Author: Amanda Casanova
The British Humanist Association has sent copies of “The Young Atheist’s Handbook” to every secondary school in England and Wales.
The book, subtitled “Lessons for living a good life without God,” tells the true account of Alom Shaha, a science teacher who was raised as a Muslim in London.
After his mother dies, Shaha rejects Islam and become an atheist.
The campaign to send copies of the book, called the Young Atheist Handbook for Schools campaign, was started by Ian Horsewell. Horsewell said he wanted students to consider their own beliefs.
“(The Handbook) made me realize how fortunate many of us are to be able to take for granted our own freedom to believe, or not, in the faith of our parents,” he said.
“It seemed to me that the very students who needed to read Alom’s book would find it hard to buy for themselves, so instead I wondered if we could place a copy in every secondary school library."
The British Humanist Association is supporting the campaign.
“We couldn't be happier that young people everywhere will now have access to this wonderful book," Chief Executive Andrew Copson said in a statement.
"Alom's message will no doubt inspire young people who are looking to find fulfilment and meaning in their lives, whatever their family background.”
Some Christians, however, have criticized the campaign.
"The evidence suggests that most children's understanding of science is already largely atheistic. The BHA itself says that most children have non-religious beliefs, so why do they feel it is so important to send out this book?" Trevor Cooling, a professor at Cantebury Christ Church University, said.
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