Not all of us use our compassion as a catalyst for the betterment of society but Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, a youth from Iraq, took the initiative and founded the Global Secular Humanist Movement (GSHM). Al Mutar does not come from a place of power or privilege—his life was molded in the despair of war instead. He was born in 1991 in Babylon, Iraq and had survived the devastation of his nation. It takes a certain level of resiliency to build a secular movement—especially when coming from a country that does not tolerate such ideas. Human rights activism comes with a heavy price but Al Mutar doesn’t let threats deviate his course. As any public figure who criticizes the ills of religion, cultures and politics—he gets a fair share of “love letters” from those who oppose him. Leftists and rightists suddenly unite when it comes to abusing those who reject their narcissism so it’s not shocking to see Al Mutarbe branded a “racist-Islamophobe” and“Zionist-agent” among other pettily contemptuous and contradictive labeling.Those that stifle free speech in such a manner are almost always incommunicable individuals who have no problem misrepresenting Al Mutar’s statements of facts by utilizing the very liberty they oppose. The inspirational quote by Thomas Jefferson, “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”—is what he had cited when inquired about religious beliefs of other people. His main goal is to unify society so they may practice beliefs and exchange ideas [that do not violate the rights of others] without facing persecution—which is why he can be appropriately labeled a humanist as he shows no contempt for fundamental human rights of others. He admits to believing a supernatural creator was responsible for the universe but upon reading “The Grand Design” by Stephen Hawking—he was able to redefine his disposition. Life is a process of learning and no person should be forced to accept ideas conflicted by evidence—they should be free to navigate [rationally] as they please. As a refugee from Iraq, he has settled in the United States with a peculiar reception. Those who call him “racist” and “Islamophobic” for sincerely promoting Islamic reform are not just religious fanatics, but also westerners who tout their pseudo liberalism. Al Mutar’s effort to counter religious extremism resonates from the profound loss of his eldest brother who was murdered by Islamists back in Iraq—and with such an experience—he fights to make sure others don’t suffer as he and his family—which is an admirable act of kindness. However, GSHM has a following of over 300,000 people worldwide and continues to grow not because of his personal tragedy which many of his audience are [most likely] unaware of, but because of his absolute vision for humanity—and that is an achievement worth celebrating. At 23 years old, he stands as an established humanist who continues to grow with his audience and aims to create a balance that promotes coexistence—and it’s pretty safe to claim there isn’t a unicorn that can convince him otherwise. Al Mutar combats those who spread dangerous misinformation about ideologies with grace and respect and has demonstrated his vision where everyone can express themselves without receiving hostility. All this is just a spark of a single modern youth from Baghdad, Iraq—so just imagine what else the rest of the youth of this world can accomplish with such empowerment?

Al Mutar didn’t just simply create a foundation for a freethinking society in GSHM—he’s also a representation of what humans are capable of if children are raised in a liberal environment that nurtures logic and kindness rather than obedience to inherently hostile beliefs. The more we educate children to approach life in a rational manner—the more chances we’ll have adults who embrace humane values that contribute to the governing body of politics worldwide.