; Sikhism and many others. We provide education to our members on topics as varied as science, technology, philosophy, psychology, various religions and of course atheism. We see our role as making the world a better place by helping people out of delusion.

We are concerned and distressed to learn that you support / or have supported the Bible Society.

We see all religious texts and all religions as deceitful belief systems without scientific or rational bases. They lead to indoctrination and fraud. They lead to hate and the fracturing of society, not to mention intimidation, murder and genocide.

Your position leads us to consider boycotting your product.

If you would like to be even handed and morally conscienable, we would appreciate a donation from you, just as you have donated to the Bible Society.

Our bank account details are: BSB 112-879 Account Number 410 136 189 

Your donation would of course be both appreciated and promoted.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Marton
President on behalf of Sydney Atheists

Friday, 17 February 2017

What is your doctor REALLY telling you? Science, pseudoscience and medicine.

Dr Anthony Maloof is a Sydney based specialist surgeon. Following completion of training in Ophthalmology, Dr Maloof branched into Subspecialty fields of Cornea transplantation, Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive surgery. He has appointments at the Prince of Wales Hospital and Sydney Eye hospitals and works in private practice in Sydney.
Anthony is a fierce proponent of science based medicine, a strong advocate of science, and an equally strong critic of the poor communication that exists between science and the humanities.
What influences your doctor in their decision making? What influences the advice and recommendations that they give you? How rational is their decision making? How do pharmaceutical companies propagate information about their products to your benefit or detriment? These questions and more will be addressed.
The religious pray for miracles but Dr Maloof performs them, like the corneal transplant below.
 
Entry to this event will be $5.00 for supporter members of Sydney Atheists and $10.00 for non supporter attendees. Annual Supporter membership is only $20. To become a supporter member, please go to:http://www.sydneyatheists.org/p/donations-and-membership.html
Our talk events are held at the Function Room at Club Redfern:
2nd Floor, 159 Redfern St
REDFERN, NSW 2000
RSVP here: https://www.meetup.com/sydneyatheists/events/230385960/

If you are NOT a financial member of Sydney Atheists, you may purchase a ticket here:  https://www.trybooking.com/PFXL 

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Sydney Atheists AGM 9th December 2016- election of office bearers:

President: Steve Marton
Vice President: Jessica Nissan
Secretary: Devesh Sharma
Treasurer: Semih Ilhan
Public Officer: Mike Beecham
Public Relations: Thomas Kraemer
Assistant Secretary / Treasurer: Mohamed Farahat

Sydney Atheists have an eclectic committee, composed of people from 5 former religions and one with no former religion. They come from 7 different countries and with backgrounds in accounting, law, management, medical, science and technology.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Jehovah's Witnesses
They come to your door in pairs, sprouting their faith mercilessly. Many other Christians see them as a cult, but then aren't all religions cults? This evening we have a former Jehovah's Witness - Paul Grundy - who will tell his life story and experiences as well as the ramifications for him and for others in leaving this religion. He will talk about the theology of this cult and how it works.

Paul will also explain:
How to help Jehovah's Witnesses leave the cult
Findings of the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
Future of the Watchtower as a failed doomsday cult. This will incorporate information on how it is structured and financed.














Entry to this event will be $5.00 for supporter members of Sydney Atheists and $10.00 for non supporter attendees. Annual Supporter membership is only $20. To become a supporter member, please go to:http://www.sydneyatheists.org/p/donations-and-membership.html

Our talk events are held at the Function Room at Club Redfern:

2nd Floor, 159 Redfern St
REDFERN, NSW 2000

The entrance is 20 metres across Gibbons Street from Redfern Station under the SPAR sign. You can walk up the stairs, the escalator or use the elevator to the 2nd floor where the club is located. The outside of the venue is shown.

RSVP here: https://www.meetup.com/sydneyatheists/events/233492603/

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Sydney Atheists' Submission:

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights regarding the operation of Part IIA of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) including sections 18C and 18D

To:       Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights
Date:  22nd December 2016
Re:       Racial Discrimination Act, sections 18c and 18d 



Dear Joint Committee

Thank you for permitting a submission from our group, “Sydney Atheists” in relation to the above issue. Below is our submission approved by the Sydney Atheists' executive committee for your consideration.

Our submission briefly states the following:

·         Who we are;
·         The legislation under review;
·         The mischief;
·         What the Sydney Atheists position is; and
·         Recommendations by Sydney Atheists.

Summary of our Position

Sydney Atheists consider that there should be no changes to Section 18C (1) (a) and (b).

Background - Who we are

Sydney Atheists

“Sydney Atheists” is a non profit organisation of over 1,600 persons based in Sydney. Sydney Atheists have been in existence since 2007. Sydney Atheists are an open and welcoming community for atheists and atheist-friendly people. We have an interest in ensuring that whatever a person’s faith or non-faith, that everyone is treated fairly, equally and without discrimination.

We provide a platform for members and guests to express their views on society including the relationships of atheism and religious faith to the common good.


Legislation

The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 s. 18c currently provides as follows;

Offensive behaviour because of race, colour or national or ethnic origin

(1)  It is unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if:
(a)  the act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and
(b)  the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group.

The Mischief

While the objective of this legislation is laudable, there have been instances of mischievous and vexatious cases brought to the courts in relation to sections 18 of the Racial Discrimination Act (“the Act’).  While the courts have taken a pragmatic approach to the interpretation of the legislation and they have dismissed what might be considered to be frivolous and vexatious litigation, people of race, colour or national or ethnic origin should feel physically and socially safe and unthreatened nonetheless.

To a certain extent, the legislation under review seeks to achieve this.  In no way should racism be tolerated and, so to whatever extent necessary, the law should ensure that.


Position of Sydney Atheists and Recommendations

Sydney Atheists understand that some religious groups are seeking to be included in Section 18C (1) (b).

Sydney Atheists consider that there should be no changes to Section 18C (1) (b). We fully endorse the right of individuals or groups to criticise ideas, ideals, philosophies, doctrines and of course religions. We see religions as a subset of ideals, philosophies and doctrines. They are alterable in the minds of adherents. Furthermore, it is our view that most, if not all religions, and their adherents consider competing ones to be inferior to the one that they follow. No religion is universally deemed to have any higher authority than other competing ones.

As a result, religions deserve no more respect than any other ideas, ideals, philosophies or doctrines. They should NOT be protected in the way that people of race, colour or national or ethnic origin are protected. Indeed, society should be free to expose beliefs as inappropriate or indeed fraudulent.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Marton on behalf of the Committee of Sydney Atheists
0450 123 211

moralmovement@gmail.com

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Sydney Atheists interviewed on Radio 2SER about belief and Christmas:

http://www.2ser.com/component/k2/item/26577-sydney-s-atheist-community