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Month: December 2012

Northern Ex-Muslim Meet-up Group

The 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 are looking for ex-Muslims in the North to join them, including from Liverpool.For more information or to join, click here.

Why I Left Islam Live Show, 15 December 2012

On December 15th at 9PM GMT/UK time The Jinn And Tonic Show will be discussing the subject “Why I left Islam.” The panel will consist of a small number of atheists and a Muslim, Akber Chaudhry, who has been on the show before and was very popular.

This live show will feature calls in from ex-Muslims who are going to talk about why they decided to abandon Islam and their experiences in doing so. A number of ex-Muslims have already agreed to call in and it will also be possible for viewers (of any religious/non-religious position) to call in and ask questions / tell their story on the day via Skype. If you are an ex-Muslim or a Muslim convert and wish to reserve a position in the call-in queue in advance then email TheJinnAndTonicShow@gmail.com and include your SkypeID + what you would like to discuss.

This should be a very interesting show, so don’t miss it!

The show will be broadcast here.

Recordings of previous shows are available here.

TheJinnAndTonicShow

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain expresses concern at the exclusion of Muslim women from demands for gender equality

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) is appalled to learn of the Bristol University Christian Union’s ban on women speaking at its main meetings and events. The sexist policy, which demonstrated a blatant disregard for gender equality, has now been reversed after an ensuing uproar.

Whilst the CEMB congratulates those involved in the successful campaign to uphold basic principles of equality in the face of religiously-inspired misogyny, we remain concerned that the same treatment handed out to women by Islamic societies is routinely ignored, creating a double standard.

Whilst questions are now rightly being asked about the policies of Christian Unions elsewhere in the country, no one has yet dared publicly inquire as to the treatment of women by Student Union Islamic Societies, in Bristol or elsewhere. It appears that the likely findings may prove too awkward for many, fearful that legitimate questioning may be met with unfounded but nevertheless problematic accusations of racism and intolerance. The result is an unequal treatment with regards women under Islam as opposed to Christianity, which undermines the very same principle of universal equality that vocal opponents of the Christian Union policy endeavoured to defend.

Assessments of equality must be applied to all groups without prejudice, without excuses and without the malignant adoption of cultural moral relativism and exceptionalism. Gender segregation, bans on women fully participating and leading meetings, the absence of females from positions of authority, as well as more insidious pressures towards social conformity with regards dress and behaviour would rightly be intolerable to many if they were found to be the formal or informal policies of Christian groups, but the reaction to this very same treatment of female Muslim students is ominously muted.

We urge universities, unions and individual students to openly inquire as to the practice and attitude towards equality of all bodies, including Islamic ones, and to respond in accordance with the fundamental principle that all people, regardless of their religious belief or lack there of, have equal rights which must be upheld and defended with equal vigour and intensity.

For more information, contact:
Christopher Roche
Public Relations
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
email: exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com
web: http://ex-muslim.org.uk/

Company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales under company number 8059509.

Statement on adding ex-Muslim to the LSE Atheist, Secularist, and Humanist Society name

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) unequivocally supports the London School of Economics Student Union Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society’s decision to add ‘ex-Muslim’ to its name.

This is a positive move that will give heightened visibility and a sense of belonging to ex-Muslims who are often not seen and not heard.

Even if some (though not all) ex-Muslims at LSE identify as humanists, secularists and atheists, the public presence of ex-Muslims in a student society helps to acknowledge the dissent within a “Muslim community” that is in no way homogeneous  This is all the more important given the family pressures and Islamist threats many face for renouncing Islam. As is well known, apostasy is still an offence punishable by death in a number of countries under Sharia law.

The students’ union’s professed concern that the “contentious” move could create an unsafe environment for apostates is empty posturing and a disingenuous excuse for its decision to reject the name change. Rather, its decision is an effort to revert back to the status quo and prevent heightened attention to this issue.

Whilst our organisation is opposed to regressive identity politics that divide and segregate, it sees this move as a positive attempt to bring inclusion to an excluded group and to challenge the Islamist/far-Right narrative, something that is much needed on university campuses across Britain.

The CEMB calls on the Student Union to welcome the name change, encourages groups and individuals to give their full support to the Society, and hopes that other university societies will follow suit.

For more information, contact:
Maryam Namazie
Spokesperson
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
email: exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com
web: http://ex-muslim.org.uk/

Events, Poster Competition, International Apostasy Report and More

Dear friend

UPCOMING EVENTS

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) has a number of events and meetings planned in the next few weeks.

On 11 December 2012 we are having end-year drinks for our members and supporters with philosopher A C Grayling from 18:30-20:00 hours in central London. Email exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com to RSVP. Entry is £10 per person; £7 for unwaged (including one drink and canapés). A C Grayling will be speaking on ‘Secularism as a Human Right’.

On 28 January 2013, there will be an ex-Muslim women’s coffee morning from 11:30-1:00pm and a meet-up for ex-Muslim asylum seekers and refugees 1:30-2:30pm in a central London location. To RSVP, email exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com.

A CEMB-affiliated Manchester meet-up group has just been established by Sandbad. To join the group, visit here.

We look forward to seeing you at some of the above events! There is also, as always, the fantastic CEMB forum where you can meet like-minded individuals all day and every day.

POSTER COMPETITION

We are delighted to invite artists to submit a poster design for entry into our unique international poster competition, which aims to raise awareness on the status of ex-Muslims. The competition is open to everyone across the globe. For details, click here. You can also contact the competition coordinator Sultan Aman at cembposter@gmail.com for more information.

RESEARCHERS AND WRITERS NEEDED

We are busy putting together a report on the status of apostasy globally. This report will be very useful in providing information on the abysmal situation of apostates and can also be helpful for apostate asylum seekers in need of documentation to support their claims. We are looking for researchers and writers who can finalise the report, which will be published. If you’re interested in helping with this, please email Nahla Mahmoud at exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com.

ARTICLES ON THE CEMB

The Economist recently interviewed activist Nahla Mahmoud on the CEMB and the plight of ex-Muslims internationally. Here is the article.

You may have also seen the excellent summary of the impact and significance of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain in the latest dossier of Women Living Under Muslim Laws written by Marieme Helie Lucas. You can see the excerpt here.

GOVERNANCE ISSUES

As you know, the CEMB was refused charitable status. We are looking into ways of challenging this with the help of a number of lawyers. In the meanwhile we have incorporated and will keep you updated on the new organisational structure after the New Year.

SUPPORT OUR WORK

If you’d like to donate to the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, please send a cheque made payable to CEMB to BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK or give via Worldpay. Any amount will help us carry on with our important work, including advocacy, campaigning, providing a social network, as well as assisting individual cases of ex-Muslims.

Again, thank you for all your support this past year. We look forward to another successful year for the CEMB!

Warm wishes

Maryam

Maryam Namazie
Spokesperson
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
BM Box 1919
London WC1N 3XX
telephone: +44(0)7719166731
e-mail: ex-muslimcouncil@googlemail.com
website: www.ex-muslim.org.uk

Company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales under company number 8059509.

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