It has been heart-warming to know we have been able to help so many as a result of your support.
* Assistance to 600 ex-Muslims a month
* Monthly support groups in London and Birmingham
* Monthly socials for isolated members
* Monthly meet ups, including on empowerment through art, female genital mutilation and male circumcision, leaving faith behind, shunning, mental health and apostasy and religion, misogyny and atheism… Ana Gonzales, a Partner at Wilsons LLP, conducts regular workshops on asylum rights and apostasy for asylum seeking ex-Muslims.
All free of charge.
Ex-Muslim after ex-Muslim has said:
“I have finally found somewhere that I belong.”
“I feel at home here at CEMB.”
“I felt so alone until I found this family.”
In addition to assisting individuals wherever possible, we have co-organised an epic Celebrating Dissent Festival with De Balie in Amsterdam, campaigned against blasphemy and apostasy laws, brought attention to the adverse effects of child fasting during Ramadan, trained Malaysian government officials about apostasy, marched in Pride in London as the Imams of Perpetual Indulgence and more. You can see some of the highlights of the year on our website.
But there is still so much to do.
As you know, we have already begun crowdfunding to establish the first shelter for ex-Muslims in the world so that we can provide emergency accommodation in the UK to those at serious risk to their lives because of their apostasy from Islam. Thanks to those of you who have given so generously to this project. If you haven’t already and are able to donate, please help this important project. If you have an apartment we can use – even short-term – do also let us know.
With this crowdfunding campaign, we hope to provide a long-term and safe solution for those at greatest risk. Here is more information on the JustGiving campaign in case you can help (we have already reached 71% of our goal). We have also started a Patreon campaign for those who wish to support our efforts for emergency shelter on a monthly basis. You can also donate via our website.
Thanks again for your support.
We wish you a wonderful holiday and happy New Year and look forward to working together in 2020.
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) was formed to break the taboo that comes with leaving Islam, highlight the plight of and support ex-Muslims, and challenge Sharia, apostasy and blasphemy laws. CEMB stands against all forms of bigotry, xenophobia, racism and extremism and unequivocally defends reason, freedom of conscience and expression, equality, universal rights and secularism.
SUPPORT AND ASSISTANCE
CEMB is now supporting around 600 ex-Muslims rather than 300 a month. 50% of our caseload are outside of the UK. 25% are ex-Muslim refugees and asylum seekers. 25% are British ex-Muslims. The majority of ex-Muslims who contact CEMB are closeted due to the risks they face. The ex-Muslims who are out are still a very small minority.
With our international cases, the consequences of blasphemy or apostasy can be a death sentence. The result of someone finding out is often violence and sadly, this can involve violence or abuse from family as well as the state. In many cases, it is loved ones that report their family members to the police.
In Britain, the consequences of blasphemy and apostasy manifests itself as honour-based violence, forced marriages, corrective rape and even honour killings (in an attempt to bring ex-Muslims “back into line”).
Our free support includes face-to-face, email and social media contacts, as well as monthly support groups in London and Birmingham, a monthly Social for isolated members, direct support services such as attending court hearings, writing letters of support, contacting housing and social services for young people at risk, working with the Forced Marriages Unit to prevent young women and girls being taken abroad for forced marriage and so on.
We hold monthly meet ups. This year, topics under discussion included female genital mutilation and male circumcision, leaving faith behind, shunning, mental health and apostasy and religion, misogyny and atheism.
Ana Gonzales, a Partner at Wilsons LLP conducts regular workshops on asylum rights and apostasy for asylum seeking ex-Muslims.
On the left is a photo of our arts meetup with artist Salma Zulfiqar who focused on empowering refugees through art.
CAMPAIGNS AND ACTIONS 2019
10 December, International Human Rights Day
For International Human Rights Day, we initiated a social media campaign to show that ex-Muslim rights are human rights. #Apostate #ExMuslim #Human #ApostasyIsAHumanRight
22 November, Statement in Support of protests in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon
In November, the International Ex-Muslim Coalition mobilised in solidarity with the protests in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, including by issuing a statement calling of the support of protests, which have been anti-clerical and deeply secular as well as women-led.
