• Home
  • Press Releases

Category: Press Releases

De Balie #CelebratingDissent Festival was an Astounding Success

The epic ‘Celebrating Dissent’ Festival took place between 30 August -1 September in Amsterdam, a collaboration between the prestigious art and debate institute De Balie and Maryam Namazie.

Consisting of a mixture of intense, probing conversations, comedy, art, poetry and dance performances, films, lectures and protest, the weekend was an education in the issues facing dissenters fighting religious constraints and the religious-Right. The work of ex-Muslims and women campaigners was particularly evident.

More than 50 speakers from 30 countries worldwide discussed Women’s Dissent; Touching the Holy Subject; Comedy, the Sacred and Islamophobia; Separation of Religion from the State; Women against Gods; Identity; and Fighting the Far-Right. The deep wound left by silence within families was portrayed in a gut-wrenching film ‘No Longer Without You’ by Nazmiyeh Oral. Nadia El Fani’s  brave film ‘Neither Allah nor Master’ explored the importance of laicité. Speaker upon speaker showed how some of the most vibrant responses to fundamentalism have come from the universal desire for freedom – especially where survival has become synonymous with challenging religion and the religious-Right.

To highlight the dangers facing dissenters, a public protest of 160 balloons with the names of those persecuted or murdered for blasphemy and apostasy was held. Participants at the Festival carried balloons to a nearby square and chalked the names of dissenters into the pavement as a memorial of sorts.

The historic event was an astounding celebration of apostasy, blasphemy and dissent. From the moment the city’s Mayor, Femke Halsema, opened the festival by welcoming ‘heretics, infidels and renegades,’ it was clear that this would be a historic and remarkable festival committed not only to defending free thought and expression but also the lives and freedoms of dissenters.

Video footage

30 August 2019

Celebrating Dissent: Interview Marathon with Maryam Namazie 
Celebrating Dissent: Interview Marathon with Taslima Nasrin
Celebrating Dissent: Interview Marathon with Inna Shevchenko
Celebrating Dissent: Interview Marathon with Saif Ul Malook

Celebrating Dissent: Interview Marathon with Zineb El Rhazoui. An empty chair since she was prevented from coming by Dutch government.

31 AUGUST 2019

A Conversation on Women’s Dissent with Inna Shevchenko, Maryam Namazie and Taslima Nasrin. Music by Shelley Segal. Protest Art by Victoria Guggenheim. Chair: Samira Bouchibti.

Touching the Holy Subject with Nadia El Fani, Rishvin Ismath, Saif Ul Malook and Sarah Haider. Music by Veedu Vidz. Chair: Bahram Sadeghi.

Comedy, the Sacred and Islamophobia with Shabana Rehman, Ali Rizvi and Armin Nabavi. Chair: Sherin Seyda.

Public Art Protest commemorating dissenters in a public square.

Separation of Religion from the State with Afsana Lachaux, Annie Laurie Gaylor, Elżbieta Podleśna, Homa Arjomand and Sadia Hameed. Chair: Bercan Gunel.

Women against Gods with Gita Sahgal, Ibtissame Betty Lachgar, Maaike Meijer, Mineke Schipper and Rana Ahmad. Performance by Atoosa Farahmand. Chair: Ianthe Mosselman.

1 SEPTEMBER 2019

Film Screening Neither Allah Nor Master by Nadia El Fani followed by a conversation with Hind Bariaz, Karrar Al Asfoor, Wissam Charafeddine and Zara Kay. Chair: Sophie Rutenfrans.

Film Screening No Longer without You by Nazmiyeh Oral followed by a conversation with Cemal Knudsen Yucel, Fauzia Ilyas, Mimzy Vidz, Omar Makram, Rishvin Ismath, Sohail Ahmad and Zehra Pala. Chair: Parwin Mirahimy.

On Identity with Kenan Malik, Harris Sultan, Jimmy Bangash, Rahila Gupta and Yasmin Rehman. Poetry by Halima Salat. Chair: Jorgen Tjong a Fong.

Fighting the Far-Right; Celebrating Dissent with Halima Salat, Maryam Namazie, Mohamed Hisham, Muhammed Syed, Sadia Hameed and Sami Abdallah. Music by Shelley Segal. Chair: Samira Bouchibti.

There was also artwork by Mahshad Afshar and Jenny Wenhammar.

 Media coverage of De Balie #CelebratingDissent Festival

Photos of De Balie #CelebratingDissent Festival.

