Iranian Canadian ex-Muslim atheist and secular activist Armin Navabi courted controversy after he shared a derogatory tweet depicting Goddess Kali in a ‘sexy’ avatar.
— Armin Navabi (@ArminNavabi) September 3, 2020
“Okay! I’m in love with Hinduism. I never knew you had sexy goddesses like these. Why would anyone pick any other religion?” wrote Navabi.
Two individuals on Twitter shared a complaint filed against Navabi under IPC section 504 (intentionally insulting, a provocation to break public peace), 505 (incite class community), 153, 153A (attacking religion), and 67 and 67A of the Information and Technology Act.
The complaint read, “The accused has posted an image on his Twitter account imputing obscenity to Hindu Goddesses. The accused has done so with an intent to incite and provoke Hindus. The act of the accused is clearly intended to break peace-harmony and create unrest in society. The image he has posted is published on Twitter, a Social media platform and hence the second accused is also equally liable for punishment of the above-mentioned provisions. It is, therefore, requested that strict action be taken against the accused and public order be safeguarded.”
Who is Armin Navabi?
Armin Navabi is an author and podcaster based in Canada. He is the founder of online freethought community Atheist Republic, a Canada-based non-profit organisation.
The NGO has branches around the world such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
According to reports, Navabi was born and brought up in Tehran. He strongly believed in the afterlife and that hell is real. To stop himself from sinning, Navabi tried to commit suicide by jumping out his school window, which was unsuccessful.
It left him in a wheelchair for 7 months, during which he missed a year of school. He went on to be a devout Muslim and graduated from the University of Tehran in molecular biology. Navabi eventually lost his faith in God and became an atheist. He moved to Columbia to study finance, after which he obtained Canadian citizenship in 2004.
As an author, he debuted with the book Why There Is No God (2014).
What is the Atheist Republic?
It can be traced back to an Orkut group called ‘Iranian Atheists’, which Navabi founded in 2003, while he was in Tehran. After discovering other nonbelievers, Navabi made a Facebook page called ‘Atheist Republic’ in 2012 and subsequently made a website of the same name. The community fights for others with a similar school of thought, including issues faced by the LGBTQ clan and women’s rights.