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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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CEMB Official Meet-Ups, Coffee Mornings and Events

2014 Conference: Religious-Right, Secularism and Civil Rights
Date: Saturday-Sunday 11-12 October 2014
Venue: The Tower Hotel, St Katharine’s Way, London E1W 1LD

Don’t miss 2014’s historic conference. Register now to get the special early bird rates. Purchase your tickets today!

Join notable secularists for a two-day international conference on the Religious-Right, Secularism and Civil Rights during 11-12 October 2014 at the Tower Hotel in London.

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After the Charlie Hebdo Massacre, Support those Fighting the Religious-Right

1908487_10205228738736122_6331463129153098_nAfter the massacre in Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015, expressing indignation, as so many are doing, is not enough.

A quick look at the English-speaking media shows that whilst many condemn the violence itself, they also assert that Charlie Hebdo courted (and maybe deserved?) a strong response from “Muslims”. Charlie’s regular cartoonists did not spare Islam, any other religion, nor fanatics and bigots.

This trend in the media requires our attention. Apparently secularists, agnostics and atheists must keep silent and do not deserve the kind of respect that believers are entitled to; nor can they enjoy free speech to the same degree.

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Charlie Hebdo: Rage and Solidarity

la-nouvelle-une-de-charlie-hebdo-sorti-ceI6HTgMy message to Charlie Hebdo’s editor in chief, Gerard Biard:

Dear Gerard

I spoke on a panel with you in November last year at the International Feminist and Secular Network in Paris.

I am writing to express my outrage at the cold-blooded murder of freethinkers at Charlie Hebdo today and to give my unequivocal support.

Freedom of expression and the criticism of religion and Islam are basic rights. Clearly, free expression without the right to criticise religion is meaningless. Throughout history, criticism of religion (that which is deemed sacred or taboo) has been intrinsic to human progress.

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Support Council of Ex-Muslims in 2015

We’ve had a brilliant year, thanks to your support. In 2015, we aim to continue supporting ex-Muslims and challenging apostasy laws whilst exposing hate speech like “kafir” and “murtad” and raising awareness on the special plight of ex-Muslim women.

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DON’T MISS: Sharia Law, Apostasy and Secularism Conference, London

On 7 February 2015 join Sharia Law, Apostasy and Secularism Day-Conference near London Kings Cross. 9:30am registration. From 10:30am-5:30pm.

The conference will include panel discussions and speeches on the situation of ex-Muslims in Britain and internationally, Islamism and the religious-Right, Sharia in the law, educational system and public policy, as well as the veil and burqa.

Speakers will pay tribute to Charlie Hebdo, discuss the successful campaigns against the Law Society and Universities UK and how the fight for equal rights and an end to discrimination against ex-Muslims are integral to the urgent fight against Islamism and the religious-Right and for a secular society.
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Secular Conference 2014 rallies in support of Kobane and against religious-Right

PosterA3The two-day International Conference on the Religious Right, Secularism and Civil Rights held in London during 11-12 October 2014 was a rousing success.

A broad coalition of secularists, including believers, free-thinkers, agnostics and atheists assembled from the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the Diaspora at the unprecedented and historic gathering to discuss resistance against the repression and violence of ISIS and other manifestations of the religious-Right, including in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Israel, Libya, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Turkey, Tunisia and Yemen. They also discussed the urgent need to defend secularism, universal values and citizenship rights.

The 250 delegates made an unequivocal stand with the brave women and men of Kobane saying: “Their struggle is ours. Their fight is a fight for us all. We are all, today, Kobane.”

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Urgent Action: Atheist Ex-Muslims Sher Shah Jogzei, Syed Muhammad Tabish and Muhammad Shamoon must be granted asylum by Home Office

Pakistani ex-Muslim atheists Sher Shah Jogzei, Syed Muhammad Tabish and Muhammad Shamoon are currently detained in Harmondsworth IRC, which is a Cat B prison. Their crime? They have left Islam and want to live a life free from threats and intimidations prevalent in Pakistan.

Jogezai’s date for deportation has been set for 5th August 2014. Tabish’s deportation on 5th August has been cancelled and he has been granted 5 days to prepare for a fresh asylum trial.

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain Case Manager Tanjir Sugar visited the three men at the detention to find out more about their cases and offer support. One of the men, Sher Shah was harassed by some of his fellow Muslim detainees. Rather than being given protection, he has been taken into isolation.

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain knows only too well the dangers involved for those who renounce Islam and become atheists in countries where Sharia rules apply. Pakistan is officially an Islamic Republic. The government often uses its blasphemy law to prosecute atheists and those who allegedly hurt religious sentiments or defame Islam’s prophet Muhammad.

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Amal Farah joins CEMB as Spokesperson

amal-_2921296bThe Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is pleased to announce that Amal Farah is now a Spokesperson of the organisation along with Maryam Namazie and Nahla Mahmoud.

Amal was born in the Somali capital Mogadishu and now resides in England. Her father Col. Mohamud Farah served under Somalia’s military dictator Siad Barre before he was forced into exile in 1983 where he served as a DFSS military commander until his death a year later. She was subsequently raised in a conservative Muslim household that practiced a purist and literal interpretation of Islam, an experience she found to be stifling and suffocating.

At seventeen Amal began to explore Islam deeply, studying the Quran and its meaning and Islamic history. She came to the conclusion several years later, whilst studying for a Molecular Biology degree, that she no longer believed in Islam, as she found that her conscience was at odds with some if its teachings.

Prompted by the parallels between her life and that of Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese mother sentenced to 100 lashes for “adultery” and to death “apostasy”, Amal felt compelled to speak out against what she viewed as a gross violation of human rights. She feels a strong sense of duty and a need to do good by using her voice to speak out for voices that have been oppressively silenced in the name of Islam.

You can see a recent interview with Amal here and here.
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