 

Demanding the unconditional immediate release @RusthumRussso

Mohamed Rusthum Mujuthaba was arrested by police in the Maldives earlier this week on charges of “insulting Islam” on social media. @RusthumRussso Tweeted police raising the alarm on multiple death threats against him; instead he was arrested and taken into custody. No further information has been given by the police and his place of detention is unknown. No lawyers have agreed to represent him so far and according to local sources, lawyers are reluctant to do so especially in light of several murders by Islamists, including of journalists and bloggers.

We, the undersigned, condemn his arrest and demand his immediate release. @RusthumRussso was merely exercising his freedom of conscience and expression and has a right to do so. We also call for an end to the blasphemy law in the Maldives so that believers and nonbelievers may freely express their conscience without fear, threats or imprisonment.

Council of Ex-Muslims of Sri Lanka

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain

Ex Muslim Support Network of Australia

Ex-Muslims of Tamil Nadu, India

Faithless Hijabi

Irreligious Community Of Sri Lanka

M.A.L.I. Alternative Movement of Individual Liberties

Muslimish

One Law for All

Yukthivadi Sangham, Kerala, India

Atheist Ireland

Free lesson plans about atheism for children aged 8 and up from Atheist Ireland

Atheist Ireland has today published a set of free lesson plans about atheism for children aged 8 and up.

Schools and teachers can use the lesson plans during the school year, at whatever class level they feel is best.

Parents can also use the lesson plans directly. They can discuss them one-to-one with their child, or let their child use them at school if they have opted them out of religion class.

We do not want children to believe anything in these lessons, or in the book, simply because we say so. Like anybody else, we might be mistaken about some things.

Instead, we want children to use the lessons and the book to start off their own personal investigations into the topics we cover.

Full lesson plans can be downloaded via this link: https://www.teachdontpreach.ie/lesson-plans/

Media Coverage of #CelebratingDissent Festival at De Balie, Amsterdam

Media Coverage of #CelebratingDissent Festival at De Balie, Amsterdam during 30 August -1 September 2019

Celebrating Dissent festival, Humanistisch Verbond, 11 September 2019

Stand with the witches, heretics and blasphemers, Interview with Maryam Namazie, sister-hood, 10 September 2019

No Longer Without You Review, sister-hood, 10 September 2019

Celebrating Dissent – reflections after the festival, Humanisterna, 7 September 2019

Rishvin Ismath on the ISIS-attack on his life, turning away from religion and the great personal cost of his activism, Art 19, 6 September 2019

Women at the front, sister-hood, 4 September 2019

Celebrating Dissent Event Coverage, Amber Journals, 3 September 2019

Celebrating Dissent Festival at De Balie in Amsterdam, Arts Magazine, 2 September 2019

Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema opens Celebrating Dissent, De Balie, 1 September 2019

Zineb El Rhazoui s’en prend au gouvernement hollandaise, Morokino, 1 September 2019

Garantstelling voor sprekers is censuur van De Balie, NRC, 30 August 2019

Islamcriticus Zineb El Rhazoui niet naar De Balie want gewapende beveiligers mogen NL niet in, The Post Online, 30 August 2019

Charlie Hebdo-redacteur niet naar De Balie vanwege gewapende beveiliging, AT5, 30 August 2019

Oud-Charlie Hebdo-journalist zegt Amsterdams debat af om beveiliging, NOS, 30 August 2019

Islam-critica Zineb El Rhazoui onderweg naar Balie, NL weigert wapenvergunning Franse agent, Geenstijl, 30 August 2019

Zineb El Rhazoui denied access to the Netherlands, De Balie, 30 August 2019

“Freedom demands effort,” Interview with Nadia El Fani, sister-hood, 29 August 2019

Shabana Rehman: Do I want to be scared to death or laugh to death, De Balie 29 August 2019

Directeur De Balie boos op IND vanwege strenge visumeisen voor ex-moslima’s: ‘Dit is gewoon censuur’, WLN, 29 August 2019

Streetart in de Beurs van Berlage en muziek in het Vondelpark, Parool, 29 Aug 2019

Directeur De Balie boos op IND vanwege strenge eisen voor gastsprekers: ‘Dit is een vorm van censuur’, EenVandaag, 27 August 2019

Inna Shevchenko: Religion is simply one idea among many others, De Balie, 26 August 2019

Deze vrouwen vertellen waarom ze zich niets in Gods naam, Trouw, 24 August 2019

Gita Sahgal on the danger of theocracy, De Balie, 23 August 2019

Subscribe to our Newsletter

CEMB Logo© 2017 - All rights reserved.
UK Atheist Top 5 Blogs
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is a limited by guarantee Company registered in England & Wales.
Registration number 8059509.
Designed with in London

X