27 October, Campaign to establish the first ex-Muslim refuge in the world
CEMB began a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the first emergency shelter for ex-Muslims in order to provide accommodation and support in the UK to those at serious risk to their lives because of their apostasy from Islam. Until now, CEMB has been forced to provide limited emergency accommodation at hotels, which is neither practical nor cost-effective.
With this crowdfunding campaign, CEMB hopes to provide a long-term and safe solution for those at greatest risk by establishing the first ex-Muslim refuge in the world. Purchase of a refuge space, as well as maintenance and utilities will cost £300,000. Whilst we realise this is an insurmountable amount, any money raised here will be used to provide emergency accommodation and support to those at greatest risk with the aim of working towards the first permanent refuge for ex-Muslims.
More information on the JustGiving campaign can be found here. We have also started a Patreon campaign for those who wish to support our efforts for emergency shelter on a monthly basis.
30 September, International #BlasphemyDay, #EndBlasphemyLaws #BlasphemyNotACrime
August/September, Celebrating Dissent Festival at De Balie Amsterdam
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. More than 50 speakers from 30 countries worldwide joined a mixture of intense, conversations, comedy, art, poetry and dance performances, films, lectures and protest.
To highlight the dangers facing dissenters, a public protest of 160 balloons (left) 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.
On 4 July, CEMB organised an evening on LGBT Rights, Apostasy and Blasphemy as part of Pride in London Festival with a film screening of ‘Ferdous’ by Shakila Taranum Maan followed by a panel discussion with Jimmy Bangash (CEMB Spokesperson), Khakan Qureshi (Birmingham South Asians LGBT Founder), Nadia El Fani (Tunisian Filmmaker), Sadia Hameed (CEMB Spokesperson), Shakila Taranum Maan (British Director) and Syed Isteak Hossain Shawon (Bangladeshi LGBT activist and Editor of Boys Love World). Facilitated by Maryam Namazie (CEMB and One Law for All Spokesperson). Kenyan Somali Poet Halima Salat ended the evening with her poem called A Boy, A Village, A Death.
On 6 July 2019 CEMB marched in Pride London for the 3rd time as an organisation. This year, we marked the 40th anniversary of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a rebellion against the church’s religious morality, by marching as the Imams of Perpetual Indulgence. Instead of being the Council for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice that terrorise people by enforcing Islamic morality codes with brute force in the countries some of us have fled from, we were the Council for the Promotion of Vice and the Prevention of Virtue. Our imams were not the usual imams promoting death for thinking and loving freely but instead included dissenting topless women who subverted Islamic morality language by being Imams of Vice, Lust, Kofr, Zina…
Unsurprisingly, as in previous years, social media erupted with threats and intimidation because as always apostasy and blasphemy are considered worse than the murder of LGBT, apostates and blasphemers. Some “Sheikh” has even called for a joint statement of imams against CEMB because apparently, he fears “the punishment of Allah will descend.” And as usual, we have been accused of “Islamophobia.”
Photographs of women sitting on the ground in a public park with legs akimbo were in solidarity with women across the world who are being sexually assaulted for fighting for their rights and told to ‘sit properly’, ‘be decent’ and threatened with rape for claiming the right to their bodies. It was in particular a show of solidarity with women involved in the aurat march in Pakistan. See video of the action here.
CEMB focused on #PeriodsAreNatural in order to break the taboo that comes with women’s periods. This caused a huge uproar and started a much-needed discussion.
February 6, No to FGM Day
For zero tolerance to Female genital mutilation (FGM) day, we handed out roses that had been stapled shut, along with flyers explaining FGM, the harms of it and how to support someone that is at risk, or has experienced FGM. We received much public support and had some good discussions on the issue with the public.
February 1, No Hijab Day
For Hijab Day, we organised in a 3-hour live podcast, with over half a dozen women worldwide, discussing the harms of modesty culture and the veil.
January 21, Refugee Too
CEMB organised a #RefugeeToo protest outside the Home Office in order to highlight the fact that ex-Muslims are also refugees. This campaign linked into the plight of the Saudi woman and ex-Muslim Rahaf who was able to get asylum in Canada after locking herself in her hotel room in Thailand when authorities tried to deport her back to Saudi Arabia. The campaign highlighted a number of activist cases to show the absurd reasons given for rejecting apostates and how at risk they are.
