How do I see the Global Secular Humanist Movement in 10 years?

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“How do I see the Global Secular Humanist Movement in 10 years?”

 
I think this is the most interesting question a journalist has ever asked me, aside from, “EVOLUTION IS A HOAX! If humans come from monkeys, then why there are monkeys???” I wish I was joking about getting questions like that.
 
 
 
Almost 4 years ago when I was studying for the Cambridge International Examinations, I had an idea to unite humanists all over the world in order to bring positive change. I called this idea the, “Global Secular Humanist Movement.
 
For the first month, the Facebook page had only two followers; my main facebook profile, and also my second profile, which I used because anti-Humanist extremists often reported my main profile as “offensive” and blocked me from making posts. Alas, they continue this tactic to this day. However, today, as I write this, the page’s followers number close to a quarter of a million.
 
So, one might be wondering, what is it that I really wish to achieve with this movement?
 
Before I answer that question, there are a few things I’d like say first.
 
To begin with, in spite of the many times that I have lost hope in the human race, I will always believe in Humanity.
 
This belief is strengthened when I spend time with intelligent and courageous Humanist activists from all over the planet, whether it is Professor Richard Dawkins or the courageous woman I recently met in Washington DC from Afghanistan who spent a decade of her life educating girls during the brutal Taliban regime. She lost many of her friends as well as members of her family during that period of time. I wish I could mention her name here, but she asked me not to because her life is still under threat.
 

At the Dawkins Ex Muslims Event in Washington DC

 
I am delighted to know that I am not the only one who is trying to bring about positive change, and I strongly believe that we can do it all together, each one of us with his/her expertise, knowledge and experience.
 
In addition, I believe I am uniquely positioned to effectively use social media with my movement, mainly with my skills of Information technology and Social Organizing.
 
I got my first computer from my father when I was 8 years old, and was hooked. I learned programming by age 10, created my first database of philosophy when I was 12, and developed my first website 2 months after that. Geeky knowledge aside, I don’t see myself as an intellectual, nor do I think of myself as a courageous person like the woman mentioned above, though she and I do have one thing in common; I continue my struggles as a Secular activist despite losing my eldest brother, my cousin and my best friend due to religious extremism. It is a matter of principle to fight on so that I may set an example; that you can be a Humanist anywhere in the world, even in places where you may lose your life because of it. 
 
So, what do I wish to achieve with this movement?
 
For a start, I want the Global Secular Humanist Movement to grow, I want Humanism to grow, I want to see more Humanists in the world, I want more people to be familiar with what Humanism is, and I want to see Humanism and rational thought become part of world governments.
 
The biggest way that we will achieve these goals is through mutual endeavors and alliances. Throughout my first year in America, I have made countless alliances with Secular groups and individuals operating internationally and in the United States. I have also tried to help many Humanist and Secular authors & activists to publish and promote their books to a larger audience.
 
Of those alliances, the three most important I have made are:
 
1) The Global Secular Organizing and Strategy   
 
                     
 Led by Sean Faircloth, their mission is to create and lead specific strategies to organize for a world based on reason and science. Daniel Dennett, a member of the advisory board and a hero of mine, had this to say about the, “SecularityUSA” Project, which GSOS currently works on, “The SecularityUSA Action Plan is wonderful. I’m honored to serve on the Advisory Board. I hope others will join me now in participating in this actionable plan.” Professor Richard Dawkins will be speaking at the GSOS on April 12 of this year.
 
More info about the action plan can be found here: www.globalsecular.org/secularityusa/actionplan
 
 
2) The Harvard Humanist Community
 
 
 
Their main area of focus is to create a database for Humanist communities to connect with and learn from each other. Harvard has a very successful humanist hub in my opinion. I was honored to speak there last December, and I am hugely excited to be part of this project. I will announce more information about it as soon as possible.
 
3) Advancing Human Rights Organization
 
 
 
An international operation, they assist with the connecting and assistance of activists living in areas with limited or no free speech protection whatsoever specially in the Middle east . More details of our alliance are forthcoming.
 
Let us return to the original question; How do I see the Global Secular Humanist Movement in 10 years?
 
The past 5 years of being a secular activist have given me wonderful experience that only grows exponentially larger as time goes on. According to social media analysts, within 5 years, our Facebook page’s reach will grow from 250,000 users to 2-3 million. Whether I am alive to see this happen, well, that’s a separate topic.
 
My vision is for GSHM to become an umbrella group for all humanist and secular organizations to learn from and work with each other as well as find common ground. I also see GSHM becoming a think tank for research about Humanism and how to make a world a better place through it.
 
 

However, this vision needs continuous hard work from my side as well as anyone who is willing to invest in such project.

Therefore, may this letter be a call for all of you Secular and Humanist activists who are interested in financing or sponsoring our efforts. I ask that you contact me at [email protected] so that we can continue this fight together.

 

Thank you so much for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.
 
Sincerely,
Faisal Saeed Al Mutar
 
[email protected]
www.faisalalmutar.com 
 
PS: Professor Richard Dawkins will be speaking at our first GSOS on April 12th in Iowa. Event details are available in Global Secular Humanist Movement page.
 
My Speaking Schedule can be found here:  http://www.faisalalmutar.com/schedule/