Chairman Corker and Ranking Member Cardin

ID: LFG-2016-SCFR-0023

Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
423 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Sent via: Mail
July 5th, 2016
Re: H.R. 1150
Chairman Bob Corker and Ranking Member Ben Cardin,
My name is Isaiah X. Smith and I am sending you this letter that is in regards to and pertaining to my
request for you all to support H.R. 1150. As you all may already know, H.R. 1150 aims to add language to
the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 that would include nontheists, humanists and atheists
under its protective umbrella.
It is to my knowledge and understanding of the facts that H.R. 1150 has the purpose as to amending the
definition of "violations of religious freedom" to include protections for those "not professing a
particular religion, or any religion." It would also specifically recognize the act of "forcibly compelling
nonbelievers or nontheists to recant their beliefs or to convert" as a violation.
Violence, hatred, and discrimination against nontheists, humanists and atheists have recently become
serious international issues. Since the year of 2013, there has been a minimum of 16 different
prominent atheist bloggers and publishers in the People's Republic of Bangladesh that have been killed
or seriously injured by Islamic extremists, simply because they dared to publicly declare their lack of
religious belief. In Saudi Arabia, atheist blogger Raif Badawi has been in prison since 2012, and was
sentenced to receive 1,000 lashes during his 10-year sentence, for professing his nonbelief online. In
February of this year, another atheist in Saudi Arabia was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 2,000
lashes for the same "thought crime."
Violence, hatred and discrimination against a person due to their non-religious status or conscience
cannot be tolerated. I urge you to take up H.R. 1150 in your committee and to ensure that the
amendments to add protections for the nonreligious are passed. While the governments of Bangladesh
and Saudi Arabia may have failed to protect their citizens and to stand up for the rights of their citizens,
the government of the United States should not follow in their same footsteps.
It is of my hope that when you all take up H.R. 1150 in your committee that you all will work to ensure
that the amendments to add protections for the nonreligious are passed. The government of the United
States of America needs to stand up for the rights of nontheists, humanists and atheists. Doing so would
make a worldwide statement that all people have a right to their conscience and non-religious status.

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A response letter to my letter to you would be greatly appreciated. You can send me a response to my
letter to you by electronic mail at: iscampaign@usa.com. You can also send me correspondence to me
by mail at the following mailing address:
Isaiah X. Smith
Isaiah Smith Campaign
P.O Box 163411
Fort Worth, Texas, 76161
Respectfully,
Isaiah X. Smith
Isaiah Smith Campaign
P.O Box 163411
Fort Worth, Texas, 76161
www.isaiahxsmith.com

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