International Coalition of Ex-Muslims
After the De Balie Celebrating Dissent Festival in Amsterdam, we organised a strategy meeting of the International Coalition of Ex-Muslims on 2 September 2019. Our coalition continues to work together on campaigns such as against blasphemy laws and on International Women’s Day, against Facebook and Twitter bans, e.g. ban of Council of Ex-Muslims of Sri Lanka’s Facebook page and on urgent actions like in the cases of calling on the Egyptian government to allow atheist Ahmed Harkan to leave the country, demanding the unconditional immediate release of Mohamed Rusthum Mujuthaba in the Maldives and helping get Hisham Mohamed, the Egyptian who said he was an atheist on live TV and was abused and kicked off the show and faced death threats to reach safety in Germany.
On 4 November, Sadia Hameed and Ali Malik trained Malaysian officials (left) around the issues of blasphemy and apostasy. The Malaysian officials said that this was the first time they had ever interacted with atheists and that even homosexuality is considered more normal/common than atheism in Malaysia.
CEMB holds fast defying protests outside embassies of countries that prosecute people for eating during Ramadan, an action that led to being filmed and threatened outside the Pakistani embassy and armed police approaching our protestors outside the Saudi embassy.
In April and October, we held “Coming Out” parties where people received their apostasy certificates. The parties are one way of seeing people’s coming out as a cause for celebration rather than vilification and a source of shame.
In October, Sadia and Maryam conduct a training for 11 Malaysian government officials who are involved in the Islamic religious affairs department, including those implementing Sharia in the law, education and government. We show the film, Islam’s Non Believers, and have an extended discussion on apostasy and the right to atheism.
CEMB calls on all to stand with Mohamed Salih, a young Sudanese who filed an official request for all mention of Islam to be removed from his documents, including his national ID. As a result, he was charged with apostasy, arrested and released after being declared mentally unfit. Salih was forced to flee the country.
CEMB hosts the largest gathering of ex-Muslims in history in London in July 2017 at the International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression with over 70 notable speakers from 30 countries or the Diaspora gathered in what is dubbed “The Glastonbury of Freethinkers” and “a Conference of Heroes” to honour dissenters and defend apostasy, blasphemy, and secularism. The sold-out conference highlights the voices of those on the frontlines of resistance – many of them persecuted and exiled. The conference made a space for crucial discussions and debates on Islamophobia and its use by Islamists to impose de facto blasphemy laws, the relation between Islam and Islamism as well as communalism’s threat to universal rights, art as resistance and Laicite as a human right. The conference hashtag, #IWant2BFree, trends on Twitter. The conference includes a public art protest of 99 balloons to represent those killed or imprisoned for blasphemy and apostasy around the world. Resolutions against the no platforming of Richard Dawkins and in support of Egyptian atheist Ismail Mohamed and CEMB at Pride are adopted. A Declaration of Freethinkers is adopted at the conference.
Following the International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression, the International Coalition of Ex-Muslims is launched. The Coalition begins working on joint projects and actions and meets regularly to plan campaigns.
CEMB and One Law for All organise a Conference on Sharia Law, Apostasy and Secularism to 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.
First legal atheist organisation formed in Turkey! The first legally recognised Atheist Organisation of the Balkans, Middle East and among all Muslim-majority countries, has been founded in Istanbul, Turkey. The organisation, titled Ateizm Dernegi, was founded in Istanbul on April 16, 2014.
CEMB and One Law for All sponsor a two-day international conference on the Religious Right, Secularism and Civil Rights. Notable free-thinkers, atheists and secularists from around the world came together for a weekend of discussions and debates on the religious-Right, its attacks on civil rights and freedoms, and the role of secularism for 21st century humanity. The exciting two-day conference discusses the Arab Spring, Sharia and religious laws, the limits of religion’s role in society, free expression, honour killings, apostasy and blasphemy laws, faith schools, women’s rights, secular values and much more. 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.”
Muslimish Launched in May 2012 in New York City where ex-Muslims and Muslims who have questions about religion or want take a more objective look at its teachings can come and participate in a free and open discussion without fear of punishment or judgement.
