Pakistani humanist denied asylum in UK after failing to identify Greek philosophers

Plato (left) and Aristotle (right)

A Pakistani man who identified as a “humanist” had his application for asylum in the UK rejected because he failed to identify Greek philosophers, The Guardian reported.

Hamza bin Walayat’s asylum request was rejected after he failed to answer questions about classical Greek philosophers.

According to The Guardian, the Home Office said that Hamza bin Walayat’s failure to identify Plato and Aristotle or to answer any questions related to Greek philosophers correctly indicated that his knowledge of humanism was “rudimentary at best”.

Mr Walayat’s claims that he would be at risk in Pakistan, and could be killed by his family because of his renunciation of Islam were also found to be false by the Home Office.

According to a letter issued by the Ministry of Immigration, security and law and order, Mr Walayat’s asylum claim was rejected because he didn’t face any persecution in Pakistan for his humanist beliefs.

Mr Walayat, who has been living in the UK since 2011, claimed that he had received death threats from his family members and other community members after he integrated into secular British life and formed a relationship with a non-Muslim woman.

He claimed asylum last July after being served with removal papers for overstaying his student visa.

After an interview with immigration officials, the Home Office said he had “been unable to provide a consistent or credible account with regards the main aspect of your claim, namely that you are a humanist”.

When tested on his knowledge of humanism, Mr Walayat gave a “basic definition” but could not identify “any famous Greek philosophers who were humanistic”.

The letter said: “When you were informed by the interviewing officer that he was referring to Plato and Aristotle, you replied: ‘Yeah, the thing is because of my medication that is strong I just forget stuff sometimes’.”

The Home Office concluded: “Your knowledge of humanism is rudimentary at best and not of a level that would be expected of a genuine follower of humanism.”

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