August 10, 2011

Encourage the Montreal Police to Take Threats Against Atheists Seriously

When religious believers make death threats against atheists, conventional wisdom says that these threats should be reported to the proper authorities. We have all seen the senseless violence of which religious extremists are capable, and we should take them seriously. But what if the threats are reported by multiple people over a span of time and law enforcement does nothing? What then?

This unfortunate scenario has been playing out for some time with Dennis Markuze (aka, David Mabus). Because Markuze is a resident of Montreal, reports to U.S. authorities are routed to the Montreal Police. And so far, it is not clear that the Montreal Police have taken any sort of action to stop the frequent threats.

Jen McCreight (Blag Hag) has had enough of Markuze and is among the atheist bloggers promoting an online petition to ask the Montreal Police to take the threats seriously.
How much longer are the Montreal Police going to sit on their hands? Until Dennis Markuze finally snaps and hurts someone? If these were religious leaders receiving constant death threats, you can be sure it would have been taken care of instantly. But when atheists are on the receiving end, they twiddle their thumbs.
I understand all too well how easy it is for individuals suffering from mental illness to fall through the cracks of a system poorly equipped to assist them. Perhaps Markuze is such an example. If so, it is going to be challenging to get him help. I know that the Montreal Police are limited in what they can do, but I think Jen is right that there has to be a better option than simply waiting until Markuze actually hurts someone.