CEMB holds successful International Day to Defend Apostates and Blasphemers. More than three hundred individuals and organisations call for an international day of action on 14 March to defend those accused of apostasy and blasphemy. Thousands more defended apostates and blasphemers via acts of solidarity and social media, Tweeted, sent letters of protest, or issued statements and messages of support.
CEMB stands with Bangladeshi bloggers and activists. In January, 29 year old blogger Asif Mohiuddin was stabbed. In February, 35 year old atheist blogger Ahmed Rajib, was brutally killed. Islamists continue to threaten prominent bloggers and have called for the “execution of 84 atheist bloggers for insulting religion”. We call for 25 April to be an international day to defend Bangladesh’s bloggers and activists.
CEMB defends Alexander Aan and condemns his being sentenced to two and a half years in prison and fined for having written “God does not exist” on Facebook and calls for his immediate release. He was found guilty of “deliberately spreading information inciting religious hatred and animosity” and “caused anxiety to the community and tarnished Islam” in Indonesia.
CEMB organises an International Day of Action to Defend Blasphemers and Apostates and calls on groups and individuals to take action on this day by organising a protest or vigil, setting up a table in a city centre, writing a letter, signing a petition, drawing a picture, taking a photo, making a video to highlight blasphemy and apostasy laws and rules, defend free expression and the women and men whose lives are at stake.
CEMB organises a Day of Agreement to highlight the difficulties faced by non-believers in Islamic theocracies, where they are forced to live in silence and furthermore, are unable to have even the smallest disagreements, as it could very much result in incarceration or execution.
Northern Ex-Muslim Meet up Group Launched. CEMB affiliated Manchester Ex-Muslim Meet-Up group which was established in November 2012 by Sandbad has been renamed Northern Ex-Muslim Meet-up Group. Ex-Muslims from Leeds, Bradford and surrounding areas are now part of the group. They welcome ex-Muslims in the North to join them, including from Liverpool.
CEMB and One Law for All hold seminar on Sharia Law in Britain to mark International Women’s Day. The seminar brought together Muslims, ex-Muslims, women’s rights campaigners, lawyers and politicians to outline the problems with Muslim Arbitration Tribunals and Sharia Councils and to propose recommendations for prohibiting religious tribunals and bringing about equal rights for all.
Maryam Namazie is an activist with the Council of Ex-Muslims and other secularist groups.
On the issue of child veiling, a state ban on conspicuous religious symbols for children is an important defence of children’s rights.
Children are not parental property
Children are not the property of their parents.
They are individuals with rights and bodily integrity. And just because their parents believe in child veiling or FGM and male circumcision doesn’t mean they should be automatically entitled to impose their views on their children, especially when these views are harmful.
It is not a question of choice
Religious symbols on children are not a child’s choice but a parental imposition, as no child “chooses” to be “modest” and “chaste” and protect the family “honour.”
Even for adults, it is debatable how many have freely chosen to wear the veil given the huge amounts of pressures to conform, the compulsory nature of the veil in many instances and because submission and compliance are not the same as choice. Even so, there is clearly a huge difference between the veiling of adults and child veiling.
As the late Iranian Marxist Mansoor Hekmat said:
“The child has no religion, tradition and prejudices. She has not joined any religious sect. She is a new human being who, by accident and irrespective of her will has been born into a family with specific religion, tradition, and prejudices. It is indeed the task of society to neutralise the negative effects of this blind lottery.
“Society is duty-bound to provide fair and equal living conditions for children, their growth and development, and their active participation in social life. Anybody who should try to block the normal social life of a child, exactly like those who would want to physically violate a child according to their own culture, religion, or personal or collective complexes, should be confronted with the firm barrier of the law and the serious reaction of society.
“No nine year old girl chooses to be married, sexually mutilated, serve as house maid and cook for the male members of the family, and be deprived of exercise, education, and play. The child grows up in the family and in society according to established customs, traditions, and regulations, and automatically learns to accept these ideas and customs as the norms of life.
