Friday, May 5, 2023
In recent years, allegations of blasphemy have been rampant in Nigeria and individuals accused of blasphemy—both religious and nontheist—have been attacked, killed or imprisoned. Leo will discuss the situation of humanism in Nigeria, efforts to free imprisoned humanist Mubarak Bala, and how allegations of blasphemy endanger the lives and rights of humanists, freethinkers, and atheists in his country.
Leo Igwe is both a scholar and an activist. He holds a B.Phil and an M.A in philosophy from Seat of Wisdom Seminary Owerri and University of Calabar in Nigeria and a doctoral degree in religious studies from the University of Bayreuth in Germany. Before embarking on an academic study of religion, Igwe founded the Nigerian Humanist Movement (now the Humanist Association of Nigeria) and worked for some years for the International Humanist and Ethical Union in the UK and the Center for Inquiry in the US. He was a guest professor (Winter Semester 2018/2019) at the Catholic University of Applied Sciences in Munich, Germany. He has research interest in witchcraft, religion and atheism in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Zambia. At the moment, Leo devotes his time to campaigning for the release of the detained Nigerian Humanist, Mubarak Bala, working to eradicate witch persecution and fostering critical thinking in schools.