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Letter from Amal Farah

Dear Maryam and CEMB members, It is with great regret and a heavy heart that I write to tender my resignation with immediate effect from my position as co-spokesperson of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. The decision is due
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Join us to celebrate the 8th anniversary of the CEMB

Join us for appetisers, drinks, music, speeches and laughs to celebrate the CEMB’s 8th anniversary
Saturday 20 June 2015, 1500-1800 Hours in central London. Speakers and acts include: Philosopher A C Grayling
Singer Alya Marquardt
Secular activist Aliyah Saleem
Ex-Muslims North Founder Behzad Sandbad
London Black Atheists Clive Aruede and Lola Tinubu
Bread and Roses TV Host Fariborz Pooya
Centre for Secular Space Director Gita Sahgal
Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco Founder Imad Iddine Habib
FEMEN Leader Inna Shevchenko
Comedian Kate Smurthwaite
Author Kenan Malik
Women’s Rights Activist Magdulien Abaida
Maajid Nawaz, Founder of Quilliam Foundation
CEMB Spokesperson Maryam Namazie
Master Magician Neil Edwards
Southall Black Sisters Director Pragna Patel
Nari Diganta Activist Rumana Hashem
National Secular Society President Terry Sanderson

Tickets: £18 (waged); £10 (unwaged)
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Council of Ex-Muslims: We need to do more with your support

As you know, the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain was established in 2007 to break the taboo that comes with leaving Islam and religion. We have done this by challenging apostasy and blasphemy laws and facilitating a public renunciation of Islam and a rise in atheism. We have also been there for many ex-Muslims facing persecution by Islamists or family members – around 300 a year – including one-on-one support. Our web-forum has given thousands a network to rely on, including threads in Arabic and Urdu. The ex-Muslim movement has grown tremendously since our establishment with affiliated councils in a number of countries such as France, Turkey and Morocco.

The CEMB’s campaigning work (with One Law for All and other allies) is also finally paying off. Atheism has been recognised in Britain as a grounds for asylum with legal decisions no longer guided by whether the apostasy can be kept private. Also, the Law Society has withdrawn its discriminatory Guidance on Sharia wills and Universities UK has taken back its guidance endorsing gender segregation. Sharia courts are now being scrutinised after many years of silence and appeasement.

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Support 24 year old Esha in Pakistani prison charged with blasphemy

4135696_1428760585.3251“Esha” a 24 year old woman has been cut off from the world in her prime and is languishing in a Pakistani prison for the last three years on false charges of blasphemy brought against her by her best friend after they had an argument. She stands accused of having torn pages from the Qur’an and having slept on them. Although there have been several hearings, her trial is still pending for a complex variety of reasons – one of them being that there have been five different judges, each fearing for his life.

Blasphemy is a serious offence in a deeply religious country like Pakistan and punishable by death. Blasphemy laws have been used to persecute minorities like the Christians or to settle personal scores. Several prominent people have been killed for supporting those accused of blasphemy. Only recently a Christian couple were burnt alive for allegedly desecrating the Qur’an.

Please donate towards a Save Esha Fund as generously as you can. The money will be used to pay legal fees and welfare costs.
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New research highlights social stigma faced by apostates from Islam

Simon Cottee of the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, has written a ground-breaking new book which suggests that Muslims leaving Islam in western societies face psychological trauma from social stigma as opposed to physical intimidation.

The book, entitled “The Apostates: When Muslims Leave Islam”, represents the first in-depth research study into the social dynamics of Islamic apostasy in the West.

Based on in-depth life-history interviews with ex-Muslims from the UK and Canada, including members of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s forum, Cottee explains the process by which Muslims leave Islam and become irreligious – and how this transformation impacts upon their lives.

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Stop executing “apostates” and “blasphemers” and release them now!

On 22 February 2015, a Saudi court sentenced a man in his twenties to death by beheading for apostasy. The identity of the man has not been made public but, according to Al-Shabaka, he was arrested last year and is charged with becoming an atheist and insulting Muhammad, Islam’s prophet, on social media.

This heinous ruling comes against the backdrop of the recent attacks on freedom of expression in Paris and Copenhagen. Whilst the Saudi government hypocritically condemned the Paris massacre as a “cowardly terrorist attack that was rejected by the true Islamic religion”, it condemned a man to death for similar “crimes” only a matter of weeks later. This ruling follows the recent case of Raif Badawi, a blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years’ imprisonment for a website promoting public discussion of religion and politics which has been deemed “insulting to Islam”.
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COMPETITION: A POSTER AGAINST HATE

poster_competition_bannerThe Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) is pleased to announce the 2015 Poster Against Hate Competition.

We believe that everyone should be free to speak up about their ideas. Freedom of expression includes the right to offend and to criticize, and even mock what is considered taboo and sacred. This can include religion and Islam. However, free expression is very different from hate speech against minorities, immigrants, Muslims and ex-Muslims. Everyone must be free to express themselves, without fear, threats, social pressure or coercion. For many, though, criticism of religion and Islam is met with threats and intimidation. Accusations of “infidel”, “kafir”, “murtad” are examples of hate speech against ex-Muslims and should be recognised as such. The Poster Competition aims to aid our campaign in support of free expression whilst also exposing hate speech, which threatens those who dare to speak up and also creates a climate of censorship and silence.

Designers are welcome to also send in designs of posters in support of one law for all, against Sharia courts and the religious-Right and for secularism.

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Press Release: Much needed 7 February Conference on Sharia Law, Apostasy and Secularism

PRESS RELEASE
6 FEBRUARY 2015

Secularists will be gathering on 7 February 2015 in London for a day conference on Sharia Law, Apostasy and Secularism. The event follows an historic conference in October 2014 on the Religious-Right, Secularism and Civil Rights.

Speakers at tomorrow’s sold-out conference will discuss freedom of expression, apostasy and blasphemy laws, Islamism and the religious-Right, as well as Sharia in the law, educational system and public policy. They will also highlight the successful campaigns against the Law Society and Universities UK and pay tribute to Charlie Hebdo and the many Muslims, ex-Muslims and others who have been killed or persecuted for their dissent.

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