“To speak of the choice of the Islamic veil by the child herself is a ridiculous joke. Anyone who presents the mechanism of the veiling of a kindergarten-age girl as her own ‘democratic choice’ either comes from outer space, or is a hypocrite who does not deserve to participate in the discussion about children’s rights and the fight against discrimination.
“The condition for defending any form of the freedom of the child to experience life, the condition for defending the child’s right to choose, is first and foremost, to prevent these automatic and common impositions.”
The veil promotes sex apartheid and inequality
The veil is emotionally harmful. It aims to erase girls and women from the public space and creates a physical wall of segregation. If you do not stay home, and insist on going to school or work or what have you, then you must carry the purdah on your very back to prevent yourself from enticing men and creating fitnah or chaos in society.
The veil is part of the misogynist insistence that girls are “different” from boys. As has been seen in some classrooms in Islamic schools here in Britain even, what follows child veiling is girls sitting in the back of the classrooms, eating after male students, having different textbooks…
It also inhibits the free movement of children. There is an implication that veiled girls are not to run, shout or laugh too loudly or even ride a bike and be seen playing with boys. Child veiling encourages inequality between girls and boys right from the start and solidifies women’s subservient status in society.
Modesty culture is an extension of rape culture
Moreover, child veiling is on the continuum of other religious and cultural rules to control women and girls to ensure that they know “their place” – whether it be via FGM, polygamy or child marriage. At worst, it promotes rape culture and violence against girls and women.
The veil and its demands for modesty brings with it the implicit and often explicit shaming (or worse) of those deemed “immodest.” It is the immodest girl or woman who fails to dress or behave appropriately in order to avoid the male gaze and titillation. She has no one to blame but herself for any ensuing male violence. Modesty is always the remit of women and young girls.
And while it is often portrayed as harmless, modesty culture sexualises girls from a young age and puts the onus on them to protect themselves. Child veiling also removes male accountability for violence, positioning men as predators unable to control their urges. Girls and women are to be either protected or raped depending on how well they guard their modesty and the honour of their male guardian.
Therefore, despite what we are often told, the veil is not just another piece of clothing. This would be similar to touting foot-binding as footwear, FGM as piercings and the chastity belt as lingerie.
In all religions and every religious-Right movement, the perfect “modest” and “moral” woman/girl is the one who cannot be seen or heard in public. Whether via acid-attacks, FGM or child veiling, the message is clear: a good woman/girl is a “modest” one.
To ban or not to ban
There are bans on domestic violence, FGM, child labour… because of social and political movements demanding an end to such violations culminating with changes in the law. Therefore, the banning of child veiling and conspicuous religious symbols should be seen within this move to prioritise children’s rights over the rights of their parents, religious dogma or religious “leaders” and to codify it in the law.
Racism or Fundamentalism
Much of the discussion around the banning of child veiling centres around legitimate concerns for bigotry against Muslims, rising xenophobia and the exploitation of any ban by the far-Right. I would challenge the view that sees girls and women as extensions of their communities and expendable for societal “cohesion.”
Yes, of course, there is a context of racism but there is also a context of the rise of the religious-Right (including white nationalism) with women and girls as their first targets. Increased child veiling is the result of this rising fundamentalism since the veil and control of “its women” is the most public manifestation of Islamist control. In Britain, today, even some toddlers can be seen wearing the veil.
A more ethical position would be to oppose both racism and fundamentalism. Excusing fundamentalism because of racism or vice versa addresses neither and leaves women and girls at the mercy of religious and patriarchal restrictions.
Identity or Solidarity
Saying the fight against child veiling is a fight for feminist and secularist movements within faith communities allows one to remain on the side lines and pay lip service to what is a serious child welfare issue. Oh well, at least you showed some solidarity by putting the onus on others!
Children – British girls – are being sexualised, segregated, taught they are different from boys. British children cannot feel the wind in their hair, run, laugh out loud, dance… They are not considered as individuals whose welfare is paramount but extensions of “community” and family and bearers of modesty culture.
The idea that the fight for the rights of these girls — because they are minorities — must be left to “faith communities” shows how ingrained regressive identity politics and cultural relativism have become. For me, the issue is clear.
If you want to improve the lot of children who are veiled, then changes in law are an important battleground for those who are serious about children’s rights.
