Conversation with Nacer Amari — Co-Founder, Prometheus Europe
Nacer Amari is the Co-Founder of United Atheists of Europe and Co-Founder of Prometheus Europe. He is a Tunisian humanitarian activist who fled Tunisia six years ago because of death threats from Islamists. He is having financial difficulties to establish an association www.prometheus-eu.com, where he endeavours to assist people who are threatened with the death penalty because of their critical views of Islam in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. We did a prior interview in The Good Men Project and Canadian Atheist. You can view the donations page here. Here we talk about Prometheus Europe and humanitarian activism.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: How did you become a Tunisian humanitarian activist?
Nacer Amari: It has been said; believing some lives have more value than others is the root of all evil in the world. The antidote to despair is solidarity, working to ensure that we all have peace, security, basic services, and opportunities, not because of the birth lottery of which country we are from, but because we are all human. Solidarity is more than charity — it includes trying to change the systems that produce suffering in the first place.
There is a lot of suffering in the world, none of us can do everything, but each of us can do one thing. We can all be humanitarians in a world that needs them more than ever.
This is how my journey in the humanitarian field started. I just loved the fact that we could share happy moments with suffering people.
Jacobsen: What were some of the integral parts of becoming one, at least six years ago?
Amari: While growing up, I was often isolated and lonely, I knew myself to be a compassionate person, but I didn’t know there was another dimension to that. This is why I felt more attuned to the suffering of others.
There is a humanitarian impulse that one aspires to which needs to be valued, trying to alleviate the suffering of people in dire need, especially raped women, abused children and ex-Muslims at risk.
Jacobsen: What are some of the main issues for those who are committed to humanitarian activism and experience death threats?
Amari: The work of humanitarian activism has never been without risk (death threats, physical attacks, arbitrary arrests, etc.) and is regularly targeted in government crackdowns and heavily controlled online expression in several countries. The governments across the Middle East and North Africa repress the humanitarian activism both offline and online, in an attempt to prevent or punish reporting on human rights violations or other criticisms directed at them or their allies, often on the pretext that they are combatting “threats to national security”.
In order to change the status quo, humanitarian activists are challenging deeply ingrained discrimination and efforts to abrogate:
Rights of minorities.
Freedom of expression.
Freedom of belief and conscience.
Jacobsen: What is your main focus at the moment?
Amari: Currently, my main focus is to formally register the association which I founded with my friends, and at the same time I’m looking for sponsorships, campaigns and Financials support.
Jacobsen: You are in the process of founding an organization. What is the organization? What is its website? What are its mission and mandate?
Amari: Prometheus Europe is a social organization that aims to promote secularism in the Islamic world and to provide help for those who risk their lives to get a chance to have a better future.
These courageous women and men are facing the most violent ideology in the history of mankind in order to make the world a better place for the next generations and that is why they deserve all our support. These freedom fighters are the most suitable people who know how to deal with Islam, and the more support they get, the more social change they can make and the faster changes will happen.
The Western world is facing the risk of expanding Islamism in Europe, and to be able to counter Islamism, the best thing we can do is to challenge the main idea of Islam in the very birthplace of this ideology, this is why empowering atheists or secular people in their own (Islamic) countries will reduce fanaticism and extremism there and the rest of the world. During this struggle, ex-Muslims face various types of discrimination, they can be subjected to violence, jail, execution or even assassination. We as activists try to do our best to save ex-Muslims who are at risk, and we will achieve our goals even faster with outsourced support.
In Europe and side by side with our European partners, it is our goal to implement strategic plans to counter Islamism providing the required knowledge, using the right tools and transforming our organization into an organized social movement.
Jacobsen: How can people become involved in it? How can they donate time, skills, finances, professional networks, and so on?
Amari: Donations help us come over any obstacles that we face while doing our activism, for example sometimes there are ex-Muslims at risk and they need financial help to flee their country. Sometimes the case is urgent and we need to get them out as soon as possible, without donations we are unable to save them.
Currently, there are four funds you can donate to:
1 — Core Fund — This fund is for our project itself. Donations will be used to improve the structure of the project and implement innovative strategic plans to take it to the next level.
2 — Atheist at Risk Fund — This fund is to save those at risk because of their atheism. Please see the buttons below.
3 — Team Personal Fund — This fund is to help the project founders personally. We would love to work full time on this project, but that’s not achievable due to the responsibilities associated with the life of being a refugee. Please see get to know the founders.
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Our social media:
FB page Prometheus Europa
FB group Prometheus — Europa
Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Nacer.