August 20 2014 Latest news:
Adam Barnett, Reporter
Monday, April 28, 2014
A book about atheism that offers a non-religious perspective on life has been sent to secondary schools in Newham.
Copies of The Young Atheist’s Handbook were sent out on April 24 as part of a national campaign by the British Humanist Association.
The campaign was launched in response to Education Secretary Michael Gove’s pledge to send a copy of the King James Bible to all schools.
The book was written by science teacher Alom Shaha about his childhood in a Bangladeshi Muslim community in south east London which explores how the early death of his mother led him to question his belief in God.
The project was funded by donations from supporters across the country to the BHA, which hopes the book will ensure pupils have resources that allow them to make their own decisions about their values and beliefs.
Paul Kaufman, chair of East London Humanists, said: “We’re sure the book will be of use to teachers and youngsters from all backgrounds, who want to explore how people who are not religious find meaning and purpose in their lives, and make a positive contribution to our local community.
“There is plenty on offer already for young people with a religious background in Newham. But we felt that books from a non-religious perspective like this one were sorely lacking from school libraries.”
Alom Shaha, the author of the book, said: “I hope young people in Newham reading my story will like it because it makes them think more deeply about their own beliefs and experiences.”
He added: “I’m not trying to turn anyone into an atheist or against their faith. I’m simply encouraging them to think about what they believe and why.”
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