Nationwide protests in Iran against a 50% fuel price hike over the last few days has seen widespread suppression by the Islamic regime of Iran’s security forces leaving at least 200 dead, hundreds injured and over a thousand arrested. The use of overwhelming force by security forces has been coupled with an Internet black out to prevent news of the uprising and its suppression from reaching the outside world. The protesters are targeting Islamic rule and the clerical dictatorship, including by attacking religious institutions and seminaries, banks, police stations and representations of the clerical leadership.
The protests in Iran follow mass and ongoing protests in Iraq and Lebanon over the past month. In Iraq, more than 300 people have been killed and at least 15,000 wounded. In Lebanon, the protesters have gained victories despite attempts to violent suppression, the last of which was cancelling the parliamentary session for the second time in a row, after protesters blocked all roads leading to parliament.
In all three countries, protesters are demanding jobs, improved services, an end to corruption, sectarianism and the interventions of the Islamic regime of Iran in the region. In Iraq many shouted: “Neither Sunnism nor Shiiism, but Secularism”. In Iran, slogans included “We don’t want an Islamic regime” and in Lebanon, demonstrators demanded that those in power be deposed by saying “All of them means all of them, Nasrallah is one of them” referring to the Islamist leader. The protests are deeply secular, with young people and women taking the lead.
We call on the public to show unequivocal support and solidarity with the protests and defend universal rights, freedoms and demands for secularism. We also call on the public to mobilise condemnation of government forces, including Islamic militia, that are suppressing popular and legitimate uprisings for a better tomorrow.
Maryam Namazie, Political Activist, Iran/UK
Sami Abdallah, Co-founder of Freethought Lebanon
Ahlam Akram, Basira for Universal Women’s Rights
Ali Rizvi, Author
Armin Navabi, Atheist Republic
Ashkan, Ex-musulmani d’Italia and Republica degli atei
Atheist & Agnostic Alliance Pakistan
Barry Duke, Editor of The Freethinker and Pink Humanist
Bread and Roses TV
Cemal Knudsen Yucel, Founder of Ex-Muslims of Norway
Cinzia Sciuto, Editor of MicroMega and Journalist
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, Co-Presidents, Freedom From Religion Foundation
Ensaf Haidar, Raif Badawi Foundation for Freedom
Ex-Muslims of India
Ex-Muslims of Norway
Ex-Muslims of Tamil Nadu
Fauzia Ilyas, Founder of Atheist & Agnostic Alliance Pakistan
Gita Sahgal, Spokesperson, One Law for All
Halaleh Taheri, Founder, Middle Eastern Women and Society organisation
Halima Salat, Ex-Muslim Somali Voices
Harris Sultan, Author and Activist
Ibtissame Betty Lachgar, Co-founder of Mouvement Alternatif pour les Libertés Individuelles – Morocco
Iman Soleymani Amiri, Researcher and Writer
Irreligious Community of Sri Lanka
Jenny Wenhammar, FEMEN Sweden
Karrar Al Asfoor, Iraqi Liberal Activist
Keith Porteous Wood, President, National Secular Society
Lars Alm, Board member, Ateistene Norway
Lisa-Marie Taylor, CEO, FiLiA
Maria MacLachlan, Women’s Rights Campaigner
