A Pakistani humanist who doesn’t want to return to his country after he rejected the Islamic faith and received death threats has reportedly been denied asylum in the U.K. because he failed to identify ancient philosophers Plato and Aristotle.
The Guardian reported on Wednesday that Britain’s Home Office found Hamza bin Walayat’s knowledge of humanism “rudimentary at best,” and disputed his claims that his family in Pakistan wants to kill him because he rejected Islam.
The publication shared the details of the letter of rejection Walayat received, which accused him of being “unable to provide a consistent or credible account with regards the main aspect of your claim, namely that you are a humanist.”
“When you were informed by the interviewing officer that he was referring to Plato and Aristotle, you replied: ‘Yeah, the thing is because of my medication that is strong I just forget stuff sometimes,'” the letter states.
The Pakistani man, who had been living in the U.K. since 2011, pointed out that people who leave Islam in Pakistan are subjected to discrimination, persecution and violence.
Walayat said that he had applied for asylum in July 2017, after he had overstayed his student visa.
“I’ve told the truth and instead of believing me they are trying to find excuses to kick me out of the country,” he said.
Bob Churchill of the International Humanist and Ethical Union wrote a letter in support of Walayat’s asylum application, stating: “For many, the broad descriptive ‘humanist’ is just a softer way of saying atheist, especially if you come from a place where identifying as atheist may be regarded as a deeply offensive statement.”
Andrew Copson of Humanists U.K. added that the decision sets a “dangerous precedent for non-religious people fleeing persecution. The Home Office is simply incorrect to claim that non-religious people seeking asylum don’t get the same protection in law as religious people do.”
A Home Office spokesperson said in response to the story: “The U.K. has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need our protection and each claim is carefully considered on its individual merits.”
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Source: Christian Post