Marieme Helie Lucas, Algerian Sociologist and Founder of Secularism is a Woman’s Issue
Marwa Radwan Wain, Youtuber
Mersedeh Ghaedi, Spokesperson, Iran Tribunal London
Mina Ahadi, Worker-communist Party of Iran
Nacer Amari, President and Founder of Prometheus-Europe
Nadia El Fani, Filmmaker
Nahla Mahmoud, Human Rights Campaigner
Nastaran Goodarzi, Ex-Muslims of Scandinavia
Nina Sankari, Vice President of Kazimierz Łyszczynski Foundation
One Law for All
Patty Debonitas, Activist
Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner
Pragna Patel, Director, Southall Black Sisters
Rahila Gupta, Writer and Journalist
Rishvin Ismath, Council of Ex-Muslims of Sri Lanka
Rumana Hashem, Director, Community Women Against Abuse & Phulbari Solidarity Group
Sadia Hameed, Spokesperson, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Samir Noory, Left Worker communist party of Iraq
Sanal Edamaruku, President, Rationalist International
Secularism is a Woman’s Issue
Shakila Taranum Maan, Filmmaker
Soad Baba Aissa, Activist and Feminist
Southall Black Sisters
Stephen Evans, Executive Director, National Secular Society
Steven Pinker, Cognitive Psychologist, Linguist, and Science Author
Taher Djafarizad, President, Associazione Neda Day
Taslima Nasrin, Writer
Usama al-Binni, Administrator, Arab Atheist Network and Editor, Arab Atheists Magazine
Waleed Wain, Youtuber
Wissam Charafeddine, Co-Founder, Muslimish
Yasmin Rehman, Women’s Rights Campaigner
Yukthivadi Sangham India
Zara Kay, Faithless Hijabi
Zehra Pala, Activist of the Atheism Association of Turkey
از اعتراضات در ایران، عراق و لبنان دفاع کنید
اعتراضات سراسری در ایران در برابر افزایش ۵۰ درصدی قیمت سوخت در طی چند روز گذشته، با سرکوب گسترده نیروهای امنیتی رژیم جمهوری اسلامی و با کشته شدن حداقل ۲۰۰ نفر، صدها مجروح و بیش از هزار بازداشتی روبرو شده است، استفاده گسترده از نیروهای امنیتی، با قطعی اینترنت همراه شده است تا از پخش اخبار قیام مردم و سرکوب آنان به دنیای خارج جلوگیری نماید.
تظاهرات کنندگان، قوانین اسلامی و دیکتاتوری آخوندی را هدف قرار داده اند، از جمله حمله به موسسات مذهبی و حوزههای علمیه، بانک ها، کلانتریها و تصاویر رهبری. اعتراضات در ایران گسترده است و به دنبال تظاهرات در عراق و لبنان در طی ماه گذشته است، در عراق بیش از ۳۰۰ نفر کشته و حداقل ۱۵۰۰۰ نفر زخمی شدند. در لبنان ، معترضین علیرغم تلاش برای سرکوب خشونت آمیز ، پیروزی هایی به دست آوردند که آخرین مورد آن لغو جلسه پارلمان برای دومین بار پیاپی بود ، پس از آنکه تمامی مسیرهای منتهی به پارلمان را مسدود کردند.
در هر ۳ کشور، معترضین خواستار ایجاد کار و بهبود رفاه و خدمات و پایانی بر فساد، فرقه گرایی و مداخلات رژیم اسلامی ایران در منطقه هستند، در عراق بسیاری فریاد زدند “نه سنی، نه شیعه، تنها سکولاریسم”. در ایران شعارها شامل “ما رژیم اسلامی نمی خواهیم” بود، و در لبنان، معترضین خواستار عزل تمامی آنانی که در قدرت هستند شدند با گفتن “ همه آنها یعنی همه آنها، نصرالله یکی از آنان است”، که اشاره به رهبر اسلامگرای حزب الله است، معترضین کاملا سکولار هستند، با افرادی جوان و زنانی که رهبری این تظاهرات را به عهده دارند.
ما، امضاکنندگان، از مردم میخواهیم که حمایت و همبستگی صریح خودشان را نسبت به تظاهرات کنندگان نشان دهند، از حقوق جهان شمول، آزادی و درخواست برای سکولاریسم دفاع کنند، ما همچنین از مردم میخواهیم تا همگی نیروهای حکومتی، شامل شبه نظامیان اسلامگرا، که در
حال سرکوب قیامهای مردمی و مشروع برای فردایی بهتر هستند را محکوم نمایند.
احم مظاهرات إيران، العراق ولبنان
واجهت مظاهرات إيران التي انطلقت إحتجاجاً على ارتفاع أسعار النفط بنسبة ٥٠٪ في غضون أيام قمعاً شاملاً من قبل الحرس الثوري الإيراني، ما أودى بحياة أكثر من ١٠٠ شخص، بالإضافة إلى مئات الجرحى وآلاف الموقوفين. تزامن استعمال العنف من قبل القوى الأمنية مع تعطيل لشبكة الإنترنت لمنع انتشار الأخبار ومشاهد قمع المتظاهرين إلى العالم الخارجي. يستهدف المتظاهرون الحكم الإسلامي وديكتاتورية رجال الدين، عبر مهاجمة المراكز والمحاضرات الدينية، البنوك، مراكز الشرطة وممثلي الزعامات الدينية. تلت مظاهرات إيران المظاهرات الضخمة في العراق ولبنان. ففي العراق قتل أكثر من ٣٠٠ شخص وجرح على الأقل ١٥,٠٠٠. و في لبنان، حقق المتظاهرون انتصارات عدة على الرغم من محاولات قمعهم عنفياً، فكان آخرها إلغاء جلسة مجلس النواب للمرة الثانية على التوالي منذ يومين بعد إغلاق المتظاهرين جميع الطرق المؤدية إلى البرلمان.
في البلدان الثلاث، تمحورت مطالب المتظاهرين حول تأمين فرص العمل، تحسين مراكز الرعاية والخدمات، وضع حد للفساد، للطائفية ولتدخلات النظام الإيراني في شؤون المنطقة. في العراق، ارتفعت صيحات “لا سنية ولا شيعية، بدنا دولة علمانية”. في إيران تضمنت الشعارات “لا نريد نظاماً إسلامياً” وفي لبنان طلب المتظاهرون اسقاط جميع الحكام عبر شعارات “كلن يعني كلن، نصرالله واحد منن” – بالإشارة إلى الداعية الإسلامي. المظاهرات علمانية بامتياز، قادتها نساء وشباب.
نحن، الموقعون أدناه، نطلب كل الدعم والتضامن مع هذه التظاهرات، و الدفاع عن الحقوق العالمية والحريات ومطالب العلمانية. كما ونطالب من الجميع إدانة القوات الحكومية، لا سيما الميليشيات الإسلامية التي تقمع النهضات الشعبية المحقة، التي تسعى نحو غد أفضل.
Défendre les manifestations en Iran, en Irak et au Liban
Des protestations à l’échelle nationale ont lieu en Iran ces derniers jours déclenchées par l’augmentation de 50% du prix du carburant ; elles ont été largement réprimées par les forces de sécurité du régime islamique iranien, faisant au moins 200 morts, des centaines de blessés et plus d’un millier d’arrestations. A l’utilisation écrasante de la force par les organismes de sécurité s’est ajouté un black out d’internet pour empêcher les nouvelles du soulèvement et de sa répression de parvenir au monde extérieur. Les manifestants ciblent le pouvoir islamique et la dictature cléricale, s’attaquant aux institutions religieuses et aux séminaires, aux banques, aux commissariats de police et aux représentations du leadership clérical.
Les protestations en Iran font suite aux manifestations de masse qui ont eu lieu en Irak et au Liban au cours du mois dernier. En Irak, plus de 300 personnes ont été tuées et au moins 15 000 blessées. Au Liban, les manifestants ont remporté des victoires en dépit de tentatives de répression violente, dont la dernière fut l’annulation de la session parlementaire pour la deuxième fois d’affilée, après que les manifestants aient bloqué toutes les routes menant au parlement.
Dans les trois pays, les manifestants exigent du travail, de meilleurs services publics, la fin de la corruption, du sectarisme et des interventions du régime islamique d’Iran dans la région. En Irak, beaucoup criaient : ’ ni sunnisme ni chiisme, mais la laïcité’. En Iran, des slogans proclamaient ’ nous ne voulons pas d’un régime islamique’, et au Liban des manifestants exigeaient la déposition des hommes au pouvoir en criant « ’tous’, cela veut dire ’tous’, Nasrallah en fait partie », en référence au leader islamique. Les manifestations sont profondément laïques, et les jeunes et les femmes y tiennent un rôle dirigeant.
Nous en appelons à toutes et à tous pour faire preuve d’une solidarité et d’un soutien sans faille vis à vis des manifestations et pour défendre les droits et les libertés universels et l’exigence de laïcité. Nous en appelons aussi au public pour se mobiliser autour de la condamnation des forces gouvernementales – y compris les milices islamiques- qui veulent étouffer les légitimes soulèvements populaires qui tentent de faire advenir un avenir meilleur.